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  1. Scenery Review : KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth by Tom Curtis Major mega airport hubs are today a way of your in transit flying life. But besides a way of crossing a country or going from a regional centre to a major metropolis they are also very important gateways into the country and in redirecting foreign passengers to connect easily onwards to their final destination. Take Qantas an Australian airline for example. The airline changed their main route into the United States from San Francisco to Dallas Fort-Worth (San Francisco has since been returned with a limited service) and the idea is that it puts their passengers not only further upcountry into the United States and not left on the coastal fringe, but to also allow the seemless transition to their code-share partner American Airlines to distribute them onward to their final destination... seemless, systematic and simple. And that sums up DFW (Dallas Fort-Worth), a mega import hub and a mega airline base for American Airlines... Welcome to American Country. Dallas Fort-Worth is in Texas, and let us not forget that when the Texas do big, they do really BIG... huge, monstrous, gargantuan... you get the idea. And Dallas Fort-Worth International lives up to that representation of the Texan way of doing things. 17,000 acres, seven runways (one helipad), 165 gates and a major hub for American Airlines, American Eagle and UPS Cargo... big. DFW by American Standards is not an old airport, it is quite modern and was only first initiated in the early 70's. Dallas was at the time well served by KDAL - Dallas Love Field (love that name) and Meacham Field, and that both airports had been around since the 1920's (1927). But Love field was feeling the strain by the late sixties and there was plenty of space around Fort-Worth to build a bigger mega airport, but Fort Worth didn't want a mega airport and the area only used 1% of the areas traffic, but finally the clear heads won out with the coming The Wright Amendment of 1979 increasing the pressure on the activities and restrictions of any more growth of Love Field. Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Airport opened on January 13, 1974, at a cost of $700 million. The name change to Dallas/Fort Worth International did not occur until later in 1985. At the time of its opening, DFW had four terminals, numbered 2W, 2E, 3E and 4E. During its first year of operations, the airport was served by American Airlines, Braniff International Airways, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Ozark Air Lines, Rio Airways and Texas International Airlines. The Wright Amendment of 1979 banned long distance flights into Love Field (partially repealed in 2006, then fully repealed in 2014), leaving Southwest Airlines as Love Field's at the time only jet airline and operating solely as an intrastate air carrier in the state of Texas. Braniff International Airways was the original major operator at DFW in the airport's early years, operating a hub from Terminal 2W with international flights to South America and Mexico from 1974, London from 1978 and Europe and Asia from 1979, before ceasing all operations in 1982. Delta Air Lines also built up an early hub operation at DFW, which occupied most of Terminal 4E through the 1990s. The Delta hub peaked around 1991, when Delta had a 35% market share at DFW; its share was halved by 2004, with many former mainline routes downgraded to more frequent regional jet service in 2003.Delta finally closed its DFW hub in 2004, and relocated to Love Field it's remaining services. From then on American Airlines, which had already been one of the largest carriers serving the Dallas/Fort Worth area for many years, established its first hub at DFW on June 11, 1981 and from that point on became the airport's main tenant. Expansion was completed with a seventh runway which opened in 1996. The four primary north–south runways (those closest to the terminals) were all lengthened from 11,388 feet (3,471 m) to their present length of 13,400 feet (4,084 m). The first, 17R/35L, was extended in 1996 (at the same time the new runway was constructed) and the other three (17C/35C, 18L/36R and 18R/36L) were extended in 2005. DFW is now the only airport in the world with four serviceable paved runways longer than 4,000 metres (13,123 ft). Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport now has five terminals totaling 165 gates. The airport was designed with expansion in mind and can theoretically accommodate up to thirteen terminals totaling 260 gates. But there are no more plans for any more expansion in the foreseeable future. DFW is the third largest airport in size and the tenth in passenger movements with a record number 64,174,163 passengers in 2015. Tom Curtis Tom Curtis is a very well known X-Plane scenery developer. His scenery projects are not just standalone airports but mostly significant areas of aviation in the United States. Inside Passage, Final Frontier, Canadian Rockies, Seattle - Boeing Country, Golden Gate (San Francisco), Las Vegas - Glitter Gulch and KDEN - Denver International are all masterful projects available that have had a significant impact on the X-Plane simulator scenery collections. So if Tom Curtis focuses his attention on a new area and in this case Dallas, you know it is going to be another significant scenery to add to yor custom scenery folder. First Impressions I get into bubbles of flying routes between certain airports with different aircraft to see how the route responds to the various ways you can connect the two airports. KRSW (Florida South-West) is a favorite hub point at the moment and services to KATL (Atlanta) were fun and interesting, so I tried the same ideas to spread out further to KDFW (before I even knew this new DFW scenery was coming). It is an interesting route because you head straight out over the Gulf Of Mexico and pick up the southern US coast around New Orleans, then you follow the coast before going inland around Vermilion Bay (Louisiana) just south of Lafayette and fly up country over Nacogdoches until reaching Dallas, Texas. My equipment is Rotate's MD-88, and one aircraft I have flown on this route a few times already. One thing you are not short of at KDFW is the choice of arrival runways, with seven on offer it is a smorgasbord. Arrival is via 36R homing in on "Maverick" (113.10 VOR). STAR is DUMPY4 trans HERRI with an approach via SLOCO... got all that For such a very large airport KDFW does not stand out as much as you would think it would on approach, but once on finals for 36R DFW starts to become visible with the runways all well and correctly defined. On approach you have highways 360 and 161 left and right and you cross over HWY 183 on the southern airport boundary, giving you a lot of visual movement for any southern approach. A significant change with Tom Curtis's sceneries with KDFW is the way he has more intergrated the orthophoto textures into the X-Plane surrounding default scenery better, the infields are still flat, but the main surrounding areas are now really good compared to like his KDEN, which I really didn't like at all. So a big progress there. This change in design direction makes the approach into DFW now excellent. Visual runway textures are excellent and the huge amount of airport buildings and terminal infrastructure that make up DFW open up on your right, considering the amount of objects built in here the frame-rate is quite good. The visual aspect of so many terminals means there is a lot going on in your viewpoint, which is very satisfying in the context of arrival, this scenery is packed to gills with static aircraft and ground equipment (many are animated). DFW is a huge scenery and most approaches are interesting, however 13R/31L and 13L/31R - 17L/35R are very remote from the central terminal area, and you will require a significant taxi time to and from these runways with 31R and 13R with exceedingly a very long taxiing times that would require time and fuel to be accounted for, to a point 13L/31R is mostly used by the FedEx cargo hub which is connected directly to that runway. Because of the sheer number of gates (165) available at DFW it is recommended to locate your gate earlier and use an airport ground map to navigate yourself around the correct taxiway perimeters, if not you could find yourself taxiing around ramps for ages in locating a suitable berth. My assigned gate is B18 and you have a marshall to guide you in. If the aircraft is correctly set up then most active gates have the animated "marginal" jetway and docking guidance system ready to receive you. There are a lot of ground service vehicles (a lot animated) and colour coded red west and blue east. These vehicles are well done but a bit toy townish in design, no doubt to get around the copyright laws of payware scenery. They are created in very bright primary colours as well and that does make them stand out more than they should do. It is a "like them" or "not sure" about that idea overall, mostly I am not that crazy about the idea but a more subtle colouring would have made them work into the scenery better. As an experience of arrival at DFW, it is excellent. Great overall buildings and textures, great infrastructure including the three east - central - west control towers and other ramp towers, visually great with excellent taxiway and ramp markings to make navigation easy around this huge complex. KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth International IATA: DFW – ICAO: KDFW – FAA LID: DFW 13L/31R 9,0002ft, (743m) Concrete 13R/31L 9,3012ft ,(834m) Concrete 17C/35C 13,4014ft ,(085m) Concrete 17L/35R 8,500ft, (2,590m) Concrete 17R/35L 13,4014ft, (085m) Concrete 18L/36R 13,4004ft, (085m) Concrete 18R/36L13,4004ft, (085m) Concrete H1 158ft (48m) Concrete Elevation AMSL 607 ft / 185 m Runways (clockwise) 13R/31L - 18R/36L 18L/36R - 17R/35L 17C/35C - 17L/35R - 13L/31R. All runways are excellent, in wear and textures. Taxiway signage and lineage areas are also to the detail expected of a scenery of this calibre, as are infields. But missing grass can make these areas look a little flat from ground eye level. Terminals Terminal A Terminal A has 30 gates: A8–A25, A28–A29, A33–A39. with Gates A34–A39 closed for renovations, as of March 2016. An American Airlines Admirals Club is located at Gate A24. The A terminal is a wholly an American Airlines terminal and is semi-circular in design. A major feature of DFW is the SkyLink terminal people-mover that commenced operations in April 2005 in replacing the notoriously slow original Airtrans APM (17mph). The large corner iconic terminal buildings are not actually part of the terminal, but are the Skylink stations that are sited around the extensive terminal loop that makes up the transport system. In this scenery the Skylink is excellently reproduced with constant movement rail-cars moving right around the system in opposite directions, the track breaks now and again but overall the system here is excellent and a really great visual feature with the blue cars moving in and and out of your line of view. All terminal construction and textures are first rate. This is very comprehensive scenery, beautifully done and large in scale. Only note is that some sections of the airbridges don't line up, but I do have 'runways to always follow terrain" tickbox on, so that may be the cause. Terminal B Terminal B has 49 gates: B2–B3 (FIS optional), B4–B29, B30–B39 (North Stinger), B40–B49. and Gates B18–B23 are closed for renovations, as of March 2016. North Stinger is a walk-on satellite terminal. Terminal B was originally the main Braniff Airlines complex, but it is now completely American Eagle territory as they now run all the gates. Terminal B is situated directly opposite Terminal A and has an American Airlines Admirals Club located at Gate B3 Terminal C Terminal C has 31 gates: C2–C4, C6–C8, C10–C12, C14–C17, C19–C22, C24–C33, C35–C37 and C39. And the The Hyatt Regency DFW hotel is part of this terminal complex. Originally Terminal 3E is is another wholly American Airlines terminal with an American Airlines Admirals Club located at Gate C20. This terminal is domestic. Note the excellent ramp tower situated between Terminal A and Terminal C. Terminal D Terminal D is the International terminal for DFW and it is a 2,000,000 sq ft (186,000 m2) facility capable of handling 32,000 passengers daily or 11.7 million passengers annually. The 298-room Grand Hyatt DFW Hotel is directly connected to the terminal. Terminal D has 30 gates: D6–D8, D10–D12, D14, D15–D16–D16X (A380 gate with three loading bridges), D17–D18, D20–D25, D27–D31, D33–D34, D36–D40. There is an American Airlines Admirals Club located at D24. A British Airways Lounge, a Korean Air Lounge, a Lufthansa Lounge and a QANTAS Business Lounge is located at D21. Both Emirates and Qantas use the A380 at this terminal. There is some nice texture and glass work on Terminal D that differentiates it more than the other semi-circle terminals, it is square in design as well. The white facades are really well done here as well. Terminal E Terminal 4E, was originally occupied primarily by Delta Air Lines until Delta closed its hub here in 2005 (still Delta does 50 flights a day from here). Now it serves U.S.- based carriers at the airport other than American Airlines/American Eagle and Sun Country, as well as Air Canada Express and WestJet USCBP that are precleared flights from Canada. Terminal E has 35 gates: E2, E4–E18, E20–E21, E22–E30 (Satellite Terminal), E31–E38. Delta and Alaska Airlines are the current occupants of the E satellite terminal, following the renovation project of gates E31–E38. Express South is a huge carpark opposite Terminal E. It is the site for any terminal expansion and is noted as Terminal F and planning is due soon. The Skylink is already in place and well represented here as the rail-cars move right around the the carpark boundary. Great 3d vehicles fill in the parking lots. International Parkway and central Control Tower East and West areas of DFW are separated by the airport's central north–south arterial road, Spur 97, also known as "International Parkway." that is the central backbone of the airport. The flat orthophoto textures do reduce the central spine to a more bland effect, but otherwise the area is well catered for. There is a large carpark for each terminal with a little detailing on each, but this area is more filler than detailed object filled. It does the job well, but nothing more. The main 232ft central control tower is excellent, and well constructed. Detailing is basic on the ground, but you get the feel of the tower. Top of the tower glass is transparent, but nothing inside. Tower view over the main central runways 18R/36L 18L/36R and 17R/35L 17C/35C is excellent with no obstructions. Outer DFW boundaries. DFW International is a huge area to cover. The main areas are divided into west and east and go out a fair way from the central terminal area. Eastern Boundary FedEx has a big cargo complex on the north-eastern boundary aligned with RWY 13L/31R known as "East Cargo". There is an adjoining Fire Station (no.3) complex as well. Cargo wise you could fly into and out of DFW via 13L/31R and not associate with the main area at all, it is that compact and distant from the central area. Infield between runways 17C/35C and 17L/35R there is the "East (control) Tower" and a big American Airline maintenance hangar (Hangar 5) and support aprons. Next to the AA maintenance complex is the main central Fire Station (no.1) buildings. Note the animated fire truck that does the rounds of the outer roadways. It is a shame in X-Plane you can't select which tower you want to view from, but that is part of the sim. The south-eastern boundary has a few notable facilities. A Procurement complex (or warehouses) and a Radar tower. Central to the area is an American Airline office complex and operations centre and the DFW (airport) Human Resources building. Over the other side of "East Airport Drive" is a large "Flight Safety International" training facility. These outer buildings are all of course notable because they are highly viewable from 17C/35C and 17L/35R and certainly from 34R threshhold in landing or taxiing past over to the main terminal area via taxiways Q to ER (link) and P. Western Boundary Infield between runways 13R/31L and 18R/36L west are large commercial airport areas. South-west is "West Cargo" but note as the DHL cargo aprons. American Airlines have another maintenance complex here with two hangars covering the site. The "West (control) Tower" is position behind the AA maintenance hangars. American Eagle has its offices and maintenance hangars central west with another cargo apron along side known as "West Air Freight". Still another cargo complex area is north-west and this time it is for UPS (United Parcel Service). Also set out west - west by RWY 13R/31L is the airport's comprehensive fuel depot and fuel tanks. And there are large storage warehousing buildings set behind the UPS aprons. The whole western area is very well filled in with vehicles and static aircraft. Cargo containers and various other ramp equipment is well placed and so the detail is as good as the central areas of DFW. Northern Boundary On the northern approach to DFW there is a large long term carpark to the west, which is well done with the car-cover screens looking very realistic. On the west side along taxiway K is a great corporate aviation ramp (Apron 1E) and reception terminal. With airport support warehouses next to the Parkway. Taxiways Y and Z go over the International Parkway motorway northern entrance, but they are not in 3d but flat to the ground. Many developers now and notable at KORD and SBGL have mastered the 3d taxiway bridge features to great effect, so you miss the same feature here at DFW, it would have looked good and great to use (which they are). The roads are messy leading up to the taxiway (flat) bridges and not helping in the effect. Notable here also is the curved roof rail-station which is well done. Southern Boundary On the southern section of taxiway K is the "SouthEast" Cargo area which is a multi-user facility for quick transit parcel movement. (my guess is regional). With a another long-term and car rental carparks set to the south. On the south-west side of the southern approach to DFW are mostly the catering facilities. A small fuel depot is well done with a large mobile-office (demountable) administration area set out behind. Nice feature are the roof placed solar - panels, on the biggest building. Further south are both the Gate Gourmet and SkyChef catering facilities. Outer boundary south-west there are two facilities including bombardier Aerospace/CAE buildings and a large Fire Station (no.4) with an extensive fire training area which is right on the RWY 31L threshold. So you are looking at a very large comprehensive area covered by objects that covers so much detail of this huge mega hub DFW airport. Not content with doing just the central DFW airport and terminals, you do get so much that any visual aspect is uniquely covered. Lighting There is great approach lighting with RAIL lighting animations on all the northern approach runways 17C/17R -18L/18R and 13R. There are a lot of central (green) taxiway guidance lighting, but not located everywhere including the cross east - west taxi routes, so you have to navigate via the outer blue taxi lighting and your on board aircraft side lighting. Ramp and area lighting overall is excellent, with a lot of of variations of different lighting for all the different areas. Great spot lighting covers carparks and all inner terminal areas, so the airport views at night are quite breathtaking with HDR on. And considering the huge amount of lighting covered in here it is quite framerate friendly if you are not too heavy with your HDR lighting settings. Terminal and building night textures are simply brilliant, just sensational. Totally absolutely realistic and with a huge amount of variation of all the various areas that are covered correctly. If you are a scenery developer then look here on how it is done by the master, great down lighting as well on the maintenance hangars. Services You can connect in the states with about everywhere from DFW certainly on any American Airlines/U.S Airways routes. So your choice is huge... top ten domestic routes are interesting with LaGuardia routes notably more used than JFK and no major Washington D.C. routes noted. Domestic 1. Los Angeles, California -1,199,000 - American, Delta, Spirit, United 2. Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois - 1,060,000 - American, Spirit, United 3. Atlanta, Georgia - 977,000 - American, Delta, Spirit 4. Denver, Colorado - 858,000 - American, Frontier, Spirit, United 5. New York–LaGuardia, New York - 787,000 - American, Delta, Spirit 6. Phoenix, Arizona - 693,000 - American/US Airways, Spirit 7. Las Vegas, Nevada - 672,000 - American, Spirit 8. San Francisco, California - 660,000 - American, United 9. Miami, Florida - 628,000 - American 10. Charlotte, North Carolina - 613,000 - American/US Airways International International routes are very interesting. You expect Mexico and Canada to be popular, but the British seem to really like Texas as well. Notable routes to the Far East (Toyko/Seoul) are surprising. Also surprising is the absence of the middle-east carriers, but with Emirates upping the Dubai - Dallas route EK221/EK222 to A380 services and other new connections then that absence won't be for too much longer. 1. Cancún, Mexico - 682,977 - Aeromexico, American, Spirit, Sun Country 2. London (Heathrow), England - 636,251 - American, British Airways 3. Mexico City, Mexico - 476,167 - Aeromexico, American 4. Tokyo (Narita), Japan - 305,321 - American 5. Frankfurt, Germany - 269,442 - American, Lufthansa 6. Monterrey, Mexico - 246,804 - American 7. Seoul (Incheon), South Korea - 245,514 - American, Korean Air 8. San José del Cabo, Mexico - 240,412 - American, Spirit 9. Toronto (Pearson), Canada - 221,385 - Air Canada, American 10. Vancouver, Canada - 200,460 - American Qantas currently operates the world's longest nonstop service route from DFW to Sydney. In August 2015, Emirates announced plans for a nonstop flight from Dubai to Panama City which will take the title of the world's longest scheduled nonstop passenger flight starting on February 1, 2016. Cargo With 22 cargo operators and with 578,906 tons of cargo handled annually, DFW is the world's 29th busiest cargo airport. If you have followed all the cargo areas in this review you would understand how big a cargo hub DFW is. So with plenty of choice in operators and destinations will keep any cargo hauler easily grinning from ear to ear. Summary As this "American Country" scenery covers the world's third largest area in airports. You can be forgiven that absolute detailing is not required or even possible without groaning out your computer. What there is in here at Tom Curtis's KDFW is however very substantial and covers not only the main elements of DFW, but a lot of the very wider open boundary areas of the scenery as well and it all comes with a very usable frame-rate. So overall this is really excellent scenery. Tom Curtis has intergrated his orthophoto textures far better than most of his sceneries from the past, and it all looks far better for the extra effort and certainly from an approach point of view. The textures are still quite flat from the ground perspective and in some areas blurry, but overall they are fine. It is debatable on the great effort to create specialized ground vehicles for his sceneries, but I don't think the idea works in context. X-Plane scenery development has moved on from 3d coloured objects and you now have great ground services vehicles like with the JARDesign "Ground Handling Deluxe" sets in your ramp areas, so these objects come across as old fashioned and in most cases they quite too garish and distracting from an otherwise excellent scenery. The missing Y and Z 3d taxiway bridges would have been a nice to have. Building quality and textures are overall really excellent, certainly the night lighting textures are overwhelmingly so good. There are so many variations and different objects to cater for here and most have been done with real skill and you have here a perfect realisation of DFW . Like DFW this is a big scenery and a really great big quality one at that. So great value and with excellent detailing you get a lot for your purchase and also a great major mega hub to fill in your X-Plane network for great routing and the sheer flexibility of cargo and passenger destinations not just domestically but internationally as well, just however fly mostly American, because Dallas is well... "American Country". ____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth by Tom Curtis (Scenery4xp) is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KDFW- Dallas Fort Worth - American's Country Price is US$24.95 Features: Gates and terminals accurately modeled Static Aircraft at gates Animated Aircraft Photoreal Ground textures Custom ATC Realistic night lighting Many custom starting locations Very large airport 5 terminals 7 runways 165 gates 3 control towers Animated Airport Ground Traffic (plugin by Marginal) All gates utilize 'Autogate' by Marginal Real Flags plugin Requirements: X-Plane 10 (any edition) Windows, MAC or Linux . 32 or 64bit 8GB RAM- 1Gb VRAM Video card Minimum (2GB+ VRAM Recommended) Installation and documents: Download is 111.60meg and the scenery is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder at 247.00mb. Marginal's jetway and docking guidance system plugin is required for the animated jetways and Red flag animation plugin, both are supplied with the scenery. Both are deposited in your X-Plane plugin folder. Read the "read me", but installation is straight forward. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 20th May 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 8 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 Scenery or Aircraft - McDonnell Douglas MD-80 by Rotate ((Rotate MD-88 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95
  2. Update Scenery Review : Golden Gate, KSFO and South Bay v1.5 by Tom Curtis Golden Gate, KSFO and South Bay is a huge massive area of scenery that covers the San Francisco and South Bay area. There are already in this scenery a large list of the areas airports including: KSFO - San Francisco International airport KOAK - Metropolitan Oakland International Airport KSJC - Mineta San Jose International Airport KHWD - Hayward Executive Airport KPAO - Palo Alto Airport - General Aviation KHAF - Half Moon Bay - General Aviation KSQL - San Carlos Airport GG01 - Clipper Cove, Located on Treasure Island GUQ - Moffett Field And not to mention other items including Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland Bay Bridges, San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Railroad bridges. Alcatraz Prison and the Nike Missile Site Museum. For a full cover review these areas and the above airports from X-Plane Reviews then go here: Scenery Review : Golden Gate, KSFO and South Bay by Tom Curtis (v1.4) This 1.5 version release of Golden Gate, KSFO and South Bay covers the extra inclusion of more detailing on the San Francisco city and port areas. To have a better view of the additions I flew the excellent X-Trident's Bell AB412 to get a closer look. Departure was from KSFO on the Coast Guard pad and flew north towards the San Francisco city area. My render setting are important here to relate what you see in what is part of the Golden Gate package and what X-Plane autogen scenery adds to the overall viewpoint... so the texture res is set at "Very High", number of objects is "Too Many" and the World Distance Detail is set at "High". At first glance the the package does not seem that much different except for a more densely populated city skyline. But standing out is the Candlestick Park Stadium on Candlestick point. It is the smaller additions that can add in visual detailing and you can see the many wharfs and finger maritime warehouses that are located around the shoreline. The Oakland Bay Bridges dominate the view as they stretch out over towards Oakland on the other side of San Francisco Bay. Traffic on the (all) bridges are animated and that adds into the vibrant movement that you require to bring bustling cities alive. Once past the Oakland Bay Bridge you are downtown. Tom Curtis has replicated most of the iconic buildings in this city area, there are too many to list here but the most important ones (or the highest) fill out the view including the Transamerica Tower and the Telegraph Hill-Pioneer Park monument "Coit Tower". The Embarcadero is the main frontage of the main wharf area of the city and the iconic "Ferry Building" is well modeled as well as all the wharf fingers. At Pier 27 is a luxury Liner. There is more items in vessels parked at wharf's (tugs), showboats, clippers and various ferries. Shipping is dotted around on San Francisco bay and many are animated. Famous "Fisherman's Wharf" is well replicated, but more a tourist attraction than a working Wharf. The cities bridges in the Oakland Bay Bridges, San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Railroad bridges are not new to this release, but are significant to mention again in their detail and the added animated vehicle traffic. The "Golden Gate is of course a stand out, and the heavy Oakland Bay Bridges, San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Railroad bridges and the heavily animated traffic is excellent. "The Rock' Is also the first lighthouse and US built fort on the West Coast besides its infamous past as a prison. And is always worth a flyover. So how much does the X-Plane autogen contribute to the scenery... quite a lot actually. I have always been a promoter of the fact that to engineer realistic sceneries quickly in X-Plane it is a great idea to use both angles in creating the basic icons of cities and then letting the autogen do the major point of filling in the surrounding areas. This way you get the very best of an efficient engine and can cover a large area without the large framerate hit you can get with a totally filled out 3d city. Yes I admit it is not building to building perfect, but all you are really requiring is a replica skyline of the city and this approach can deliver that with efficiency. With the autogen scaled back you can see the actual added scenery provided by the package, there is no hope to cover the whole area with efficient 3d buildings, yes there is the Open Street Map conversions and very good they are as well, but it is framerate at a premium we are looking for. Complex and realistic, with North American autogen, for once the San Francisco package works in your favour. Time to head back to KSFO. Nightlighting The San Francisco cityscape is very good in the low light. The city building textures are very realistic and from any angle including the excellent approach to KOAK RWY 09R is excellent. The autogen lighting does not match the package as it is darker... but overall it is pretty effective. The spot lighting on the bridges, doesn't really work, but the wharf areas are quite good. The highlight is the Candlestick Park Stadium at its full candle watt power, as it does look very realistic. Overall at night it is very impressive. Summary This scenery is already an extensive collection of airports and bridges and sharp details that go up to make the San Francisco Bay area. Full of great value and with excellent frame-rate. So it defies logic on why you would want it to be part of your scenery collection. Now there is the added bonus of the full San Francisco cityscape, and in a cohesive way v1.5 rounds off the scenery as the full complete package. Tom Curtis has a great reputation in X-Plane to deliver clever intelligent scenery that gives you a lot for your investment, and here Tom Curtis delivers again. Great scenery, Great package and now even better than ever in this new 1.5 version. TheScenery Review : Golden Gate, KSFO + South Bay by Tom Curtis is available now from the New X-Plane.org Store : Golden Gate KSFO + South Bay Price is US$34.95 If you have already purchased Golden Gate , KSFO + South Bay, Then check into your X-Plane.OrgStore account Features: KSFO - San Francisco International Airport KSJC - Mineta San Jose International Airport KSQL - San Carlos Airport KOAK - Metropolitan Oakland International KPAO - Palo Alto Airport - General Aviation - 18 miles south of KSFO KHAF - Half Moon Bay Airport - 10 miles west of KSFO KHWD - Hayward Executive Airport - 8 miles south of KOAK GG01 - Clipper Cove Located on Treasure Island All airports include : All gates and terminal Global Night Lightning Custom ATC Frame rate friendly Golden Gate Bridge Detailed model of the world's most famous bridge Alcatraz Island The 'Rock'. Used to be home of a federal jail until 1963 Other landmarks All of the piers and other structures along the shoreline from AT&T (Baseball) Park all the way to the Presidio near the Golden Gate bridge. Transamerica Tower located downtown San Francisco Nike Missile Site Museum Bay bridges Oakland Bay Bridge, San Mateo Bridge and the Dumbarton Railroad bridge Developer Site : Scenery4XP _____________________________________________________________________________________ Documents and Installation : Download: 84mb : Installed as GOLDEN_GATE+SOUTH_BAY_150_XP-10 (295.00mb), and four animation files noted Banner Tow (1.5mb), GG Bridge (634kb), San Meteo Bridge (641mb) and SF Bay Bridge (639mb)Tom Curtis provides a full set of instructions on how to install the scenery under: "OPEN FIRST!" Golden_Gate+South_Bay_Open_Me. Internet is required for installation instructions as it is an address HTML link. GOLDEN_GATE+SOUTH_BAY_150_XP-10 is the main scenery file and four other files are noted under GND_TRAFFIC are - GG Bridge, Banner Tow, San Meteo Bridge and SF Bay Bridge are all to be installed in the "Custom Scenery" Folder (These are bridge traffic animations). Supplied also is the "Red Flag" flag animation plugin. Folder "CustomSBDatarefs004" is installed in the X-Plane Resources/Plugin Folder. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Technical Requirements: X-Plane 10 (any edition). - This scenery is not compatible with X-Plane 9 Windows XP or Windows Vista or Windows 7 / 8 (32 or 64 bit) or MAC OS 10.7 or Linux 1Gb VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended. Current version: 1.5 - Last updated October 14th 2015 ______________________________________________________________________________Update Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 21st August 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : WorldTraffic Plugin Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Aircraft Bell AB412 by X-Trident is available at the (Bell 412) X-Plane.OrgStore $35.95
  3. News! - Now Available! - KDFW Dallas-Fort Worth by Tom Curtis Tom Curtis is back! "Howdy" (aka Tom Curtis) has announced his brand new scenery in KDFW Dallas Fort-Worth "American's Territory". This is Howdy's first new big scenery for a while after a period of illness, but make no doubt this past X-Plane scenery master is back with a bang. KDFW is a massive scenery and is highly detailed as show here in this exclusive preview. The scenery is titled as "American's Territory" as DFW is one of American Airline's major hubs and maintenance bases, so the airline totally dominates here.. Noted features I can see are... Large orthophoto ground images, ground animations including the full terminal light rail transport system. All gates are fully animated (marginal plugin), extensive static objects and aircraft. All terminals, airport buildings and outlying service buildings have all been completely crafted to Tom Curtis's usual excellent standards. DFW Night lighting is very good, with terminal night textures that look amazing. Get in close or in this case expand on the (below) images to see the quality. Yes this is another comprehensive scenery by the master of X-Plane sceneries in Mr Tom Curtis, and America's Country is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore below.... Hi ya! Developer Site: Scenery4xplane ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the KDFW Dallas-Fort Worth - American's Country by Tom Curtis is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : KDFW- Dallas Fort Worth - American's Country Price is US$24.95 Requirements: X-Plane 10 (any edition) Windows, MAC or Linux . 32 or 64bit 8GB RAM- 1Gb VRAM Video card Minimum (2GB+ VRAM Recommended) Features: Gates and terminals accurately modeled Static Aircraft at gates Animated Aircraft Photoreal Ground textures Custom ATC Realistic night lighting Many custom starting locations Very large airport 5 terminals 7 runways 165 gates 3 control towers Animated Airport Ground Traffic (plugin by Marginal) All gates utilize 'Autogate' by Marginal Real Flags plugin ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton Updated 15th April 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  4. Scenery Update : KLAS Glitter Gulch 1.5 by Tom Curtis Tom Curtis (Scenery4Xplane) is back with another update to KLAS - Glitter Gulch with version 1.5, which takes in the area of Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon in the United States. (google maps ©) In the earlier updates of Glitter Gulch the focus was on Las Vegas itself with... 1) McCarran International Airport (IATA: LAS, ICAO: KLAS) (v1.0) 2) Las Vegas cityscape (extended in v1.3) 3) Henderson Exeutive Airport (IATA: HSH, ICAO: KHND) (1.2) then 4) Nellis AFB (ICAO: KLSV) (v1.4) This 1.5 update focuses on the aviation tourism aspects of flights associated with the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon... with airports: 5) KBVU - Boulder City Muni 6) 1G4 - Grand Canyon West And the scenery of The Hoover Dam, Tillman Bridge with the Grand Canyon Skywalk tourism facilities. KBVU airport at Boulder City (I'll note it here as BCM) is the main central departure airport for all scenic flights (fixed wing and rotary) for the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam sightseeing. Papillon/Grand Canyon Helicopters, Scenic/Grand Canyon Airlines, Las Vegas Helicopters and Sky Dive Las Vegas are all based here and between them conduct over 100 passenger tours to the Grand Canyon every day of the year, in other words... a lot. For X-Plane aviation this is also one of the very best areas to fly, in either just General Aviation looking at the sights to the grind of tourism flights of maybe four of five flights a day. I personally love this grind of flying, crazy yes but good discipline in you are constantly going over the same routes over and over again and working the routes down to a fine art. The area is immensely challenging as well in the fact that running out of Boulder City Muni (I used Henderson before KBVU) you are faced with a huge elevation change in leaving BCM or when returning, so that is hard climbing out and a deep descent on returning. Add in the mix with very few Nav-Aids (there is a VOR at BCM) and you have to get all approaches correct, and it is harder than it looks with mountain ranges all around your aircraft, you need to plan, but also fly really well to VFR (Visual Flight Rules). It is also highly challenging, but that is why I come here so often. Overall the scenery like most of Tom Curtis's work is very light on your frame-rate. I'm not running the HD meshes here that are available for this area (I like to keep the simulator basic for the reviews) but that would certainly add in another great dimension to the area as they are noted to be very good. So we will start out at the base camp of KBVU - Boulder City Muni. Note KBVU is assigned BVU by the FAA and BLD by the IATA. KBVU - Boulder City Muni KBVU - Boulder City Muni 9L/27R 2,166 660 Asphalt 9R/27L 4,803 1,464 Asphalt 15/33 3,852 1,174 Asphalt Elevation AMSL 2,203 ft / 671 m Like most airports around the area BCM has a lot of aircraft storage, and this bookends the airport with hangar storage in the east and ramp parking in the west that also has two very large BFE/FBO maintenance hangars for servicing the large fleets of rotary and fixed wing aircraft or are used for undercover parking. In the centre there is the tourism operators terminals and ramps. Supplied is the STMA (Shade Tree Micro Aviation) plugin system that will open and close the hangar doors and various objects, but as construction goes the hangars are really well reproduced here and are as close to the original hangars as possible. The tourism operators run BCM... west to east they cover a significant part of the main ramp areas.... First off is Skydive Las Vegas. Then Papillon. The largest operator (or the most successful) is Grand Canyon Airlines/Helicopters, with the most flashiest building. Then Scenic... And finally a Chevron petroleum building. There are lots of small offices and buildings and GA aircraft parking in off airport areas. Altogether the BCM ramps and the arrival sides are comprehensive in the detail and very realistic. Yes it is all very good and on the ground you feel the excitement of leaving for one of the tours of one of the great wonders of the world. Only negative is that a few of the static aircraft are a little basic and the textures are a bit wishy-washy here and there even though my render resolution settings are set at "very high"? Hoover Dam and Tillman Bridge Tourist flights to the Hoover Dam and the road Tillman Bridge are usually around 15min flight time (cost is by the way US$124.00 and they may even throw in a wedding... this Las Vegas after all) and they use mostly the EC-130 machines. Tom Curtis provides in a separate folder liveries for the RotorSim EC135 Helicopter (the old version? but the livery still works on the EC-135 v3 I fly here with a little editing), X-Hanger's DH-6 Twin Otter (Grand Canyon/Scenic), old versions of the DH-6, (Grand Canyon/Scenic) and F16-C Fighting Falcon (for use with Nellis AFB). It is a relatively easy flight, and you don't even need any navigational help... just follow the electricity pylons. As they all go either one way to Las Vegas or the other way to the power source at the Hoover Dam. If fact there is one set of power lines you can follow to get there... and a completely different set of lines more to the north to bring you directly back to Boulder City, it is just easy peasy. Tom Curtis has done a great job on this American Icon and you get the real drop in the water level from Lake Mead as well (which by the way is well worth its own tour). The Tillman Bridge is also right and centre and I am sure you will land for a few quick photos before flying back the KBVU. So I was very impressed. There are two main tourist centres for the Grand Canyon reachable by air (we are talking fixed-wing here) South Rim and North Rim. The closest is the South Rim complex and Grand Canyon Skywalk that is owned and operated by the Hualapai Indian Tribe. The airport servicing the tourist attaction is 1G4 - Grand Canyon West which is located directly on the south rim of the Grand Canyon approximately 60 miles east of Boulder City. And 4 miles off the departure end of Runway 35, is the Grand Canyon Skywalk. 1G4 - Grand Canyon West As noted it is not really a long distance 1G4 at just over 50nm (52nm) but you have to climb and get altitude as quickly as you can to get over a range. KBVU around it has a few green patches as golf courses and playing fields that are placed there as part of the scenery by Tom Curtis. From the air they work quite well but are fuzzy close up. I climbed to 8300ft (ASL) and pushed the power out to 140knts to cover the ground as quickly as I could make the Caravan go. The views are amazing. Great flying in abundance. Grand Canyon West - 1G4 IATA: GCW – ICAO: none – FAA LID: 1G4 17/35 5,058ft (1,542m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 4,825 ft / 1,471 m Over the top of the plateau and your height is reduced very quickly and you only have to drop about 1500ft to be in the right landing altitude. Any visual or navigation markers are hard to see up here? I had the runway course set, but there is nothing really to line up with except using a couple of crevasses that are part of the Canyon as an visual approach cue, the actual approach to RWY 35 is very tricky as well. Here there is long slope that finishes just prior to the threshold, and you want to lift the nose because you are heading in at the wrong angle and do so and your then floating too high and too fast. I have not once yet touched down close to the start of the runway but mostly a third of the way down... Its just tricky to get right. If getting up to and landing at 1G4 was hard enough, I found it really hard to line up to when returning to KBVU. For any visual cues on my second run of the day I created a GPS route on the GNS430 to give me better bearings, many expert pilots would scoff at such band aid flying, but it is harder than it looks, or you will easily fly into a range just trying to find the runway with the wind in your face. So up here (and down at Boulder City Muni) until you are totally familiar with the areas you will need some planning or guidance. 1G4 - Grand Canyon West airport is located 60 miles (97 km) northwest of Peach Springs, in Mohave County, Arizona. If there was anywhere that looks like an extended parking lot for aircraft then 1G4 is it... There are more landing pads here than what the U.S. Marines will ever need, even on a war footing! If you want to try your skills at picking and choosing landing approaches you will have a field day, personally I think you could fly here over a week and still not have to land in the same place twice. So for vertical flight then this is your home away from home. But 1G$ Is what it is, which is a tourism processing centre, "ship, em in and ship them out" and take the cash out of them in the process. But as a perspective of flying in a simulator then 1G4 is an excellent destination. Tom Curtis has done an excellent scenery here and very well done it is too and authentic. I love the good clean parking areas and most are marked for the type of aircraft they represent (B1900, B205... ) and great refueling positions if you are working or passing through. The reason for 1G4's existence is east by 4 miles.... Grand Canyon Skywalk Hualapai Indian tribe have created a tourism attraction called the Grand Canyon Skywalk at Grand Canyon West. That is situated at 4,770 ft (1,450 m) and the elevation of the Colorado River in the base of the canyon as 1,160 ft (350 m) below. Skywalk width is 65 feet (20 m). The Skywalk length extending out from the post supports closest to the canyon wall is 70 feet (21 m). The outer and inner 32-inch-wide (810 mm) by 72-inch-deep (1,800 mm) bridge box beams are supported by eight 32-by-32-inch (810 mm × 810 mm) box posts having four posts on each side of the visitor’s center, once completed. The eight posts are anchored in pairs into four large concrete footings that are in turn anchored to the bedrock by ninety-six 2 1⁄2-inch-diameter (64 mm) high strength steel threaded rod rock anchors grouted 46 feet (14 m) deep into the rock. Naturally there has been a lot of vocal action from environmental groups and former National Park officials, who have expressed concerns about the project's obtrusiveness in the natural environment, considering it a defacement of a national treasure. The skywalk attracts a reported 370,000 visitors out of 5 Million that visits the Grand Canyon National Park every year. Already more plans are for a complex to include a museum, movie theater, VIP lounge, gift shop, and several restaurants including a high-end restaurant called The Skywalk Café which is a catalyst for a more larger 9,000-acre (36 km2) development to be called Grand Canyon West; it would open up a 100-mile (160 km) stretch along the canyon's South Rim and include hotels, restaurants, a golf course, casinos, and a cable to ferry visitors from the canyon rim to the Colorado River... In other words a mini Las Vegas in the Canyon. (wikipedia) From an environmental point of view we don't have those issues in a simulator, so we can enjoy Tom Curtis's work with abandon. And here is another great visual addon to our flying, interactive as well as there is a large helicopter pad to use there as well. Overall the building and design is excellent and no doubt perfect for low swoops to entertain the crowds below, it is a great landmark as well as we will see. KGCN - Grand Canyon National Park Airport Grand Canyon National Park Airport IATA: GCN – ICAO: KGCN – FAA LID: GCN 3/21 8,999ft (2,743m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 6,609 ft / 2,014 m Officially this scenery is not part of Tom Curtis's Glitter Gulch package, but well worth installing to have the full dynamic of flying around the Grand Canyon National Park area. Since its release a few years ago KGCN has been on my route list quite heavily as it is perfectly positioned for flights over the canyon and certainly far better now with connections to Tom Curtis's Boulder City scenery and 1G4. The airport is at Tusayan, Arizona which is part of the Grand Canyon village (South Rim) or main the township for the Canyon(s). You need a slightly bigger machine to get there and the 1900D was perfect for the job. A more powerful machine can climb far faster and easier than the C208B. It does not take long to reach 12,000ft and power over the Canyon. In the distance is Tom Curtis's Las Vegas buildings and they certainly stand out even from this point of view. Very quickly you also cover the ground over the Grand Canyon Skywalk and 1G4 Grand Canyon West, so you can see the significant contribution it makes to this area for flying. A reason for this flight is to again note the sensational scenery you fly through around here, it draws you back many, many times and is never boring to fly over. Myb's KGCN scenery is excellent and was "final scenery #3" in the WED Contest. Here I completed three "go and return" flights from KBVU to KGCN and still could have filled in a few more round trips... but you wouldn't now be reading this if I had. Also part of the "Glitter Gulch" package is: KLAS - McCarran International Airport Sin City (Las Vegas) KHND - Henderson Executive Airport KLSV - Nellis AFB Summary Tom Curtis's sceneries have always been great investments. You get not just only the airports (and usually a lot of them) but all the other small things like bridges or significant landmarks that makes these sceneries a whole package, and that is what they are... The complete package. The sceneries are also a work in progress, not when you purchase the scenery is it installed and completed, but there is always another upgrade coming and in "Glitter Gulch's' case this is the fifth updated, so they just get better and better. So for value they are simply excellent. Any negatives? not a lot. Some static aircraft are a bit poor in the object and texture quality and the under lying photo plates can be a little jarring and washed out even in high render resolution settings, but the building textures are usually first rate. This update of the package is as noted focused on the "Aviation Tourism" aspect of the Las Vegas area. It gives you the bases to fly from and the icons of the Hoover Dam and Tillman Bridge with the Grand Canyon Skywalk to fly over or deliver tourists (and their money) in rotary or fixed-wing form. Yes I loved it, mainly because I already love flying around this area, but this update really opens up that aspect even more than ever. Great Package, Great Value and Great flying... so what more do you want. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Features Yes! the "Glitter Gulch" scenery by Scenery4xp (Tom Curtis) is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore : KLAS - GLITTER GULCH Price is US$24.95 If you already have purchased Scenery4XP "Glitter Gulch" then the v1.5 update is free. Just go to your account on the X-Plane .Org Store and check into your account for the v1.4 download. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Features This scenery pack includes faithful reproductions of the following airports: KLAS - McCarran International Airport KHND - Henderson Executive Airport KLSV - Nellis AFB KBVN - Boulder City Muni 1G4 - Grand Canyon West Traffic animated on the KLAS Airport Autogates to Concourses C, D and E at KLAS 24 Las Vegas Skyline buildings and a Ferris Wheel Hoover Dam and Tillman Bridge Grand Canyon Skywalk ____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download is 169.10meg to an expanded 395.60meg that is required to be inserted into your "Custom Scenery" Folder. Notes: Any older "Glitter Gulch area sceneries must be removed In another folder are the plugins that are required for the animations in the scenery in "AutoGate" and "CustomSBDatarefs004" and HANGER OPS ( Courtesy of Shade Tree Micro Aviation ) which animates various hanger doors and other objects. These items are to be inserted into the Resources/Plugins folder in X-Plane unless you have the latest versions already installed. All details are supplied in the OPEN ME! Folder. Documents : Supplied are all the plugins for the effects animations and livery textures for RotorSim EC135 Helicopter (the old version? but the livery still works on the EC-135 v3 I fly here with a little editing), X-Hanger's DH-6 Twin Otter (Grand Canyon/Scenic), old versions of the DH-6, (Grand Canyon/Scenic) and the F16-C Fighting Falcon (for use with Nellis AFB). Requirements : Windows XP, MAC, Linux - X-Plane 10.30+ (any edition). 32 and 64bit compatible - 4GB RAM/512 MB VRAM (1GB VRAM Recommended) Current version: 1.5 (last updated July 7th 2015) Developer Support Site : http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?showforum=123 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 14th July 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.35 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft - KGCN - Grand Canyon National Park Airport by MYB (http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=19688) - Free - Cessna 208B Grand Caravan by Carenado (http://store.x-plane.org/C208B-Grand-Caravan-HD-Series_p_148.html) - US$29.95 - Beechcraft B1900 by Carenado (http://store.x-plane.org/B1900-HD-Series_p_323.html) - US$34.95
  5. Tom Curtis Update : KLAS Glitter Gulch v1.4 Tom Curtis from Scenery4XP has updated his Las Vegas Glitter Gulch scenery to version 1.4. This update includes now in the package KLSV - Nellis AFB which is situated just to the east of sin city. To check out the scenery I flew the Bombardier Challenger 300 in U.S. Air Force colours to deliver a high ranked VIP to Nellis AFB from Tom Curtis's other large AF base at McChord Field in his Scenery Review : Gateway to Boing Country by Tom Curtis scenery. The area around Las Vegas is mostly desert, and is one of the most significant areas in the world for not only in aviation but also for the famous military testing grounds of places like Edwards AFB, China Lake, MCAS Miramar, Tonopah Test Range Airfield and the not supposed to know but everyone does know "Area 51" in Groom Lake. This is "Top Gun" territory and Nellis AFB is dead centre of all the training and "Red Flag" advanced aerial combat training exercises. That the Air Base it is positioned just a stones throw from Sin City is just a coincidence... right. Tom Curtis's original "Glitter Gulch" release included McCarran International Airport (IATA: LAS, ICAO: KLAS) and Henderson Exeutive Airport (IATA: HSH, ICAO: KHND), There was also included in the package a Las Vegas skyline and the review can be found here: Scenery Review : KLAS - Glitter Gulch by Tom Curtis A second update (v1.3) was released a few months later in November 2013 which included "Autogates" to Concourses C, D and E and more buildings in the Las Vegas skyline and the update can be found here : Tom Curtis Scenery : KLAS Glitter Gulch v1.3 update. Approaching the Las Vegas area you will note that McCarren Intl is right in the heart of Las Vegas, Henderson Exec is to the west and Nellis AFB is directly to the east. 03L/21R 10,123 (3,085m) Concrete 03R/21L 10,055 (3,065m) Concrete Elev 1,867 ft / 569 m AMSL Approaching runways 03L/03R from the southwest is over Las Vegas and Las Vegas North itself and almost parallel to KLAS 01L/01R. If you want an ILS approach then that is only on RWY 21L and that approach is from the north-east. The problem with the north-east approach is that it is closed in on both sides by high ground and ranges, and you have to fly up a valley basin over the Las Vegas Dunes Rec lands to finally collect the ILS on RWY 21L. Tricky? Yes it is. You can try the very tight turns into Nellis coming from each approach path at 90º but that means you will have to be really low to collect the ILS and it is really very tight. Maybe this approach is easier in a GA at a very slow speed, but in a Jet or Military Heavy then you would have your work cut out. So my approach was the slightly easier way of cutting between the ranges and heading directly towards Lake Mead and then doing a 21º heading that puts you on a parallel course to the airbase but on the other side of the range. You follow the basin right up to "Crystal" before doing a total 180º turn back down the other side of the range and follow the lines of the "Great Basin Hwy" (15) almost directly to RWY 21L. I say almost because at the last moment you still have to dog right to finally collect the ILS. It is challenging, and it requires a lot of skill when you get down to your final approach height. Once in the clear of the ranges then KLSV opens out before you and Las Vegas sin city is directly in the distance. Most of the buildings and installations are on the north-west side of KLSV and the tower and DOE (Department of Energy), Bomber Pad areas are on the south-east boundaries. The military airport is very wide and very open, and the runways are very realistic in textures, well signed and taxiway markings are excellent. There is only one cross taxiway mid-field (-B-) and so you have to taxi down the runway a fair way before being able to turn off. Taxi distances are large as the airport is very well spread out and a turn right along Taxiway (-F-) to Base Operations well to the north of the base can take a fair time. You do however take in the various areas and homes to the many air-wings that are based here and including the The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron ("Thunderbirds") as the air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force (USAF), which are assigned to the 57th Wing. There are simply rows and rows of aircraft positioned here (capacity 300), in fact more aircraft than small country would have all in one place. The Nellis Base reception centre/base ops is a nice welcoming building and the VIP general got all the red carpet treatment. Air Force One or any Government aircraft would not look out of place here. It is important you have the "CustomSBDatarefs004" plugin installed your resources/plugins and it is provided in the package, because it will bring the many flags to life by them moving in the wind, and here at the reception centre they look very good. Nellis Air Force Base Complex Nellis AFB covers about 11,300 acres (4,600 ha) in the northeast corner of the Las Vegas Valley in the Basin and Range Province. Nellis has about 7,000 acres (2,800 ha) of undeveloped space; has areas added since WWII, e.g., Area II in 1969; and had 1 WWII runway removed. The base has 3 areas (I, II, III), and the GNIS names 5 different USGS locations for the base: "Nellis Air Force Base", the airfield, the post office, a Community College of Southern Nevada campus, and the census-designated place (CDP). Nellis Area I has the airfield (2 runways and ramp space for up to 300 aircraft), recreation and shopping facilities, dormitories/temporary lodging, some family housing, and most of the command and support structures in with Suter Hall for Red Flag operations. Nellis Area II northeast of the main base "at the foot of Sunrise Mountain" (formerly the U.S. Navy's Lake Mead Base) has the Nellis Gun Club, the 820th RED HORSE and 896th Munitions Squadrons, and the largest aboveground weapons storage complex[specify] in the United States. Nellis Area III is west of the main base with family housing, administration and industrial areas, and the Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital, (the base's "unincorporated town is called Sunrise Manor". Area III also includes a 23.4 acres (9.5 ha) munitions response area (MRA XU741) which had WWII storage for small arms ammunition, pyrotechnics, and chemical bombs and that now includes 2 remaining WWII buildings (numbers 1039 & 1047), 5 modern igloos, & the RV storage. The Nellis AFB missions of advanced combat training for composite strike forces is commonly conducted in conjunction with air and grounds units of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and allied forces. The base also supports operations at the nearby Creech Air Force Base, the Tonopah Test Range and the Nevada National Security Site. Nellis ground systems for range operations (e.g., by callsign "Nellis Control") include the Computer and Computed Subsystem used to receive microwave signals from the NTTR Ground Based Stations of the Tracking and Communications Subsystem (TCS) for presentation on Nellis' Display and Debrief SubSystem (DDS). Assigned Commands are: 79th Air Base Group, 7 July 1941 70th Base HQ and Air Base Squadron, c. 14 August 1942 82d Flying Training Wing (Flexible Gunnery) 8 January 1943 – 16 June 1946 Assigned Units are: 3595th Pilot Training Wing, 1 April 1948[24]:54 – 1 July 1958 4520th Combat Crew Training Wing, 1 July 1958 – 1 September 1966 4525th Fighter Weapons Wing, 1 September 1966 – 15 October 1969 474th Tactical Fighter Wing, 20 January 1968 – 15 October 1989 57th Wing (Various Designations), 22 August 1969 – present 554th Operations Support Wing, 1 March 1980 – 1 November 1991 USAF Fighter Weapons School, 1 January-1 September 1966; 30 December 1981 (USAF Weapons School on 15 June 1993) 4477th Tactical Evaluation Flight ("Red Eagles"), 1 April 1975 – 1990 USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center, 1 September 1966[41] (USAF Warfare Center on 15 November 2005) Nellis Air Force Base was named on 30 April 1950, and the 20 May 1950 dedication was attended by Lieutenant Nellis' family. By 1 July the Air Force had directed ATC to accelerate Korean War training for a new 95-wing Air Force. The first school opened at Nellis, and ATC redesignated the 3595th Pilot Training Wing (Advanced Single-Engine) as the 3595th Training Wing (Combat Crew).On 17 July 1950, Nellis began a replacement pilot training program to provide 115 FEAF F-51 Mustang pilots and 92 combat-ready F-80 Shooting Star pilots. Nellis' advanced single-engine pilot training transferred to Alabama on 1 September 1950. Nellis assumed fighter-bomber training, and ATC established its USAF Air Crew School (Fighter) on 14 November 1950, equipped with F-80s and early-model F-84C Thunderjets. On 1 October, Nellis AFB base management functions transferred from Williams AFB. In early 1951, ATC assigned recently graduated airplane and engine mechanics to Nellis to learn jet aircraft maintenance. The airfield was expanded 1951-4 with longer jet-capable runways, reconfigured taxiways and a larger aircraft parking ramp; and WWII wooden structures were replaced with concrete and steel structures (e.g., barracks and base housing for married personnel). The first Wherry houses were completed in 1954, with updated Capehart houses being completed in February 1960. Nellis AFB has more military schools and more squadrons than any other USAF base. Tom Curtis - Nellis Airforce Base The airbase is separated between the north-east side and the south-west side by the two runways. The layout by Tom Curtis is excellent and is underlined by using photographic plates under the scenery. Here though the plates have been intergrated into the landscape very well and you can't tell the areas were they join up with the default X-Plane scenery. So the outward view of the airbase is excellent. There are a huge amount of hangars, buildings and covered ramp areas on the north-east side, the buildings just go on and on into the horizon. All buildings are functional and are a great reproductions of the original airbase buildings and barracks, you can spend hours just picking out which building is related to whom. Highlights are the Red Flag buildings, USAF Air Demonstration Squadron ("Thunderbirds") complex, Fire Station, 57th Wing operations and the Base operations areas. Great areas of detailed carparks are laid out and with real 3d cars and not just flat photo style images... excellent. In some areas there is a flatness between buildings with the photo underlays, but KLSV is much more better than these sort of bases in the past and the areas are very well covered. In the far north section there are helipads and rotorcraft support areas, that are excellent if you do helicopter support. The ramps are full of static aircraft and their support covers, the areas covered are huge, but this is certainly a great place to base your fighter operations. Off site there are fuel tank areas and other small buildings with great detail spread around a fairly large area. Tom Curtis notes "Numerous aircraft are parked on the ramp in various stages of mission preparation. Some are in the process of refueling, some are uploading bombs and missiles, and several are waiting in the arming area at the end of the runway in preparation for launch. Along with the aircraft you’ll see all of the support equipment required to “turn” the aircraft. You’ll see bomb loaders (Jammers) loading live and inert bombs and Mavericks on several aircraft. The End Of Runway Arming crew can be seen pulling the safety pins from the weapons just before the aircraft take the runway for takeoff". The south-west areas are far less populated, and are mostly a collection of separate cluster areas. The Bomber command areas are to the south of the centrally positioned control tower with the DOE (Department of Energy) ramps to the north. All the south-west ramps can be seen from the excellent tower view including the wide scope of the north-east side. And notable is that although the complete Glitter Gulch scenery is very comprehensive, Tom Curtis's work does not lean very heavily on your computer. So you get both sides of the deal in that it is great detailed scenery, but it is also very kind to your processing power, and that alone makes any Tom Curtis sceneries very worthwhile. Nightlighting The airbase's night-lighting matches in well with KLAS and far away Henderson, but Las Vegas looks a little gaudy on the horizon (Las Vegas gaudy! heavens no) The lighting is comprehensive, but not very different in the types of styles. But overall it is very good. Building texture lighting is very good as well, certainly if you can run your textures res at a high setting, runway lighting is very good, but remember at night those dark shadows are high terrain monoliths and ranges that tower over you... landing at night from the north-east is for the highly skilled only. Other version 1.4 features Also added to the "Glitter Gulch" package in this version (1.4) is the “High Roller”, which a large ferris wheel that towers nearly 300’ high and provides the riders a panoramic view of the entire valley, it is animated as well as it slowly rotates around. Also added are three rooftop heliports on some of the hotels along the strip. You can now start your flight at the Excalibur Hotel, Bally’s Hotel, and Treasure Island Hotel. Just flying around trying to spot them is like a "Amazing Race Around The World" Roadblock task, get all three and you can move on! The 1.4 update also includes a new feature in Jonathan “Marginal” Harris and Mr3D’s animated marshaling crewman. You can now get parking guidance on the Cargo and UPS/FedEx cargo ramps at KLAS and several of the parking spots at KLSV - Nellis AFB and have someone to wave you in. First point to note is that the aircraft you are using has got the the correct settings that are used to connect the "Autogate" to the aircraft. These settings are located in PlaneMaker if your marshaller does not work, of which mine did not with the ABSim DC-10. To set them then go to PlaneMaker, load the aircraft and select the "viewpoint/default" panel. Then set the three coordinates for the boarding door settings are on the lower right of the panel, then save your aircraft and load it into X-Plane... Tom Curtis does provide with the package the full set of instructions on how to do this and also full sets of coordinates for fighter aircraft that don't have boarding doors. The marshaller himself is totally brilliant... turn into the gate and he comes to life guiding you into the bay... brake when he crosses his hands and he will then go back to normal when you turn the engines off. Summary The 1.4 update to "Glitter Gulch" is quite comprehensive in adding in KLSV - Nellis AFB to an already highly set out scenery. KLSV - Nellis AFB alone is worthy of a download, but to be included extra into this already comprehensive package is a really great deal all round. As a side note KVGT - North Las Vegas Airport is part of the default (lego) airports of X-Plane 10.30 that is automatically installed and it is very good. So that area (below) is also filled as well until Tom Curtis replaces it in another GG upgrade. Once there was only desert out there, but this Las Vegas scenery is starting to get crowded, but in a great way. Totally comprehensive and frame-rate lite, and all at such a great price, then Glitter Gulch has it all. And for flying around this area it is one of the very best you can think of, You have all the military ranges and training areas to test your "top Gun" skills, local visual hotspots in the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon and it is brilliant General Aviation country... What more do you want? Yes! the "Glitter Gulch" scenery by Scenery4xp (Tom Curtis) is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore : KLAS - GLITTER GULCH Price is US$24.95 If you already have purchased Scenery4XP "Glitter Gulch" then the v1.4 update is free. Just go to your account on the X-Plane .Org Store and check into your account for the v1.4 download. Features This scenery pack includes faithful reproductions of the following airports: KLAS - McCarran International AirportKHND - Henderson Executive AirportKLSV - Nellis AFBTraffic animated on the KLAS AirportAutogates to Concourses C, D and E at KLAS24 Las Vegas Skyline buildings and a Ferris WheelUpdate Review by Stephen Dutton 16th October 2014 Copyright © 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Installation: Download is 109.8meg to an expanded 301.80meg that is required to be inserted into your "Custom Scenery" Folder. Any older "Glitter Gulch area sceneries must be removed In another folder are the plugins that are required for the animations in the scenery in "AutoGate" and "CustomSBDatarefs004" and HANGER OPS ( Courtesy of Shade Tree Micro Aviation ) which animates various hanger doors and other objects. These items are to be inserted into the Resources/Plugins folder in X-Plane unless you have the latest versions already installed. All details are supplied in the OPEN ME! Folder. X-Plane9 version of Glitter Gulch is available on request. Technical Requirements: Windows, Mac or Linux X-Plane 10.32 or 64 bit mode X-Plane 9 version is not included in the download package but is available on demand. Just place the order and send us an email to get it. 8GB RAM/512MBVRAM (1GB VRAM Recommended) Current version : 1.4 (last updated October 16th, 2014) Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.30 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Aircraft - Bombardier Challenger 300 Captain Edition by Dden Design - the X-Plane.org Store $24.95 : Bombardier Challenger 300 Captain Edition
  6. Scenery Update : KDEN Denver International to v1.1 by Tom Curtis Tom Curtis has already updated his excellent KDEN - Denver Intl to version 1.1 The biggest change in v1.1 is the addition of 50 animations with ground routes... Now you have a vast selection of vehicles all working around the ramps (and across the vast terminal area taxiways)... Many items moving around are baggage trains, catering trucks, baggage loaders, vans and cars and a few more pushback aircraft. The animations also move into position around aircraft and raise and lower their catering loads and baggage belts, with the loaders loading from moving and positioning baggage trains The animations have collision avoidance working in there as well, so the traffic will stop to let you pass as you pushback or park in the gate. The animations show off the latest improvements to the "GroundTraffic animated ground vehicle traffic kit" plugin by "Marginal" (Jonathan Harris) -See video below- Buzzy, buzzy with lots of movement around KDEN there now is. It fills in a lot of the areas that I noted where very empty in our release review: Tom shows us in a diagram of where all the ground routes go. And it is comprehensive. He has also added vehicles to the Jeppesen Terminal ramps and passenger areas with the same animations. It looks good there now as well. Other additions include two new Fire Stations out between the runways. Besides the new stations the fire trucks are animated, and move around periodically. To the south more Car Rental buildings and buses have been added as well. But still the majority of the carparks are still quite flat (photo). I checked to see if the gate ground markings have been adjusted to match the autogates? I checked two gates and they certainly looked better aligned... but still slightly off. All in all a great upgrade, I love it. And the airport doesn't look so empty (It is so very big), certainly the biggest improvement with v1.1 is while you are taxiing in or out of the terminal areas, the animations make KDEN far more active. Here is a video to show the animations in v1.1 Yes! the Denver International Airport (KDEN) v1.1 by Tom Curtis is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore : Denver International Airport If you have already purchased KDEN then check your account for the v1.1 update. Price is US$19.95 - note : X-Plane9 is available on request Developers Site : Scenery4xp Stephen Dutton 26th February 2014 ©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Technical Requirements: Windows , MAC or Linux X-Plane 10 - X-Plane 9 available on request. Send us an email after you place the order 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM - 100MB HD (Version 1.1 last updated Feb 25th ,2014)
  7. Scenery Review : KDEN - Denver International Airport by Tom Curtis Route : KSEA (Seattle) to KDEN (Denver) Denver International Airport (IATA: DEN, ICAO: KDEN), often referred to as DIA, is an airport situated in Denver, Colorado in the United States. Denver is known as the "Mile-high City" It is also known as" Wall Street of the West" (Queen of the West as well). Denver International Airport (DIA) is situated 25 miles (40 km) driving distance North West from downtown Denver, and at 140 square kilometres (54 sq mi) it is the largest airport in the United States by total area. Runway 16R/34L is the longest public use runway in the United States. The airport is surprisingly not very old as it was opened in February 28, 1995, which was 16 months behind schedule and at a cost of $4.8 billion. DIA replaced Stapleton International Airport which was Denver's primary airport from 1929 to 1995. Denver has traditionally been home to one of the busier airports in the USA because of its central western location. Many airlines including United Airlines, Western Airlines, the old Frontier Airlines and People Express were all hubbed in Denver and there was also a significant Southwest Airlines operation at the old Stapleton International Airport (Southwest is now at DIA). At times Denver was a hub for at least three or four airlines. At the old Stapleton airport the gate space was severely limited and the runways at the were unable to deal efficiently with Denver's weather and wind patterns that caused nationwide travel disruptions. These problems were the main justification for the new airport. The project began with Perez Architects and was completed by Fentress Bradburn Architects of Denver, Pouw & Associates of Arvada, CO, and Bertram A. Bruton & Associates of Denver. The signature DIA profile is suggestive of the nearby snow-capped Rocky Mountains. The airport opening was originally scheduled for October 31, 1993. But on opening the airport's computerized baggage system which was supposed to reduce delays and shorten waiting times at luggage carousels was an unmitigated failure. with back then there was a single system for all three concourses. These issues with the baggage system delayed the opening to February 28, 1995 with now separate systems for each concourse and with varying degrees of automation. The system's $186 million original construction costs then grew by $1 million per day during these months of modifications and repairs. Incoming flights on the airport's B Concourse made very limited use of the system, and only United which is DIA's dominant airline, and then only used it for outgoing flights. In August 2005 it became public knowledge that United would abandon the system, a decision that would save the airline $1 million per month in maintenance costs. Now today Denver International Airport is the 15th-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic with 53,156,278 passengers and the fifth-busiest airport in the world by aircraft movements with over 635,000 movements in 2010. Airport Layout There are 6 major runways at DIA. 7/25, 8/26, 16L/34R, 16R/34L, 17L/35R and 17R/35L (all certified for CAT III ILS operations). With the giant size of the airport layout you will find that taxi times are quite lengthy and extra fuel should be accounted for. Elevation : 5,431 ft / 1,655 m 7/25 12,000ft 3,658m Concrete 8/26 12,000ft 3,658m Concrete 16L/34R 12,000ft 3,658m Concrete 16R/34L 16,000ft 4,877m Concrete 17L/35R 12,000ft 3,658m Concrete 17R/35L 12,000ft 3,658m Concrete The airport configuration is interesting in that there is only one main terminal called the "Jeppesen Terminal", named after aviation safety pioneer Elrey Jeppesen. From there, there are three large island concourses connected together by an underground rail system. The first concourse (A) is also connected to the Jeppesen Terminal via a high pedestrian bridge. Overview of KDEN If you regularly use X-Plane then Tom Curtis's quality scenery will be familiar. Here his choice of Denver is a wise one and has been very well executed in the sort of detail and layout we expect today from quality scenery. Tom does use large amounts of photographic (Orthophoto) images to underlay the scenery. These photographic plates are very visible here as the airport has a very wide open spread-out layout, and they don't very well integrate into the default scenery around them, Inside the photographic area it is quite good but it is still a different colour from a distance (I am personally is not a big fan of these sort of layouts unless they have been seamlessly inserted into the surrounding scenery, many users however swear by them). It is to be noted that these hub style airports are very complex and quite big in scale for scenery designers. To a point all scenery developers have to make a compromise and deliver only a certain amount of detail, Here at KDEN that is the case simply because of its huge size, so you can't expect the detail to be down to having completed perimeter fences and smaller detailing that you would get at a smaller airfield. but Tom has covered the detailing in a very comprehensive way as we will see. There is some really great (default) densely populated traffic (highways) around the the airport, and many routes come well within the airports boundaries (turn your traffic settings up high for the best results!). If you have WorldTraffic then I would certainly get to work in filling in the huge empty spaces with working planes... If any airport that would benefit from a lot of ground routes it would certainly be KDEN. Jeppesen Terminal The focus of KDEN is certainly the striking white tent pole membrane roof of the main terminal. Some one even likened it to the Sydney Opera House? (It is nothing like the SOH as it is totally different in construction and profile). No doubt to recreate the terminal's unusual roof was going to a be a challenge as it is very hard to model canvas. And the results here are simply excellent. The detailing is first rate, and in either in being close up or set out from a distance the design is very prominent and iconic in the scenery. The glass in colour is excellent as well, and if you are very close up with good (slight) inside detailing. On both sides of the terminal are large (four west and three east) carparks that are well designed to be part of the overall terminal complex. wider out still are large open plan carparks that are flat. The scenery has a combination of carparks that have vehicles sited on them and others that are simply flat photographic plates, I understand that covering large areas with vehicles is painstaking slow work, but why do one area and not another? As it looks very odd. Overall the buildings situated here in the terminal are complex in nature and have all been modeled with great skill in making them look authentic. Concourse A Concourse A has 37 Gates: A24–A68 with four international boarding gates (all international arrivals at Denver use Concourse A), gate A37 is used by British Airways and gates A41 & A43 are used by Air Canada, Icelandair, and Lufthansa. Frontier Airlines is the largest carrier on Concourse A with Great Lakes Airlines which KDEN is both being a hub (base) for the airlines, American Airlines are also located on the A concourse. All the concourses are highly complex and individual. Concourse A is mainly different from the other two in because it has the pedestrian bridge from the main terminal. The concourse is highly detailed and has been comprehensively been recreated here in this scenery. The bridge is excellent in its upward curve and glass detailing. The concourse has a ramp tower to service all the gates of which most are filled with well placed static aircraft. There is large pallet storage area on the east side of the terminal and on the west side is a great (Frontier) regional area departure building. Central of every concourse is a large central administration style building. These hub centers with an arm each side are very well created and are very imposing from the viewpoint of the ramp areas or moving along down the concourse. The one above is the "A" Concourse building. Concourse B Concourse B, is almost twice as long as "A" and "C", so it over shadows the two other island concourses. Concourse B has 77 Gates: B15–B29, B31–B33, B35–B39, B42–B95. This concourse is exclusive to Star Alliance partners. And so it is dominated by United Airlines and Star Alliance partner US Airways. United Airlines has two United Clubs on Concourse B, both one level above the main area of the concourse. One is adjacent to gate B32, and the other is adjacent to gate B44. In November 2009, United and DIA reached an agreement in which United released five of its gates in the western end of the concourse. DIA in return leased these gates to United's Star Alliance partner US Airways, as US Airways has now been merged with American Airlines then this agreement may change in the future. KDEN is a United Airlines hub. The "B" concourse is a simple island large core and an arm each side style concourse. Detailng is again excellent with well constructed concourses. The glass is again highly realistic as are the boarding gates. Ramp areas are full and detailed with well placed static aircraft. The central ramp tower is slightly larger than the one on Concourse "A" . At each end of the concourse there are pallet storage areas. Concourse C Concourse C has the bonus of having the Main Control Tower as part of the concourse. Concourse C has 22 Gates: C28–C49, and Southwest Airlines is the main carrier here, even though Delta uses the concourse as well. Concourse C also will have 6 new gates after an extension of the concourse is complete in November 2014. The new gates C22-C27 will be used by Southwest. The control tower dominates concourse "C" and excellent in design it is, and at 327-foot (100 m) high it is one of the tallest in the United States. The concourse otherwise is very similar to A and B in construction and the same central hub and two arm layout, It feels far smaller than the other two islands but more full at the gates with Southwest static aircraft and some aircraft which are animated to pushback. The areas between each island is quite large. Taxi lineage is good here but not comprehensive and it feels like there should be more. Runway and taxiway signs and lineage are however very good. Expansion There are plans at KDEN for two more Concourses to be built beyond Concourse C for future expandability. Concourse D can be built without having to move any existing structure. The underground train system, however, will have to be extended. Concourse E will require moving a United Airlines hangar. However, before construction on Concourses D and E begins, Concourses A, B, and C can also be extended in both directions. North North of the central area is the well conceived Skychefs building and storage hangers. The northern area here is however mostly used for maintenance in the large United and Continental hangars. Both buildings and certainly the larger scale United base is excellent. A peek inside the hangar will find it is well detailed with an aircraft inside being serviced. There are two small fire stations and a distance further away a large tank farm (fuel) General Aviation and Corporate Jet services area. Down along the southern/western side of Runway 17R/35L is the General Aviation and private jet facilities, There is a Signature Corporate Jet terminal and hangar and some General Aviation parking. Looking further south are the cargo ramps and warehousing. DHL, UPS and FedEx are all well represented, the ramps are well spaced with plenty of space between the static aircraft. Detailing is excellent. Car Rental Yards The Southern approaches to the airport is primarily covered by large branded car rental yards. All car rental companies are well represented here. Again the car yards are a combination of placed cars and flat photo images of cars. Looking low across the yards the set up looks odd? But fine from the air, of which is the general idea. The area has however great traffic running through the scenery. Finally on the western boundary of the central concourse areas is the main fire station and the large sets of De-Icing pads that are very well set out. Close by are another set of fuel tanks. Other details are a fenced in area with stored snow-ploughs ready for the harsh winter snow. There are many other small buidings and items spread around this very large area and too many to note here. no doubt KDEN is comprehensive in detail even down to the flags flying at the fire stations and signature terminal. Night-Lighting The lighting of KDEN is exceptional. Coming closer to the airport from a distance gives you a great sight from the air. All the runways are very well lit and the taxiway lighting is perfect. On approach at night you are faced with a great view of approach lighting and runways that go on a long way into the distance. With the HDR selected then Denver International comes alive with colour. All areas are extremely well lit, even down to the parking ramps set aside from the main central area. Well done besides the standard tower lighting is the twin and triple lights mounted on concourses and other buildings. Car parks are well lit as well, giving you a total full coverage of all airport areas. At night the terminals and concourses really come alive with some brilliantly great window lighting and details... So if you are coming to KDEN then arriving here at night is really something special. Frame-rate You would think all this scenery would heavily tax your frame-rate. The good news is that the frame-rate pull down is very light and good. There are are reasons for this. One) Tom Curtis is very good at getting the best out of his scenery without over excessive textures (The whole scenery set is only 137.30mb). Secondly) the default autogen is set a fair distance from the airport and doesn't kick your machine where it hurts. So the machine only has to process the airport scenery without taxing itself with other areas that can in most cases hurt you. It is to be noted you will need to set the texture level to "Too Much" to get the quality that you need and even then a few of the static aircraft are quite blurry. But I could easily sit in the "Too Much" setting without it going down into the 20's. so that is a great result. HDR on with all that candle-power does hurt however, and I found myself in the middle-teens, but feel I good get into the low 20's with a bit of fine tuning. Arrival impressions My arrival above the striking circular fields of Colorado was from the east with a turn to the north to start my second 90º turn back east as I circled around the Colorado State largest airport. The arrival runway was 16L, which was not the larger massive parallel 16,000ft 16R. On approach remember you are very high above AMSL at 5374ft (at RWY16L) and the height must be taken into account on setting your final approach height. A radar altimeter is invaluable here. From a distance KDEN is very greyish compared with the greens around you and the line edge of the orthophoto underlay was annoying very pronounced as you reached the edge of the scenery. Once over on to the scenery it was very good and the runways the standard Xplane textures. As an arrival the airport was visually excellent in the distance. The sense that you had arrived somewhere was excellent. KDEN is a huge and complex airport to navigate, to do some pre-landing work is always advisable. There is some taxiway signage and many direction signs that are viewable as well, the linage is very good. After cleaning up the aircraft the travel time to the gate can be quite long, certainly if you have arrived or are going to depart from one of the far out runways of the spiral as the total area covers 53 square miles. The photo underlays look very blurry at this close up distance, even with the textures set only one from the top at "Too Much". The large area also works again against these photo underlays in that it makes all the areas look very open, flat and bland... many scenery artists like Aerosoft use poking up grass to break up such areas. Here sadly the flatness is noticable. The Control Tower view is excellent and very handy in rotation in finding the correct area (Concourse A) that I need to gate at (American). Passing all the row upon row of set out de-icing pads showed you that winter can be extreme here in Denver, It is a shame that currently Xplane can't do white snowy winters. From this low ground viewpoint KDEN looks very good and the terminals totally realistic with the tall control tower most striking. The areas between the concourses are very wide and feel quite empty if you have no aircraft traffic running, but otherwise it is an excellent view passing gates and the tall towering central parts of the concourses. There are built in extensive traffic routes (Xplane ATC). My Gate was A43 on Concourse A. Gate markings (numbered) and position align lines are very good. There are over 90 autogates (marginal) built into KDEN, so you can never complain of not finding a gate you need. I found that the autogate was excellent at A43, and the two part direction board very good. Only issue was the ground texture and gate line was not aligned with the final parked position of the Boeing 738 aircraft. Of an arrival experience the arrival at KDEN is excellent, The same arrival at night as noted is even better. Routes, these are the busiest routes to and from KDEN Domestic Rank City Passengers Carriers 1 Phoenix, Arizona 956,000 Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, United, US Airways 2 Los Angeles, California 933,000 American, Frontier, Southwest, United 3 Las Vegas, Nevada 882,000 Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, United 4 San Francisco, California 830,000 Frontier, Southwest, United 5 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 809,000 American, Frontier, Spirit, United 6 Seattle/Tacoma, Washington 757,000 Alaska, Frontier, Southwest, United 7 Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 735,000 Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Spirit, United 8 Atlanta, Georgia 707,000 AirTran, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United 9 Salt Lake City, Utah 706,000 Delta, Frontier, Southwest, United 10 Chicago, Illinois (O'Hare) 667,000 American, Spirit, United International 1 London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 356,798 British Airways 2 Cancún, Mexico 218,469 Frontier Airlines, United Airlines 3 Toronto (Pearson), Canada 206,954 Air Canada, United Express 4 Calgary, Canada 200,300 United Airlines, United Express 5 Frankfurt, Germany 194,566 Lufthansa 6 Vancouver, Canada 155,096 United Airlines, United Express 7 Edmonton, Canada 130,562 United Express 8 Winnipeg, Canada 101,169 United Express 9 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico 94,867 Frontier Airlines, United Airlines 10 Mexico City, Mexico 63,966 Aeromexico, United Airlines, Volaris Conclusions For value KDEN - Denver International Airport is exceptional for your hard earned money. You get a lot of scenery for just under 20 US$ dollars, It is light on your frame-rate as well, with just the heavy night-lighting pushing the HDR very hard. Overall the night-lighting is exceptionally good with great textures and the glass/windows are very realistic. 90 working gates are also a great feature, as there is nothing better than having a gate close on the aircraft when shutting down the engines. All the concourses and buildings are very well recreated and reproduced, and the significant Jeppesen Terminal and its membrane roof is excellent. There are a lot of buildings in here, and far more than you can see at a first glance. The huge expanse of the photo-underlays causes the wider areas to look very flat, and areas that should not be flat to look plain as well. The flat areas of carparks are not my ideal viewpoint either, especially with some areas with and many areas without static vehicles. The worse outlook of the underlays is the actual boundries, If the photo-underlays had been set in closer to the shape of the runways then the whole scenery would have certainly gone into the higher exceptional level of standards, but in this case the gray area squares stand out for miles against the more brighter X-Plane default backgrounds, and the crossover line edges are just as bad. Certainly I would love to see this scenery under a seasons worth of snow and ice, that may come for X-Plane one day. But for now it is very good anyway. with very well laid in ATC routes, and if you have World Traffic you can really make KDEN buzz. Overall KDEN is excellent destination scenery as all Tom Curtis scenery usually is. It is highly detailed and very well designed and modeled. KDEN is a huge space of an airport, just simply massive and very good scenery. A certain buy for anyone that need an excellent Mid-Western hub. Yes! the Denver International Airport (KDEN) by Tom Curtis is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore : Denver International Airport Price is US$19.95 - note : X-Plane9 is available on request Installation KDEN - Denver International Airport is a download of 46.1mb that is unzipped to 137.30mb install. There are two items in the download folder that need to be installed in your resources/plugin folder. First is the Marginal "autogate" plugin (If you don't have it already installed) the second is the "Real Flag plugin" (CustomSBDatarefs004) for flapping in the wind realistic flags. Developers Site : Scenery4xp Review By Stephen Dutton 14th February 2014 ©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Technical Requirements: Windows , MAC or Linux X-Plane 10 - X-Plane 9 available on request. Send us an email after you place the order 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM - 100MB HD - Version 1 (last updated Feb 6th ,2014) Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Mavericks 10.9 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.25 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Aircraft x737 - EADT - 737 Project (free)
  8. Tom Curtis Scenery : KLAS Glitter Gulch v1.3 update Tom Curtis (Aka Howdy) has updated his scenery KLAS - Glitter Gulch. The main feature of the update is that Tom has added Marginal's "Autogates" to Concourses C, D and E (Concourse A and B are coming soon) The autogates are excellent, but in a few gates the pushback tug is in the way? Another added bonus is Marginal's ramp traffic... Not just a few but a lot of vehicles are now motoring around the terminals and is certainly giving KLAS a great feeling of activity. The Las Vegas Strip has also had many more buildings added to the area. Noted buildings added are: Caesars Palace Caeser’s Forum The Flamingo Hotel/Casino The Quad Hotel/Casino (Formerly the Imperial Palace) Harrahs Hotel/Casino The Venetian Hotel/ Casino Fashion Show Mall Shopping complex And there is still more to come in the next update. This is a great update to an already excellent scenery and well worth adding to your collection. X-Plane Reviews has already reviewed the earlier version (1.2) so take a look at this comprehensive package here: You can enjoy KLAS - GLITTER GULCH (Including also KHND - Henderson Executive Airport) for only $24.95 which is available from the X-Plane.OrgStore : KLAS - GLITTER GULCH The price includes this and any future updates to the KLAS - Glitter Gulch scenery A note: The X-Plane9 version is coming soon with this 1.3 update. Stephen Dutton 16th November 2013 ©2013 X-Plane Reviews
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