Scenery Review : EKCH - Copenhagen XP by FlyTampa
Everyone has a bucket list. A list of destinations that they really want and still considering everything that list is still pretty long in X-Plane. Our hopes were quietly were raised as a few more of the iconic brands of FlightSim movement moved over into X-Plane, but in reality a lot of them if not all of the bigger scenery art houses don't do or release any of their most high profile products in the X-Plane Simulator. This was in fact a really big head scratcher in the fact that why try to make a big new presence in a new platform but then deliver the most and obscure scenery products that were so off beat, or worse off route, and almost all of the FlightSim developers are all guilty of this strange behavior. It is only this last year that Orbx has finally delivered scenery we would want to actually buy in EGHP-Edinbourgh and EGFF-Cardiff and maybe you could add in EGHI in Southampton, but where still are we wanting for any of their excellent Australian sceneries except for Broome, I mean who flies to Broome for god's sake even from within Australia?
That brings us to FlyTampa... when FlyTampa announced they were going to do scenery products for X-Plane, then you could feel the whole X-Plane community go "Yes", finally we will get some decent scenery from their excellent back catalogue. But no offence what we actually got was Corfu XP? Yes again an excellent scenery, but really Corfu? who goes there, Corfu is really a once when in the right mood destination? So it is the same promise and the same FlightSim result. As noted many times before on this site, the FlightSim developers all noted that X-Plane was a simulator you simply can't make money out of? But the reality was they gave us nothing to want to actually want to spend our actual money on worthwhile either, so who is really doing the wrong business plan here and then blaming us all when it is not working.
So here is one of the big ones, a top rate scenery from FlyTampa that everyone wants to use. EKCH-Copenhagen airport has been at the top of my scenery must have list for so long the print on the paper has faded... It is finally here, finally a decent, decent hub for us to (finally) access and enjoy... but does this EKCH live up to the extremely long, long wait we have had to persevere to get into Copenhagen's CPH (no offence to the hard working Freeware devs).
EKCH - Copenhagen XP by FlyTampa
Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup
Københavns Lufthavn, Kastrup
IATA: CPH - ICAO: EKCH
04L/22R - 3,600m (11,811ft) Asphalt
04R/22L - 3,300m (10,827ft) Asphalt
12/30 - 2,800m (9,186ft) Asphalt/Concrete
Elevation AMSL - 5m/17ft
Copenhagen Kastrup Airport is a bit of a sprawl, all the facilities and the terminals are all set tight together on the north side of the field, the runways
04L/22R, 04R/22L and 12/30 are a cross (04R/22L and 12/30) and a offset parallel (04L/22R) layout, but that is what make EKCH so very interesting as an airport.
We will get the obvious out of the way first... the Øresund Bridge. The famous (Nordic television show) bridge is indeed reproduced here in the FlyTampa scenery, I have used a freeware version of the Øresund Bridge for years, but this version of the bridge is far more detailed and quite perfect with great animated traffic that flows from one side (Denmark) to the other (Sweden).
The Øresund Bridge is highly visible from Kastrup and so it is a big and important part of the overall aspect of the airport. In fact the E20 Øresundmotorvejen goes around CPH airport and on to the bridge.
Terminals and Concourses
Kastrup has three terminals... Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3.
In note Terminal 1 is now part or an arm of Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. Previously all domestic flights departed from Terminal 1, but from 29 March 2015 all departures have now been collected in Terminals 2 and 3... but for the sake of confusion and the size of the terminal arrangements at CPH we will still note the Terminal 1 as a standalone.
One thing that immediately becomes apparent is that it is simply impossible even with some brave attempts to recreate these CPH terminals with facades and generic objects. The terminal design is simply far too complex and so distinctive, you would never ever get it right. Custom modeling is the only way to create the feel and shape of the terminal... that said even with a custom design you would have to be again seriously good artist to... One. To take the project on, and Two. actually pull off the complex architecture, shapes and material look to make it all look actually authentic... but the results is that if you do have the skills and the talent are simply outstanding, we will get to the details and materials in a moment, but first just look at the results.
The detail is breathtaking, sublime.... on and on in accolades, even the departure areas internally are well recreated.
A Stands A18-A23 are (five) airbridges, A25-A34 (ten) are all walkon-walkoff stands.
Terminal 2-3 IS CPH - Kastrup, Terminal 2 overall is simply HUGE! but confusingly both Terminals 2 and 3 are also part of each other and you can actually flow between all three T1,T2 & T3 as Copenhagen want to promote the Danish easy-flow travel experience... Terminal 2 has two (piers) concourses in Concourse A (A Gates), Concourse B (B Gates) and Terminal 3 has Concourse C (C Gates) and Concourse F (F Gates).
We will still split up the Terminals to absorb the separate areas... Terminal 2
There are two halls as part of Terminal 2, one is easily visible, but the other hall (lower above) is hidden behind the Carpark P4. Obviously the second hall is a terminal built in a different era in design and in fact it was opened 10th May 1960 and very much looks like the Heathrow of the 60's era.
The 60's era recreation here is excellent, the terminal design is totally authentic, as with the later addon extension of which is all glass. Both A and B piers were part of the original 60's terminal building, but have been both completely redesigned with the A Concourse now having a T shape with a rebuilt end, you can actually see parts of the original pier as part of the B Concourse, but again the design is now very modern and updated here with a circular end design rather than another T bar shape.
If you love exceptional detail and for pushing simulation to the edges of extreme realism, then Concourse A will bring you to tears...
... the metal cladding materials with even all the riveting are just sublime. Reflections are also awe-inspiring with the same metal textures, and have your taxi-light light on when parking and it is about as real as it gets. Gates A4-A17 (Ten) gates and all are active airbridges.
Airbridge detail and design is also drop-your-jaw magnificent, and they are all also SAM-Scenery Animation Management active, are you crying yet, you will be or should be.
To note everything is not totally perfect as some FlightSim quirks have still come through, like with the transparency around stairs and a few objects turning blue, but this is overall simply heaven made quality for the most of us.
Concourse B is just as good... same exceptional cladding here with stringers, the quality is excellent....
... which brings us to the glass. I had a lot to say or complain about with glass in the KFLL-Fort Lauderdale scenery... notably that glass is very hard to get right or very wrong as the KFLL scenery showed... but here it shows you can actually do it right or use the right way to do realistic glass. Here reflective but dark tinted glass throughout the EKCH scenery is perfect and totally absolutely realistic, so it can be done correctly. Gates B4-B19 (ten)
Both the Gates A and Gates B waiting internal areas are represented and well done, even the centre pier corridor is completed... impressive.
The arrow shaped building is the entrance to Terminal 3, connected to the railway station landside...
... Terminal 3 serves both the International departure terminal as well as the LCC (El Cheapo) Low-Cost Carrier terminal in one building and designwise it is hugely impressive. And even if the internal fitout is a bit sparse compared to the others, with just checkin counters situated each side.
Terminal 3 airside is complex with a big C, it looks straight forward, but the actual terminal and Concourse C (C Gates) have so many different elements...
... it is a credit to FlyTampa that it looks so very if totally realistic, as even down to each parking bay then the design can be different... overall there is a sort of same design logic to it all, but totally sensational this design all is, glass is again sensational and get into the right lighting conditions and the quality simply blows you away...
C37 and C39 are Class E or A380 stands, and really well done they are... I however couldn't get the Peter A380 to connect, sometimes it showed, but other times it didn't in the SAM? but I think it is the aircraft being more out of date than the SAM issue.
Notable here are the A380 notes, the A380 can only use RWY 04R/22L (the smaller one?) and the permitted taxi routes are clearly defined, Navigraph supplies the correct notes (10-9C1) and the noted taxi routes. Gates C27-C39 are on the concourse, side on facing Terminal 3 are D1-D4, and all gates have animated airbridges.
Internal Terminal 3 Concourse C is also modeled, from the main arrival area with shops to the corridors and waiting gate areas...
... internally it is not super detailed, but can be highly explored if you like that kind of thing... I think it has the right balance between detail and efficiency. The design circular language of the A380 zone is kept very real, and over the two arrival and departure levels.
CPH created a new section called CPH Go, now called Pier F, and it is a dedicated low-cost carrier terminal with remote stands, Concourse F was opened in October 2010.
CPH Go - Concourse F
Clever in a way to create a dedicated area for LCC carriers. There is an actual terminal building that is connected to Terminal 3 via a covered walkway...
... but the connection is odd in that it does not actually connect to the actual F Terminal? On google Maps you can see the problem in that there is a missing walkway section (in red) from the main walkway into the terminal, an oversight?
Stands E36, F1, F4, F5, F7-F9 front the terminal, F89-F98 are Remote stands with H101-H106 for the larger twin-aisle aircraft, there is an overflow area of E Stands fronting the SAS Maintenance Hangars, for stands E70-E82, buses are of course required. Airside on the F Stands it is simply sensational, a great place to arrive in a prop or domestic jet... internal Terminal F is again good.
Airside clutter is sensational, all vehicles are SAS or CPH branded and just about perfect in density.... animated traffic is good as well, with cars, tugs, vans and buses all rotating around the airport, but I like the lower flow of vehicles that move around, enough for movement around the scenery, but not to be cluttered up with too much colliding traffic...
... note if using EKCH in v11.50 there is a need to update the Ground Traffic plugin, IMPORTANT details are in installation below.
Kastrup Airport landside has all the terminal designated carparks with all buildings having very up to date and great visual advertising... The Clarion Hotel (ex-Hilton) is well represented and has the same metal (reflective) cladding as the terminals.
Considering the excellent clutter detail airside, then landside is completely different, actually more like the forgotten area, as spaces are quite empty and there is a general feeling of desolation, overall it is a stale feel... a sort of post-apocalypse world or post-virus disaster. There is traffic that circulates around the inner roads and on the whole it is good, but not actually very busy... I would add in more static elements to fill theses area a bit more in these drop off, pick up areas.
... green roads don't fit into the landscape either, and washout quite badly in other areas with such a Lo-Res texture, which is a shame as almost every other area is so well done in the scenery, but the traffic is great and so are the trains that travel all the way (and back) to central Copenhagen.
Kastrup is a main SAS hub and airline base, and the airline has a major maintenance facility here with the four main maintenance hangers dominating the northeast side of the central terminal area. Sadly the doors don't open per SAM.
The large cargo facility is far northeast and a separate area from the central terminal area on the threshold of RWY 10. Again very well represented the cargo haulers will love the large apron and well detailed clutter. The usual suspects in DHL, FedEx are well represented, but again more landside cargo clutter would have been nice.
SAS Cargo have their own facility and this area is well done as is the SkyChef's catering building set behind.
Area South and Copenhagen Airport South
Diagonally opposite and southwest of the central terminal area is the noted Area South. Here is the Control Tower and a Military Supply area, plus various Danish Company Airport facilities like Maersk and Goldschmidt Aviation... mostly very military in feel and look, but that Danish design comes out well here as authentic.
Kastrup Control Tower is an exposed concrete style affair, not very pretty, but very authentic and very well done here and opened and operated in 2008 by Naviair... tower view is set somewhere in the Terminal 1 zone? a very odd place and totally useless?
Copenhagen Airport South
The area southwest is the really old original section of Kastrup Airport and has the original 1920's terminal building as part of the area, which is now used as a VIP and Royal terminal. The Original terminal was moved about 2 km during the 1990s to its current position.
SAS traffic has an office that resides at Copenhagen Airport South under the old control tower, and there are also few airport facility support buildings including the bus depot also located over in this area.
The runway and taxiway textures are exceptional... rough edges and patches, with that highly realistic asphalt join marking on the runways that is really good to excellent detail. Rubber gloss on touchdown areas and so many other fine details, make these textures some of the best lately...
... all textures have PBR reflections and are excellent in damp or wet conditions, grain is very good and so is all the signage and markings, you just simply can't fault it.
Grass is unique as well... this is the first multi-layered grass I have seen, and that low and tall grass/flowers effect is simply so effective for field realism.
The scenery comes with SAM-Seasons built in and the winter textures are excellent... I don't run SAM-Seasons as I use xEnviro, but have seen them in action and they are very good. (images are courtesy of FlyTampa).
FlyTampa are renowned for not only providing the actual airport scenery, but all the surrounding cityscape as well... In that aspect the Copenhagen XP does not disappoint. Because the whole area has a custom mesh then the Copenhagen Airport is very well immersed into the scenery, and obviously there are no boundaries or change of texture colour here. The cityscape is excellent with Danish objects that covers all the housing and buildings in Copenhagen.
It is a little generic in feel, missing though are important church spires and the large government buildings and Palaces, but overall it is very good...
Custom areas include Ørestad a modern area of the city with the Marriott Bella Sky building and the Bella Centre, but missing though is the very distinctive (now closed, but soon to be a museum) Svanemølle Power Station and it's three tall funnels that dominates the Copenhagen skyline and harbour entrance? Highly visible are the twenty power wind turbines (The Danish are very into climate change and the environment) that I thought were static...
... but they do actually turn as their speed of rotation depends on the strength of the wind speed, a nice feature, there is another wind turbine at Ørestad... and note the Øresund Bridge again in the background.
Kastrup lighting is quite spectacular!
There is a huge differential in tone between the airside's extremely bright areas and the landside's more subdued illumination. But bright on the ramps it is? this is one of the brightest ramp areas I think I have seen, personally I absolute love it, but I know it will seriously divide the punters.
Even with the subdueded lighting it is more than one tone, so it works overall, but I still question if a bit more lighting was required landside?
The lit advertising is very nice. Terminal 3 is bit dark, but overall the rail terminus, office and administration building lighting (SAS) is very authentic and looks good. Remote stands F and E are excellent.
Area South is well lit, with a lot of nice drop lighting and overhead gantry... Cargo and SkyChef's catering is also very good. Copenhagen City is not bad, but there are areas of monochomic lighting and some tall buildings are not lit? but other buildings look great.... overall the city nightscape is very good.
Recommended is to have v11.50's reflection detail switched on, the Øresund Bridge looks brilliant on arrival and departure at CPH under a full moon.
Iconic Flight Simulator developers for years have been taunting X-Plane users that they created exceptional scenery, but simply refused to develop for the X-Plane platform, but instead threw us usually the most obscure and even worthless product to convince themselves that X-Plane as a simulator was not worth their time or investment, and in most cases they then wondered why we never purchased anything from them. In other words both sides lost in a game of wasted resources, time and even good business sense.
The slow death of the original FlightSim movement, and the rise of the quality of X-Plane11, the tide turned in the fact that to just survive with the movement of a lot of their own customers the FlightSim developer then decided to finally deliver quality products for the X-Plane Platform, but to a point because still the bigger scenery assets were going to take time to convert to the X-Plane specifications, so again we had to wait. But time was now running out in the fact the FlightSim world now had a new version in FS2020 (Still in development).
For years X-Plane has been starved of the sort of mega quality scenery other platforms found accessible, it is not about money, it s about the quality of the scenery that is the attraction, plus the requirement that it also conforms to the X-Plane features and effects.
So here is FlyTampa's first big mega scenery or a sort of leveller scenery that the FlightSim community have not had access to for years. And not only is this Copenhagen XP our really first taste of their top grade scenery, but also the quality that can help the simulator at least have fair balance on keeping Ex-FlightSim simmers in the X-Plane platform FS2020 not withstanding.
The main point to make with this scenery is the way that FlyTampa has utilised the X-Plane PBR effects in metal and glass, not to mention the complex modeling in recreating a very highly realistic Kastrup, to not have done so would have ruined a major chance of any big FlightSim developer in creating any decent scenery for X-Plane in the future, in fact it could have killed any future development stone dead, as the poor sales figures would have seen to that alone.
Copenhagen XP is really a huge triumph for everyone, both FlyTampa and X-Plane users in the sheer quality and quality of this scenery. As noted the modeling and the use of materials in this scenery are simply outstanding, as noted metal, glass and reflection effects are off the scale in quality, but also is the use of the mesh, textures and even down to the use double scale grass to create almost a masterpiece of Kastrup for X-Plane users to use. Small detailing of the branded clutter, good vehicle animation, SAM-Scenery-Animation-Manager airbridges and included also are season textures, Copenhagen city, Øresund Bridge and highly impressive lighting are also huge plus-points
It is not perfect though, nothing is totally absolutely perfection. Landside is missing the heavier clutter detail of the airside, and actually required here to cover the more lower-resolution textures, the small but important missing connection between the walkway and Terminal F, green roadways and washed out textures could be more Hi-Res... and lighting could be just a bit better on the landside as well... the tower view is just MIA.
The fate of FlightSim quality scenery is really now in our X-Plane wallets, ignore this scenery for poor freeware, or invest in a quality we deserve and also have a seriously important European hub for our route requirements. So buy and receive finally a scenery we have been begging for years for, it is now your choice and in reality vote with your wallets and show that yes X-Plane can be a profitable platform because this Copenhagen XP scenery gives us absolutely now no excuses because FlyTampa has certainly delivered here, the future is now set with how X-Plane as a community repays them for in doing so. As a note, FlyTampa announced EHAM Schiphol as another scenery to be released besides this EKCH, now that airport is also another certainly been worth waiting for if it as good as this Copenhagen XP..... Absolutely must have scenery.
Yes! EKCH - Copenhagen XP by FlyTampa is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here :
FlyTampa Copenhagen XP
Price is US$31.00
Copenhagen Kastrup International (EKCH) Airport Addon
Airport modeled with PBR material
3D bridges, Animated vehicles & trains
SAM Animated Jetways
SAM Docking Guidance system
Copenhagen city fully modeled
Hand-placed vegetation, and 3D lighting
High Resolution surrounding Photo Scenery with custom mesh
WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Traffic Global runs fine
Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux)
4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 2 GB
Current and Review version : 2.0 (May 10th 2020)
You download an Installer, that you then set the X-Plane install address and then insert your email address and the authorization key... the installer will then do the rest (Internet connection is required and fast if possible).
Install is five folders set in order:
Total scenery installation is a huge big : 6.84gb
SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 1.0 is required for this scenery
Seasons for the SAM - Seasons (SAM2 Suite) is provided and the installer does the work for you at the Installation phase.
The Ground Traffic plugin does not work in v11.50 (Vulkan). There is a fix that can be downloaded here, and then you need to replace the Ground Traffic file.xpl in ALL the PLUGIN folders in the: airport, city, overlays and Photoreal folders... then it will work.
One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts
Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton
20th May 2020
Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews
(Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
Review System Specifications:
Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD
Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 - tested v11.50.b9 (fine)
Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini
Plugins: Traffic Global (Just Flight) US$52.99
Scenery or Aircraft
- Default Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Reserch