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Scenery Review : Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft

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BER_EDDB_Header.jpg

 

Scenery Review : Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft

 

In the history of monumental stuffups and total ineptitude then the saga of Berlin's Brandenburg Airport "Willy Brandt Airport" is at the top of any infrastructure category list. In that this new airport is the focus of a main European capitol city is even more astounding and that it is also a high performing precision focused country like Germany then the whole idea turns simply into disbelief. But that is exactly what has happened with this new airport for Berlin. Brandenburg was originally It was originally intended to replace both Schönefeld and Berlin Tegel Airport and become the single commercial airport serving Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg (The glorious Tempelhof Airport had already been closed).

 

In reality it was a simple idea, extend outwards the runway and Schönefeld facilities and then close down the older airfield. Start date was in 2006 and the opening of the new "Willy Brandt Airport" was planned in October 2011. Poor construction planning, execution, management, and corruption created a debacle or even a complete fiasco that deems the airport is still not opening until at this point until sometime in 2020 or 2021. The most significant cause for the continuing delays has been the fire protection and alarm system that did not adhere to the construction permit and failed all the mandatory acceptance tests, more delays are encountered in that all the original information screens are all now in need of replacement because they are already out of date, and not one passenger has ever even used them to review their flight details...   and that the current airport head is both simultaneously earning a monthly wage and a retirement pension as a former state secretary of the state of Berlin, so there is a situation that is now described as a "scandal" and even potentially illegal shows the deeper ongoing issues.

 

Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft

The heading says Aerosoft, but in reality this is a LimeSim scenery with some development (SAM) by Stairport Sceneries. You get with the scenery two options... one use the Schönefeld setup were as Brandenburg is just a sealed of construction site (the real view currently) or use Brandenburg and have a side airport of Schönefeld available. In reality there are two airports as part of the package, both the same quality and both are situated in the scenery.

 

However the switching (manual details) are very ambiguous and confusing on how you switch them over (create a ACTIVATE BER folder and insert the nav-data) but the actual ACTIVATE BER folder already exists with the included nav-data? the default is the Schönefeld setup, so that is the review setup here (can't this airport get anything right?)...   anyway I like reality over hypothetical,

If you want to use the BER version then you copy the nav-data in the ACTIVATE BER folder and replace it with the nav-data in the main "Earth nav data" folder, and vice-versa if you want to use the SFX version (my guess this is what the manual is actually trying to say?). If using WT3 then it gets a little more messy. In reality you have to generate two sets of ground routes from each location, and then swap them over to the required nav-data of which layout you want to use.

 

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The new Brandenburg - BER and Schönefeld - SFX are almost diametrically opposed with SFX slightly to the north, and they both share the older runway

07L/25R Asphalt runway (the darker one) to the newer unused 07R/25L which is concrete. From above the layouts of both airports are very distinct. Earlier and closed in 2007 SFX had another (Northern) runway also called 07L/25R, a few remaining sections can still be seen in the scenery.

 

EDDB - Schönefeld - SFX

Before the Berlin wall came down then Schönefeld was the main East German/Berlin airport (Tegal was on the Western side) so Eastern bloc airlines were once a regular visitor and user of the facilities.

 

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Schönefeld Airport consists of the four terminals A, B, C, and D. All terminals are located next to each other but have separate landside areas; however they are all connected through a joint airside concourse. Terminal C has no check-in facilities, it is used exclusively for passengers clearing security checks to enter the airside boarding gates. Terminal D was opened in December 2005 due to the rapidly growing passenger numbers. Being nearly identical to Terminal C at Berlin Tegel Airport, it features check-in counters D40–D57, which are mainly used by Ryanair, Condor, Germania, and Norwegian Air Shuttle. It does not feature jet bridges but several walk-boarding stands. In November 2016, the new 4,500 square metres (48,000 sq ft) large arrivals area D2 opened right next to Terminal D but it is noticeable as the newest part on the complex.

 

There are only three airbidges, so mostly at SFX it is stand parking and a lot of the stands are remote. The large Apron 3 is directly in front of the terminals for stands 50-59, and Apron 3a is in front of terminal A for stands 61-65... stands 31-36 & 60 are remote with stands 40-43 far foreground.

 

BER_EDDB_Apron 3.jpgBER_EDDB_Apron 3a.jpg

 

...  Stands 28, 29 & 30 are just west of the main Apron 3 on Apron 2A. The larger Apron 2 stands 19 -27 is further away off Apron 2A.

 

BER_EDDB_Apron 2a.jpgBER_EDDB_Apron 2.jpg

 

Directly across the runway on what was the old Schönefeld field layout, but now part of BER is Apron 4 with a large maintenance hangar for Lufthansa Technik....  this area is now designated the "General Aviation" area.

 

BER_EDDB_Apron 4_1.jpgBER_EDDB_Apron 4_2.jpg

 

Aprons A, D and E are positioned in front and around the new BER terminal complex, but they are only remote storage stands and not currently passenger stands, we will see these when we look at BER.

Terminals are noted by their letter, and the large central original is Ter A, with Ter C slightly to the right and Ter D the larger low set building (centre left), Ter B is the corner extension (centre right).

 

BER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 1.jpgBER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 2.jpgBER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 3.jpgBER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 4.jpg

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All modeling is very good with nice textures, but all the objects are situated on a different scale photo underlay (Usual Aerosoft standard) so the detail is very smudged at ground level and the detail is lost, so there is that object on a flat surface look in most areas... and like that with the carparks and rental parking areas in that they are not defined. Apron fencing is also missing (poor quality anyway) in critical areas which shows a lack of attention to detail...  so there is not great airside security here?

 

BER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 7.jpgBER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 8.jpg

 

Apron detail however (thankfully) is very good, as is the glasswork and finer terminal details.

 

BER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 9 LG.jpg

 

The highlight here are the three airbridges, design is excellent with lovely glass. All airbridges are SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) powered (both BER and SFX) and it is extremely well done by Stairport Sceneries.

 

BER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 10.jpgBER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 11.jpgBER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 12.jpgBER_EDDB_SFX_Terminal 13.jpg

 

The bridges are well branded and have custom Safedock T2-24 VDGS guidance, if not in use they show the current time. There are a few apron animations (traffic) scurrying about, but nothing really to write home about.

 

Other SFX airport infrastructure is to the west of the aprons, here there is a secondary apron used for cargo (very small) and the older original airport built in 1934 when construction began to build three 800 metres (2,600 ft) long runways to serve the Henschel aircraft plant in Schönefeld.

 

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There are two control towers (three including the new one over by Brandenburg), Fire Station and various catering facilities like for GateGourmet and SkyChefs.

 

There are a lot of good custom buildings and a train station outside the actual airport environs, but the poor grainy ground textures defeat any real detail...

 

BER_EDDB_SFX_9.jpgBER_EDDB_SFX_10.jpg

 

...  signage is good, and the surrounding German Autogen creates a very viable landscape, as on approach and departure point of views.

 

If in the SFX layout there are some nice bollards that show non-access areas, both around SFX and of course all around the BER terminal, 3D grass is also very good and plentiful.

 

BER_EDDB_SFX_11.jpgBER_EDDB_SFX_12.jpg

 

EDDB - Brandenberg - BER

In the SFX layout the BER area is deserted and looks very authentic as a newly built but closed airport...

 

BER_EDDB_BER_1.jpgBER_EDDB_BER_2.jpg

 

BER_EDDB_BER_3.jpg

 

... the full glass BER terminal is excellent, with great detail and great tinted glass, inside the terminal internals are seen, but there is not much detail like seating or shop fronts. SAM detail and branding is again excellent.

 

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Gate B15 has a strange ball display set out over the gate access? Must be a reason?

 

BER_EDDB_BER_9.jpgBER_EDDB_BER_10.jpg

 

The terminal central and detail is very good, with the set out carparks and parking zones... but set in the BER layout is is still the same situation, with no fill internally with 3D vehicles or any items to say the areas are operational, so in both SFX and BER layouts you get the same emptiness feeling.

 

BER_EDDB_BER_11.jpgBER_EDDB_BER_12.jpg

 

BER infrastructure is good with custom buildings including the twisted observation tower and stand out BAYER sign, again the further out you go the more it is an object on the ground textures than detail, and the maintenance areas are all a little empty.

 

BER_EDDB_BER_13.jpgBER_EDDB_BER_14.jpg

 

The Waltersdorf shopping complex is to the south-east of EDDB, and it can be seen on both 25R and 25L approaches, it includes an IKEA and Hoffner stores... well done but no detail in say 3D vehicles renders it all a little bland. The autobahn 113 that crosses the same approaches does add in a lot of activity to the airport.

 

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BER Control Tower is well done and the default tower view... nice detail includes external stairs and the complex box construction arrangement.

 

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Either side of the tower there are two large aprons, with Apron D the main apron for BER terminal parking, the remote Apron E is to the west and both aprons are used currently for aircraft storage parking...

 

BER_EDDB_Apron D.jpgBER_EDDB_Apron E.jpg

 

...  far further west is a maintenance area with two large maintenance hangars for (now defunct) Air Berlin and Lufthansa Technik, The Lufthansa Technik doors open courtesy of the SAM plugin.

 

BER_EDDB_BER_19.jpgBER_EDDB_BER_20.jpg

 

Runway and taxiway textures are good, but not over high quality and detailed, yes the newer BER section may not have any use to date, but the runways have still been out in the weather elements for ten years or so, overall they just all a little too clean....  there is also some runway PBR effects for rain or shine in wet conditions.

 

BER_EDDB_BER_21.jpgBER_EDDB_BER_22.jpgBER_EDDB_BER_23.jpgBER_EDDB_BER_24.jpg

 

The darker 07L/25R Asphalt runway is a nice contrast to the newer 07R/25L concrete with the joins well done, there is a some nice island detailing as well.

 

The charts (Navigraph) only cover the Schönefeld EDDB areas of the airfield and approach, departure and stand info, so there is none for operation with the BER area if you are using the BER choice of layout.

 

Overall there is not really a lot of difference by switching between the two sections SFX and BER, and I think this is where to a point the scenery needs more development. The biggest issue is if you use WorldTraffic 3 to make sceneries active... currently there are no custom WT3 ground routes, so you have to generate your own and for each section...  in the SFX generation it is really quite good, as it works around the Schönefeld takeoff and landing operations, with a bit of static parking over at BER, the AGRE routes work fine as well with LCC carriers EasyJet and RyanAir as the main players. The BER generation is a bit of a mess.... for one it doesn't generate the arrival ground routes, and the population parking is extremely low. Admittedly there are no AGRE routes for BER, but even with the Auto-Gen it still doesn't work... it makes the airport look empty, at least fully occupied working WT3 aircraft on BER would have made some inroads to making the BER layout work and active, so it fails.

 

Lighting

The two separate layouts have two different lighting layouts as well....  with SFX active then runway 07L/25R  is active, with 07R/25L and taxiways in darkness. With the BER layout then both runways and taxiways are active.

 

SFX

 

BER_EDDB_LIGHTING_SFX_1.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_SFX_2.jpg

 

BER

 

BER_EDDB_LIGHTING_BER_1.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_BER_2.jpg

 

SFX Terminals

There are two different light sources with SFX being bright white and BER being a yellow shade. Schönefeld is very nicely lit and with some great working areas under the lights, and the terminals look good as well...

 

BER_EDDB_LIGHTING_SFX_3.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_SFX_4.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_SFX_5.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_SFX_6.jpg

 

....  The landside is not too bad as the terminals stand out, but you notice the blank bland carparks which are heightened under the lights.

 

BER_EDDB_LIGHTING_SFX_7.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_SFX_8.jpg

 

An oddity is that apron 3A is under yellow lighting and not the usual white, so it makes the area in front of Terminal B look darker (above)...

 

BER Terminals

The emptiness is heightened under the lights of the empty terminal. No doubt great for an arrival effect of the new airports position in the scenery....

 

BER_EDDB_LIGHTING_BER_3.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_BER_4.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_BER_5.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_BER_6.jpg

 

....    The contrast to the whiter interior to the yellowish ramps looks great and effective, but the airport looks and feels empty.... very empty.

 

BER_EDDB_LIGHTING_BER_7.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_BER_8.jpg

 

Two highlights are the nicely lit observation tower and Control Tower detailing, but the missing street lighting is a major head scratcher, even if the street lighting effect is present.

 

BER_EDDB_LIGHTING_BER_9.jpgBER_EDDB_LIGHTING_BER_10.jpg

 

Summary

When you review sceneries then most fit into a category... totally brilliant, excellent, very good, passable and simply crap. But now and again a few come along that you can't fit into a category, because even though they should fit one, in reality they should be totally in another.... and Aerosoft's/LimeSim Berlin - Brandenburg XP certainly fits that category. So what is causing that confusion?

 

All the elements are all here and correct in this scenery to make it an excellent if outstanding scenery, but it falls far short. The modelling and detail is very good and even in parts even excellent, glass and textures are all very good as well and so is the layout, most of the lighting is also very good as well, SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) intergration is first rate, so where does it all fall apart... on the smaller details.

 

We have to live sometimes with very grainy ground textures because they look good from the air, but if you do use them then on the ground then you have to cover them with detail, and that is what is missing here, all the small stuff. Carparks are awful, not detailed, no security fencing, no road side lighting, no 3D vehicles, no airport landside furniture or clutter were they are required and so the emptiness and I am not talking just about the BER area, but overall is very apparent.

 

Switch to the BER from the SFX and the differences are very small, if not worse where WT3 is concerned, in reality with the airport open or not, then switching over should be a transforming event, but instead it is a dud, and not much different than before. The only difference is that you just get another runway and taxiway system to use and not a full working airport... that is if you can work out how to change the airports over in the first place (it is easy when you know how).

 

So how do you approach this scenery. Currently just use SFX Schönefeld because it is very good, and WT3 works fine. If that was the developers intentions then they have achieved it, but what a waste it is in not using BER...   to its full capacity.

 

Overall most niggles here can easily be fixed with an extensive update, but in the immediate period then just some decent custom WT3 routes for the BER section would get you out trouble...  overall very good, but it could have been totally brilliant.

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg

 

Yes! Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :

 

Berlin-Brandenburg XP

 

Price Is US$29.99

 

Features
  • Highly detailed rendition of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport "Willy Brandt" (BER)
  • Includes the older Schönefeld (SXF) airport (north of BER) with the same level of detail
  • Includes two configs to switch between SXF and BER operation
  • Custom animated approach lights (SAM Plugin required)
  • All jetways animated (SAM Plugin required)
  • Numerous dynamic objects like apron vehicles
  • High resolution day and night textures
  • Extensive coverage of over 100 km² with high resolution aerial imagery (0.2-0.4 m/px)
  • Realistic 3D grass and vegetation
  • Ground Layout: End of 2018
  • Compatible with default AI-Traffic and World Traffic 3

 

Requirements:

X-Plane 11

Windows, Mac or Linux
4Gb VRAM Minimu - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 3Gb
Current and Review Version : 1.0  (March 5th 2019)
 
Installation
Download scenery file size is download 2.91Gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder at a huge 7.29Gb
 
Choice is required on if to use either SFX Schönefeld only (BER is there but not active) or the BER - Brandenburg. Change of the provided nav-data is required for the version you want to use.

 

  • Limesim - EDDB Berlin Brandenburg

 

Documents

One manual with notes in English and German

 

  • Manual_Airport_Berlin-Brandenburg_XP11_de-en_web.pdf

______________________________________________________________________

  

Review by Stephen Dutton

14th March  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 11.31

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

 

Logo Header X-PlaneReviews 200px.jpg

 

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