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  1. NEWS! - Scenery Upgrade : LOWS - Salzburg v2 by Digital Design LOWS - Salzburg, Austria was one of the first X-Plane sceneries for JustSim/Digital Design, and a very comprehensive and quality scenery it was. But time marches on and with new tools as well, to create better visual effects that have since been utilised to lift the visual aspects of an already quality scenery to far higher levels. The original SZG Salzburg release was back in June 2016; Scenery Review : LOWS W. A. Mozart - Salzburg Airport by Digital Design, now five years ago with an update a year later in August 2017. This is the v2 of the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Salzburg airport. Although the textures were updated to PBR effects in the update (noted as XP11). This v2 upgrade is a completely new and total texture refinement using the latest processing tools... with new High Resolution textures, High Resolution PBR Materials, a completely new 3D Model Ground layout, with new lineage marking and updated parking numbers according to the latest data and new 3D Grass. First thought... "Why update, LOWS, as it is pretty good now?", first view of v2 "Oh wow, that is just simply brilliant!"... so there is really nothing more to say except to buy it, or upgrade right now... Features V2: The actual state of the airport with the latest changes. New High Resolution textures High Resolution PBR Materials New 3D Model Ground 3D Grass New Ground textures New marking and updated parking numbers according to the latest data Improved 3D Models Terminal Improve airport vehicles 3D models Added interior to Terminal 2 Amadeus and tower. Added new buildings/ objects in the approach areas. Improved historical city center with the addition of new landmarks. Supports SAM plugin Notable is that the Hohensalzburg Castle is now not sitting precariously atop the Festungsberg, the landscaping has been done, and it all looks quite magnificent... the Salzburg "Old Town" (Altstadt) city centre has also had a huge investment done of it's buildings. As a scenery this is a again a very worthy investment, but if you already have the original v1 LOWS scenery you can update to v2 for only a small US$7.50 investment, so check out your original LOWS invoice at the X-Plane.Orgstore and the discount code will be listed there. v2 of LOWS just "Blew me away"! ____________________________________________ Yes! LOWS W. A. Mozart - Salzburg Airport v2 by Digital Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LOWS- Salzburg Airport W. A. Mozart v2 Price is US$19.50 Previous owners of LOWS Salzburg can buy this new XP11 version for only US$7.50: Check your original LOWS invoice at the store. the discount code will be listed in your account. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac, Linux 4 GB VRAM Video Card Minimum. 8 GB VRAM Recommended Download Size: 765 MB Current Version : 2.0 (August 9th 2021) ____________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 11th August 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
  2. Upgrade Scenery Release : GCTS - Tenerife South - Reina Sofía Airport v2 by Digital Design JustSim released their first version of Tenerife South back in December 2018, and it had a few updates in, one still in Dec 2018 and another one in 2019, overall I wasn't that taken with the scenery, it was good as all JustSim scenery is, but it just didn't register enough for me to do a review or give the airport the exposure it really deserved. It is now back in an upgraded GCTS version v2 and the scenery has had a very though decent overhaul and revision. The Tenerife scenery has also rebranded under the Digital Design label, but it is in reality still a part of the JustSim stable of quality, but value focused sceneries. First there is supplied a few different options for the install of the GCTS - Tenerife scenery. First is the X-Plane default version (of which is reviewed here). Second is a ORBX TrueEarth Canary Islands option that intergrates the scenery with the ORBX Photo-Othro textures. The third option is to use the Spain UHDv2, Ultra High Definition Photoscenery that is free from the X-Plane.Org, but to note the full Spain UHD download is a walloping hard-drive smashing 424GB! GCTS - Tenerife South Airport v2 First impressions of GCTS - Tenerife v2 is impressive and light years better than the original v1 release. If you want to look hard over the scenery there are a lot of those original elements that have been moved over to this second upgraded version, the fuel tank depot for one, and there are a few others... but mostly it feels and looks far different and in a quality way. The biggest visual points are those scattered large blocks that cover the whole area of the scenery... ... these are netting covers that protect the Banana plantations, and about 9,000 hectares are dedicated to Banana cultivation in southern Tenerife, and the nets are used to catch the early fog, or the moisture is trapped to keep the fruit fresh and cool. Digital Design have done these nets structures very well... it would have been very easy to just have created 3d modeling blocks and just dumped them in the scenery, but up close the detail of the netting is well done, and the various farms are actually done differently, and more than just a one block does all approach, so the approach view is very realistic. Tenerife South Airport Aeropuerto de Tenerife Sur / Aeropuerto Internacional Reina Sofía Tenerife Sur / Reina Sofía Airport - GCTS IATA: TFS - ICAO: GCTS 07/25 - 3,200m (10,498ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 64 m / 209 ft There are two terminal buildings, and long main building, and a smaller LCC Terminal east. The main Terminal Tenerife South consists of a three-storey passenger terminal in a classic brick style. The Main level, Floor 0 (middle floor) contains all the check-in and service counters, the departure and arrival areas and the main baggage reclaim. The departures area features 34 boarding gates of which eight gates are equipped with Airbridges. While the upper floor 1 contains office space and transit corridors, the basement level - features the airside luggage belts and baggage service areas. Digital Design has completely remodeled the main terminal building with new High Resolution (Hi-Res) textures and PBR Materials, glass is also all new as well, and it is a green see-through tint. All the Airbridges are well modeled and also use the excellent SAM (Scenery Animation Manager ) system, to connect the bridges to the aircraft. G2, G4, G6 - J1, J3, J5, J7 and J8 cover the parking slots. Terminal interiors are also now modeled in v2, it is better than the usual, and quite a nice place to sit waiting. Gate and ramp detail is very good. Visible Ground floor is detailed with tables and baggage conveyor belt systems are also easily visible... ... busy, busy traffic animations are (SAS) default, but very well done and there is a lot of movement around the ramps and under the terminal buildings. Ramp clutter is also very good and many locally (Iberia) branded. Movement also comes from the animated Air-Conditioning plant fans feeding the Airbridges, a nice touch. Landside For once you are not faced with Lo-Res ground textures landside, but a fully detailed area... very good, and all this is with tons of nice fill detail. Nice tropical palm trees and flowers, as here it is a bright and colourful place for a getaway holiday, even the long-term carparking areas are shaded... nice. Buses are all locally Canary Shuttle and TransTenerife branded for detail. People and passengers are also placed nicely, but don't have a lot of detail. Control Tower The control tower is positioned at the end on the main terminal building, mid-apron. Detailing is very good, with detailed roof mounted aerials and admire the fantastic spiral stairway attached to the east side of the tower. Tower view is good, but a few of the aerials get in the way at certain angles, but both approaches do have a clear view. At the other end of the Main terminal and connected by a walkway is a small LCC (Low Cost Carrier) Terminal. GCTS is obviously a tourist focused facility, so a cheaper LCC terminal is a big requirement here... the smaller terminal is really well done with H38, H39, R40 parking stands, R47, H36, R45, H41, H44, R42 H43 are adjoining remote stands. LCC Terminal detail is excellent with wood trim and slatted detailed window blinds. Far east is a GA parking area with five stands AG1 to AG5, and behind a large open plan parking and service area. Note the nice rock wall set behind. All the way end to end of the aprons mid-field are 21 overflow stands for the seasonal services... E49 to E70, they also lead into the west side small cargo hub area. The cargo hub is well detailed with loads of clutter for a lot of realism, far west is the airport's services and administration area and a taxiway facing Fire Station. Two Fuel Depots cover the west rear, and a nice golf ball radar installation covers the rear of the east end, and note all the elevation changes in this scenery, which are all done very well, with the main runway elevated lower than the apron areas. Infrastructure There is a lot of infrastructure in the local flavour of the resorts around the the airport. Las Galletas, Oasis del Sur, Los Abrigos are all represented as is the San Miguel marina. Golf Courses and resorts are all represented and the coverage is very good and overall realistic. Autogen does a good job as well in filling in the other island blank areas... I do however recommend SFD Global, that does a better layout and feel of the Spanish heritage look, the default autogen is not bad, but SFD gives you a far better filler of content (below). Ground Textures The ground textures are some of the best I have seen in a fair while... great grain and the edges are stony and are quite realistic. Grain is very good, as is the asphalt detail... lineage is faded were required, and there is very nice rubber markings at heavy work load turning areas... ... but there is also a clever effect going on here as well. Get the right lighting conditions and the burnt-in ambient occlusion effect works brilliantly, but also those same rubber markings are still matt darker, giving off a really realistic runway wear effect... ... high marks here for the realism. 3d Grass is of the desert variety, and very good, but in a few areas that should have the 3d grass (i.e. outside the Firestation) would have benefited if used. Lighting Like everything in the scenery the lighting is also very good, but with a slight twist... The Landside lighting is far brighter than the Airside... Both 07/25 approaches have RAIL lighting, and visually very good (It needs to be because of the frequent fog conditions here), taxiway centreline is dual coloured (green/yellow) and navigation signage is fully ground reflective and very nice. Airport lighting is very realistic visually, and a nice place to arrive at in the wee hours. The debate here is not that the aprons are too dark, of which they are not, but if the airside terminals are. See through glass causes all sorts of problems, but most always come out on the dull side, as that is the case here also... ... it looks good, but internally you can see it is far too dark or dull, the developer is maybe having a foot in both camps and not winning in either... the terminal lighting needs to be more vibrant. Not so the terminal lighting Landside, as it is brilliantly bright over here, and looks good. The highlight is lovely lit Control Tower, it looks great from any rear view. Some areas though are lit up, without or just a few of any physical lighting elements, in the Fire Station/Admin area and some private properties they are just areas of light... ... and it feels a little bit artificial. Overall the airport lighting is top notch. The Infrastructure of Tenerife however is not great, blocky one coloured windows or simply poor lighting at all from the housing windows, does not make the area or the resorts around the airport light-up very well, and it is all pretty well dark on the western approach, overall the township lighting is pretty basic. ___________________ Summary Tenerife South - Reina Sofía Airport, is the largest airport on the Canary Islands, situated in the southern part of the island. The airport was inaugurated on 6 November 1978, by Queen Sofía of Spain, to whom the airport is dedicated. This scenery is an upgraded GCTS version v2 of the original JustSim Tenerife-South from 2018, and now GCTS is also rebranded Tenerife under the Digital Design banner, the scenery has had in the process a very though decent overhaul and revision. Note the scenery is upgraded, and it is not an update, but there is a very generous low upgrade cost from the original v1 of only $7.50, to install this vastly better v2 Tenerife. All the main elements here have been remodeled including the excellent long terminal building, it also now has internal detail as well which is very good. Ground textures are excellent and comes with burnt-in ambient occlusion and great rubber effects on the surfaces, surface grain is good as well. SAM support is also added, as is a lot of busy animations and twirling Air-Con fans and good clutter. Detail is very good, even Landside which is well detailed and realistic, but clutter is good Airside as well. Lighting is strong Landside, but weak in the see-through terminal glass, making the Airside aprons a bit darker. There is a lot of elevation changes in this scenery and even the feature of the main runway being lower than the terminal aprons, that adds in a bit of novelty. Local environs are also modeled with the local resorts being clearly very visible from the airport and on approaches. There is not a lot to fault here at Tenerife... just the noted dull internal lighting and township lighting which is all very basic, and few objects get in the way of the tower view... otherwise the whole scenery is pretty solid. Three options in the X-Plane default version, ORBX TrueEarth Canary Islands Photo-Othro textures, and the Spain UHDv2, Ultra High Definition Photoscenery are all provided to suit your particular tastes. JustSim and by definition Digital Design, always deliver excellent scenery at a value cost, and that is exactly what you get here at Tenerife v2. I love an airport I can instantly like and start adding in routes to accommodate in going or leaving from there... so any scenery that just wants to used has to be again great value, and overall that is what another Digital Design gem delivers, great value and a great destination. _____________________________________ Yes! GCTS - Tenerife South - Reina Sofía Airport v2 by DigitalDesign is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore GCTS - Tenerife Airport v2 Price is US$20.00 Owners of Tenerife v1 can get this new version for only US$7.50. Please use the coupon code found in your original Tenerife invoice at the X-Plane.OrgStore Features V2: Compatibility ORBX TE Canary Islands Slope runway and taxiways according to the real runway profile Using New High Resolution textures Using PBR Materials New 3D Model Ground 3D Grass New Ground textures New marking and updated parking numbers according to the latest data Improve 3D Model Terminal Improve airport vehicles 3D models Interior modeling Added new buildings in the approach areas. Compatibility Spain UHDv2 WT3: WorldTraffic3 GroundRoutes are NOT provided but the scenery is compatible and extremely good, and Traffic Global also operates perfectly, Requirements: Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 2.5 GB Install and Review Version 2.0 (February 24th 2021) Installation Download scenery files required are in one zip folder download of 2.44GB (a big step up from the original v1 size of 840Mb) There are two folders of which are placed in the X-Plane Custom Scenery Folder in this .INI order "Mesh" must be sited below the main "GCTS Tenerife V2" folder). Digital Design GCTS Tenerife v2 Digital Design GCTS Tenerife v2 Mesh Total scenery install is: 2.28Gb Options include: Three photographic layouts with the X-Plane default version, ORBX TrueEarth Canary Islands Photo-Othro textures, and the Spain UHDv2, Ultra High Definition Photoscenery all provided. You just select the set of both Airport and Mesh choice to install. SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery ShortFinal Global SFD plugin is highly recommended with this scenery. Documents Read Me only ______________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 27th 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 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 v11.51r3 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 - Free : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - Default Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Research
  3. News! - Upgraded Scenery Release : Tenerife South Airport v2 by Digital Design Your filter was in full use... I looked at JustSim's GCTS-Tenerife 2018 scenery and thought it was not worth the review, rare really because I really like JustSim's scenery and they rarely do a dud, but I didn't like it, so I didn't recommend the scenery. Since that initial release, the scenery has had two upgrades (v1.1 and v1.1a) that has smoothed out a lot of the original imperfections. Part of JustSim's original team have been rebranded as Digital Design, and slowly the developer has been refining their older products to meet the high quality of their newer releases, like the excellent EGGP Liverpool John Lennon Airport, of which I was seriously impressed with and Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport of which is on my "to do list". So this new release of Tenerife South is an upgrade and not an update, that means it is a completely new version (V2) and so to upgrade you have repurchase the airport and the noted cost is only €7 to do the upgrade, which is an extremely small penalty to pay to get a serious upgrade of the scenery. €20.40 will be the full purchase price of Tenerife South Airport v2. Features and changes to the new v2 version is as follows Compatibility Orbx TE Canary Islands Slope runway and taxiways according to the real runway profile Using New High-Resolution textures Using PBR Materials New 3D Model Ground 3D Grass New Ground textures New marking and updated parking numbers according to the latest data Improve 3D Model Terminal Improve airport vehicles 3D models Interior modelling Added new buildings in the approach areas. Images courtesy of Digital Design Digital Design's Facebook page is here ____________________________ Yes! GCTS - Tenerife South - Reina Sofía Airport v2 by DigitalDesign is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore GCTS - Tenerife Airport v2 Price is US$20.00 Owners of Tenerife v1 can get this new version for only US$7.50. Please use the coupon code found in your original Tenerife invoice at the X-Plane.OrgStore ____________ News by Stephen Dutton 22nd 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.
  4. Scenery Upgrade to XP11 : LOWS-Salzburg XP11 by JustSim/Digital Design Here is an upgrade to Justsim's LOWS Salzburg to X-Plane11 status. The original LOWS was released just over a year ago in late June 2016 and it did bring to and introduce some great new features in to X-Plane. There is no doubt that LOWS is a dramatic airport, as much for Salzburg's position at the foot of the central northern alps as much as the scenery itself. As old X-Plane hands know that LOWS was the original X-Plane9 default airport (now KSEA-Seattle). This was because of the dramatic element to introduce users to the simulator, and that drama was created by any arrival or departure with the areas outstanding scenery. The JustSim/Digital Design scenery is outstanding, but the scenery is just as notable for using great placement of objects to create a complete visual experience around the airport as much as the airport scenery itself, you can see this and all the rest of the original scenery in the X-PlaneReviews release review here: Scenery Review : LOWS W. A. Mozart - Salzburg Airport by Digital Design Again notably in this area X-Plane11 changes the game to another level with better regional autogen and is used significantly throughout most European JustSim sceneries. LOWS- Salzburg Airport W. A. Mozart XP11 A large percentage of the changes in the LOWS XP11 version is in the textures. Basically the overall actual airport and facilities are not really changed from the older release version. So any first view of the LOWS XP11 may give you the impression that it is not really any different, but it actually is. All the textures have been given shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on the terminals and other airport buildings to X-Plane11 standards and it is certainly more highly noticeable in the quality and sharpness. Even if your computer is set at a lower resolution and anti-alias you know these textures are far better, they have been totally redone for performance as well. These changes can be highlighted by the ramp concrete textures... You notice and even feel the concrete slab effect on the ramp, and in the right lighting you can see the excellent grooving and shine on the material and in the right weather and rain conditions he wetness shine on all the surfaces. Reflection textures which use the X-Plane11 metalness feature have also been done to great effect. Reflective glass surfaces are excellent as highlighted by the secondary terminal building, at night there are extremely realistic. And brings more to life the "Hangar 7" which is the sponsored museum by "Red Bull" drinks. And the space age designs of the two half hangars that are positioned on the eastern boundary of the airport. More X-Plane11 features are used by using the X-Plane default ground traffic and equipment... ... so there is a lot of action and movement and with more placed static elements to make up the scenery. The LOWS approach and departure visual aspect with loads of objects was one of the big features with the release version. Again at first glance it feels and looks the same but it isn't. The objects have been replaced by the Germanic default autogen which looks fine in Austria and with that change you get a framerate lift as well. And the original version had a great placement of local buildings and factories to help in the correct local flavour. More of these specially created items have been added including... a nice football stadium (Red Bull Arena), Kaindl plant (flooring), IKEA and many more. The Salzburg "Old Town" (Altstadt) city centre area with the Hohensalzburg Castle is still in there as well with still many of the famous baroque churches also reproduced. Departure from W.A. Mozart, Salzburg via RWY15 (south) highlights the scenery in the actual airport and then later in the surrounding environs. Taxiway and runway textures are first rate, and note the excellent 3d grass. All included details are fully photorealistic, it is very impressive. Departure like arrival is spectacular at LOWS, more so if you are going north as you need to do a very hard 180º in the valley to clear the alps. Extended visuals are excellent, and the clever autogen works for you until the very good ground textures seemlessly then take over. You work for your money leaving Salzburg, but you love it really... Summary This LOWS-Salzburg XP11 does exactly what it advertises on the packet... updates to X-Plane11. The update however does also take full advantage of every great feature X-Plane11 has to offer in better autogen (Germanic), better high-texture quality, metalness reflections, concrete runway/taxiway textures, default animations traffic and static objects. All the textures in someway have been enhanced or processed to take advantage of the new version of the X-Plane simulator. Also added is more placement of 3d local items in stadiums, factories and buildings. Negatives, a few including still a strange tower view, it has been moved but the view is still not in the right place but now below the tower and to the side? and a little bit of texture thrashing. Nightlighting is good but not brilliant and unchanged from the original release ... and that is it. This is an upgrade and not an update and so any previous X-Plane10 owners of LOWS Salzburg can buy this new XP11 version for only $5 and to do so then check your original LOWS invoice at the store for the discount code that will be listed there for the offer. And this XP11 version obviously can only be used in X-Plane11. I do admire the way JustSim do totally take every advantage of X-Plane and certainly X-Plane11's features to enhance their sceneries and they do all this at a brilliant price. Always I am impressed by their work and their sceneries are the best to use in X-Plane and certainly in X-Plane11 if the scenery has been upgraded. Either way if you are upgrading or buying the JustSim LOWS scenery for the first time then you get a lot of scenery for your money, great value as well, and an even better dramatic place to fly too, so you can't overall ask for more than that... can you? ____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! LOWS W. A. Mozart - Salzburg Airport XP11 by Digital Design (JustSim) is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LOWS- Salzburg Airport W. A. Mozart XP11 Price is US$19.50 Note: Previous owners of LOWS Salzburg can buy this new XP11 version for only $5: Check your original LOWS invoice at the store. the discount code will be listed there Features Include: New X-Plane 11 version, designed for X-Plane 11 Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city All autogen objects are manually placed New High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures New Runway and taxiways reflection effect Custom apron, taxiway and runways lights High resolution building textures PBR materials on airport buildings World Traffic compatible X-Life traffic compatible Optimized for excellent performance Requirements: X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac, Linux 1Gb HD Space Available 2Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Version : 1.0 (last Updated July 27th 2017) Installation and documents: Download for LOWS - Salzburg is 478.10meg and the scenery is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder at 1.05gb. Just deposit LOWS-Salzburg_Digital_Design_XPL11_v1.0 into your X-Plane Custom Scenery Folder A basic manual (3 pages) is provided. There are no charts, but a good LOWS download charts package is available here: VACC LOWS_Package_Complete Package ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 2nd August 2017 Copyright©2016: 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) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 8 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - B737-800 X-Plane Default - Free
  5. Scenery Review : LOWS W. A. Mozart - Salzburg Airport by Digital Design You know that you are an old hand at X-Plane if you can remember the X-Plane9® default airport... Now it is KSEA - Seattle, but in the earlier days it was LOWS, at Salzburg. Throughout the run of X-Plane10 the airport once known as the face of the simulator has fallen into the past receding memory banks, but the reasons why LOWS was such a great entrance to the simulator is still there and more so now with the release of "Digital Design's" new scenery in LOWS W.A.Mozart Airport. First it is a good idea to clear up a little something in that "Digital Design" was JustSim scenery, the same developers that have released both LOWL - Linz - LEGE Girona scenery which I really was impressed with back in April. And this LOWS is another of the same developers scenery and so this is not a completely new developer for X-Plane. First Impressions Salzburg City is situated at the northern boundary of the Alps on the Austrian side. is internationally renowned for its baroque architecture and has one of the best-preserved city centers north of the Alps. The city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. It is of course also well known as the birth place of that music maestro 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart... and the musical the "Sound of Music" was filmed here. But from an X-Plane point of view it is one of the most picturesque approaches in the simulator with the Alps as a backdrop. Most approaches are on RWY 15 or from the north (with an ILS - OES 109.90). You can use RWY 33 but it is quite a difficult approach without some practice as it requires a very tight in radius approach path. Ditto in leaving on RWY 15, as any departures require the same to the left hard radius turn or if continuing south also an extremely tight climb up and over 6000ft to clear the Alpine mountain barrier, leave RWY 15 in a southern direction directly and you are faced with the flat wall of a mountain face! So if you arrive from the south like I do here, then there is a significant drop of altitude after clearing the Alps to do a sharp turn back to the LOWS airport for RWY 15. So you have to be on your guard to control the speed with the high speed descent to get that speed right to turn back (slowly) around for RWY 15, it sounds easier than it is to do, but it does make for a very dramatic arrival. First thing you notice is the huge amount of extra object scenery around the actual Salzburg Airport itself. I was very impressed by the visual complexity of the area. The scenery expands way out past the central airport scenery and covers most of your view of the approach, in so making the arrival very more realistic and very Austrian, and far better than relying on the X-Plane autogen to do that filling out work for you. Once over the airfield you have to remember your noted "Go Around" procedures as the wall of mountains to your right and front make the view unnerving and you will want to get out of there the right way and not the wrong way, for god knows what is like flying in and out of LOWS with a low overcast - low visibility scenario. Runway and taxiway textures are excellent and realistic... A note is required that your X-Plane settings "Runway follows terrain contours" is off! If not you will get a lot (I mean a lot) of floating objects as you land and floating objects all around the terminal areas. Salzburg Airport has a huge ramp area that is really well textured and marked out, animated vehicles do wizz past you and give the airport a bit of a buzz factor, but there are no static aircraft (I complained about the same emptiness with JustSim's LOWL - Linz - LEGE Girona as well). I would note the coming X-Plane 10.50 static aircraft feature will help here, but there is no small static aircraft detailing either? A few GA's or smaller aircraft would certainly help the cause, it is just too empty. Otherwise the arrival to Mr Mozart's airport was excellent and visually very interesting. Airport layout Salzburg Airport (IATA: SZG, ICAO: LOWS) 15/33 - 2,750m (9,022ft) Concrete Elev AMSL 430 m / 1,411 ft North or south views will distinguish the airport very well, but from the eastern or western point of view the central scenery is covered well with the excellent Austrian object scenery. LOWS only has one runway in 15/33. As noted the runways are laid out very well with great small detailing and very good textures. Good to excellent different surfaces give you a totally realistic feel to the surfaces and realism. Surface wear and tarmac cracks are evident, and all direction signs and paint markings are perfect. 3d grass is also well done and hides a lot of the flat surrounding ground textures. Overall the ground layouts are of a high quality as you would expect from a payware scenery of this calibre. The airport is dominated by that huge expanse of ramp area and over 40 parking positions, the main parking areas have 17 positions in front of the terminal (8 - W stands) or the remote stands (9 - E stands). Surrounding Environs What impressed me with JustSim's (Digital Design) scenery in earlier releases was the sheer amount of environ object local scenery. And LOWS takes that amount of extra objects to a whole new level. You get everything in here from shopping centres, factories, commercial outlets, churches and even glass farming houses. All are set out in the local Austrian flavor with wooded chalets and steep snow moving alpine roofs. More modern flats and housing are also covered as is the main icons of the Salzburg "Old Town" (Altstadt) city centre. The Hohensalzburg Castle is in there as well, but is positioned precariously atop the Festungsberg. There are many of the famous baroque churches, but most are buried in the X-Plane scenery elevation changes. But overall the full cover of external area scenery is excellent. "Hangar 7" is a sponsored museum by "Red Bull" drinks. And the space age designs of the two half hangars that are positioned on the eastern boundary of the airport. The hangar(s) house a unique aircraft collection that includes rarities such as the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a North American B-25J Mitchell, a Chance Vought F4U-4 "Corsair" and a DC-6. A selection of Red Bull Formula One Racing Cars are also on display. The dome style buildings have been well reproduced here in the scenery, but the roof glass is more see-through in reality, but it is well done. On the eastern side is small cargo area called Frachtgebaude, but there is no apron parking as all freight is tunneled by trucks under the runway from the main airport ramps. There is a major road under the runways but it is not in 3d but flat, it looks okay but is not realistic from certain viewing angles. Terminals and Control Towers In reality Salzburg Airport is not a very large facility. The huge rear carpark and shopping complex behind the terminals dwarfs the main airport buildings and from most angles makes the airport look far larger than it actually is. The main central terminal (One) is actually quite small and the second terminal to the south is used only for seasonal overflow flights. Terminal Onet is split into Schengen and non-Schengen areas. There are no airbridges at LOWS and most passenger aircraft to terminal transfers are by bus (Neoplan) or walk on. The detailing on the terminal including the excellent signage which is very good and the highlight is the expertly well done cafe/viewing terrace above the main building with "Red Bull" sponsorship. The secondary terminal (Two) is more modern but also more hangar like in detail. A lovely detailed static Austrian Airlines DC-3 is on display and adds well into the overall feel of the airport. There is a lot of branded airport equipment set out all around the ramps, and many are animated as well. I used the LOWS livery "Ground Handling Deluxe" by JARDesign to add in a bit of even more local flavor. The rear of the terminal landside areas have that huge carpark/shopping complex and all is very well fitted out to fill in the landside areas with ground carparking and bus terminal areas. The wavy connection roofing structures is showing the attention to detail in covering these often forgotten important areas. The control tower is situated in the corner of the L with a smaller ramp tower sitting next to it. This area is also incorporates the airport administration building that merges into a freight receiving area and airport equipment storage building (well done) with fuel tanker parking areas to the north (or rear depending on your visual viewpoint). To the far north is the large general aviation, private jet reception and main ramp overflow parking known as the "GAC" apron with 17 stands. There is also here a great selection of five large storage hangars. There is also a fuel depot with three large storage tanks. Everything in the airport central area in textures and building detailing is excellent, very realistic and all is really well completed... ... so it is surprising that something as small as setting the control tower view was overlooked. Press the (T) tower view and you are somewhere in the center of the ramp, swing around and you do get a great view of the excellent tower itself... but that is not the idea, is it? So any approach or departure views of the 15/33 runways are not available. Lighting Lighting of LOWS is very good, but there is not a lot of variations in the different styles of light tones. The excellent X-Plane default traffic lighting really helps as it passes over the northern boundary and under the approach RAIL lights (Runway Alignment Indicator Lights, also known as ALS). I really like the looming dark Alpine mountains at the point of very first light and dusk, if you want a great arrival or departure viewpoint, then these points of time are the best to use. The aprons are well lit, but more lighting is on offer on the outer E stands, than on the inner terminal W stands. The LH Regional CRJ-200 was just under the lighting spread for boarding, and so a little more throw would have been nice. Terminal building textures are excellent, and look really great at night, from an arrival view then certainly a nightime arrival as noted is the best option. All lighting areas are good, but the standout is the airport equipment storage building which looks amazing at night from any angle. So overall the LOWS lighting is good but it is not exceptional. Services W. A. Mozart Airport has grown per year slightly since 2005 with 1,695,430 passengers to 1,819,520 in 2014. Most services are seasonal and charter, but I have listed below only the current scheduled services. LCC (Low Cost Carriers) are also very frequent at LOWS and Ryanair has been flying here for 15 years. Almost all destinations are European, eastern block or Russian. airBalticRiga Air Berlin - Berlin-Tegel, Düsseldorf Austrian Airlines - Frankfurt, Vienna British Airways - London-Gatwick, London-Heathrow easyJet - Berlin-Schönefeld, Hamburg Eurowings operated by Germanwings - Cologne/Bonn FlexFlight - Augsburg Ryanair - London-Stansted S7 Airlines - Moscow-Domodedovo Scandinavian Airlines - Copenhagen, Oslo-Gardermoen SunExpress - Antalya Transavia - Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam Turkish Airlines - Istanbul-Atatürk Summary Airport runway and building textures here are excellent and so is all the ground line and signage, overall the scenery is very good, a great investment and certainly worthy part of your European airport network. Arrivals and departures from Salzburg are some of the most scenic and if you use the southern approaches for departure or arrivals they are very challenging to the skills of only the master pilots of the simulator. A few quirks still remain in that static aircraft are obviously noticeable by their absence, a few GA's or Private jets would help, and a few LCC airlines on the ramps would certainly help in with the overall view, the airport is of course ready for X-Plane static arrangements, but really anything would help in with the cause. The lighting overall is good but not above average, with a few more different varieties of light tones would add into the general feel at night. And a fix for that "Tower" view? I am certainly a big fan of (JustSim) Digital Design's scenery, as they give you a lot of quality scenery (and not only just the airport, but a large spread of the local environs) and all at a great price. All their scenery are great investments and are highly usable, and LOWS Salzburg is their best yet. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! LOWS W. A. Mozart - Salzburg Airport by Digital Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LOWS- Salzburg Airport W. A. Mozart Price is US$19.50 Features Include: Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city All autogen objects are manually placed High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures Runway reflection effect Custom apron and runway lights High resolution building textures Optimized for excellent performance Animated custom ground vehicles X-Life traffic compatible Requirements: X-Plane 10.40 + (any edition) Windows, Mac, Linux 600Mb HD Space Available 1Gb VRAM Video Card Installation and documents: Download for LOWS - Salzburg is 428.70meg and the scenery is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder at 934.40mb. Just deposit into your X-Plane Custom Scenery Folder A basic manual (3 pages) is provided. There are no charts, but a good LOWS download charts package is available here: VACC LOWS_Package_Complete Package ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 17th June 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 8 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 Scenery or Aircraft - CRJ-200 by JRollon Planes (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$49.95 (sale specials are always available on the CRJ-200, so watch out for them!)
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