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Airport Review : KATL - Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta Intl Airport by Butnaru Mega-Airport! Yes there are a lot of superlatives when describing KATL or its official name "Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport" but the usually locals shorten the title a little bit to just "Atlanta Airport". But that does not take away anything superlative about this airport, It is big... biggest, huge! and the numbers prove it. As KATL has been the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998, by the number of landings and take-offs since 2005 in both passengers and and the number of flights served, and by accommodating 95 million passengers (more than 260,000 passengers daily) and over 950,119 flights. It is the hub of hubs. Chances are if you are going south or south-west in the United States you will pass through here. History Hartsfield–Jackson had its beginnings with a five-year, rent-free lease on 287 acres (116 ha) that was the home of an abandoned auto racetrack named The Atlanta Speedway. The lease was signed on April 16, 1925, by Mayor Walter Sims, who committed the city to develop it into an airfield. As part of the agreement, the property was renamed Candler Field after its former owner, Coca-Cola tycoon and former Atlanta mayor Asa Candler. The first flight into Candler Field was on September 15, 1926, a Florida Airways mail plane flying from Jacksonville, Florida. In May 1928, Pitcairn Aviation began service to Atlanta, followed in June 1930 by Delta Air Service. Later those two airlines, now known as Eastern Air Lines and Delta Air Lines, respectively, would both use Atlanta as their chief hubs. It was already a very busy airport from its inception and by the end of 1930 it was third behind New York City and Chicago for regular daily flights with sixteen arriving and departing. Candler Field's first control tower opened on March 1939. In October 1940 the U.S. government declared it a military airfield and the United States Army Air Forces operated Atlanta Army Airfield jointly with Candler Field. The Air Force used the airport primarily for servicing of transient aircraft, with many types of combat aircraft being maintained at the airport. During World War II the airport doubled in size and set a record of 1,700 takeoffs and landings in a single day, making it the nation's busiest airport in terms of flight operation. Atlanta Army Airfield closed after the war. In 1946 Candler Field was renamed Atlanta Municipal Airport and by 1948, more than one million passengers passed through a war surplus hangar that served as a terminal building. Delta and Eastern had extensive networks from ATL, though Atlanta had no nonstop flights beyond Texas, St Louis and Chicago until 1961. Southern Airways established itself at ATL after the war and had short-haul routes around the Southeast until 1979. On June 1, 1956 an Eastern flight to Montreal, Canada was the first international flight out of Atlanta. Atlanta's first scheduled international flight was the Delta/Pan Am interchange DC-8 to Europe starting in 1964; the first scheduled nonstop to a foreign country was Eastern's flight to Mexico City around 1972. Nonstops to Europe started in 1978 and to Asia in 1992–93. In 1957 work began on a new terminal; and on May 3, 1961, the new $21 million terminal was opened. It was the largest in the country and could handle over six million travelers a year, and the first year nine and half million people passed through. In March 1962 the longest runway (9/27, now 8R) was 7,860 feet (2,400 m) was also opened. In 1967 the city and the airlines began work on a plan for development of Atlanta Municipal Airport. Construction began on the present midfield terminal in January 1977 under the administration of Mayor Maynard Jackson. It was the largest construction project in the South, costing $500 million which was a lot of money at the time. Named for former Atlanta mayor William Berry Hartsfield, who did much to promote air travel, William B. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport opened on September 21, 1980, on-time and under budget. It was designed to accommodate up to 55 million passengers per year and covered 2.5 million square feet (230,000 m²). In December 1984 a 9,000-foot (2,700 m) fourth parallel runway was completed and another runway was extended to 11,889 feet (3,624 m) the following year. Although Eastern was a larger airline than Delta at the time until airline deregulation in 1978, Delta was an early adopter of the hub and spoke route system, with Atlanta as its primary hub between the Midwest and Florida, giving it an advantage in the Atlanta market. Eastern ceased operations in 1991 due to labor issues leaving Delta with the only major airline hub in Atlanta. In May 2001 construction of a 9,000-foot (2,700 m) fifth runway (10–28) began. It was completed at a cost of $1.28 billion and opened on May 27, 2006. It bridges Interstate 285 (the Perimeter) on the south side of the airport, making Hartsfield–Jackson the only civil airport in the nation to have a runway above an interstate highway. Runway 10–28 was added to help ease some of the traffic problems caused by landing small- and mid-size aircraft on the longer runways which are also used by larger planes such as the Boeing 777, which need longer runways than the smaller planes. With the fifth runway, Hartsfield–Jackson is one of only a few airports that can perform triple simultaneous landings at the same time. (that should overclock your computer!). A new control tower was then required to see the entire length of the runway. The new control tower is the tallest in the United States, with a height of over 398 feet (121 m). The old control tower, 585 feet (178 m) away from the new control tower, was demolished August 5, 2006. Atlanta City Council voted on October 20, 2003 to change the name from Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport to the current Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in honor of former mayor Maynard Jackson, who died on June 23, 2003. The airport today employs about 55,300 airline, ground transportation, concessionaire, security, federal government, City of Atlanta and Airport tenant employees and is the largest employment center in the U.S. state of Georgia. With a payroll of $2.4 billion, the airport has a direct and indirect economic impact of $3.2 billion on the local and regional economy and a total annual, regional economic impact of more than $19.8 billion. Since the opening of Concourse F in May 2012, the airport now has 200 gates which is the most at any airport. (wikipedia) 8L/26R 9,000 (2,743m) Concrete 8R/26L 10,000 (3,048m) Concrete 9L/27R 12,390 (3,776m) Concrete 9R/27L 9,000 (2,743m) Concrete 10/28 9,000 (2,743m) Concrete (Hpad) H1 (size 52ft-17m) Asphalt Elev AMSL 1,026 ft / 313 m KATL - Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta Intl Airport by Butnaru Butnaru has created a significant portfolio of sceneries for X-Plane. His work covers some of the most significant airports in the United States, including KORD (Chigago), KMIA (Miami), KFLL (Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood), KLGA (LaGuardia Airport N.Y.), KEWR (Newark Liberty Intl N.Y.), KBUF (Buffalo-Niagara) and MPTO (Tocumen International, Panama), and all are very popular and highly useable. In fact it is quite a network of work that will see KPHX (Phoenix Sky Harbor) as the next published scenery. Attempting KATL however is another thing entirely, It's size alone is daunting, and this is a huge piece of scenery to create. The problem that developers are faced with a scenery this size is how much can I leave in and deliver in detail and what should I leave out so your computer doesn't crash to its knees. You are not going to get the high detailing of barrels of aviation fuel and picket fences at the sort of level of size that you do at KATL and as a review of the scenery you have take that into consideration. Yes some major hubs have had the full treatment, however they are usually created by an army of artists, and they usually come with a big frame-rate penalty like Aerosoft's EHAM. First Impressions My RNAV arrival from KFLL is via "TERII"- (via KNDBM) - DACTL - ANIEE- FOGER (DACTL - ANIEE- FOGER are not in X-Plane? so I used SOFOR - JOKEY - BWNKL) - JUBBA for a landing on the shortest of KATL's runways in RWY28 (8L/26R is the same length but it looks shorter). There are no charts provided with the scenery (boo-hiss) so this is a good Jeppesen set here. "ALCOVY NDB" ("VOF" 370) is a good target nav-aid for all runways for all eastern side KATL arrivals "CARROLLTON NDB" ("GPQ" 278) is good on the western side. My ride is FlyJSim's great Boeing 732 in Air Florida colours. At "JOKEY" it was a straight in arrival and the huge mass of KATL looms on my slight right. The area around Hartsfield–Jackson is quite flat, so there are no obstacles to be aware of, on the approach there is a lot of traffic looping around below you with the crossing intersections of interstates 75 and 285 as the noted "The Perimeter". From a small distance out you do notice the differences between the surrounding default terrain and the custom scenery photo (ortho) terrain as the latter is a lighter green, the joins however are kept in check by the loops of the complex traffic highways, but it is noticeable. In the far distance KATL looks very impressive and certainly looks like the huge scenery it is. From this point of view it certainly gives you a very good impression of what a KATL arrival would look like in reality. RWY28 is quite a fair ride to main central area of complexes and concourses, so you had better allow for the time and the fuel to taxi for a fair period and distance on the ground. It is worth it because the the view and sense of arrival is very good, one point is that the guiding taxi line doesn't track off into the distance, but simply blurs away in front of you as you move forward which is not very realistic. The taxiway linage is still however in being very good at guiding you around as is the taxiway signage (Taxiway points: SC - R - R7 - N6 - M12 - A5 - Ramp 3) the long point list here can show you that you really need to plan ahead to find your correct path to the right ramp and concourse. The crossing and waiting at two major operating runways can also slow you down as well. Moving along the ramp line gives you bay after bay of a possible berth, so again it helps to note were you are going to park as there are no gate numbers on the gates or any on the ramps? (KATL has the ramp lines noted). Animations are excellent with working workers (a Butnaru speciality) and lots of animated baggage carts and vehicles. They certainly give KATL a great buzzy busy feeling. Gate C14 was my berth so I slowed and turned the Boeing into its slot (and it feels like a slot among many) and in the gate there was some ready baggage carts, truck and a van but otherwise it felt quite empty, the jetway/airbridge stayed stationary on engine shut down that noted no animated jetways/airbidges were present in the scenery. Airport Overview Although KATL is mega-big, it is surprisingly quite a simple layout. Main Domestic Terminal (Concourse T) is on the west end and the new International Terminal is on the east end (Concourse F), and in-between there are five more concourses in A,B, C, D and E although the E concourse carries international traffic as well. The areas between each Concourse is noted by their ramp number in Ramp 1 (T and A), Ramp 2 (A and B ), Ramp 3 (B and C), Ramp 4 (C and D), Ramp 5 (D and E) but as Terminal E is not a straight concourse the ramps are split into (north) Ramp 6 and (south) Ramp 6, Ramp 7 is the de-icing ramp in front of the control tower. Ramp 8 is the west side of the international terminal (F) and Ramp 9 the east side. There are two cargo areas in "North Cargo" and "South Cargo" and a small General Aviation area by the side of north cargo. Delta Airlines rules completely at Hartsfield–Jackson and has a large maintenance base and as was AirTran a small one. AirTran is now merged with Southwest and the Texan Airline has a big presence here as well. The control tower complex is on the corner of the L between the Delta base and the International (F) Terminal. Concourses Concourse T - Domestic Terminal The domestic terminal is divided into two sides for ticketing, check-in and baggage claim: Terminal South and Terminal North. Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines are located at Terminal South; all other domestic airlines operating from Atlanta, including the airport's second largest carrier, Southwest Airlines are located at Terminal North. Most domestic flights arrive and depart from within concourses T, A, B, C or D. Some domestic flights depart from concourses E & F when gates at T or A–D are not available, or when an aircraft arrives as an international flight and continues as a domestic flight. Terminal T scenery details : The domestic terminal is just a very large low rectangle box with the north and south concourses attached on the airside, there is no doubt that KATL is not going to win any architecture awards, so Butnaru can't show any design flair here. So the T terminal is well and solidly done but nothing out of the ordinary. The two carparks each side are well set out with vehicles on the roofs is the Hartsfield–Jackson Rental Car Center, which opened on December 8, 2009, and houses all ten current airport rental agencies with capacity for additional companies. The complex features 9,900 parking spaces split up between two four-story parking decks that together cover 2,800,000 square feet (260,000 m2), but the other large ground carparking areas are just very bland colourless flat images that flattens out the scenery. There is a good Fire Station situated on the end of the northern concourse section. Concourse T – 17 gates (T1–T17) – American, Delta, and United Concourse A Concourse A – 29 gates (A1–A7, A9–A12, A15–A21, A24–A34) - Delta Concourse A scenery details : Design wise Concourse A it is very good, and the best ATL scenery in detail yet, but close up it is really just a structure on a base. At the gates there is no minute items or objects that give you an in depth detail. Its not bland in any area but it does have just the basics in detail. There are good selections of static aircraft at the gates if you love Delta and Southwest, but the resolution of all the static aircraft are quite poor at a "high" to "Very high" texture resolution setting. Central to the concourse is a ramp tower and reception building, any close up detailing does not exist, functional is a better word to describe most of the ramp textures. Concourse B Concourse B – 32 gates (B1–B7, B9–B14, B16–B29, B31–B34, B36) - Delta Concourse B scenery details : Concourse B is very similar to Concourse A in design but is missing the ramp tower, again functionality is very good. Overall it is a gate after gate concourse with nothing outstanding to distinguish it out from the others. Concourse C Concourse C – 40 gates (C1–C17, C19–C22, C30, C33–C37, C40–C43, C45–C47, C49–C53, C55) – Delta and Southwest Concourse C scenery details : Concourse C is the most interesting of the concourses, because the gate alignments are more varied and are not singularly just in a line. This is more of the (low rent) Low Cost Carrier style feel of the ramp. In other words I loved it! There is a small ramp tower positioned on the central position. Concourse D Concourse D – 43 gates (D1, D1A, D2–D8, D8A, D9–D11, D11A, D12–D16, D21–D42, D44, D46) – Alaska, Delta, Frontier, Spirit and US Airways Concourse D scenery details : Concourse D feels even more modern again because it is as it has just finished a $37 million budget to renovate and expand out Concourse D. There has been 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) of space added, with two new escalators between the main level and the Transportation Mall, three new elevators between the second and third levels, and has be expanded with new food, beverage and retail outlets included in the two large outward facing 12 story concourse reception buildings in the central area. Butnaru has included this upgrade in the scenery and it looks very good and modern. There is a small ramp tower on the southern side of the concourse. Concourse E Concourse E – 28 gates (E1–E12, E14–E18, E26–E36) and 3 stands (6NA–6NC) – Delta and all international airlines except Air Canada Concourse E scenery details : Concourse E was built and had been opened in September 1994 in readiness for the 1996 Summer Olympics and was the original international terminal at KATL (the north side of Concourse T was used for international flights before Concourse E was built). And the concourse works together with the newer Concourse F for International arrivals and departures. International pre-cleared flights can arrive at concourses T & A–D. International flights can also depart from concourses T & A–D, such as when space is unavailable at concourses E or F, or when an aircraft arrives as a domestic flight and continues as an international flight. Gates E1 and E3 have been configured for A380 double (upper/lower) boarding airbridges, but they or any A380 double boarding gates are not in this scenery. Korean Air flies A380's Atlanta (ATL) - Seoul (ICN), as service KE36 and Air France are looking at a Paris - Atlanta route. Butnaru has done a great design on the largest of ATL's concourses. As Con E is slightly more different than the other straight in line concourses. There are more upper curved windows and glass areas than the usual box like older designs. Concourse F Concourse F – 12 gates (F1–F10, F12, F14) – Delta, Southwest and all international airlines Concourse F scenery details : Concourse F is the new international terminal called the Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr. International Terminal, that has been built on the site that had been occupied by air cargo facilities and the old midfield control tower. It has added twelve new gates for international carriers and is able to hold both wide-body jets and can be converted for sixteen narrow-body gates. Con F has a new check-in desks and a baggage claim area solely for international carriers, additionally the international terminal has its own parking lot just for international passengers with over 1,100 spaces. The terminal's cost at was at $1.4 billion and it opened on May 16, 2012. The new terminal is connected to Concourse E by the underground tram system. The design is carried on from Concourse E in a more modern white panel design and blue windows. All windows are good though out this scenery but there is no look inside feature that Butnaru usually uses with his glass. Control Tower Slightly north of the new International terminal is the new control tower which is the tallest in the United States, with a height of over 398 feet (121 m). The old control tower, 585 feet (178 m) away from the new control tower was demolished August 5, 2006. The KATL control tower was always going to be the statement piece of this scenery and it does deliver. The overall tower design is very good and well created. The radar does not rotate and the ground administration buildings are just textured blocks, but overall it is okay. The tower view was always going to be good this high up. You can see Louisiana from up here! and the sweep around covers all the runways and both north and south cargo areas, even if 10/28 is quite a way into the distance. On rotation some poles stick up in the view? not a big deal. Delta Maintenance Base (T.O.C.) Delta rules and Delta has its main maintenance base set here on the eastern side of the airport. There are several large maintenance hangars and the famous "Fly Delta Jets" is there for all to see.There are rows of Delta static aircraft but not much more activity on the ramps. North and North Cargo North Cargo is the larger of the two areas and is situated directly north of the control tower. Cargo buildings are 3d objects covered in textures with some doors and windows, good but not anything special. There is pallets laid out but nothing else but static cargo jets for the usual cargo suspects of EVA Air, FedEx and UBS. There is a big fuel depot here as well. Next to the west of the North Cargo area is the General Aviation area. the area is bland as with nothing really here worth that would want you to make ATL as part of your GA "going south and need fuel, and so I will drop in..." experience. No fences, no static GA aircraft, no fuel?... just an open area? pretty poor. The main Delta administration offices and Delta museum is there behind the empty GA area but they are just placement buildings and flat carparks, The older "Fly Delta Jets" on the museum roof is also missing. More west and there is the Renaissance Hotel which is good, with a Delta parking ramp in front. far west are some more buildings and another Fuel storage depot. South areas and South Cargo The South cargo are is quite small with just three cargo buildings around a ramp area. Strangely there are three static Delta passenger jets parked here and not a cargo aircraft in sight? I would be seriously wanting my money back from Delta if I was disembarking my flight here? Human cargo I suppose? To the side of south cargo, there is also a small maintenance ramp and hangers for AirTran Traffic X-Plane10's traffic feature is well represented here. The traffic flows are excellent all round the perimeters of the airport and it looks excellent from any direction.... so turn your traffic settings up real high. Night Lighting The airport is well covered by lighting and the ramp areas are very good to work on. There are two sources of lighting with one source covering the concourse areas and slightly whiter lighting in the carparking areas. It works very well but the lighting is overall a little bit boring. The flat carparks get a lot of spot lighting and the spot lighting looks fine on the roofs of parking facilities with cars. Building and window lighting is good as well overall, but there not a lot of lighting detail except for a few buildings like the Fire Station on Concourse T Although the ramps are well lit, it is quite dark in the middle areas, but the green taxi lighting is helpful. The Control Tower's green base upward shade is the standout at night and looks great from any direction of the airport or from the air. Taxiway lighting signage is clear and well sited (thank god) I departed KATL in the AA MD-82 as I headed out to Chicago and took in the whole airport scenery from the air... KATL looks great from the air, and the runway lighting is excellent. You notice the different textures with photo (ortho) textures with the scenery being a slightly lighter shade than the darker surrounding default areas... but they are not that noticeable from a distance but they are closer up. Overall the view of KATL is the size of the scenery, no matter which way you look at it it is big and feels big. Services Domestic 1 Orlando, FL 1,243,280 - AirTran, Delta, Southwest 2 Fort Lauderdale, FL 1,146,550 - AirTran, Delta, Southwest, Spirit 3 New York (LaGuardia), NY 1,056,000 - AirTran, Delta, Southwest 4 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 1,000,360 - American, Delta, Spirit 5 Tampa, FL 946,590 - AirTran, Delta, Southwest 6 Los Angeles, CA 898,000 - AirTran, Delta, Southwest 7 Charlotte, NC 886,150 - Delta, US Airways 8 Philadelphia, PA 842,320 - AirTran, Delta, Southwest, US Airways 9 Washington (National), D.C. 821,890 - AirTran, Delta, Southwest 10 Miami, FL 782,460 - American, Delta International 1 Cancún, Mexico 704,881 - Southwest, Delta 2 Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France 638,035 - Delta, Air France 3 Amsterdam, Netherlands 595,469 - KLM, Delta 4 London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 540,054 - British Airways, Delta 5 Mexico City, Mexico 440,239 - Aeromexico, Delta 6 Montego Bay, Jamaica 409,872 - Southwest, Delta 7 Toronto (Pearson), Canada 379,965 - Air Canada, Delta 8 Nassau, Bahamas 335,244 - Southwest, Delta 9 Frankfurt, Germany 292,555 - Delta, Lufthansa 10 Seoul (Incheon), Korea 256,086 - Korean Air 11 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 294,513 - Delta, Southwest 12 Tokyo, Japan 244,463 - Delta 13 Rome, Italy 182,514 - Delta 14 Johannesburg, South Africa 174,625 - Delta 15 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 174,379 - Delta Did I mention that Delta Airlines runs out of KATL? Oh yes! I think I did... Summary With a scenery this expansive there has to be compromises. KATL - Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta is one of the largest airports in the world, and any scenery designer will not really ever cover such an airport in absolute minute detail. No matter which way you cut it, there was always going to be a lot of objects in there to cover a lot of ground. And even in this form KATL will still take a fair whack out of your computers memory storage space to compensate for that. KATL is heavy on your frame-rate in fact I was always in my low 20's with all these objects around me, however it never really dropped into the struggle street numbers and was and is highly usable as scenery, HDR "on" didn't drop it down much either, so in that area the scenery is very good considerable of the size of what you are trying to process. Animations are certainly very well done here, but why put great animations and no animated jetway/airbridges? even a few would have made the scenery more accessible, and such features are becoming now more de rigueur in X-Plane and certainly in payware scenery. From a distance or even middle distance this is excellent scenery, no doubt about that. The Terminals and Concourses are certainly very well done, but up close there is a slight feeling here of a basic layout despite my notes of the requirement of watching the size and object count of this size of scenery. Most of Butnaru's sceneries are very good, but they are in most cases a large photo (ortho) base with objects positioned on top. KATL is the best yet from Butnaru, but the detailing is missing that really makes excellent scenery catch your attention. The General Aviation area is a good example of this? no fencing, no detailing around the buildings, signs or anything to make your arrival even remotely realistic, basically it is the object building on the flat ground texture. And those flat planned out photo carparks just don't cut it anymore in this level of scenery. Lighting is good but not exceptional. There is certainly a lot of ground to cover here (pardon the pun), but good lighting in this case can work for you in breaking up the areas into their specialities, and good scenery can do this. If not a bland look can creep into the overall look of the complete scenery. Scenery is an investment for use for a long period of time, and very good scenery is well worth your investment as you will use it over and over again over many years. Is Butnaru's KATL Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta worthy of such an investment? It is yes, just... because the good and overwhelming design of the airport still thankfully far, far outweighs the average. No doubt this is still the best by a long shot Atlanta airport scenery for X-Plane and will probably will be for years to come, but more detailing beyond the big stuff is just as important as getting the airport structures right in the first place... So overall KATL - Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta Butnaru is very good, like all of Butnaru's sceneries are, but it could also have been exceptional with a little more creative detailing and the filling in of the smaller areas that when you get out of the aircraft and you feel you have arrived... But it is still a very good investment. KATL - Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta Intl Airport by Butnaru is now available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : KATL - Atlanta International and is priced at only US$23.00 Installation : Download is 278.90mb that is unzipped in to 380.90 into your Custom Scenery folder. the GroundTraffic plugin from Marginal for the airport traffic animations is built into the scenery, but you need X-Plane10 for it to work. Note: If you find you KATL looks odd? with strange buildings it is most likely the X-Plane "Global Airport" version poking through... Like it did for me here... If so then put in an exclusion zone around the scenery via WED or you can pull out the offending .dsf in the "Global Airports" folder in the Custom Scenery folder under folder - +30 -090 dsf and remove the +33 -85 dsf tile. Laminar Research certainly don't recommend this action, but sometimes it can be the only positive way to remove persistent annoying scenery. Documents : The scenery comes with a two airport page manual and no charts. Features : 100+ gates Static aircraft Light effects with HDR on and off Moving vehicles and people (thanks to Jonathan Harris for his amazing plugin and tools) Detailed terminal and jetways. Custom ground textures Ortophotos Requirements: X-Plane 10.30+ Windows, Mac or Linux 1Gb+ VRAM Video Card _____________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 4th March 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb - Seagate 256gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.35 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose - Soundlink Mini Aircraft - Boeing 732 TwinJet by FlyJSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$47.00
Scenery Update Preview : KORD Chicago O'Hara Intl (version 1.0.2) by Nimbus Simulation Studios Nimbus Simulation Studios have released a heavily revised version in version 1.0.2 of their KORD Chicago O'Hara Intl Airport. "Nimbus Simulation Studios" and "revised"? Yes this KORD is "Butnaru's" actual original 2013 scenery but with now a new name and a new look. This more than an upgrade, as the basic original KORD (Terminals and inner infrastructure) was already very good, but the airport textures in runways and taxiways and the empty outer boundaries were average but fine for that period. Today the expectations on scenery for X-Plane are high, as users demand detail and (lots of) features for their money, the days of just developing an airport with just good 3-D objects are long gone. So it is refreshing to see Butnaru in revisiting his older work and bringing them up to the standard we expect. All his past work was excellent, but still many in certain need of a refresh like we have here with KORD v1.0.2. The original excellent internal terminal areas have been retained and ground support equipment detailing has been enhanced. Walking people are a Butnaru's speciality and they are everywhere (even walking around inside the terminals!) and a lot of that open flat photographic USGS (Images) underlay has thankfully been filled in and notably in the carpark areas. The photo underlay still blandly pokes out here and there, but overall the scenery visually is a huge step forward. Overall this KORD scenery does look and feels fuller, more complete and the extended details now compliment the earlier good terminal work. Ground animations are everywhere now also, giving you a buzzier feel on the ground, and no doubt this airport is calling out for WorldTraffic... traffic. Runway and taxiway texture and detailing look far better and more realistic than the originals, they maybe are the same? but the detailing looks too new to be so. The scenery is now also all HD (High-Definition) and the quality shows in all areas, maybe that is the difference. Highly realistic now, Textures feel and look great from the ground and also is the view from the cockpit. Butnaru was the first to incorporate a 3-D aircraft bridge taxiway link on taxiway's A and B by RWY32R's start point within the original KORD (Runway Contours... off) and it worked well back then. it looks now even better intergrated here, but the very empty and notable not even textured roads with no vehicle animation under the bridge taxiway link renders the positive changes back into a negative. From above you can see the more completion of the whole scenery and the differences in the (awful) quality of the original textures. New 2015 Old 2013 The poor photo 2013 colouring was one of the reasons why I didn't use KORD very much over the years, I didn't much like it then, and I can still see why now. Airports have to have to at least reach a certain level of at least being realistic, I am not in a moment saying or asking for complete perfection, but poor resolution and colouring that is easily rendered (Photoshop anyone) of which I have had to redo myself lately is not worthy of payware product. Thankfully the new KORD is excellent and everything benefits from the better resolution and correct colour changes to the scenery. Like noted the runway and taxiway areas have hugely benefited from the changes. The green belts around the runways are a little too green compared to the surrounding X-Plane default landscape, but in reality KORD does standout from the its background in the real world as well. Overall the base textures are a huge improvement. You get a really special feature with the new KORD, and take note here other scenery designers... Winter Textures Chicago is not really known for its lazy balmy summers and hot tropical nights, more of a white stranded, frozen, grounded, infuriating and snowbound scenario is usually the case with any news reports. Last years release of default X-Plane winter_package by xflyer totally changed all that. You can use "Simple Seasons" to change the textures over but it is a bit of a messy business, but I found that JSGME or Generic Mod Enabler (It works fine under WINE for MAC users) is a perfect solution. (newly built in X-Plane scripts in 10.40 should hopefully fix this problem in the future) You get a full set of winter textures with this KORD v2 for both Summer and Winter periods... The winter KORD textures are a bit whiter than the default textures, but overall they work extremely well, the great thing that Butnaru has done is fill in the small details like the edges of the taxiways and runways, buildings and aircraft all have snow on their upper layers. So it is extremely highly realistic, as shown when I did a landing at KORD in the AA (Rotate) MD-88. Pull the weather in close around you and then get the lowest visibility distance that you can dare and go for it. It is set a little brighter (clearer) here so you can actually see something, but "hey" this is great winter flying as the KORD airport textures really work for you... this is a real Chicago arrival. They are not easily changed over; as there is quite a lot of files to resite. My solution was to create two separate KORD's for both Summer and Winter... Just take one scenery out and replace it with another, and swap the MOD's over and you have an instant winter. I personally love winter textures as they give you a whole new dimension to online flying. Night Lighting Lighting is good, but not highly detailed. Butnaru is a broadstroke sort of scenery developer more than a intimate detailed artist. So everything is there that you need and use, but not in a very highly detailed way. There is a nice variation in lighting colour, but not any really high detailing like rows of lights in a carpark for example. Working down on the ramps it is not bad at all as it is all well lit. Terminal buildings have great depth as the internal areas at night are well created with a lot of internal detail. Documents You get full sets of SID and STAR (DP) charts and "TAKEOFF MINIMUMS AND (OBSTACLE) DEPARTURE PROCEDURES" information... But no Airport ground diagrams or gate position charts? Overall this is certainly a great update to a scenery that begged for a good upgrade. KORD Chicago O'Hare is one of the most used in online flying in America and so X-Plane users deserved a good scenery to use. And yes as Butnaru's newly named "Nimbus Simulation Studios" has certainly delivered here and the stand out feature are those excellent winter textures that makes this scenery... oh so Chicago. __________________________________________________ Yes! the updated KORD Chicago O'Hara Intl (version 1.0.2) by Nimbus Simulation Studios is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : KORD - Chicago O'Hare International Airport -HD Price is US$24.95 NOTE: Owners of the previous KORD Airport by Butnaru are entitled to a $10 upgrade price - $15 - and should contact email@example.com to get their coupon code Features KORD v1.0.2: High Definition Airport High resolution ground textures Terminals with 3D interiors HDR lights Numerous custom objects with high-res textures Night lighting Seasonal Textures Both Summer and Winter textures are included Animated Airports GroundTraffic (plugin by Marginal) Autogates Complete Airport 9 runways Cargo area Terminals 1, 2, 3 and 5 fully modeled with all concourses South and North Tower More than 100 gates modeled _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements X-Plane 10.30+ (any edition) Windows, Mac or Linux 1Gb+ VRAM Video Card - 2Gb VRAM Video Card Recommended Note: Make sure you have v1.0.2 on download _____________________________________________________________________________________ Preview by Stephen Dutton 21st December 2015 Copyright©2015: X-PlaneReviews (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! - KPHX Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl Airport now available at the X-Plane.OrgStore KPHX is detailed airport for X-Plane by Nimbus Simulation Studios (formerly called Butnaru) and can now be purchased at the X-Plane.OrgStore for US$16.95 here : http://store.x-plane.org/KPHX-Phoenix-Sky-Harbor-International_p_399.html Accurate rendition of KPHX100+ gatesDetailed terminal and jetways.Static aircraftHigh Definition TexturesCustom HD ground texturesOrthophotoslight effects with HDR on and offAnimated Airport Moving vehicles and peopleUsing Jonathan Harris's Ground Traffic plugin
KMIA - Miami International Airport : Butnaru Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA, ICAO: KMIA), also known as MIA and historically as Wilcox Field. The geographical position of MIA in South Florida, USA, is it’s main strength in world aviation. It is a hub of many different aspects in the fact that it is the main gateway from North America to South America. Even flights that used to originate in Europe before very long-range aircraft were available, would fly to MIA and then refuel to either go south (Latin America) or continue west to Mexico and Central America. That is reflected in the first operator of the area, Pan American. The airport opened in 1928 as Pan American Field, the operating base of Pan American Airways Corporation, on the north side of the modern airport property.They moved after a few years to “Dinner Key” (Seaplane Base) but still held the property rights to the airfield. It was an army field for a while till nonstop flights to Chicago and New York/Newark started in 1946–47, but they didn’t reach west further and beyond St Louis and New Orleans until January 1962. Nonstop transatlantic flights began in 1970. In the late 1970s and early 1980s Air Florida had a hub at MIA until they went broke in 1982 and Eastern Airlines moved their operations to MIA in 1975 until the airline went into bankruptcy in 1989. Today it is dominated by American Airlines that transfered there in the late 1990s and capitalised on Eastern’s demise. American transferred more employees and equipment to MIA from its failed domestic hubs at Nashville and Raleigh–Durham. Today Miami is American’s largest air freight hub and is the main connecting point in the airline’s north–south international route network. 8L/26R 2,621m (8,600ft) Asphalt 8R/26L 3,202m (10,506ft) Asphalt 8L/26R 2,621m (8,600ft) Asphalt 2/301 2,851m (9,354ft) Asphalt Elevation 8 ft / 2 m AMSL Santiago Butnaru is one of the Classic X-Plane scenery developers and KMIA is a great choice for his talent. Like many large American Hubs, MIA is a wide and sprawling airport. There is so many items here that it is impossible to cover every area, but Butnaru has done a really great job here. The number one factor is that it is up to date and that helps in keeping the airport current, the only thing missing is the new car-rental and car park “Miami Intermodal Center” (MIC) - (The biggest in the world as the RCC is home to 6,500 rental cars and is projected to serve 28,000 customers daily) is missing but it is also situated well off the main airport area. But the Terminal D improvements are all in the scenery. The airport has four runways 8L/26R, 8R/26L, 9/27 and 12/30 (which is really a cross runway). American Airlines dominates the airport and uses almost half (North) of the airport in Terminal D. The main terminal at MIA dates back to 1959, with several new additions. Semicircular in shape, the terminal has one linear concourse (Concourse D) and five pier-shaped concourses, lettered counter-clockwise from E to J (Concourse A is now part of Concourse D; Concourses B and C were demolished so that Concourse D gates could be added in their place) Concourse I was not used because it would have clashed with Concourse 1 (But now that is gone as well?). From the terminal’s opening until the mid-1970s the concourses were numbered clockwise from 1 to 6. Terminal D (North Terminal) The North Terminal consists of one concourse, Concourse D, a single linear concourse 1.2 miles (1.9 km) long with a capacity of 30 million passengers annually for American Airlines. It has one bus station and 45 gates: D1–D12, D14–D17, D19–D25, D29–D33 D37–D40, D42–D51, D53, D55, D60. and American operates two Admirals Clubs within the concourse; one located near Gate D30, and another near Gate D15, American Eagle uses Gates D53, D55, and D60. Airlines: American, American Eagle. The Central Terminal consists of three concourses, labeled E, F, and G, with a combined total of 52 gates. Terminal E Concourse E has two bus stations and 18 gates: E2, E4–E11, E20–E25, E30, E31, E33. Concourse E dates back to the terminal’s 1959 opening, and was originally known as Concourse 4. From the start, it was the airport’s only international concourse, containing its own immigration and customs facilities. In the mid-1960s it underwent renovations similar to the airport’s other original concourses, but didn’t receive its first major addition until the opening of the International Satellite Terminal in 1976. Featuring Gates E20–E35 (commonly known as “High E”), the satellite added 12 international gates capable of handling the largest jet aircraft as well as an international in-transit lounge for arriving international passengers connecting to other international flights. The seven story Miami–International Airport hotel and many Miami-Dade Aviation Department executive offices are in the Concourse E portion of the terminal. Concourse E, along with Concourse F, was once the base of operations for Pan Am and many of MIA’s international carriers. Airlines: Aeroflot, Cayman, Iberia, Interjet, WestJet Concourse F Concourse F has one bus station and 19 gates: F3–F12, F14–F23 Concourse F dates back to 1959 and was originally known as Concourse 3. Like Concourses D and E, it received renovations in the mid-1960s and was largely rebuilt from 1986 to 1988. The gates at the far end of the pier were demolished and replaced by new widebody Gates F10 to F23, all of which were capable of processing international arrivals. The departure lounges for Gates F3, F5, F7, and F9 were also rebuilt, and these also became international gates. Currently the concourse retains a distinctly 1980s feel, and is part of the Central Terminal area. The south side of the concourse was used by Northeast Airlines until its 1972 merger with Delta Air Lines. Likewise, National Airlines flew out of the north side of Concourse F until its 1980 merger with Pan Am, which continued to use the concourse until its 1991 shutdown. When United Airlines acquired Pan Am’s Latin American operations, the airline carried on operating a focus city out of Concourse F until completely dismantling it by 2004. From 1993 to 2004, Concourse F was also used by Iberia Airlines for its Miami focus city operation, which linked Central American capitals to Madrid using MIA as the connecting point but has been moved to Con, E. Airlines: Airberlin, British Airways, GOL, Insel Air, Sun Country, Virgin Atlantic and XL Airways. Concourse G Concourse G has one bus station and 15 gates: G2–G12, G14–G16, G19 Concourse G is the only one of the original 1959 concourses that has largely remained in its original state, save for the modifications the rest of the airport received in the mid-1960s and an extension in the early 1970s. It is the only concourse at the airport not capable of handling international arrivals, though it is frequently used for departing international charters. Airlines: ArkeFly, Avior, Dutch Antilles Express, Miami Air, Santa Barbara, Sky King, Surinam, Transaero and World Atlantic.ArkeFly, Avior, Dutch Antilles Express, Miami Air, Santa Barbara, Sky King, Surinam, Transaero and World Atlantic. Concourse H Concourse H has one bus station and 13 gates: H3–H12, H14, H15, H17 Concourse H was the 20th Street Terminal’s first extension, originally built in 1961 as Concourse 1 for Delta Air Lines, which remains in the concourse to this day. This concourse featured a third floor, the sole purpose of which was to expedite access to the “headhouse” gates at the far end. In the late 1970s, a commuter satellite terminal was built just to the east of the concourse. Known as “Gate H2”, it featured seven parking spaces (numbered H2a through H2g) designed to handle smaller commuter aircraft. The concourse was dramatically renovated from 1994 to 1998, to match the style of the then-new Concourse A. Moving walkways were added to the third floor, the H1 Bus Station and Gates H3–H11 were completely rebuilt, and the H2 commuter satellite had jetways installed. Due to financial difficulties, headhouse gates H12–H20 were left in their original state. Airlines: Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, Bahamasair, COPA, Delta Air Lines, KLM, LAN, TACA and United Airlines. Concourse J Concourse J has one bus station and 15 gates: J2–J5, J7–J12, J14–J18 Concourse J is the newest concourse, having entered service on August 29, 2007. Part of the airport’s South Terminal project, the concourse was designed by Carlos Zapata and M.G.E., THe company is one of the largest Hispanic-owned architecture firms in Florida. The concourse features 15 international-capable gates as well as the airport’s only 3 Jet-Bridge gate capable of handling the Airbus A380. (Lufthansa are the only airline using the A380 "FRA-MIA" at this time) The concourse added a third international arrivals hall to the airport, supplementing the existing ones at Concourses B (now closed) and E while significantly relieving overcrowding at these two facilities. The J Concourse is distinctive with the Pod shaped ramp tower on the terminal end of the concourse. Airlines: Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Canada, Air Jamaica, Avianca, Caribbean, IBC Airways (level 1) Airlines: LACSA / TACA, Lufthansa, Swiss, TAM, TAP and US Airways. Features One of the big features is the Terminals (and Concourses) have great see-through glass and detailed interiors. With-in concourse advertising and people walking and sitting around gives the airport a great working feel. All the terminals are extremely well designed and represent their real world counterparts. Concourse J is the very best design here with wonderful work and so is Concourse D. There are plenty of static aircraft and there are all well placed, lots of ground equipment and associated pallets and cargo pallets. However some areas are well done but others are empty (mostly all along the long Terminal North side) which is quite barren if you park there, gate placement via the airport menu is well listed but placement is a bit ad-hoc. Another feature is that there are walking airport personal all over the scenery. Any animation I love and this is a great idea. Cargo The airport is one of the largest in terms of cargo in the United States, and is primary connecting point for cargo between Latin America and the world. Ninety-six different carriers are involved in shifting over two million tons of freight annually. Central of the airport is “Cargo City” with a long line of ramps. And adjacent to RWY 9/27 are two multi-purpose Cargo areas called “Western U” and “Eastern U”. The area is noted as well for the central placement of the Control Tower of which is excellent. The very northern boundary (Northside) of MIA airport has the Cargo operations of FedEx and UPS. Pan Am was based here on the Northside as well in the early days, but it is now taken up by hangers and maintenance. The lower part is called the “Northeast Base”. The extremely huge American Airlines maintenance hangar is represented here. And so is the large Fuel Depot by Concourse J. Butnaru uses large underlays (orthophoto) to represent the ground and layout of KMIA. These can work for you and against you in various ways. Items that look real from a small height then disappear when close on the ground, but the biggest problem is if you have to use a lower “texture” render setting then the ground becomes very jaggy and fuzzy. The “High” setting was poor and you needed the setting of “Very High” to make a difference. With a large scenery like this that is a compromise - Its not bad, but it is not great either if your computer can't take the strain... Thankfully the Runway and Taxiway lineage is very good, and so is all the layouts. So is the signage that helps you find your way around the complex taxiway system. (You seem to always taxi a long way out to the runways here) The OSM (OpenStreetMap) and road networks are simply great all around MIA, only a few breaks on the North Boundary were the underlays just overide a little to far out, but you do get great roads and cars buzzing into the central area of the airport. Overall the night-lighting is very good. It is one tone in colour, but all areas are well covered. There is no specialized lighting to highlight certain areas and no lighted advertising either. I did expect with the clear terminal and concourse glass that the buildings would be great at night. They are but the light is quite muted, they are well lit inside but the dark (blue) glass takes the effect away sadly. They do still however give a great transparent feel to the buildings. Conclusions KMIA - Miami International Airport from Butnaru is a great piece of scenery, Important as well because its position gives you a very wide selection of destinations from the nearby Caribbean Islands and then out to Mexico and central America. And then further south to South America in all its forms. Going North or West there is also a wide selection of American and Canadian routes and finally to and from Europe with the UK, France and Germany as the main entry points of destinations. The modeling is very well done and in that context the airport delivers very well and every one of the 111 gates are here, but some more attention to detail around the gates of Concourse D would have made a better impact and the frame-rate is marginal (but still very usable) because of having to use the higher texture settings, HDR is tough on the system as the roads and traffic are quite heavily represented and so is the heavy amount of autogen and this all takes some chunk out of the screen rendering. However it is usable like I have already mentioned. This was one scenery I really wanted and I am not disappointed with the quality. MIA will be put to a lot of use and is already one of my prime destinations, and any scenery released by Santiago is always worth your investment... and KMIA - Miami International Airport is one of his very best. Installation of KMIA is unzip (163mb) to your “Custom Scenery” Folder (Expanded 231.10mb) and a manual .pdf is supplied. Review by Stephen Dutton 20th September 2013 KMIA - Miami International Airport is available now from the X-Plane.org Store : KMIA - Miami International Price is US$19.95 The scenery is available for both X-Plane9 and X-Plane10 (HDR lighting and road and traffic will only work with XP10) Developer Site : None _______________________________ 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 Stephen Dutton 20th September 2013 Copyright:X-PlaneReviews 2016