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  1. Scenery Review : LTFM - Airport Istanbul XP by Aerosoft To understand the importance and the major relocation of Istanbul's major airport from the former Atatürk Airport to the newer mega airport at Arnavutköy, is to look at not only the major updating of the facilities and the use of the more airport and runway space than with the overcrowded older ISL. As the new development is much more in a strategic positioning and a significant major change of the world's routing to capture a bigger, if not the biggest world passenger traveling market. East to West and vice-versa and to ultimately accommodate 200 million passengers a year traffic at a cost of €7 billion. That is a lot of money even for an airport, so let us understand why the Turkish Government are so willing to invest in such an extravagant project. Well it is for a purely strategic reason, but one even important for X-Plane users if you do a lot of medium to very long haul routes. The story really goes back to Qantas and British Airways, or the very lucrative "Kangaroo Route". These were a set of hops from the United Kingdom to Australia, and even to the other colonial routes such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. It was basically all two-way traffic for decades, but this was also an age through the 70's and 80's when the other Asian ports were not quite as developed as they are today. The Arab States were the first to want to change the olde world order, the idea was for the UAE and surrounding Emirates, with a focus on Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in that to be future major global hubs between the now growing if huge Asian markets and connecting them through to the African and European markets. The idea was to fly say from Asia to Abu Dhabi/Dubai, then reconnect onto an African or European hub, and in so bypassing the nasty reverse routes that were built in solidly by the Kangaroo Route hub into London. These older routes required backtracking, if say you wanted to fly to Rome... a route from say Seoul to Rome would be now Seoul-Dubai-Rome and not the old sectioned route of Seoul-Singapore-London-Rome, that routing added in not only a lot of extra mileage but also the longer time traveling, but also in a wasted flying distance as well. So the Emirates built mega hubs, but they also made one fundamental mistake in their planning... they made the transition from one flight to the next extremely expensive in and around their hubs as to recoup their huge expenditure, plus the serious heat of the deserts. These aspects just turned passengers off in droves of these Middle Eastern hubbed routes. But the basic idea of connecting the west directly to the newly growing east was correct. The biggest growing area of aviation at the moment is in the empty space between Europe and Asia, and spreading one of the borders of these two continents is literally Turkey, and its hub at Istanbul. This strategic position of Istanbul totally changes the game, certainly with economic reasons for airlines. With the UAE hubs you will always required a large twin-aisle aircraft to fly in and out on each section from the Middle East, so the UAE is dominated by B777s, B787s, A350s and of course the huge fleet of Emirati A380 aircraft. But Istanbul's position changes the game a little in that any of the European hubs can instead use a single-aisle (even better the newer long range XLs) from any European/Eastern Europe capital straight into Istanbul and then use the medium wide-bodies to go the rest of the way to Asia, again in reverse in that a wide-body from Asia and then a single-aisle aircraft to cover the mass of segments directly to really any airport in Europe and fly even as low as North Africa and as high as Scandinavia. The game plan is quite perfect, certainly if like me you are traveling say to Budapest from Australia, or even directly to Rome, as it would be only one stop and direct all the way. IST will be the hub of hubs in the centre of the routing world universe... and that is why they spent their €7 billion So to a point this LTFM Airport Istanbul XP scenery is important to X-Plane if you are into serious routing, as IST will give you loads of options, either if you want your jollies from a short European sector to Istanbul, or to do full European to Asia routes. Istanbul to Singapore is only 4688 nautical miles and also and well within a standard A330 range, and to that end then note how many A330-300 Turkish Airlines have bought over the last few years... as it is currently 40 aircraft and the fleet is still growing daily. So Turkish Airlines don't need mega sized or even extremely expensive aircraft to cover Asia from Turkey, or from Europe for that matter. Paris to Istanbul is only 1198 nautical miles with an estimated flight time of 3 hours 6 minutes and well within an Airbus A320s range, so at both ends you can get a lot of routing in and out of a very good Istanbul scenery... do you see where I am coming from. There was a freeware LTFM that was very good, but totally diabolical to install, in the end I pulled it out with the consistent crashing CTD the scenery caused... disappointed. But then I got wind that Stairport Sceneries were also doing a payware LTFM, and that certainly got me very excited. It is released under the Aerosoft banner, but this is totally a Stairport Scenery project. It is very hard to get a grasp on the size of Istanbul's new airport, it is simply HUGE, massive and the nearest airport I can think of in the same scale and the spread out in layout terms is KDEN-Denver. The airport currently has only the one terminal in service for domestic and international flights and four runways that are currently in operation. The two 17/35 runways are both 4,100 metres (13,451 feet) long, while the 16/34 runways are both 3,750 metres (12,303 feet) long. Runways 17L/35R and 16R/34L are 60 metres (197 feet) wide, while 17R/35L and 16L/34R are 45 metres (148 feet) wide. All runway surfaces are asphalt. Istanbul Airport İstanbul Havalimanı IATA: IST - ICAO: LTFM 16L/34R - 3,750m (12,303ft) Asphalt 16R/34L - 3,750m (12,303ft) Asphalt 17L/35R - 4,100m (13,451ft) Asphalt 17R/35L - 4,100m (13,451ft) Asphalt 18/36 - 3,060m (10,039ft) Asphalt & Concrete Elevation AMSL 99m / 325ft Notable is that there are two more runways coming to the east of Rwy 18/36 adding up to a total of seven by 2025, in the scenery five of the seven are noted and currently active. (Navigraph) The opening ceremony of Istanbul Airport took place on 29 October 2018, and scheduled so as to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic. The airport had been unofficially known as 'Istanbul New Airport' during construction - and the new official name of 'Istanbul Airport' was announced at the opening ceremony. The first flight from the airport was Turkish Airlines flight TK2124 to the Turkish capital Ankara on 31 October 2018. On 1 November 2018, five daily flights began to arrive and depart from the airport: from Ankara, Antalya, Baku, North Nicosia, and İzmir, followed by Adana and Trabzon starting in December. Before the full transfer, all flights were operated exclusively by Turkish Airlines. Regularly scheduled flights to all of the new airport's destinations continued to depart from Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports alongside these trial flights. It was originally planned that on 31 December 2018, all equipment from Atatürk Airport would then be transferred to the new airport via the O-7 Motorway. As of 17 January 2019, then transfer phase was set to start 1 March 2019. However, on 25 February, the transfer phase was moved a fourth time to 5 April 2019. The full transfer of all scheduled commercial passenger flights from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to the new Istanbul Airport took place on 6 April 2019 between 02:00 and 14:00. Hundreds of trucks carried more than 10,000 pieces of equipment, each weighing about 44 tons were moved to the new airport over 41 hours. Istanbul Atatürk Airport's original IATA code IST was also transferred to the new airport. The new mega main terminal at IST will have an annual passenger capacity of 90 million and an area of 1,440,000 m2 (15,500,000 sq ft) – making it the world's largest airport terminal building under a single roof, despite Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 having a larger floor area at 1,713,000 m2 (18,440,000 sq ft) but only due to tunnels connecting its two concourses. The mammoth terminal has been really well recreated here, with some very good and authentic modeling... detail out front of the main terminal is that lo-res photo-ortho look, as you know I am not a big fan of such low resolutions in priority areas like with the immediate Landside environs, however there is something interesting and to keep in mind for the scenery overall... as the original area that covers the airport boundaries are actually old open-pit coal mines, which were later filled in with soil, ultimately it is still also an ongoing building site, so open rough areas like this are correct when viewing the scenery, but the open visual mosaic aspect is still not good to the eyes... ... the İstanbul Havalimanı Camii (Istanbul Airport Mosque) positioned in front of the terminal is however excellent and highly detailed, but the join to and the surrounding Lo-Res ortho images are really awful. The IST Terminal's modeling is very good, and the highlight is the lovely well done canopies in a Islamic and ottoman design pattern, very Turkish in design. Overall though four architects worked on the airport's design, but three of them were UK-based in Grimshaw Architects, Scott Brownrigg, and Haptic Architects. The four huge carparks fronting the terminal look like they are still under construction, but they are completed, with only the 3d cars on the top floors, the roof skylight domes also are very significant in the design pattern.... but overall the terminal and landside environs looks and feels empty, or even totally deserted, with no intimate detail or even advertising... this is carried on with the glass, which very good and see-through, but inside it comes also with blank areas that again make the terminal look closed and not fitted out or even half developed in context. Glass however is very good, and nicely reflective.... but one word sums it up as "empty". The gate layout is deceptively simple. Each side of the Terminal are two concourses built together with a single long concourse on the front. A and B Concourses are on the west, and F and G are on the east, with the north single Concourse D. Four each C and E gates are position directly on to the terminal between obviously B and D and D and F. Gate or bay detail is excellent, in detail and modeling. Obviously being Stairport Sceneries, the built in SAM functionality is first rate, and it is all wrapped up with great HSBA Banking advertising. There is a huge remote parking area directly opposite the main Terminal, this is Apron 1 (stands 109 - 149) but also there are the H Stands for Deicing in Aprons (Deicing) 3 and 4... In time Apron 1 will front a new satellite terminal and then incorporating this now remote standing area. The airport's main Fire Station is set on the end to the west of Apron 1, and there are also two ground radars to watch the aircraft movements, but the radars are surprisingly not animated, which is usually something in their detailing that Stairport do. Airport infrastructure is still in it's infancy here, but already there is a large column area to the west of the terminal zones that is already quite built up. Included in this zone is the Control Tower and Cargo facilities. The control tower is noted to be in the shape of the Turkish national flower, the Tulip. it is 90 meters (295.28ft) high over an area of 6,085 m². To me though it doesn't look like a flower but more of a King Cobra snake... or I'm missing (or hissing) something in the transition. Tower view is perfectly set, with views over all of the airfield, however the threshold of Rwy 36 is partially obscure by the main Terminal building, there is a smaller tower on the western side of the field to cover this abnormality, but you can only have one tower view setting. Cargo Currently there are two major cargo areas and four cargo aprons at IST, and the main one is set near the base of the control tower. This is the growing Turkish Cargo operations centre, totally new and very large and created for growth and expansion. The modeling and detail of the significant Turkish Cargo facility is very good and covers the Cargo Aprons of 2 and 3, and this includes the Ptt or Posta ve Telgraf Teşkilatı the Turkish Postal service also has a huge facility here... like noted all buildings are really good, but everything set around them is sadly not... .... a lot of the layouts on this central zone corridor is basically extremely low res images with a bit of facade bases, with the custom buildings placed on top, and in areas the layouts are really quite ugly and not even at all authentic to any realism... ... if you do use these brightly coloured underlays, then at least cover them with something feasible, but that is certainly not the case here, and worse they are all highly visible from the aprons or the aircraft cockpits. Cargo Aprons 5 and 1 are on the corner of the DHL facility, with the MNG Kargo facility fronting Apron 1. The position of this cargo zone is directly between the 34L/16R - 34R-16L and 35L/17R - 35R/17L runways and you have direct access to all of them via a short taxi and taxiway A1 connects them together, again to the south is another deicing area Apron (Deicing) 2. Cargo Apron 4 is directly opposite the Turkish Cargo areas fronting taxiway A, a smaller four stand (K50-K53) apron and it serves Celebi, FedEx, TNT, UNSPED and Fevzi Gandur logistics. Airport Infrastructure To the far north of the central control tower, there is another deicing area Apron (Deicing) 1 and stand parking on Apron 4 (not to be confused with Cargo Apron 4)... here there are nine stands 401-409. Set on Apron 5 is one huge Turkish Technic facility and a smaller hangar sized one, and another Fire Station (West) opposite. There is another major Turkish Technic facility at the southern boundary on the entrance to the airport... noted as the THY (Turkish Airline) facility. This is a very imposing hangar that can be seen from most of the southern approaches and the detail is excellent, but Stairport certainly missed an opportunity to show off their SAM door opening feature, as the doors set here would have been perfect for animation? Highly noticeable though is the detail, in that there is no fencing and the photo-image lines are clearly there to separate the highways and roads from the airfield I am a fencing nazi, no fencing is a big deal in not covering even the basics of doing good scenery, and most of the fencing and hence the good detailing is certainly missing here at IST. The fencing point is not for just show? If you are taxiing around taxiways and areas of the airport, and missing fencing gives you a view that is totally unrealistic, as it does here at IST, the fencing breaks down the view between the flat surfaces and the far open flat surface that looks and is horrible, no one wants this view out of an aircraft window. South of the central corridor, is mostly a commercial industrial estate dominated by the new Turkish Airlines impressive "Turkish Airlines Operations Center" and most associated THY operations and food catering. Again the simply layout of (very) lo-res photo textures, facade bases and custom modeling tiered above each other is about the best way to fill in a large area, but that doesn't mean it looks very realistic, as it comes across as just quick cheap fill-in modeling. Notable on the eastern south side is the VIP Terminal with a very nice four stand parking area (316 -319) that can take large twin-aisle private jet aircraft, and the smaller VIP jets as well. There is a secondary VIP Terminal (the same custom building) placed over on the western airport boundary, and accessible by the same A1 Taxiway, this is noted as Apron V. Behind there are some animated Wind Turbines, but the wind needs to strong enough to make them turn. Textures The taxiway and runway surfaces are excellent. Obviously this is a very, very new airport and the surfaces are going to be very new and clean as well, without a lot of dirty grungy areas... but Stairport have been able to add in some nice rubber wear and surface details... so it is all very good, linage is excellent as well. Nice and well done also are the joins between the asphalt and concrete aprons, no straight lines here, but a realistic join. Burnt in ambient occlusion effects are excellent and bring out the best in the HDR surfaces, which again are highly realistic. Reflection and surface sheen is also first rate. Stairport Sceneries include a "Seasons" pack for their SAM Plugin (Seasons are a separate SAM install). It gives a full winter coverage (and thankfully covers over the mosaic mess), but the track and runway/taxiway wear is not all defined in the fallen snow, so overall it is pretty average. Notable is using the Traffic addons with Aerosoft's Istanbul. Here Traffic Global is working very hard to cover the sheer numbers of flights departing and arriving at IST. At first I thought the long queues were because of faulty built in taxi flows, but no... finally the sheer numbers slowly but surely sorted themselves out to depart or go their assigned gates, great to watch if you have the time to do so, it also means when arriving, it could take a fair while to get to your gate if you arrive at a busy timetable period. Also the default X-Plane Global Airports, do a good job of replicating the old Atatürk Airport on any of the southern approaches. Lighting Overall pretty average is the lighting at Istanbul International. Approaches and runway/taxi lighting is very good, as are the huge array of navigation boards, which they need to be, as it is a complicated place to taxi around at night, but the Nav boards are not ground reflective. The problem with using clear glass, is it looks great in the daylight, but is really dull and flat at night, as it does here on the Main Terminal building, the only bright aspects are the excellent under the roof support lighting which is very impressive... ... down on the aprons it is not toooo bad, but the dull towering terminal and gate towers however don't give you much in the way of detail, but at least it is bright down here to work on the aircraft, but overall dull is the word. The THY Maintenace Technic hangar and operation centre both look good on the southern approaches, but that is about it. Control Tower is nicely lit, and there is a a lot of building branding that does look great in the dark, but there are also a lot of dark patchy areas. __________________________ Summary Istanbul's modern new mega airport at Arnavutköy, replaced the older and outdated Atatürk Airport on 29th October 2018, it cost (or is costing) a staggering €7 billion to build and is when finished expected to cater for 200 million passengers a year. Both very big numbers. Important is the strategic position of Istanbul of not only in it's formal line of being the crossroads between the east and west continents, but also in air routes of being a mega hub between the now impressive number of Asian hubs to connect over to the major European and North Africa ports. This scenery is a Stairport Scenery airport development released under the Aerosoft banner, and big in every way it is. I need this to be clear. Airports at this huge scale don't deliver the finer details and intimate quality textures of the smaller scenery airports, it is just not possible to do that aspect in delivering an airport of this size as your framerate would crash, or take the fun out of using the scenery in the simulator... and anyway the developer would never finish the product. However the basics should also still be delivered in a quality fashion. Another point is that the IST airport is brand new, and built over old open-pit coal mines, so don't expect a pretty surrounding landscape. The massive current terminal building (second largest currently in the world after Dubai) is really well modeled and designed, certainly the gate towers and bay areas, there is nice clear tinted glass but sterile empty innards that can be clearly seen. The Airport Mosque is also a great focus point, as is the THY (Turkish Airlines) Technic and operations areas. The Control Tower is very stylish (if Snakeish) as well and there are a lot of great Cargo aprons to choose from. Runway and taxiway surfaces and linage is also first rate, and overall it is a great and well done layout. SAM is implemented on every gate and works fine, as expected as Stairport created the plugin themselves, SAM seasons are also available if required. Negatives concern the over use of very low density orth-images, and in places they are quite noticeable and jarring... not helped by the missing of important aspects like fencing, 3d grass (there is a little grass, very little) and even basic working animations like radars on the many field towers. Placed elements of buildings on top of facade bases is also quite evident with no creative input for realism. Night lighting (with the clear glass) is dull and flat, but apron, runway/taxiway and brand lighting is very good. In areas overall the detail could be far better, of course within reason. Make no mistake that this new Istanbul International airport is a very important airport to X-Plane, it's positioning globally is very important for your routing and hubbing in going from the west to east or vice-versa, or even doing a European or Russian domestic to the airport. Overall I found the flights into and using Stairport's IST very good, but in many areas it certainly it could also be significantly better, as it is a major airport to use regularly... and a needed destination of significant value, very useful at the moment, but also currently requires more development to realise it's full potential, is that like the real world's newest of world's major hub in Istanbul International... maybe it is as again that X-Plane parallels the real with the simulation... overall currently great, but could be in the future sensational. ___________________________________ Yes! the LTFM - Airport Istanbul XP by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LTFM - Airport Istanbul XP Price is US$29.95 Features: Highly detailed virtual replica of the airport buildings and its surroundings Photorealistic textures on airport buildings and vehicles Custom high resolution ground textures, detailed markings and full PBR Custom 3D Taxiway signs Animated jetways, VDGS and marshaller (SAM Plugin required) Custom animated vehicles (SAM AirportVehicles required) HDR night lighting Custom surroundings with hand placed autogen and water Realistic static aircrafts included Custom road layout Seasonal texture adaptions (SAM Plugin required) Compatible with Ortho4XP Navdata AIRAC 2104 included Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB VRAM Video Card - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.3 GB Current and Review version: 1.01 (June 16th 2021) Installation and documents: Download consists of; AS_AIRPORT-ISTANBUL_XP11.zip (2.38Gb) Install in your X-Plane Custom Scenery folder includes two folders; SceneryTR - LTFM Istanbul - 01 - Airport (2.58Gb) SceneryTR - LTFM Istanbul - 00 - Seasons (1.93Gb) Full Installation in your Custom Scenery folder is: 4.21Gb Note Nav data: In order for the newer nav data to be recognized by X-Plane, the “Custom Data” folder in the “Custom Scenery / SceneryTR - LTFM Istanbul - 01 - Airport / NAVDATA_AIRAC_2104” folder must be copied into the X-Plane main directory. If newer Nav data are already installed, this step is not necessary. I use Navigraph data, and it is noted as up to date for the use with LTFM. SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery Documents Manual is provided (11 Pages) in German and English Manual_Istanbul_XP_de-en_web ________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 15th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved  Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane v11.55 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 - Free Scenery or Aircraft - B 747-8 Series Anniversary Edition by SSG (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$54.90
  2. Scenery Released : LDZA - Airport Zagreb XP by Aerosoft Under the Aerosoft banner, Stairport Sceneries have released Airport Zagreb XP. Zagreb Franjo Tuđman Airport is an international airport serving Zagreb, Croatia. It is the largest and busiest airport in Croatia. In 2019, it handled 3.45 million passengers and some 13,000 tons of cargo. It has already been a busy year for Stairport, with already both the Split and Airport Istanbul airports of which have already been released for the X-Plane Simulator, and here is the third in Zagreb. Stairport Sceneries are the original developers of the SAM plugin, so you can expect a lot of SAM related features included in their sceneries, and here at LSZA this includes; Custom animated jetways, Custom VDGS system, Animated radars, Custom FollowMe vehicles - Custom AirportVehicles textures, and the custom all seasons tool is also implemented. Features Include: "Franjo Tuđman Airport" (LDZA) with all the buildings and service facilities, translucent detailed new terminal buildings with interior designs, complete military area with hangars and buildings as well as TV tower "Sljeme" and old ruins of "Medvedgrad" are included Custom orthophoto covers airport and surroundings Detailed ground markings based on recent charts of parking stands and new taxiway layouts including recent changes of taxiway layout Custom taxiway signage Custom HDR lighting Complete PBR + normal texturing of all objects and ground Most models and textures based on photos taken at the airport Custom static aircraft and vehicles Customized road networks and autogen Including patch for optimized X-Europe integration Full SAM compatibility (SAM Plugin required) Custom animated jetways Custom VDGS system Animated radars Custom AirportVehicles textures All seasons implemented Custom FollowMe vehicle Also included is a lot of little details around the LDZA airport which are all animated, e.g. the windsocks, flash lights, apron traffic, and jetways. In the distance, you can also spot the TV tower on the hill at Sljeme and the ruins of the medieval fortified town of Medvedgrad. Images are courtesy of Aerosoft/Stairport Sceneries ___________________________ Yes! Airport Zagreb XP by Aerosoft is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Zagreb XP Price is US$17.99 Customers who own the v1 can get this new v2 for 60% OFF. Get the coupon code in the original Berlin Brandenburg invoice Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.2 GB Current Version : 1.0 (July 9th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 10th July 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  3. News! - Scenery Upgrade : Berlin-Brandenburg XP v2.0 by Aerosoft How about the situation that you bought a mega airport scenery, but couldn't actually use it? well you couldn't use the new mega terminal and it's new layouts, but was restricted to the smaller older terminal set far out in the corner of the airfield... this scenario would also cost you nearly US$30 to do this? So you were buying actually an airport you couldn't physically use, but it happened, and X-PlaneReviews also reviewed it; Scenery Review : Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft Certainly the fiasco of the Berlin's Brandenburg Airport "Willy Brandt Airport" is at the top of any infrastructure category stuff up list of all time. But they finally got there. When on the 31st October 2020 Germany's new airport for the capital region – Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt (BER) finally started its operations. So here is the follow up and "Open" version of Aerosoft/LimeSim/Stairport version of Berlin-Brandenburg. This is an upgrade, not an update, so you have to repurchase the scenery all over again to use it... But if you have purchased the original (practically useless BER) v1, customers can get this new v2 version at 60% OFF, or US$11.95. For this you get not only the original airport details, but also a lot of changes and fixes to relate to the now operational airport, SAM is also more intergrated, with not only the original (non) working gates now working, but the SAM seasons is also available... Schönefeld (SXF) is still included in the scenery (SXF is now cancelled, amalgamated into BER) and the Schönefeld section is now noted as Terminal 5, with its sections renamed to K, L, M and Q. Features: Highly detailed rendition of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport "Willy Brandt" (BER) Includes the older Schönefeld (SXF) airport (north of BER) with the same level of detail Includes two configs to switch between SXF and BER operation Custom animated approach lights (SAM Plugin required) All jetways animated (SAM Plugin required) Custom ground service vehicles (SAM AirportVehicles required) Compatible with SAM Colors & Seasons Numerous dynamic objects like apron vehicles High resolution day and night textures Extensive coverage of over 100 km² with high resolution aerial imagery (0.2-0.4 m/px) Realistic 3D grass and vegetation Compatible with default AI-Traffic and World Traffic 3 New in V2: Brand new highly detailed government terminal with reception area for the German Capital ‘s government VIP ‘s including presidents, premier ministers, kings and queens Updated several buildings & textures at SXF area like noise barriers, Bundespolizei-building, floodlights, Northgate car park, taxi lights, wigwags and more New Terminal 2 and other buildings recently constructed New orthophoto (2020) Reworked grass and vegetation Updated taxiway, apron and stands layout (including the brand-new taxiway G, taxiway C extension, apron 3B and more) Reworked pavement textures quality Updated taxiway signage Optimized road networks and surrounding autogen (incl. X-Europe compatibility option) Updated ATC frequencies Many small tweaks and fixes The original BER LimeSim/Stairport release under the Aerosoft banner was now over two years ago (March 2019), so this is a timely update for Berlin anyway. Certainly a great addition to your European network, and now a working one as well... well worth the update, or purchase. Images supplied courtesy of Aerosoft ___________________________ Yes! Berlin-Brandenburg V2 XP by Aerosoft is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Berlin-Brandenburg V2 XP Price is US$29.90 Customers who own the v1 can get this new v2 for 60% OFF. Get the coupon code in the original Berlin Brandenburg invoice Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 4 GB Current Version : 2.0 (June 22nd 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 25th June 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  4. Scenery Review : EDDW Bremen by FSDG With the recent addition to the X-Plane world of the A300-ST (Beluga), there is perhaps a renewed interest in real-world routes that this unique aircraft flies to. Since Airbus have a facility in Bremen, it seems only right that this airport gets more attention. From Airbus's website it states: "In Bremen, approximately 2,500 people work at the second-largest Airbus Commercial site in Germany – where they are responsible for the design, manufacture, integration and testing of high-lift systems for the wings of Airbus aircraft. This site is unique for Airbus, as it brings Commercial Aircraft activities together with those of the company’s Defence and Space business, as well as Airbus’ TESTIA company and Premium Aerotech subsidiary". Bremen, in the northwest of Germany, also develops and builds the integrated fuselage assembly for the A400M military transport aircraft, including the cargo loading system. Additionally, Bremen is a centre of competence for space transportation, manned space flight and space robotics. Its highly-skilled employees work on key programmes such as the Ariane 5 launch vehicle and the human-rated Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle – a joint project between the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). Bremen is responsible as well for operation of European components on the International Space Station (ISS)." So there is a lot of scope for this airport, which might have been otherwise overlooked. As per usual, here is a "Before and After" series of screenshots so you can see what you are getting. Installation: The download file is a zipped file for either Windows, or Mac, which are named FSDG-BREMEN_V1.0_XP11_WINDOWS.exe - a 1.1 GB file in the case of Windows, and 4.7GB .dmg file in the case of MacOS. FSDG-BREMEN_V1.0_XP11_MAC.zip respectively, for which you need a product key to complete the installation. (the key is supplied in the the "download item" link . Once entered, you specify the location of your X-Plane 11 folder and continue. The Company field is optional and does not need to be filled out, and just click Start to start the installation script. You will then get an notice to say the scenery is installed successfully. In your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" folder, you will then see 3 additional entries. 1) FSDG\docs (Containing the documentation) The documentation is not directly viewable from the download file, but extracted to the X-Plane 11\Custom Scenery\FSDG\docs\Manual_FSDG-Bremen_XP.pdf location. 2) FSDG-Bremen_XP (containing the airport scenery, orthos and navigational files, along with an OPTIONS folder which contains the optional seasonal textures for Spring,Autumn and Winter files. 3) fsdg-bremen-xp (no contents) I tried to follow the instructions for the winter season, but I was getting scenery errors in the log file whenever I switched using the Generic Mod Enabler. After reading the errors, I managed to find out that the documentation was not complete and that the The Winter textures should go in: - folder number 3 "fsdg-bremen-xp" - X-Plane 11\Custom Scenery\fsdg-bremen-xp\(all folders beginning with Winter) - FlyAgi_Vegetation_Seasonal\all folders beginning with Winter) - ground\ - objects\winter - orthos\Winter After I pasted these files from the FSDG-Bremen_XP folder, the scenery loaded correctly with the Winter textures. NB: This option only covers the airport area. If you wish the surrounding area to be covered too, you can use SAM Seasons Plugin, which can be installed from the SAM Suite. There is also a AS_SCENERY-ANIMATION-MANAGER_XPLANE11_WINDOWS-MAC-LINUX.zip file, but if you already have SAM Suite installed, this is not necessary. (available here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/59782-scenery-animation-manager-suite/) On loading the scenery, and selecting the Beluga A300-ST, I noticed there was sadly no dedicated parking for the Airbus area, but I did find a way around this. What I did was to load the Beluga at one of the available starting points, and manually taxi to the Airbus section, and save the X-Plane situation where I desired the aircraft to be. You can see the default available selections below, and my created saved situation which I created, which results in the below starting point. You can then select your saved situation from the "File" menu and load up the situation. By default, it names the file in a format which includes the name of the aircraft saved, this is handy for reference. More information on saving and loading situations can be found here. https://x-plane.helpscoutdocs.com/article/45-saving-and-loading-flights#:~:text=To save a flight%2C go,-Plane 11%2FOutput). I did check on the forums to see if there was any plans for an update for this scenery, but none planned at the moment. You can then load your cargo as desired, as per the below example. (this gets called from the Beluga Menu from the EFB). The airport gates are animated and controlled by the SAM Plugin menu. This can be installed as above, or downloaded as part of the SAM Suite available here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/59782-scenery-animation-manager-suite/ You will notice that the gate to the left is currently closed, this is controlled by the SAM Plugin menu, this can be reached via the X-Plane Menu, -> Plugins -> SAM Plugins -> Airport Operation System. There are two gate options, one for the GA area, and the other for the Airbus area. You simply click on the button on the right-hand side of the menu to open/close the gates. Along the taxiway, they have a nicely mown grass area with the Werder Bremen Football team, and further along, the German Post Office block, although good at first glance, could improve the texture quality on the signage, but since this is peripheral building, they can be forgiven for that. They did do quite a nice job on the Holiday Inn and industrial buildings though, and the texture resolution is quite good for an area not normally visited for takeoffs or landings. The Hangar areas are quite good too, I half-expected to see animated advertising boards here, but the static is pleasing enough. The snowploughs for the winter season are a nice touch for this scenery, considering that North Germany does get some cold and snowy winters. Regarding the control tower, the view brings me to the building on the right - easily missed if you are not looking for it. It's tucked away behind the office buildings out of sight. The radar tower looks good from every angle, and the building itself looks good with weathering on the roof and sides of the structure - very nicely done indeed. The ground textures,tress and shrubs add realism and ambiance to the airport too. The fire-station has good resolution and detailed brickwork, and the Airbus area has detailed warehouses and storage and plenty of car spaces. I like the surrounding areas details such as the fences and ground details, and the vegetation in particular is pleasing to the eye. There is vegetation throughout the scenery grass areas with flowers and wild shrubs abundantly placed, not sure if this would go down well with the health and safety department regarding birds in the area though. The runways even have a dedicated displaced threshold area for the Beluga (A3ST). No wonder there's a smile on her face. I really love the texturing on the Germania Hangar, the roof, decals and entrance doors are crisp and excellently done, and of high resolution and quality. The Lufthansa Aviation Training Centre in Bremen also uses similar textures (although in real-life, this area is much more transparent, but a limitation of the tools available, but still a good effort. Another nice touch is the vehicles and aircraft used (although a bit odd to see a G- registered aircraft there),but the taxiway markings are really nice, and the dividing fence is really well done and a lot of attention to detail is given here. The terminals and jetways are of good quality resolution and extra items such as baggage trolleys and passenger buses are plentiful, suggesting a busy airport with lots of activity. Even the barriers, traffic cones and cars are detailed enough to pass muster with the most discerning user. The transparencies are a particular favorite of mine, and they are rendered to good effect here. as are the airport markings and signage and even the waste bins are depicted here. Definitely no complaints in this department. The airport at night-time on the terminal side, is rather dark and subdued and is difficult to pick out all the details. I tried several different angles and time of day, to get some decent screenshots of nighttime to give you some idea of the lighting differences. As I remarked earlier, after my initial difficulties with getting the seasons to work, I have a few illustrations to show how nice it looks. I think the snow effects on the roof over the advertising looks very effective, and the wheel tracks along the apron are nicely done,although health and safety might have a few complaints about it. _________________ Summary: I really love this scenery with it's quaint charm and it's not hard on frames. Despite the installation instructions not being 100% accurate, I managed to get the scenery working by reading the error log files and brute-force. I know this should not be the case, as reading the error logs takes practice to know what's really happening. I raised a ticket with them highlighting this issue and requested that they update the documentation to show this. The price is about what you expect to pay for this addon and it's good value for money. This is a nicely rounded airport and you will have lots of destinations to choose from if you fly real-life routes as I tend to do. Bremen caters exclusively for European destinations, but ironically, Ryanair, (Ireland's second airline) doesn't even fly from Dublin to Bremen which you might expect. It also covers some of the Bremen city area, famous for it's Bremen Musicians sculpture near the town-hall. It is a member of the Hanseatic league which extended across Northern Europe in the middle-ages. Scenery files are getting larger and larger (not only with X-Plane,but this shown in the quality of textures and the added features such as the animated gates,and alternative winter textures. It's a versatile airport which caters for passenger, cargo, and the Airbus facilities and the Lufthansa training centre, so no shortage of possibilities exist for this destination. I find it an ideal destination if you are short on time to fly and it's got an enjoyable approach with lovely views of the city. Performance-wise, I get about 36fps with the Zibo 737-800 as a benchmark which is about what I expect from my system. With the Flightfactor A320, I get 30fps. ____________________ Yes! Bremen EDDW by FSDG is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store... You can find Bremen here: FSDG - Bremen XP Price is $26.99 Features: Fully accurate rendition of Bremen Hans Koschnick Airport and surroundings (EDDW) Outstanding level of detail with fully customized airport vehicles and facilities High resolution aerial imagery and ground textures Optimized for great performance and visual quality Working jetways (SAM plugin needed) Realistic CAT II/III lighting Dynamic apron objects Various animations (SAM plugin required) including animated Tram, approach lights, jetways, marshaller XP11 technology with PBR ground materials and enhanced lighting AI traffic routes and flows Winter version (optional) TerraMAXX seasonal textures (optional) Compatible with Ortho4XP Manual included NOTE: In order to use the airport you need to install the free SAM-Plugin. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac ( not compatible with Linux) 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.0 (Sep 23rd 2019) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i9-9900K CPU 5.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb DDR4 4300 RAM - EVGA GeForce GTX 2070 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.53 Addons: Saitek Throttle and Yoke : Sound -Soundblaster Audigy Fx Plugins: : BetterPushBack - Free LiveTraffic - Weather ActiveSkyXP https://hifisimtech.com/asxp/ ________________________ Scenery Review by Jude Bradley 22nd April 2021 Copyright©2021 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) - All Rights Reserved Release Date:2019 Version:V1.0 Platform:X-Plane 11.30+ Operating System:Windows XP,Windows VISTA,Windows 7/8/10 (64-Bit Recommended),Mac OSX GPU Requirements:3D Graphics Card With Min. 1GB Memory CPU Requirements: 3,0 GHz Processor (Dual Core Processor Recommended)
  5. Scenery Review : Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft In the history of monumental stuffups and total ineptitude then the saga of Berlin's Brandenburg Airport "Willy Brandt Airport" is at the top of any infrastructure category list. In that this new airport is the focus of a main European capitol city is even more astounding and that it is also a high performing precision focused country like Germany then the whole idea turns simply into disbelief. But that is exactly what has happened with this new airport for Berlin. Brandenburg was originally It was originally intended to replace both Schönefeld and Berlin Tegel Airport and become the single commercial airport serving Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg (The glorious Tempelhof Airport had already been closed). In reality it was a simple idea, extend outwards the runway and Schönefeld facilities and then close down the older airfield. Start date was in 2006 and the opening of the new "Willy Brandt Airport" was planned in October 2011. Poor construction planning, execution, management, and corruption created a debacle or even a complete fiasco that deems the airport is still not opening until at this point until sometime in 2020 or 2021. The most significant cause for the continuing delays has been the fire protection and alarm system that did not adhere to the construction permit and failed all the mandatory acceptance tests, more delays are encountered in that all the original information screens are all now in need of replacement because they are already out of date, and not one passenger has ever even used them to review their flight details... and that the current airport head is both simultaneously earning a monthly wage and a retirement pension as a former state secretary of the state of Berlin, so there is a situation that is now described as a "scandal" and even potentially illegal shows the deeper ongoing issues. Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft The heading says Aerosoft, but in reality this is a LimeSim scenery with some development (SAM) by Stairport Sceneries. You get with the scenery two options... one use the Schönefeld setup were as Brandenburg is just a sealed of construction site (the real view currently) or use Brandenburg and have a side airport of Schönefeld available. In reality there are two airports as part of the package, both the same quality and both are situated in the scenery. However the switching (manual details) are very ambiguous and confusing on how you switch them over (create a ACTIVATE BER folder and insert the nav-data) but the actual ACTIVATE BER folder already exists with the included nav-data? the default is the Schönefeld setup, so that is the review setup here (can't this airport get anything right?)... anyway I like reality over hypothetical, If you want to use the BER version then you copy the nav-data in the ACTIVATE BER folder and replace it with the nav-data in the main "Earth nav data" folder, and vice-versa if you want to use the SFX version (my guess this is what the manual is actually trying to say?). If using WT3 then it gets a little more messy. In reality you have to generate two sets of ground routes from each location, and then swap them over to the required nav-data of which layout you want to use. The new Brandenburg - BER and Schönefeld - SFX are almost diametrically opposed with SFX slightly to the north, and they both share the older runway 07L/25R Asphalt runway (the darker one) to the newer unused 07R/25L which is concrete. From above the layouts of both airports are very distinct. Earlier and closed in 2007 SFX had another (Northern) runway also called 07L/25R, a few remaining sections can still be seen in the scenery. EDDB - Schönefeld - SFX Before the Berlin wall came down then Schönefeld was the main East German/Berlin airport (Tegal was on the Western side) so Eastern bloc airlines were once a regular visitor and user of the facilities. Schönefeld Airport consists of the four terminals A, B, C, and D. All terminals are located next to each other but have separate landside areas; however they are all connected through a joint airside concourse. Terminal C has no check-in facilities, it is used exclusively for passengers clearing security checks to enter the airside boarding gates. Terminal D was opened in December 2005 due to the rapidly growing passenger numbers. Being nearly identical to Terminal C at Berlin Tegel Airport, it features check-in counters D40–D57, which are mainly used by Ryanair, Condor, Germania, and Norwegian Air Shuttle. It does not feature jet bridges but several walk-boarding stands. In November 2016, the new 4,500 square metres (48,000 sq ft) large arrivals area D2 opened right next to Terminal D but it is noticeable as the newest part on the complex. There are only three airbidges, so mostly at SFX it is stand parking and a lot of the stands are remote. The large Apron 3 is directly in front of the terminals for stands 50-59, and Apron 3a is in front of terminal A for stands 61-65... stands 31-36 & 60 are remote with stands 40-43 far foreground. ... Stands 28, 29 & 30 are just west of the main Apron 3 on Apron 2A. The larger Apron 2 stands 19 -27 is further away off Apron 2A. Directly across the runway on what was the old Schönefeld field layout, but now part of BER is Apron 4 with a large maintenance hangar for Lufthansa Technik.... this area is now designated the "General Aviation" area. Aprons A, D and E are positioned in front and around the new BER terminal complex, but they are only remote storage stands and not currently passenger stands, we will see these when we look at BER. Terminals are noted by their letter, and the large central original is Ter A, with Ter C slightly to the right and Ter D the larger low set building (centre left), Ter B is the corner extension (centre right). All modeling is very good with nice textures, but all the objects are situated on a different scale photo underlay (Usual Aerosoft standard) so the detail is very smudged at ground level and the detail is lost, so there is that object on a flat surface look in most areas... and like that with the carparks and rental parking areas in that they are not defined. Apron fencing is also missing (poor quality anyway) in critical areas which shows a lack of attention to detail... so there is not great airside security here? Apron detail however (thankfully) is very good, as is the glasswork and finer terminal details. The highlight here are the three airbridges, design is excellent with lovely glass. All airbridges are SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) powered (both BER and SFX) and it is extremely well done by Stairport Sceneries. The bridges are well branded and have custom Safedock T2-24 VDGS guidance, if not in use they show the current time. There are a few apron animations (traffic) scurrying about, but nothing really to write home about. Other SFX airport infrastructure is to the west of the aprons, here there is a secondary apron used for cargo (very small) and the older original airport built in 1934 when construction began to build three 800 metres (2,600 ft) long runways to serve the Henschel aircraft plant in Schönefeld. There are two control towers (three including the new one over by Brandenburg), Fire Station and various catering facilities like for GateGourmet and SkyChefs. There are a lot of good custom buildings and a train station outside the actual airport environs, but the poor grainy ground textures defeat any real detail... ... signage is good, and the surrounding German Autogen creates a very viable landscape, as on approach and departure point of views. If in the SFX layout there are some nice bollards that show non-access areas, both around SFX and of course all around the BER terminal, 3D grass is also very good and plentiful. EDDB - Brandenberg - BER In the SFX layout the BER area is deserted and looks very authentic as a newly built but closed airport... ... the full glass BER terminal is excellent, with great detail and great tinted glass, inside the terminal internals are seen, but there is not much detail like seating or shop fronts. SAM detail and branding is again excellent. Gate B15 has a strange ball display set out over the gate access? Must be a reason? The terminal central and detail is very good, with the set out carparks and parking zones... but set in the BER layout is is still the same situation, with no fill internally with 3D vehicles or any items to say the areas are operational, so in both SFX and BER layouts you get the same emptiness feeling. BER infrastructure is good with custom buildings including the twisted observation tower and stand out BAYER sign, again the further out you go the more it is an object on the ground textures than detail, and the maintenance areas are all a little empty. The Waltersdorf shopping complex is to the south-east of EDDB, and it can be seen on both 25R and 25L approaches, it includes an IKEA and Hoffner stores... well done but no detail in say 3D vehicles renders it all a little bland. The autobahn 113 that crosses the same approaches does add in a lot of activity to the airport. BER Control Tower is well done and the default tower view... nice detail includes external stairs and the complex box construction arrangement. Either side of the tower there are two large aprons, with Apron D the main apron for BER terminal parking, the remote Apron E is to the west and both aprons are used currently for aircraft storage parking... ... far further west is a maintenance area with two large maintenance hangars for (now defunct) Air Berlin and Lufthansa Technik, The Lufthansa Technik doors open courtesy of the SAM plugin. Runway and taxiway textures are good, but not over high quality and detailed, yes the newer BER section may not have any use to date, but the runways have still been out in the weather elements for ten years or so, overall they just all a little too clean.... there is also some runway PBR effects for rain or shine in wet conditions. The darker 07L/25R Asphalt runway is a nice contrast to the newer 07R/25L concrete with the joins well done, there is a some nice island detailing as well. The charts (Navigraph) only cover the Schönefeld EDDB areas of the airfield and approach, departure and stand info, so there is none for operation with the BER area if you are using the BER choice of layout. Overall there is not really a lot of difference by switching between the two sections SFX and BER, and I think this is where to a point the scenery needs more development. The biggest issue is if you use WorldTraffic 3 to make sceneries active... currently there are no custom WT3 ground routes, so you have to generate your own and for each section... in the SFX generation it is really quite good, as it works around the Schönefeld takeoff and landing operations, with a bit of static parking over at BER, the AGRE routes work fine as well with LCC carriers EasyJet and RyanAir as the main players. The BER generation is a bit of a mess.... for one it doesn't generate the arrival ground routes, and the population parking is extremely low. Admittedly there are no AGRE routes for BER, but even with the Auto-Gen it still doesn't work... it makes the airport look empty, at least fully occupied working WT3 aircraft on BER would have made some inroads to making the BER layout work and active, so it fails. Lighting The two separate layouts have two different lighting layouts as well.... with SFX active then runway 07L/25R is active, with 07R/25L and taxiways in darkness. With the BER layout then both runways and taxiways are active. SFX BER SFX Terminals There are two different light sources with SFX being bright white and BER being a yellow shade. Schönefeld is very nicely lit and with some great working areas under the lights, and the terminals look good as well... .... The landside is not too bad as the terminals stand out, but you notice the blank bland carparks which are heightened under the lights. An oddity is that apron 3A is under yellow lighting and not the usual white, so it makes the area in front of Terminal B look darker (above)... BER Terminals The emptiness is heightened under the lights of the empty terminal. No doubt great for an arrival effect of the new airports position in the scenery.... .... The contrast to the whiter interior to the yellowish ramps looks great and effective, but the airport looks and feels empty.... very empty. Two highlights are the nicely lit observation tower and Control Tower detailing, but the missing street lighting is a major head scratcher, even if the street lighting effect is present. Summary When you review sceneries then most fit into a category... totally brilliant, excellent, very good, passable and simply crap. But now and again a few come along that you can't fit into a category, because even though they should fit one, in reality they should be totally in another.... and Aerosoft's/LimeSim Berlin - Brandenburg XP certainly fits that category. So what is causing that confusion? All the elements are all here and correct in this scenery to make it an excellent if outstanding scenery, but it falls far short. The modelling and detail is very good and even in parts even excellent, glass and textures are all very good as well and so is the layout, most of the lighting is also very good as well, SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) intergration is first rate, so where does it all fall apart... on the smaller details. We have to live sometimes with very grainy ground textures because they look good from the air, but if you do use them then on the ground then you have to cover them with detail, and that is what is missing here, all the small stuff. Carparks are awful, not detailed, no security fencing, no road side lighting, no 3D vehicles, no airport landside furniture or clutter were they are required and so the emptiness and I am not talking just about the BER area, but overall is very apparent. Switch to the BER from the SFX and the differences are very small, if not worse where WT3 is concerned, in reality with the airport open or not, then switching over should be a transforming event, but instead it is a dud, and not much different than before. The only difference is that you just get another runway and taxiway system to use and not a full working airport... that is if you can work out how to change the airports over in the first place (it is easy when you know how). So how do you approach this scenery. Currently just use SFX Schönefeld because it is very good, and WT3 works fine. If that was the developers intentions then they have achieved it, but what a waste it is in not using BER... to its full capacity. Overall most niggles here can easily be fixed with an extensive update, but in the immediate period then just some decent custom WT3 routes for the BER section would get you out trouble... overall very good, but it could have been totally brilliant. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Berlin-Brandenburg XP Price Is US$29.99 Features Highly detailed rendition of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport "Willy Brandt" (BER) Includes the older Schönefeld (SXF) airport (north of BER) with the same level of detail Includes two configs to switch between SXF and BER operation Custom animated approach lights (SAM Plugin required) All jetways animated (SAM Plugin required) Numerous dynamic objects like apron vehicles High resolution day and night textures Extensive coverage of over 100 km² with high resolution aerial imagery (0.2-0.4 m/px) Realistic 3D grass and vegetation Ground Layout: End of 2018 Compatible with default AI-Traffic and World Traffic 3 Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimu - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3Gb Current and Review Version : 1.0 (March 5th 2019) Installation Download scenery file size is download 2.91Gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder at a huge 7.29Gb Choice is required on if to use either SFX Schönefeld only (BER is there but not active) or the BER - Brandenburg. Change of the provided nav-data is required for the version you want to use. Limesim - EDDB Berlin Brandenburg Documents One manual with notes in English and German Manual_Airport_Berlin-Brandenburg_XP11_de-en_web.pdf ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 14th March 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : SAM Plugin - Free Scenery or Aircraft ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  6. News! - Scenery Release : Airport Madrid XP by Aerosoft The brand name on the packaging maybe Aerosoft, but this is all a Windsock Productions in a partnership with Sim-Wings, it is noted that this Madrid Barajas International Airport for X-Plane 11 scenery is a conversion of the Sim-Wing's Madrid International for the Prepar3D platform. Sim-wings presents the Airport Madrid with all buildings and service facilities for X-Plane 11. The aerial image covers a total surface of 400 km², and the detailed 3D models and animations bring the scenery to life. Given it's full title... Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport is commonly known as Madrid–Barajas Airport, is the main international airport serving Madrid in Spain. At 3,050 ha (7,500 acres) in area, it is the second-largest airport in Europe by physical size behind Paris–Charles de Gaulle Airport. In 2019, 61.8 million passengers travelled through Madrid–Barajas, making it the country's busiest airport as well as Europe's sixth-busiest. Features: Airport Madrid-Barajas with all buildings and service facilities Aerial image for the airport and its close environment (total of 400 km²) Autogen buildings and vegetation for the entire aerial image area Detailed airport buildings, terminal 4 and terminal 4 satellite with interior equipment Detailed animated jetway models (using SAM plug-in) Detailed ground markings Dynamic lighting Custom Mesh (Ortho4XP patch included) Compatible with default AI Traffic and World Traffic 3 X-Plane has been at a significant loss with no reputable Madrid Barajas Airport to use in the simulator. The Biggest barrier to any developer is the complex web and lattice work design structure of the terminals and associated buildings. So finally that hole can now be filled with this Windsock/Sim-Wings release of LEMD. But to note that this Windsock Madrid scenery is not compatible with Spain UHD, a popular freeware addon. LEMD Madrid Barajas Airport images are all courtesy of Aerosoft __________________ Yes!... Airport Madrid XP by Aerosoft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Madrid XP Price is US$27.99 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB VRAM Video Card - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2 GB Current version: 1.0 (April 20th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 21st April 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  7. News! - Scenery Updated : EDDN Nuremberg XP v1.04 by Aerosoft Branded under the Aerosoft banner is EDDN Nuremberg XP by the German art house 29 Palms. The original release was last year in April 2020, and a great and sensational scenery it is, X-PlaneReviews, review is here: Scenery Review : EDDN - Nuremberg XP by Aerosoft This is a noted update... v1.03 was a dud, so you will need to reload and update both the airport and seasons packs to v1.04. No v1.04 changelog has yet been published, but the issues were related to the SAM Seasons. Current changelogs are noted below; This is actually the second update with one in June last year that covered; Version 1.02 (June 18th 2020) ALS height adjusted Floating sculpture landside fixed Ground layout adjusted Animated vehicles adjusted Set runway lights to correct position DRF helicopter implemented Placed jetway to end of RWY28 This latest update covers; Version 1.03 (March 4th 2021) Updated vegetation and seasons Updated ground traffic plugin Corrected numbers on floodlights Corrected taxiway centerline lighting But both updates together they are highly recommended to keep the airport current, not only to real world standards, but for the X-Plane Simulator as well. Note the updated optional SAM seasons package is a separate download (3.4Gb). New spring flower grass is very nice... Pole numbering is now also correct. To current purchasers you can now update, just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download v1.04 of both the Scenery and the updated SAM_Seasons. Great scenery and well worth the investment, get it now! _____________________________________ Yes! EDDN - Nuremberg XP v1.04 by Aerosoft is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EDDN - Nuremberg XP Price is US$22.00 Features: Highly realistic rendition of Nuremberg Airport based on most recent geodata 55 km² satellite imagery coverage with resolution up to 20cm/px including all seasons Highly detailed buildings with internal modelling of the terminal and Hangar 2 PBR ground and marking textures Athmospheric HDR night lighting Animated Jetways (SAM2 Plugin required) Custom seasonal textures (SAM2 Plugin required) Snow and rain effects Animated FAI gate (SAM2 Plugin required) Custom Runway lights automatically switched on in low visibility Detailed airport lighting including REILs, Running Rabbits and HDR Lighting Custom vehicle animations on the apron Animated tower radar (SAM2 Plugin required) Static aircraft with proper liveries and registrations XPlane conform export of all scenery elements using the latest techniques _________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 12th March 2021 Copyright©2021 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  8. News! - Scenery Release : Airport Split XP by Aerosoft Although branded Aerosoft, this is a new scenery from Stairport Sceneries and PadLabs, in another convert of a ESP Product for X-Plane, this release is LDSP Split Airport, in Croatia. Split Airport is also known as Resnik Airport, it is the international airport serving the city of Split, Croatia. It is located 19 km (12 mi) from Split, on the west side of Kaštela Bay, in the town of Kaštela, and extending into the adjacent town of Trogir. In 2019, the airport was the second busiest airport in Croatia after Zagreb Airport handling 3.3 million passengers. It is a major destination for leisure flights during the European summer holiday season and an important focus city for Croatia Airlines that offers flights to European cities such as Frankfurt, London and Paris. Features: Airport Split (LDSP), "Resnik seaport Croatia" (LDSR) and the military base "Divulje" (LDHD) with its helipad airport New terminal building and parking (based on 2020) Photo realistic textures Realistic rendering of the buildings and objects on the complete airport HD ground textures including PBR Custom HDR night lighting Custom static aircrafts Custom approach lighting Animated jetways/marshaller (SAM plugin required) Custom service vehicles (SAM AirportVehicles required) Seasonal textures (SAM plugin required) Custom runway slope and mesh (Ortho4XP patch included) Compatible with default AI Traffic and World Traffic 3 At US$17.99 this scenery is great value, SAM Support as well! Images courtesy of Aerosoft _________________________ Yes! Airport Split XP by Aerosoft is Now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Split XP by Aerosoft Price is US$17.99 Required: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3.3 GB Current Version: 1.0 (February 18th 2021) ____________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 19th February 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  9. News! - Updated : Tromso XP v1.3 by Aerosoft Aerosoft have updated to Version 1.3, the largest airport in Northern Norway in Tromsø Airport Langnes. Created by Jo Erlend Sund and Stairport Sceneries the scenery depicts an extremely detailed recreation of Tromsø Airport on the island Tromsøya as well as its surroundings. The changelog is extremely short, with only three changes, but still extremely important to keep the airport current and to fix a couple of X-Plane11.50 related issues. Version 1.3 (February 11th 2021) Updated GroundTraffic plugin Renamed runway 01/19 to 18/36 Fixed runway displacement Is you already currently own Aerosoft's Tromso XP, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and download the new updated version for free. _________________________ Yes! Tromso XP by Aerosoft is Now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Tromso XP by Aerosoft Price is US$19.99 Features: Highly detailed representation of Tromsø Airport (ICAO: ENTC, IATA: TOS) High-resolution ground image for the airport boundary Large photo scenery coverage of the surrounding area (121 km² / 50cm/pixel) Animated Jetways (AutoGate plug-in required) Several custom buildings covering the surrounding area Highly detailed building textures with baked shadows Realistic night time effects and custom XPlane lightning Highly detailed terminal interior Custom static aircraft included 3D grass implemented World Traffic 3 compatible (custom files included) Required: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1Gb Current version: Version 1.3 (February 11th 2021) ____________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 13th February 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  10. Aircraft Review : Aerosoft ATR 72-500 If not anything else the Aerosoft-McPhat Studios ATR-500 has been controversial. The release deadline was moved back more and more until the aircraft was finally released early in December 2012. Then it really divided the users into those who really liked it and those who just didn’t like it at all. Even I was disappointed by the amount of issues that it was released with and many of them were just minor. The extremely large file size and as some perceived the high price in that the aircraft is known as a systems “lite” machine in the fact that many of the aircraft’s in-depth systems including parts of the hydraulics and electrical, Air-Con and others are just blanked out and not accessible to the user. The idea of a “lite” version was to capture a market that didn’t want to spend 10-20 minutes in just getting the aircraft ready to fly. To also spend two weeks with your head in a manual to work out how to turn off a single light on the overhead panel that was bleeding air off from the engines. This sort of in-depth simulation is what aircraft simulation is really all about - but sometimes you just want to start the engines and go. The the point of the ATR-500 was in just doing that with some very nice visual aspects to help the cause along. Now almost 8 months later after the release the first upgrade in Version 1.10 is here and how does it all shape up after a period of time in our hangars. Regional aircraft are the most interesting aircraft you can use in simulation. With that aspect they sell very well and are used a lot by users, because one they are great as the distances are usually very short in around a 200-500nm radius. That is really just a morning or afternoon in flying time. If you want some more extended flying you can then rope in together two or three sectors and do a service loop around a country or an area, or just simply fly back to your original departure point after a brief turnaround. This gives you a satisfying experience that won’t keep you up all night in having to land 6000nm away in Singapore or the Far East. The ATR 72 was developed from the ATR 42 regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR (Now Airbus (EADS)) in order to increase the seating capacity from 48 to 78 passengers by stretching the fuselage by 4.5 metres (15 ft), increasing the wingspan, adding more powerful engines and increasing the fuel capacity by approximately 10 percent. The 72 was announced in 1986, and the aircraft made its maiden flight on 27 October 1988. And only one year later on 27 October 1989 Finnair then became the first airline to put the aircraft into service. Since then at least 611 ATR 72s have been delivered worldwide with orders pending on at least 28 more. Cruise speed: 511 km/h; 318 mph (276 kn) : Range: 1,324 km (823 mi; 715 nmi) : Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft) : Takeoff Run at MTOW: 1,165 m (3,822 ft) Installation Aerosoft use an install system to place the aircraft into your “aircraft” folder. The (v1.10) download is huge at 1.80gb and is expanded out to 3.14gb on installation. The installer requires a registration number and will only install the aircraft in the “Heavy Metal” folder, which slightly annoys me in the fact I have a separate “regional Aircraft” folder that I would usually use for this category of aircraft. There are two manuals - One the main “manual” “In (English and German) and one for “Procedures”. Aircraft Textures McPhat Studios in Holland are one of the great simulation studios in the business. Their quality in texture design is one of the best regarded all round, but until the ATR their work was only available in FSX land. And a high quality this aircraft is. The detailing on the liveries are really second to none... the detail in close-up is simply amazingly good. But it does come at a cost in downloading these huge 80mb files and they take a long time to create. They are also highly shiny? This is a debatable issue. Are aircraft this shiny? Most Aircraft I have flown on are quite a semi-gloss unless they have just come out of the paint shop... But here it can be hard to sometimes get a clear image because the shininess wipes out bright white on most of the lines of the aircraft. So am I a fan? no not really, but that does not takeaway the quality of these 12 excellent liveries and the default livery of which is the TRIP... These complex livery files are split into almost every panel or item on the aircraft to achieve this sort of depth of detail. Because the aircraft itself is quite light in frame-rate it can carry these heavy files without sending your computer into meltdown and that is part of the tradeoff. You can open the large front baggage door and the rear passenger door by using the F1 and F2 keys. A few bags in the front baggage area would be a great addition as the area is very empty. Internal detailing is just as good, if not one of the best cabins I have seen in this scale of aircraft. The graphic text detail is a little blurry at a low texture setting but otherwise it is excellent - and the whole cabin is even better at night. In the Cockpit The first view of the cockpit is of a high quality in depth and colour... But you need to look closer. First off is that there are two cockpit colours in Blue and Brown. These different setups can change with a selection of a different livery. You can note the slight colour seep of blue on the brown panel when it gets slightly darker. but otherwise they both look great. At one look the quality is outstanding with amazing quality and detail and the standout areas are the black textures around the main instruments, central engine dials and the gear lever. The whole panel of light reflections are simply excellent as the glass is in parts almost fully reflective of light. The Autopilot and Radio (COMM and NAV) frequency panel is first rate in set up and usage, and I really like the heading large and small degree adjustment feature. The centre pedestal is also a great work of art in design and function. Levers are excellent in operation and feel, and the MAP (zoom), NAV1/Nav2/FMS selection knobs are slightly twiddly but very clacky in operation and you soon get used to using them. FMS panel is standard X-Plane with default layout and the same default but in this case separate correct COMM/ADF/TRANSponder instruments. One feature I really like is the window blinds and shades, pull up or move down they are great while cruising high with the light on the wrong side of your face. I use them effectively all the time. One issue is the difference in texture quality with the render settings. Set the “texture” setting on “high” in the render settings menu and although many of the main dials are perfectly fine, many however are very blurry and mostly so is the label text on the side panel knobs .. If the texture setting is on “Very High” the problem mostly goes away. You can still see the differences between the two types of textures but now they are more aligned. In version 1.00 these textures were even worse and McPhat have totally redone in v1.10 the textures to be better and use less memory, of which now differences are now much closer. But they are still slightly noticeable if looking at detail and if you can’t run the “very high” setting, then even more so. On the OHP (Overhead Panel) there is not a lot of functionality, Lights and and some Electrical/Hydraulics/Pneumatics and the vital ice and rain protection items work and so the knobs and switches required to start the engines... But the rest is mostly just for show. In three areas the needles on the dials are missing altogether, but my feeling is that they will be made to correctly work in a future version. The altimeter on the main panel only clicks down to the last four digits at 3000ft... before that it still shows 14000ft for 1400ft? My biggest annoyance is the wipers. The switches are there and so are the beautifully rendered items on the windscreen... but they don’t have any animation?... Nothing is better in a regional aircraft than battling down to a runway with a rainstorm in your vision. But with no wipers flapping in your face it sorts of ruins the whole experience. Another small irritant is there are two 1px wide lines on the otherwise excellent propellers. They rotate in your view and if you like to do the view from the passengers perspective in the cabin then they are all you see outside of the window... It is noted the lines were fixed for v1.10, but they are still there? Engine smoke is above the wing and not below by the exhausts. The flap and undercarriage animation is excellent and well created as is the lighting at night. The standard Strobe, Nav and Beacon lighting are all well done. The aircraft has two landing lights under the fuselage and the lighting from the cabin from the outside view is very realistic. Most of the outside lighting has had a lot of attention in the v1.10 upgrade, the main landing lights, the taxi light now works and the lighting does not show through the cabin (floor) anymore (except for the taxi light). The main panel looks gorgeous at night and a place you want to be and so is the well rendered OHP. HDR on or off does not make that much difference. Flying The ATR 72-500 At first count I didn’t know what I really felt about the ATR72, mainly because I couldn’t read all the graphics in the cockpit. But I have had this aircraft for 8 months now and the upgrade has helped to fix many of the small issues. In simulation what is the main value when buying an aircraft. It is in the amont of time you use the aircraft. You could spend US$50 on an aircraft and fly it only a few times and no matter how well created it is, you have to ask yourself if that was good value? With the ATR I found myself flying it almost every week in one form or another. The biggest draw-card was it is an interesting aircraft dynamically to fly. It challenges you to fly it really well and hit the numbers on the money. Jack’s Dash Q400 from FlyJSim is the same and it is not a coincidence that both of these aircraft are direct competitors in the market place. It may be systems “lite” but you still get a very big reward in flying the ATR. Speeds are crucial to every point of the flight from takeoff to landing. There is a “power management” system that adjusts the engine power for a certain segment of the flight from MCT, TO, CLB and CRZ. but be wary in the fact it could bury your power if not used in the right segment as in some cases you need the speed momentum to set the correct power. Leaving the runway requires you to use the power wisely. The ATR is in a way like a big GA and so you have to gain height slowly and it takes time to get to 15,000ft which would be around your average cruise altitude. On a longer sector 20,000ft would be your aim. You are very conscious of the wing. It is a strange beast in its function and so the extension of flaps can make the wing do different things in the way the aircraft will balance on the pivot of the wing behind you. It creates a very small speed zone to work in as well around 120knts to 115knts under full flap, too much power and your nose is going to angle (very severely) down very awkwardly, set the power too light and your nose is soon at a strange stall position, no doubt this aircraft has a very small slow speed window in which to set your flaps, but when you get there then the balance between flying and stalling is very small. The balance is the skill you are willing to give the aircraft. Under the throttle for landing you are very conscious of the speed in that small zone. Using the ILS can give you a false sense of security in that you can easily adjust the nose angle by the slightest of speed adjustments, but coming out of the ILS you can find yourself either going to fast (usually) or going to slow and both actions will give the aircraft a major bounce on the runway. Coming in too fast is usually always the safe side of the equation... But too fast is still to fast. You don’t have any airbrakes and so the reverse pitch is the only means of slowing the speed once on the hard stuff and sometimes the landing is like hitting the deck on an aircraft carrier... Your job is to avoid that sort of flying and try to make it more like a nice smooth touch and reverse thrust approach. Duplicate that by three or four landings and takeoff’s a day and you are in the zone. The reward is in getting it all right every time. And that is the attraction. The pull. The ”I really want to give that run another go” thought. So with every spare few hours that you have you “do have another go” and that is the constant and always repeatable use of the aircraft because... It is challenging and it challenges you hard to fly it really well. Conclusions The ATR72-500 from Aerosoft/McPhat is if anything a “Tour-de-Force”. On one side the graphics and detailing is totally outstanding... but in other areas of simple items and a few extra features still persist that could be quickly fixed with an (no livery) update. It is an almost there aircraft. Most aircraft released over the last year and some noticeably from JARdesign and FlightFactor have had regular updates and extra features that tweek their product into perfect shape. If only the ATR could have that same lavish attention. It is again an aircraft that will certainly divide the punters. But after using the ATR72 for a period since its release I will note it is an aircraft that really gets under your skin, It challenges your skills and it keeps you interested month after month in various ways to get you to keep on coming back and wanting to fly another sector, try another route... It is so addictive in that only and if a few other aircraft have held my attention for these sort of long periods. And with that it comes back to value... If you use aircraft as much as I have flown this aircraft then the value is in there and in a way it starts to deliver on the original promise now with the update (1.10) and with more liveries added in to the package. In the end in context. Even with some compromises with systems and a couple of slight issues that I really try to ignore - The ATR72-500 is with out doubt one of my favorite aircraft that I use constantly and relish in testing my skills and just enjoy flying. And in the end that is what good simulation is all about. The Aerosoft ATR72-500 (ver1.10) is available now from the X-Plane.org Store : Aerosoft ATR72-500 Price is US$32.05 This Aircraft is only available for X-Plane10 Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/7 (updated), Linux, Mac CPU: 2,6 GHz (Duo / Quad core recommended) Memory : 2 GB RAM Review By Stephen Dutton Note: I listed four other liveries available for the ATR72-500 by Elanport here : Developer Site : McPhat Studios Ver 1.10 list of changes - Landing lights illuminate brighter. - Landing lights don’t illuminate the Cockpit any longer. - Taxi light works and steers with wheel. - Cockpit textures are brighter and better readable. - Strobe lights now illuminate objects (plane, runway etc). - Camera movement is limited inside the cockpit, so you can no longer go through the walls. - Engine start works as described in the manual for X-Plane 10. - Fixed prop animation. - 5 new UHDT repaints: Air Nostrum, Azul, CSA, Flybe Nordic, CSA Skyteam - Added wing registration to the existing and new liveries. - Fixed Air Austral registration on fuselage. 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 MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
  11. Scenery Review : LICR - Reggio Calabria XP by Aerosoft I really like Italian Airports, they are colourful and quirky and you know you are landing in Italy and nowhere else on the planet. So any Italian Airport is welcome, even with the odd regional destination. This is Reggio Calabria which is situated on the toe of Italy and fronting the Strait of Messina and across from the island of Sicily, the Reggio di Calabria "Tito Minniti" Airport is named after Italian Royal Air Force war-hero Tito Minniti, who was born in Reggio Calabria, but LICR is also called Aeroporto dello Stretto (Airport of the Strait). First view of Reggio Calabria is highly impressive, not only for the position, but for the excellent views across the Strait of Messina (note make sure you have your reflections settings on). There are two runways 15/33 - 2,000m (6,549ft) Asphalt and 11/29 - 1,700m (5,574ft) Asphalt, but they look closed by the X on the approach to each runway, but no they are actually open for use and 15/33 is the main runway for the terminal use, and 11/29 for General Aviation movements Reggio di Calabria Airport Aeroporto di Reggio di Calabria IATA: REG - ICAO: LICR 15/33 - 2,000m (6,549ft) Asphalt 11/29 - 1,700m (5,574ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL- 29.26 m / 95.99 ft The main apron has nine parking stands (walk-on/walk-off) numbered 1 to 9. So there are no airbridges at LICR. Obviously the scenery is a crossover from FSX/P3D, as the modeling and texture design is noticeably quite dated... It shouldn't work, but the detailing and excellent gradients surrounding the terminal lift the scenery into a nice visual reproduction. Fauna is excellent and the detailing hides (covers) a lot of the older elements... oddly both the well done Airside with local branded clutter and the landside is very well done including the crane. Control Tower area has also nice Fire Station set to the south. The Control Tower lifts the scenery in quality, but again don't expect too much if you look really closely, the tower view is set totally off and buried somewhere in the north apron... the Fire Station is really good in detail and comes with four installed fire engines. There is a smaller field tower across the runways, but it is not denoted as the active tower. It is a more modern design and well done. Northwest of the main apron is the General Aviation area with a terminal and two parking aprons. There is parking for four aircraft (only 10 to 12 stands are noted) of which I would guess would be regional and tour operator services, and a smaller apron with parking for five aircraft (Stands 13 to 17). Set between the aprons is a very well done ground equipment storage area and fuel depot... ... the General Aviation terminal is very basic (flat textures) but works if you don't look too closely for details. Environs One notable feature of the scenery is the full representation of Reggio Calabria, and it is all very good for VFR flying, also highly notable is the seemless intergration of the whole scenery into the X-Plane mesh, it is all very well done and very fluid. All buildings are very Italianate is design and very if highly realistic, but there are no churches to be seen, there are always churches in Italy? I am also using the (ShortFinal) SFD Global autogen in this review, and the Italian reference works in SFD blends in very well here, and so does the standard X-Plane industrial urban autogen to give the whole area a perfect coverage... the Reggio Calabria Football (Soccer) "Stadio Granillo" stadium is also well represented. There is also a beachside tourist area opposite the airport that is also recreated and there are a few boats bobbing up and down in the swell as well. Ground Textures The asphalt and concrete textures are good, not brilliant but more than passable, wear and tear detail is good in the linage, but overall they are say workmanlike. metal drainage grids joining the surfaces are well done... ... and there is 3d grass with overall only minimal coverage but enough grass to make it realistic. Hard straight texture edges are very easy to do, but not very realistic? There is burnt-in ambient occlusion on the textures, but you have to get very extreme lighting to get them to reflect, PBR reflective is in there (mostly in the lineage) but overall the PBR work feels a little dull. Lighting Overall the lighting is good, but there a few very disconcerting missing and old fashioned areas. Approach lighting is very good on RWY 15/33 but there is no lighting in either approach or any runway lighting on RWY 11/29... ... RWY 15/33 has centreline lighting but no runway boundary lighting? worse is that there is no taxiway side guidance lights and even the navigation displays are in darkness.. but only lit from below? so movements on the ground at night are quite a nightmare in finding the taxiway exits or the edges of the runways, and you have to turn around here at each end to takeoff or when landed? Apron lighting and Landside lighting is very good, great tones and contrast. Terminal and Tower lit textures are very dated and old fashioned... .... another dated aspect is the burnt in ground texture bright spots, and it is horrible stuff to look at.... ... Football Stadium looks good at night, and once the burnt in lighting textures cease and it returns to X-Plane ortho textures and the lighting it is not bad. Overall the lighting is old fashioned.... with very good X-Plane bits. The view of Sicily is however breathtaking! __________________ Summary Reggio Calabria is situated on the toe of Italy and fronting the Strait of Messina is the place for the latest release of an Italian Airport from Aerosoft. Obviously this is an Aerosoft conversion of the same FSX/P3D version of the LICR scenery and in many areas it shows to be quite dated. This is in the modeling and the textures and in a lot of the areas of the lighting. That noted it is quite an attractive scenery to use and visit, the surrounding Strait of Messina and Sicily is quite picturesque and the quantity and even the quality of the detail provided including some nice gradient work fills in and even hides the worse of the aging scenery, add in a huge amount of environ city buildings and infrastructure and somehow the whole scenery works in a respectable way. Ground textures are passable and there is some nice 3d grass and the aprons and signage are all quite well done, clutter is local branded and Airside and Landside areas are also well covered. Night textures are obviously old, but worse is the missing runway boundary lights, taxiway lights and missing navigation lighting, ageist burnt in night texture lighting is awful. My first reaction to Aerosoft's Reggio Calabria scenery was it looked impressive and in many areas it still does look very good, but on closer examination does show the age of the original scenery... a worthy buy, to a point oddly yes, as Reggio Calabria is a lovely place to visit and would fit in well with your Italian regional routes, it does look good and great to fly into and out of... so would I use LICR, certainly yes and so that is a recommendation _____________________________________ Yes! LICR - Reggio Calabria XP by Aerosoft is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Reggio Calabria XP Price is US$24.95 Features: PBR Ground Poly Accurate approach lighting system with animated rabbit lights Custom Terrain mesh Surrounding cityscape with customized autogen Airport buildings with latest layout done in PBR 3D cars Custom trees and 3D grass Fully reproduced LICR aeroclub Major buildings around airport reproduced in 3D 3D approach custom lights 3D elevated parking lot 3D apron vehicles with animation Main city buildings such as “Stadio Granillo” WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 850 MB Current and Review version: 1.0 (August 12th 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is 806Mb with the full installation of two folders is installed in order in your custom scenery folder. 01_Aerosoft - LICR RC1.2 02_Aerosoft - LICR Mesh Total scenery installation is 2.43Gb Documents One manual in English with notes (8 pages) but no charts Manual_ReggioCalabria.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 15th August 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and tested in v11.50b17 (really good!) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 - SFD Global autogen US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - Default Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Research
  12. Scenery Review : FALE - Durban XP by Aerosoft/FSDG Only a month after their last crossover conversion scenery of HKJK Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta", then FSGD - FlightSim Development Group through Aerosoft have now released for X-Plane11 Durban XP or to give it it's full name "King Shaka International Airport Durban". This Durban scenery is also the third scenery released for Africa after GMMN - Casablanca and HKJK Nairobi, of which I am finding that they are all workmanlike sceneries, but certainly not average either. They are however also in bringing the African continent alive, so these sceneries are very interesting in that important aspect. Starting the review I thought I would just "Hop" on down from FSDG's last scenery in Nairobi, but on checking out the route I found that the simple "hop" was actually 1800nm or around 4h 30m flying time, so that shows the massive size of the African continent, it is doable obviously and I will fly that route, but in reality we need to get on and take a look at King Shaka International Airport. King Shaka International Airport abbreviated KSIA (Shaka was the leader of the Zulu nation in the early 19th century), is the primary airport serving Durban, South Africa. Located in La Mercy, KwaZulu-Natal, approximately 35 km (22 mi) north of the city centre of Durban, it opened its doors to passengers on 1 May 2010, just over a month before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It replaced Durban International Airport (ICAO: FADN) and uses the same IATA airport code. So the airport KSIA is very new in a clear field design. King Shaka International Airport IATA: DUR - ICAO: FALE 06/24 - 3,700m (12,139ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL93 m / 304 ft Being modern and a fresh field layout then FALE looks clean and open. The first viewing is actually quite surprising on how good this scenery actually is, as it looks and feels very nice. Intergration into the X-Plane default textures is very good, except for a few areas as we will note later, but the overall approach feel is excellent. The King Shaka single large main Terminal is quite impressive, detail is very, very good with excellent quality modeling. Exterior shapes and window blind/shade detail is really good, glass is not bad either, not the very best but very realistic with nice reflections. Reflection detail is also very nice in the roofing quality, yes modern materials are easier to reproduce, but realism is not... but that is not case here as it looks very good and real world. Parking stands A5 to A16 and C3 - C6 all have the SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) active airbridges. A1 to A4 and C1,C2, C3 and C5 are all walkon/off stands. Zones are Alpha Apron A, Bravo remote Stands B1 to B9 and Charlie Apron C1 to C6. The airbridge design is really well done here, lovely shape and the glass work brings out the best of SAM plugin, that they work as well is a real bonus, and there are VDGS guidance signs on the Terminal at each gate. Ground clutter is very good and Swissaport/SkyChefs branded, and there are a few South African buses buzzing around as well like at Nairobi. I found the v11.50 version didn't work with the traffic plugin, I have the updated Vulkan plugin version and it fixed about half of the animations, but they crashed into each other and stopped and started, so the traffic is good, but currently not working correctly? Landside The other two GMMN and HKJK sceneries were let down by their poor landside detail. Here at FALE is is far better in that aspect and more detailed and that gives it a far more visual realism... ... again the terminal detail and construction webbing is really good and the animated vehicles give it all a bit of activity as well... The carpark is just a photo on one side but there is high detail on the other, Advertising and signage is very good and detailed, but the landside is not perfect as the arrival area is still a bit ortho-photo flat, but overall it is far better than their earlier African sceneries. Infrastructure Overall FALE is a compact airport, so the infrastructure is quite small and separated into two zones. The areas around the Terminal have mostly under cover carparking and a Hotel in the 29º South, which is very good and noticeable from the air as it is set out a distance from the airport. The Phase 3 section being now built is included in the scenery as finished, this area has two remote parking zones E - Echo E1 to E14 stands and F - Foxtrot F1 to F12 stands and the recreation is very well done, and fills in the former separated empty area between the terminal and cargo sections. Cargo The Cargo facility is part of the Dube TradePort's TradeZone Precinct, and has a initial size of 15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft) and the initial capacity for 150,000 metric tons (165,000 short tons) of cargo per year. Long-term expansion could see the cargo terminal expand to a size of 100,000 m2 (1,100,000 sq ft) and the capacity for 1,000,000 metric tons of cargo per year. Notable is the connection from the cargo receiving terminal to the secondary cargo facility. This is Apron D or Delta with D1 to D6 Parking bays, Detail is very good and for the long cargo hauler a great destination to aim for. The Field Control Tower is position directly behind the Cargo apron, the tower is not overly modeled or textured, but it is good in context, aerial detail is also helped by the very good mobile cell installation... .... tower view is good but set a bit low to the roof of the tower, so there are a few few obstructions in the viewpoint, overall it is fine on both approaches. To the northeast behind the cargo zone is more of the Dube TradePort's TradeZone Precinct. FSDG did a good industrial park area in the GMMN scenery and this is even better... Highly detailed with excellent business branding like Shreeprop, PranPark, Schenker and the whole area works really fine, it even includes animated trucks revolving around the estate. The same area adjoining the main A Taxiway is the Fire Station by the cargo area and at the other end is the E -Echo apron for General Aviation parking, but it is a bit bland in detail. Ground Textures The ground textures are very good, but like most of FSDG's work not that ultra ribbing detail we expect now, but the textures are hare very good with PBR reflective (wet) and burnt-in ambient occlusion and all is done here far better that the GMMN and HKJK surfaces. Again no 3d grass also adds in to the blandness of THE acres of Lo-Res textures that needed to have been broken up, in one airport that needs 3d grass it is here again at Durban, it is amazing how much difference a simple thing like no grass can make to a scenery? Lighting The lighting at FALE is excellent, to really, really good. Approach lighting, runway and yes even in darkest Africa there is taxiway centre guidance lights! But there is an important note to make. On the final approach to Rwy 24 there is the "Tongaat Toll Booth" noted on the N2 Tollway (arrowed), the red and white lights of the Toll Booth have been known to confuse pilots with the runways PAPI lights and created some confusion on the approach... ... the Toll Booth is not modeled here, and the so called lights are missing, but that is also taking away a big local effect of the arrival into FALE, how hard can it be not to model that effect? On a brighter note the whole of the section of the N2 Tollway is nicely lit and adds in well to the scenery. Main terminal and apron areas are really good... Apron lighting is brighter in tone than Nairobi and even better and I liked the HKJK lighting a lot, but it is nice to work down here, however a few areas could do with some secondary fill lighting. Landside is really, really good (those words again!) The Terminal lighting as a sort of Heathrow Terminal 5 feel about it, it looks lovely in the right lighting conditions, the night glass textures could be a little bit brighter to be perfect (as a side note I hit the photoshop and increased the main terminal lit a few points higher, I think it is now about right.. below) but they are still overall very good. The lighting variation is excellent with the Landside in contrast to the Airside, and again it feels just about right. Dube TradePort's TradeZone area is also very good, with nice street lighting and a few dropdown set lights... ... the only blight on the copybook is that the signage on the front of the Cargo Terminal and the 29º hotel is unlit, and you really miss both items even though they are quite small? Taxiway navigation signage are excellent and reflective, this aspect always adds in nicely to the experience when arriving or departing an airport. ---------------------- Summary It seems that with every release from FSGD - FlightSim Development Group (distributed by Aerosoft) that their crossover conversion scenery goes up a notch. This is their third scenery for X-Plane in Durban FALE in South Africa and it is their best scenery yet in every department. Africa is has always been a low point for quality X-Plane scenery, but FSDG has been releasing to date three sceneries with Casablanca, then Nairobi and now Durban it at least give you some very interesting and quality destinations within the African continent. Durban is also part of the key airports for domestic services throughout South Africa, serving the "Golden Triangle" between Cape Town International Airport, O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg... FSDG does have a FlightSim version of FACT in Cape Town, but no Johannesburg, but that is better than nothing if it is released. Instantly I saw a very good scenery here from FSDG, as noted everything has sort of gone up a notch in the excellent modeling, quality of the textures, lighting is really, really good and so is the intergration of the SAM airbridges which are excellent as well, the layout also includes the new stage 3 remote parking stands of Echo and Foxtrot areas and the Cargo, northwestern infrastructure is also very well filled out, there is not a lot to discredit here because it is very good, even the usual FSDG Landside weakness is covered here. There are a few wobbles, in the main terminal lighting textures are too slightly dark, and the missing signage lighting is missing like the important Toll gates and the traffic animations don't work correctly (in "yes I know it is a beta" v11.50) and the visual aspect of no 3d grass, but otherwise FALE is a really good solid scenery. It is rare for a crossover from FlightSim scenery developer to improve on every scenery, mainly because they are just replicating the old to the new, but to understand the dynamics and improve to match the new platform has to be admired, obviously it is not an X-Plane developer, but this is really good X-Plane scenery... kudos to FSDG.... Recommended! _____________________________________ Yes! FALE - Durban XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG - Durban XP Price is US$22.99 Features: Extremely realistic rendition of King Shaka International Airport, Durban, South Africa, and surroundings Realistic shadow and light rendition Animated ground traffic Future Foxtrot apron and extended Bravo taxiway already included Includes Dube Tradeport PBR ground and dynamic lighting Optimized for great performance and visual results Animated jetways (SAM plugin required) Compatible with all known add-ons including ortho4XP Manual included WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download-Size Windows: 600 MB Download-Size Mac: 1.6 GB Current and Review version: 1.0 (July 31st 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is with the full installation of three folders is installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip FSDG-Durban_XP_1 FSDG-Durban_XP_2 FSDG-Durban_XP_3 Total scenery installation is 1.26Gb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts Manual_FSDG-Durban_XP.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 6th August 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and tested in v11.50b17 (really good!) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - Default Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Research
  13. Scenery Review : HKJK - Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta" International Airport by FSDG/Aerosoft Africa is like Australia in that you can fly for over four hours and not see anything, so after the constant buzz and cosmopolitan feel of Europe it all feels a bit empty and even flat as you grind your way towards the horizon. So in reality in the simulator is a sort of barrier to places that are far more remote out of the safety of the friendly two hour flying circle. Personally I love the emptiness as I would living in Australia, as you feel you are going somewhere different and interesting, and I can keep myself interested in many ways anyway of working my way through the hourly fuel burn figures and FIR regions. Flying time is 6h 43min over a distance of 3006 nm, but I was late departing LIRF-Rome for HKJK-Nairobi because the JARDesign A330 wouldn't load correctly, partly my fault in not flying the A330 for a long time, but also because a few bugs I had to workaround. The later 12-noon departure now meant I would now arrive at NBO-Nairobo in the dark and an hour and half late, and not at my planned twilight arrival time... This is the second Africa scenery by FSDG under the Aerosoft banner after their earlier GMMN - Casablanca back in late April. I did like GMMN overall, but I noted it as "workmanlike" as it all felt a bit production line with not a lot of finnese, but it was good to get a scenery in a different local than the usual US/European centric. HKJK - Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta" International Airport In earlier X-Plane one of the key bland aspects was that the autogen out here in Africa was not very good, so most areas even when populated were shown as empty spaces around the airport. Views of autogen like this around Jomo Kenyatta Airport is now a saviour and welcome here even if the autogen is a bit unAfrican... .... and the sharp zig-zag tree line both sides of NBO looks like a developer lazyness idea, but it is actually really shaped like that on Google Maps. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Uwanja wa ndege wa Kimataifa wa Jomo Kenyatta IATA: NBO - ICAO: HKJK - WMO: 63740 06/24 - 4,200m (13,507ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL: 1,624 m / 5,330 ft Only one runway at HKJK, but it is a very long one at 4,200m and 13,507ft, and to note that very high elevation, so you have to be aware of your landing altitude. Main terminal is circular like an African Apple Spaceship design... Thankfully FSDG have made a better fist of covering up the photo images in the centre of the terminal landside zone and but it is still Lo-Res, but still far more passable than the awful Casablanca landside scenery. There are two terminals. Terminal 1 which is arranged in a semi-circular orientation and is divided into four parts: 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1E are used for international arrivals and departures while terminal 1D is used for domestic departures and arrivals. Terminal 2 is used only by low cost carriers. Parking stands 4 -21 all have SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) active airbridges. 2A-2C/3A-3C T3D are all walkon/off stands. Outer circle remote stands cover J1-J9 and H1-H10. Terminal 2 is used by low cost carriers is separated on a smaller (M) apron with six M1-M6 walkon/off stands (below). This is a prefabricated terminal which opened in April 2015 and has a capacity of 2.5M passengers and was required to take the pressure off the main terminal building. This FSDG Nairobi scenery is a crossover from FSX, so in areas it it is dated, and just spruced up a little for X-Plane, and that aspect is evident in the modeling and certainly with the textures. Airside close up it is well done and it overall does have a lot of variety and detail in the modeling. In the main yellow sectioned Terminal 1A the FSX elements are highly noticeable, they look slightly aged and the windows have a flat bland look about them, it works though but only just, but you seriously notice the missing HDR feel and realism. And a lot of the design is like this, as they don't hit the mark either in matching to the photo-based textures... Clutter is mostly Swissaport branded, but a lot of the ramp vehicles are local and custom made. Traffic animations are very good, with a lot of movement and lovely rundown African buses doing the remote ramp transfers. Between large spaceship T1 and the Lo-Cost T2 is the nice Kenya Airways administration building and a very nice Control Tower... .... both are well done especially the Control Tower, but the Tower View is set deep into the T1 Terminal and is practically useless. Cargo and Airport Infrastructure Apron Two southwest is the large Cargo facility that hosts Emirates SkyCargo, Kenya Cargo and Tradewinds Logistics and all are represented. Nine cargo parking slots F1-F9 are available on Apron 2 and note the large and very visible Fuel Depot on the southwest boundary of the airport. Again like FSDG's Casablanca scenery the airport support infrastructure again to a point saves the whole scenery... situated behind the cargo zone and part of the road approach to the airport there are a lot of infrastructure buildings and administration buildings.... that covers a fairly large area. Kenya Airports Authority head office and hotel chains Sheraton/Four Flags and the Crowne Plaza are all well represented as are a lot of factories and warehousing... overall the area is a great backdrop to the airport and for the realistic departure and arrival views. Embakasi Airport (now JKIA) On Sunday 9 March 1958, Embakasi Airport (now JKIA) was opened by the last colonial governor of Kenya. This facility is situated directly across the 06/24 runway and was the forerunner of what is now currently Nairobi Airport, the further expansion of the airport to it's current layout including a new international and domestic passenger terminal building that also included the airport's first dedicated cargo and freight terminal, new taxiways and the associated aprons which were all completed in 1972. Situated here is the original Nairobi terminal, but now the area is used by the Kenya(n) Air Force and is sometimes referred to as the Old Embakasi Airport, in the scenery it seems to set out more as an aircraft storage parking area, with loads of nice static Kenyian KQ B747s, B737s and even a few ATRs. Kenya Airways have two main maintenance hangars and a third large open hanger, all are Boeing 737 size hangars which are well represented with again some nice static KQ B737 models. Ground Textures Casablanca did have nice reflective (wet) ground textures, but I don't think the HDR process has been used here at HKJK... as they look a little too ordinary. Edge and taxi lines look newly painted and don't feel very worn or realistic, at all so overall the ground textures are no better than the default X-Plane textures... No 3d grass also adds in to the blandness of acres of Lo-Res textures that needed to have been broken up, in one airport that needs 3d grass it is Nairobi. Apron and taxiways are again just passable, it works but that word always keeps on coming to mind "Workmanlike". Lighting 6h 41min after I hit the timer clock on throttles up back at Rome, I am now approaching HKJKs Rwy 06, first signs are good as the approach lighting is bright and sharp, the lights of Jomo Kenyatta Airport are to the right and they look good as well, but as I get closer to the threshold I notice there are no centre line markings? Just the width and a lot of black space between the runway parameters... not a good start. Once down and a taxiway exit with Taxiway L and then it is the long ride back down the parallel Taxiway G towards the terminal area. I needed the full A330 lighting on, on the aircraft to navigate my way around the taxiways and thankfully it is good, as it is dark down here, yes there are no taxiway green guidance lighting either... I know this IS Africa and the country can be known for basic airport lighting, but I didn't expect to be crawling around in the dark at a big installation like Nairobi International. The lighting around the huge spaceship terminal was however excellent.... my parking bay is No.7 and I really love the full apron coverage as I work the aircraft into the gate. Yes I love arriving from a dark flight at night to that bright city airport feeling at your destination. Into the bay and the marshaller pops up for the SAM system, but he is very hard to see as he is small and partly hidden by a building support. But SAM is always a great feature to have, and better still when it actually works as it does here. Note the nice reverse service road lighting... well done. Full Airport overview is that the runway boundaries are well lit and so are the terminal areas, but inbetween it is a huge blank blackhole. Overview of the main terminal has all that great lighting on the main aprons and the remote stands. Landside lighting is good as even if mostly like GMMN it that it hides the Lo-Res ground textures and another aspect between Casablanca and Nairobi is the night terminal textures are better than the daylight versions, overall they are not bad with their T1A orange glow feel. Up closer and the window textures are not too bad either, but it looks like the Africans are having a Christmas Party inside... Overall though I like it. Terminal 2 lighting is lame.... but the Cargo ramp looks great. Rear infrastructure area is quite good in a FSX way, but no detail but just coloured blocks, and no lit up Hotel or business branding is a real disappointment.... Embakasi Airport ramps are okayish, but at least you have a lot of Nairobi city lighting behind to give you for some realism. Summary FSDG or FlightSim Development Group have been doing cross over conversions of their FSX sceneries to X-Plane under the Aerosoft banner. First conversion was GMMN - Casablanca that was a basic crossover scenery. In reality the conversion of the HKJK - Nairobi has a lot in common with the Casablanca scenery in that it has the advantages of being a exotic scenery, but the same disadvantages in the conversion. FSX textures and modeling are very obvious in Nairobi XP, so that means older designs and flat textures, no X-Plane features like HDR are used to convert them to a more modern and realistic feel, and in many areas you get that model on a flat base feel. That said in context Nairobi XP is very good overall in definition, as long as you don't look too deep into the detail. Like all FSX convertion it depends on the developers understanding of the X-Plane features and dynamics. Here is is about half and half in that the lighting is overall excellent, but missing the critical runway and taxiway centre line lighting? Missing 3d grass is another dynamic loss in covering the excessive ground textures which are also a bit average and not very realistic. The tower view is also not set? Thankfully SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) active airbridges are excellent here and so is the traffic animations and good detailed clutter, so again the call is if you don't look too deep there is a lot to like here. The view is that again if FSDG was too just do a little bit more on the X-Plane dynamics these sceneries would be far more attractive and deserve the sales they could achieve. I noted in the FSDG Casablanca scenery that it was "workmanlike" and that moniker can be said for the same here in Nairobi as well, but there are a few extra points to weigh up with this African scenery. First it is African and any scenery that can add to your X-Plane routings in an exciting way is always welcome, secondly is the sub-US$15 value price and for that price set then it is a great if even overall brilliant value. Recommended? Overall yes, I like Nairobi XP, but it deserves just a little more attention to make it the really great scenery it can be. _____________________________________ Yes! Nairobi XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG - Nairobi XP Price is US$25.95 Features: Accurate rendition of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (HKJK) Realistic shadow and light rendition Optimized for great performance and compatibility Animated jetways (SAM plugin required) Compatible with all known add-ons including Ortho4XP Manual included WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download-Size Windows: 310 MB Download-Size Mac: 900 MB Current and Review Version: 1.0 (June 19th 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip FSDG-Nairobi_XP Total scenery installation is 694mb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts Manual_FSDG-Nairobi_XP.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 4th July 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  14. Scenery Review : Casablanca XP by Aerosoft/FSDG You feel like going somewhere and doing something exotic! But you are also wanting to fly a route for not very long, in fact you don't want to break your two hour flying rule either? You have also flown most European connections and even ventured as far north as Iceland, but you are wanting now something a bit different, even a challenge... so what about North Africa (South Africa is too far). With all these parameters then what about Casablanca, as it is a very exotic and quite a popular destination and only a two to three hour flight from most southern European ports... in reality it is a done deal. I have been to GMMN - Casablanca - Mohammed V International Airport a few times before, and then used a quite average freeware version, But have always loved GMMN if for it's north western coastal African position, not too far from Europe but more importantly it is also an airbridge to South America as a refueling stop. So when developer FSDG or FlightSim Development Group released CMN - Casablanca I just wanted to go back there and finally to a decent full quality X-Plane Casablanca scenery. Casablanca is situated on the very top the northwest coast of Africa, and is a mere two hours from anywhere in Southern Europe. I flew from LEBL - Barcelona which is exactly 2h flying time (okay 2h - 1m give or take a minute), Frankfurt is 3h - 21m which is a bit outside the two hour rule but still doable. The distance from Casablanca (Port) to the Mohammed V International Airport is about 25km directly south, or about 30min driving time. I will note in these views I am using the SFD (ShortFinal) local autogen to give the area a local flavour... Mohammed V International Airport مطار محمد الخامس الدولي ⴰⵣⴰⴳⵯⵣ ⴰⴳⵔⵖⵍⴰⵏ ⵎⵓⵃⵎⵎⴷ ⵡⵙ5 Aéroport international Mohammed V IATA: CMN - ICAO: GMMN 17L/35R - 3,720m (12,205ft) Asphalt 17R/35L - 3,720m (12,205ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 656 ft / 200 m Both runways 17L/35R and 17R/35L are exceptionally long at both over 12,000ft in length, they are in a parallel western layout together with all the airport infrastructure situated all to the eastern side of the field. The main apron is one huge continuous apron set into zones of parking in B-C main inner Terminals, E outer remote, J Middle outer Remote, D Cargo inner remote. There is a separate area to the east far south that you could note as General Aviation with parking G (inner) and F (outer) and far south is another remote... remote stand parking. Terminals Both terminals one and two are fused together via an S shaped design, Terminal One is north and more modern and Terminal Two is south. Terminal One: There are four main airbridge stations, but in an odd arrangement of three gates per bay. The use here is for either a narrow body or a wide body aircraft, but it does make it complicated into finding your right parking line and airbridge. In most cases two narrow-bodies will fit into each bay. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin is available with both Marshaller (Terminal One) and VDGS guidance (Terminal Two)... .... but SAM does have it's quirks at CMN? Again selection of the right gate (airbridge) to the type of aircraft is important. The MD88 is a low to the ground aircraft, so on one gate with the airbridge connected the airbridge was then set at a steep angle to the low door? Another (image above) on the far right line (or third) didn't connect to the airbridge? but the position would have been perfect to connect to the low MD88 door position? The correct position was actually the first line into each bay for the MD88... your choice to the aircraft? SAM airbridges are again very good with Attijariwafa Bank branding. Clutter is good, but not too much in overwhelming way, so a pass here... but only a few are custom branded and most clutter visible comes from the Laminar collection. Terminal modeling is okay... ish. Overall it is not bad as a design, but you are missing any real or realistic detail, glass is reflective but still looks bland. Biggest issue is that the photo ground ortho-photo textures as they are all very low-res and flat. So this makes all the modeling looked like it is all placed on to the top of the flat surface, of which of course it is? Carparks are the same, a flat washed out photo base with objects placed on top, that there is a lot of objects on the surface to at least fill out the scenery, trees are horrible... cardboard and flat looking they don't relate well to the light at all, again at least there is a lot of well placed fauna to cover over each others flaws. And yet in an overview the scenery does actually work, the trick is just don't look for the close intimate detail and at the different areas too closely. Control Tower The control tower is mid-field and set back behind trees... again close up the glass is boring and flat, so the tower comes out the same way... but it is detailed well. Tower view (T) is however set perfectly with great views of all approaches. Cargo The cargo hub is huge and well represented at Mohammed V... Royal Air Maroc Cargo, operating as RAM Cargo has a huge base here. Swift-air Cargo, DHL and UPS are also represented. Airport operators including EADS and Regional Air Maroc are both shown with custom buildings and with hangars to the south.... .... to the north is is the large Royal Air Maroc's base and it comes with twin maintenance facilities. One twin maintenance hangar is set on the main apron north, but behind is another large apron with another large maintenance area, there are some nicely placed static aircraft including a RAM Boeing 747 that is done very well. Note the army surplus holding yards for vehicles. Area Infrastructure To a point the feature that saves this scenery is the large placed infrastructure landside behind the airport. The infrastructure comes with tenant buildings, warehouses, factories and general buildings to make up a pretty good visual aspect of the airport. Note the nice fuel depot. ... a lot of the buildings are very basic and repeated, but a lot are also custom made to fit into the area, and on the whole it works very well. Far south General Aviation area is good, but a few static aircraft may have lifted the area a little... Surfaces Runaway and taxiway surfaces are good, not brilliant, but good, the detail is there and I like the tyre markings.... all markings and signage is excellent (although there was a taxiway in the scenery not on the Navigraph chart?) however the surfaces and markings are all a bit too new with no wear or tear, but overall it is not too bad. All surfaces are PBR (Physically Based Rendered) and have nice reflection details, wet and damp conditions are very good (does it actually rain in Morocco?), but there is no 3d field grass or flowers in creating a very flat airfield. Lighting I was genuinely surprised by the lighting at GMMN, as it is very good. Mainly it is because there are two hues in bright apron lighting airside and a copper lighting landside, but it is visually very effective. Approach (RAIL) and taxiway navigation lighting and signage is excellent, so you won't get lost here. All apron areas are well lit, but it is the landside... .... that stands out, mainly because I think the lighting hides the poor Lo-Res photo textures, but it does all look very realistic and pleasing to the eyes. Also helpfully is fact that the street lighting is done well into the landside areas and goes out a fair way from the terminals. Again very effective from the air when departing or arriving at GMN. Terminal glass is better at night as well, as there are lit images on the glass, not even close to good, but still better than the daytime blandness, the landside images though look like a car showroom? Summary GMMN - Casablanca - Mohammed V International Airport is the main port into Morocco and a great destination that is available within the two to three hours flying time from central or southern Europe. FlightSim Development Group (FSDG) have released a good payware airport with Aerosoft for X-Plane to cover this very exotic destination. Overall the airport is very good, with a lot of features and great detail going landside, but the word that keeps coming up here is "Workmanlike", good but so close to being excellent. The scenery is let down by the usual Aerosoft practise to use very Low-Resolution textures for the scenery's base, very zig-zag blocky, washed out and no detail, the lo-res textures create a flat (boring) surface that shows up the placed above object elements, it could have been so much better with more detail, poor cardboard looking trees also don't help in the visual impact. Glass is flat (meaning bland) but better with images at night that don't help either, but still this Casablanca scenery does not give up without a fight to be good, because the (If complicated gate arrangements) SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin tool is excellent, and well done here. Overall I actually do like this GMMN - Casablanca, and yes I will use it and probably on a regular basis, because in the areas I want it does actually create a worthwhile Mohammed V International Airport. It works like a lot of Aerosoft sceneries do, you want them to be better and they can easily be in that aspect, but you use them anyway because they work for you well in another aspect... workmanlike, but still so close to being a very high-quality scenery. _____________________________________ Yes! Casablanca XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG - Casablanca XP Price is US$25.95 Features: Accurate rendition of Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco (GMMN) Includes new ground layout Superb quality and performance Animated jetways and marshallers (with SAM plugin) Animated ground traffic Routes and positions for AI traffic and static aircraft included Manual included WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.0 (April 9th 2020) Download Size: 1.3 GB Installation Download scenery file size is with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip FSDG-Casablanca_XP Total scenery installation is 1.3Gb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 1.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts Manual_FSDG-Casablanca_XP.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 29th April 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  15. Scenery Review : EDDN - Nuremberg XP by Aerosoft One thing you are not short of In X-Plane is a lot of very high quality scenery for Germany. Mainly that is because Aerosoft are based in the country (Paderborn) and are servicing their own market and also from JustSim, but that said the airport quality for Germany lately has been exceptional as with LFSB - EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (JustSim) and with EDLW-Dortmund XP (Aerosoft - recently updated). This EDDN - Nuremberg scenery is by 29 Palms who are a German art house that has done scenery for Aerosoft and Orbx, This is their ninth scenery for X-Plane that covers Bavaria's second largest international airport. Nuremberg Airport "Albrecht Dürer" Flughafen Nürnberg IATA: NUE - ICAO: EDDN 10/28 - 2,700m (8,858ft) Concrete/Asphalt Elevation AMSL1,046 ft / 319 m First to note is the well intergrated scenery into the X-Plane surrounding envions, as the custom insertion here is about perfect... It is helped by the excellent autogen which is German (European), but even with that aspect taken into account it is still very good... here are a few arrival images into RWY 28 to highlight the arrival. The western RWY 10 approach was just as impressive over the Erlanger Str (4) autobahn as is the above eastern approach. There are four forward apron zones with M1(Cargo/Hangar A) left, M2 Terminal, M3 Remote Stands and far right M4, rear apron zones (stands) are again left to right with N1, N2, H4, N4. EDDN Terminal The single terminal is very big with four active airbridges and two walk-on stands... design and modeling quality is exceptional, and really well done. Glass is perfect and it is really all well co-ordinated in together, roof is supported and the support structures are also really well done... ... overall it is all very impressive and it is also very well designed under the airbridges on the lower service road... all (four) active gates are SAM (plugin required and supplied) interactive. A marshaller will guide you in and then the gate will become active (arrowed). Excellent airbridge Sixt Rent-a-car advertising is very authentic. Internal terminal detail is also very good, but only on the departure side... but it is very well done with a lot of detailing and not really lo-res like most internal lounges. Clutter is excellent and all vehicles are locally branded. There are a few static aircraft as well, mostly private jets and KingAirs which are very nice area fillers. Landside On the terminal landside the detail is excellent. There are a lot of areas to take in from the four massive carparks, Mövenpick Hotel and airport administration buildings... signage detail is first rate as is the cafe. Some signage is inverted, but it is a minor oversight here to the overwhelming detail... ... note the exhibition space (above left) and the well tended gardens. Control Tower Iconic control tower is really well reproduced, it has a revolving radar and great internal detail. Tower view is set perfectly just above for all approaches. There is a large general aviation area around the control tower with multiple large maintenance hangars.. Branded are FAI, FlightAmbulance, Aero Dienst, Fly-Alpha and DRF Luftrettung. A SAM feature is that you can open the FAI gates manually to their apron and hangar facility, it is in the APO/Controls. East there is a lot of airport logistics and support areas, with the site of the largest maintenance hangar in the EDDN scenery... .... again the detail and clutter is highly impressive, and the area includes the airport's Fire Station... .... But overall you have to be blown away by the huge detail on offer here at EDDN... hidden behind the east (M1) apron is the comprehensive cargo facility. Ground textures and field All surfaces are PBR (Physically Based Rendered) so you get excellent reflections and rain effects... Newly tarmaced (Asphalt) areas are well done, but overall the textures are first rate with a huge amount detail and wear and tear. Taxiway and runway signage is really good and clear, grass and the lovely spring flowers dot the field for a nice arrival. The scenery does come with the XP-SAM Seasons pack provided so you can have all the seasonal changes. I don't personally run this package (yet) as I use xEnviro for my seasonal coverage, but the SAM system is now very good. Lighting Overall the lighting is good, and I like twin hue apron lighting, although the terminal section is a bit yellowish. Terminal looks okay, but a bit darkish, but I still think it is actually authentic to the airport. Landside however is very dark... as there is no street lighting and it shows here badly. Carparks and advertising are well done, and so are the various working areas... .... the dark areas really show though, but the night signage is very good, you do wonder why 29 Palms came along so far but left out these significant street and carpark lighting effects? WT3 : There are no provided WorldTraffic files with the scenery. However the ATC taxiway system has been done and done well, so you get a good generation of the ground routes and overall the WT3 system works like clockwork with only a few pop-offs on the runway. _______________________ Summary This is a great rendition of EDDN - Nuremberg by 290 Palms for Aerosoft. Now well established this is a very professional scenery by this art house. The scenery is very well intergrated into the X-Plane mesh, with the excellent German autogen providing a very good cityscape of Nuremberg. Modeling and detailing is absolutely first rate, with some good internal terminal detail as well. Every area of the EDDN airport is well covered here, from the huge landside detail to all the private companies associated with the airport. Clutter is locally branded and again extremely well done. SAM is featured as well with the option of opening the FAI gate, all ground textures are PBR active and the textures wear and tear detail is again all top notch... Only blot in the copybook here is the lighting and the missing landside street lighting, this aspect makes the approaching and internal landside areas quite dark, a shame because this was easily a full 5 star scenery, that got lost at the very last hurdle... otherwise the scenery is exceptional and it is very well priced for good value. _____________________________________ Yes! EDDN - Nuremberg XP by Aerosoft is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EDDN - Nuremberg XP Price is US$22.00 Features: Highly realistic rendition of Nuremberg Airport based on most recent geodata 55 km² satellite imagery coverage with resolution up to 20cm/px including all seasons Highly detailed buildings with internal modelling of the terminal and Hangar 2 PBR ground and marking textures Athmospheric HDR night lighting Animated Jetways (SAM2 Plugin required) Custom seasonal textures (SAM2 Plugin required) Snow and rain effects Animated FAI gate (SAM2 Plugin required) Custom Runway lights automatically switched on in low visibility Detailed airport lighting including REILs, Running Rabbits and HDR Lighting Custom vehicle animations on the apron Animated tower radar (SAM2 Plugin required) Static aircraft with proper liveries and registrations XPlane conform export of all scenery elements using the latest techniques WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: Version 1.1 (April 6th 2020) Download Size: 2.3 GB Installation Download scenery file size is 2.30gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are nine install folders in order below: Captain7 - 29Palms - EDDN Nuremberg 1 Captain7 - 29Palms - EDDN Nuremberg 2 There is currently a patch required (downloaded separately) to replace the Earth Nav Data, just overwrite your current EDDN (Nuremberg 1) nav data. Total scenery installation is a huge : 3.24gb As noted there is a seasons pack to be downloaded and inserted with the new SAM - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 1.0 On your download this SAM install is listed as the AS-Scenery-Animation Manager? of which it is nothing to do with Aerosoft, if you have the current SAM v2 (current v2.05) then there is no need to download this pack. The update patch is at the bottom. Documents One extensive manual in German and English with notes (9 pages) EDDN-Nuremberg-XP11-DE EDDN-Nuremberg-XP11-EN _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 15th April 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  16. Scenery Update : EDDF - Airport Frankfurt XP11 v2.0 by Aerosoft Aerosoft have updated their excellent EDDF - Frankfurt XP11 scenery to v2.0. Already an excellent scenery, this update does a couple of nips and tucks to keep the airport totally current and up to date. In the last EDDF update v1.10, the focus was on the installation of the SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) on all gates. But a few didn't work correctly? These were the complicated three airbridge units (A380/B748) on A54 - A58 - A62 - B25 - B46 - C14/C15/C16. Now in v2.0 they work as required. Having all three units working is highly impressive, a nice fix. Added also are the seasonal orthos (SAM2 plugin required) and the missing marshaller at some parking positions that was fixed in v1.21 The P4 taxiway overpass had a few sinking issues (aircraft would bob up and down), but now the surface is smooth right across and correct. The forests surrounding the airfield are now also more denser, but the lines between the custom and default are also more noticeable as well.. The complicated N3 taxiway markings have been fixed.... still complicated though? Finally there has been some ortho color corrections for the airport to blend in better. Overall this v2.0 (a full version number is really wasted here on the few changes) of EDDF - Frankfurt is a nice set of fixes to keep the scenery front and centre of your routings. Yes I use EDDF a lot, love this scenery and it is one of the best currently for Germany along with ShortFinal's EDDM - Munich Full detailed original release review for this scenery is here: Scenery Review : EDDF - Aerosoft Airport Frankfurt XP11 ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the EDDF - Airport Frankfurt XP11 v2.0 by Aerosoft is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Frankfurt XP11 v2.0 Your Price is US$32.99 If you already have purchased the Airport Frankfurt XP11 scenery, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore to update to version v2.0 Requirement: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum. 8GB_ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 2.0 (March 11th 2020) Changelog EDDF v2.0.txt ________________________________________ (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) News by Stephen Dutton 19th March 2020 Copyright©2020: X-Plane Reviews
  17. Scenery Review : Seychelles XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane I love to be surprised. The biggest surprise scenery wise in 2019 was the release of Faroe Islands XP by Aerosoft, but created by Maps2XPlane. It was by all accounts an extraordinary scenery and even with some high quality competition against it, it still won my best "Scenery of the Year 2019" accolade. Basically the scenery had everything including a picturesque airport at Vágar, but overall it was the stunning high quality mesh landscapes were simply out of this world in detail and realism. I loved the scenery and to back up my love for Fareo, the scenery was then a frequent visitor on my routings for the rest of the year.... in other words I flew there a lot, and loved being in Fareo every single time. For any scenery to be that good, then it creates an even bigger issue, in that how can you top such an achievement, well we are about to find out with Maps2XPlane and with their next release in "Seychelles XP". In reality then although both sceneries are islands, then the Seychelles are about as black and white in context as you could get to the Faroe Islands. The Faroes are cold, wintery and bleak, were as the Seychelles is all tropical kaleidoscope waters, palm lined beaches and expensive huts over looking lagoons. Faroe, could be noted as remote in being situated high up in the North sea, but compared to the Seychelles they could be a set of islands just off shore with easy connections to Scotland, Denmark and Norway... and even Iceland at a push. (Navigraph) The Seychelles however are a very different set of islands. Positioned in the western Indian ocean, Seychelles consists of an archipelago of 115 islands. Its capital and the largest city is Victoria situated on the island of Mahé, which lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte (territory of France), Madagascar, Réunion (territory of France), and Mauritius to the south; as well as the Maldives and Chagos Archipelago to the east. The Seychelles in X-Plane terminology is really in being "absolutely nowhere". You are at least a 3 to 4 hour flying time to the nearest decent X-Plane scenery and Madagascar is the closest, but how many X-Plane sceneries do you have in Madagascar, I don't think I have one. Best choices are either Dubai or Johannesburg, I picked Jo'Burg, but that airport is still 2081 nm or 4h.38m flying time from Mahé near the capital city of Victoria. So for X-Planers then the quick hop or short flight to the Seychelles is not going to be a simple morning or afternoon flight, I know because I am now flying that long route, and it is a full day's flying to get to the central part of the Seychelles. Air Seychelles flies to only 4 international destinations direct in Johannesburg, Mumbai, Mauritius & Antananarivo (Madagascar) using Airbus A320-200 equipment. Range of the A322 is 3,300 nmi (6,112 km), but the issue is that if you get into trouble and want to divert, then you don't have a lot of choices of diversion airports with Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport (IATA: DZA, ICAO: FMCZ) the closest... when you fly over Dzaoudzi, you really then feel exposed going out and into the expanse of the open Indian Ocean in only a A320. But you have to admit in being this far out, and in so far from anywhere else it does create a sort of excitement, a hope the travails to get all the way out there is worth the trip... but that does also create a certain expectancy of the scenery to live up to as well... in other words "it had better all be worth it". First sign of the custom scenery was actually about 230nm before getting to main group of islands, this is Alphonse Island, and about 30nm before waypoint OKLAB... ... the significant point here is the tropical reef view from above, and it looks excellent even from 35,000ft. As the cloud cover clears you can see quite a few of these excellent reef islands... here is Desroches Island, D’Arros Island and a lot more.... and I admit I was serious impressed by the scale of the scenery as the most remote scenery provided is Assumption Island, and this island is located 1.135 kilometers southwest of the capital on Mahé, the main Seychelles Group. A full map of the scenery coverage is provided by Maps2XPlane. A note is required here in that the scenery does require you to insert new mesh data in the X-Plane/Resources/map data/water/ folder (This is the MAIN X-Plane resources) folder, so be aware that it can be overwritten if you do an X-Plane update. It also begs the question in why Laminar Research don't provide the same tropical reefs as part of the default scenery, this would be a huge enhancement to the simulator world wide from the aspect of that view of Alphonse Island,? Finally after a flight time of 4h 30m we get our first look at Mahé, and the main Island itself... Seychelles International Airport (FSIA) or Aéroport de la Pointe Larue in French, is the main international airport of the Seychelles and it is positioned on the northeast of Mahé, and it has one 13/31, 2.997 m, Concrete runway. The Approach to SEZ is excellent, with the coral reefs and the tropical mountainous regions are spot on, I live in Queensland, Australia which is also a tropical zone and the feel here is exactly that we have in the far north (Qld) and Pacific Islands. 13/31 runway is worn concrete with asphalt headers and is also perfect... very impressive. After all those hours in the air, I was very, very happy to feel the wheels touch that concrete. Runway and taxiway surfaces are really good, and dynamic PBR reflective as well, great for those tropical storms that you would get way out here. Guiding me in is a SAM (Scenery Animation Manager, Plugin required) Marshaller... ... but it didn't feel quite right? he guided me right when I was dead straight on the line, and parked me up very nose forward and even past my ground parking marker... my nose was slightly more forward than the other parked aircraft as well? Seychelles International Airport / SEZ By international airport standards then SEZ is very small, very islander in design and detail. With just one terminal building with six gates, and three to the side for domestic services (i.e. small prop aircraft). ... I love the fuel depot and high quality detail on the storage tanks, and they do dominate the scenery. Airside and Landside detailing is very good as so is the local buildings, airport infrastructure is also well detailed with fine detail and local signage. Note the satellite dishes on the runway edge. There are two other general aviation areas at SEZ, one about a third down the runway and another with an open hangar at the threshold of runway 31 for the Zil Helicopter base... All round FSIA's detail is very impressive, but note also the quality mesh with the rocky outcrops above the airport... There is another remote parking area by the runway 13 threshold, and it has a few static aircraft, but it is a great area to park away from the main ramp areas for both large, private jets and local general aviation... ... Seawalls and grass on the field are also well done, so as an airport scenery by itself then SEZ is really, very, very good. Victoria and Mahé The Seychelles capitol in Victoria is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) northwest of the airport. And between the airport and Victoria is a large tourist resort. The Seychelles rely heavily on tourism as it's main income, so you will find a lot of tourist focused areas all thoughout all of the scenery. This is the Eden Island resort and the replication of the resort and marinas is very good and highly detailed. Overview of Victoria will see a load of custom buildings, there are no default autogen here as every building is custom made for the local area. And not just in Victoria as the objects are placed completely all over the island of Mahé in a lot of detail. The highlight is the port of Victoria... ..... The port is well modeled with ships docked, but also with animated shipping (large and small) that transverse around and in and out of the port. Huge pylon wind generators also dominate Victoria's seafront. So city detail overall is very good, but don't look for local detail like the Victoria Clocktower as it isn't there, but overall this is very good VFR flying scenery in the locales in being a good representation of the area and it's capital. Maps2XPlane are first and foremost a mesh scenery developer, and they don't disappoint with the island of Mahé. For the scale we are dealing with here, the vistas are extraordinary, as you have about the best island scenery yet with the quality available here... .... not just in the overhead long views, but also in the small detail of rocky coastlines and outcrops, this is a very good if not a perfect coastline and no space has been spared for creating the realism of the detail available here. The Faroes was very, very good, but so are these terrains but in a very different tropical context. Praslin Island One of the most popular tourist islands of the Seychelles is Praslin Island, situated just northeast of Mahé. To get there though, we are going to go the long way around via clockwise circuit of Mahé before going to Praslin Island and our equipment today is the C208 Caravan from Carenado. Departure is from Seychelles International Airport runway 13, and then tracking south past Pointe Au Sel and finally down to the southern most point in the Pointe Du Sud, a hard bank back northwest covers the Pointe Lazare and the bay of Anse A La Mouche. This flying very much reminds me of the same feel and look as the exquisite Sint Maarten - Princess of the Caribbean scenery by AWD, so if you liked that sort of flying experience then this Seychelle scenery would certainly be a very good companion... ... the coastline along the western side here is exceptional and the islands of Therese and Conception at almost the top of the island with the aptly named Silhouette island is also framing the windscreen in the distance. Another bank to the right at Cap Ternay and you are now almost on a direct course to Praslin Island... ... once clear of L'ilot Island at the most northern point of Mahé it is then a 44km flight straight out into the Indian Ocean that connects together the two major islands of the main Seychelles group. Praslin is the second largest island (38.5 km2) after Mahé of the Seychelles, and Praslin has a population of around 7,533 people living in two administrative districts of Baie Sainte Anne and Grand' Anse that is split directly down the centre of the island. Finding the Praslin Island Airport - FSPP is actually quite hard as it is well covered from the seaward approach angle in the Grand Anse, I needed to take an overview flight to find the correct runway angle 15/33 and the correct position and the layout of my landing approach... .... the runway is 1,405m long but also has large approach stopway lengths on each end, and a very long 222m section on the RWY 15 approach. Airport reconnaissance done I decided to do another full clockwise island circuit around Praslin and first up is the famous Lemuria Golf Course and the course is noted here in the scenery. On the northern side of Praslin there are a significant number of big and small islands that stretch far to the east of the main island. Curieuse is the first and I got quite close (down to 500ft) to have a good look at the great rocky detail... .... in the distance are the Grand Soeur, Felicite and Marianne islands and remember single every island in this scenery is all custom mesh and highly detailed. One thing you have in this Seychelles scenery is a lot of areas and islands to explore or do sightseeing trips, by fixed wing or helicopter activities you can spend hours flying around and finding these great views and areas, as there are loads of secluded beaches, fantastic reefs and the water colours are brilliant... ... Praslin is split between the main island and another major tourist island area of La Digue is just to the east, here I slipped between them and headed back to the airport FSPP which also known as Iles des Palmes Airport. From 500ft and the correct 330º angle you could say that this time I had a decent shot at landing on FSPP's 1,405m runway. I really love the concrete dirty runway look, the concrete is all very weathered and very realistically done, and again it reminds me of our local airport conditions. Praslin Airport terminal is very South Pacific in design, this could be either Fiji or Tahiti, and not the western Indian Ocean. The detail of the terminal and its surroundings is simply outstanding, and in a very walk around and to be in the place of pure realism... ... every detail is covered from the ramp to the landside fauna, it is probably the best regional terminal scenery I have seen for a long time, certainly one of the best regional terminals in X-Plane currently. From the exceptional steel roof, to the balcony detail, and the reflective and again lovely detailed windows, it is all modeling art. The township of Praslin and the across the runway the control tower/fire station are also presented and detailed. That is the central focus of the Seychelles in Mahé and Praslin Islands, but as we noted on the flight into the Seychelles there is a lot more in destination islands as well, so let us quickly go through them from the closest to the most outward of the islands. __________________________________ Frégate Island Airport - FSSF, (Grass, 502 meters) is an airstrip serving Frégate Island. It is the easternmost of the granitic Inner Islands and located 55 kilometers east of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles on Mahé. The runway is located along the northeast shore of the island next to the Frégate Island Private resort. A nice little getaway island that is not far from Victoria, and well worth the short flight as the island has some very nice rock and rock wall detail. Denis Island Airport - FSSD (Grass, 775 meters) is an airstrip serving Denis Island. It is the second north-easternmost island in the Seychelles, located 60 kilometers north of Mahé. It lies at the northern edge of the Seychelles bank, along with the nearby Bird Island. The runway is located next to the Denis Island Resort and is served by Zil Air. Denis is a perfect tourism island and is also the closest Seychelle Island to Victoria, and although the strip is only grass you have microwave and radio towers, solar farm and lovely little bungalows with the same steel roofs of the terminal at Praslin. Bird Island Airport - FSSB (Grass, 920 meters) serves Bird Island. It is a small and the northernmost island in the Seychelles archipelago, 20 kilometers northwest of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. The airport is served by Air Seychelles and Zil Air which both have chartered flights from Seychelles International Airport on Mahé. The runway is located next to the Bird Island Lodge. Bird Island is small walkaround in an hour island, with some nice bungalows, but the runway is small and grass. Platte Island Airport - FSPL (Concrete, 1.000 meters) is an airstrip serving Platte Island. It is part of the Southern Coral Group of islands that are part of the Outer Islands, the island is positioned 130 kilometers directly south of Mahé. Platte is fairly typical of most of these Islands with an extensive reef and inner lagoon and one concrete runway, vegetation is very lush and has a few custom buildings to make up the housing. Coëtivy Airport - FSSC (Concrete, 1.400 meters) is an airport serving Coëtivy Island. Coëtivy Island is located 290 kilometers south-southeast of Mahé. Along with Platte Island above is the nearest neighbor 171 kilometers northwest, it comprises the Southern Coral Group of the Outer Islands. Coëtivy is very long with a very extensive and beautiful coral reef, the airport strip is directly across the central section of the island. Desroches Airport - FSDR (Concrete, 1.372 meters) is an airport serving Desroches Island. It is located 227 kilometers southwest of Victoria, the island is measuring 5,5 kilometers long and 1,5 kilometers wide. The island is one of the few to have (expensive) tourist facilities along the beaches, and the airport is angled on the western point of the island. Again there is an extensive coral reef and an extensive lagoon vista to enjoy. D’Arros Island Airport - FSDA (Grass, 975 meters) is an airstrip serving D’Arros Island. The airport is located 255 kilometers west-southwest of Mahé. The island is not far and 50 km to the northwest from the nearby Desroches Islands. D'Arros is not one island but along with St Joseph Island a cluster of islands with some pretty extensive lagoons, D'Arros is the most western island of the group and the only one with the runway, note the animated golf cart that will meet your aircraft. Remire Island Airport - FSSR (Concrete, 478 meters) It is a small circular island and is located 245 kilometers southwest of Mahé, at the northern extremity of the Amirantes Bank and is 31.5 km directly north of D'Arros Island. A very small and round island that has a few houses, but it has a good concrete landing strip across the middle. Marie Louise Island Airport - FSMA (Concrete, 770 meters) is an airstrip serving Marie Louise Island. It is located 308 kilometers southwest of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. The runway is located along the eastern shore of the island. Mary Louise is a lovely little island but it is so small that you have to park on the beach, at least the welcoming is nice. Alphonse Airport - FSAL (Concrete, 1.220 meters) Alphonse Island is the sole island of the Alphonse Atoll. It is a small triangular island barely 1,2 kilometers wide, and is located 400 kilometers southwest of Mahé. The runway is located next to the Alphonse Island Resort and served by Zil Air. Alphonse Island is the island I saw from the A320 in flying to Mahé earlier, and of all the outer islands the one with the most facilities. There is a solar farm for electricity and quite a few nicely detailed waters edge bungalows. Alphonse is worth the long distance to get here with its world-class fly fishing and Scuba Diving/Snorkelling which are the main attractions. Farquhar Airport - FSFA (Concrete, 1.179 meters) Farquhar Atoll is part of the Farquhar Group of islands in the Outer Islands and is 770 kilometres (478 miles) southwest of Mahé. The airstrip is located on North Farquhar. The concrete runway length includes a 130 meters (430 ft) displaced threshold on Runway 31. Farquhar Atoll is huge as the total area of the atoll including the large massive lagoon is 170.5 square kilometres (65.8 square miles), and the airport is positioned tight on the end of the north island. There is settlement here and a few animated golf buggys. Astove Island Airport - FSSA (Concrete, 640 meters) is an airstrip serving Astove Island. It is a raised coral island, a single stretch of land, that measure just 1,4 kilometers at the widest part. The island is located 1.041 kilometers southwest of the capital on Mahé. Lovely coral island, but that runway is mighty short at 640m, so you need to pick the right aircraft to go out this far and be able to land on a dot in the ocean. Assumption Island Airport - FSAS (Concrete, 1.210 meters) is an airport serving Assumption Island. The island is located 1.135 kilometers southwest of the capital on Mahé, and is part of the Aldabra Group. If you are going to assume there is a lot out at Assumption Island then don't bother, there isn't really anything here except an island. ______________________ Helicopter Pads There are four Helicopter pads, but only three H Pads. Zil Air Base - FSIA The Zil Helicopter base is positioned by the threshold of RWY 31, there no H Pads are noted here which means you can't just jump to the start point? Naval Base - XHFSNB Mahé. Located on Perseverance Island, an artificial island lying 2 kilometers from the capital Victoria. Hilton Labriz - XHFSSL Silhouette Island. Silhouette is located 20 kilometers northwest of Mahé from where it is clearly visible on the horizon. It is the third largest granitic island in the Seychelles. La Digue Helipad - XHFSLD La Digue. Located 43 kilometers from Mahé and 6,5 kilometers from Praslin. Lighting Overall the lighting in the Seychelles scenery is excellent. SEZ looks great at night, but the lighting is not minutely detailed, but however still good for a scenery of this scale. The green taxiway lights can be lost in the displaced threshold approach lighting, but the aprons are excellent as is the landside lighting. Again the fuel depot tanks are the attraction at night as they are beautifully lit. Victoria The lighting in Victoria is also quite extensive. Eden Island resort is well lit and so is the port with again some nice lighting on the fuel depot. Housing and office building lighting is however a bit boring and bland, very old school flight Simulator of which is a look I don't particularly like as it doesn't look overall very realistic... but in the wide view Victoria looks very good. Praslin Island Once you get away from a major centre island communities, then there usually not a lot of island lighting... ... however the runway is lit, so you can at least fly to Praslin at night and the waiting terminal is very nice as well with a very well lit apron, landside is creative and also good, but once you move away from the airport the lighting is gets sparse except from some odd areas like football (Soccer) fields. We can't cover every island's lighting here as they are mostly the same in context and all quite dark. All runways concrete and grass are not lit, so night flying operations are not available anyway. But there are some nice details set out in the different islands that doesn't make them all look or feel exactly the same, porch lighting, tennis courts and cabins are all nicely lit as are the radio and microwave towers. But most buildings (houses) are the same one dimensional grey window colour. __________________________________ Summary We had big expectations after the last scenery of the Faroe Islands XP by Maps2XPlane (Aerosoft) as the scenery was extraordinary in scale and mesh detailing, it was easily my best choice for scenery of the year in 2019. This Seychelles scenery is the follow up and it certainly does not disappoint in any way, not in scale nor in detail to the Faroe Island experience, but compared to Vágar it is vastly different as the scale here is mega, in fact for thousands of kilometers across the Indian Ocean to cover entire archipelago of this extensive package. Central area of the Seychelles is Victoria situated on the island of Mahé that lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa, so you are looking at least a 3 to 4 hour flying time to get there, but it is certainly well worth the effort for what this scenery delivers. Seychelles International Airport : SEZ/FSIA is very well represented in the Seycelles scenery with an excellent and detailed airport with dynamic runways and surfaces and SAM marshaller activity. And so is the capitol of Victoria with its port and tourist resorts, Mahé lighting overall is again excellent, but most housing lighting is one dimensional and old fashioned. The other significant area is Praslin Island and the airport there is simply the best rendered and detailed regional terminal I have seen for years. Also significant is the multitude of islands and detailed reef and lagoon features, There are thirteen islands altogether spread out to a distance of 1.135 kilometers from Mahé. All are hugely well created and detailed with distinctive features to each island, most runways are concrete but many are also grass as well. Maps2XPlane are known for not the their scenery but excellent and detailed mesh, and that is the basis of all the scenery in this package. Not only is the mesh highly realistic, but rocky outcrops, rocks and all coastline detail is excellent and there is a lot of coastline in this scenery to cover with such quality and detail and those coral reef and lagoon vistas which are exceptional. The price in a scenery context is high, but you also get a huge scale and a high quality return for your money with a lot of adventure and exploring that will keep flyers happy for long periods of time, so overall there is a lot of value in the Seychelles scenery package. I have spent almost a full week in the Seychelles scenery package, and it is a very, very good experience. So much to explore across the entire archipelago and so much to even just absorb, so you have to give credit to the developers in creating a scenery on this scale. For you and me though it is just a matter of installing the scenery and getting involved with the experience, and then you just dream of if the rest of X-Plane in mesh and detail was just simply as good as this.... highly Recommended! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Seychelles XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Seychelles XP Price Is US$49.99 Features Custom terrain mesh with photo-realistic textures and vegetation Highly detailed rendition of the Seychelles International Airport Highly detailed rendition of the Regional Praslin Island Airport Renditions of thirteen additional airfields and four heliports Hundreds of custom objects and landmarks all over the islands Custom autogen with country-specific buildings and objects Road-network and sea-routes with animated, dynamic traffic Custom static aircraft and liveries by Pedro van Leeuwen Implementation of the “Scenery Animation Manager” (SAM v2) Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Video Card. 8Gb+ VRAM recommended Download Size: 3 GB Current version : 1.0 (Feb 17th 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is 3.07gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are nine install folders in order below: Seychelles4XPlane - Overlay Seychelles4XPlane - Airports Seychelles4XPlane - Additions Seychelles4XPlane - Terrain Total scenery installation is a huge : 7.31gb There is the requirement that the scenery does require you to insert new mesh data (provided in the Additions folder) in the X-Plane/Resources/map data/water/ folder (This is the MAIN X-Plane resources) folder. The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct. Documents One extenisve manual in German and English with notes, and one scenery area map. Manual_SeychellesXP_Xplane_de-en Map_SeychellesXP_Xplane_de-en ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 13th March 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.13 US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - A320 Ultimate by Flightfactor (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$89.95 - C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Careando (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$34.95
  18. Quick Impression : LGSA - Chania Ioannis Daskalogiannis XP by Aerosoft The X-Plane simulator saw a huge focus on the Mediterranean and in specific many Greek airports for scenery in 2019. All the major scenery developers with JustSim, Aerosoft and mostly FlyTampa recreated a full network of routes that were interesting and created in the Greek Island and mainland some great destinations. It has been a little quieter this year, but here is another scenery from Aerosoft for the Island of Crete in Chania - Ioannis Daskalogiannis Airport. I will note that in this Quick Impression is that I am using the misterx6 SFD Global autogen to create a Greek vista. Chania International Airport "Daskalogiannis" Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Χανίων, "Δασκαλογιάννης" IATA: CHQ - ICAO: LGSA (Navigraph) (Navigraph) Geographically Chania is not far from LGIR - Heraklion created by FlyTampa last year, as LGSA is just more to the west along the northern coast of Crete. First impressions are that LGSA looks like a huge airport with double or even triple runways, but there is actually only one active runway 11/29 at 3,347m or 10,982ft. So that shows how quite large the two taxiways in S and N are. These strips are actually backup runways, because LGSA is also on the north and south sides a military base Maleme (Military) Airport and now run by the Hellenic Air Force, this is a facility that was constructed by the British Military, shortly before the Second World War. The cilvilan terminal area is of the whole complex just a quarter section in the northwest. The single use terminal was built in 1996, but the stand layouts and new parking arrangements are all new and are represented in this scenery layout. 1A - 12 and L1 - L3 and S1, S2 stands are now all pushback and not circular, doubling capacity. Terminal modeling is good and detailed, but it doesn't have that "wow" factor, it feels like a modeled terminal, if you know what I mean. New modern Fire Station is well represented, and the landside area is well filled out and it all comes with a lot of clutter detail. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager is also active (plugin required) in marshaller mode and is available on all stands. There are some very nice gradient detailing with the various levels of excavated areas, and the Terminal is built over a gradient level between the gradient upper (ramp) and lower (ground) levels. Note the extensive fauna and grass, with some nice wildflowers dotting all the field areas. Concrete channels are excellent, as is the extensive custom mesh to replicate the elevated taxiways and sloped main runway, so this is a very well done and very authentic airfield. Field textures are also excellent, with a wide variety of surfaces from fine asphalt to stony asphalt and the various concrete surfaces. Nice detail includes a military arrestor wire across the main runway. The military have use of most of the rest of the field... with one area adjacent northeast from the terminal civilian area. This northeast area is fine, but not over detailed as the military barracks, the photo textures however do create a few areas of flatness that is noticeable, especially from the eastern direction. South military section is mostly aircraft hangars and typical remote military parking stands.... There are two apron areas in A and C where there is a main hangar on each, Apron B is by the field control tower and some main administration buildings. Note the huge antenna on the top of the nearby Akropoli. Lighting Again because this is mostly a military facility there isn't a lot of lighting at LGSA. Note that taxiway N is lit up like the main 11/29 main runway. The terminal however looks like a soccer (football) stadium, a bit too bright! Apron lighting is all very good, but overall the lighting here is average. On approach to this northwest area of Crete and Chania is excellent at night, and arriving at dusk would give you a very nice arrival vista as the local environs come very much alive. Feature list is very good, with a lot of dynamic X-Plane11 features provided. High detailed ground textures and runway - taxiway lines including the new apron parking positions and lines modified in summer 2018 High detailed 3d objects & buildings including the new terminal building completed in 2018 Custom static aircrafts according to real world service HDR lighting including detailed 3d taxi and runway lighting Animated vehicles in the apron area Animated marshaller (SAM required) Custom mesh for unique elevation including sloped runway (Ortho4XP patch included) PBR ground textures HD vegetation and grass Custom Color & Season Adjustments (SAMv2 Plugin required): ORBX TrueEarth (Vegetation) ORBX TerraFlora (Vegetation) SAM Seasons (Vegetation + Orthophoto) Ortho4XP (Vegetation) SFD Global (Vegetation + Orthophoto) First Impressions Overall LGSA - Chania is another great addition to the Greek Island collection and this time from Aerosoft. The ground layouts and the custom mesh for runway and ground gradients is excellent, and so are the wide and varied texture surfaces. But a lot of LGSA - Chania is what you would call very workman like, okay if quite good, but not really exceptional in any way and certainly with the modeling, a nice to have and to use certainly, but it wouldn't standout significantly of the want to see the use of the scenery regularly, but an early dusk arrival at LGSA would make the route worthwhile. Three out of Five stars ☀️☀️☀️⭐⭐ Chania - Ioannis Daskalogiannis XP by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore here: Chania - Ioannis Daskalogiannis XP Price is US$24.95 Requirements are: Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Video Card. 8Gb+ VRAM recommended Download Size: 1.6 GB Current and Review Version : 1.0 (Feb 20th 2020) ________________________________________ Quick Impression by Stephen Dutton 25th February 2020 Copyright©2020: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  19. Quick Impression : LIMC - Milano Malpensa XP by Aerosoft What is it about Milano Malpensa in Italy? this nothing to do with the scenery or even X-Plane. I have been looking to do a quick overview of this new scenery release from Aerosoft (via a conversion with Windsock Simulations) and I have had not ONE single day of good weather? It's rained, its been so foggy you can't even see the tails of the aircraft, its always dull, dark and it is still raining and raining? wet, wet, wet says it all... My routing takes me to Italy a lot, I go to mostly LIRF - Rome and for Milan it has always been LIML - Linate, but very rarely do I fly to LIMC-Malpensa. There are several reasons for this, one the LIMC-Malpensa (freeware) that had some really weird green (sickly looking) ground textures, and had bumps in the runway that threw the aircraft off in odd directions, but overall I was not that really endeared to the place unlike Linate of where I have actually been to and truly love. So here is a new LIMC version if still only another FSX conversion that is worth looking at, and even to a point in now using. Milan Malpensa Airport Aeroporto di Milano Malpensa "Città di Milano" IATA: MXP - ICAO: LIMC My very first impression of LIMC-Malpensa was literally a grey fog, with a few airline tails sticking out of the murk. But with a CAVOK clear and you could finally and actually see the airport... and yes it looked far better than the freeware LIMC version, a big step up, but the devil is as usual in the details. My reference towards LIMC-Milan is from the earlier in the year release of Aerosoft's Rome XP. When that scenery was released I thought it was a great disappointment, and a poor conversion of an old FSX/P3D release. But use and time have brought this Rome-LIRF into my routing quite considerably and I now enjoy the scenery quite a lot, and to a point I can see the same form and pattern happening here at LIMC... in similarities they are very much the same in feel and detail, but this LIMC has a slightly more modern feel as we shall see. The dated design of the terminals in the modeling and low-res textures is highly evident, but the detail is in there, but you really miss that HDR realism. The bonus of course is that these airports will run on a lower-res graphic card, but a 6Gb card is still required. There are two terminals or the old one T2 and the new larger International T1. T2 is positioned a fair way from the main terminal and is set out between the 17R-17L thresholds and is now mainly used for the LCC (Low Cost Carrier) services. There are some strange yellow areas which I think is actually grass, again it is all a flashback to old Aerosoft FS design, very odd and they are also poor quality textures? You would have had the same low quality of all the converted buildings including the three main satellite terminals... .... except they were saved by the expert use of the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin (Plugin Required)... custom and branded they are all really well done here at LIMC.... more so because they hide the poor textures. Highlight is the LIMC Control Tower, which is nicely modeled but with some average glass, it is very striking and highly visible... .... tower view is well set and highly usable. WT3 generation from the noted completed ATC ground routes is available, but it is all very average. No flows and only B737/A320 aircraft are visible, no heavies, cargo or regional aircraft are seen. Runway pop-offs are frequent, but a few ground routes work... a poor effort considering the scale of the airport but the ATC routes have been updated in v1.1... however GentlePilot has created a full set of ground routes, flows and stands WT3 Ground Routes LIMC and they are thankfully perfect, I really do wish developers would put more attention into this ATC area, most products this year have been seriously dismal. With aged original photo ground textures, there has been an effort to try to cover them over or fix them... the joins to the default mesh are a bit average with no blending and mostly straight hard angle lines, and all with different style textures, sadly most joins are under the approach paths to each of the runways and that makes them highly noticeable (a note that I am running the misterx6 SFD Global autogen and his new textures).... .... some areas have been just covered with a basic facade texture like the landside the cargo area, and for a payware this is a pretty cheap way to fix an issue and it looks crappy as well. The added east side industrial area has the same (this time grass) facade textures, it is not good over there either. Visually landside it is very good. Yes there are the low-res photo textures and very poor low-res buildings but the ground areas are mostly covered up by 3d vehicles and objects, and good gradient changes and 3d elevation stops it all being a totally flat surface, but the photo textures show up here and there... but overall the areas landside are not to bad. Ground Textures Runway/Taxiway textures are good, but you will need a very high to max texture setting to get the best out of them. ..... landing at LIMC is a good experience overall, but the ground textures do look a bit flat and with no 3d grass that doesn't help either.... Textures are PBR (Physically Based Rendering) active (wet, rain and reflective), but don't have that full wet feel or more a shiny look... they do however bring out the nice texture feel of the asphalt and concrete. Lighting The lighting at LIMC is overall quite sensational... the airport looks excellent from the air. Runway and taxiway lighting is very good, and the apron and landside areas are lit to perfection.... again it is only the really older FSX textures that are the limitations. Bland (blue) and no texture PBR makes them flat, and put a nice shiny aircraft next to them and they look really dull... .... but that is not to take away the experience of landing at LIMC - Malpensa at night, it is a great place to arrive at or to depart from. Feature list is very good, with a lot of dynamic X-Plane11 features provided including the SAM Plugin. Features: Accurate models of all buildings, the tower, and terminals 1 and 2 Apron with exact ground markings Detailed 0.5 m/px ground textures Orthophoto of the airport with the adjacent industrial area Custom vegetation in the surroundings Realistic static aircraft Animated jetways (SAM Plug-in required) Animated docking systems (SAM Plug-in required) First Impressions Finally a decent LIMC-Malpensa for use in X-Plane, and a great companion for the Aerosoft Rome XP scenery. Obviously an older FSX conversion, but the X-Plane11 dynamics have been expertly used here by Windsock to cover most of them up, and in many way successfully, but you still can't hide a decade or more old style modeling and their low-res textures. Great SAM and lighting lifts the experience and overall I know I will use this Italian airport frequently, but I will probably bring an umbrella and raincoat. Contrary are those ancient building modeling and low-res textures, night building textures are also (seriously out of date) and no glass PBR, covering up ground photo or matching it into the default textures is in areas quite average and the ATC routes are not refined but there is a fix for WT3 users. Animation is minimal and non-existent landside (where it is badly needed). Three out of Five stars ☀️☀️☀️⭐⭐ LIMC - Milano Malpensa XP by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore here: Milano Malpensa XP Price is US$29.99 Requirements are: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.6 GB Current and Review version : 1.0 (October 24th 2019) Note version v1.1 fixes: Ortho4xp patch is now included, World Traffic routes added and Extra Animation has been added ________________________________________ Quick Impression by Stephen Dutton 21st November 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  20. Scenery Review : EDDF - Aerosoft Airport Frankfurt XP11 From the earliest days of Aerosoft providing scenery to the X-Plane simulator there has been a custom Frankfurt International airport in "Aerosoft - Frankfurt". This scenery was provided free with the introduction of X-Plane10 (X-Plane boxed set "Global Edition") and was made as were a few other Aerosoft airports in being in the default scenery and loaded into X-Plane as part of the main download or any update of the simulator... In other words you got the EDDF scenery if you wanted it or not. At first I was excited to have my first Aerosoft scenery, but over the years in reality I didn't much care for this EDDF or worse I hardly used it. Yes I flew into EDDF a few times (six I think) but mostly I found it missing something. It is still in your custom scenery folder if you want to browse it over, but what you will find is this... By early X-Plane10 standards it is pretty good, so what was my problem? Mostly it was in the way that Aerosoft were at the time not very good at using the intergration between their own ground textures and the X-Plane default textures and creating bands of nothing around the airport scenery... here at EDDF there wasn't actually any custom ground textures but still the empty spaces around the airport didn't use the autogen or the extensive default traffic system to their best advantages, so you always sort of got an airport that was isolated out there like an island feel. The airport buildings themselves are still pretty good, but the lower resolution does show, the scenery surprisingly is also heavy as well on your framerate for so little visually. Many users worked hard to fill in this default EDDF and were very successful for their extensive efforts as the basics are quite good to work with, but in reality you were working to fix something that was compromised in the first place. Overall because of Aerosoft's supreme reputation you expected far, far better so overall you were disappointed in this EDDF even if it was free. EDDF - Aerosoft Frankfurt XP11 So when the X-Plane11 version of EDDF - Frankfurt was released, you were really expecting the older original X-Plane10 scenery just to be updated for the current X-Plane version of X-Plane11. Well I was... ... but this EDDF - Frankfurt is absolutely nothing like the original version, quite simply it is excellent, and yes this scenery has that first time look of the "wow" factor, and I have already done six flights to EDDF and that is more flights to Frankfurt in one week than I have flown to the airport in the last five years. The so called "wow" factor is highlighted by certainly the X-Plane11 dynamics, but also by some other more important reasons which we will cover in this review, but the biggest change is really in the attitude of Aerosoft itself and the approach of the way they are now creating scenery for X-Plane. So let us now do first an overview of EDDF. Frankfurt Airport Flughafen Frankfurt am Main IATA: FRA - ICAO: EDDF 07R/25L - 4,000m (13,123ft) Asphalt 07C/25C - 4,000m (13,123ft) Asphalt 18/36 - 4,000m (13,123ft) Concrete 07L/25R - 2,800m (9,240ft) Concrete Elevation AMSL 364 ft / 111m Your first overview impression is that Frankfurt XP11 is really well now intergrated into X-Plane. The old bland layout setting has been totally wiped, with now the excellent ortho ground textures and well set out trees. One bonus of X-Plane11 is you also get the default German autogen and that looks great as well, but it comes with a big stick... there is a lot of autogen around EDDF (mostly to the north) and at full object settings it can be very heavy on your framerate... if you can run that setting then great for you, but even I had to pull the setting back one notch as shown here. You don't lose too much in the visual sense with the setting down a notch and considering the huge to massive object count in this scenery, the framerate count is very good if not excellent at this setting. The object count is extreme and to the limit, but there is a slight little bit of cheating going on in here as a lot of the buildings are really only quite basic and their textures are so good you don't really notice the square or oblong flat building holding them.... it is clever and never ever really looks that way in the scenery. But where it counts in the design of the terminals and the major significant buildings they are well designed and produced. Frankfurt Terminals Airside the Terminal layout looks quite confusing? But study the design from above and you can work it out. Frankfurt - FRA has two main terminals in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Obviously T1 is the original FRA terminal and to a point the original terminal is still there but now buried by decades of extensions. More to that fact is that the oldest part of the first terminal in Concourse B has just been completely renovated and Concourse A has been extended for A380 operations and is called A-Plus. Terminal 1 Terminal Mitte (Central Terminal, today known as Terminal 1) was originally divided into three concourses (A, B and C) with 56 gates and an electric baggage handling system. It was first opened to the public on 14 March 1972. Since the 1970's it has spurred off concourses and gates. The layout now is Concourse A and AZ, Concourse B and Concourse C. Concourse B is now the old Central Terminal reconfigured (above) and Concourse A and AZ (below) is to the west and Concourse C to the east. Gate numbering is not sequential and there are 25 gates in Concourse A/Z, 18 gates in Concourse B and 11 gates in Concourse C. Concourse A The new A-Plus (Z) concourse (below) can park category F A380's with gates A54, A58, A62 and A66 with double deck boarding gates. Modeling is excellent, but it is those reflective glass textures that are really the business, this is as real as it is going to get for any simulation... Concourse B The two spread circular arms of concourse B have been remodeled to match the rest of FRA. But the central original Mitte Terminal is still visible amongst all the decades of renovations, the old control tower is like a ships bridge that still looks out over the ramps, even though it is not used any more, and the original terminal glasswork is a transport back into time and another era of aviation, yes it looked liked that to me as a boy... There are two category F gates on each circular arm in B28 and B46... ... and again attention to detail is extraordinary good. Concourse B is very well modeled in blending in the past with the newer elements. Great detail in passenger moving coupling buses as every area is very well populated with ground and ramp equipment, that is very well placed to add in the correct volume of visual equipment without obstructing you when arriving and departing the gate. Concourse C The left arm on arrival into Terminal 1 is the Concourse C. The concourse is a real mixture of old and new, with the older inner gates in a marked contrast to the new category F A380 (yes more) gates in C14 - C16 to the east. The addition of the newer C gates can confuse with the Terminal 2 gates of D and E as the C gates overlap well into the Terminal two area... So if you want a different contrast of a EDDF arrival than the overwhelming mostly glassy modern Germanic architecture then Gates C 1 - C11 will give you more of the original FRA feel, just like the few pockets left of older gates at Heathrow. The contrast between the eras has been well developed here and the newer terminal glass looks so good it is translucent. Terminal 2 Terminal 2, which has a capacity of 15 million passengers a year, was opened in 1994 and is divided into concourses D and E. It is a continuous concourse between the main Terminal 1C and 2D provides direct, but non-public access between the two terminals. It has eight gates with jetways and 34 apron stands for a total of 42 gates. The glass construction of T2 is different from the rest of FRA's terminals, but still very green glassy in design. This is the terminal for the oneworld team of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines and SkyTeam alliances of Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Saudia, TAROM and Vietnam Airlines with gates E2 and E5 as category F. All gates have the animated boarding bridges with Safedock A-VDGSs and marshallers on stands, but which ones work and which ones are the eligible gates/stands is not easy to find out as there is so many to check around, the few gates I used were animated and did work well in A24 and B27. There is huge amount of animated traffic as well as this EDDF is a busy place. The traffic tends to queue up a lot, mostly at intersections and parked aircraft, but that just adds into the dynamics of the airport. The Fraport railcars that connects to all the terminals are in there, but not animated. Lufthansa Technik and Fuel Depot Lufthansa'a engineering arm Lufthansa Technik has a very large presence at EDDF. It is set out in two areas with one central north and another larger facility on the south side of the airport (built for the airlines A380's). In the central north there is a very iconic and distinctive maintenance hangar. The buildings construction is excellent with perfect realistic textures, certainly with the concrete roof supports, there is a secondary large maintenance building behind the hangar. Next to the Technik hangar is the airports fuel depot. Not just the actual tanks, but great detailing around them with buildings, pipes, fencing and vehicles... this type of detailing is highly evident right though out this scenery, there so much visual detail that is present and certainly far too much to cover in any detail here in this review, but for noted eye candy you have almost everything you need to fill out all your senses here. Cargo Frankfurt is the second largest cargo hub in Europe after Charles De Gaulle in Paris and the huge facility here is split into two areas with in the north (CargoCity Nord) and in the south (CargoCity Süd). CargoCity Nord is all Lufthansa and is basically two separate ramp areas and is the Lufthansa Cargo headquarters. For the haulers out there then this is the place to work from, it is about as good as it gets and this is the departure point for the interesting Lufthansa Cargo route to Yemelyanovo Airport in Russia. So why fly an MD11F to a freezing cold Russian airport in the absolutely middle of nowhere? To get Russian overflight clearance, that is why. Overall the FRA Nord Cargo area is one of the best in X-Plane with great detail and markings and all the buildings and cargo storage areas are first rate. Far west CargoCity Nord is a multipurpose cargo area with a big FedEx complex, and some small hauler/carrier offices. A note is important here. The main taxiway to "Runway Northwest" 07L/25R cuts through Cargo Nord at intersection N11 to taxiways F then P. This taxiway is so, so easy to miss but then get ready to turn right just past the fuel depot. The Lufthansa Technical Training building (above right) is off this taxiway P as well. EDDF Control Tower Frankfurt's main Control Tower is position central by the A gates and Lufthansa Technik hangar. Modeling of the tower is absolutely first rate, with great detail and excellent glasswork. Finer details include railings, air-conditioners and stairs. Field view is obstructed by the tower elements, but not in a poor way as all the approaches can still be seen clearly. Frankfurt Landside The original Aerosoft Frankfurt scenery (the free one) did have a lot of landside buildings, but they were more generic than attributed to the actual airport skyline. To many the inclusion of these buildings are not the primary aspect of the airport, but to a point they are as important as the actual representations of terminals and airport logistics, in many ways these landside skylines represent the airport as a whole... the wide view so to speak, so if they work well then so does the whole scenery and that aspect is certainly crucial here at FRA. You are not disappointed here in that aspect either. Every significant building or complex has been covered, even the more outer perimeter flat/hi-rise towers are represented. The list of course is huge, from Sheraton Hotels to airport administration buildings they are all here and fully modeled for your enjoyment... but there has to be a catch? Well there is... you can't have a huge object count and not feel it on your framerate, so there has to be a compromise. For smaller mid-sized airports you can do that high object detailing and even down to say park benches or wastebins. But you can't do that in a scenery this large and expansive. Aerosoft's basic textures are very light or a lower resolution than anything else, their argument would be that you really don't see them anyway with the building placement. So the ground textures are mostly low-res and it shows and the ground fill (cars, buses) is light as well, and as noted many of the buildings are quite basic modeling wise, but the good quality textures surrounding them hide that fact. The important aspects are however in there. Like the First Class Reception centre of which most of us earthly beings will never see inside of... and the great modeling of the huge Sheraton Hotel/Frankfurt Airport Centre complex. The most significant building is of course is the 2011 large office building called "The Squaire" (a portmanteau of square and air). It was built on top of the Airport long-distance station and is considered the largest office building in Germany with 140,000 m2 (1,500,000 sq ft) floor area. The main tenants are KPMG and the two Hilton Hotels. And like were it counts with the Squaire, the modeling is absolutely first rate (the glass work is exceptional), and the active traffic (and trains) works well here as part of the scenery that flows under the building. The traffic system is used to great effect also in the far east section of FRA, it is perfectly intergrated and visually very good. LH Sky Chef's Catering and another small cargo hub is positioned here in the east as well. A great addition to the scenery is the Commerzbank-Arena that is situated far east of EDDF, but is significant visually for all eastern approaches. South EDDF The south section of Frankfurt Airport was up until recently the Rhein-Main Air Base. It was closed on the 30 December 2005, as the US Air Force moved then to Ramstein Air Base. This area's history actually goes back even further as it was originally part of a base used as a field for fixed-wing aircraft and in the extreme southern part near Zeppelinheim it served as a base for the Zeppelin rigid airships. This section of Rhein-Main later became the base for the Graf Zeppelin, its sister ship LZ-130, and until 6 May 1937 for the ill-fated Hindenburg. The airships were later dismantled and their huge hangars demolished on 6 May 1940 during the conversion of the base to military use. Most of the airbase has now gone, but a few remnants remain like the Dakota C47 and C-54 Skymaster by the Berlin Airlift Memorial and old gatehouse. A lot of the old expansive airforce base ramp space is good for aircraft storage, but the area is earmarked for Frankfurt's new Terminal 3 complex. The new A380 Lufthansa Technik maintenance hangar is impressive, massive, but the detailing on the other Lufthansa Technik hangar is also excellent. There is an engine test blast fence here as well. Most of the southern area is part maintenance for Condor and Lufthansa Cityline and part CargoCity Süd (South). All south side buildings are covered and the old military tower is now the south ramp tower, it is really another airport on its own without the huge complex the other side of the runways... The old airbase headquarters is now a hotel, and south, south there are factories just placed on the ground, but with no real detail as their only purpose is to fill out the area. Runways The main active runways are the two parallel runways of 07R/25L - 07C/25C. Runway and taxiway textures are first rate if not perfect. Lineage and signage is as expected very good, but it very easy to get lost out here, so study your ground chart. In the right lighting conditions the ground reflections are very good and shows you the great and almost realistic 3d asphalt textures. note the worn to lighter parts of the asphalt... lovely. There is however no famous Aerosoft 3d grass, and it is highly noticeable with the wide flat grass field areas. My guess it was the framerate hit that succumbed us to the loss... but I think we still could have had the choice. Runway 18 is used only for departures south and is great to use with the busy parallel runways of 07R - 07C providing brilliant arrivals vistas... The controversial new 07L/25R is great as well. This runway is used only for arrivals and there is a great Fire Station located on taxiway P. Main highlights here though on 07L/25R are the two aircraft overpasses over the A3 autobahn... who doesn't love an aircraft overpass and certainly when you get a lot of traffic and even trains running under you, and there is one situated on taxiway P... ... and the other overpass is on taxiway P1 far west of the cargo area. WT3 : WorldTraffic3 Aerosoft's EDDF - Frankfurt is fully compatible with all A.I., X-Life and WorldTraffic3 activity. The airport has extensive WED ground routes that are highly modified for activity operations, and for me and throughout this review I have used the WorldTraffic3 plugin. Lately on its airport conversions, Aerosoft have used an excellent X-Plane developer called Omar Mansoor. The differences of the quality and how good a (talented) X-Plane scenery developer can bring to a scenery is no doubt highlighted very well here. The ground routes which were created after WT3's release are simply superb. A run of the route generator creates perfect ground routes for you to use, and if any scenery displays the sheer brilliance of WorldTraffic3 in action is certainly here at EDDF. The images throughout this review speak for themselves. But the highlights are that all cargo areas/flights are fully functional and if you like A380's then you will go to superheavy heaven here... Set your clock to 8.30am Frankfurt time and watch them roll in and out, six A380's leave and two arrive in twenty minutes. And all throughtout the day these aviation monsters arrive and depart from mostly Asia or Lufthansa's departing to America. WT3 on or off is a stark comparison, but the airport will tick over like clockwork if you set the real time AFRE routes... ... and EDDF is always running WT3 busy, busy day or night. But somehow they all land, find and park at a gate. If you want EDDF, then also purchase WT3 as they live together perfectly and go hand in hand. Lighting EDDF's lighting is excellent, and in some areas some of the best night textures you have seen. The airport lighting and the night traffic lighting combines to make any approach exciting. Runway and taxiway lighting is first rate and what you would expect from a major country hub like FRA. But the taxiway signage can be slightly dull, but is realistic. There is nice varied lighting and the ramps do look spectacular with great spot and throw elements. The only areas that are dark and should be lit are between the Hotels/Carparks and Terminal one, it is all in terminal darkness and not lit at all (below right)? Again it is the what you don't see you don't need factor, but it is highly noticeable from anywhere in the air. For the main Terminals and ramp areas you have however the best night building textures and lighting you can get. Signage and windows look excellent and highly realistic... Anyone would welcome an arrival here with these excellent textures, and working on the ramps here is a breeze. Two other highlights are the lovely Lufthansa Technik hangar doors with a nicely lit Control Tower right next to it. And the really well lit beautiful blue the "Squaire" and Sheraton Hotel. Services I could fill two pages of services for EDDF... Lufthansa LH of course dominates everything here but in reality you have everything from LCC's (LCC's mostly park on the South side) and there are stands and ramps for everysize and every type of commercial aircraft you fly. There is a very small area for General Aviation on the south side, but EDDF is all totally commercial and legacy airline operations hub right up to those huge A380's. Cargo is the same with Lufthansa Cargo the main tenant, but there is ramp space and parking areas to use to fly to any haulers destination in any operators aircraft. In other words it is one of the best cargo hubs in the world. Summary Frankfurt EDDF is a huge German Hub and this scenery is just as mammoth in its scale and content. Yes Aerosoft's FRA does have that huge wow factor, but it is in the finer details that makes it really stand out above the crowd. Aerosoft in reality has for years delivered airports of this scale and quality. But the scenery was missing that certain vital element to make them first grade. Here with Omar Mansoor's input and skill, he brings EDDF alive like only X-Plane11 can with ground airport traffic, A-VDGS animated gates, lighting and excellent laid out ground routes, add in the WorldTraffic3 action and you have a blockbuster of a scenery. All the main modeling and 3d work is exceptional as is the landside building fill as well. Detailing and the sheer object count here should bring your computer to its knees, but EDDF doesn't do that because of the lighter ground textures and none overfill in areas that don't require intimate filling just for the sake of having it there. With this size of object count the scenery is excellent on frame rate, but there is still a lot of objects in here and so even I use the one step down of object (graphic) setting to not to ruin all the action... overall the scenery is excellent on frameweight within reason. Building Hi-Resolution textures are some of the very best in the business, in the day or night as is the runway and taxiway textures, signage and layouts. All round Aerosoft's EDDF - Frankfurt is the best future of X-Plane scenery that you will get today. The deal is that it is the most complete scenery in every area of a large commercial airport (not to be compared with a small highly -detailed scaled airport) as sceneries of this size usually come with some sort of compromise, but EDDF doesn't have that compromise, it has everything, and delivers everything you want in a major hub of a scenery. Invest in EDDF and be sure of a lot of use and enjoyment out of this excellent part of your X-Plane flying... If you fly in Europe or fly to Europe then you will need EDDF Airport Frankfurt... it is just as simple as that. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the EDDF - Airport Frankfurt XP11 by Aerosoft is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Frankfurt XP11 Your Price is US$32.99 Features: All 3D objects of the airport area recreated according to the official documents of the Fraport AG Uses advanced XPlane features such as 3D spill lights and glass reflections Animated passenger boarding bridges, Safedock A-VDGSs and marshallers at all eligible gates/stands (using the freely available AutoGate plug-in) Complete taxiway network for use by ATC and AI aircraft Fully compatible with the X-Life plug-in by JARDesign Makes full use of the new ground service vehicles introduced in XPlane 11 Thousands of hand-placed objects such as parked cars and streetlights Road network with animated traffic Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Highly Recommended Installation : Download scenery file size is 134.40mb. With the full installation listed below in your custom scenery folder. Aerosoft_EDDF_1_Parked_Cars (35 kb) Aerosoft_EDDF_2_Roads (23 kb) Aerosoft_EDDF_3_Scenery (499.80mb) Parked Cars and Roads can be turned off to save framerate, but the saving is small. I recommend using the Frankfurt/Main VFR scenery for the Frankfurt city skyline, download link is below. Great visually but no LIT textures at night? Documents Charts_Airport_Frankfurt_XP11 (100 pages) Airport Frankfurt V2.0 XP-11 Version Technical Manual (X-Plane details) Manual_Airport_Frankfurt_XP11 (Aerosoft) WT3 : WorldTraffic3 ground route conversion is absolutely excellent and activity is perfect... Full cargo and lots of A380 activity with real time AFRE arrival and departures... a must have for this scenery! ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 7th December 2017 Copyright©2017: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.05 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 Default by Laminar Research (Free with X-Plane11) - Frankfurt/Main VFR - Scenery Packages (v11,v 10, v9) By Günther Kremp (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  21. Scenery Review : EGCC - Manchester XP11 by Aerosoft After breakfast I did the usual bookmark rounds to see what had been released while I was still in the land of sweet dreams and the thoughts of Scarlett Ingrid Johansson doing nice things with me (I'm not married so I can have these thoughts). First up was a new version for X-Plane11 of EGCC - Manchester from Aerosoft... it was going to be a very good day! This scenery staple was originally created by the now split Icarius Studios : Scenery Review : EGCC Manchester Airport by Aerosoft/Icarius. Over the years this excellent Manchester scenery has been one of my absolute staple go to sceneries for not only reviews but also for a lot of my own simulation flying. It is an important scenery to me personally, as I was born only a few miles away just over the Welsh border, but also for the sheer quality of the scenery for realism in the simulator. This X-Plane10 EGCC is also part of my 10 ten best of sceneries in X-Plane.... so yes I like this Aerosoft/Icarius scenery and use it a lot. The Good So an upgrade to X-Plane11 is very welcome and certainly as Aerosoft have now included the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin feature as well... the grin then got a lot bigger. First impressions were good as well... the new underlay and ground textures are nice... EGCC never looked better and looked gorgeous. Some of the original Icarius building modeling is still here, but updated with X-Plane11 dynamic glass reflections and PBR effects... Glass in the ramp and old control towers are now clear... but it all looks strangely odd? Runway and taxiways have PBR reflection dynamics for that wet surface look... and yes I like that wet surface look. ... so all the new ground textures are redone and X-Plane11 and the ground textures now have Full Orbx (TrueEarth) compatibility. The SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin has also been added and obviously it is a very welcome addition... but I am still a little perplexed to see that a lot of the airbridges still however don't match up correctly to the aircraft doorways... some aircraft like the FlightFactor A350 are still well out or even completely out of alignment? The ToLiSS Airbus A319 alignment is slightly too high as well... as these airbridges are manually configured by Stairport Sceneries and don't rely on the developers to do the alignment, which makes the whole point of the out of alignment issue a bit more of a head scratcher. There is also now a "Winter" MOD as well... the winter mode can be used with the various version from winter textures and colour corrections for Orbx sceneries, TerraMaxx with and the JSGME MOD, of which I used here.... ... the MOD works, but there are areas of joins that are (green and sharply) noticeable, trees and many buildings are white... whited out, so they don't look authentic alongside the default winter trees.... but any winter settings are always welcome. The bad and the Really Ugly To this point the new EGCC - Manchester in X-Plane11 form looks very good... but I was realising that the scenery was not showing a lot of the detail that was present on the earlier XP10 version, and then the more I looked at the detail then the more horrified I became in what I saw.... No I ❤️ MCR? (XP10 left, XP11 Right) Yes I know that the ❤️ logo is now a faded mess at EGCC, but I still like it... Taxiway J Blast wall is missing and you have the wrong warehouse design? The "Airport Hotel" pub detail is stripped bare? Oh the pain! "Oh my god what have they done to this scenery!" All the scenery fencing is missing and it is highly noticeable, certainly around the northeastern boundary, where the road networks are completely totally ruined as well... You get better detailed 3d vehicles, but the rest is simply a mess, there is no carpark lighting, no fencing, no entrance gates... well nothing? The quality detailed carparks have been replaced by crap flat versions, and again with no fencing or lighting? Airport approach road networks are totally ruined, they are just now a flat green not anything. Old MCR Control tower is missing the ground radar, the building textures are also different, and have lost their worn decades old feel? The filled in green tower windows look years better than the newer clear versions. The "Runway Visitor Park" has not been spared the murdering either? The Cafe/Museum with the internal Concorde that can now not be seen... all detail here is wiped away. ... no fencing... oh why not!... just let the kiddies play on the taxiways. Engine test area is missing the inner blast fence.... .... and the Runway 05L threshold radar tower is also completely missing.... "but oh who by now really cares anymore!" Lighting Obviously with so much detailed lighting removed, you knew beforehand that the EGCC XP11 lighting would be bad, and it is... (XP10 left and XP11 Right) Even if the lighting is slightly dated in the XP10 version, it is still world's away from the horrible lighting in the XP11 version... lovely lit carparks are rendered into black holes in the XP11 version? Nicely lit motorways are also replaced by a darkness of gloom... Summary Icarius Studios created one of the best loved and highly detailed sceneries of EGCC - Manchester for X-Plane10, this was of course in association (or branding) with Aerosoft. This is the newer X-Plane11 version from Aerosoft. With the upgrade to XP11 comes all the X-Plane11 dynamic features like reflective glass, taxiways and runways. Newer and better ground textures for use with Orbix TrueEarth compatiblity and AI Traffic and World Traffic 3 compatibility. Winter textures that will change with the seasons and of course the current scenery must have in the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin. All very nice. The general idea with an upgraded project, either in an aircraft or scenery. Is that the newer version is usually a big step forward in quality and features than the older version it is replacing in line with the advancement of the simulator.... in most if not all cases that is usually the case or the deal. But this newer X-Plane11 version of replacing the Icarius Studios XP10 version is simply a devastating mess, 60% of the original detail is simply gone, road networks ruined, average modeling and textures, missing elements like radar (and their towers), no fencing, road, street and carpark lighting and all the original quality is now in tatters, file size is now enormous to the detail, Winter textures are over whited. Words like "Epic Fail", "Monstrosity" and any other thesaurus crap you lavish on this scenery is well deserved. God help us if Aerosoft do the same hatchet job on Icarius Studio's other sister scenery in EDIW - Dublin. If you already have the original XP10 EGCC from Icarius then simply don't replace it, you don't need to as you will be installing a far more inferior scenery... I would personally will pay anyone to install the SAM plugin on the XP10 older scenery to have that functionality, the rest shown here is simply not worth bothering with... Aerosoft's EGCC XP11 is certainly NOT Highly Recommended... Just keep the old one! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! EGCC - Manchester XP11 by Aerosoft is Available (sic) from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Manchester XP11 Price Is US$19.99 Features HD ground textures including PBR Custom HDR night lighting Custom static aircrafts HD vegetation Animated service vehicles Animated jetways/VDGS/marshaller (SAM plugin required) Full Orbx compatibility (Orbx TrueEarth required) Compatible with default AI Traffic and World Traffic 3 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Version: 1.0 (April 2nd 2019) Installation Download scenery file size is download 1.30Gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder at a huge 5.05Gb One folder: Aerosoft - EGCC Manchester Replaces the original three install files: EGCC - Manchester Ground Traffic EGCC Manchester Airport EGCC Manchester Mesh OPTIONS Folder holds "Winter" files. They cover Orbix, TerraMaxx and JSGME MOD Colors + Seasons JSGME Mods SAM - Scenery Animation Manager Plugin - Free, is required for this scenery Documents One manual with notes in English and German  Manual_Airport_Manchester_de-en.pdf ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 3rd April 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : SAM Plugin - Free (required) Scenery or Aircraft ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  22. Scenery Review : Faroe Islands XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane Sited almost directly between Norway and Iceland, and 200 miles (320 km) north-northwest off the coast of Scotland is the Faroe Islands. This archipelago area of 18 islands is about 540 square miles (1,400 km2) with a general population of 50,322 and is part of the 1814 Treaty of Kiel that granted Denmark control over the islands, along with the two other Norwegian island possessions of Greenland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands have been a self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark since 1948. In world terms these islands are absolutely nowheresville, and buffeted by the strong winds of the North Atlantic on one side and the cold arctic winds of the Norwegian Sea with a climate that is classifed as subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc) or very windy, wet, cloudy, and cool. Temperatures are usually average to above freezing throughout the year, and it is all so desolate and windswept that there are the only two images that comes to mind when thinking of these groups of windswept rocks, so why would you want to really go there?... then why not, because the Faroe Islands are perfect for everything we love to do in flying simulators. It is a remote destination, it is very challenging flying wise and it is somewhere very different to explore... Faroe has got it all in three and plus with a great name like "Vágar!" that is very Viking in origin, and that makes it all sound like a brilliant destination. (Apple Maps) I will note from the off that the scenery is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, but a very clever one but also hence the requirement of a large download (1.5gb) and the install (2.35gb) of which in reality supply two sets of the same terrain mesh and textures... one for summer and one for winter. They switch depending on the time of the year, so if you want the summer textures then set your calendar to July or August, if you want the winter then set the date to December or January, the best way to switch is via the reload scenery selection in the developers X-Plane menu, also the "Runways Follow Terrain Contours" checkbox needs to be on. As it is currently January at this time of the review my settings are set in the winter mode, but I will show both seasons. First Impressions I started services to the Faroe's with a twin hop... one from EGKK (Gatwick) to EGPH (Edinburgh) and then the second service on to EKVG (Vágar). I am flying FJS Sim's Dash Q400, so I figured I needed an extra service to sharpen up my skills in that I haven't flown the Dashy for a few months and that the approach to EKVG was going to need all of my skills ready and fine tuned for a interesting landing, and certainly my foresight was well founded. Being the dead of winter it was certainly very cold up at FL220 (22,00ft) and the Dashy needed the de-icing switched on to cover the -38º cold air, It was already on my mind what conditions I would have to face when I got to the Faroe's as Scotland was already at it's freezing drizzly best. 40nm out and the start of descent and it didn't look any better as the cloud cover was thick and far to the horizon, once under it was as expected seriously murky... Approach was from the south into EKVG RWY30, there are no VOR stations on Vagar (the island) but only two NDB frequencies in (VAGAR - 348 VG) and (MYGGENAES - 337 MY) close to the airport (there are overall four NDB stations). Both runways have ILS approach systems with RWY 30 (110.30 MF) and RWY 12 (109.10 SF) but to note that RWY 12's ILS is offset to 111º. So with the conditions I picked RWY30. In the murk I finally saw the canyon terrain as you thread your way up the Hestfjørður between the southern part of Streymoy the main island of the Faroes and smaller Hestur Island on the east, on the tracking you go slightly west and the chart notes not to go lower than 4,000ft, with reason. I didn't and went down to 2000ft to help with the visibility to my bad... The next island after Hestur is Koltur and it is all mountain peak and it made it's presence known very quickly within the murk... I judged the height, but it was still very close with the terrain warnings raining over me, next time I will stick with the 4,000ft limit. Once past Koltur then Vagar Airport is directly in front of you on Vagar Island, but again still don't start descending as the terrain is still quite high on the left.... and spectacular it is! and more of a warning if you want to do a short approach and cut around through Vagafjørður to avoid Koltur Island, as you still need that height judgement on the approach. If you have the tools then use them, and ILS glideslope into RWY30 is a good guide, but be very aware if you want then switch over early to do the manual landing phase, as with switching off the Autopilot can then put you in a very tricky place as the side crosswinds across the Vagafjørður are savagely ferocious... I held on, but it could have also gone all seriously wrong and right down to the threshold, as I really had my hands full just keeping the aircraft tracking the centre approach lighting correctly... the charts are noted with a lot of cautions! Just to note this is midday in Vagar as daylight in January from sunrise at 9.41am to sunset at 3.26pm as that is barely six hours of daylight, and it is mostly dull even then. Both runway approaches have RAIL guidance, but to note the runway 12/30 1,799m (5,902ft) on approach looks very short, it isn't but sloped, but I would call it more curved at both ends... Maps2XPlane have done a great job getting it very exact to the the original gradients. Both ends of the 12/30 runway have turnaround areas, but they are both quite small, so watch the tight turning for say a B737/A320... the taxiway in is central runway, so it is a fair taxi back to the turn entrance... the Vágar airport looks however extremely authentic that was created by Albert Ràfols, so I am certainly getting a quality feelback to the scenery, it feels a little like the old Truscenery Tampere-Pirkkala airport, but not quite as detailed. Aerosoft in their manual noted to turn on the "draw parked aircraft" selection in the X-Plane menu, but what appeared was not what I expected, but a Hawaiian A330??? I though that Aerosoft had their own static aircraft library? They do, and obviously it doesn't work... so the HA A330 was quickly banished. I parked at stand 4 in front of the newer opened 17th June 2014 terminal, with the older one to the left and a small cargo facility to the right (Stand 5). Stands 1 and 2 are both turn around stands as 3, 4 and 5 are nose in parking and there are three helicopter pads are available directly in front of the main apron (one has a static aircraft). So the first impressions are overwhelmingly great even if you can't actually see much of the scenery, and even more so with the difficult conditions raging around me, but I would expect that at this time of the year as it is possibly normal, but with the winter effects running it certainly was very realistic in creating that extreme environment (note the weather was created by xEnviro). EKVG - Vágar Airport The airport was built by British Royal Engineers during World War II on the island of Vágar. The site was chosen mainly because it was hard to see from the surrounding waters and the area was hidden from any potential guns of a German warship. The first aircraft landed here in Autumn 1942. Also British engineers had similarly first built Reykjavík Airport in Iceland in 1940, then known as RAF Reykjavik, following the British Occupation of Iceland. After the war, Vágar airfield was abandoned and left unused until 1963 when it was reopened as a civilian airport at the initiative of two Sørvágur residents, Hugo Fjørðoy and Lars Larsen. The two worked with the Icelandic airline Icelandair which began the scheduled flights to Bergan, Copenhagen and Glasgow using a DC-3 aircraft (Just think flying around here in a DC-3! good god). In 1964 a separate airline, Faroe Airways, operated flights, The company ceased operating on 28 September 1967. In 1971, Icelandair was then operating Boeing 727-100 jetliners into the airport with weekly nonstop services to Glasgow and Reykjavik. In 1988, Atlantic Airways was formed and flying British Aerospace BAe 146-200 jet services nonstop to Copenhagen. Until 2004 Maersk Air also operated flights into the airport. Maersk Air flew Boeing 737-500 jetliners into the airport with services to Copenhagen, with aircraft's short airfield performance of the British Aerospace BAe 146-200 which was the best type until the runway was extended on 3rd December 2011. Atlantic Airways is now the only Faroe airline with one A320-200 and two A319.100's. SAS also started a Copenhagen service in March 2016. Vágar Airport Vága Floghavn IATA: FAE - ICAO: EKVG 12/30 1,799m (5,902ft) - Asphalt Elevation AMSL 280 ft / 85 m As a landscape the setting for Vágar Airport is breathtaking, certainly in the winter setting. Note both approach lighting pylons that are in brilliant detail. Airport and terminal layout and is exceptional by Albert Ràfols, you have the detail and weathering for authenticity and for the perfect local Faroe ambience. Basically there are three areas, the long rear Cargo/New Terminal/Old Terminal area, the forward Control Tower and built-in fire station and the only large airport maintenance hanger which is also a base for Atlantic Airways. There is a great contrast between the two terminals, with the glass and steel of the new building and the old wooden timber feel of the original 1963 terminal, note the original hut style "Customs" hall. There is really great lattice work on the modern terminal landside and all the glass and surfaces are reflective and PBR active... ... carpark detail is also first rate with great ground textures and markings, with the excellently detailed covered walkways and the quality 3d static vehicles. Only notable omission is the no active ramp vehicle traffic, but the point is that EKVG is not going to be really buzzy busy airport, so I think that aspect would work more against the scenery than for it. The hanger/base for Atlantic Airways is visually the standout, mainly because of it's yellow colour scheme, but it looks very authentic, shame the doors don't open, SAM style. Control Tower - Fire Station The distinctive control tower is really well recreated, as two levels cover the approach and ramp activities... there is a static S&R helicopter on standby out front... No poking out the door with any Fire Engines, but again I think that is again for the better here, as with the static vehicles in there is enough, but not an overwhelming feeling of clutter... in other words perfect. Tower view is set perfectly... with the setting just above the aerials and with that you get a full complete 180º unobstructed view of both the approaches (on a clear day). Helicopter Pads Besides the main airport at Vágar there are also eight helipads that are spread out all over the islands as in most cases it is only by air that is the main way (or the only way) to navigate the islands, all have this great infrastructure or buildings built around the pads and as they are not just plonked straight in there as most scenery developers usually do... the Heliport at Tórshavn is the standout (below left). Runway textures All textures and ground elements of the runway confines and surfaces are excellent, there are also perfect ground surfaces that looks realistic with weathered wear. note the authentic snow sticks for taxiway edge navigation.... all surfaces are also reflective and fully PBR active, nice. Faroe Islands The scenery is not just a focus on the airport, but on the whole archipelago area of the18 islands that makes up the Faroe chain. Provided is high resolution HD terrain mesh that is extremely detailed. There is 1.400 km² of Faroe area to be explored and all are in high quality mesh landscapes, yes it is all very highly impressive, and highly realistic as well. As the only thing missing are the puffins on the craggy cliff faces. Faroe settlements, villages and townships are dotted totally throughout the scenery on all islands with connecting active traffic (unless on the outer islands)... ... with the township of Sørvágur which is on the approach to RWY 12... ... and Sandavágur that is on the right on the approach into RWY 30... note the fishing circles. And the village is voted the most famous village in the country, and also best voted as a traveling experience and highlighted by the beautiful red-roofed Church has a distinctive architecture that was built in 1917. This point highlights the only real adverse area of the Faroe scenery. There are yes the distinctive Faroe architecture in houses and dwellings but not much else... as the distinctive churches are also critically missing, as say there also is neither any industrial buildings in sheds or warehouses... not even the fishing boats on which that the Faroe economy depends on? Which brings us the capital of Faroe in Tórshavn. Overall Tórshavn is very disappointing in context with the very high quality of the rest of the scenery. The capital is just more of the same of a lot of Faroe housing with no port? or any commercial infrastructure or buildings visible either? There is no ferry in the harbour or really anything at all... The capital has a lovely fishing village feel with coloured housing surrounding the port (very Dutch) with the distinctive buildings on the entrance to the port... you are not expecting a complete recreation of the capital here, but you do expect something to sort of represent it? Summer Seasonal Textures Switching to the summer season in Faroe is visually extremely dynamic, it is almost a completely different style and feel of scenery. I debated on which seasonal scenery was the best season to represent the review... but in reality they are really completely Jekyll and Hyde in comparison. The landscape is all quite breathtaking in scale and detail... Night Lighting Overall the lighting is very good at EKVG - Vágar... with a nice contrast between the airside and the brighter landside illumination. Aprons are bright and workable, but like most developers with reflective glass the new terminal feel is a bit flat, and even dull.... ... the nice spot lighting on the lattice work terminal landside however does lift it up, as does the great lighting in the carpark. The Atlantic Airways hangar is very imposing and there is a large amount of very well done drop down spot lights on most of the buildings... .... so it is a high pass on good lighting. Summary At US$45.99 then Faroe Islands XP scenery is not cheap and that high price might put some users off in purchasing this excellent scenery... but even with that high price then there is a lot of value to take in here. As for being quality scenery Faroes XP does certainly deliver, and it is also an interesting diversity as in reality you really have two sceneries in one as there is the huge contrast between teach of the seasonal textures which are quite unique... and they both certainly deliver that "Wow" factor, as noted was my arrival in mid-January which was very dynamic and authentic, but any arrival in the summer would give you just another style of an astounding experience. And there is this huge expanse of high quality landscape to explore, either by helicopter or even with a general aviation aircraft, or say a very light aircraft (or glider) of even the Aerolite 103 style, which would allow you to soar around those magnificent cliff formations. Airport quality and detail is excellent, but Faroe has no active apron traffic, (dynamic vehicle traffic however covers all the drivable islands) but as noted it is debatable that a lot of ramp activity is actually required. Night lighting gives you a dull terminal, but otherwise it is all very good. Negatives... actually not a lot, but for the money, the oversight of not developing even a basic foundation of the Faroe capital in Tórshavn with a port, is one that should be quickly rectified, these islands are here to be explored and the area with Tórshavn in my mind is very important into delivering the full exploring island experience, a few local (colourful) churches would not go amiss either. If you read a lot of X-PlaneReviews you will know that I support that scenery value comes from the usage, or the versatility within the simulator. Even considering the remote aspect of this Faroe scenery in that context the scenery is a very worthy addition to your X-Plane simulator, certainly if you fly within the northern European context. For one the scenery is extremely challenging on approaches (certainly in poor weather conditions), but also visually it is very comprehensive and dynamic. Routing can be very interesting between Iceland, Norway, Denmark and the UK, but Atlantic Airway's do services as far away as the Mediterranean ports and SAS also do services... overall it is the huge amount of landscape that is on offer and in very high quality visually aspect as well, and that credible distinction will certainly draw you here, it is just one of those types of sceneries you could get easily addicted to like I did with Aerosoft's Keflavik Airport, and keep coming back to again and again, Faroe XP is a very worthy addition to the X-Plane landscape.... Highly Recommended! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Faroe Islands XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Faroe Islands XP Price Is US$45.99 Features: Realistic recreation of the complete Faroe Islands with an area of about 1.400 km² High resolution terrain mesh with various texture sets for a seasonal representation Customized local terrain details, e.g. realistically sloped runway at the Vágar Airport Detailed rendition of the Vágar Airport and the eight helipads spread over the archipelago Faroese themed autogen, navigation obstacles and dynamic traffic on the islands Hundreds of custom objects with PBR materials, 3D vegetation, night lighting WT3: Ground routes are set in the scenery and the scenery will generate a set of routes. No custom routes are yet available. Yes they work, but only in a limited capacity with only the Atlantic A319's doing all the traffic work... Many GA or Jet arrivals just disappear on landing, but the runway layout with turnarounds makes EKVG hard to navigate... a custom adjustment would certainly help... but overall WT3 works. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum Download size: 1.3Gb Review version v1.0 Installation Download scenery file size is download 1.5gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are three install folders: Faroes4XPlane - Overlay (206.40mb) Faroes4XPlane - Airport (2.01gb) Faroes4XPlane - Terrain (311.4 gb)  Total scenery Install is : 2.35gb  The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... and that the Faroes4XPlane - Terrain Mesh is below the Airport and overlay files. Documents Manual_Faroe_Islands_XP11_de-en_web (In German and English) ______________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton 16th January 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.30 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 by FlyJSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$30.00 - AW139 4.0 - By Laminar Research (default) - Free
  23. Scenery Release/Update : Aerosoft update Zurich v2 and release Genoa both with SAM plugin Aerosoft have updated their LSZH - Zurich v2 Airport to v2.05. And released their LIMJ - Airport Genoa “Cristoforo Colombo” for X-Plane11 at the same time. In most cases this is just an upgrade or a new scenery release. But both of these sceneries come with the built in effects of the new plugin from Stairport Sceneries called SAM... or "Scenery Animation Manager", and in the case of Zurich v2.05 it is the main reason for the scenery upgrade. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager Over the last year or so X-Plane has had a few breakthrough's in introducing new ideas to replace the older free but essential elements in the simulator. First it was push back trucks with the excellent "BetterPushBack" plugin that is a brilliant creation to replace the totally wide variety of pushback ideas. Now here is another clever plugin to replace another stalwart but quite basic plugin tool "Autogate" for airbridges by Marginal. When released the Autogate feature was a revelation, it still is very good, but with no updates or newly added features for many years it does feel now quite outdated. Autogate also had a few limitations. As for one it totally relied on the aircraft developer setting the door point in X-Plane's PlaneMaker application, which in most cases the setting had usually not been done (annoying because it was simple to do), so the gate did not work. Secondly was the fact that if you were pushing back (BetterPushBack) the gate was still attached to the aircraft as you still had not started the engines? and it felt a little unrealistic... more so as you only had one autogate to attach to the aircraft, and so for double or triple gates it was really a none issue? SAM installation You can download the SAM plugin for free here: Scenery Animation Manager and the plugin is simply inserted into your plugins folder, you also have to insert a "SAM_Library" into your Custom Scenery folder. All airports (or scenery) that has inserted the "sam.xml" file is then active with the plugin. Jetways, VDGS, Marshaller, Hangars, Wind Turbines are all included, but there is still a fair amount of freedom to utilise and create custom objects and custom buildings around the plugin's systems. The plugin will also be upgraded and enhanced as the developers add in more features and fine-tune the current ideas. LSZH - Zurich Since the extensive update to Aerosoft's Airport Zurich to v2 and it is still one of the best sceneries in Europe, and I use and fly in and out the airport extensively and you will find LSZH has been placed in the many reviews within this site's columns. V2.05 has had an upgrade with the SAM plugin. On arrival at Gate A03 the VDGS "Visual Docking Guidance System" (A-VDGS) looks and activates quite differently than the older Autogate version. You do get a lot of information on the type of aircraft distance and direction pointer detail, and yes it is very impressive. There are several VDGS versions available: Honeywell AVDGS (above), ADB Safegate-Safedock Type 2 (below) and more types of VDGS's will be added as development goes forward. Stand and non-airbridge Marshaller is also present. This is a quality marshal, with great smooth arm animations and far more movements than the marginal version... .... he comes in two versions, with a bright orange Hi-Viz vest or black with yellow Hi-Viz stripes. The best news of all is the Marshaller does not appear until you start your turn into the stand, so there isn't now hundreds of marshallers standing around and spoiling your scenery. The airbridges are sensational. They are fully animated in all directions with not only in the swing, but also the height and extension, they are about as realistic as you would ever need, and they work realistically as well with turning wheels and a moving cab. The only area they are slightly wanting is in the doorway cover extension as that doesn't work, so the cabs do tend to stick up quite high above the aircraft... Double or triple gates are also now available, again sensational they are for realism. The Autogates are activated in two ways. First is the auto-setting which will activate the gate when all the engines are shutdown and then the beacon is switched off. Note: not all aircraft will automatically connect with SAM? First of all there is a list of all current aircraft that have airbridge settings ready for use, but most aircraft should work with the marshaller. Odd ones that need a manual operation are like the FlightFactor A320 Ultimate, which is disconnected from the X-Plane system (pure plugin driven). A coming feature will allow the airbridges to go almost to ground level for regional Jets, which is a missing item on all current X-Plane airbridge systems. Menu The second option is via the SAM menu panel that is sited within your X-Plane "Plugins" menu. There are currently three menu settings: About, which is the plugins details. Settings, which selects the options for switching off the noted "Auto Connect jetways" and to adjust the sound volume. The third option notes the current active airport, and In this case it is Aerosoft LSZH - Zurich. This shows all the gates and the ones that are active... ... and at the bottom of the menu are any other effects that are available at this airport, noted here the Rega Hangar, and two entry points, we will look at those in a moment. Click on the airbridge selection you would like to connect with the aircraft and... it start the warning lights and goes into a very realistic operation. When done you can then select if you want to remove the airbridge from the aircraft at your wish. Here with the A350, I can use both airbridges to L1 and L2 doors. The auto-connect is fine, but as I am a control freak I love the total manual access to the airbridge operations. Other options include open/close of hangar doors (hangers are provided)... ... another feature is the VFR Entry point marker, which can be activated to line up your runway approach. SAM Authoring Unlike the Marginal system, which was quite tricky and even a bit laborious to set up and use. Sam has it's own built in Authoring system, or more like a construction set. It covers all the aspects of adding in the different elements to the airport. Obviously it is focused on ease of use with even has built in utlities to help you align the elements you want to use. The system is scaled as well to add in new features and ideas as the plugin grows. Any negatives, not really but the glass in the airbridges hide the aircraft (scenery is fine)? but this is an Laminar/X-Plane issue and we are still waiting for the bug to addressed. LIMJ - Airport Genoa “Cristoforo Colombo” Aerosoft airports can a be a bit of a hit or miss. Many are excellent like EGCC - Manchester and ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen. But many fall into the "made ages ago, but even when updated still dated" category like with their LIRF - Roma. But this LIMJ Airport Genoa, sort of slips into the middle. Genoa Airport Aeroporto di Genova "Aeroporto Cristoforo Colombo" IATA: GOA - ICAO: LIMJ 10/28 - 2,916m (9,564ft) Bitumen Elevation AMSL13 ft / 4 m What is it about the eccentric Italian airports. What of all the red and white stripes and very odd looking controls towers and terminal designs that range from weird to the down right bizarre, nonconformist and individual... but yes I do love them immensely as landing in Italy it is like landing on no other planet. This scenery from Aerosoft delivers certainly all that, but I will note up front that the original scenery delivered here is still the old traditional Aerosoft design, buried beneath an X-Plane wrapped wrapper. Italian airports are all usually vast parking aprons set with a kinky terminal design, and you get both aspects here at Genova. The airport is surprisingly small, a small aircraft carrier layout area set out in the middle of Genoa's port zone, but again that is LIMJ's attraction... it is different and it is visually it is exciting to arrive or depart from the Aeroporto Cristoforo Colombo. Let us look and at the old first... Certainly this sort of texturing and modeling was first rate back in the days of early FSX, nowadays it looks like what it is, boxy and heavyhanded. But subtle changes have been made.... all the terminal glass is reflective and the see-though balcony glass is X-Plane new and also transparent. Filler port warehousing and factories are also have FSX heritage, they are what they are... fillers, but the blue never looked good, even in FlightSim. LIMJ's Control Tower is an Italianate work of art... you couldn't be anywhere else but in Italy. Tower view is set, but both approaches are obstructed by railings. Even a year ago you would have discounted the Aerosoft scenery as just a conversion of the original FSX LIMJ, with those blanked out gates. But there is another subtle difference that changes and it is that aspect that turns this scenery on it's head. Here the SAM plugin has been used to convert the airbridges to active. The really clever part here is how well the new (SAM airbridges) have been intergrated into the older chunky scenery, and in the process redefines not only the activity but how it modernises the terminal as well... this is great design work. The important point to make here is that how the SAM plugin can be used to not only be able to be flexible in the vastly different airbridge designs, but how to be also retro-fitted into existing scenery to make the scenery more modern and active. I could list a lot of Aerosoft sceneries that would benefit and certainly be much more contemporary by utilising this plugin's system. The SAM marshaller is also intergrated well on the remote stands as well. Two hangars with the Guardia di Financia and the Piaggio Hangar also have had the SAM hangar door open/close treatment and again the intergration is very well done. The airport's hangar and administration buildings are well represented, and the detail on the hangars is actually good. But there isn't much fill in between areas but the flat washed out photo textures. But the Sheraton Tower Genova Airport Hotel & Conference Center, is very well done and detailed. (the TripAdviser reviews are however not great) Ground Textures LIMJ also benefit's from having to use X-Plane11 new style textures and ground layouts, that updates on and over the older Aerosoft textures... ... but there is the odd "RWY STOP" signage that is duplicated. Aerosoft famous 3d grass is also present, but not right through the scenery, but it is still a nice to have feature. Genoa Port and City The actual scenery does stretch along the northern Italian coast for a considerable distance and covers most of Genoa and it's very complex port system. There is a fair amount of detail in here, but it does really show it's age compared with say Drzewiecki Design's Seattle. The average slightly washed out ground textures don't help with the detail either, so mostly this is all fill. The X-Plane11 autogen does do an extraordinary job is filling in a lot of the areas and the gaps at the required full "maximum" object setting, as this scenery would be simply awful visually with this vital autogen missing. The famous Genova Lanterna, renaissance lighthouse of Genoa which was built in 1543, is well represented, as is a little of the city... ... but don't go looking for any real Genova detail, because there isn't any, not even the Monumento a "Cristoforo Colombo". Lighting LIMJ's Lighting is passable but in reality old and average. Not even X-Plane's effects can really save it? Approach lighting and taxiway lighting is okayish and useable... .... the aprons are nicely lit... but? Why didn't the developers use the correct lighting structures (arrowed)? as they are all dark? and they would have been far more effective than the smaller placed poles? The terminal lighting is frankly well... horrible and yes another throwback to the early FSX age. The Lanterna lighthouse looks very nice on the harbour, and the lovely night textures on the office buildings are the only standout quality lighting. Summary This review is really two elements but they are highly related to each over. One is the new SAM or "Scenery Animation Manager" from Stairport Sceneries, and the second is the LIMJ - Airport Genoa “Cristoforo Colombo” Aerosoft scenery and the LSZH - Zurich v2.05 update. SAM This is an outstanding plugin, that will certainly evolutionise X-Plane and updates significantly one of it's main original features. Everyone has a lot of respect and affection towards Marginal's brilliant original tools, but they getting very long in the tooth, with no updates or no new features for years. SAM wipes them all out sadly in one swipe as the original tools will no doubt be mostly replaced by the newcomer. Brilliant animations and excellent effects with a full menu control for Jetways, VDGS, Marshaller, Hangars and Wind Turbines is not only very adaptable to all sceneries, but is also very expandable and versatile to new features and the ease of use in converting new or old scenery to the features of the plugin. You will see this plugin spread very quickly throughout X-Plane... finally it advances the X-Plane simulator with another great outstanding tool. Airport Genoa XP - LIMJ - Airport Genoa “Cristoforo Colombo” Aerosoft do repackage their old FSX sceneries for X-Plane11. Depending on their age or the quality of their developer then they range from brilliant to average. So how does Airport Genoa fair? It is a fair question. Overall it just slides through, but the heritage of the original scenery and the washed out photographic textures do show through. the lighting is very poor in design (no lighting on the main lighting structures) and those original blue window textures (glass maybe a reach too far) are horrible, but pure FSX. But the X-Plane11 aspect of new ground textures, grass, amazing autogen in creating a somewhat realistic backdrop to the airport, better glass and reflections, large port facilities and the feature tip the scales into the positive area is the excellent SAM plugin intergration of the airbridges, marshallers and hangar door animations, they and SAM certainly lifts the scenery over into the usability factor... so the scenery gets a pass but just. So fly in, fly out and enjoy the airport surroundings and don't look too hard and you will get a lot of use out of the scenery. LSZH - Zurich Airport v2.05. The Zurich v2.05 upgrade was to just to install the SAM plugin features, but what features they are. All gates are now SAM active with not only single gate airbridges, but double airbridges as well.... marshallers cover all the remote stands. Airbridges are now first rate with glass and great animations, two hangar door features and two VFR entry point markers are also featured. Airport Zurich was always one of the really very best Aerosoft sceneries, and now it is simply first rate. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Airport LIMJ - Genoa XP and Airport LSZH - Zurich is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport LIMJ - Genoa XP Price Is US$25.99 Features: High resolution photoreal coverage of 187 km² Includes custom models for the city and the harbours of Genoa Well-detailed, accurate and high-quality renders of Genoa airport (LIMJ), including baked/pre-rendered shadows and realistic transparency of the terminal windows Unique, realistic and accurate airport night light (runway, taxiways, aprons, surroundings) Accurate and realistic ground poly based on photos and satellite images Large number of custom objects dedicated for Genoa airport and city – cars, trucks, buses, airport equipment, boats (many types), static aircrafts, and more Landable helipads at Sheraton Hotel and City Hospital Accurate renders of the harbour and many objects along the approach Realistic and accurate ILS offset of 2 degrees Animated jetways, VDGS and hangars (SAM plug-in required) 3D volumetric grass between taxiways Massively optimised for good performance Animated ships around the airport Custom mesh for the airport runway over the sea (by Maps2XPlane) Custom-made realistic static aircraft, including: Bell 412 SP (Guardia Costiera) Hughes NH-500MC (BredaNardi) Piaggio P-180 Avanti Piper Archer 2 PA-28 Aeroclub Genova Canadair CL-415 VIGILI DEL FOUCO Automatic low visibility lighting World Traffic 3 Configuration files included WT3: Ground routes are provided and the scenery will also generate a set of routes. But there are no parking defs in the configuration files? which is really odd? Under AFRE there isn't a lot of activity, but overall WT3 works fine. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2GB VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.4Gb - Installation 2.91Gb Version and Review copy is v1.0 (Dec 12th 2018) GayaSimulations - LIMJ Genoa - Airport GayaSimulations - LIMJ Genoa - Mesh The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... and that the GayaSimulations - LIMJ Genoa - Mesh is below the Airport files. ______________________________________________________________________ LSZH Airport Zurich v2.05 Airport Zurich v2.05 Price is US$27.99 Current purchasers of the Zurich v2 Scenery can update for free, by going to their X-Plane.OrgStore account and redownloading the new version. X-PlaneReviews full Zurich v2 Review is here: Scenery Review - Updated : LSZH Airport Zurich v2.0 by Aerosoft ______________________________________________________________________ SAM - Scenery Animation Manager by Stairport Sceneries Scenery Animation Manager Plugin is Free, but the scenery is required to have the "sam.xml" file inserted to be active with the plugin. plugin is inserted into your plugins folder, and you also have to insert a "SAM_Library" into your Custom Scenery folder. ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 14th December 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 (tested in X-Plane 11.30b6) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  24. Scenery Preview - EDLW - Dortmund XP by Aerosoft Set in the center of the Ruhr region in Germany is Dortmund and Aerosoft has released a scenery for the city's airport EDLW for X-Plane11. It is a companion airport for EDDL - Düsseldorf Flughafen which is only 70 km (43 mi) to the southwest, which also a very good Aerosoft scenery and a highly favored airport that I use in reviews. So certainly EDLW is an overflow airport for EDDL. This scenery is an update of Aerosoft's FlightSim version included in their German Airports 2 package, but converted and enhanced for the X-Plane11 platform. The main addition includes 280 km2 of surrounding orthoscenery at a DOP60 / 60 cm resolution and intergrated into the native X-Plane (German) autogen. Closer airport detail includes DOP30 / 30 cm resolution at both the main EDLW and the added on grass runway airport of Hengsen-Opherdicke to the south. A city skyline and Dortmund iconic buildings are also included EDLW - Dortmund Airport Dortmund Airport Flughafen Dortmund IATA: DTM - ICAO: EDLW 06/24 - 2,000m (6,562ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL130 m / 427 ft First view of EDLW is that it is a fair way from the city centre of Dortmund at 10 km (6.2 mi) to the southeasst, so it is very countryside bound, but there is a huge amount of X-Plane autogen surrounding the airport and as this is Germany then the German (European) housing style fits right in. A side note is that as we are now using X-Plane v11.25 with the autogen upgrade noted in the Expo 2018, then the added urban (factory) autogen is now highly newly visible here as well and very good it is. So the combination of the extensive surrounding orthoscenery and a high object setting creates a very good and if extensive visual panorama of this Ruhr area. The buildings are of course the direct same versions and textures as the FlightSim version, and that scenery was created in 2013, so they look a little outdated and noticeable in quality... ... unless you have to have your texture quality setting at "maximum" (no compression) were as I prefer to keep the setting at "high" for maximum object (autogen) performance, and with that lower texture setting it shows here in that the textures are noticeably more blurry. If you can get away with the standard "maximum" setting it is not too bad, as overall the modeling is quite good. Your eyes certainly can't ignore the large flat empty expanse of landside behind the main airport buildings, it awful, flat and isolates the modeling. This is highlighted more by the Global airport version of EDLW (below left). This landside area is automatically filled in and feels more realistic even if the terminals are not? No fencing between the landside and airside just also highlight's the issues even more with the Global version above and the Aerosoft version below, so the all important intimate clutter detailing is missing.... ... The airbridges are solid, and are not active? and the difference to the latest X-Plane native airbridges are now also highly noticeable in detail, but you do have marshals to guide you in. Elevation changes to the southwest are very well done, and on the elevated area is the GAT or General Aviation Terminal. There is a catering company here and also a large maintenance hangar... far west is the airport administration building and Star Wing's hangar. Highlight here is the well done and detailed engine test bay. Ground textures are very good as well as the around runway detail, Linage and surfaces are varied and well done. Highlight is again the Aerosoft grass, here the textures come in the various different types and feel. There is animated ground traffic, but they have a habit of queuing up and not moving at all and are usually queued around your aircraft, no matter where you park the aircraft. There is a little ramp clutter, and branding in areas, but it would be in the minimum 3 setting more than the 10 mister6X maximum zone Hengsen-Opherdicke The grass strips of Hengsen-Opherdicke is a lovely place. A glider's heaven and earth, there is not much here, but it is very authentic and visually very good. The airfield is run by the Air Sports Club Unna-Schwerte eV Gliding area Hengsen-Opherdicke 7.25 850 m × 60 m grass 7.25 580 m × 30 m grass Elev 125 m (410 ft) Above MSL Great small detail and every area covered, you sort of scratch your head to wonder "is this the same scenery package"? Dortmund The city of Dortmund has recreated buildings to reflect the city centre and the city's skyline and in a visual aspect in arrival or departure from RWY 06 or from the airport itself. All the main buildings and Churches are covered in the package including: ADAC, Altes Hafenamt, Alte Post, Big Tipi, Brackel Kirche, Continen- tale, DOGEWO21 skyscraper, Dortmunder U, Dreier Werk, Ellipson, radio tower Florian, Gasometer Hoesch, Portal cranes at the harbour, Raiffeisen, Rhenus Logistics, Harenberg City Center, main station, Helmut-Körning-Halle, Hörder Castle, Stadt. Immobilienwirtschaft, coal- red power station Kneppler, Kronenburg (prev. Kronenbrauerei), Stadt- und Landesbibliothek, NH Hotel, Petri church, Probsteihof, town hall, Reinoldi church, RWE of ce building, RWE Tower, Siemens of ce building, Hauptsparkasse, Stadtgarten subway, Stadthaus & Berswordthalle, Südbad, Telekom building, City theatre, Deutsche Bahn-Verwaltungsgebäude, old water tower „Lanstroper Ei“, old water tower at Southern Station, old water tower at the Deutschen Bahn factory garage, 6 wayposts, Westfalen halls 1-8, Westfalen stadium, Westfalentower, wind farms, Zeche Gnei- senau, Zeche Minister Stein, DFB Museum, Volkswohlbund of ce building The Hospital Dortmund North (clinic centre Nord) has a Helipad for use (XEDZ1) and the wind-turbines are well done but don't actually work? they are noted as animated, but mine were always static? and as there is a lot of wind-turbines this static element is noticeable? Overall for VFR flying this Dortmund scenery is very good to excellent, with the right visual elements all in place to navigate your way around the area, or if you are passing over the area, say i.e. from the EDDL - Düsseldorf Flughafen Interesting for this package and any other X-Plane scenery is the new commercial autogen released in v11.25... with the more high-definition orthoscenery and your object count set high the new urban commercial building really fill out the area, the buildings are a very high quality and gives you an excellent surrounding clutter fill bar none. The effect is more pronounced here as the Euro style buildings fit in extremely well with this Germanic scenery. But to note they work better with custom ortho textures than the standard X-Plane mesh, but a nice if unexpected bonus with this scenery for Aerosoft. lighting Runway lighting is first rate here at Dortmund, it is custom for the airport and very authentic, so all the runway and taxiway lighting is as per spec at EDLW. The airside areas in lighting are a real mixed bag? It is well lit... ... but the Brackel hangar's roof is a distracting bright white and not very realistic, and in other areas in the cargo and on the engine test bay apron the lighting is also over bright. The Terminal lighting is not tooo bad, but the night textures are certainly showing their age here. Dortmund city lighting is pure FlightSim, but it is better than he usual bland greys and blues, although there is still a lot of that in here. Again the city vistas are enhanced immensely by the new commercial native autogen, of which the night textures are extraordinarily good. A night view in a city sense is now excellent, when you combine the custom buildings with the autogen correctly, Dortmund is this context is simply brilliant. WT3: No WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided, but the airport will generate GroundRoutes. Overall the airport functions fine, but with EDDL not that far away then most traffic is attracted to that larger airport than coming to EDLW, so mostly the traffic is here of the LCC catergory. Parking here is split between nose in at the airbridge gates and nose out on the main apron... ... as the aircraft arrive they turn into the right parking position, but stop more parked forward? so a bit of editing is really required here to fine tune the ground routes. But overall WT3 works fine. Preview Notes When I started in X-Plane and the simulator was void of any real decent scenery, and back then Aerosoft was the benchmark of what X-Plane wanted to give it the credibility and also the visual sense of realism. Even now years after Aerosoft has released their products in X-plane they still sort of blow hot or cold. The good ones even if (still) lacking many X-Plane features are still very good and even excellent as is the local here EDDL - Düsseldorf or LSZH - Zurich v2 which are both favorites that I use mostly for German and Swiss operations. So the events of releasing the so called "Back Catalogue" of Aerosoft sceneries you would think then it would be a major addition to the X-Plane simulator environment, but it is not actually turning out that way? There is for one that very varied quality in that many are being excellent and too many being in being just passable, and sadly this EDLW - Dortmund is way into the latter category. I really don't think you can now take older (or old) sceneries and just simply put them into another simulator and even with more updated and better ortho set out underneath the objects, and at least do not do something to up date the textures or to use clutter to make the scenery at least workable, and again sadly both or any ideas have not been implemented here... and it shows. Global (meaning free) airports are leaving scenery like this way behind in quality clutter, this is 2018 and not 2013 when this scenery original was released. So if you want a Dortmund airport and the surrounding VFR scenery then it is available here and in many areas better than the free version in more authentic buildings, but overall EDLW - Dortmund and X-Plane needed the better of this scenery makeover that it deserves. Features: Detailed rendition of the airport and its surroundings, incl. landmark objects Photo realistic ground textures based on aerial images (50cm/px) All airport buildings and facilities True-to-original navigation aids (ILS, VOR/DME, NDB, ATIS) Excellent night effects True-to-original runway and taxiway lighting Detailed 3D city model of Dortmund incl. colour-corrected 60cm/px aerial image covering the entire city area Authentic rendition of the airfield Hengsen-Opherdicke incl. colour-corrected 30cm/px aerial image The aerial images for Hengsen-Opherdicke can be turned off Autogen covering the area of the aerial image, corrected by hand Animated wind objects: wind turbines and windsocks specific to Hengsen-Opherdicke as well as the helipad the Hospital Centre North Ship traffic at the Dortmund-Ems Canal when using the Seatraffic plug-in by Marginal/Jonathan Harris Volumetric grass, toggleable PBR-based reflecting water surfaces Backup library – runs without add-ons Positives: Large area and high quality ortho textures, and good airport ground textures, Nice grass, many varied and authentic city objects with VFR references, Hengsen-Opherdicke glider field is excellent. Negatives: Poor old texture quality and requires a "Maximum" setting, poor detailing landside and clutter detail is very poor in minute areas like fences, gates, signage and road detail, scenery relies heavily on autogen to create fill and atmosphere. Animations don't work correctly and lighting is below average, heavy install and download with a messy folder installation... ouch! ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... EDLW - Dortmund XP by Aerosoft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Dortmund XP Price is US$22.95 Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.2gb : Install Size 6.33gb Installation is messy, with one major airport folder and six minor folders that should have been grouped together. Aerosoft - EDLW Dortmund (196.40mb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_99_Extras (247.50mb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_05_Ortho (6.04gb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_04_Scenery (228.90mb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_03_Autogen_Fixes (26mb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_02_Forests (47.30mb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_01_Vegetation (8.5mb) Extras and Documents: Manual in German and English (24 pages) - Manual_Dortmund_XP11_de-en_web ______________________________________________________________________ Preview by Stephen Dutton 31st July 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.25r2 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  25. Quickview Review : KDAB - Daytona Beach by Aerosoft / Stairport Sceneries There is a lot I like about flying around Florida, it is just a very interesting area to explore and see all the diversity of the state. So any scenery that can impact on extending out the detail of the area is always welcome. This scenery is by Aerosoft, but it is not a created Aerosoft scenery but a hosted one by Stairport Sceneries. Daytona Beach is famous, not for aircraft, but for racing cars and even in the early days for breaking land speed records. A major circuit is built here and this place is also the base of the American NASCAR Series of which the yearly Daytona 500 is a highlight of the racing season. Daytona Beach International Airport IATA: DAB - ICAO: KDAB - FAA LID: DAB WMO: 74787 7L/25R 10,500ft (3,200m) Asphalt/Concrete 7R/25L 3195ft (974m) Asphalt 16/34 6,001ft (1,829) Asphalt Elevation AMSL33 ft / 10 m This scenery comes with two airports... KADB - Daytona Beach and a small grass airfield called Lafayette Landings Airport (FD90). KADB - Daytona Beach International The scenery is spread over a fair area, so you get a lot of detail for the investment. The famous banked Daytona International Speedway (below) that was built in 1959 is adjacent to the airport and is a major visual part of this scenery, it is well done but a bit flat and bland in the centre from a distance. The tourist wheel is animated and there are a few racing associated buildings, leaderboards and pits. First thing you notice is the ground ortho textures are a lot lighter than the X-Plane native textures? This is very common with Aerosoft sourced scenery and I have lost count on the times I have had to run their textures through photoshop to saturate them with more colour to match up the differences, one bonus here is the heavy density of the trees hide that all the nasty joins. The three runways are all very well done with different texture types well reproduced with great markings and navigation signage, the short 7R/25L 3195ft (974m) is a great GA arrival entry point worth using regularly. There is the 3d grass "hooray" but against the light bland ground textures they look odd. The main terminal is well done with see-through tinted glass. The developers note that they went to Daytona Beach Airport and matched the textures to photos... the building is a very light peach in colour so that doesn't really help as it looks bland here in the scenery, the problem is there is no worn or dirt textures, so it all looks like it is 3d modeled with colour than with actual exterior textures. That said it is well done, and you get a full interior as well that is very well recreated with hi-roof skylighting, and the glass is tinted. On the ramps there are six airbridges that are all animated and have Safedock A-VDGSs with their marshallers, and they all work fine. There is an odd parking stand that crosses over gate six, but that parking layout is correct as it is the same as the real ramp markings which are also worn and faded. Lots of nice detail and ramp equipment makes the ramps a nice place to work on and to also to arrive or depart from with buzzy animated traffic. Away from the main terminal there is the Interesting UCF - University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program building with a single built in airbridge. Control Tower is well done and tower view is great and also set correctly. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is part of the airport on the north-east corner, but it comes across as a bit bland. There are a few reproduced shopping malls, and they are all well represented, one large mall has set 3d cars in the parking lots but the other few don't... Lafayette Landings Airport (FD90) About 25miles west at De Leon Springs is Lafayette Landings private grass strip. This is a sweet little strip that is just a grass strip surrounded by a few houses and the odd GA hangar. Lafayette Landings is certainly a nice little field to drop into, have drink and catch up on life, then head on to your destination. WT3: WorldTraffic3 generated fine, but there isn't a lot of action coming and going on here at KDAB, my guess it needs a little adjustment to make it more interesting and busy (any chance K-Man?), the ground routes work fine so all is missing is the actual traffic... but be careful when you arrive or depart to the west of KDAB as the close by airway V267 is a major north-south corridor and it is busy with a capital B. Lighting Lighting is poor here... Only RWY 7L/25L has the main approach lighting, the rest of the runways and taxiways are just outlined. Terminal lighting is also really average... the ramps are okayish, but the see through grey glass comes across as quite average. Overall, don't come at night. The wasted opportunity here was not to light up the Speedway? It would have looked great on arrival... Summary There is no doubt a lot of work in here and you get a fair quota of buildings and objects. Overall it is well done and well laid out, but there are a few areas that tone it all down. The ground textures are too light and need more saturation compared to the surrounding native texture mesh, ditto the buildings that although they are matched to the local colours correctly, still they come out all bland and very 3d modelly, X-Plane scenery users are now used to and expect quality textures as with say like ShortFinal's KABQ - Albuquerque International Sunport. This aspect is emphasised with like the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University which should look realistic, but it like many points here it just misses the mark. Lighting is also very average. Lafayette Landings Airport (field) however is a little hidden gem. The big question is would I fly and use KDAB - Daytona Beach? That answer strange enough is a definitive yes, as it is a great link around the Florida State with my highly used KRSW - Southwest Florida, KMCO - Orlando and KMIA - Miami, and it adds in very well for both GA, Interstate and regional routes, so there is no doubt I will be very actively coming in and out of here. And that is the context here in summing up the scenery. In that any scenery that will get a lot of use has value, it is then in that aspect certainly worth the investment. _____________________________________ Yes! KDAB - Daytona Beach by Aerosoft / Stairport Sceneries is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Daytona Beach International Airport Price is US$28.99 Features: Highly detailed recreation of Daytona Beach International (KDAB) Accurate, highly detailed building models Detailed terminal interiors High-resolution textures based on photos taken at the site Detailed, accurate ground layout High-resolution ground textures with PBR effects Photo scenery covering most of the environment with current aerial images Custom models for city buildings (e.g. university) Animated environment Custom bridge models Animated jetways, Safedock A-VDGSs and marshallers at all eligible gates (with the free AutoGate plug-on by Jonathan Harris) Detailed recreation of Lafayette Landings airfield (FD90) Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum, 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Downlaod size: 530Mb Version: 1 (May 11th 2018) Installation Download scenery file size is 502mb. With the full installation installed packages in your custom scenery folder are: Aerosoft - KDAB Daytona (667mb) Aerosoft - FD90 Lafayette Landings (Lite) (309mb) Documentation One Aerosoft Manual is included in German and English. (11 pages) Manual_Daytona_Beach_International_XP11_de-en_web ______________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 16th May 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 X-Plane11 by Laminar Research - Free with Simulator
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