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Scenery Review : EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal Designs

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EDDM - Munich Header.jpg

 

Scenery Review : EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal Designs

 

The track record is certainly very impressive. From the mid-sized but mostly with the mega airports then ShortFinal Design (aka mister6x) is certainly a formidable scenery developer, his last release of LAX is a masterclass of the best scenery you can have in X-Plane right now. Only in one area to all of the sceneries that they compliment each other and that is all of them including mister6x's earlier freeware sceneries are all set within the boundaries of the North American continent.

 

So the announcement that the next release would be Germany was actually a surprise, and a bigger surprise in the fact it would be EDDM - Munich, the capital of Bavaria in the southern part of the Bayern country. So the expectations went into overdrive and more so in the fact there already was a pretty decent freeware EDDM by Schaeble that has had a lot of attention over the years, but it is still basically an early X-Plane10 design and scenery...   what could ShortFinal pull out of their magic hat to top that, well a lot actually because as noted this is a seriously talented developer at the very top of his game.

 

Munich Airport

EDDM is the seventh-busiest airport in Europe, handling 44.6 million passengers in 2017. It is the world's 15th-busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic, and was the 34th-busiest airport worldwide in 2015. As of March 2018, the airport features flights to 266 destinations, making it the airport with the fifth-most destinations worldwide. Munich Airport serves as a hub for Lufthansa including Lufthansa Regional , Lufthansa Cityline and its Star Alliance partners. airport is located 28.5 km (17.7 mi) northeast of Munich near Freising and is named after former Bavarian minister-president Franz Josef Strauss who was born in Munich.

 

The new Munich Airport commenced operation on 17 May 1992, and during one night the whole airport moved to the new site. The former original Munich-Riem Airport closed on 16 May 1992 shortly before midnight. EDDM was a 3,892 acres (1,575 ha) area green field construction and not based on any existing airport layout, which is very rare in Europe, and the only extension was of Terminal 2 Satellite which was completed in June 2003 and it was inaugurated as an exclusive facility for Lufthansa and it's Star Alliance partners. As noted EDDM is a hub for Lufthansa and Lufthansa CityLine, but Air Dolomiti and Condor are also based here.

 

EDDM - Munich First Impressions

To me the most significant thing about a new scenery is the first feel and immersion into the scenery, it is bit like being blindfolded and having the blindfold taken off at your destination and absorbing in the area around you for the first time. Does it work? does it deliver that realism, that placement of standing in the zone and seeing the viewpoint of what the scenery is actually delivering in expectation and the complete sense of being in the location that has been replicated in the simulator, but mostly in the fact there are no eye jarring views or poor details that destroys the illusion of what the scenery is trying to represent. In most cases this factor is because the developer is short-cutting in detail to save time or money... ultimately it is a false economy.

 

So the best first aspect is to fly into the scenery in question, and not just opening the simulator on the ground to ruin the first impression effect. Certainly a long distance is a nice aspect, but time does not allow that factor, so in this case I flew in from EBBR - Brussels which is about 300 nm away, so it is from one high quality scenery to another to gauge the differences.

 

First a few notes...  One feature of ShortFinal's EDDM is that you get both "Summer" and "Winter" scenery textures, it is set up for the "TerraMaxx" system, but I used the JSGME MOD "Winter" package, which works fine... the only difference is that I have to switch the textures manually by changing the "Library" file in the sceneries main folder from the "Library_Winter" file of which I edited out the _Winter (I just labeled the current "Library" to "Library_Summer") to create the new vista. So the "Impression" section of the review is in the winter setting, and the main review is set in the summer setting, and that gives you a great contrast of between the two different seasons.

 

Second note is for WT3 (WorldTraffic3). There are no WT3 ground routes yet provided for EDDM (and none are provided with the scenery). So I am using very old WT2 (German Airports) ground routes and they are seriously out of date from 2014, so take all the aircraft views in that context, but they work. My reasoning that even if I did a WT3 generation of the ground routes of which are completed and done in this scenery, they still would not be customized enough to still do justice to the size and scale of the airport, so here is hoping a pro WT3 master will create the required custom routings?

 

My equipment for this service is the ToLiSS319 and the same equipment (and A320) does the real world route for Lufthansa, Cityflyer uses the EMB195.

 

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My approach is via ANOR3A from the north, and once into the circuit, it was very hard to distinguish EDDM from the whiteout countryside. This denotes two things..  one the winter textures are very good and two the scenery is well blended into the default textures.

 

Even into the glideslope of RWY 26L the airport was still highly indistinguishable from the surrounding areas... so a bit of faith in the flightplan was required.

 

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The integration is excellent, so you don't see or or feel any boundaries between the custom and default textures to the seemless transfer between the two.

 

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The infrastructure of EDDM is to the right on this approach and it looks very, if highly realistic...

 

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Runways are really well done texture wise, with worn and wet oily touchdown zones, in later heavier stormy conditions I had the dry line more condensed into the centre for realism of a dynamic feature provided by the scenery of which I was very impressed with... 

 

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... note the runway ribbing which is excellent with the runway edge textures.

 

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EDDM is a huge airport in size, so you need some navigation charts to find your way around. More so to know which area you are parking at, as there are so many to choose from and in finding the right zone to suit both your size of aircraft and airline, so a little planning before takeoff is really required if landing here blind.

 

The quality of the buildings are outstanding, this is apron 9 or south cargo, and with the three huge Technik maintenance hangars in the background, and more on them later.

 

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Like most airports in these parts of Europe they love their huge building advertising canvas posters, and Munich is of no exception, as Keysight, Lexus and Lufthansa are all sprawled over mostly the blank areas of carparks and buildings.

 

Internal views are exceptional in an arrival feeling, note the moving traffic on the airport's elevated circular motorway system, mesh elevation detail is excellent and highly realistic, gone are the days of flat roads and bridges, this is as real as it gets.

 

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There are four cross motorway bridges and you have to pick the correct entry point for your terminal parking, miss it and it is very embarrassing, so again your navigation has to be right. Traffic animation is again the best I have seen, the traffic flows above and then under the bridges, note the weather worn bridge textures, and they look so good in this winter setting.

 

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Finding your gate is hard, as the long line goes on forever, You are very seriously impressed by the sheer scale of it all. The taxiway reflections are PBR active and very good, and adapt to the different weather conditions and viewpoints making the airport very dynamic.

 

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ShortFinal's EDDM comes with the SAM plugin, and EVERY single gate is covered with the features of this tool (note to have installed the latest version of SAM v1.0.5) with VDGS/Marshaller and Safedock T2-24 VDGS guidance. All terminal glass is transparent and reflective, the terminals also have internal areas as well, and the effect is highly realistic.

 

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Note the "M" Munich Airport logo, it has been applied on all items required like the airbridges, ground support equipment and buildings...

 

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Some gates have the low-rider airbridges for regional aircraft like the CRJ-200...  but they haven't been yet adjusted to work with the CRJ-200, so they work in animation wise and they don't align with the CRJ, but this a SAM issue and nothing to do with ShortFinal's EDDM. A shame because it would have looked brilliant

 

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So this was one very impressive arrival that left a huge impression on this review, it was faultless and very immersive.

 

The winter textures are seriously impressive...

 

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__________________________

 

Munich Airport

Flughafen München

IATA: MUC - ICAO: EDDM

 

EDDM.jpg

 

08R/26L 4,000m (13,123ft) Concrete

08L/26R 4,000m (13,123) Concrete

Elevation AMSL1,487 ft / 453 m

 

EDDM - Munich Overview .jpg

 

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The summer transformation is very different in feel and look. One area of airport boundaries that ShortFinal struggled slightly with a little, like at KSLC are not present here as it is a seemless intergration with the airport's surroundings, and there isn't a lot of autogen, as EDDM is 28.5 km (17.7 mi) northeast of Munich. But there is a few slight built up autogen areas around the airport to give it a lot of realism. The Germanic autogen housing and light industry works well into your favour here as well.

 

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With most sceneries of this size, you can usually pick out flat or underdeveloped areas, there is none here in the central area, but just a few flat texture buildings on the 26R/26L approaches, but that is not noticeable from the air, and minutely from the ground.

 

EDDM Layout

Because of it's clean sheet design, EDDM is not constrained like most airports into fitting in or being set out around existing older infrastructure. So the developers built the airport around an central plaza, that is both a hub, underground S-Bahn station and shopping centre all in one... outside non-airport customers are welcome and even encouraged to come here by not having the local Bavarian laws governing retail hours.

 

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This is the Munich Airport Center (sometimes shortened to MAC) and the plaza style central building is fantastically represented here, with sublime glass detail and great construction detail by ShortFinal, it is a centrepiece and important to get right into the context of the airport. Most developers relegate these sorts of buildings to the basic level, but they are supremely important to the whole feel and the overall look of the scenery.

 

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There is a Hilton attached to the MAC on the north side.

 

Terminal 1

This is the oldest and largest terminal at Munich, and it is straight row terminal with two satellite ground level terminals centre apron that are accessed by buses. It has several zones with A–D as well as Arrivals in E.

 

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It is not only the sheer quality of design that is on show here, but this scenery detail is certainly now a level above in what you would expect from any scenery. In a overview context it looks excellent, but get up close and the words of phenomenal are then more apt...

 

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...    to highlight the fact is the sheer complexity of the designs and they are also merged in perfectly with the custom areas of the airbridge SAM plugin.

This new active tool brings airports alive with custom docking, working airbridges (up to three and different airbridges are on show here) and bay guidance and all with a working menu... with more SAM features later in the review.

 

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But the really clever area is the glass...  glass is the realism key to any really good scenery, and here at EDDM it is simply astounding, as you have PBR reflections, but also tinted glass and clear see-through glass as well, and all of it is perfect.  This aspect allows the internals to be shown well inside out, in stairwells and internal terminal detail...  but don't expect to walk internally, it is not set out to do that, but only set up as a reflection of external detail...  but it is all total realism 101. The terminal's textures in walls, wear, tear and design is all very, very good as well, as is the excellent detail on the roof...  landside it isn't hugely overly detailed but still enough to convey the scenery's intentions without the framerate hit. This is a masterclass of current X-Plane11 scenery development.

 

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Ground clutter is a ShortFinal speciality, and here at EDDM he does not disappoint with just enough clutter to fill out the bays with space to work around the aircraft and with the oil marks to match. There is great animated traffic and all the clutter is branded correctly to the airport, with walking animated personnel filling out all the working ramps as well...  airport animated ground service vehicles are well represented as well, there is an overwhelming amount of movement, but enough you you to get that authentic working airport environment.

 

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The two satellite ground level terminals are going to be the most used if you fly mostly regional services, and they are excellent for those hop around Europe and then to return to EDDM services.

 

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Terminal 2

In a way Terminal 2 is a mirror of Terminal 1, but with the mid-field area including a larger and bigger single satellite terminal... this 2007 building is known as "Terminal 2 Satellite" but in reality it is a full terminal and exclusively for Lufthansa and Star Alliance partners.

 

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Unlike terminal one you can see the huge Terminal 2 hall behind the MAC. And unlike Terminal 1 the terminal only has two zones in G and H or North and South.

 

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The gate walkway buildings are a different style to Terminal one and more a Frankfurt modern than the older all glass construction of the other terminal.

 

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The reproduction with again the excellent glass is just well and above, even far better then excellent work that was done in Aerosoft's EDDF, the sheer detail is again immense and highly realistic. There is a side terminal called F, but it is only for restricted access and it is hidden and sited behind Terminal 2 at the northern position.

 

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Terminal 2 Satellite style is just slightly different again, but now more modern, but in keeping with the same overall feel and Gates K and L are located here.

 

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....   as David Bowie sang "it will blow your mind".

 

Remote Parking

East there are two remote parking zones. Apron 5 is to the north side (below both right), and Apron 13 to the south, but the rear of Apron 13 is used as a general aviation area (the darker area at the rear).

 

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Apron one opposite the Terminal 1 satellite gates also has a lot of stands in 171 to 196 or actually 20 parking stands with missing numbers, but still a lot of parking choices.

 

EDDM - Munich Terminal Remote 5 LG.jpg

 

Control Tower

The EDDM control tower is nicely recreated here. Clever sliver reflective windows actually work better than would say the see through glass, design work is very good. The radar on the top is animated, so that looks authentic as well, with another radar working around the airport on a ramp tower.

 

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Tower view is set, but you get lots of obstructions in the viewpoint, but it can still work if you need the approach view.

 

Cargo

M Cargogate is also Lufthansa's Cargo München large cargo hub.

 

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The huge stands can accommodate easily any B744 or B748 cargo freighters, but also a few Lufthansa Cargo DC-11's (hint coming Rotate DC-11)

 

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The AeroGround Flughafen München GmbH building is a standout, but it is also an eye trick with just some very good detailed textures.

 

Maintenance hangars

There are three huge maintenance hangars next to the Cargo hub...  In order left to right...   Lufthansa CityLine Technik, old now abandoned Air Berlin and Lufthansa Technik and on the far left is an engine test bay.

 

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Hangar detail is immense with matrix framework and reflective glass, they are all beautifully designed...

 

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....  standout feature is the SAM plugin "Open Hangar" doors. Yes it works and brilliantly with double doors on the Air Berlin and Lufthansa Technik hangars and a single opening door on the CityLine Technik hangar....  The Lufthansa also has two static A320's inside, I feel a few clutter items in here to break up the huge spaces would have been the total icing on the cake....  otherwise it is totally brilliant.

 

Rear hangar detail is also excellent with a lot of clutter with vehicles and shrubbery. Engine test bay is also first rate with a nicely designed fuel depot sitting behind, detail even on these smaller items is excellent.

 

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Munich Airport entrance

The main entrance causeway into EDDM, was always a focal point to the scenery, and an important area not to be missed or not developed... that is certainly not the case here.

 

To the south of the entrance causeway is the already mentioned cargo and maintenance areas, with a major long term carpark and the Lufthansa Flight Operations Center. This area is connected by a U-Bahn station "Besucherpark", with it's distinctive circular walkway, the LFOC is in the background.

 

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There are real custom U-Bahn trains running through and stopping at the Besucherpark station and then continue into the central part of the scenery, note the amazing detail even down to the correct rail power poles and cables...  and with the complex road system and all in 3d with a lot of animated traffic.

 

The northwest side are the main airport support facilities and offices. The area is again very highly detailed and really a quality scenery just by itself...

 

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There is the Besucherpark des Flughafen München or Visitors park with the lookout mound Besucherhügel.. and the three display Lufthansa aircraft are also all on show...

 

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Lufthansa Service Sky Chefs are based here and is the largest set of the buildings in the area...  detail and clutter is overwhelmingly good.

 

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Audi AirTraining, power cooling plant, airport maintenance and there is even a Ringeltaube supermarket in there as well...

 

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...    the Stadtsparkasse München bank building is very distinctive and well recreated... with the Novotel Hotel that is faithfully reproduced just behind.

 

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The northwest area is extremely comprehensive in detail, even down to a Agip service station and cargo lorry park.

 

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So the whole scenery has so much density and objects it all becomes a bit of a overwhelmingly feeling of "just how much can you display here"... this is the airport bus maintenance facility.

 

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Environment

You can add in as many objects as you want to, but that doesn't mean the scenery would work as a collective whole...  this aspect is related to foliage and trees to fill in the blank areas to make the whole scenery sing (and probably dance as well).

 

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Skillful use of the foliage can create the real feel of the area, and here it is again and above the usual quality.... all areas are covered with no really blank spaces, and it all blends in well with the default surrounding foliage as well.

 

Grass is also included and it is also very good, the lines can show here and there, but it is at least very comprehensive on all the inner field areas.

 

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Runway textures are sublime... so realistic with the required grooving and rubber soiled landing points, yes they reflect in the sun for realism, but the runways and taxiway textures are active as well, like with the snow, and they will change to a highly reflective wet look if it rains as well.

 

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As they say...  "it is a beautiful thing"

 

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Lighting

If there is a weakness in any scenery of this scale, it is usually here in the lighting....   But as you are already going to guess is that issue of any weakness is not going be here in ShortFinal's EDDM Munich either....  and you are going to be dead right.  As the lighting is also excellent.

 

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You have only really two sets of lighting, with the landside bronze and the highly bright halogen on the aprons. All approach and taxiway lighting is excellent, you certainly won't get lost here, but there is even multicoloured taxiway - runway approach lighting which looks lovely in the wet...  Airport signage is also first rate and they all reflects very realistically onto the ground surfaces.

 

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Airport entrance "M" signage is masterful...   note the powerlines in the fading light.

 

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Airport carpark advertising is also spectacular with individual down spot lighting.

 

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Central core lighting is brilliant...  EDDM is certainly to be high on your list for any decent night flying activities, it is one of the best ramp lighting conditions I have ever worked in...

 

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MAC is amazing! great lighting textures create an incredible feel if you want to explore the centre...

 

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...  note the lighting in the control tower, very subtle... but highly effective.

 

We come now back to transparency and glass. Very few developers get night transparency and glass working correctly at night? they mostly end up with a bad blue or usually a grey shade that really is more detrimental than the vision they are aiming for, they usually put up with the effect because it works in the daylighting...  but not here as ShortFinal has also mastered glass reflection and transparency in the dark.

 

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The effects here highlight the detail inside the terminals. Only area is the internals of the Terminal 1 boarding structures that are not lit internally, you get away with it because the SAM airbridges don't have or can't have any internal lighting either... so it is a compromise.

 

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The wet PBR effects at night or in creative lighting can be simply extraordinary, you are now "living the dream". Note the colourful reflections around the Lufthansa flying crane and not only on the wall behind the logo, but on the ground as well (bottom right).

 

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Mostly all airport buildings are covered, a few on the outer could be a little more detailed brighter....

 

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.... but otherwise the transition from the aprons to the field is highly realistic, note the excellent lighting on the overpass bridges.

 

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Summary

There is a very crucial difference between a very good X-Plane scenery developer and a maestro. Any good developer can develop the objects, create the right ground textures and build a quality scenery. But a maestro has something very different in that they understand the deep fundamentals and the effects of the simulator at their disposal. This is usually the biggest downfall of any crossover FightSim scenery developer, it looked perfect in FSX/P3D but the scenery looks flat and average in X-Plane for not taking advantage of the tools available or built into the simulator.

 

We already knew that ShortFinal Design was or is one of the really high quality developers with usually with every release in breaking barriers and upping the ante higher and higher. His LAX was excellent, but again the level in this EDDM Munich scenery has been raised far higher...  again.

 

Not only for the really outstanding framework and terminal construction, quality textures, insane clutter and overwhelming detail, SAM plugin interaction, but also in the sheer scale of it all... this is a mega scenery in size, but it has the detail of a small regional airport, but more so in the use of X-Plane's dynamic features, with PBR glass and reflections (a highlight), reflective surfaces in buildings, runways and taxiways, wet and snow effects and the best X-Plane lighting dynamics you can get... in other words you get every single dynamic option that the simulator delivers in active here, in reality this EDDM is a showcase for X-Plane11 as much as a working scenery, and all is provided in both winter and summer season textures.

 

On top of the physical benefits of EDDM there are two more?  One is the sheer efficiency of the scenery on your computer, for it's size it is mega light on framerate... but note it is still a big airport with an insane object count, but you don't feel that on your computer or in use. LAX was just as good, but it had the disadvantage of having a huge amount of autogen surrounding it, here that is not the case...   so it flies.

 

...  secondly is that price of US$26.95, yes that price is only a single meal price in a restaurant, but this is a scenery you will dine on for years in its sheer quality and use, in other words it is totally excellent value.

 

So how to sum this EDDM - Munich scenery all up? you can't really, as "It just blows your mind".

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! EDDM - Munich by ShortFinal Designs is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

EDDM - Munich Airport

 

Price Is US$26.95

 

Features
Ultra-High Definition Airport
  • Accurate models for all buildings with baked ambient occlusion
  • Dynamic reflections on objects and ground textures
  • Custom high resolution ground textures
  • HDR night lighting
  • High resolution photo scenery (30cm/px)
  • Randomly placed static aircraft, can be toggled off in the X-Plane settings
Animated Airport
  • Animated airport vehicles (using GroundTraffic by Jonathan Harris)
  • Custom animated jetways and DGS (using the SAM plugin)
  • Taxi network and gate assignments
  • WorldTraffic 3 and X-Life ready
Weather Support
  • Summer and winter version
  • Weather effects on the ground for rain and snow
Performance optimized

 

WT3: Ground routes are set in the scenery and the scenery will generate a set of routes (very slowly). No really good custom routes are yet available. I used for the review an very old set of WT2 (German Airports) ground routes. and custom adjustment would certainly help...  but overall WT3 works. A side note that there is an odd area of the WT3 aircraft passing over the overpass bridges, they don't? as both animated traffic in the underpasses don't work with the overpass? Hopefully a solution will be found.

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11 
4Gb VRAM Minimum. 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended
Download size: 875Mb
Current version and review version: 1.0 (January 31st 2019)
 
The jetways in the scenery use SAM instead of AutoGate. https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/49066-sam-scenery-animation-manager/
SAM requires v1.0.5 to work.
MisterX Library can be installed to get a larger selection of static aircraft (optional).
 
Installation
Download scenery file size is download 854.43mb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are two install folders:
 
  • ShortFinal - EDDM - Munich Airport (1.39gb)
  • z - ShortFinal - EDDM - Mesh (27.2mb)

  

Total scenery Install is : 1.42gb

  
The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct...  and that the "z - ShortFinal - EDDM - Mesh" is below the Airport and overlay files.
 
Ortho  "Ortho4XP Patch" is also provided to cover the changes to Ortho4XP mesh
 
"library_Winter" text document is supplied in the main scenery folder the current "library" text document is the "Summer" textures.
  

Documents

Two manuals are provided in both German and English.

  • Manual - ENG
  • Manual - GER 

______________________________________________________________________

 

Review by Stephen Dutton

1st February  2019

Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews

 

(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)

 

Review System Specifications:

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.30

Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini 

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : SAM Plugin - Free

Scenery or Aircraft

ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00

 

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Fantastic review, Stephen. I jus bought this last night (on faith, not having seen this review, because MisterX6). Looking forward to some EDDF (Aerosoft payware version) to EDDM runs this weekend!

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When taxiing to 8L I noticed the two roads that I crossed over where not 3D and the vehicles were riding through the 2 taxiways . Taxiways N1 and N2. All the other roads and taxiways were fine. Otherwise this scenery rocks like the rest of your stuff.

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