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Stephen

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  1. NEWS! - Scenery Released : RPVE - Boracay Caticlan Airport - Philippines by Airwil Sceneries We're on a roll... This is the third Filipino scenery in quick succession, and over as many weeks from Airwil Sceneries. This time it is Boracay (Caticlan) Airport, in Boracay, Philippines. Boracay is one of the Philippines' best tourist destinations, and Boracay Airport is the seventh busiest airport in the Philippines despite having a runway just a little bit short of 1700 meters. Boracay Airport is just approximately 35 minutes away from Manila by plane. Flying from Manila or Cebu to this airport is one of many ideal short inter-island hops in the Philippines. Features: (with more than 100 custom made objects) - Highly detailed Temporary Arrival Terminal (With Interior Modelling) - Included 1 ramp start/parking bay at the old ramp for users to still experience the Old Terminal (In real life, it is no longer used by aircraft - Highly detailed Departure Terminal (Located at the old apron/ramp) - Highly detailed Control Tower - Highly detailed Fire Department Building - Fully functional default ATC - On-going construction of the new Boracay Airport Terminal - On-going construction of Marriott Hotel just near the new apron - Highly detailed Jetty Port (The jump-off port for tourists to the island of Boracay) - Highly detailed Ramp area with lots of static objects - Custom Airline Buses - Custom Filipino Jeepneys - All houses within the vicinity are modelled to look like real Filipino Houses. - Color corrected orthophotos If the collective sceneries are good and well priced. Then creating new networks to fly around them is a great adventure, I'm loving these quality airports, and at those under US$10 prices they are hard to beat. Images are courtesy of Airwil Sceneries _______________________________ RPVE - Boracay Caticlan Airport - Philippines by Airwil Sceneries is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store RPVE - Boracay Caticlan Airport - Philippines Priced at US$9.99 Requirements X-Plane 11 - X-Plane 12 (when available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3.5 GB Current version : 1.0 (Aug 10th 2022) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 11th August 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Rights Reserved
  2. Aircraft Updated : Airbus A340-600 v1.1.1 by Toliss ToLiSS has again done an update to the Airbus A340-600. It has only been 7 weeks since the last v1.1 changes (20th June), and yet here is another single digit v1.1.1 update, and and there is a lot in here for such a short time span. I doubt there will be another until the X-Plane12 version as the ToLiSS A346 is already basically X-Plane12 compatible. Updates can now be via the SkunkCraft's updater. So lets get straight into the changes. There are a few nice new features in this v1.1.1, so it is not restricted to just bug fixing and adjustments. Refueling Biggest new feature is the Refueling truck(s) that add in "Slow" refueling to the aircraft. It is controlled by the ever expanding Interactive Audio Control Panel (IACP) on the radio "Intercom" and "Cabin Communication" buttons. (Made easier for VR users). Dial in your Fuel load via -- / ++ selectors and press "Request Fuel", to load the aircraft You now get some very nice animated fuel truck vehicles, one for under each wing that manoeuvre into place and start loading the set fuel load. The Fuel truck detail is very good, but with no fuel hoses to the wings? I wouldn't think this would be noticeable, but it is? Nice touches are the ECAM messages "Refuel in Progress" and "Refuel Panel", while your fuel numbers go up slowly as per a slow refueling pattern. The Fuel amount is adjusted on the main TISCS menu, but you can't do it the other way around. Overall the Refueling is a great addition. PushBack The PushBack Truck has also had attention with a redesigned tug. Again it is set on the IACP with "Distance" and " Rotation" (Radius) adjustable. Notable though on the TISCS is the "Manual" option to steer the aircraft by your (Nosewheel) tiller, which is far better as the numbered auto version is hard to get right, as seen here. Overall I would still probably use the BetterPushBack tool as it works very well with the A346. Cockpit Textures Again like in v1.1, here the cockpit textures have had more work done on them. Now we are seeing a more authentic Airbus texture feel... ... the textures are now starting to feel very, very good, and they should do because they have had a lot of attention in the A346, and a far cry from the earlier ToLiSS styled cockpits earlier. ToLiSS are experimenting here, but expect the same quality to flow into the other Airbus fleet from ToLiSS. Notable is that they are also more focused on X-Plane12's better more active lighting system than the current average X-Plane11 effects, so don't expect them to be really outstanding until we are in X-Plane12, then they should be glorious. Window Effects Added has been the option to have either the window reflections and scratches effect, or clean windows. Selection is on the "General Settings/Visual Settings menu. Two other features added are; DDRMI now shows the flags for HDG and invalid bearings as needed, and the custom engine model now writes to x-plane's native "engine running" dataref for improved compatibility with 3rd party addons. SimBrief One of the great new features in V1.1 was the intergration of SimBrief into the ACARS or "Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System". This allowed you to easily transfer route data and flight details directly into the FMGS - Flight Management and Guidance System. As a time saver it is a precious tool, and I really love it. In v1.1 there have been two fixes... The first one is the change from the Flight Number to the callsign in the INIT, directly from SimBrief. The second change is the most important. In v1.1 the imported Ocean Tracks (NATS) didn't convert very well into the FMGS Flightplan, that has now been fixed. With the correct coordinates now inserted in the right order and data language, so any oceanic crossing is now far easier to install. Selective Runways and SID/STARS still have to set separately. Finally the Destination airport elevation import with SimBrief import has also been fixed as well. Seat Movements We all really, loved those seat movements with v1.1, well okay, but I am really crazy about them. Two things have been adjusted here, and includes that now the seat (or motors) don't work if the power is off. Secondly is that the animation (switch) hot area is now much larger, making it easier to find the controls and use them, even from above the seats without changing your viewpoint to operate them. Window Lever v1.1 also brought us the opening side cockpit windows, but the handle used to go into the side of the EFB, that has now been fixed. Last v1.1 notes include; IACP will now work in VR, and the white pointer on the ALT 100/1000ft selector and the baro unit selector is back. Full Changelog v1.1.1 Minor new features: - Cockpit texture retuning - DDRMI now shows the flags for HDG and invalid bearings as needed - Custom engine model writes to x-plane's native "engine running" dataref for improved compatibility with 3rd party addons - Option to remove window reflections and scratches for those who do not like it - Improved pushback truck - Added fuel truck animations for slow refueling via IACP. Bug fixes: - Simbrief import now imports callsign instead of flight number - Simbrief import now correctly imports waypoints on NAT tracks - Destination airport elevation import with simbrief import fixed - No more "seat motor" sound if the aircraft is actually off (motor not powered) - No more shutdown of engines 1 and 2 when exiting replay - Improved size of seat adjustment size to allow finding it more easily. - IACP should now work in VR also - the white pointer on the ALT 100/1000ft selector and the baro unit selector is back. - Fixed the side window lever going through the EFB when opening the window. For the short time period this a nice and even substantial update. Comprehensive release review of the ToLiSS A340-600 is here: Aircraft Review : Airbus A340-600 by ToLiSS _______________ Summary This is the fifth update to the ToLiSS Airbus A340-600 since it's release in the Q3 2021, and another great one. If only an incremental update. v1.1.1 has a few nice new features. There is now a slow refueling operation with two animated tankers, and an upgraded PushBack truck. Cockpit textures have again been revised, and the SimBrief intergation through the ACARS has been refined including fixing the important NATS waypoints. Seats and Window adjustments are done as well. The changes and fixes here is another step ready for X-Plane12 (A small update for the new features will be released at the same time as the new X-Plane12 Simulator). Notable is that you can now update via the SkunkCrafts updater without downloading/reloading of the whole of the aircraft files. Extremely popular, the ToLiSS Airbus A340-600 is one of the very best Airbus Simulations in the X-Plane Simulator, even exceptional. And they haven't finished yet. Now also X-Plane12 ready is a big step forward, and to be flying in X-Plane12 from day one is certainly a great attraction, and also a great current investment in that the changeover for the aircraft to X-Plane12 will be free to all current purchasers. "Highly Recommended!" _______________________________ Yes! the Airbus A340-600 v1.1.1 by ToLiSS is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airbus A340-600 by ToLiSS Price is US$89.99 Most accurate system functionality for any A340 aircraft in the flight simulation world Requirements X-Plane only - not available for MSFS Support for X-Plane 11 and X-Plane 12 when available Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.2 GB Current version: 1.1.1 (August 9th 2022) Changelog v1.1.1 Changelog v1.1.1.txt Full changelog details are here _____________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 10th August 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows -S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft - EGKK - London Gatwick Airport v2 by Pilot+Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$21.00 (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
  3. The problem is with that in using the freeware SFO city objects , is that you are doubling up the objects by doubling up the sceneries, I noted a significant framerate drop by using Tom Curtis Golden Gate scenery package to do the same thing, on top of an already bombastic object count. I would look at as a short term fix, and a hopeful dedicated San Fran City Pack from ShortFinal.
  4. NEWS! - Aircraft Updated : Diamond DA40NG v1.1.1 by SimSolutions SimSolutions have done another nice little update v1.1.1 to their Diamond DA40NG aircraft. The DA40NG is a four seat, single engine aircraft. It is equipped with a Austro Engine AE 300 and is an upgrade to the existing DA40. Running on Jet A fuel and certified in April 2010, the DA40NG has seen more than 500 models produced. The v1.1.1 update is modest but the aircraft does have some new features, including; added animated switches, added metric altitude (accessible via PFD → ALT UNIT) and added transmit & receive indicators (xPilot only for now). This DA40NG was originally WINDOWS only, but is now available for all three platforms of Windows, Mac and Linux (and tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS). Changelog Version 1.1.1 (August 5th 2022) ## Features - Added animated switches - Added metric altitude (accessible via PFD → ALT UNIT) - Added transmit & receive indicators (xPilot only for now) ## Minor Changes - Updated sounds - Hide passengers when chocks are on - Add option to unhide flaps and trim from G1000 - Cover blue borders in pop outs - ECU output load should no longer be calculated when the engine is off - Removed libradio (for now) ## Fixes - Fixed trim/elevator deflection, trim travel time, and airfoils - Fixed engine starter for Saitek panels - Added missing stall horn - Fixed high electrical load Highlights include "Custom" FMOD Sounds by FTSim+ and AviTab integration (AviTab Plugin required). The aircraft is currently on sale at US$18.71 down from the retail Price:$24.99, so you Save:$6.28(25%) Images are courtesy of SimSolutions ________________________________________ The Diamond DA40NG by SimSolutions is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Diamond DA40NG Price is US$24.99 (Current sale price sale at US$18.71) Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux ((tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) 4 GB+ VRAM Download Size: 377 MB Current version: 1.1.1 (August 5th 2022) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 6th August 2022 Copyright©2021: 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) All Right Reserved.
  5. Scenery Review : KSFO - San Francisco Airport Definitive by ShortFinal Design "If you're going to San Francisco Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair If you're going to San Francisco You're gonna meet some gentle people there" The name MisterX6 changed the face of X-Plane scenery. Coming in with a freeware version of KSFO San Francisco International Airport and City 2.0 in November 2015, then a second release in June 2016 was of KBOS - Boston Logan, and both were high quality X-Plane payware sceneries and for free. They also set a standard and created a high reputation for anything delivered by "MisterX6". In reality it was crazy that this sort of extreme (for the time) work that was delivered for free, as the attention to detail was second to none. A load freeware sceneries followed with, KPHX, KPDX, KCUB, KSAN, KLAX and PAJN that were all delivered over the next few years, leaving X-Plane users begging for more. The dream run couldn't last and it didn't. With a name change to ShortFinal Design, Justin Kissling (the famed MisterX6) went payware with the "Definitive" series of scenery. So how do you top brilliant? by going extraordinary that is how. The first SFD release was KSLC - Salt Lake City, then my favorite KABQ - Albuquerque. Then Mega airports followed with KLAX - Los Angeles and EDDM - Munich of which was the X-PlaneReviews best scenery of the year winner 2019 🏅 The level of innovation and detail sets these extraordinary sceneries apart from nothing else in X-Plane, they are of a high standard if not the highest, so what comes next... KSFO - San Francisco Airport Definitive, and here it is. SFO is again a total revisit to the older freeware version, but a total revisit means it was completely rebuilt from nothing, so the two KSFOs really have nothing in common, but are related only to the same airport and location. San Francisco International Airport is an international airport in San Mateo County, 13 miles (21 km) south of Downtown San Francisco, California. It has flights to points throughout North America and is a major gateway to Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australasia. SFO is the largest airport in the San Francisco Bay Area and the second-busiest in California, after Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). In 2017, it was the seventh-busiest airport in the United States and the 24th-busiest in the world by passenger count. It is the fifth-largest hub for United Airlines, which operates out of Terminal 3 and the International Terminal. SFO functions as United's primary Trans-Pacific gateway. Additionally, SFO is a major maintenance hub for United Airlines and houses the SFO Museum that was created in 1980, the first museum in an international airport. It also serves as a hub for Alaska Airlines, which operates in Terminal 2 The City and County of San Francisco first leased 150 acres (61 ha) at the present airport site on March 15, 1927, for what was then to be a temporary and experimental airport project. San Francisco held a dedication ceremony at the airfield, officially named the Mills Field Municipal Airport of San Francisco, on May 7, 1927, on the 150-acre cow pasture. San Francisco purchased the property and the surrounding area expanding the site to 1,112 acres (450 ha) beginning in August 1930. The airport's name was officially changed to San Francisco Airport in 1931 upon the purchase of the land. "International" was added at the end of World War II as overseas services rapidly expanded. San Francisco International Airport IATA: SFO - ICAO: KSFO - FAA LID: SFO - WMO: 72494 10L/28R -11,870ft (3,618m) -Asphalt 10R/28L - 11,381ft (3,469m) - Asphalt 01R/19L - 8,650ft (2,637m) - Asphalt 01L/19R - 7,650ft (2,332m) - Asphalt Elevation AMSL13 ft / 4 m KSFO - San Francisco Airport Definitive by ShortFinal Design The airport sits directly on the west of San Francisco Bay, and almost directly opposite Oakland International Airport on the eastern side of the same bay. The runway layout is really a cross with the terminal and concourses in the upper right quadrant (looking west). SFO San Francisco Airport is built around a central core, with seven concourses, with one (Terminal 3) being a concourse/rotunda with arms. Inner core there are four Terminals, the large International, then anti-clockwise are Terminal 1, 2 and 3. Central core is a labyrinth and also the main carpark for all the different terminals. Carpark detail is extraordinary and complex as the there are so many different layers, and they are all animated with traffic. Internally looks a bit like the Millennium Falcon of Star Wars fame in feel, the animated building fans only heighten the effect. International Terminal The face of San Francisco airport is the large International Terminal. The International Terminal is also composed of Boarding Areas A and G. Designed by Craig W. Hartman of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the terminal opened in December 2000 to replace the International Departures section of Terminal 2. It is the largest international terminal in North America, and the largest building in the world built on base isolators to protect it against earthquakes. International Terminal detail is phenomenal, realism 101, or 201... brilliant work including the exceptional lattice work that supports the roof. Note the local branded SFO buses, detail, detail and a ShortFinal speciality. But this being ShortFinal, your going to get even more unique ideas and effects for your money... and he certainly does not disappoint here at SFO. The frontage of the International Terminal will change colours with special events! Frontage colours change on certain dates to celebrate events. New Year, President’s Day, St Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, Memorial Day, Pride Week, Independence Day, Labor Day, Patriot Day, German Unity Day, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. The same colours can however be used on different dates, like the six Red, White and Blue. It is again all so exceptionally well done. Concourses A and G Each side of the International Terminal as wings are two concourses for the International Arrivals and Departures. These are Concourses A and G. Concourse A Most international flights operated by SkyTeam, Oneworld, and non-aligned international carriers board and deplane at Boarding Area A's 15 gates (gates A1–A15). As a modern concourse (if 2000 is what you would call modern), Concourse A is all cladding and glass. Capturing the feel of buildings like this can be really hard, and can just come across as modeled. But that is not the case here as Concourse A (and the rest of the infrastructure here), is very realistic and nicely worn. Note the small ramp tower on top and end each A and G concourses. All gates in SFD San Francisco Airport are SAM3 Suite (Plugin required) activated. With up to three bridges on the International concourses which several are Cat Code F. There are defined A380/B748 taxi routes available as well. A speciality of ShortFinal is that their ground clutter is second to none, and your certainly not disappointed here either. Not are only the actual service vehicles (branded of course), but you have realistic ground personnel, AND animated walking staff as well. Glass is again exceptional and clear (or transparent), revea ling the inner fully modeled concourse interiors, again animated walkers are moving around on both fitted out levels. Again the detail is excellent and very, if highly realistic. Concourse G Most international flights operated by Star Alliance carriers, including all United international flights and select United domestic flights, are assigned to Boarding Area G's 14 gates (G1-G14). Concourse G is quite similar to A, but it has an open passenger deck at the end. Again everything associated with Concourse G is superb. Harvey Milk Terminal 1 Formerly known as the "South Terminal", Harvey Milk Terminal 1 is composed of Boarding Area B, which currently has 18 gates (gates B6-B9, B12-B14, B17, B18, and B19-B27). Prior to June 23, 2020, Boarding Area C was also considered part of Terminal 1. In April 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and mayor Mark Farrell approved and signed legislation renaming Terminal 1 after deceased gay rights activist and former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Harvey Milk, and planned to install artwork memorializing him. Harvey Milk Terminal 1 is the world's first airport terminal named after a leader of the LGBTQ community. Arrival entrance is just all glass, making it a bit plain... but there is nothing plain about this very authentically designed terminal and the B Concourse. Lots of nicely defined nooks and crannies here to explore, and the rooftop detailing is excellent. Internal B concourse detail is again really well done... Terminal 2 Formerly known as the "Central Terminal", Terminal 2 is composed of Boarding Area C, which has 10 gates (gates C2-C11), and Boarding Area D, which has 15 gates (D1-D12 and D14-D16). The D gates is where Alaska Airlines has its hub. Terminal 2 opened in 1954 as the main airport terminal. After a drastic rebuilding designed by Gensler, it replaced Rotunda A as SFO's international terminal in 1983, until it was closed for renovation after the current international terminal opened in 2000. Terminal 2 arrivals feels like the older terminal redeveloped, of which it is of course. And again very well done. Side art facades are excellent, and note the animated internal AirTrain system. Part of the original International Terminal design survives as well with the "San Francisco" branding. Concourse C You immediately feel the older styled concourses and terminal style, compared to the cladding and glass newer buildings. Concourse C feels the oldest of the lot, but it is really well done here to get that older SFO feel into the scenery by SFD. Glass roof is see-though, and it feels very open from the internal view. But I love these older infrastructure designs. Going domestic to San Francisco, then parking here would be my choice of gates. Concourse D External Concourse detail is as usual in being very good, again a slight difference and feel here compared to the other concourses (except C). Internal detail is done right through the terminal and into the twin arms. Terminal 3 Formerly known as the "North Terminal", Terminal 3 is composed of Boarding Area E with 13 gates (gates E1-E13) and Boarding Area F with 23 gates (gates F1-F3, F3A, F4-F22). Terminal 3 is used for United Airlines' domestic flights. Mainline United and United Express flights that use both boarding areas. This $82.44 million terminal was originally designed by San Francisco Airport Architects (a joint venture of John Carl Warnecke and Associates, Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture, and minority architects). The groundbreaking ceremony for the North Terminal was held on April 22, 1971, and Boarding Area F opened in 1979 and Boarding Area E opened in 1981. Concourse E The Initial modest renovation plans were replaced by a more ambitious project after the popularity of the remodeling of Terminal 2. After the completion of the US$138,000,000 (equivalent to $157,960,000 in 2021) project, Boarding Area E reopened on January 28, 2014, followed by Terminal 3 East on November 18, 2014. The project moved one gate from Boarding Area F to Boarding Area E to provide a total of ten aircraft parking positions at T3E. Following a 2019 renumbering of all gates at SFO, three additional gates moved from Boarding Area F to Boarding Area E, with the latter now containing 13 gates. Built to take in the view. Concourse E has a huge window for the front. Note the United gate information boards set with the current time. Note also the lower to the ground SAM airbridges for regional jet boarding... again concourse cladding and glass design is exceptional. Internal detail is again done, but the views from the concourse are simply realistically unbelievably, really real, "Being there real". There are a few gates E1, E2 and E3 between the two E and F concourses (There are more F1 - F4 gates that continues past the F Concourse entrance), and this area internally is modeled as well, and again the apron and runway views are sensational. Concourse F There are three United Clubs in Terminal 3—one near the rotunda for Boarding Area F, one on the mezzanine across from gate E2, and another at the beginning of Boarding Area E. Terminal 3 also houses the American Express Centurion Lounge, located across from Gate F2. Ramp detail is excellent, every area (per concourse) has a slightly different feel, here notice the excellent height safety bars and lower concourse detail. Airbridges on F are a different static design than the swing bridges, and well done here, and also still SAM active. Internal F Concourses are of course done as well, with a huge space around the rotunda... you can explore as much internally at SFO as externally. Views are again amazing in watching the aircraft, just like in real life. SFO Control Tower Situated in the space between Terminals 1 and 2, a new tower was built to replace the existing control tower and one that has been in operation since 1954 and was then located atop Terminal 2. The project also includes a new three-story Integrated Facility building for the FAA and other personnel, two connector walkways, and improvements to the Terminal 1 Boarding Area C Entrance. Construction of the new control tower and base building began in summer 2012, was turned over to the FAA for equipment installation in July 2015 and the tower became fully operational in October 2016. The swirl style control tower has been faithfully reproduced here by SFD, beautifully done with great design. Attention to roof top aerial detail is also excellent. Rear tower detail is worth inspecting close up. Tower view is inside the tower. Usually this aspect doesn't work, but here it is sensational, with a clear view of all the approaches. Seating only up here and with no computer screens, but still very well done. The same event colour effects are on the rear of the tower, and in the same matching the International Terminal facade event. Entrance to SFO has the "Grand Hyatt At SFO" on the southwest. Again really well done is the Hyatt and authentic to the real hotel, behind are the two western carparks for the International Terminal in G and A. The complex entrance road system is mixed in with the rail networks to San Francisco City. Called the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) it serves the airport at San Francisco International Airport station, and located west of the International Terminal. All BART trains are fully animated here, as is the full AirTrain system, it is all SO good. West Field To the north of the main central terminal hub is "West Field". Positioned here are all the airport's infrastructure facilities including Cargo and Catering. Facilities for Prime Cargo, Delta Cargo, Cathay Pacific Cargo, Turkish Airlines Cargo and Asiana Cargo. Further north is Singapore Airlines and China Southern that are all represented, as is the United Airlines GEM (Ground Equipment Maintenance) Facility and Gate Gourmet catering. Ground clutter detail is simply phenomenal. The SFO Fire Station is positioned on the front of West Field on taxiway Z. UAL Base (United Airlines Maintenance) Far north in the scenery is the huge UAL base. It is significant to note on how far away it is here from the central core of SFO that this scenery covers, and in absolute detail, a very hard thing to do, but it is also totally authentic. Note the amazingly detailed SFO bus depot SFO is home to the one of the largest single aircraft maintenance bases in the world with complete MRO base operations (maintenance, repair, overhaul, painting, welding, machine shop, tool and die, parts manufacturing, fabrication, engineering, and retrofitting (Boeing and Airbus certified, among others)). It serves as the principal Global MRO Base for United Airlines and serves over 40 other airlines, military customers, and aircraft lease operators. The main United facility is huge... ... it is also SAM powered. Open SAM and select the "Controls" icon, and you get six options. Three of the selections open the three doors on the United Maintenance hangar. East of the UAL Base is Plot 50, and the SFO major fuel depot. Plot 50 is a (remote) cargo facility for FedEx, KAL and NCA. Brand detail is again simply brilliant. USCG (US Coast Guard) Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco (CGAS) located at the San Francisco International Airport is one of five air stations in the Eleventh Coast Guard District. Currently, Air Station San Francisco operates four MH65 Dolphin helicopters that provides its primary mission search and rescue. CGAS San Francisco also supports a wide range of other Coast Guard operations such as Maritime Law enforcement, port security, Aids to Navigation support and Marine Environmental Protection to approximately 300 miles of coastline from Point Conception to Fort Bragg 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. A lovely old building that screans "San Fran" that is modeled and detailed impeccably here, simply sensational for helicopter operations. The USCG hangar doors are SAM powered as well, so they open to reveal a nicely detailed interior. There is still more action at the USCG facility. On the SAM is another selection to open the gates. Press "Coast Guard Gate", and the barriers come down, lights flash and the gates all open. GA & Signature The east is where the only General Aviation (GA) area is at SFO with a Signature Aviation" facility. This is a British multinational aviation services company for personal jet services. There are both here a reception and private jet terminal and a large maintenance hangar. Again the SAM plugin can be used to open the Signature hangar door, revealing a nice interior. Superbay The eastern side of the airfield is dominated by the Superbay, a 420,550-square-foot (39,070 m2) maintenance hangar capable of holding four 747s. Originally constructed in the 1970s, the facility is shared by United Airlines and American Airlines. Sadly the doors don't open on the Superbay. Notable is that everything here is custom. Even the fencing is custom made and it comes in all various shapes and designs, no string facades here. All blast fences are perfect, and so is road crossing detail. Ground Textures Even from a distance you know the ground textures here at SFO are going to be something special, they are... ... but also a bit of a surprise, because they are not as rough (or knobbly) as I thought they would be, so they feel quite smooth. built in Burnt-in ambient occlusion effects and reflections are there but again not overly done, so to a point they look more realistic. In saying that I think these textures in the rain of X-Plane12 will be absolutely sensational. The different types of surfaces is just plain stupid here, totally everything you could imagine and far more, and again all totally brilliantly done. Grunge and oily dirt is perfect on the ramps, but overall I like the darker cuts in the asphalt and concrete for absolute realism. Notable is that there are four actual texture versions in (mostly to save framerate); No Ortho + Flat, No Ortho + No Flat, Ortho + Flat (default) and Ortho + No Flat Lighting I think by now, that if the lighting was average at SFO, it would be a real let down... NOPE, the lighting is as brilliant as everything else here. Approach lighting ha animated RAIL on 28L and 28R and 19L, and all approach lighting set high on gantries and really well done. The lighting ideas used here is quite unusual from the standard X-Plane practise of bright airside and tan landside. Unusual is the use here of mercury vapor lamps, which create a blue-green tint over remote carparks and the non-working areas. But very effective in the scenery for realism. Hub SFO centre is overwhelmingly good, that comes with the subtle uses of different lighting tones, this creates a realism of well real life. Not withstanding the colour effects. Central carpark hub looks like the core of a nuclear reactor! but brilliant. Ramps are excellent for working on at night, but the crème de la crème here is the Gate number lighting that are all spectacularly backlit... really love that, and so realistic. Backside and building window lighting is excellent, again very realistic, no average plain colour fills here. Internal concourse lighting is bright, but really well done in not being over bright to spoil the external views. Note the great ceiling lighting. Oddly there is not a lot of brand lighting on the buildings, say cargo faclities... the main are done like "UNITED AIR LINES", but not something like FedEx or the Hyatt Hotel? Ground navigation lighting is also very good. All signs are worn but effective, with excellent colour light realistic ground reflections... perfect. San Francisco Scenery Unlike with the freeware version of KSFO San Francisco International Airport and City 2.0, there are no city objects in this package, which for me is surprising. ShortFinal noted to me that he may create a San Francisco city free pack to go along with this package, of which shouldn't be too hard as it is already object created. Here I am using here the (very) good but very old Tom Curtis Golden Gate scenery package, but sadly it's not on sale or available anymore. _______________ Summary MisterX6 changed the face of X-Plane scenery. First with Freeware high quality scenery for the X-Plane Simulator, then he went Payware with his "Definitive" Series and changed his name to ShortFinal Designs. That change took the scenery quality, detail and effects into the stratosphere, but still with a very affordable price. San Francisco was one of the original KSFO San Francisco International Airport and City 2.0 freeware sceneries, and very good it is, but here is the KSFO - San Francisco Airport Definitive version. Like all the rest of the "Definitive" Series with KSLC - Salt Lake City, then my favorite KABQ - Albuquerque. Then Mega the airports followed with KLAX - Los Angeles and EDDM - Munich, that were all exceptional sceneries, so you expect a lot from the "Definitive" SFO. This SFO scenery has been a long time in development. I expected a release around the early months of 2022, but it was still another 6 months before it now comes to release. Having reviewed the scenery here, I can't believe it didn't take far, far longer. This is a MASSIVE scenery, in every aspect. Scale, object count, detail, effects and a realism above what we currently have. Yes there are brilliant sceneries out there, but this San Francisco sets a higher bar in almost every department... It is a colossal achievement. In every area it is brilliant. Modeling, texturing, lighting and not only external but the internal is very good as well. SAM Active, is not only for the various airbidge designs, but also to open and close hangar doors and gate crossings. This is one serious scenery with an object count to be believed. Again in every area it is covered in objects and with the massive clutter detail to burn your eyes out. Ground Textures and lighting are also extreme in detail with a few unique ideas thrown in. But the highlights are the event colours on the International Terminal and Control Tower that change with certain event days like the 4th July, Christmas and New Year and many more... Negatives, none really AT ALL. But you have to know that with an object and detail count like this and used in this scenery, then it will take up a lot of frame rate, so SFO does hurt the framerate, and no doubt ShortFinal has refined everything to the bone already. So you would need a fair bit of power to run it all. My guide would be ShortFinal's LAX, if that SFD scenery runs fine, then so will SFO, but lighter graphic cards will certainly struggle to process it all. I don't like to define the "Best of"... because it is a moving target in Simulation. But certainly this KSFO - San Francisco Airport Definitive scenery has to be the very best ever scenery created for the X-Plane Simulator, on the scale alone.... a masterpiece, absolutely, if even the best X-Plane Scenery was ever created for the simulator, and that SFO by ShortFinal is a big if massive achievement no matter which way you look at it. "All across the nation such a strange vibration People in motion There's a whole generation with a new explanation People in motion people in motion If you come to San Francisco Summertime will be a love-in there" _______________________________ The KSFO - San Francisco Airport Definitive by ShortFinal Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store KSFO - San Francisco Airport Definitive Priced at US$26.95 High-Definition Airport Accurate airport layout (as of 2022) Brand-new Harvey Milk Terminal 1 Detailed models for all buildings with baked ambient occlusion Terminals with interiors PBR materials on objects and ground Custom dynamic night lighting Custom high resolution ground textures High resolution photo scenery (30cm/px) Taxi routes for AI traffic Compatible with any mesh scenery Free X-Plane 12 update planned Animated Airport Animated AirTrain, BART, and cars Animated highly detailed airport vehicles Animated workers and passengers Custom animated jetways and DGS (requires SAM plugin) Special lighting on international terminal and control tower on certain dates Various user-controlled hangar doors (requires SAM plugin) Requirements X-Plane 11 - X-Plane 12 (when available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Version 1.0 (August 6th 2022) Installation and documents: SFO is download of 1.6 Gb download that is translated into a single install file SFD_KSFO_San_Francisco 2.1 Gb full install in your Custom Scenery folder. There is an OPTIONS folder for Ortho and Flat versions of ShortFinal SFO No Ortho + Flat No Ortho + No Flat Ortho + Flat (default) Ortho + No Flat You just swap over the supplied Earth nav data folder. There is a mesh patch can be used with MUXP (https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/67230-mesh-updater-x-plane-muxp/). It works with any mesh (including ORBX TrueEarth) and makes coastlines more accurate, which avoids issues like sunken approach lights. As of writing this document, MUXP is still an alpha version, so results may vary. In case you need to revert the changes, it always creates a backup version of your mesh files. NOTE, not sure on how this would work with X-Plane12, so personally I would not use it for now if using SFO Definitive in X-Plane12. SAM3 Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 3.0 is required for this scenery, Documents There is a 2 page "Instruction" page for installation and requirements Manual.pdf ___________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 6th August 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved  Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane v11.55 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick, Throttle & Rudder Pedals : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - None-
  6. NEWS! - Scenery Released : RPSP - Bohol Panglao International Airport - Philippines by Airwil Sceneries Typical X-Plane. Get one airport or location and suddenly you get a load of them. Except for the odd Manila airport scenery, you don't get much activity in the Philippines. But already Airwill Sceneries have released Davao International Airport, but here is another Filipino scenery in quick succession. This time it is Bohol-Panglao International Airport, Bohol-Panglao International Airport, also known as New Bohol International Airport, is a newly constructed airport on the island of Panglao in the province of Bohol. This airport is dubbed as the Philippine's first eco-airport and green gateway. This brand new airport replaced the old Tagbilaran Airport for better tourism within the region. The Bohol-Panglao International Airport is consist of a single runway with three (3) jetways and seven (7) ramp parking bays. Being just an hour away from Manila by plane, it is an ideal short inter-island hop in the Philippines. Features: (with more than 100 custom made objects) Highly detailed Passenger Terminal Highly detailed Control Tower Highly detailed Fire Department Building Highly detailed Airport Parking Lot Fully functional default ATC Highly detailed Ramp area with lots of static objects Custom Airline Buses Custom Filipino Jeepneys Custom Filipino Boats on final approach of runway 03 Hand placed Filipino houses and buildings within the vicinity Hand placed trees and grass within the vicinity (FlyAgi Vegetation) SAM Jetways by Stairport Sceneries (Authorized) Licensed Premium Ground Pavement Textures from ALES That under US$10 price is hard to beat, so buy both the Davao and this Bohol Panglao together and still be ahead of a great deal. SAM3 Plugin is required with this scenery. Images are courtesy of Airwil Sceneries _______________________________ RPSP - Bohol Panglao International Airport, Philippines by Airwil Sceneries is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store RPSP - Bohol Panglao International Airport - Philippines Priced at US$9.99 Requirements X-Plane 11 - X-Plane 12 (when available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3.5 GB Current version : 1.0 (Aug 2nd 2022) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 4th August 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Rights Reserved
  7. Yes I do in 2022, X-Plane12 will be (finally) out in a few weeks...
  8. NEWS! - Scenery Released : RPMD - Davao International Airport, Philippines by Airwil Sceneries Philippines, not really on anyone's radar. However I have flown over the Philippines quite often on the Brisbane/Sydney to Hong Kong routes. So a new scenery from Airwil Sceneries of this destination, situated at very lowest point of the Philippines island chain can open up a great unexplored area of the X-Plane Simulator. And RPMD also comes at a brilliant value price of just only US11.99 Davao International Airport, also known as Francisco Bangoy International Airport, is the hometown airport of Airwil Sceneries. Serving mainly the entire Davao Region, Davao International Aiport is the busiest airport in Mindanao and is the third busiest in the Philippines. Feature list is extensive More than 250 custom modelled 3D objects Old Davao Airport Terminal (with interior modelling) New Davao Airport Terminal (with interior modelling) Davao Control Tower Cab (with interior modelling) SAM Jetways (Authorized by Stairport Sceneries) ALES Ground Textures (Licensed by Pyreegue Dev Co.) Moving ground vehicles at the ramp area Moving ground vehicles at the terminal parking area Highly detailed terminal parking area Work in progress RPMD parallel taxiway Popular Davao City Landmarks (Gaisano, Grand Regal Hotel, SM Lanang, etc2 just to name a few) Filipino Houses Filipino Jeepneys Maligaya Taxi Davao Metro Shuttle Bus Mindanao Star Bus Highly detailed vicinity surrounding the airport to capture that Davao City feel Color corrected orthophoto Just like in real life, the parallel taxiway in this scenery is also a work in progress. Upon completion of the said parallel taxiway, we will update the scenery to maintain realism. Unlike in real life however, the old terminal in this scenery has been modeled as if it is still operating during its heyday. We have decided to do so to give chance to people who'd like to experience / re-visit that terminal (virtually). SAM3 Plugin is required with this scenery. Images are courtesy of Airwil Sceneries _______________________________ RPMD - Davao International Airport, Philippines by Airwil Sceneries is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store RPMD - Davao International Airport - Philippines Priced at US$11.99 Requirements X-Plane 11 - X-Plane 12 (when available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 5GB Current version : 1.0 (July 29th 2022) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 30th July 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Rights Reserved
  9. Scenery Review : OMDB – Dubai International Airport by Taimodels Dubai is one of those futuristic cities of the future, extreme buildings, even has the tallest most striking building in the world with the Burj Khalifa, also known as the Khalifa Tower. Like the trade routes of the past, the Emirate States (UAE), a federation of seven emirates that see themselves as the crossroads between the east and the west, not by sea or land this time, but by the air. This is the grand plan for three of the major cities here, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah to be those crossroads, and mega projects both in buildings and airports have created an oasis in the middle of the desert, plus to be a critical transitioning place between the major areas of the world in Europe and Asia, west and east. Dubai International Airport is the biggest and most prominent of the three (Dubai is building another mega airport just to be sure). But OMDB with it's home airline Emirates, has taken the scale to huge proportions, no other airline has 119 Airbus A380's double-deckers like Emirates Airlines does and you need a big if massive airport to cater for them all. TaiModel's started out atrociously in making scenery for the X-Plane Simulator. Quick turnover and not much quality and even less detail. I gave them a short-shift in not promoting the work. They were originally only really screen fillers and nothing else. The YSSY - Sydney International Taimodel's release changed all all that, here was a very well done scenery, great detail and a very good representation of Mascot. And here is the followup to that excellent scenery from Taimodels, in Dubai's mega port OMDB – Dubai International Airport. First a note. Here I am using the SFD Global package to create Middle-Eastern infrastructure around the scenery, a critical aspect on the look and feel to Dubai. And those SFD objects show in all the images here. X-Plane has had a few OMDB's sceneries, from very average freewares to a few lately released paywares from Orbx's FeelThere (Reviewed Here) to Aviotek Simulation's OMDB. The interesting one is FlyTampa's OMDB, but not available in X-Plane. But that didn't stop users including myself buying it and doing Frankenstein conversions to X-Plane. The point of FlyTampa's version is the extensive Dubai city buildings and excellent infrastucture, and this is the point with OMDB as a scenery. The Dubai Cityscape is AS important as the airport scenery itself. Would FlyTampa ever do an X-Plane version of OMDB, well there is always hope, but until then you will still need a good Dubai International Airport, so is this Taimodels the best one to have of them all? OMDB – Dubai International Airport by Taimodels Dubai International Airport مطار دبي الدولي Maṭār Dubayy al-Duwalī IATA: DXB - ICAO: OMDB - WMO: 41194 12L/30R - 4,000m (13,123ft) Asphalt 12R/30L - 4,450m (14,600ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL62 ft / 19 m In passenger airport traffic OMDB - Dubai is 25th on the list (2021), but in International traffic Dubai International is number 1 (29,110,609), which is no surprise considering the the scale of the aircraft operating in/out of DXB. DXB is a mega airport, so it is mega in size. Dubai Airport has three passenger terminals. Terminals 1 and 3 are directly connected with a common transit area, with airside passengers being able to move freely between the terminals without going through immigration, while Terminal 2 is on the opposite side of the airport. The receiving Terminal is on the western side, then connected to the three massive Concourses A, B and C, although Concourse C is noted as Terminal 3. Basically it is gate numbers Gates A, Gates B and of course Gates C. Terminal 1 connected to concourses A-B has a capacity of 15 million passengers. It is used by over 100 airlines and is connected to Concourse D by an automated people mover. It is spread over an area of 520,000 m2 (5,600,000 sq ft) and offers 221 check-in counters. T1 looks like two separate terminals because the buildings designs separated by the centre Control Tower, are different... this is a BIG terminal in scale and size. Concourses A - B Concourse A which follows the characteristic shape of Concourse B, 924 m (3,031 ft) long, 91 m (299 ft) wide and 40 m (130 ft) high in the centre from the apron level and accommodates 20 air bridge gates, of which all are capable of handling the Airbus A380-800. The gates in concourse A are labelled A1–A24. Concourse design and detail by Taimodels is exceptional, brilliant detailing and textures are very, very realistic, nice lower section detail is as good as well. Although the cladding is very good, it is the glass that not just great here... ... well it just "Totally blows you away", with it's design patterns and this incredible detail. This IS exceptional. Concourse B is directly connected to terminal 3 and is dedicated exclusively to Emirates. The total built up area of the concourse itself is 675,000 m2 (7,270,000 sq ft). The concourse is 945 m (3,100 ft) long, 90.8 m (298 ft) wide (at midpoint) and 49.5 m (162 ft) high. The terminal has 10 floors (4 basements, a ground floor and 5 above floors). The building currently includes a multi-level structure for departures and arrivals and includes 32 gates, labelled B1–B32 It would be very hard to beat this incredible look and feel of the concourse designs. Central Control Tower 87-metre-tall (285 ft) is very well designed and modeled as well, it has all the right shapes and oozes detail. Tower view is set well, with both north and south approaches clear. Internal terminal is semi-modeled, and only Concourse B... Concourse C Concourse C, is a part of Terminal 3, which was opened in 2000 and used to be the largest concourse at Dubai International Airport before Concourse B in Terminal 3 opened. It incorporates 50 gates, including 28 air bridges and 22 remote gates located at a lower level of the terminal. The gates are labelled C1–C50 Set slightly offset to Concourse B, Concourse C is slightly squatter and wider than the A-B concourses. Like Concourses A-B, the detail on Concourse C is phenomenal, again the same cladding and that brilliant glass detailing. All gates are SAM3 Suite (Plugin required) activated, all for A380's as well obviously, with many airbidges in three arm units, but in most cases you would only use the forward two arms. Concourse D Concourse D has a capacity of 15 million passengers, include 17 gates and connected to Terminal 1 via an automated people mover. On Wednesday, 24 February 2016, Concourse D officially opened with the first British Airways flight arriving at gate D8. This section is all very new at DXB, and also presented here in this Dubai International scenery. Set behind is the Cargo Emirate "SkyCargo" Mega Terminal. This facility with the Cargo City (opposite) at Dubai International Airport is one of the world's largest and most central cargo hubs in the world, with most of the cargo for Asia and Africa coming through the facility. The Concourse D style and design is quite different from the other more rounded concourse designs, but again the reflective glass is very well done. All gates are again SAM3 active. Terminal 2 Sited opposite on the northwest corner, Terminal 2 was built in 1998 and has an area of 47,000 m2 (510,000 sq ft) and has a capacity of 10 million as of 2013. After several, decent reconstructions and a major expansion in 2012 which saw capacity double. It is used by over 50 airlines, mainly operating in the Persian Gulf region. Most flights operate to India, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Terminal 2 is the hub of Air India Express and flydubai, and the terminal houses the airline's corporate head office. Part of the Terminal 2 complex is the Al Majlis VIP Pavilion and Dubai Executive Flight Terminal. Executive Flight Services (EFS) caters to those passengers of high class or special importance that travel through Dubai International Airports. It is the largest dedicated business aviation terminal of its kind in the Middle East. It is located at the DAFZA - Dubai Airport Free Zone (below) close to Dubai International's Terminal 2. It only caters to private flights exclusive to the terminal. The Cargo City is on the this same north boundary, has all the usual cargo operators (FedEx/DHL), plus the huge dnata "Air Cargo City" facility. Mid central north is the huge Emirates Engineering base, remember there are 119 A380s, plus the 124 B777's to service. Southwest and directly across from the Engineering base is the Emirates Group building and head office, again done really well. The Dubai Metro Network is modeled and shown, but there are no animated trains, and almost every other payware OMDB has these animated red trains, a big omission. Dubai City At the head of this review I made it clear that OMDB Airport, is only part of the Dubai scenery. The Dubai City cityscape is as just as important. Here the icons in the immense Burj Khalifa, Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah and Dubai Mall, but it ends there, why? because basically it is the exact same as the X-Plane default "Landmarks Dubai", their not the default here but custom, but you wouldn't know, so there is nothing extra either. So no Atlantis (The Palm) or Dubai Opera House or even the QE2 (Ship), no docks or Dubai Creek detail fill in here either, and the dock cranes are by and visible from the airport, in fact there no external infrastructure at all. Here like with YSSY - Sydney International, Taimodels again loses interest, brilliant for the airport, but barely none or poor detail surrounding it. To be honest Dubai is not that hard, and the difference between (and why you purchase their scenery) like FlyTampa and Taimodels comes down to these sort of details. that is not saying I want every Dubai building and tower modeled, but you do NEED something far better than this to make it a credible cityscape, certainly on the approaches and viewing the city from the airport.. The under scenery ortho photos are another case in point. They are very good, but in areas they are totally blank of objects, and far too close to the airport scenery to be realistic... and so here there is simply too much of those exposed flat photo based textures on the eyes. Lighting I was expecting the lighting to be really bad, certainly considering earlier Taimodel's night lighting which was plain awful. But like with YSSY - Sysdney Taimodels have learnt a lot along the way. There is still some reliance on FSX one colour window detail, but overall it is far better and tuned better for X-Plane lighting features. The lighting is very good were it needed to count, around the concourses. It was debatable on how the daytime glass would transfer to the night. It again works quite well, and is difficult to create authentically. Overall on the ramps it is all very good. Control Tower looks very nice, and well thankfully not over lit.. Concourse D is very good, and so is the Terminal 1 facade. Off airport, there is still a heavy reliance on block colour, with the DAFZA being totally horrible. Emirates Engineering is very nice, but you feel there should be more lighting needed as some areas are dark. Emirates HQ is also very good, but I was surprised the Emirate corporate logos were not lit on each end of the building, a big oversight. Field Navigation signage is very good, but come with no ground reflections, which is a real shame. Thankfully the navigation signage is good around DXB, as there are a LOT of taxiways. Ground Textures All ground textures are very good if excellent. but the texture scale is a bit slightly too large or knobbly, but you wouldn't notice that unless you are really looking for it. built in Burnt-in ambient occlusion effects and reflections are excellent, and will be far better with the X-Plane12 effects, can't wait. There is not much field at DXB, it is all mostly man-made surfaces. There are a few grass taxiway separators, but they come with no grass, it would have been still good to give them a little grass as they are very flat. So again overall the different surfaces (a lot here) and the textures are very well done by Taimodels, so they get a decent pass. ________________ Summary After the excellent YSSY - Sydney International, then Taimodel's next scenery had a lot to live up to, and to pick OMDB - Dubai International, one of the largest airports by capacity in the world, was a big if brave choice. The unique shapes of the Dubai DXB concourses are very hard to recreate authentically. But here they are not just very good but even exceptional, with great cladding and brilliant glass with decoration. In fact a lot here is very good. Concourse D, Terminal 2, City and Mega Cargo, Emirates Engineering and Main head office are all represented and done well. Scenery has the SAM2 active plugin, and again great for the multiple gates for all those Airbus A380s that regularly ply the airport. Lighting is far better than most Taimodels lighting in the past, but still there is average facades in some areas like the DAFZA buildings. Internally the airport scenery is exceptional for it's scale, but externally there are a few minuses. The Dubai cityscape is only a very few landmarks, and in reality there is no extended Dubai city or port. Orthophoto imagery is very good, but flat and empty around critical areas around the airport that can be seen on approaches and from even the stands, lighting as noted is good, but not excellent. So is Taimodel's OMDB - Dubai the best for X-Plane. In many contexts it is simply excellent, certainly within the airport context itself. But it is let down by the poorer external aspects that for someone like FlyTampa wouldn't make. Scenery at this scale is not just about delivering a good airport, it is about the full scenario of the experience of the destination. This could have been not only a very good, even exceptional OMDB, if those other city and the surrounding infrastructure aspects had been addressed, but until the FlyTampa release their Dubai for X-Plane, then this Taimodels is an excellent choice. _______________________________ The OMDB- Dubai International Airport by Taimodels is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store OMDB- Dubai International Airport Priced at US$28.00 Features for X-Plane 11 and 12 (when available) 4k textures Completed inside Highly detailed 3D models SAM amination jetways High quality pbr texture on object and ground High performance Completed autogen around airport Ground traffic plugins( train, car and truck) Requirements X-Plane 11 - X-Plane 12 (when available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.6 GB Current version : 1.0 (July 22nd 2022) Installation and documents: DXB is download of 3.3Gb download that is translated into a 1_a_Dubai_city_buildings (74.4Mb) 2_b_OMDB_Dubai_Taimodels (4.93Gb) 3_c_OMDB_mesh (22.2Mb) 5.20Gb full install in your Custom Scenery folder. There is an OPTIONS folder of a flat version of Taimodels Dubai Scenery Flat_version You just swap over the supplied Earth nav data folder. SAM3 Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 3.0 is required for this scenery, Documents There is a 2 page "Instruction" page for installation and requirements OMDB_Instruction.pdf ___________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 29th July 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved  Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane v11.55 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick, Throttle & Rudder Pedals : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - None-
  10. Behind the Screen : July 2022 Basically it was another fizzer. I was up at 7am on a Sunday Morning (in Australia) to watch the "Loveathon", between Austin Meyer's and Orbx in a promoted special event by the FlightSim Association, but you very quickly realised the live stream going to go only over old ground again, even with the same old video clips in the background. Would Meyer's finally announce a release date for the X-Plane12 "Beta", and are Laminar Research going to do a collaboration project with Orbx to create a fancy if clever way to update those very outdated ground textures for X-Plane12, Nope and Nope... in fact absolutely nothing at all, but you only got a notice that Orbx had (already) released YBBN - Brisbane for X-Plane11, and well worth your dollar if you want really good Australian X-Plane scenery. In fact it was an hour and a half of our time wasted listening to rubbish, and the fact that rowing is a very big deal in Simulation... the question is "Why Bother?". Orbx have never really given X-Plane it's full due worth, but I do admit some sceneries are worth the download, but why all this do,da with Laminar? it was just all so stupid, and left a bad taste in your mouth for the rest of the day. And people in X-Plane Simulation are now just sitting around twiddling their thumbs waiting for something to happen, or go and fly in MSFS. The "Last Straw", well no, but it is stretching your composure and patience a bit to the limit, now another wait, more maybe's... when ever? There was the general feeling by Meyer's that Laminar had hit another roadblock. Remember this X-Plane12 release has a lot of different elements. In the past releases it was usually two very big elements and a few surrounding smaller elements. But here it is a load, if even a large amount of small elements in all wanting to being synchronised together into some sort of whole. It IS difficult to do, even impossible. Earlier it was the translucent effect of getting the water to meet the land, a bit like two continental drifts at the point they ride up onto each other, somehow it had to work. Laminar have said they have pulled the idea off, and look at the amazing water effects in the X-Plane12 seaplane video, not at the water itself, but the way the floats and the water in being translucent flows around the pontoons. It's all damn clever, but taking oodles of time to perfect. Truth be told, nobody has seen X-Plane12 as a whole, personally I don't think Laminar even has one yet. Well Meyer's again noted again at the AirVenture promotion (Friday 29th July) that, yes that he wanted X-Plane12 out before the end of the US Summer and that date is now only four weeks away, so yes it could now happen, my guess is a release in three weeks, and usually it will be released with a whimper and not a bang, like anything it could also all just turn on a dime again. One thing it has been, is a very long drought of a summer 2022, or my case a long winter. FlightFactor however kept us very happy with the release of another variant of the Boeing 767, in the -400 version. And I have to say it is simply a brilliant aircraft. It comes basically from an old linage of Boeing 767 variants from FlightFactor, so outwardly there is a lot of similarities. But there is also a lot of future detail and quality in there that was missing from the earlier aircraft, it had a more completeness to the machine, brilliant to fly from the off. The release though was hard from our reviewing point of view. The early release version was absolutely full of bugs, and some a major hindrance to doing a real feasible review, including the visual missing of important aircraft parts. It was fixed quickly, and well, and we have had since three more very good updates in succession. Flying the B764 to Ghana was a real treat, lovely machine. But again it threw up the usual question. One week? If the aircraft had had a beta run for just one more week, then the release would have have far more smoother, certainly from X-PlaneReviews perspective. I know that developers are not going to do it just for us. But the point is that, that one week would have made a significant difference to the release, and to the reception of the people buying the aircraft. We know that developers at the standard of FlightFactor will deliver a very high quality aircraft, of which they have. But in the old days they would have beta tested the brain's out of it, and covered theses anomalies (some were very, very noticeable). But the rush to market again has seen a stunted release (memories of Rotate's MD11). It was notably only a few days, and now becoming the normal, but it causes havoc when it didn't need to, it could also affect a review quite badly as well if the bugs are really quite as noticeable as this. A week? We understand that in today's extremely complicated aircraft simulations, they will certainly not be perfect on release. But the "Bloody Obvious", does really and absolutely annoy me, "a lot". It will also damage the brand, and how many times can you get away with it before it sinks in, and a week was all that was needed for a far cleaner release. Thank God for X-Updater. SAM Another item I will bring up is the SAM3 Suite by Stairport Sceneries. Now this is a great plugin, like BetterPushBack in doing the same thing and then well... doing it better. That was SAM or Scenery Animation Manager. When the SAM plugin came out it was to replace the decade old Marginal animated airbridge tool. Brilliant in it's day, but with no development of over a half a decade, it is feeling very, very old and dated. The SAM came in to X-Plane to change that, and gave you control of your gates as well. Land and you could select which bridge you wanted to connect up to the aircraft, with up to three bridges being used on a A380 or B748. I loved it. But then Stairport Sceneries added in the "Seasons" an optional addon, and a very big and bulky addon, then the "Follow Me" truck, then the World Jetways, and finally the pièce de résistance, the "Ground Service". The idea is to do a full service from when you land, to when you depart. The full idea is clever... but does it really work? Because users like me like control... we want to add on the airbridges at the time WE WANT to move the airbridges, ditto the service vehicles, of which I still use the more flexible JARDesign GHD of which you have complete control, and the control of when I want to use which service vehicle and when. And here is the problem now with SAM. The interface is HUGE, massive and sits right across your monitor screen, also finding the gate manager (third screen in I think) is hard. If you use the service vehicles they don't arrange very well around the aircraft and in the order you want, or when you want... In truth it's a bit of a mess and overwrought, personally I hate it, and worse most gates don't still line up correctly with the aircraft doors, even though they are set up manually by Stairport. SAM3 is now of too much, of too much in one application. All I want is a simple tool to connect my doors on the aircraft to the airbridges, better still one that works in the background with only a small interface to select, or deselect the doors... now how simple could that actually be. Then if I want to use the Follow Me truck, or use the Service Vehicles, they should be available in simple interfaces and even separately. This shows that more, or in this case excessively more is not always better. I think the SAM portal needs to be broken up to be more effective, but that is just in my view. If I didn't have to use that outsized portal I wouldn't, but I have to, and to just get access to those animated gates. There is a lesson in here... Happy Birthday Yes today 1st August 2022 is X-PlaneReviews birthday, and it is now nine years and counting. The Site was launched 1st August 2013, with a little fanfare. But I see success is in longevity, certainly on the internet as many commentators in the genre have now come and gone. The trick to surviving on the net is two fold, first is consistency, putting reviews and news up regularly, content being uploaded, so basically every time you come to the site there is something new to read or review, which can be hard to do when it is only you. Secondly is change, keeping the core, but changing with the times (and that includes a lot of bad Invision updates) and I think we have done that very well. This year has been especially significant for changes on X-PlaneReviews. We have had our reviewers over years, and we thank them for their immense contribution to the site. But this year we have had a whole new group join, with Dominic Smith being the coordinator between them. This has allowed myself to be more flexible in doing reviews, and obviously it has generated far more content for the site. It is exciting, and that change allows X-PlaneReviews to grow and be more flexible in it's arrangements, may even help that I don't get burnout, the number one problem with Net work. it also gives the site a far more better foundation to move on forwards into the future. The thanks are of course to the people who support the site. The X-Plane.OrgStore and .Org, without their support then the site could not function as well as it does. The developers for supporting us with their incredible products, they have certainly changed simulation beyond even my own expectations, even beyond anything I could imagine those nine years ago, and now we have X-Plane 12 on the horizon, and perfect for a lead up to our decade old anniversary next year 2023. Overall it is thanks to you, the X-Plane Community and the consistent site visitors. See you all and with X-Plane 12 (beta) next month Stephen Dutton 1st August 2022 Copyright©2022 X-Plane Reviews
  11. Might be more interesting this time around... FlightFactor have costed their Boeing 767-400 currently at US$69, but will be US79 for X-Plane12, notable the upgrade fee might be US$10. Not the same price in X-Plane11 to 12.
  12. Scenery Review : DGAA - Accra XP by Aerosoft The Flightsim Development Group or FSDG, specialise in airports that are not within the normal North American and European routes, and with a focus on Africa. Three FSDG sceneries I have already reviewed in Casablanca, Durban and Nairobi. Admittedly it takes a long (flying) time to get there, in this case (EGLL - Heathrow to DGAA Accra) is 6h 34m, and well outside most the weekend fliers 2h limits. But again that is why we do these long-hauls, for the adventure and going somewhere really different. Ghana is about as different as you could get, in this case it is cooler in Ghana at the moment than what it is in London, which is really weird. Kotoka International Airport is an international airport in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The airport is operated by Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), which has its offices on the airport property. It is currently the sole international airport in Ghana. The airport was originally a military airport used by the British Royal Air Force during World War II. The facility was handed over to civilian authorities after the war. A development project was launched in 1956 by President Kwame Nkrumah to reconfigure the structure into a terminal building. The project was completed in 1958, turning the military base into an airport with a capacity of 500,000 passengers per year. The airport was originally named Accra International Airport. The airport was renamed Kotoka International Airport, in honour of Lieutenant General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka (1926–1967), a member of the National Liberation Council. Kotoka was killed in an abortive coup attempt at a location which is now the forecourt of the airport. This Accra scenery is not part or sourced of the older FSDG FSX/P3D collection and then redeveloped for X-Plane, but a brand new scenery in a collaboration with the same for MSFS (Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020). Which is great in that it could mean more dual creations for both MSFS and X-Plane of the same product. Some notes on installation of Accra XP. You don't use the One Aerosoft application for some reason. It is a download, then an older application by FSDG to install the scenery into your X-Plane/Scenery Folder. Another point was that I found missing scenery .dsf files, this I must stress is NOT caused by the imported Aerosoft scenery? Not normally interesting, but in this case I found a whole +00-010.dsf folder empty in my Global Scenery folder? In using the X-Plane Updater, it didn't fix or replace the missing dsf files either... I found some on my old X-Plane10 Global Scenery folder (2013!) and they worked. The offending tiles were +00-010/+04-002.dsf, but all of the +00-010 folder was missing or the files were blank. Something to be aware of. Departure from EGLL - Heathrow was in the excellent new FlightFactor Boeing 767-400ER. I was already in wanting to give this machine a though workout and this flight was perfect. You track across France to the south then Spain and then cross into the Mediterranean just above Barcelona, then across Mallorca, to cross the North African coast just east of Algiers... It is always so exciting to cross the boundary of the North African coast, as the wide open extensive land awaits, exotic destinations exist here. Distance is 3008 Nm, here at 37,000ft (The FMC complained, but I burnt off fuel for an hour then stepped up) .M82 was possible as well. The flight (route) will take you over Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, a touch of Benin territory, Togo and then into Ghana, it's a long, long way. But the new FlightFactor B764, is perfect to go a long, long way, this is simply a brilliant aircraft. Approach is via EREK1B into Rwy21. With this approach you hit the coast at Lome and the Gulf of Guinea is directly ahead of you, then you turn and head along the coast to Accra. African tiles are not known for their complex data, but it is pretty good here even for a decade old data set. The trick is to get your speed down and have the aircraft fully configured for landing, and before the last turn to final at Dodowa... ... I am surprised I do have a lot of ground detail. A lot of these distant and remote destinations in X-Plane can be quite bare, but it is pretty good here. Then the Kotoka Field shows up, it is far, far smaller than what you would expect with the only International Airport in Ghana to look like. There is only one runway 03/21- 11,165 ft (3,403m) and Rwy 21 has an extremely long overrun runway section (Stopways) 1030 ft, 03 does as well but at only half the length 341 ft. I was very impressed with the amount of detail, DGAA looks and feels very realistic, and a relief after flying so long and then having a very credible destination to fly into, the sign of a good scenery. You are aware of the older Kotoka airport area to the north, and the far newer $274 million Terminal 3 that was completed in 2018. Ground textures for both the hard runway and taxiway surfaces are excellent, as is the dirt side field areas. Taxiway A (south to north) takes you past the large Swissaport facility, then onto Apron B then C in front of the Terminal 3. Our assigned Gate is C3, and the detail keeps on coming... yes very impressed. There are options for "Static" aircraft ON or OFF, I do recommend on as there are very good with a lot of ground equipment detail. Bay detail is also very good, with logo ABAS airbridges. These are SAM3 suite animated and powered. And I am in the gate... Overall it was a very impressive arrival at Accra's Kotoka, that is biggest part of the investment here. In getting a very worthwhile destination. Kotoka International Airport Accra Air Force Station IATA: ACC - ICAO: DGAA 03/21- 11,165 ft (3,403m) - Asphalt Elevation AMSL205 ft / 62 m Terminal 3 Started in 2016, the new Kotoka Terminal opened to passengers on 15 September 2018. The new Terminal 3 will handle 1,250 passengers an hour, and is equipped with three business lounges, a large commercial and retail area and six boarding bridges C2 to C7, both C1 and C8 are stands only The design and modeling is very good, if not first rate from FSDG. It looks and feels the modern building it is, colourful as well. There is some very nice air-conditioning detail and the glass is semi-transparent. Noted already as SAM3 Suite (Plugin required) activated, and Gate C7 has twin boarding airbridges that can accommodate an A380, which are again with the walkways semi-transparent. Airside there are two levels that have been detailed internally. Nicely populated (but not many actual Africans?) it is well done and the aircraft can be seen externally. Landside is also well developed and detailed, and has a lot of animated vehicles with local (Ghana) branding. Look closely though and there are blank areas that could have had some nice clutter added, unfortunately from some angles it is highly noticeable. You notice also the low-res ground ortho textures, as per most Aerosoft style scenery. It's not too bad, but the whiteouts under the vehicles are again highly noticeable. Bang in the middle of the carpark is "La Tante DC10 Restaurant", which is a restaurant located inside a converted McDonnell Douglas DC-10 formerly used by the now defunct Ghana Airways. Overall Landside is well done, and there is a new commercial development set behind that fills in the rear of the scenery (more later), trees are however the cheap cross style, very old-fashioned now. Terminal 2 The airport consists of two passenger terminals, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. Terminal 2 serves only domestic flights, while Terminal 3 serves regional, international and long-haul operators. Terminal 1 is presently no longer in use, and was redeveloped into an FBO or Fixed Base Operator. Terminal 3 we have seen, but Terminal 2 is the old Ghanaian facility. And well done it is. I really love the old terminals, as long as they relate their original legacy and detail. No problems here as the feel and look of old Ghana is well done. Notable is the upturned Arc roof structure, that gives the building that unique style. It's clever that part of the older section has a newer inserted wall of glass as the entrance. Part of the complex in the same style is the Kotoka Control Tower, and here a very well reproduced and detailed structure. The tower view is set, but slightly too low, so you get edges of the roof of the tower. However the field approaches can be easily seen. Ground clutter is very, very good, and as noted local Ghanaian branded. Animated Airside vehicle traffic keep the aprons busy, again all are well branded. Rear T2 is the entrance to the terminals, with again great local advertising boarding. infrastructure Landside behind the Terminals is a huge commercial park called "Airport City Accra". Not there only a few years ago, so the whole area are brand new developments. Mostly it is filled and well represented here by brand hotels (Ibis, Holiday Inn, Airport View) and the two major commercial properties in the Silver Star Towers Complex and Marina Mall... both really well represented here. The boundary of the scenery though is very easy to pick out? The blank X-Plane areas are very, very noticeable, not very pretty either. This issue is a big problem for X-Plane and been around for far too long as well, and Laminar should fix it, as it ruins a lot of quality scenery boundaries. South of the Terminals is a lot of very good and well branded airport related infrastructure. Highlights include; WFP.ORG, Ghana Post, DHL, Menzies Handling and a very large facility for Swissaport for cargo (Stands B1, B2, B3 are by the side). The facility has two sections, the massive cargo warehouse, and the offices behind, which are nicely done with great reflective glass. Also in this area is a very nice executive VIP terminal. GAF The Air Force Base, Accra, came into being soon after the Royal Air Force (RAF) had taken over the administration from the Indian and Israeli Air Force officers at the beginning of 1961. The station was housed at No 3 hangar at the Accra Airport (Kotoka International Airport) with hardly any aircraft. The GAF (Ghana Air Force) Unit had four main sub-units, i.e. the Administration Wing, Flying Wing, Technical Wing and Equipment Wing. The School of Technical Training was also located at this station. The Station moved from No 3 hangar to its present location in Burma Camp towards the end of 1965. Notable is that the U.S. Services also have a partnership to use the facility here. Besides the Military ramps, there is a very large Fire Station over here on the east side of the field. It also comes with some nice Ghanaian aircraft and helicopters. There is also a large work site to the north. Textures Ground, Runway and Taxiway textures are excellent. Great detail and surface detail. built in Burnt-in ambient occlusion effects and reflections are excellent, not too strong, but not too weak either. Bay ramp areas are not as soiled and grunged as they should be, but then this is a new area, so overall excellent. Aerosoft 3d grass is very evident and well done, but some areas are a bit blank on runway/taxiway intersections, and it shows. Old X trees are horrible, a left over from FSX. Lighting Like most of this impressive DDGA scenery, the lighting is up there in quality as well... Approach lighting and runway sectional lighting is first rate. Airside and Landside are split into two different lighting tones, and it looks excellent from the air and the ground. Aprons are beautifully lit. Bright enough to easily work on them, but not over glaringly bright to ruin the effect. FSDG note the lighting as "Dynamic", and that is what you get. Getting internal night lighting right is a nightmare. But FSDG have found the right compromise here. Externally looking in is very good, but internally looking out on the parked aircraft is brilliantly done, and very realistic, the lighting internally is very good as well. Landside lighting is exceptional. Certainly the Marina Mall zone and development area. All buildings are well signed and come with excellent logos (KFC anyone), other buildings are well lit, and the whole area looks dense and highly realistic. All advertising is also spectacularly lit. Navigation field lighting is excellent as well. All boards are beautifully crafted and have nice is perfect ground reflections. __________________ Summary Ghana, Africa only has one international airport in Accra, called "Kotoka International Airport". Again another old RAF base, it has over the decade had an extensive redevelopment with a new large terminal in T3, and a new development area set behind called "Airport City Accra". This scenery is from the Flightsim Development Group or FSDG, who specialise in airports that are not within the normal North American and European routes, with a focus on Africa, and are branded under the Aerosoft banner. This DDGA scenery is an X-Plane collaboration with the same for MSFS (Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020), so the source is not the older FSX/P3D objects and textures, but created brand new for modern simulators. Because of the limited resources in this part of the world. The scenery is an excellent destination of great quality and detail. Modeling is very good (Although there are a very side hidden blank areas), and so is the extreme detail and object count. SAM3 Suite active is another major feature. Ground textures are also very good with reflection and lighting effects, grass is 3d, but the trees are seriously dated. Lighting is exceptional, both in approach and ground, excellent tones for Airside and Landside and great detailed development zone lighting with current logos and advertising dominate the rear. Flying to Accra, say from Europe is a long haul 6+ hours. But an excellent scenery makes it well worth the effort. And that is what we have here. It is a bit sad that X-Plane itself is the weaker point here, but that is not the fault of the developers and the scenery. DDGA Accra also comes at a under US$20 price making it great if brilliant value as well. So excellent, highly recommended if you love long haul and remote destinations, even besides that this is a really well done scenery and worth adding to your X-Plane collection, the trick is to use it, and often, as it is well worth the ride. ___________________________________ Yes! the FSDG Accra XP by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG Accra XP Price is US$19.99 Features Accurate and detailed rendition of Kotoka International Airport, Ghana (DGAA) Interior modeling with 3D humans Animated jetways (using SAM suite) Static aircraft for more realism (can be manually disabled) Latest X-Plane technologies like dynamic lights and ground materials Optimized for great performance and visual quality Compatible with all known addons Manual included Requirements X-Plane 11 (or XP12 when available) Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download-Size Windows: 310 MB Download-Size Mac: 900 MB Current version: 1.0 (July 13th 2022) Installation and documents: ACC is download of 1.56Gb download that is translated into a 2.56Gb install in your Custom Scenery folder. FSDG-Accra_XP Installation is by a .exe installer (the older one) and not via the new ONE Aerosoft application, but the install is straight forward and easy. As noted in the review, I had problems with the Accra area +00-010.dsf, that were missing, even the X-Plane Installer refused to fix it, so be aware of that aspect. There are static aircraft options as well, and you change the Earth Nav Data and SAM data over for your preference. _Alternative_StaticAC_Version _Alternative_NoStaticAC_Version SAM3 Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 3.0 is required for this scenery, Documents Couldn't find a manual or documents? ________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 27th July 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Right Reserved  Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane v11.55 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick, Throttle & Rudder Pedals : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 767-400 ER Professional by FlightFactor (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  13. Most developers will ask for an Upgrade fee for X-Plane12, this to pay for upgrades throughout the version lifetime, say 4-5 years, you will also get the X-Plane12 features as well in the upgrade.
  14. NEWS! - Scenery Released : OMDB- Dubai International Airport by Taimodels After their sensational release of YSSY - Sydney International, Taimodels are back with another mega scenery. This time it is in the Middle-east and UAE with OMDB- Dubai International Airport. Dubai International Airport (IATA: DXB, ICAO: OMDB) is the primary international airport serving Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the world's busiest airport by international passenger traffic. It is also the nineteenth-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic, one of the busiest cargo airports in the world, the busiest airport for Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 movements, and the airport with the highest average number of passengers per flight. In 2017, DXB handled 88 million passengers and 2.65 million tons of cargo and registered 409,493 aircraft movements. Features Incude; for X-Plane 11 and 12 (when available) 4k textures Completed inside Highly detailed 3D models SAM amination jetways High quality pbr texture on object and ground High performance Completed autogen around airport Ground traffic plugins( train, car and truck) SAM 3 Plugin is required for this scenery _______________________________ The OMDB- Dubai International Airport by Taimodels is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store OMDB- Dubai International Airport Priced at US$28.00 Requirements X-Plane 11 - X-Plane 12 (when available) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.6 GB Current version : 1.0 (July 22nd 2022) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 28th March 2022 Copyright©2022: 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) All Rights Reserved
  15. Aircraft Update : Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series v1.1 by Thranda Design Back in April 2022, Thranda Design released their version of the venerable Cessna Caravan 208B, in three forms, Standard, Grand Caravan and Super Cargomaster variants. The Grand Caravan is 4 feet (1.2 m) stretch of the Caravan, and Cargomaster is the cargo version. The Cessna 208 Caravan is also and overwhelmingly the most popular utility aircraft ever produced by Cessna. There is a lot, if even a overwhelming amount of features on the Thranda 208B machine. Included are clever and unique features to give the user a lot of personal options. Known as "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, this is a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. Here you can change the actual livery to your own designs, build the instrument panel to your own liking as well, including options of the Aspen EFD 1000 glass instrument and a special 3d bezel for the insert of a RealityXp GTN 750 unit if you own that add on. For a full review of the features and the release version of the Thranda Caravan... ... then go here; Aircraft Review : Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series by Thranda Design At the time of the original release of the 208B. Thranda noted that with an update later in the year, would come more features, and here is that update, completely free to current purchasers via the Skunkcrafts plugin (make sure you turn the "beta" option off). In the X-Plane "Flight Configuration Menu", you will now have a new version of both of the aircraft in the 208B Caravan and Grand Caravan Amphibian variants. They are noted in the Seaplane category as well. Amphibian The Amphibian uses the wheels to move the aircraft around on hard surfaces, the Float version does not have any, and both options are available here. Here is the Amphibian. We know that all Thranda Utility aircraft come with the Amphibian and Float options, so it is no surprise that the detail and quality of the floats are exceptional, as they are here. The retracting wheel system is also well done, and high detail with all the spars, nuts & bolts, and wire tensioners which are perfect, you won't get better. Rear rudder detail is also down to perfection, they raise and lower of course via a handle between the pilots seats, notable is that you can also raise and lower the rudders via the Menu, MISC. Extra (very nice) guide control fins are notable on the rear elevators, and to raise and lower the wheeled gear is via panel on the instrument panel, with BRIGHT and DIM options. Of course the liveries match the Floats, but also you still have the "Dynamic Livery" tool to create your own float design and change the Registration. In the air the huge floats look exceptionally good, but they also come with a huge drag penalty, you feel it, all that extra weight. Floats You switch to the "Float" option again via the Menu, MISC. Select FLOATS to switch, you can also hide those elevator fins here as well if you want to do that option. Float shape and design is really, really good, even perfection... it is pretty close. So all round it is a great float package, but there is currently no Ski option. G1000 Avionics Another promised feature, was the option of the Garmin G1000 Avionics. And again that feature has been delivered here. It is a three display set up, with left and right PFD - Primary Flight Displays, and a single centre MFD - Multi-Functional Display. The G1000 system is the Laminar default avionics, there has been nothing added except for the slightly different engine readout parameters. As with all Laminar G1000 displays they pop-out, but just one PFD and the MFD. The G1000 panel is selected via the PANEL options, as a preset from the Menu, obviously you can adjust the screens to suit yourself via the Dynamic Panel feature. The Aspen EFD 1000 can be used here as a backup instrument, as are the three Airspeed, Artificial Horizon and Altitude dials lower centre. The Aspen also pops out for ease of use. Wheels - Mud Flaps On the Standard and Grand wheeled aircraft there are two new features, again set out on the MISC Menu... Here you have the choice of Normal or the Tundra larger tyres, and Mud Flaps are available on all wheels. Mud Flap detail is again very good and authentic... Checklists Last main feature is that the Checklists (on the Menu) that now turn green as you select them. The rest of the v1.1 update covers mostly just bug and addresses some very small minor issues, the changelog is below. Altogether a really nice all round update to an already great aircraft. ____________ With all that weight hanging down below you, the Caravan is an extremely stable platform, so you can easily set it up at a low speed for a water landing. Your out of the green and come down at around 65 knts, with a touch of the water surface around 60 knts in the flare, it's just so easy. The Caravan sits low in the water, but that is fine. One huge advantage is you have the powerful reverse thrust at your disposal once your in the water, it is like applying brakes on the water. I can't absolutely wait until I can use this Caravan Amphibian in X-Plane12, with that new totally realistic translucent water it is going to be magical. On the water you can use the "Slew" mode, that allows you to manually move the aircraft around in a disconnected X-Plane space. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the X-Plane settings, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. The Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A is a very powerful engine. The PT6A-114A puts out 675 shp, enough to drag you, and those floats across the water and into the air with ease. Keep the floats flat as she builds speed (Flap 10º) and the Caravan will lift around 65 knts, again absolutely no problems to the aircraft. You gotta love it, it's brilliant is this waterborne Caravan! ______________ Summary Thranda Design released their version of the venerable Cessna Caravan 208B back in April 2022. At the point of release they promised an aquatic version of the Caravan 208B... and here it is. What you get in new features is an excellent separate aircraft of an Amphibian and Floats variants, both the Standard and the Grand variants of the Caravan are also covered. Excellent detail of the wheeled amphibian, is in contrast to sleek clean float version, moving rudders and retractable undercarriage are also available. Tundra Tyres and Mud Flaps are also new features for the Standard and Grand wheeled versions, and so is the installation of the Garmin G1000 Avionics three panel display. It is the standard Laminar default Avionics package, but that is very good anyway, and a great addition for the Caravan with the Aspen EFD 1000 that can be used as a backup instrument. Notable it doesn't matter anyway, because you can build your custom avionics and instrument layouts with the clever built in "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS. Another point is how this aircraft has matured nicely now most of the early bugs have been fine-tuned out. Don't mistake it though, there is a lot going on here with so many different features and ideas flowing through the aircraft. Thranda Design are one of the most Premier developers for the X-Plane Simulator, and high quality and incredible detail are just part and parcel of the whole package. Update is via the Skunkcraft's plugin updater and to note this package is now over 6 Gb in size, that's a lot of aircraft, for a Cessna Caravan, and for one it certainly best Cessna Caravan you could buy currently in X-Plane, X-Plane12 will also be supported on release. It's a brilliant package. _______________________________ Yes! the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series v1.1 by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series Price is US$44.95 Two Models in One - Both are included in this package C208 Caravan 675 C208 Grand Caravan Both planes come with passenger, cargo and now aquatic versions Requirements X-Plane 11 - Support for X-Plane 12 when available Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 6 GB (yes, very large download file) Current version 1.1 (July 20th 2022) v1.1 update is completely free to current purchasers via the Skunkcrafts plugin (make sure you turn the "beta" option off). v1.1 Changelog C208B v1.1 changelog.txt _____________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 21st July 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft YMHB - Hobart International Airport & YCBG Cambridge Aerodrome 1.0 by TDG (X-Plane.Org) - Free (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
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