Lightman Posted August 18, 2022 Report Share Posted August 18, 2022 Scenery Review: PATK Talkeetna Airport, Alaska by NorthernSky Studio Introduction Hello and welcome to my review of Northern Sky Studio’s Talkeeta Airport. Talkeeta Airport, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is situated in a beautiful area of Alaska, about 100 miles north of Anchorage. Located near Denali State Park, a popular tourist destination, it’s an airport that usually gets incredibly busy during the holiday season. As may be slowly becoming apparent, especially if you read my last review, I prefer flying from the smaller, quaint airports when firing up X-Plane, and Talkeeta is no exception. The airport itself only covers 624 acres, which, by airport standards is pretty compact. Its single asphalt runway measures 3500 ft by 75 ft (1067 m by 23 m), and its single gravel helipad (designated H1) measures 480 ft by 85 ft (146 m by 28 m). Having been categorized as a general aviation airport in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems, its passenger turnover figure was numbered at 1500, as per the Federal Aviation Administration records. It is currently home to seven air taxi operations including Sheldon Air Service, Talkeetna Aero Services, K2 Aviation, and Talkeetna Air Taxi. Download & Installation After completing my purchase at the X-Plane.Org Store, I was presented with a download link for the scenery. This weighs in at just over 500MB, but once extracted, increases to 1.3GB. When done, it’s just a simple case of copying the folder into your X-Plane’s Custom Scenery directory. In terms of documentation, there wasn’t a lot, just a single text document going over the installation process. Walkabout The airport, due to its location, is surrounded almost entirely by forest, such is the landscape of Alaska. To the west of the airport, the Susitna River snakes past, and if you follow it south, will eventually lead you down to the city of Anchorage. If city life doesn’t take your fancy, then perhaps try upstream and visit the Denali State Park. Don’t fancy either one (you are picky)? Well, whether you fly east or west, the mountainous scenery surrounding the airport is bound to give you cause for adventure…just watch out for the weather which can be unpredictable to say the least! As mentioned previously, Talkeerna Airport offers a single lit asphalt runway for your pleasures and one helipad for the more adventurous types out there. The textures used for the runway are of high quality and feature a reasonable amount of weathering, such as cracks and a few rubber marks. To increase the realism and look of the scenery even further, the developers have used a photographic overlay for the entire airport, and whilst it only goes out a short distance, works incredibly well. In fact, if you use ortho scenery files like I do, then you’ll find that the airport’s overlay will almost seamlessly blend in. In terms of airport vegetation, you’ll find an abundant amount of grass as you head on up toward the airport proper, which whilst nice to look at, may cause issues for those X-Plane users with lower end graphics cards, such as myself. There are also quite a number of GA aircraft present, and whilst not particularly detailed, help bring the airport to life. Having first checked out the layout of the airport on Google Maps, I was pleased to see that the developers had pretty much got everything spot on in terms of placement. There is no main terminal building to speak of, rather the airport is made up of several air taxi operations. These include Sheldon Air Service, Talkeetna Aero Services, K2 Aviation, and Talkeetna Air Taxi. The buildings for each of these are nicely modelled and reasonably well textured, and whilst not of photographic quality, are more than adequate for the price (more on that later). The airport’s main entrance includes signposts to each one of these operators, along with some nice artwork. From above, you get a clear view of the airport’s name painted onto the tarmac, and this was something I really enjoyed seeing. Call me old fashioned, but I think it just adds to the airport’s personality. Airport ground clutter consists of storage boxes, cones, bins, plus a few picnic tables, but sadly no people. This is a real shame, because due to the number of static aircraft and facilities on offer, having a few figures (animated or not), would really help bring the airport to life. PBR & Night Lighting PBR and night lighting is reasonably good at this price point, and whilst not up there with the best I have seen, it’s certainly not bad. There is a degree of dynamic lighting coming from a few of the buildings, but not all of them, which seems slightly strange. The main runway and taxiways are sufficiently lit, but I would have liked to have seen a little bit more lighting. However, there are some quite good uses of dynamic lighting on show, such as the maintenance hangar and the airport’s main entrance, as seen below. Performance Compared to some of you reading this, my setup isn’t the latest flashiest machine out there. It consists of an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 and a 4GB Nvidia GTX 1650, and for the most part, runs X-Plane 11 well…as long as I am sensible with my settings, and this is true for Talkeetna Airport. The only issue I ran into was a slight framerate drop when viewing the 3D grass from above. Apart from this one issue, the airport performed flawlessly and was silky smooth. Conclusion So, having spent the last few days exploring Talkeeta Airport, what did I think of it? Well, I have to say I really did enjoy my time there. It’s one of those little airports which has plenty of character without having too much on show if you know what I mean. Yes, it’s not perfect, as there are a few areas which could be improved on, namely, the inclusion of human lifeforms, better night lighting, and the ability to perhaps choose the level of grass detail for those on lower end systems. However, when you factor in the low price of the scenery (just under ten US dollars), then I think it deserves a bit of slack. Hopefully Northern Sky Studio’s will offer updates to the scenery, perhaps even implementing fixes to some of the issues I have mentioned in this review. As it stands though, due to its location, aesthetics, and general appeal, this is a scenery I think you will greatly enjoy. Happy flying, safe living! _______________________________ Talkeetna Airport, Alaska by Northern Sky Studio is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Talkeetna Airport Price is US$9.75 Requirements X-Plane 11 - X-Plane 12 (when available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 530 MB Current version : 1.0 (May 23rd 2021) Review by Felicity Smith 18th August 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Windows 10, AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (overclocked to 4.1GHz), 1650 4Gb, 32GB RAM, 256 M.2 SSD, 2TB HD (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) All Rights Reserved Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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