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  1. Scenery Review : DGAA - Accra XP by Aerosoft The Flightsim Development Group or FSDG, specialise in airports that are not within the normal North American and European routes, and with a focus on Africa. Three FSDG sceneries I have already reviewed in Casablanca, Durban and Nairobi. Admittedly it takes a long (flying) time to get there, in this case (EGLL - Heathrow to DGAA Accra) is 6h 34m, and well outside most the weekend fliers 2h limits. But again that is why we do these long-hauls, for the adventure and going somewhere really different. Ghana is about as different as you could get, in this case it is cooler in Ghana at the moment than what it is in London, which is really weird. Kotoka International Airport is an international airport in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The airport is operated by Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), which has its offices on the airport property. It is currently the sole international airport in Ghana. The airport was originally a military airport used by the British Royal Air Force during World War II. The facility was handed over to civilian authorities after the war. A development project was launched in 1956 by President Kwame Nkrumah to reconfigure the structure into a terminal building. The project was completed in 1958, turning the military base into an airport with a capacity of 500,000 passengers per year. The airport was originally named Accra International Airport. The airport was renamed Kotoka International Airport, in honour of Lieutenant General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka (1926–1967), a member of the National Liberation Council. Kotoka was killed in an abortive coup attempt at a location which is now the forecourt of the airport. This Accra scenery is not part or sourced of the older FSDG FSX/P3D collection and then redeveloped for X-Plane, but a brand new scenery in a collaboration with the same for MSFS (Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020). Which is great in that it could mean more dual creations for both MSFS and X-Plane of the same product. Some notes on installation of Accra XP. You don't use the One Aerosoft application for some reason. It is a download, then an older application by FSDG to install the scenery into your X-Plane/Scenery Folder. Another point was that I found missing scenery .dsf files, this I must stress is NOT caused by the imported Aerosoft scenery? Not normally interesting, but in this case I found a whole +00-010.dsf folder empty in my Global Scenery folder? In using the X-Plane Updater, it didn't fix or replace the missing dsf files either... I found some on my old X-Plane10 Global Scenery folder (2013!) and they worked. The offending tiles were +00-010/+04-002.dsf, but all of the +00-010 folder was missing or the files were blank. Something to be aware of. Departure from EGLL - Heathrow was in the excellent new FlightFactor Boeing 767-400ER. I was already in wanting to give this machine a though workout and this flight was perfect. You track across France to the south then Spain and then cross into the Mediterranean just above Barcelona, then across Mallorca, to cross the North African coast just east of Algiers... It is always so exciting to cross the boundary of the North African coast, as the wide open extensive land awaits, exotic destinations exist here. Distance is 3008 Nm, here at 37,000ft (The FMC complained, but I burnt off fuel for an hour then stepped up) .M82 was possible as well. The flight (route) will take you over Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, a touch of Benin territory, Togo and then into Ghana, it's a long, long way. But the new FlightFactor B764, is perfect to go a long, long way, this is simply a brilliant aircraft. Approach is via EREK1B into Rwy21. With this approach you hit the coast at Lome and the Gulf of Guinea is directly ahead of you, then you turn and head along the coast to Accra. African tiles are not known for their complex data, but it is pretty good here even for a decade old data set. The trick is to get your speed down and have the aircraft fully configured for landing, and before the last turn to final at Dodowa... ... I am surprised I do have a lot of ground detail. A lot of these distant and remote destinations in X-Plane can be quite bare, but it is pretty good here. Then the Kotoka Field shows up, it is far, far smaller than what you would expect with the only International Airport in Ghana to look like. There is only one runway 03/21- 11,165 ft (3,403m) and Rwy 21 has an extremely long overrun runway section (Stopways) 1030 ft, 03 does as well but at only half the length 341 ft. I was very impressed with the amount of detail, DGAA looks and feels very realistic, and a relief after flying so long and then having a very credible destination to fly into, the sign of a good scenery. You are aware of the older Kotoka airport area to the north, and the far newer $274 million Terminal 3 that was completed in 2018. Ground textures for both the hard runway and taxiway surfaces are excellent, as is the dirt side field areas. Taxiway A (south to north) takes you past the large Swissaport facility, then onto Apron B then C in front of the Terminal 3. Our assigned Gate is C3, and the detail keeps on coming... yes very impressed. There are options for "Static" aircraft ON or OFF, I do recommend on as there are very good with a lot of ground equipment detail. Bay detail is also very good, with logo ABAS airbridges. These are SAM3 suite animated and powered. And I am in the gate... Overall it was a very impressive arrival at Accra's Kotoka, that is biggest part of the investment here. In getting a very worthwhile destination. Kotoka International Airport Accra Air Force Station IATA: ACC - ICAO: DGAA 03/21- 11,165 ft (3,403m) - Asphalt Elevation AMSL205 ft / 62 m Terminal 3 Started in 2016, the new Kotoka Terminal opened to passengers on 15 September 2018. The new Terminal 3 will handle 1,250 passengers an hour, and is equipped with three business lounges, a large commercial and retail area and six boarding bridges C2 to C7, both C1 and C8 are stands only The design and modeling is very good, if not first rate from FSDG. It looks and feels the modern building it is, colourful as well. There is some very nice air-conditioning detail and the glass is semi-transparent. Noted already as SAM3 Suite (Plugin required) activated, and Gate C7 has twin boarding airbridges that can accommodate an A380, which are again with the walkways semi-transparent. Airside there are two levels that have been detailed internally. Nicely populated (but not many actual Africans?) it is well done and the aircraft can be seen externally. Landside is also well developed and detailed, and has a lot of animated vehicles with local (Ghana) branding. Look closely though and there are blank areas that could have had some nice clutter added, unfortunately from some angles it is highly noticeable. You notice also the low-res ground ortho textures, as per most Aerosoft style scenery. It's not too bad, but the whiteouts under the vehicles are again highly noticeable. Bang in the middle of the carpark is "La Tante DC10 Restaurant", which is a restaurant located inside a converted McDonnell Douglas DC-10 formerly used by the now defunct Ghana Airways. Overall Landside is well done, and there is a new commercial development set behind that fills in the rear of the scenery (more later), trees are however the cheap cross style, very old-fashioned now. Terminal 2 The airport consists of two passenger terminals, Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. Terminal 2 serves only domestic flights, while Terminal 3 serves regional, international and long-haul operators. Terminal 1 is presently no longer in use, and was redeveloped into an FBO or Fixed Base Operator. Terminal 3 we have seen, but Terminal 2 is the old Ghanaian facility. And well done it is. I really love the old terminals, as long as they relate their original legacy and detail. No problems here as the feel and look of old Ghana is well done. Notable is the upturned Arc roof structure, that gives the building that unique style. It's clever that part of the older section has a newer inserted wall of glass as the entrance. Part of the complex in the same style is the Kotoka Control Tower, and here a very well reproduced and detailed structure. The tower view is set, but slightly too low, so you get edges of the roof of the tower. However the field approaches can be easily seen. Ground clutter is very, very good, and as noted local Ghanaian branded. Animated Airside vehicle traffic keep the aprons busy, again all are well branded. Rear T2 is the entrance to the terminals, with again great local advertising boarding. infrastructure Landside behind the Terminals is a huge commercial park called "Airport City Accra". Not there only a few years ago, so the whole area are brand new developments. Mostly it is filled and well represented here by brand hotels (Ibis, Holiday Inn, Airport View) and the two major commercial properties in the Silver Star Towers Complex and Marina Mall... both really well represented here. The boundary of the scenery though is very easy to pick out? The blank X-Plane areas are very, very noticeable, not very pretty either. This issue is a big problem for X-Plane and been around for far too long as well, and Laminar should fix it, as it ruins a lot of quality scenery boundaries. South of the Terminals is a lot of very good and well branded airport related infrastructure. Highlights include; WFP.ORG, Ghana Post, DHL, Menzies Handling and a very large facility for Swissaport for cargo (Stands B1, B2, B3 are by the side). The facility has two sections, the massive cargo warehouse, and the offices behind, which are nicely done with great reflective glass. Also in this area is a very nice executive VIP terminal. GAF The Air Force Base, Accra, came into being soon after the Royal Air Force (RAF) had taken over the administration from the Indian and Israeli Air Force officers at the beginning of 1961. The station was housed at No 3 hangar at the Accra Airport (Kotoka International Airport) with hardly any aircraft. The GAF (Ghana Air Force) Unit had four main sub-units, i.e. the Administration Wing, Flying Wing, Technical Wing and Equipment Wing. The School of Technical Training was also located at this station. The Station moved from No 3 hangar to its present location in Burma Camp towards the end of 1965. Notable is that the U.S. Services also have a partnership to use the facility here. Besides the Military ramps, there is a very large Fire Station over here on the east side of the field. It also comes with some nice Ghanaian aircraft and helicopters. There is also a large work site to the north. Textures Ground, Runway and Taxiway textures are excellent. Great detail and surface detail. built in Burnt-in ambient occlusion effects and reflections are excellent, not too strong, but not too weak either. Bay ramp areas are not as soiled and grunged as they should be, but then this is a new area, so overall excellent. Aerosoft 3d grass is very evident and well done, but some areas are a bit blank on runway/taxiway intersections, and it shows. Old X trees are horrible, a left over from FSX. Lighting Like most of this impressive DDGA scenery, the lighting is up there in quality as well... Approach lighting and runway sectional lighting is first rate. Airside and Landside are split into two different lighting tones, and it looks excellent from the air and the ground. Aprons are beautifully lit. Bright enough to easily work on them, but not over glaringly bright to ruin the effect. FSDG note the lighting as "Dynamic", and that is what you get. Getting internal night lighting right is a nightmare. But FSDG have found the right compromise here. Externally looking in is very good, but internally looking out on the parked aircraft is brilliantly done, and very realistic, the lighting internally is very good as well. Landside lighting is exceptional. Certainly the Marina Mall zone and development area. All buildings are well signed and come with excellent logos (KFC anyone), other buildings are well lit, and the whole area looks dense and highly realistic. All advertising is also spectacularly lit. Navigation field lighting is excellent as well. All boards are beautifully crafted and have nice is perfect ground reflections. __________________ Summary Ghana, Africa only has one international airport in Accra, called "Kotoka International Airport". Again another old RAF base, it has over the decade had an extensive redevelopment with a new large terminal in T3, and a new development area set behind called "Airport City Accra". This scenery is from the Flightsim Development Group or FSDG, who specialise in airports that are not within the normal North American and European routes, with a focus on Africa, and are branded under the Aerosoft banner. This DDGA scenery is an X-Plane collaboration with the same for MSFS (Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020), so the source is not the older FSX/P3D objects and textures, but created brand new for modern simulators. Because of the limited resources in this part of the world. The scenery is an excellent destination of great quality and detail. Modeling is very good (Although there are a very side hidden blank areas), and so is the extreme detail and object count. SAM3 Suite active is another major feature. Ground textures are also very good with reflection and lighting effects, grass is 3d, but the trees are seriously dated. Lighting is exceptional, both in approach and ground, excellent tones for Airside and Landside and great detailed development zone lighting with current logos and advertising dominate the rear. Flying to Accra, say from Europe is a long haul 6+ hours. But an excellent scenery makes it well worth the effort. And that is what we have here. It is a bit sad that X-Plane itself is the weaker point here, but that is not the fault of the developers and the scenery. DDGA Accra also comes at a under US$20 price making it great if brilliant value as well. So excellent, highly recommended if you love long haul and remote destinations, even besides that this is a really well done scenery and worth adding to your X-Plane collection, the trick is to use it, and often, as it is well worth the ride. ___________________________________ Yes! the FSDG Accra XP by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG Accra XP Price is US$19.99 Features Accurate and detailed rendition of Kotoka International Airport, Ghana (DGAA) Interior modeling with 3D humans Animated jetways (using SAM suite) Static aircraft for more realism (can be manually disabled) Latest X-Plane technologies like dynamic lights and ground materials Optimized for great performance and visual quality Compatible with all known addons Manual included Requirements X-Plane 11 (or XP12 when available) Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download-Size Windows: 310 MB Download-Size Mac: 900 MB Current version: 1.0 (July 13th 2022) Installation and documents: ACC is download of 1.56Gb download that is translated into a 2.56Gb install in your Custom Scenery folder. FSDG-Accra_XP Installation is by a .exe installer (the older one) and not via the new ONE Aerosoft application, but the install is straight forward and easy. As noted in the review, I had problems with the Accra area +00-010.dsf, that were missing, even the X-Plane Installer refused to fix it, so be aware of that aspect. There are static aircraft options as well, and you change the Earth Nav Data and SAM data over for your preference. _Alternative_StaticAC_Version _Alternative_NoStaticAC_Version SAM3 Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 3.0 is required for this scenery, Documents Couldn't find a manual or documents? ________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 27th July 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved  Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - IS1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane v11.55 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick, Throttle & Rudder Pedals : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 767-400 ER Professional by FlightFactor (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  2. 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)
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