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Scenery Review : Casablanca XP by Aerosoft/FSDG You feel like going somewhere and doing something exotic! But you are also wanting to fly a route for not very long, in fact you don't want to break your two hour flying rule either? You have also flown most European connections and even ventured as far north as Iceland, but you are wanting now something a bit different, even a challenge... so what about North Africa (South Africa is too far). With all these parameters then what about Casablanca, as it is a very exotic and quite a popular destination and only a two to three hour flight from most southern European ports... in reality it is a done deal. I have been to GMMN - Casablanca - Mohammed V International Airport a few times before, and then used a quite average freeware version, But have always loved GMMN if for it's north western coastal African position, not too far from Europe but more importantly it is also an airbridge to South America as a refueling stop. So when developer FSDG or FlightSim Development Group released CMN - Casablanca I just wanted to go back there and finally to a decent full quality X-Plane Casablanca scenery. Casablanca is situated on the very top the northwest coast of Africa, and is a mere two hours from anywhere in Southern Europe. I flew from LEBL - Barcelona which is exactly 2h flying time (okay 2h - 1m give or take a minute), Frankfurt is 3h - 21m which is a bit outside the two hour rule but still doable. The distance from Casablanca (Port) to the Mohammed V International Airport is about 25km directly south, or about 30min driving time. I will note in these views I am using the SFD (ShortFinal) local autogen to give the area a local flavour... Mohammed V International Airport مطار محمد الخامس الدولي ⴰⵣⴰⴳⵯⵣ ⴰⴳⵔⵖⵍⴰⵏ ⵎⵓⵃⵎⵎⴷ ⵡⵙ5 Aéroport international Mohammed V IATA: CMN - ICAO: GMMN 17L/35R - 3,720m (12,205ft) Asphalt 17R/35L - 3,720m (12,205ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 656 ft / 200 m Both runways 17L/35R and 17R/35L are exceptionally long at both over 12,000ft in length, they are in a parallel western layout together with all the airport infrastructure situated all to the eastern side of the field. The main apron is one huge continuous apron set into zones of parking in B-C main inner Terminals, E outer remote, J Middle outer Remote, D Cargo inner remote. There is a separate area to the east far south that you could note as General Aviation with parking G (inner) and F (outer) and far south is another remote... remote stand parking. Terminals Both terminals one and two are fused together via an S shaped design, Terminal One is north and more modern and Terminal Two is south. Terminal One: There are four main airbridge stations, but in an odd arrangement of three gates per bay. The use here is for either a narrow body or a wide body aircraft, but it does make it complicated into finding your right parking line and airbridge. In most cases two narrow-bodies will fit into each bay. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin is available with both Marshaller (Terminal One) and VDGS guidance (Terminal Two)... .... but SAM does have it's quirks at CMN? Again selection of the right gate (airbridge) to the type of aircraft is important. The MD88 is a low to the ground aircraft, so on one gate with the airbridge connected the airbridge was then set at a steep angle to the low door? Another (image above) on the far right line (or third) didn't connect to the airbridge? but the position would have been perfect to connect to the low MD88 door position? The correct position was actually the first line into each bay for the MD88... your choice to the aircraft? SAM airbridges are again very good with Attijariwafa Bank branding. Clutter is good, but not too much in overwhelming way, so a pass here... but only a few are custom branded and most clutter visible comes from the Laminar collection. Terminal modeling is okay... ish. Overall it is not bad as a design, but you are missing any real or realistic detail, glass is reflective but still looks bland. Biggest issue is that the photo ground ortho-photo textures as they are all very low-res and flat. So this makes all the modeling looked like it is all placed on to the top of the flat surface, of which of course it is? Carparks are the same, a flat washed out photo base with objects placed on top, that there is a lot of objects on the surface to at least fill out the scenery, trees are horrible... cardboard and flat looking they don't relate well to the light at all, again at least there is a lot of well placed fauna to cover over each others flaws. And yet in an overview the scenery does actually work, the trick is just don't look for the close intimate detail and at the different areas too closely. Control Tower The control tower is mid-field and set back behind trees... again close up the glass is boring and flat, so the tower comes out the same way... but it is detailed well. Tower view (T) is however set perfectly with great views of all approaches. Cargo The cargo hub is huge and well represented at Mohammed V... Royal Air Maroc Cargo, operating as RAM Cargo has a huge base here. Swift-air Cargo, DHL and UPS are also represented. Airport operators including EADS and Regional Air Maroc are both shown with custom buildings and with hangars to the south.... .... to the north is is the large Royal Air Maroc's base and it comes with twin maintenance facilities. One twin maintenance hangar is set on the main apron north, but behind is another large apron with another large maintenance area, there are some nicely placed static aircraft including a RAM Boeing 747 that is done very well. Note the army surplus holding yards for vehicles. Area Infrastructure To a point the feature that saves this scenery is the large placed infrastructure landside behind the airport. The infrastructure comes with tenant buildings, warehouses, factories and general buildings to make up a pretty good visual aspect of the airport. Note the nice fuel depot. ... a lot of the buildings are very basic and repeated, but a lot are also custom made to fit into the area, and on the whole it works very well. Far south General Aviation area is good, but a few static aircraft may have lifted the area a little... Surfaces Runaway and taxiway surfaces are good, not brilliant, but good, the detail is there and I like the tyre markings.... all markings and signage is excellent (although there was a taxiway in the scenery not on the Navigraph chart?) however the surfaces and markings are all a bit too new with no wear or tear, but overall it is not too bad. All surfaces are PBR (Physically Based Rendered) and have nice reflection details, wet and damp conditions are very good (does it actually rain in Morocco?), but there is no 3d field grass or flowers in creating a very flat airfield. Lighting I was genuinely surprised by the lighting at GMMN, as it is very good. Mainly it is because there are two hues in bright apron lighting airside and a copper lighting landside, but it is visually very effective. Approach (RAIL) and taxiway navigation lighting and signage is excellent, so you won't get lost here. All apron areas are well lit, but it is the landside... .... that stands out, mainly because I think the lighting hides the poor Lo-Res photo textures, but it does all look very realistic and pleasing to the eyes. Also helpfully is fact that the street lighting is done well into the landside areas and goes out a fair way from the terminals. Again very effective from the air when departing or arriving at GMN. Terminal glass is better at night as well, as there are lit images on the glass, not even close to good, but still better than the daytime blandness, the landside images though look like a car showroom? Summary GMMN - Casablanca - Mohammed V International Airport is the main port into Morocco and a great destination that is available within the two to three hours flying time from central or southern Europe. FlightSim Development Group (FSDG) have released a good payware airport with Aerosoft for X-Plane to cover this very exotic destination. Overall the airport is very good, with a lot of features and great detail going landside, but the word that keeps coming up here is "Workmanlike", good but so close to being excellent. The scenery is let down by the usual Aerosoft practise to use very Low-Resolution textures for the scenery's base, very zig-zag blocky, washed out and no detail, the lo-res textures create a flat (boring) surface that shows up the placed above object elements, it could have been so much better with more detail, poor cardboard looking trees also don't help in the visual impact. Glass is flat (meaning bland) but better with images at night that don't help either, but still this Casablanca scenery does not give up without a fight to be good, because the (If complicated gate arrangements) SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin tool is excellent, and well done here. Overall I actually do like this GMMN - Casablanca, and yes I will use it and probably on a regular basis, because in the areas I want it does actually create a worthwhile Mohammed V International Airport. It works like a lot of Aerosoft sceneries do, you want them to be better and they can easily be in that aspect, but you use them anyway because they work for you well in another aspect... workmanlike, but still so close to being a very high-quality scenery. _____________________________________ Yes! Casablanca XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG - Casablanca XP Price is US$25.95 Features: Accurate rendition of Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco (GMMN) Includes new ground layout Superb quality and performance Animated jetways and marshallers (with SAM plugin) Animated ground traffic Routes and positions for AI traffic and static aircraft included Manual included WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.0 (April 9th 2020) Download Size: 1.3 GB Installation Download scenery file size is with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip FSDG-Casablanca_XP Total scenery installation is 1.3Gb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 1.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts Manual_FSDG-Casablanca_XP.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 29th April 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)