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  1. Scenery Review: Banff National Park UHD XP12 by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini By Nick Garlick Introduction Once again, we venture into the vast and diverse landscapes of X-Plane 12, setting our sights this time on Western Canada's stunning province of Alberta. Renowned for its natural wonders, Alberta is a land rich with more than ten national parks, each showcasing a different facet of the region's geographical beauty. From over six hundred shimmering lakes to prairies, desert badlands, dense coniferous forests, and majestic mountains, the province offers a breathtaking panorama that we're about to explore. Among these treasures is Banff National Park. While there are numerous ways to explore this vast wilderness, be it through camping, hiking, or biking, I believe that flying offers a unique vantage point, and what better way to soar above these landscapes than within the immersive confines of your X-Plane world! First Impressions When I think of mountain park destinations in X-Plane, Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini's 3D Mountain Park series immediately comes to mind. Their work has always set a high standard, with their "FSC Dolomites 3D" being a prime example, and even though it stands as one of the pricier additions to my X-Plane collection, the exceptional quality and attention to detail made every penny worth it. The vibrancy and intricate details of that scenery still captivate me, making every flight in that region a delightful experience. Another commendable piece from their collection is the Matterhorn Park. With such sterling experiences from their previous products, my expectations for Banff National Park UHD for XP12 are undoubtedly elevated. Will Banff for XP12 match the excellence of its predecessors? Can it replicate the joy I've found in other Dainese and Bellini products? Most crucially, can it encapsulate the mesmerizing beauty of the park's landscape? Join me as we delve deeper and explore these questions in this comprehensive review of Banff National Park UHD for XP12. Documentation & Installation Consistency in quality is a hallmark of Dainese and Bellini, and this extends beyond just their scenery, as they consistently provide thorough documentation for all their products, Banff being no exception. Included with this package is a 7-page manual detailing the installation requirements, insight into the project's construction, plus separate maps showing the area covered (I've highlighted the route covered in this this review). The installation process remains straightforward: download, extract the files, and place them in your X-Plane custom scenery folder, ensuring the correct file hierarchy. Scenery & 3D Objects Quality Dainese and Bellini's new edition for XP12 highlights an expanded scenery footprint, covering a vast area of approximately 1500 sq km. This range spans between +57 – 177 degrees of latitude and longitude. Notably, the updated package introduces us to the picturesque Moraine, Louise, Bow, Peyto, O'Hara, and Emerald lakes. Additionally, it incorporates characteristic resorts within the park, such as Baker Creek, Storm Mountain, Bow Lake, and Paradise Lodge. A standout feature of this edition is the 3D water rendition within the park's lakes, capitalizing on XP12's new 3D water capability. As you immerse yourself in this expansive scenery, there are thirteen distinct locations to commence or conclude your virtual flights, embracing the park's natural splendour. Among these, you'll find a single grass runway, two water runways, and ten helipads. Here's a detailed list: • Water Runways: • LCLLW: Lake Louise, Canada • LCLM: Lake Moraine, Canada • Grass Runway: • XLCU: Louise-Banff, Canada • Helipads: • HLML: Lake Moraine • XCYCHLL & HLCLO: Lake Louise • HLSKT: Louise Ski – Station • HLEMR: Emerald-Lake • HLHAR: O'HARA-Lake • HCYO: Yoho National Park • HCBK: Baker Creek • HCBW: Bow Lake • HCPY: Peyto Lake The Park's 3D Mountain Models The mountain models within this area are meticulously crafted, drawing from DEM (Digital Elevation Model) data, and then enhanced with striking 4K resolution textures. The alignment of these textures over the adjusted meshes is precise, emphasizing both the elevation changes and the primary terrain characteristics to great effect. 3D Objects & Occasional Anomalies In creating this Mountain Park, Dainese and Bellini have carefully referenced numerous real-life photographs of the region, reconstructing the area based on these authentic visuals. However, as with all scenery packages, there will always be anomalies, even in high-quality offerings like this 3D Mountain Park. In the context of all the 3D mountain parks, such anomalies are minor and often go unnoticed during routine flights. It's only upon close examination, outside the standard flying environment, that these quirks might become apparent. Such imperfections are not exclusive to this product; they're a common thread across various simulation platforms, including X-Plane. Remember, these infrequent occurrences typically arise due to the platform's limitations, and they shouldn't overshadow the overall quality of the product or influence your decision to invest. Tackling these anomalies directly might improve the visuals but could also significantly compromise in-sim performance or even hike the product's purchase price. Balancing perfection, performance, cost, and quality is a tricky act. While acknowledging these slight imperfections, it's crucial to view them in the broader context of the product's overall value and experience. With that said, let's delve into my experience... The Banff Adventure As the first day of my Banff adventure dawns, I find myself approaching the picturesque Lake Louise with a mixture of excitement and awe. Picture this: I'm piloting the default 172, and as the early afternoon sun casts its glow, I make my way over the mountainous horizon, transitioning seamlessly from the default X-Plane world into the breathtaking surroundings of Lake Louise. My descent takes me over the iconic Fairmont Chateau, culminating in a gentle touch down at XLCU. Unique in its placement, XLCU is the sole airfield within the national park on terra firma. This quaint grass strip, nestled amidst towering mountains and bordered by pine trees, promises a memorable experience during take-offs and landings, more so during the unforgiving winter months. A closer look reveals the airfield's character: motorhomes, sporadic vehicles, parked aircraft, glider trailers, and modest structures, all of which add additional life and context to the area. Fairmont Chateau Just moments from the airfield stands my haven for the upcoming days: the Fairmont Chateau. Renowned for its impeccable service, gourmet dining, and stunning setting, the 3D representation of Fairmont Chateau impeccably mirrors its real-world counterpart, earning its spot on the "Gold List". Nestled on Lake Louise's edge, its backdrop is a symphony of towering mountains, shimmering waters, and the grand Victoria Glacier. The careful placement of 3D objects replicates the hotel's ambiance, delivering an immersive rendition of this luxurious retreat. After such an exhilarating day, the allure of a sumptuous dinner and a restful night beckons, as tomorrow, the vast parklands await me! Awakened early by a chorus of chirping birds and the refreshing scent of pine wafting through the open window, the excitement for the day's adventure pulls me from the bed. After indulging in a hearty breakfast (cholesterol momentarily forgotten), I leisurely make my way down the driveway to the helipad, nestled just short of the shimmering water's edge. Poised there, ready for my arrival, is the Default Robin R22, promising a day of breathtaking exploration A tingling anticipation courses through me as I hop aboard. Checklists done, I ascend gracefully (for me anyway), drifting eastwards. Soon after skirting past XLCU, I veer southward, heading straight for my initial stopover: the picturesque "Baker Creek". Baker Creek Historically, dating back to 1949, Baker Creek Mountain Resort served as a tranquil stopover for visitors traveling the old coach road connecting Banff and Lake Louise, now recognized as the Bow Valley Parkway. The exclusively wooden, honey-toned architecture radiates an aura of serene rusticity, evoking solace, and grounding amidst the urban existence many of us know. Storm Mountain Bidding adieu to Baker Creek, I soar southward, navigating towards the formidable Storm Mountain. Situated at the culmination of the "Misty Ridge", Storm Mountain peaks at an imposing 10,154ft or 3,095m. Perhaps it's just my perspective (or age), but dimensions voiced in feet resonate more impressively than in meters. Anyway, I digress! As I circumnavigated this region, it's impossible to remain unimpressed by the stupendous beauty Dainese and Bellini have demonstrated within this scenery package. Moraine Lake Our aerial odyssey ushers us next to the ethereal Moraine Lake, an enchanting location, with the lake's waters fed by glaciers, nestled amidst the Valley of the Ten Peaks. The aquatic expanse mirrors an iconic shade of azure, an effect which has been precisely replicated in X-Plane’s virtual world. The lake features a secondary water runway, LCLM, which could have been used, but I instead opted for the Helipad (HLML), positioned adjacent to the lake. O'Hara Lake At an elevation of 6,630 ft (2,020 m), Lake O'Hara graces the alpine domain of Yoho National Park. This "jewel-blue" waterbody is undeniably a standout feature of the scenery, enhanced by log cabins lining its shores and a couple of boats resting on its tranquil surface. Whilst our tight schedule doesn't permit me to land on this occasion, a cursory flyover reveals not only the helipad's meticulous detailing but also the authentic representation of its surrounding environment, consistent with other landing zones within the scenery. Yoho National Park Yoho National Park is a newfound expansive gem that has been added in the Banff National Park update for X Plane 12. Spanning 507 square miles (1,313 square kilometres), it stands as the smallest in the quartet of national parks alongside Jasper, Kootenay, and Banff. The name 'Yoho,' originating from the Cree language, is an exclamation of wonder or astonishment. Flying through this section of the scenery, meticulously crafted by Dainese and Bellini, one can't help but resonate with that sense of awe. Nestled within the park's expanse is the helipad HCYO. Emerald Lake Tucked within Yoho National Park, Emerald Lake stands as one of the prime jewels of this digital depiction. As the park's most expansive waterbody, it finds itself surrounded by the grandeur of the President Mountain Range. The helipad at this site, HLEMR, mirrors the high standards observed elsewhere in the package. One can't help but stand spellbound by the lake's teal-blue sheen and its meticulously recreated surroundings within X-Plane. Peyto Lake Within Banff National Park lies another glacial marvel, Peyto Lake. Located conveniently near the renowned Icefield Parkway, hailed as one of the world's most scenic drives, this lake draws its name from the pioneering trail guide and trapper, Bill Peyto. Bow Lake Our journey progresses to Bow Lake, situated closest to the headwaters of the Bow River. Derived from the meltwater of the Bow Glacier, the lake's waters shimmer with the familiar turquoise and jewel-blue hues, a unique coloration attributed to the glacial till deposits within the lakes. As dusk's tendrils inch across the sky, the R22 rises from the helipad, charting its course southwards. Drifting through the valley, I circle back to our starting point at XLCU, Lake Louise. Exiting the R22, I saunter back to the chateau, drawn by the promise of a robust G and T, awaiting at the bar. My evening culminates with a sumptuous dinner, accentuated by the effervescent delights of a Cave Spring 2017 Riesling Brut, Canada's answer to champagne. As I retire for the night, I can't help but glance at the weather forecast, which tantalizes with the promise of the season's first snowfall. An air of excitement fills the chateau as guests prepare for what could be a picturesque transformation of the scenery. With that, the following day beckons, marking both my departure and my concluding thoughts on this breathtaking scenery As dawn breaks on the third day, the magical sight of a snow-clad landscape greets me. The prediction held true; the first snows of the year fell heavily overnight, transforming the terrain into a sparkling winter wonderland. Peering out the window from the regal confines of the Chateau Fairmont, I marvel at the beauty of the season's first snowfall. Nursing a heavy noggin around the 10 o'clock mark (I'll never learn), I indulge in a duo of delectable 'pain au chocolat' and a strong, invigorating brew of dark coffee. The task before me now is to ponder over the intricacies of this 3D mountain park scenery, and how best to describe it in a brief summary. Several rich sips and 'pain au chocolat' bites later, the “Nick” epiphany strikes. Conclusion This scenery file is nothing short of enchanting as it presents a myriad of experiences for the avid X-Plane simmer. Far from claiming perfection, the Banff national park scenery transcends expectations, revealing lush forests, pristine lakes, rustic lodges, and panoramic mountain vistas. This Mountain Park, regardless of your takeoff point, promises an unparalleled return on investment. Be it small aircraft, ultralights, floatplanes, or helicopters, it caters to the full range of general aviation enthusiasts and, if you've a penchant for VFR flying under strict yet simplistic Visual Flying Rules, then this is your haven. In this context, Dainese and Bellini’s 3D mountain park series has consistently hit the bullseye, and this Banff edition upholds that legacy. When you take to the skies, don't simply glide past the iconic Lake Louise or strictly follow the path I charted. Venture out and explore, for Banff, in all its grandeur, conceals countless gems waiting to be discovered, each location as breathtaking and awe-inspiring as the next. Frequently celebrated as Canada's most picturesque spot, locales such as the Ten Peaks Valley and Moraine Lake are reputedly among the nation's most photographed vistas. Like the original FSC Dolomites package, this 3D park for X Plane 12 has evolved, covering more ground than its legacy counterpart. One can't help but hope for more Canadian national parks to be encapsulated in future editions. Perhaps, with enough support, enthusiasm, and coin from our community, we'll witness this 3D park's horizon further expanded upon and enriched. So, to address the looming question, is this an exceptional scenery? My unwavering response is...absolutely! But don't just hang on my words, dive in and bask in its majesty firsthand. This package is not just VFR, it's pure VFM (value for money), costing merely a few shillings and some! Until our next airborne escapade... Pip, Pip, Tally Ho! _______________________________ Banff National Park UHD XP12 by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Banff National Park UHD XP12 Priced at US$24.95 Features The area included in this new edition is about 1500 sq. Km included in the degree + 51 ° -117 °. this edition includes a larger area than in the previous one with Moraine, Louise, Bow, Peyto, O'Hara, Emerald lakes and some very characteristic resorts: Baker Creek, Storm Mountain, Bow Lake, Paradise Lodge, Field... All Textures based on 4K (4096x4096) Airports and Heliports Housing Areas Chateau - Louise Lake Moraine Lake Mountains - 3D Models This scenery is only suitable for VFR flight, only with a "visual flight" Requirements X-Plane 12 only (not for XP11) Windows, Mac, or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 486 MB Owners of the previous Banff XP11 can get the new Banff XP12 version for 40% off. Please find the coupon code in the original Banff XP11 invoice. Review by Nick Garlick 22st August 2023 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Windows 10, Intel 4790K liquid-cooled, overclock to 5GHz, 32GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, Nvidia GTX 1070ti, Titanium HD Audio Card. (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. NEWS! - Scenery Upgrade : Patagonia Mountains UHD XP12 by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini We are back in South America with the fabulous Argentina and Chilean peninsula of Patagonia upgraded to X-Plane 12. Again the duo have combined two previous sceneries into one larger one, this time it is; The Patagonia Scenery combines 2 packages at once: Cerro Torre with El Chalten, in Argentine territory Torres del Paine in Chilean territory to south, for a total of about 2,000 sq. km. in -50-073, -50-074, -52-073,-52-074. Added in is a new airport, Calafate International Airport (SAWC), which is centrally located between 2 sceneries and equidistant. For an overview of the two packages, here are the same two packages in reviews (in X-Plane 11) from X-PlaneReviews... Scenery Review : Torres del Paine National Park by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini Scenery Review : 3D Cerro Torre "Los Glaciares" National Park by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini Features of Patagonia Mountains XP12 include; All major mountains in the area were reconstructed with 3D models. Also rebuilt the predominantly tourist villages in both areas. El Calafate International Airport (SAWC) 2 virtual airports (ELCH - XLCT) 7 Helipads (resorts and Cerro Torre Base Camp). Two combined sceneries, X-Plane 12 environment, and a discount, all adds up to an extremely great deal for this scenic scenery package. However the package is X-Plane 12 only, the older separate X-Plane 11 versions are however still available Highly Recommended! Images, video are courtesy of Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini Designed by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini. Support forum for Patagonia Mountains XP12 UHD __________________ Yes!... Patagonia Mountains UHD XP12 by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Patagonia Mountains UHD XP12 Price is US$24.95 Retail Price:$29.95... You Save:$5.00(17%) Requirements X-Plane 12 only (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 486 MB Customers who own the previous Cerro Torre XP11 or Torres del Pain XP11 package can get this new Patagonia XP12 scenery for 40% off. Please find the discount code in your original invoice Eligible packages: Cerro Torre XP11 - Torres del Pain XP11 ___________________________ News! by Stephen Dutton 15th May 2023 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 Rights Reserved
  3. NEWS! - Scenery Release : Banff National Park UHD XP12 by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini The Italian climbers are back again... and this time they have updated their excellent Banff National Park to X-Plane 12. This scenery is dedicated to a region of Canada of Banff National Park and precisely of the Moraine and Louise lakes. It ‘s a very suggestive and touristic area, among the most beautiful in Canada. The Valley of Ten Peaks with Lake Moraine is one of the most photographed. The big attraction of this scenery is the seaplane flight from lakes to lakes ! This new edition for XP12 of Banff National Park has been expanded and modified to have the striking Canadian lakes with 3D water, a prerogative only of X-Plane12. The X-PlaneReviews review of the original X-Plane 11 version is here; Scenery Review : Banff National Park UHD by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini Notable: Owners of the previous Banff XP11 can get the new Banff XP12 version for 40% off. Please find the coupon code in the original Banff XP11 invoice. Features: The area included in this new edition is about 1500 sq. Km included in the degree + 51 ° -117 °. this edition includes a larger area than in the previous one with Moraine, Louise, Bow, Peyto, O'Hara, Emerald lakes and some very characteristic resorts: Baker CreeK, Storm Mountain, Bow Lake, Paradise Lodge, Field... All Textures based on 4K (4096x4096) Airports and Heliports Housing Areas Chateau - Louise Lake Moraine Lake Mountains - 3D Models This scenery is only suitable for VFR flight, only with a "visual flight". Highly Recommended! Images are courtesy of Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini Designed by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini. Support forum for Banff National Park XP12 UHD __________________ Yes!... Banff National Park UHD XP12 by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Banff National Park UHD XP12 Price is US$24.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 only (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 486 MB Owners of the previous Banff XP11 can get the new Banff XP12 version for 40% off. Please find the coupon code in the original Banff XP11 invoice. Eligible packages: Banff XP11 3D for XP11 ___________________________ News! by Stephen Dutton 1st April 2023 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 Rights Reserved
  4. NEWS! - Scenery Release : Everest Park - Nepal 3D XP12 by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini The Italian climbers are back... and this time they have updated their excellent Everest Park - Nepal scenery to X-Plane 12. Called Everest Park - Nepal 3D XP12, and the scenery covers that most famous and highest region of the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. Mt Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) is of course situated here, but the scenery covers also all the other famous surrounding peaks; Lhotse (8516), Makalu (8463), Nuptse (7861), Pumori (7161), Ama Dablam (6812), Taboche (6543) and Baruntse (7129). Other highlights include the "Most Dangerous Airport in the WORLD" and that is big announcement, but that is what VNLK - Lukla is, and a huge challenge for any X-Plane flyer of distinction with it's steeply committed runway, VNSB - Syangboche, Namche Baza, Tengboche and the famous "Everest Base Camp" are all in here as well if you want to follow the footsteps of some of the greatest climbers that ever climbed. The Everest scenery encompasses an area of about 8000 square kilometers in Himalayan range along with other eight-thousanders on the border between China and Nepal. The area also includes a large area of Nepal south of Himalayan range with several reconstructed villages in; Lukla, Namche Bazar, Tengboche, Dingboche, Gorak Shep, Yeti Mountain and to the SOUTH Phaplu, Basanta Nazar, Rumjatar and Lamidanda. Five new airports and more Helipads have also been included, highlighted by; VNLK (LUKLA) Sloped Asphalt Runway, VNSB (SYANBOCHE) Runway in beaten earth, VNPL (PHAPLU) Short asphalt runway (new), VNRT (RUMJATAR) Asphalt Runway (new), VNLD (LAMIDANDA) Asphalt Runway (new) and VNKL (KANGEL DANDA) Short Runway in beaten earth (new). Helipads include; HELK Lukla Helipad - HENB Namche-Bazar Helipad - HETB TengBoche Helipad HPRH Pheriche Helipad - HCNR Pyramid CNR Helipad - HEBC BaseCamp Everest HBNF BaseCamp Everest North Face - HYET Yeti Mountain Helipad - All airports also have an Helipad Ultra-High Definition Scenery Pack The main mountains of the area have been rebuilt with 3D models. DEM data was used and further corrected with 3D graphics programs. Summer and Winter Textures (XP12) Manual included The original Everest Park Scenery review is here; Scenery Review : Everest Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini It is important to note that... owners of Everest XP11 can get this new X-Plane 12 version for 40% off. Please use the coupon code found in your original Everest XP11 invoice. Highly Recommended! Images are courtesy of Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini Designed by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini. Support forum for Everest 3D XP12 __________________ Yes!... Everest Park - Nepal 3D XP12 by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Everest Park - Nepal 3D XP12 Price is US$30.90 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not compatible with X-Plane 11) Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM - 8 GB+ VRAM Highly Recommended Customers who own of of this previous Everest mountain package can get this new Scenery for 40% off. Please find your coupon code in the original invoice. Eligible packages: Everest Park 3D for XP11 ___________________________ News! by Stephen Dutton 18th February 2023 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 Rights Reserved
  5. Scenery Upgrade : Dolomites UHD XP12 by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini Over the last six years there has been a significant amount of work in the European Alp and Dolomite Mountain areas by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini for the X-Plane Simulator. The work in respect is Colossal, huge... get my point. But colossal also meant a bit unwieldy, with so many packed sceneries, and all were tightly inter-meshed together. So if you got the .INI order right it all worked fine, but it was to say all a bit messy. With the release of "ALPS UHD XP12", in early Dec 2022, Frank and Fabio have changed the scenario a little bit (no pun intended). Of the four areas, Eiger Park, Matterhorn Park, Aosta and Mont Blanc and main peaks of the Alps, they were all repackaged together in the "ALPS" pack. The Dolomites UHD XP12 does the same thing. It takes six areas, Brenta Dolomites, Western Dolomites - Val Gardena, Belluno - Southern Dolomites, Cortina - Cadore and Drei Zinnen Park and combines them all together into one package. Plus some extra areas are added in as well. It is a 9Gb scenery in size, so huge. Compared to the Dolomites scenery packages for XP11, many details here have been improved and vast areas added such as LIENZ airport (Austria), Val di Fleres with Tribulaun in 3D, the whole area between Trento and Bolzano, Sappada and Sauris area, Asiago plateau with airport for a total area of over 11000 sq. km. The package now includes all the Dolomite groups, over 64 mountain groups all reconstructed with detailed 3D models with photographic textures. Features: Included in the degree + 46+ 010, +46+011, +46+012, area Italy,Austria Mountains scenery with 3D models 64 groups Dolomites 7 airports , 15 airfields, 47 Heliport Reproduced towns and villages with typologies of buildings and customized houses Photographic polygons/ textures as covered of terrain typical zone of great mountains. Polygons/textures 4K - area covered more 11000 kmq. Complete scenery of about 9 GB, 51 folders, more than 40 valleys, more than 60000 placed objects. Airports BOLZANO (LIPB) TRENTO (LIDT) LIDB (BELLUNO) LIDA (ASIAGO) LIDI (CORTINA) LIVD (DOBBIACO) LOKL (LIENZ) For those purchasers who own any of the previous Dolomites XP11 packages, you can get 40% off this new package. Please check your original Dolomites Invoice for the Coupon code... Packages that do qualify: Dolomites 3D - All 5 Packages ; Brenta Dolomites; Western Dolomites; Belluno Southern Dolomites; Cortina Cadore Dolomites; Drei Zinnen Dolomites This is also X-Plane 12 scenery, so you get all the X-Plane 12 effects and environmental elements! Highly Recommended! Images are courtesy of Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini __________________ Yes!... Dolomites UHD XP12 by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Dolomites UHD XP12 Price is US$59.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for x-plane 11) Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3.5 GB Customers who own any of the previous Dolomites XP11 packages can get 40% off this new package. Please check your original Dolomites Invoice for Coupon code . Packages that do qualify: Dolomites #D - All 5 Packages ; Brenta Dolomites; Western Dolomites; Belluno Southern Dolomites; Cortina Cadore Dolomites; Drei Zinnen Dolomites ___________________________ News! by Stephen Dutton 17th January 2023 Copyright©2023 : 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
  6. NEWS! - Scenery Upgrade : 3D VAL D'Aosta North/South-Area + Matterhorn Park 2.0 by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini Zermatt and it's famous landmark in the crooked peak of the Matterhorn (Italian: Cervino) is one of my most famous places I have ever visited, it is very, very special place to me and it has an almost religious aspect about the mountain and the valley. Matterhorn Park 3D by Dainese & Bellini was released in March 2019. The scenery covered both areas on each side of the iconic mountain, with the Swiss Canton of Valais and Zermatt, and on the Italian side Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valley which is a ski resort and township. For the time the scenery was exceptional, but X-Plane in detail also moves on forward. Most of these early Dainese & Bellini sceneries including Matterhorn Park 3D suffered a lot through very basic valley floor textures (the focus was on the mountains, which were extraordinary). So the so called floors even well documented with area objects looked back then a little basic in the simulator... the later Dainese & Bellini sceneries were far better in this aspect of filling in the floors and matching in the textures throughout the whole scenery in then creating a more whole experience. So here is the upgraded v2.0 Matterhorn Park 3D. There is an UPGRADE discount for this scenery to v2.0 from v1.0, so find the discount coupon on the original downloaded v1.0 scenery invoice page. The Matterhorn Park 3D V2.0 scenery areas have been expanded up to the earlier and separate "Mont Blanc 3D" scenery to match in (cross over) between the two areas to create a vast western Alps explorable zone to a total area of 3500 Square KM. ... and included are: Swiss Valleys : ZERMATT - TASCH – RANDA - ZINAL - SAAS FEE Italian Valleys : VALLE ANZASCA (MACUGNAGA) VALLE SESIA (ALAGNA) VAL DI GRESSONEY (ST.JEAN-LA TRINITE') VAL D'AJAS (CHAMPOLUC...) VAL TOURNENCHE (CERVINIA-VALTORNENCHE-CHAMOIS) VAL PELLINE - VAL OLLOMONT - VAL GRAN S.BERNARDO - VAL DI COGNE/LILLAZ VALSAVARENCHE - VAL DI RHEMS - VALGRISENCHE There are many new features and improvements in Matterhorn Park 2.0. Improved the 3D model of the Matterhorn, especially in the upper part, added mountaineers on the summit Many buildings redone and added both in Cervinia and Zermatt Added Hangar runway Tash-Zermatt Added details and train gallery to the Zermatt Heliport area (Air Zermatt) Added many details in the areas near Cervinia and Zermatt (various refuges - dams ...) Cervinia runway lengthened and airport buildings redone * many polygons / textures redone and repositioned Photographic textures of all the peaks of Mount Rosa Textures "by Dent d'Herens * textures "of the Grand Murailles Textures "of the whole Swiss chain in front of the Matterhorn Textures "by Grand Combin + M.Velan * textures "M.Emilius + Grivola Gran Paradiso textures + 3D model of the summit Almost all Alpine lakes have been reproduced, some of which are used as dams. More than 35,000 buildings positioned (18,000 only for the city of Aosta) Added 70 more typical house model samples for mountain areas and cities, for a total of 170 Expanded the buildings / objects library . The characteristic buildings are reproduced for each village (Churches, Castles, public buildings, ski lifts ...) Positioned more than 500 polygons / textures derived mostly from photographs Who looks out for the Matterhorn when crossing over the Alps!, well this scenery is so good the famous peak stands out as a marker when crossing over north to south or vice-versa. And that is one of the most important aspects of these sceneries, they look sensational to explore canyon like on the ground, but still can soar as highly realistic vistas from a high altitude. If you want realism in mountain ranges, then these sceneries from Dainese & Bellini are the best out there for the X-Plane Simulator. Images are courtesy of Frank Dainese __________________ Yes!... 3D VAL D'Aosta North/South-Area + Matterhorn Park 2.0 by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : 3D VAL D'Aosta North/South-Area + Matterhorn Park 2.0 Price is US$29.95 A discount coupon is availble for previous purchasers of the 3D Mattenhorn Park v1.0 scenery, just check you original account at the X-Plane.OrgStore. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.7 GB Current Version: 1.0 (December 16th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 17th December 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  7. Scenery Review : Torres del Paine National Park by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini Early in 2019 Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini released 3D Cerro Torre "Los Glaciares" National Park that was situated in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina in an area known as Patagonia, A fabled world of Ice, snow and extreme peaks of mountain ranges. After the extensive journey through the European Dolomites, we are now back in this same Southern tip of South American area but lower in Chile with another Patagonia scenery called the Torres del Paine National Park. This Torres del Paine area is set just south of the earlier "Los Glaciares" National Park, and in reality Torres del Paine can easily be a companion scenery to it's slightly northern area as both can be flown together within a hour or so of each other. The park is located 112 km (70 mi) north of Puerto Natales and 312 km (194 mi) north of Punta Arenas in Chile. The park borders Bernardo O'Higgins National Park to the west and the Los Glaciares National Park as noted just to the north in Argentine territory. Paine means "blue" in the native Tehuelche (Aonikenk) language and is pronounced PIE-nay, while Torres means "Towers". The national park is one of the 11 protected areas of the Magallanes Region and Chilean Antarctica (together with four national parks, three national reserves, and three national monuments). Together, the protected forested areas comprise about 51% of the land of the region (6,728,744 hectares). There is not per-se any townships or settlements in this scenery, but a lot of custom placed buildings, mostly hotels and campsites over the 800 sq. Km scenery. The main focus point is an (fictional) airfield on the east side of Lake Pehoe. XLCT is noted as "Torres del Paine" of which I will call "Pehoe Airfield". There is only one Looong grass runway 13/31 at XLCT, and a few reception buildings (noting the building as a terminal is a bit too over the top) and a rusted out hangar. Both 13/31 approaches are quite difficult, speed and skill is required here, but the long runway does help. The look and feel of the airfield is very Dainese and Bellini in style and well done, the Chilean flag is nicely animated... There is a H-Pad situated here but it has no ICAO code and is not listed in X-Plane, but it is still a good pad for airfield use. Almost directly across from the airfield is the real "Hosteria Pehoe", a very touristy hotel (they all complain here of the average bathrooms!) There is a H-Pad here (Paine Pehoe Helipad) HPHE, and a well done long over water connecting walkway. Note... the water in most lake areas in the scenery has been adjusted to be more Aqua, and you may notice the stark differences with what is Rock flour, or glacial flour coloured water... but the colour differences are really like that here (note the map above), the water colour changes has not affected however the X-Plane wave system, so water still flows and waves adjust normally, which is very well done. There is another very small village just south of the airfield is Estancia Pudeto, the restaurant here is known for the excellent Torres del Paine views and tough steaks, but watch out for the Armadillos! Further south is another touristy area with several hotels and a couple of jetties. Torres del Paine We are going to do a simple loop around the Torres del Paine range from Pehoe Airfield, my trusty transport is the excellent Thranda PC-6 Turbo Porter. note on the X-Plane local map the three other designated H-Pads in HPAINE, HPAN and HPAH. Even from the airfield the Torres del Paine range dominates the view, so it is not hidden or do you need to do any flying in finding the core points of the scenery, it is right there in view front and central.... magnificent! Takeoff is via RWY 13, and once clear of the ground you need to swing a little left, and then climb... The Paine massif, which is an eastern spur of the Andes is located on the east side of the Grey Glacier, and it rises dramatically above the Patagonian steppe. To the left is the Cerro Paine Grande and to the right is the main attraction of the Cordillera Paine, and between the two is the Valle del Francés (French Valley)... fronting the range south is the magnificent Nordenskjold Lake. The striking "horns" peaks of the Cordillera Paine are Cuerno Principal (2,600m)-(Main Horn), Cuerno del Paine Norte (2,400m)-(North Horn) and Cuerno del Paine Este (2,200m)-(East Horn). These sceneries are immensely hard to do as the ranges are positioned on 4 degrees, which makes it difficult to position the3D models and their associated polygons/textures... the results here though are stupendous. Now up to 4,200ft and I want to get close, but not to close as it feels dangerous with the lower peaks... .... although they look in a way like the same formations of the Dolomites, the Torres del Paine yellowish granite underlain by a grey gabbro-diorite laccolith and the sedimentary rocks it intrudes and deeply eroded by glaciers. The steep, light colored faces are eroded from the tougher, vertically jointed granitic rocks, while the foothills and dark cap rocks are the sedimentary country rock, in this case flysch deposited in the Cretaceous period and later folded. Still you can get to see some though the gaps of the amazing views of the three Towers of Paine situated in the very north, and also dominating the background to the east is the massive Monte Almirante Nieto (2697m) formation. At the far eastern point around Monte Almirante Nieto you flip north around along the Rio Ascencio valley... there are three entrances into the park as noted as the W trails, the Rio Ascencio valley is the far eastern one to reach the highlights of the scenery. On the northern aspect is a spine of mountains set around a high glacier in a valley called.. Valle del Silencio or Silence Valley. And again they look extremely dolomiti.... these are the principal peaks of the region from the Terro Nido de Cóndor (2209m) (darker peak) to the three spikes of the "Towers of Paine" with the highest Torre del Paine Central (2460m), Torre del Paine Norte (2260m) and the Torre del Paine Sur (2500) to the right. At Lago (Lake) Paine you follow west the Río (River) Paine to the still Argentinan and Chile disputed glacial waters of Lago Dickson. Look south or left out of the aircraft and there are two significant peaks, this is the Cerro Fortaleza Formation with Cerro Fortaleza (2681m)-(The Fortress) and Cerro Escudo (2521m). Smaller northern ranges including Cerro La Paloma, but all are dominated in the background by the highest in the Torres del Paine groups of the Paine Grande (2,884m).... ... my altitude now is a high 8,600ft, and yet I don't actually feel that high, as such is the elevation below me. As we reach the western point of the scenery then the Grey lake is to the south and opening out to the north is the famous Grey Glacier... Grey Glacier is a glacier that is part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. It flows southward into the lake of the same name, before dividing in two at its front end. The glacier is 6 kilometers wide and over 30 meters high and it occupies a total area of 270 km2 (100 sq mi) and a length of 28 km (17 mi) The Grey Glacier has been done really well here by Dainese and Bellini, and there are visible cracks and floating ice flows on the Grey Lake. The Paine Grande is a monolith of a mountain, and very well reproduced here... note the really well done lower formations in the rock face. From this height the Torres del Paine lake system is very spectacular and well done... although the focus is on the Torres del Paine scenery, the view away from the custom area is still pretty good, as X-Plane's default mesh works very well in not allowing the custom scenery and yourself to feel not at all disconnected from your surroundings. With a now completes complete circle around the Torres del Paine, it was time to have a look at the internal aspects, and so now you fly up the French Valley and into the central basin and another of the W trail entrances. With horns to your right and Cerro Fortaleza directly ahead, as with many mountain areas it all looks very "off world" and Alien more than life on planet Earth. There is a reason to fly around the basin, because besides some brilliant views... ... two rock walls are significant here, not in height but in climbing difficulty and both renowned... one is to the left in Cerro Cota 2000 and the other mid-picture is Cerro (Cathedral) Catedral because the face looks like a Cathedral facade... Cerro Cota 2000 is named for its elevation; as its highest contour line is about 2,000 m (6,562 ft) high. Internally in the aircraft you feel overwhelmed by all the tall peaks all around you... but deep inside the basin, you are just a blip in the landscape... .... there is however a long way down now to descend, I'm at 6,500 ft, so I start the descent even though I am not yet out of the valley. With one last look at the three horns, and then I am then dropping down through the air like the Space Shuttle. I simply wizzz fast past my landing site, still falling and still losing altitude, then finally I can loop back around to Pehoe Airfield.. ... and you have to admit, that is a spectacular backdrop to any landing... The right aircraft has to flown around here, and STOL requirements are also a prerequisite... getting your speed as low as you possibly can is also a prerequisite, as here 50 knts is at an almost stall speed is what is required to do a good clean approach. It is a very tricky landing at XLCT, but still do-able because of the length of the runway... wow that was a scenic flight and a half. Lighting is not being covered in this review, because basically there isn't any? Only the houses and hotels have lit windows. ICAO Noted Airports and H Pads There is One airport and 4 H Pads in the scenery, and provided are: XLCT - AIRPORT – TORRES DEL PAINE HPHE – HELIPAD - PAINE PEHOE HPAH – HELIPAD - PAINE SOUTH HPAN – HELIPAD - PAINE NORTH HPAINE – HELIPAD - PAINE PARK XLCT - AIRPORT – TORRES DEL PAINE As noted in the review, There is only one grass strip airport set on the eastern bank of Lake Pehoe, and the approaches are quite difficult, and the only grass runway 13/31, is looong. Note there is also a blank H pad situated here. HPHE – HELIPAD - PAINE PEHOE Set out in front of the "Hosteria Pehoe" also on Lake Pehoe next to the airport, The H-Pad is a very picturesque landing position with an amazing view of the Torres del Paine, and you also land amongst the buildings of the Hosteria. HPAH – HELIPAD - PAINE SOUTH Set on the left arm of the Lago el Toro, the clearing is far south of the Torres del Paine airfield... A clearing says it all, it is a tight space to land in, but worthwhile. There is a hotel here called the "Cruce a Hotel Lago Grey". HPAN – HELIPAD - PAINE NORTH Not really north but more west and situated at the bottom of the Grey Lake with great views of the Grey Glacier. Basically a campsite with amazing views, it is well worth the visit. HPAINE – HELIPAD - PAINE PARK Situated at the southeast area of Monte Almirante Nieto. This is a hotel with cabins that is called the "Hotel Las Torres Patagonia". Again the area is well worth the visit as it is at the entrance to Rio Ascencio valley. ______________________ Summary After a long set of five sceneries for the Dolomites. Frank Dainese and Fabio Belliniare back at the southern tip of the South America with another Patagonia scenery called Torres del Paine National Park. This scenery is a companion scenery to the earlier release of 3D Cerro Torre "Los Glaciares" National Park that is situated just to the north of the just as famous Torres del Paine mountain vistas on the spine of lower Chile. All the significant peaks are included here, including the striking "horns" peaks of the Cordillera Paine, Monte Almirante Nieto, the principal peaks of the region of the three spikes of the "Towers of Paine". The Cerro Fortaleza Formation with Cerro Fortaleza (The Fortress) and Cerro Escudo are also well represented. The largest formation Paine Grande as are the two other famous climbing peaks in the Cerro Cota 2000 and the Cerro (Cathedral) Catedral which are part of its massive formation. The famous (creeping) Glacier of the Grey Glacier is really well represented as well as the Grey Lake it flows into, and all the lakes and waterways are colour changed to match the real Rock flour (aqua) colourisation. There is one (fictional) airport and four H-Pads included with a vast array of small housing and tourist campsites throughout the scenery that covers an area of 800 sq. km area. Difficult to do, These excellent representations of iconic mountain areas of the world are for exploration, sightseeing or just plain exploring... and you could throw in a bit of geography as well. All are very highly detailed of the areas they represent and the mountain ranges are of course the stars and the focal point of the scenery packages. Hugely popular and yes I seriously love these amazing and hugely detailed and now extensive sceneries that can change your perspective of iconic mountain areas and allow them to come to life in your simulation world... Highly recommended. ____________________________________________ Yes! Torres del Paine National Park by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Torres del Paine National Park UHD Price Is US$22.95 Features: 800 sq. Km of beautiful mountains in Ultra-High Resolution 1 small airfield, with considerable difficulties in landing and take-off. 4 Helipad located near the tourist centers. Region located at the confluence of 4 degrees Airfield(XLCT) with 4 Heliports in strategic sites. Many villages, tourist centers All 3D models Torres groups with textures in 4K resolution All the vegetation mapped Recolored the lakes, maintaining the water effect Inserted hundreds of polygons / textures to reproduce the photo-realistic terra WT3/Traffic Global: Your joking of course! no, you are on your own here Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 400MB Release and Review version 1.0 (14th October 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is download 400mb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are three install folders in the order below in the .INI File... the mesh has to be set below the main "3D_Paine_Park" folder. 3D_Paine_Park (511.5mb) Mesh_Paine_Park (250mb) PaineTower_lib (107.7mb) Total scenery installation (Torres del Paine) : 869.20mb Documents One manual with notes ______________________________________________________________________   Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 16th October 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane v11.50r3 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - Bell 407 XP11 by Dreamfoil (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$35.00 - Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter - DGS Series by Thranda (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$34.95
  8. Scenery Review : Western Dolomites 3D by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini This is the fourth of five sceneries that will cover the Dolomite Mountain Ranges in the eastern north of Italy. This new area covers the Western area and Val Gardena adjoining both the Cortina - Cadore and Belluno areas. Here are the four regions... with Drei Zinnen National Park in red, Cortina-Cadore in yellow and Belluno in purple and this new Western section is in orange. The areas covered include the Alto-Adige (Sud-Tirol) region and the large valleys of Badia, Gardena, Fassa and Funes. I rightly predicted in the review of the Belluno scenery of the next section would be the area west of Marmolada (3,343m) or Queen of the Dolomites, and so this aspect has now been completed in this Western scenery. So we will cover the area from the same base in Alleghe and take the same initial route around the Marmolada and Pala Group of ranges and then down the long Fassa Valley. Obviously these Belluno areas (or the third "Belluno" scenery) are required to cover both sides of the valleys as they fill out the eastern aspects and now these new Western aspects are on the other side. Images shown here cover both installed packages. Alleghe to Cembra Our first route is basically flown fully down the Val de Fassa, Val di Fiemme and Val de Cembra valleys and all valleys are in the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol district. Departure from Alleghe is still stunning under the backdrop of the Monte Civetta, you fly a short distance north and then do a tight turn to the west down the Val Pettorina, and at the end of the valley is the eastern side of Marmolada. A flip north again while climbing hard from 3,500ft to 6,500ft to circle the base of Marmolada until you reach Lago di Fedaia, and once over the lake you suddenly realise ahead it is very different forward view from the last flight down here with just the installed Belluno scenery... now more peaks fill the windscreen that were certainly not there before? A turn (and a slight drop in altitude) into the Val de Fassa itself and around the next bend reveals the Sassolungo Group directly ahead which we will come to in a minute, as up to the north first on the left is the dramatic Sella Group... The main peak of the Stella Group is Piz Boè at (3,151m), other peaks in the massif are the Cima Pisciadù (2,985m), the Boèseekofel (2,910m) and the four Sellatürme (2,696m), Sass Pordoi (2,952m) and the Brunecker Turm (2,495m) peaks. A nice detail is the Rifugio Piz Boè with a cross and a huge board. We will see more of the Stella formations in the northern pass in the Covara section of the review. Now we are in the Fassa Valley itself and the Sassolungo Group (Italian) or Langkofel Group is next and again on the right... compare the very basic default version from the Belluno review (below) to the added vista of the newer Western section (below right), you can see the huge even massive differences in the same visual aspect. The formations of the Sassolungo massif are very Dolomiti in design... There is some brilliant detail here, the 3D models are obtained from DEM (digital elevation models) and transformed into 3D objects as if they were buildings, with hundreds of thousands of triangles. In the transition from DEM to 3D object (obj), which is also mandatory to obtain an object compatible with X-Plane. in this Gruppe you can clearly see that amazing detail. Summits in the Group are clockwise, Langkofel (3,181m), Langkofelkarspitze (2825m), Grohmannspitze (3081m), Fünffingerspitze (2996m), Grohmannspitze (3,126m), Innerkofler turm (3081m), Zahnkofel (3000m) and Plattkofel (2,969m). Overall the gruppe is extremely impressive. Another bend in the Val de Fassa and another glorious range comes into view... This is the Rosengarten group or Catinaccio Group (Italian) One peculiarity of the Rosengarten is the pink shade, owing to the presence of the mineral dolomite, which takes in the sunset and "glows", as celebrated in the Bozner Bergsteigerlied. Meaning "Rose garden" in German, the name refers to the legend of King Laurin and his Rose Garden. The highest peak is the Kesselkogel (3,002m) above sea level. Other peaks include, Rosengartenspitze (2,981m), Vajolet-Türme (2,813m), Laurinswand (Croda di Re Laurino) - (2,813m), Tscheiner-Spitze (Cima Sforcella) (2,813m), Rotwand (Roda di Vaèl) (2,806m) and theTeufelswand (Croda Davoi) (2,727m). All the main villages in the Fassa Valley are represented, and set below the Rosengarten are both Pozza di Fassa and Vigo di Fassa as an example... ... not to forget that the eastern side of the Fassa has been changed as well, although part of the Belluno scenery the sides of the valley and the cablecar networks can now also be seen or completed. And again the contrast must be made between the old Belluno review and the now filled in valley of the Fassa. Next on the right is the most western high mountains in the Dolomites of the Latemar Range. This mountain range is characterised by its form of a horseshoe, open towards east. It has got two subgoups: one a north group which includes the peaks from the Cima Poppe (2,460m) to Mt. Torre dei Muss (2,402m), whereas the mountains of the second group tower up round Mt. Agnello (2,358 m). Set between both the Rosengarten and Latemar massifs is the ski resort of Carezza Karersee, and the iconic view of the Latemar formations from the Lago di Carezza, and both are represented here. Still following the Fassa Valley I now reach Predazzo and where last time in the Belluno review I took a hard left and went back deep into the Belluno scenery down the Val Paneveggio, to the Pala Group that can be seen on the left... Past Predazzo we are now in the Val di Fiemme valley, and the landscape spreads out more as you fly south, but there is still a lot to explore flying down this long area, you can of course fly up these valleys from the south and go from low to high... ... villages covered are Ziano di Fiemme, Panchià, Tesero and Cavalese. The Chiesa Santa Maria Assunta at Cavalese as is the Stadio del Ghiaccio (Ice Hockey stadium) have both been replicated. The town was also the site of the Cavalese cable car disaster in 1998, when a US aircraft tore down the cable-car connecting the town to the nearby Cermis mountain during a training exercise, killing 20 people. Next is the exquisite Lago di Stramentizzo... ... the villages of Capriana, Segonzano and then finally Cembra high up on the right, which is our stopping point here as it is the most far southwest H Pad - HELCE in all of the Dolomite sceneries. The Western Package does go on further for a few valley turns to the very start of the Val di Fiemme at Ceola... all in all there is a huge amount of distance to explore down these two significant Fiemme and Fassa valleys. Cortina-Cadore to Covara In distance this route is quite short, more so is that most of the route flown here is also mostly in the Cortina-Cadore package, but the point of view from Cortina is important. Departure is from Cortina's LIDI airport, then we track south down the Cadore Valley until over Cortina then turn westwards... .... as per usual you then have climb high up and over the Passo Falzarego, the Cinque Torri is on the right, but directly ahead is a new formation that was not there before... the Sass de Stria. The Sass de Stria is directly in front of the famous Lagazuoi (2,835m), and a nice combination they make... but beyond is a bigger vista that is the western Dolomites. To my left is the Cortina - Cadare formations of the Cimi Di Fanes, Conturines and P.ta South and that spectacular Fanes group scenic rim... this was earlier the most western point of these Dolomite packages, but now the Fanes have been pushed back well into the overall area as it now goes far more out west... in the far distance is the Kleiner Peitlerkofel or Sas de Pütia which in the new package is now also modeled in detail. It is really weird as nothing to my left was actually here before? it was simply a blank canvas, but now it is a full dynamic vista. Far left is the Sassolungo Group that we have already covered, centre is the Puez-Geisler Nature Park, Odle di Eores and far right is Kleiner Peitlerkofel, set deep in the valley between the Sassolungo Group and the Puez-Geisler Nature Park is our destination Covara. The entrance is at La Villa Stern into the Val Badia as part of the Alta Badia region. The large peak right is the dominating Sassongher (2,665m), and the Piz Boè is direct ahead above the end of the valley... This south facing range of the Puez-Geisler Nature Park is the Puez Group, with (R-L) Mt. Sassongher, Col Pradat (2038m), Sass da Ciampac (2667m)... Cir Group - Große Cirspitze - Grande Cir (2579m), Piccola Cir (2520 m), Kleine Cirspitze - Cir V (2538m), Sas dal Fuech (2025 m) and the Piz de Do Parëi (1973m). In the cradle of Val Badia is Covara and there is an airstrip XLIDO - Val Badia... it is tricky to find, but look to the west when entering the township... XLIDO - Val Badia's grass runway 08/26 is only 400m, and totally useless from the western approach and even very tight from the west, so it would need skill to land there... also there is a H Pad HECRV positioned here as well, the H Pad is right next to some nice airport buildings. Directly ahead to the west is part of the famous Gardena Pass 2,136 m (7,008 ft) ASL and the pass connects Covara to Sëlva on the west side, of which we will fly around to later... above you is the towering Mt. Sassongher. Covara to Sëlva Departing from Covara it is back out through the Val Badia and into the Funes Valley, then north. Our point of interest is now right there to our left of the Kleiner Peitlerkofel or Sas de Pütia... .... I am still bewildered on how much of the lower Fassa Valley has changed here since the I flew around here in the Cortina-Cadore scenery, the Fanes group scenic rim fits in far much better from this angle and the valleys and villages are now also modeled in creating the far better and fuller visual impact. The northern valleys are much deeper, but the ground detailing goes on to the boundary at Casies Valley. You have to climb to see the Kleiner Peitlerkofel up close, as the elevation closes in on both sides of the formations and the valley disappears... ... the Peitlerkofel (Ladin: Sas de Pütia, Italian: Sass de Putia) stands between Val Badia to the east and the Villnöß valley to the west. The massif boasts two distinct summits, the Grosser Peitler (2875m) and the Kleiner Peitler (2813m), which are divided by a deep ridge. This is a very popular mountain to climb, with the normal and easiest route being from the south. On a fine day it is common to have hundreds of people on the mountain at once. Next to the Peitlerkofel is the Odle di Eores group... ... these main peaks of the Odle di Eores are; Monte Tullen (2,654m), Wälscher Ring (2,623m), Sasso della Conca (2,590m) and Mount Confin (Ringspitze) - (2,531m). Rounding the Odle di Eores and one of the main features of the "Western Scenery" comes into view... ... this is the magnificent Puez/Odle Geisler Group which along the western boundary of the natural park that carries the same name. It is however still part of the overall Odle group with; Furchetta (3,025m) the tallest peak, others include; Sass Rigais (3,025m), Sass de Mesdi (2762m), Große Fermeda (2873m) and Kleine Fermeda (2800m) being the most significant formations. The range also backs onto the earlier Puez Group. Follow the valley out and you are back into the Casies Valley and again the boundary of the scenery, so we will do a sort of loop and take the valley back into the scenery via Tschövas and the start of the famous Val Gardena Valley... from this angle you are now looking southeast with the Rosengarten group or Catinaccio and the Latemar Range in the background, but to the right forward is the Schlern (Italian: Sciliar)... .... The Schlern dominates the villages of Seis am Schlern and Völs am Schlern, which both have been recreated in the package, and the highest summit of the formation is the Petz at (2,564m). Val Gardena Valley snakes it's way back into the core of the scenery and surprisingly there is a lot of industrial zones along here, with the villages of Tschövas and Pontives (note the H PAD HELAA) and San Pietro... ... next along a few turns if the valley are Passua and the Urtijëim, which is noteable by the distictive Parish Church of Urtijëi, which is made in neoclassical style with baroque elements in the last part of the eighteenth century and the church is represented here. A branch valley to the left at Urtijëim will take you to closer and up to the Geisler Group... ... but we take the right valley that will soon brings into view the same Geisler Group but from the eastern perspective of the sharp scaly rim. Hard to the right is again the towering Rosengarten group and a better closer perspective of the highest Kesselkogel peak. Finally around a few bends is the main commune of Sëlva, with the Puez-Odles Natural Park that begins at the edge of town, and the world-famous Sella Ronda ski carousel that passes right through the center of the township, then Sëlva is a main central tourist destination of the Val Gardena area. There is a H Pad HALSG positioned here, but it is extremely difficult to find? I hovered then using the local X-Plane Map took the right valley towards even more and more houses? Then I saw it buried tight by a Football (soccer field) on my left. At Sëlva you are situated in the centre of the "Western" section of this Dolomite scenery, and over the high pass is of course Covara. There is a huge amount of area here you can cover as this fourth part as it comprises of a territory of about 1200 sq km in the western part of the Dolomites, add in the other packages and this certainly the most densely and detailed scenery in territory in X-Plane. Separately then this Western pack certainly adds to the aspect of the Belluno pack on the eastern side, but more so the Cortina-Cadore pack on the north and fills out quite comprehensively the Fanes valley and districts. There are so many villages and communes to to note here, one north is San Vigilio deep in the Fanes. And many others we will see in the H PAD placements. Lighting Overall lighting is not the main aspect of these sceneries... there is lighting of course, but it is mainly just housing (window) and the odd street lamps to create an alpine village feel, but in this package there quite a bit of it, so every major valley is lit... Overall it looks quite authentic at night and works very nicely in recreating the valley effect, odd buildings or the main significant custom scenery objects and the many football (Soccer) fields are also well lit in the scenery. ICAO Noted Airports and H Pads There are two airports and 14 H pads in the scenery, which is significantly more here than most other provided landing areas in both the Dainese and Bellini sceneries, provided are: XLIDO - Airport - 46.5523017 011.8631166 – CORVARA XLILU - AIRPORT – 46.60488660 011.37928386 - LOCHER HECRV – HELIPORT - 46.5521658 011.8650664 – Heliport Corvara HEVF - HELIPAD - 46.6360556 011.7243997 – Val di Funes HELSM - HELIPAD - 46.6812986 011.8917434 –S.Martino Badia HEPS - HELIPAD - 46.5099770 011.7564503 – Passo Sella HPTR - HELIPAD - 46.4952058 012.0461872 - Pietralba HELAA – HELIPAD - 46.5869693 011.6304575 – Aiut Alpin HELPF –HELIPAD - 46.4267100 011.6882711 – Pozza di Fassa HELCNZ – HELIPAD -46.46993479 011.77726362- Canazei VVF HELAS – HELIPAD - 46.5406639 011.6209378 – Alpe di Siusi HELCE – HELIPAD - 46.1722710 011.2242332 – CEMBRA HEVZ – HELIPAD - 46.4081755 011.5854071 – Carezza Val d’Ega HELSG – HELIPAD - 46.5475061 011.7686336 – Selva Gardena HELRN – HELIPAD - 46.5392681 011.4559653 – Renon Arena Center HECL – HELIPAD - 46.2880779 011.4561542 – Cavalese Hospital XLIDO - Airport - COVARA As noted in the review, the field is tight and to the right on the valley entrance to Covara, but there are a few nice terminal buildings. One grass runway 08/26 400m XLILU - AIRPORT – LOCHER Lochher is noted as "a very short runway with a difficult approach for landing", no kidding, it is on a slope and not really a runway? There is a H pad set here, but not noted and the airport is set well far west away from the main scenery... it is well done though. Grass 17/35 no runway length HECRV - H Heliport Corvara The H Pad at Covara, easy access and nicely placed by the terminal buildings. HEVF - H - Val di Funes Right under the noses of both the Odle di Eores and Geisler Group, a simple H Pad with clean approaches. HELSM - H - S.Martino Badia Situated behind the hilltop castle that was first documented in 1290 as “turris in Geder” and documents the heart of the judicial Tower in Gader (the actual translation should be “Tower in Quadra”), The H Pad is a nice position to get a spectacular arrival past the now museum of the castle. The castle is well documented here. HEPS - H - Passo Sella Situated on the eastern side of Sassolungo Group, this is a nice high H Pad to get a close up of the Sasso Dolomites. The H Pad is by the ski-lift HPTR - H - Pietralba Placed at the site of the famous Pietralba hotel (a hotel has been here since 1630) the H Pad is the furfurest southwest of any H Pads, the hotel itself is well modeled and very distictive on the mountain position. HELAA - H - Aiut Alpin Noted earlier at Pontives in the Val Gardena Valley. There are a lot of challenges here with lower and roof top H Pads at the Elikos Helicopterservice base. HELPF - H – Pozza di Fassa Deep in the Fassa Valley this H Pad is situated at Pozza di Fassa, between (or below) the Rosengarten and Latemar massifs. The pad is tired worn concrete and is situated on the west side of Pozza di Fassa. HELCNZ - H - Canazei VVF Canazei is on the bend between the Stella Group and Sassolungo Group in the Fassa Valley. The approach is easy if you get it right. HELAS - H - Alpe di Siusi At Plan De Gralba, the H Pad it is not far from the Val Gardena Valley and Sëlva, tricky to find, but great views of the Rosengarten Group. HELCE - H - CEMBRA The most southern point of the scenery at Cembra and the lower Val di Fiemme valley, best approach is over the Football (soccer) field as the so called clean approach has powerlines! HEVZ - H - Carezza Val d’Ega Set in the valley between the Rosengarten and Latemar massifs is Carezza Karersee, a great flight to a pretty local. HELSG - H - Selva Gardena Our final landing pad was at Sëlva in the Gardena Valley, and the H Pad is tricky to find, as it is buried in the offshoot valley. Another Tricky approach and use the Football (soccer) field as a focus but watch the fence! HELRN - H - Renon Arena Center Situated outside the Renon Arena in Klobenstein, then this H Pad is towards the start of the Casies Valley and Bolzano, high up on the western side of the valley it can be again tricky to find. HECL - H - Cavalese Hospital Cavalese is high on the right in Val di Fiemme valley just before the Lago di Stramentizzo. The H - Pad is situated in front of the Ospedale di Cavalese. One final interesting aspect of these packages are the now significant impact on the X-Plane simulator itself. Fly north to south or vise-versa over the Alps and note those significant differences in the alpine landscape below, this image was taken at 30,000ft (FL300) going from Rome to Munich, as these Dolomite packs looked simply sensational from this high perspective. _________________________________ Summary This is the fourth of five sceneries from Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini that cover the Dolomite Mountain Ranges in the eastern north of Italy. This new area covers the western area in the Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region, this scenery also adjoins the Belluno- Southern Dolomites and the Cortina - Cadore region packages and the earlier Drei Zinnen National Park is which attached to the Cortina - Cadore pack. Areas recreated in this Western scenery package include: Alto-Adige (Sud-Tirol) region, the large valleys of Badia, Gardena, Fassa, Funes and there are important stations and famous tourist resorts Ortisei, Canazei, Carezza, Siusi, Castelrotto, Covara and Sëlva. All the numerous mountains and glaciers are all very highly created mesh from DEM data 3D graphics programs, and the Hi-Res textures are all in 4K resolution. The focus mountains are simply excellent in their 3D reproductions and the highlights are Sella Group, Sassolungo, Catinaccio Group, Latemar, Sciliar, Odle with the Sassongher, Schlern, Kleiner Peitlerkofel and Geisler Group as the highlights. These excellent representations of iconic mountain areas of the world are for exploration, sightseeing or just plain exploring... and you could throw in a bit of geography as well. All are very highly detailed of the areas they represent and the mountain ranges are of course the stars and the focal point. The biggest aspect of this scenery is on how it totally expands out on the earlier Belluno and Cortina-Cadore packages, the Fassa valley aspect is now filled out on both sides and the extention and changes beyound the Fanes group scenic rim, which was earlier the most western aspect is now more central into the full set of Dolomite packages. Breathtaking and immersive in the dolomite areas that now covered are simply immense, with simply also a massive choice of H Pads and routes to choose from.... next and last area to be covered is in my guess will be the east of the the Piave River Hugely popular and yes I love these amazing and hugely detailed and now extensive sceneries that can change your perspective of an iconic area and allow them to come to life in your simulation world... Highly recommended, so four down and now only one more Dolomite package to go! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Western Dolomites 3D - Val Gardena by Frank Dainese and Fabio Bellini is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Western Dolomites 3D - Val Gardena Price Is US$24.95 Customer who already own Dolomites 3D - Drei Zinnen Park, Cortina, Belluno can get this new scenery for $5 off. Please go to the original invoice for coupon code Features 1200 sq. Km of scenic Mountain Scenery Corvara Airport (XLIDO) and Locher-Airfield (XLILU) with14 Heliports in strategic sites. Locher Airfield is a small airport, built on a steep slope, with an underground Hangar. Particular construction difficulty because not represented in the base mesh. Many valleys: Cembra,Fiemme, Fassa, Badia, Gardena, Siusi, Ega, Funes... Over 30,000 buildings positioned, with many buildings rebuilt. 10 3D models and groups: Sella Group, Sassolungo, Catinaccio Group, Latemar, Sciliar, Odle, ... All the vegetation mapped Inserted hundreds of polygons / textures to reproduce the photo-realistic terrain Reproduced the main lift-plants, in particular the Pordoi Sass.. Reproduced all the main refuges in the area: Val Gardena, Roda di Vael, Vajolet,Principe, Alpe di Tires, Bolzano, Capanna Fassa, Boè, Contrin, Antermoia, ... Take off and landing complicated but also possible with Pilatus (see youtube video of Challenging Locher Sarentino Airfield approach) WT3/Traffic Global: Your joking of course! no, you are on your own here Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 850 MB - 1.1 GB Release and Review version 1.0 (15th July 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is download 722mb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are Seventeen install folders in the order below in the .INI File (included and the listing below also includes the Drei Zinnen/Cortina/Belluno packs). The "Dolomiti2_lib" library is not required if you already have it installed. SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1A_DOLOMITI_3D_Part1/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1B_AIRPORT_LIVD/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1C_CableWay_Dolomitti1/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1D_PUSTERIA_Comelico/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1E_MISURINA/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1F_AURONZO/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2A_DOLOMITI_3d_Part2/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2B_AIPORT_LIDI/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2C_CableWay_Dolomiti2/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2D_CORTINA/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2E_CADORE/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2F_CRODALAGO/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3A_DOLOMITI_3D_Part3/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3B_CableWay_Dolomiti3/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3C_AGORDO_ALLEGHE/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3D_BELLUNO_Piave/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3E_VAL_CORDEVOLE/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3F_VALLE_PRIMIERO/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3G_Zoldana_Fiorentina/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4A_DOLOMITI_3D_Part4/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4B_CableWay_Dolomiti4/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4C_VAL_BADIA/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4D_ALPE_SIUSI/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4E_FASSA/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4F_GARDENA/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4G_SMARTINO/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4H_VAL_CEMBRA/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4I_VAL_FIEMME/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4J_VAL_FUNES/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4K_RENON/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4L_VAL_DEGA/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4M_LocherAirfield/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D1G_Exclusions/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D2G_Exclusions/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D3H_Exclusions/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/D4N_Exclusions/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/Dolomiti2_lib/ SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/MESH_DOLOMITI1/ Total scenery installation (Belluno) : 1.39gb Documents One manual with notes ______________________________________________________________________   Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 18th July 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and tested in v11.50b15 (fine) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - Bell 412 XP11 by X-Trident (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$35.95
  9. News! - In Development : Mont Blanc Group by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini After their excellent Eiger Park 3D, Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini's attention has moved now to the far western end of the Alps mountain range and Mont Blanc. Called "The Mont Blanc Group" this more expansive scenery will cover about 900 square kilometers between Italy and France, included also will be two very famous resorts in Courmayeur (ITA) and Chamonix (FRA). 3D modeling will include Mont Blanc, Eguille Noire, Giant's Tooth, Grandes Jorasses... and more. he main structures (buildings ...) the two locations will be reconstructed in 3D with the placement of over 8000 buildings (from 70 typical types of the area), also to be included is the new "SkyWay Mont Blanc" cable car (considered the eighth wonder of the world), Images have now been released... From a flying point of view there will be several heliports and two grass runways inset into the scenery, with one in Chamonix and one in Courmayeur. If the new scenery is as good as the past releases (which it will be) again we will have another great dimension to our flying, to get a taste of the work then see X-PlaneReviews review of Eiger Park 3D Yes I am a big fan of these visually sensational sceneries, release for Mont Blanc Group is noted as "several months" so that should be about October to November this year 2019. Another project in the pipeline is a revisit to their very first release in Dolomites 3D to bring it into line and to the quality of the other Alp sceneries Matterhorn 3D, Eigar 3D and the new Mont Blanc Group 3D to complete the series. It is a yes from me! Announcement via Frank Dainese site on Blogger Images courtesy of Frank Dainese ________________________________________ Updated News by Stephen Dutton 27th June 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews
  10. Scenery Review : Eiger Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini It was only a few months ago that X-PlaneReviews was soaring over Patagonia in South America and admiring the excellent Cerro Torre 3D "Los Glaciares" by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini. But here we are suddenly with another extreme landscape from these talented landscape artists. To a point we are back on familiar territory or the European Alps, after the Everest and the Patagonia scenerios. This is their third Alp scenery after Matterhorn Park 3D and Dolomiti 3D and the scenery covers the northern Bernese mountain Alps chain and the... The Eiger. The Eiger is a 3,967-metre (13,015 ft) mountain of the Bernese Alps, overlooking Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland, and just north of the main watershed and border with Valais. It is the easternmost peak of a ridge crest that extends across the Mönch to the Jungfrau at 4,158 m (13,642 ft). The Eiger is not the largest of the biggest mountain in the Alps, as it is listed as low as 33 in height, but the most notable feature of the Eiger is its 1,800-metre-high (5,900 ft) north face of rock and ice, named Eiger-Nordwand, Eigerwand or just Nordwand, which is the biggest north face in the Alps and hence it's attraction to climbers. The name is German as Eiger is the standard German word for ogre. This scenery is in a way a mirror of the earlier Matterhorn Park 3D scenery, that in the earlier rendition effectively covered the southern area of Valais, were as this Eiger scenery is on the northern chain of the Bernese Alps that is centered around Interlaken. Two main valleys are used for access into the area from Interlaken and these are the Lauterbrunnen valley and Grindelwald valley, but there is a back door way in as well. Helicopters are all the go around here.... even then it can be tight flying through some of the areas. However Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini have also added in a few fictional grass strips if you want to give them a try, a ride on say the default Aerolite 103 is highly recommended. But I needed to cover more distance and the higher extreme altitudes, so I need power and speed, so the newly updated AB412 from X-Trident was the best option... I started from LSZH Zurich, which is yes a fair way away from the scenery, but I wanted to get a feel for the AB412 before hand as you know it will be needed as these sceneries always come with some tricky pad landings. My first section flying was to Meiringen LSMM for a refuel, the town is situated up the valley from Brienzersee the eastern of the two lakes surrounding Interlaken... (this route was covered in the AB412 update review) The approach was via Lungernersee where you can slip through a tight valley (you do that a lot here) and then drop down sharply into the Brünig Pass. Before we go in too deep, then the area around Meiringen LSMM has issues? this is not the custom Eiger 3D scenery issue, but an X-Plane default mesh issue.... worse it cuts directly through the Eiger's north rock face.... it is important to know what you're actually looking at and if you have the Eiger 3D scenery correctly installed? (There is an .INI scenery order that is provided) If you don't, then what you will get is a very messy mesh, with both Brienzersee and Thunersee lakes filled in as there is a line of the edge of the mesh set across the lake (magenta arrows shows line above right). On this default mesh however you do get a very nice global airport scenery of LSMM (above left). If you get both the lakes of Brienzersee and Thunersee (above) then your scenery is correctly installed, however it kills the nice Global Airport LSMM scenery as it does also at LSMI - Interlaken WED airports? but a fix has fixed the autogen... to note again this is an underlying mesh issue, not a custom scenery issue. We tried simHeaven's X-EUROPE2 but that didn't work as it just brought back in that nasty default mesh, so anything or everything always brought you back that nasty mesh when you put in any of the areas normal dsf co-ordinates..... painful. The Lauterbrunnen valley directly in front of Interlaken is the most obvious way into the Eiger 3D scenery... but there is another gap into the Grindelwald valley if you fly east from Meiringen. Already you notice the very highly detailed scenery quality, as it is now far better in high extreme def detail than the older default textures... These older default textures were extremely poor anyway with bad stretch marks and weird textures. The gap I was looking for is the Reichenbach Falls, and I flew straight on past the pass, as it is extremely easy to miss... ... so I did a complete 360º turn and this time made the AB412 point correctly this time go up the pass... and it is that tight, but still easily flyable and a scenic way into the scenery as the route goes into and takes you straight into the Grindelwald valley. But first to get into the valley you have to climb and climb to over 7500ft to clear a ridge directly in front of you.... ... but it is worth the effort, because once over the ridge then Grindelwald one of the main resorts in the area is then set directly below... .... and directly to your left is the Eiger and that famous north face! We will get closer to the mountain later... Grindelwald First impressions of the mountain range is excellent as the detail is of very high minute quality, this is always what you get with Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini's sceneries, extreme mountain detailing and your not disappointed here. Other points are the custom tree lines are a bit sharp, and not very natural and the lower valley floor grass is a bit plain... I do accept that in Alpine areas that you get these human cleared areas around the sides of mountain ranges, but the long valley lines are usually more blended in as the tree lines filter out as you go higher... There is also a fictional grass runway airport Grindelwald (LSGW) with a single H helipad and it works in here very well... .... views of the Alps are magnificent from here, with all the 4,000m peaks that surround you. Grindelwald The township of Grindelwald is very well done, note the extreme elevations that are required to place the custom objects, it is hard to do so many and get them correct.... Town centre detail is excellent, you do however need your "Texture" quality set as high as you can go. I am using "Maximum" here and just get away with the detail, anything less though does suffer blurring. The authentic "Swiss" feel is here, and although all the sceneries textures not extremely detailed in object or ground textures, you can definitely get that totally realistic visual ground aspect of the town and the views of the mountains... in other words "It works". Railway (Tram) station is the visual highlight. Grindelwald valley Grindelwald is the largest township in the scenery, so any departure has a lot of interesting points, the town centre and bus park station are standouts... Once past the township you head straight down the tight valley... lets look at where we are going. Basically it a wishbone layout, with Interlaken at the top, the Grindelwald Valley the right bone and the Lauterbrunnen Valley the left bone and the Eiger is centre south. The Grindelwald Valley villages of Burglauenen, Lütschental and Gündlischwand are all represented... .... mountain texture detail is excellent, again I will note I am set on the "Max" texture quality and not the "No Compression" setting, but it is still very good detail... I do find the valley floor a bit just a matt texture and not photographic and it does seem slightly odd against the high quality mountain textures, its okay, but it is noticeable as well, even the default X-Plane textures have a more sporadic mottling effect than this plain feel and look you have here. You are finding that you are rolling the aircraft side to side down the passage with no straight line flying, but it is exhilarating flying as well. At Gündlischwand it is the corner point of the wishbone and the mountain face and the scale of Männlichen is excellent... ... Interlaken is to your right. Now you are in the Lauterbrunnen valley of which you could say is the main street in the scenery. To note that in reality the scenery here is classed as higher and lower, as Villages and Townships are not all positioned on the Valley floor, so if you come in low and down in the Lauterbrunnen valley you can actually fly right past all the settlements set up high on top of the ridges and plateaus above you. Lauterbrunnen Flying into Lauterbrunnen and the extreme Staubbachfall Wasserfall (waterfall) is to your right and modelled in the scenery (there are several famous waterfalls in here). Like at Grindelwald there is another (identical) fictional grass runway airport Lauterbrunnen (LSLB)... .... and sitting low here on the valley floor at Lauterbrunnen the views are amazing. There is one H pad by the tennis court but it is not registered, and there is also a company Heli pad station called "Air Glaciares" (LSXL) that is positioned more closer to the township... and there are two H pads set here, but only the one in LSXL that is registered and noted, but the outer other H pad is more accessible for approaches. In reality Lauterbrunnen is a servicing town for the area and the higher up resorts, so the main highlight is the rail station and huge servicing carpark. Wengen, Murren and Gimmelwald Higher second tier towns are positioned above Lauterbrunnen, and directly above and slightly to the east is Wengen... Wengen's beautiful township is very well done, lovely rack rail station is very authentic...both churches in the unorthodox Wengen church and the famous British St Bernards are also represented.... The helipad (HEWE) is very hard to find as it is set behind the cable car station and surrounded by hotels, hard too approach into as well... so you will earn your salary flying into Wengen. oh.. and watch out for those cable car wires from the cable station as they are lethal? The other end of those cable car wires go high up to the station at Männlichen... there is a H helipad up here as well (HEMN) and a great view of the Eiger. Directly but further down and across the Lauterbrunnen valley is Murren, which is a very tricky one. For one I flew past Murren three times as couldn't find it? It is there but higher still and directly up above Lauterbrunnen... so you fly almost and straight up a cliff wall for 5, 600 ft to the elevation. The landing pad (HEMR) is right and almost on the cliff edge... great! well not so great. Coming over the edge the wind gusts were horrible, full left rudder was required and that was just to stop myself twirling into oblivion, the AB412 shook with the strain, the gusts came ,then went, came again and you are seriously fighting the machine... the wind sock was simply twirling uselessly on it's base! ... and you will find this a lot up here, as seemingly easy pad approaches are suddenly turned into a survival fights to survive or to not mangle yourself into either the ground or the side of the mountain. I gave myself a lap around the village for that precise landing... okay my living room, but it was a very well earned "yahoo". It is very easy to get Murren mixed up with Gimmelwald which a bit further down the valley but set far lower than Murren... I eyeballed Gimmelwald several times, but there is no landing pad. There is another H pad (HESC) on the Valley floor at Stechelberg, before the Lauterbrunnen valley starts to run out... Stechelberg is just really a cable car site with a coach park. Kander Neve Following up the inner reaches of the Lauterbrunnen valley it is a visual wonderland... but it is also a sort of a dead end, unless you climb up and over to... ... the Kander Neve Glacier, and it is an excellent visual and well done reproduction of the glacier. You can also seriously get lost up here as there are loads of nooks and crannys that will attract your attention, and before you know it it, it is very easy to get lost, in fact any exploring of these excellent valleys and peaks requires careful navigation so you know where you are and more importantly how to get back, and more so important is that if you don't run out of fuel... But to alight and take it all in is well worth the effort... What I think that is outstanding is that you have these excellent Hi-Def textures of the custom scenery, but they still fit in very well with the standard surrounding mesh, so there are no nasty boundaries or standout blocks of either separate areas.... Schilthorn and Brig If you were born of a certain inclination and saw the Moon Landing live, in my case I was 13 years old, then something else significant happened in 1969... You went and saw a new James Bond movie.... in this case it was the excellent (still my all time favorite even without Mr Connery) that was "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". Remember I am 13 years old, and the film had a Aston Martin's DBS (the original), that bobsled action, nice title music, lots of gorgeous women doing lovely things and killing the masses at the same time for the evil Blofield, a love scene, baddies, more baddies, and Diana Rigg.... did I mention Diana Rigg!. Of the other main action pieces was of a helicopter attack on the evil Blofield's liar up on a mountain side somewhere in the Alps? That mountain was the Schilthorn 2970m and the lair was situated at Piz Gloria.... Now I was going there. Murren is a good staging point to Piz Gloria, as it is just west and just above Gimmelwald and Murren at 9,700 ft... look to the right and slightly up and there is the 007 liar, the baddies liar! It is a real restaurant, it was before the film, but certainly more famous now for the exposure of fame, the bathrooms here are 007 themed and are supposed to be the best bathrooms in the world, shaken and not stirred... The modeling certainly lives up the expectations, obviously there is already a Piz Gloria model in X-Plane, but not with the Hi-Def surrounding textures for better authenticity... There is a heli H pad (HERG) and it can again be very gusty up here. At least there is no one shooting at me... so Blofield and cat must be away! Brig is a staging post for the chairlifts to the peak of Brig and for the next stage up to Piz Gloria. You have to careful on the landing pad H (HEBG) as you are close to the building with the blades... Klein-Scheidegg and Jungfraujoch The highlight of the scenery is the important mountain pass settlement of Klein-Scheidegg (Little Scheidegg) 2,061 m (6,762 ft). In reality Klein-Scheidegg is a transfer station for both cable car and twin rack railways including the Wengernalp Railway that meet here at the elaborate railway station. The Iconic historic Hotel Bellevue des Alpes that dates back to 1840 is also positioned here.... It is the most celebrated mountain passe in the Swiss Alps because of its position just north of the point where the Bernese Alps makes a salient angle, whose apex is the Eiger, and the climax of the Eiger and Mönch, the Jungfrau mountain chain that forms a massive wall called the Jungfrau Region. All the mountains in the region are represented in the scenery with in line the Wetterhorn (Mittelhorn) 3704m, Schreckhorn 4,078 m, Eiger 3,967m, Mönch 4107m and Junfrau 4158m.... The Breithorn, Tschingelhorn and Gspaltenhorn are also represented. Klein-Scheidegg is directly above and to the right of Grindelwald, but you can also come up and over from the Lauterbrunnen valley.... It is an incredible alpine setting and extremely well done here. The rack railway station is lovely and authentic, but again you need the full texture setting to get the very most out of the excellent detail. In the earn your paypacket theory then Klein-Scheidegg is another really tricky one. So again you will usually eyeball the best approach in, because the H Pad is buried in and besides the railway station... in reality there is only one way in and that is from the east, as the elevations ruin any other approach... It looks actually easy, but again the high winds create chaos, get close to the edge and your wobbling and fighting the rudder pedals, my aim was a straight in nose approach, what I could only achieve was a sideways blustery approach, but it worked.... .... then dropping closer to the ground you have to be highly aware of the rail station on your left.... ... and you then needed a white stick to see the pad itself as you can't really manoeuvre into another approach angle. But you make it work.... and let out that held in too long breath, yes I am breathing again. Part of the trick is to using the station as your visual guide in, the microwave antenna tower is also a good angle visual point. The view however is worth the effort as you get the classic images of the Eiger from the Hotel Bellevue des Alpes. The hotel is a movie star as well with the Clint Eastward "Eiger Sanction" (1975) and the highly recommended 2008 film "North Face", about Toni Kurz and Andreas Hinterstoisser's 1936 attempt to climb the Eiger's north face... and so also look for the two climbers on the Eiger's north face.... yes it is the intrepid developers of Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini climbing their own creation (they are real life climbers as well). Jungfraujoch Set up on the ridge or as it's called a "Saddle" between the peaks of the Mönch and Junfrau is an amazing location... it is the Jungfraujoch or the "Top of Europe".... this time you have to climb (almost straight up) a whopping 11,800ft (offically 3,454 metres (11,332 ft)) to get an eye level of the structure... There are several panoramic restaurants and a post office. Several tunnels lead outside, where secured hiking trails on the crevassed glacier can be followed, in particular to the Mönchsjoch Hut. Also part of the complex is the The Sphinx Observatory, which is one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world, provides an additional viewing platform at a height of 3,572 metres (11,719 ft). The Jungfraujoch radio relay station, which is not accessible to the public, is installed just west of the Jungfraujoch on the Jungfrau ridge. It is Europe's highest radio relay station. Jungfraujoch is accessible to tourists by the rack rail Jungfrau line, a railway from Interlaken and Kleine Scheidegg and it took 16 years to build it. And yes you guessed right, landing here on the H Pad (HEJF) is again not easy, but the views of the Aletsch glacier is certainly worth the effort. The Eiger mountain itself is highly impressive in detail... DEM data is used, and further corrected with 3D graphics programs. Subsequently the textures were applied, even in part in 4K, that were taken from high definition photos. The positioning on the modified meshes is extremely accurate, respecting the dimensions and the main morphological characteristics of the terrain. The only aspect is that the mountain is of course north faced, so it it hard to get the sunlight directly on the face, it gives the Eiger character but also a lot of shadow.... but the full Jungfrau Region is certainly spectacular in it's overall complete design here. Time to move away from the central core of the Eiger 3D scenery... hopping off the Jungfraujoch H pad is damn dangerous as the blustery winds can catch you and throw you easily into the mountain side..... .... there is a trick in going into the wind's direction and not fighting it, and then loop around to your wanted course. You can then actually freeball directly down to Interlaken, but if you don't control the 10,000ft fall you will simply fly right over the township and bucket the elevation on the other side... ... this is harder to to than it looks and requires great helicopter control, but the elevator car ride is worth it.... once down to 3000 ft you loop backwards and head back up the Lauterbrunnen valley. Note the missing default scenery of Interlaken Airport (ICAO: LSMI) which was a former military airbase... .... X-Plane's Global airports does have a very nice LSMI (as it does the noted Meiringen LSMM), but you can't insert it without the WED airport messing up the custom mesh... that is a shame because it looks excellent (can anyone fix this - hint!)... You are now going back up the Lauterbrunnen valley to a "Swiss Helicopters" Heliport located in Gsteigwiler H (ICAO: LSXG) that is located just inside the valley's entrance (arrowed below right)... ... although quite a large heilcopter facility it can be easily missed, and it is tricky to approach with the high trees set out out around it, the best approach is from the west... There are four H pads here with only one registered (LSXG) but the other three are highly usable and accessable. This helibase is certainly a very nice and highly authentic Swiss style base to work directly the all mountains pads and the passenger services from. This is the last of the Eiger 3D scenery's custom H Pads... but what a way to end the selections. Nightlighting If you already use anyone of Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini's sceneries you will know what you are going to feel at night.... most sceneries are villages with village lighting, and as most flying is not done at night, and certainly not here in the Bernese Alps, as the canyon valleys will always get you. So mostly then this lighting is just for looking at than actually using and it is very nice... Grindelwald In Grindelwald you have the most lighting because it is the largest town. Custom buildings window lighting is very good and nicely varied... don't expect a huge amount of lighting detail however, but overall it works fine in reflecting a Swiss town or village at night... .... the town squares are lovely and it all feels very authentic. Klein-Scheidegg At Klein-Scheidegg it was always going to be the focus point of the scenery at night, and it does not disappoint... .... the railway station is lovely and nicely authentic, and a nice place to be at night with the looming Eiger out there in the dark. Wengen Over at Wengen it is very similar to Klein-Scheidegg and it has that lovely aged Swiss feel and rail station... Lauterbrunnen The Staubbachfall Wasserfall at Lauterbrunnen is visible at night, but the effect is actually wrong because the whole cliff face and waterfall are illuminated (look's spectacular) and not just the waters streaming, so the effect here does not work and it looks just eeie or plain weird. Center terminus and carpark are well lit as is the Air Glaciares Heli base. Gsteigwiler The larger "Swiss Helicopters" Heliport at Gsteigwiler is excellent, and it is a nice place to work down on the well lit pad apron after a hard day in the mountains or a dawn readiness for the coming days work. Overall the lighting very good, but you come here or any of these sceneries in the series for the views, dawn or twilight visuals of the mountains when X-Plane turns on the light show it can be stupendous.... nothing can match a few moments just watching the light rise or fade over the mountain scapes.... Interlaken and Thun Because there is custom mesh and as noted at the head of this review it kills the default autogen. Fabio Bellini has re-engineered the autogen to work on the custom mesh... and to be honest it is exactly the same as the built in autogen, but you certainly see the reason it had to be returned to fill in the scenery and create a seemless join between the custom and standard X-Plane mesh.... Because of copyright issues you have to download and install the autogen data separately (link below), it is very easy with just a cut and paste in the Eiger_Mesh Earth Nav Data, but essential for the scenery to work correctly. Now Interlaken is a full (again) a visual feast (I saw it without the autogen and it looked awful or blank), head away up the Thunersee and Spiez is on your right and finally Thun is situated at the end of the lake.... Guess where the autogen join is... there isn't one, and as you pull away from the Eiger 3D scenery the panorama of the Bernese Alps are still highly visible in the distance and a brilliant visual addition to X-Plane... of course you can reverse this route and see this Bernese Alps vista going in as well. And a big note here to the excellent Agusta Bell AB512 from X-Trident, this was a tough review and the machine was a worthy tool in doing some really difficult flying.... Summary This is the fifth panoramic scenery from the Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini duo of specialist iconic mountain vistas, it is all about the scenery here as an addition to your X-Plane experience, but it is also has to be considered as a highly defined detailed quality to be believed and explore. Is this their best scenery yet? In most cases yes, in scale no, as Everest 3D was a larger and more huge expanse of detail, but in internal detail and the sheer number of interactions you can have with this scenery it is a far more immersive simulation and certainly when twinned with the mirror Matterhorn 3D scenery you can now also cover a large expanse of the Swiss alpine region. It is in the immersive factor for that you can get so much out of this scenery, as there are over there are 11 selectable H Pads and many added none registered H Pads as well and two fictional airports at Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. Obviously this all a helicopters pilot's dream simulation, but the two grass strips also allow some very light aircraft flying as well, extreme pads at Piz Gloria (Bond 007) and Jungfraujoch just add into the superlative flying you can do in this area... but be warned it can get quite hairy with very windy conditions and in needing a lot of skill to land or takeoff at the many different locations. All the mountains in the famous Jungfrau (Top of Europe) Range including the famous "North Face" of the Eiger are all very highly crafted here, so are the surrounding exceptional glaciers. All towns and villages in the Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen valleys are also fully created with custom objects and all the items create a very Swiss feel, the elevated iconic towns of Wengen, Murren, Gimmelwald and the focus terminus of Klein-Scheidegg are all well represented and well done. Considering the sheer amount of experience and the detail of the mountain mesh and textures, it felt odd the valley floor textures were just simple green matts, fine close up but a bit false and conflicting with the high detail surrounding in textures, the custom tree lines are also too blocky and you can see where they have been applied, yes Swiss land areas do have clean cleared blocks of land and trees, but in areas the boundary lines here are just too obvious... no notes in if or when winter textures would be added. These 3D scenery packs or parks are an excellent addition to your X-Plane experience, but this Eiger 3D is certainly the best package yet from Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini, because it is the most accessible and more immersive, yes helicopter flying is a requirement here to get the best total return from the scenery, but it also brings out the very best in what simulation flying can bring to your total experience and at great value as well, overall it is a majestic area to fly around and savour, seriously challenging flying as well and for any well invested X-Plane pilot, you can't ask for any more than that.... Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Eiger Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Eiger Park 3D Price Is US$24.95 Features: about 500 square kilometers of territory covered in this package Airports and Heliports Two virtual airports are included with a grass runway: in Grindelwald (about 800 meters long) and Lauterbrunnen (700 meters) 10 heliports located in areas of naturalistic and tourist interest. All the villages in the area have been reconstructed in 3D with about 70 types of buildings typical of area, as well as many buildings reproduced from real (hotels, stations, churches ...) All the ski lifts have also been rebuilt (16). The railway stations in the area are very detailed (Kleine-Scheidegg, grindelwald, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen) The Eiger reproduced in 3D with 4K texture of the North Face. For the Monch and the Jungfrau, polygons / textures have been positioned that reproduce the real color (summer season). The whole area is covered by polygons / HD textures for a very sharp and accurate view. The whole residential area has night textures. Scenery summer season WT3: Your joking of course! no, you are on your own here, but it works out at Zurich LSZH. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 395Mb Release and Review version 1.0 (17th May 2019) Installation Download scenery file size is download 390.50mb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are seven install folders in order below (INI File included):  SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Eiger/ (26.90mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/CablewayEiger/ (12.10mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/Grindelwald/ (297.00mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/K_Scheidegg/ (256.20mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/Lauterbrunnen_Wengen/ (377.50mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/Mesh_Eiger/ (130.10mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/trees_lib/ (34.20mb) Total scenery installation : 1.13gb The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct and the Mesh_Eiger must be above the Global Airport folder. Autogen has to be inserted manually... you download the .dsf file here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Av9rxLyBi20agRRXHhZqI12nYt7S You replace the "Mesh_Eiger" Earth Nav Data with the above download... instructions are included. If you already have the Matterhorn Prk 3D scenery then you will also require a patch to run these two sceneries together to avoid conflict, that patch is available here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Av9rxLyBi20agRUuFAuV7Qu44d8k Documents One manual with notes ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 17th May 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Agusta Bell AB512 by X-Trident (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$35.95 - LSZH - Airport Zürich v2 by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$27.99
  11. Scenery Review : 3D Cerro Torre "Los Glaciares" National Park by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini It was not long ago a fabled land, a sort of "Lost World" a mythical story that few human western eyes had seen, but they brought back words of soaring mountains and seas of glaciers, this was a forgotten place at the end of the world. Today even with the current global unchallenging travel the words of Patagonia is still held in some sort of travel reverence that was once once held for Machu Picchu or Indiana Jones. But you can now get there or sort of in or out of the area, and with the courtesy of modern trekking methods... the aircraft. The area of Los Glaciares is heritage protected area in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the west coast and adjacent to Chile in the (disputed) border runs through the centre of the park in South America. The name means " Giant ice cap in the Andes" Los Glaciares National Park, of which 30% is covered by ice, can be divided in two parts, each corresponding with one of the two elongated big lakes partially contained by the park. Lake Argentino, 1,466 km2 (566 sq mi) is to the south and the largest lake in Argentina, while Lake Viedma, 1,100 km2 (420 sq mi), is in the north. Both lakes feed the Santa Cruz River that flows down to the lower part Puerto Santa Cruz on the Atlantic. Between the two halves is a non-touristic zone without lakes called Zona Centro. The northern half consists of part of Viedma Lake, the Viedma Glacier and a few minor glaciers, and a number of mountains very popular among fans of climbing and trekking, including Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre... and it is this area is the focus of the scenery by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini The main access for the (tourist) range El Calafate (SAWC) on the southern side of Lake Argentino and access to the actual resort zone is El Chalten which is on the Argentine side and just up the valley from the Cerro Torre mountain and other significant peaks. The odd thing compared to most of these significant mountaineering areas is that it is a plain on one side of the mountain range, so there is actual very little elevation climbing to be done to get to the El Chalten zone, so most transport into the area is via buses. This scenery provides a "Fictional" airport called SACH at El Chalten and obviously modeled on VNLK - Lukla airport in the Himalayas, it is a short STOL runway with a few obstacles thrown in for good measure to make it all a bit of a challenge. Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini are the specialists of areas of mountainous regions for X-Plane. First there was the "Dolomiti 3D" Scenery, then there was the excellent Matterhorn Park 3D and the superb Everest Park 3D scenery of late last year to top them all out. This 3D Cerro Torre is a smaller scenery than Everest, but the price reflects that as well, but that doesn't say it isn't as spectacular... as this area is one of the most spectacular visual places on Planet Earth. Los Glaciares National Park first Impression Like most travellers I am going to depart from SAWC - El Calafate International Airport. There is no payware SAWC (hint) and the only X-Plane version is an old converted FlightSim modeled airport. I added in a few more objects to make it more usable as a base in the area, but the basics are good enough for what I wanted. SAWC is positioned well away from the actual mesh of the 3d Cerro Torre zone and so that is why the airport was not included with the payware scenery, so the mesh surrounding the airport is also then standard X-Plane mesh. A note that this region is in the weather a very changeable conditions by the minute place as we shall see. 80% of the time the area is covered in cloud or mist and if you use a real time environmental weather plugin the chances are you won't get a clear day, but I got lucky on my fourth day... that is not to say it is not visually stunning with the low cloud conditions, in fact it is the opposite in the surreal vistas it creates... but it makes the flying extremely hazardous as well. My equipment is the Carenado 208B Caravan, it is perfect for this sort of touristy operation. So why start so far away from the scenery. The best of Cerro Torre viewpoints are at 10,000ft and higher, so you have to climb up there, and that takes time and distance. I will note the 10,000ft altitude is the safest minimum requirement, even 8,000ft can put you eyeball to rock faces or peaks. The long lake in Lake Argentino gives you the room to complete the climb to altitude and also with complete safety. There are loads of large lakes set out around the area, and they are great safe areas to descend through low dense cloud without hitting anything, once under the low ceiling you are back in visual control again... today it is clear with a long visiblity, but as I mentioned these conditions are more rare than the usual. Once at the 10,000 altitude and at the western end of Lake Argentino you turn north and head directly towards one of the largest glaciers in the world with the Upsala Glacier... if you continue west you will find more famous glaciers like the (falling ice into the sea) Perito Moreno Glacier and Spegazzini Glacier. The views are already spectacular, with the "top of the world" or "on another planet" sort of feeling. The actual 3D Cerro Torre mesh starts about here and covers the full Cerro Torre group range and the main significant iconic mountains are situated about in the middle. You could say this is the rear of Cerro Torre, but the huge Monte Fitz Roy (also known as Cerro Chaltén) is bigger in size at 3,405 m (11,171 ft), Cerro Torre is 3,128 m (10,262 ft)... but it is in it's unusual almost spiky shape that it is renowned for by climbers. The aircraft views are out of this world.... The high quality 3D Cerro Torre range modeling is according to the DEM data (digital elevation model) which are are further elaborated with many structural details. Many textures are like with all Dainese and Bellini sceneries based on 4K (4096x4096) extreme quality images.  Yes the Cerro Torre and the Fitz Roy are the centre point of the scenery, but the rest of the range is just as impressive. Turning east shows the huge scale of the Upsala Glacier, only one glacier in Greenland is bigger (discounting Antarctica). In the confines of the 208B you feel the scale and the beauty of it all... vistas like these expand X-Plane to to travel to other worlds and the best most picturesque places are available on your desktop, so you can explore but also understand the earth we live on in a sort of 3D visual way. On the eastern side is the valley of the Rio de las Vueltas, with El Chaltén the main settlement... but your eyes are for the moment is too the west. These are granite shaft towers and other peaks including the Torre Egger 9,350 feet (2,689 meters), Punta Herron 9,022 feet (ca. 2,750 meters) and Aguja Standhart 8,858 feet (ca. 2,700 meters) stand next to with the other two iconic mountains. For a moment the Fitz Roy blocks out everything, then finally all the peaks are revealed... The Cerro Terro is the first shaft peak on the left, the summit looks like a phillips screwdriver head but it is actually a mushroom of rime ice. Cesare Maestri claimed in 1959 that he and Toni Egger had reached the summit and that Egger had been swept to his death by an avalanche while they were descending. Maestri declared that Egger had been lost with the camera containing all the pictures of the summit. (dubious). Maestri went back to Cerro Torre in 1970 with Ezio Alimonta, Daniele Angeli, Claudio Baldessarri, Carlo Claus and Pietro Vidi, trying a new route on the southeast face. With the aid of a gas-powered compressor drill, Maestri equipped 350 metres (1,150 ft) of rock with bolts and got to the end of the rocky part of the mountain, just below the ice mushroom.(even more dubious)... but still no summit. The route Maestri followed is now known as the Compressor route and was climbed to the summit in 1979 by Jim Bridwell and Steve Brewer. Most parties consider the ascent complete only if they summit the often-difficult ice-rime mushroom.The first undisputed ascent was made in 1974 by the "Ragni di Lecco" climbers Daniele Chiappa, Mario Conti, Casimiro Ferrari, and Pino Negri. (wikipedia) Once past the formation it is time to descend down to SACH at El Chalten. The safest way down as I mentioned is again to use the lake, in this case Viedma Lake which is to your left. Almost all the flying around this area is totally VFR, the navigation map on any aircraft is useless with absolutely no markers or waypoints or any significant points of reference for flightplans or flightpaths. So it is all eyeballs or nothing... oh and skill helps. Once you are down to an altitude (for me 3,000ft) it was time to do a 180º turn straight back up Viedma Lake... .... obviously if you are flying out from SACH at El Chalten then you can climb up to altitude on Viedma Lake in reverse. El Chalten Your focus is now on looking for the Rio de las Vueltas estuary on the left, and the entrance to El Chalten. It is quite easy to see. The Cerro Torre group peaks are spectacular in the distance. El Chalten (SACH) does not exist, so don't go looking for charts or anything, and the one runway is 13/31 and is at 1322 ft (MSL). ILS... in your dreams. Once you find the estuary you just follow the eastern side of it, and the line of the las Vueltas river is your line directly into El Chalten... the gap you are looking for is small (arrowed). You have to watch your height because as you get closer then the terrain does step slightly upwards, and if are too low, then you will find your height will very quickly diminish, but you can't come in too high either as we shall see. As you fly through the gap there is a bluff to the right, and SACH is a bit farther to the right just beyond the bluff (arrowed). So you going to have to fly an S curve to line up to RWY 31 correctly. Height, speed and position is crucial in getting the best approach line into RWY 31... it is far harder than it looks. Getting you final approach height is as noted is crucial in getting down correctly, the runway at 755 meters does give you room, but you don't have any space options if you get it wrong, the only way out is a hard climb-out. This is a STOL airport and the right aircraft can make the difference here, The 208B struggles a little, as you seem to come in too high and fast, even just above the stall speed of 61 knts (the 208B is XP11 but not yet XP11.30)... but it can be done. It is extremely challenging, I never attempted RWY 13, as it looks just too challenging for a clean approach, but give it a go... There is that VNLK - Lukla feel at SACH without the extreme slope, but as a creation (fabrication?) it is really good. There is two taxi lines into five parking stands (A helicopter pad is located here as well- HCTN), the single stand is very nice, but the clover leaf parking design is a bit misleading in that if you follow the yellow parking line it actually creates the box, and not with you within it? There are two other helipads; HCTS - El Chalten Heliport-South and HCBCT - El Chalten Heliport-South Base Camp Cerro Torre. As an experience then the flight from SAWC - El Calafate and landing at El Chalten (SACH) is excellent and very challenging... "experience" is the the right word in more ways than one, as it requires great flying skills as well. Before we look at the details of the El Chalten area, this flight was done in clear weather, but mostly the weather around here is like this... It is spectacular, but also extremely dangerous... the low cloud density is thick and heavy, and you hope there is nothing hidden in there to fly in to... ... but this flying is also extremely realistic, but you will have to study your flying profile and maps to make sure the flight path is inch perfect, and all VFR.... as noted the lakes are a great leveler. Flying conditions around these regions are very combustible, downdrafts, up drafts, gusty winds are the norm not the exception, I found an odd area just on the approach to RWY 31 at SACH that did really strange things to the Caravan, the trick is too survive them... it is all in the fun, well at times no! SACH - El Chalten It is strip... or a small runway or access to a tourist resort... The SACH airport is not detailed, detailed per se, because there is no real replication of the facilities here... The idea is actually very well done, if they wanted to insert an airfield into El Chalten then this arrangement would be a good layout, but I wonder if the 13 approach would pass the regulation requirements? I think the boundaries could have been made a bit more realistic, and better blended into the mesh as the lines are a bit to harsh, the fence helps the illusion. Main stand area are the noted four stands with the front in line single parking behind, the Helipad (HTCN) is mid-field rear. One big factor is that the feel on the ground works, it does feel and look real from that perspective, and that is the most important aspect of any scenery. There is a lot of 3D people and airport objects to give the airport a working feel... but slightly more realistic textures linage to show no go zones and such would have lifted it from the normal. Runway textures are standard. Terminal is basic with a built in rooftop control tower, but the textures are well thought out for local area character. Three hangars include one custom and two semi-military style designs, they all look good with nice detail and not just easy to place default hangars. Microwave and communication towers add in realism. Welcome sign adds a little local flavour... El Chalten The El Chalten township has been nicely recreated, and with more care than the recent Zermatt layout... ... is the township walkable... well it is and a very nice walk you will get exploring it... but there is limited moving traffic. All custom homes, churches and industrial holdings are all not from the "A few objects and replicated" mantra, but you really get a lot of diversity here and some nice designs, even if most textures are flat on a box variety. All the electrical and phone lines are set out and so overall it is really well done with some lovely detailing. The famous yellow "Rancho Grande Hostel" is fully replicated here and as well done as is the extravagantly named "Destino Sur Hotel & Spa de Montaña, Restaurante" is situated next door. Just outside the actual township is the famous "Chorillo waterfalls" and they have been replicated here to the north, and is a great addition to fill the scenic vista of the area... ... also featured is the "Estancia la Quinta" resort to the south, with the YPF gas distributor at the entrance to the valley.  Lighting The El Chalten nightlighting is very good as well... all buildings are well lit and the township doesn't have that total dark village in a remote area feel. There is a lot of little lit details like the Total Service Station and church signs, and the streets are nice lit by lamps. Airport lighting is not at all bad. The terminal is nicely lit, but mostly it is all downlighting.... .... ramp areas are nicely lit, and feel good on the ground at night. But a few area lighting towers are a bit dubiously positioned that close to a working runway. Cerro Torre Group The famous Cerro Torre Group range from the ground view is just up the valley (or valleys) to the west of 4. All the iconic National Geographic angles are shown here, just add in your own selfie to complete the trek. You can here admire the rockface detail up close and how excellent the work from Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini really is, they are the masters of this sort of mountain range creation and authenticity of the formations. I have added in my local map route so you can follow the route in the images, and the return leg back to SWAC - El Calafate of which I took the route back down the northern Lago San Martin lake system... there are certainly far quicker ways back to SWAC, but not as a nice visual route to relax by. Here are a few images of the nice return trip to SWAC images, note the weather. On takeoff from RWY 31 just don't forget to kink left to miss the bluff! Summary This "3D Cerro Torre' is the fourth mountain range scenery from Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini of which they are specialists in creating perfectly recreated famous mountain range vistas. Not in scale or as large as their past sceneries it is not however not missing any of the spectacular elements that you expect from flying in these sorts of incredible areas. This area is the famed (or fabled) Patagonia area of South America on the border of both Chile and Argentina. Words like "Spectacular" and "Experience" are all of the package, but even though all the visual vistas are outstanding it is in the other elements like flying conditions and the weather that can test your skills to high level as well. The tourist hub of El Chalten for the Cerro Torre range is also well recreated here, with a even a walkabout simulation available and a "Fictional" airport (SACH) is also well positioned to test out you flying skill levels and give you a flying in-out aspect of using El Chalten as a flying hub. This is not an over detailed airport scenery, but certainly a realistic and well thought out one. The quality of the Cerro Torre range at a high density modified mesh is very accurate, and recreating the dimensions and the main morphological terrain features of the mountains. But the Cerro Torre (3128 meters 10262 ft) also the Fitz Roy (3405 meters 11171 ft.) mountains are the focal point of the scenery, and they really both deliver in the huge sense of scale and realism. But the whole area and vistas including the massive Upsala Glacier... and Perito Moreno Glacier and Spegazzini Glacier creates a significant area just waiting to be explored and marvelled at. What are the elements of great simulation flying. Certainly great viewpoints and areas to be explored outside of your normal environs, but also to deliver challenging flying conditions and also fine tune your flying skills to a higher level, and this "Cerro Torre" is a scenery you will never be bored with because it delivers those aspects very highly on the scale of both of those crucial simulation elements. The "Los Glaciares National Park" is a glorious place to fly around and enjoy, and this 3D Cerro Torre scenery delivers the full Patagonian experience to you to enjoy... Highly Recommended! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Cerro Torre Los Glaciares 3D National Park by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Cerro Torre Los Glaciares 3D National Park Price Is US$22.95 Features 3D Cerro Torre includes a territory about 500 square kilometers located in the Patagonia South, on border between Argentina and Chile, but in Argentine territory. In addition to Cerro Torre (3128 meters 10262 ft) also the Fitz Roy (3405 meters 11171 ft.). Airport and Heliports The virtual El Chalten airport has a runway of about 800 meters. and an Apron area with 4 parking sites. Equipped with hangar and control tower, it is located in the east area of El Chalten, on the edge and near the Rio de las Vueltas. For those who want the approach to landing 3-10 miles, I recommend using the runway start on 31, from the south. The approach from North is much more complicated. Heliports some landing pads have been inserted in the most important points of the scenery, normally located in residential areas, and in the area the Base Camp at Cerro Torre. El Chalten has been completely rebuilt with 3D buildings models, and although they are simplified, they are well recognizable. Some of these have been faithfully reproduced based on photos. The 2 main mountains of area have been reconstructed with 3D models. DEM data was used and further corrected with 3D graphics programs. Later the textures were applied, mostly HD, taken from high definition pictures. The positioning on the modified mesh was very accurate, respecting the dimensions and the main morphological terrain features. The Cerro Torre (3128 meters, 10 262 ft.) Has been practically rebuilt from scratch, using the many pictures and descriptions available, in fact the basic meshes, even the most detailed ones are practically blank on the vertical walls. WT3: Your joking of course! no, you are on your own here. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimu - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Release and Review version 1.0 (1st March 2019) Installation Download scenery file size is download 413.70mb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are four install folders in order (INI File included):  trees_lib (41mb) Mesh_Cerro_Torre (147.80mb) EL_Chalten_Scenery (416mb) 3D_Cerro_Torre (81.40mb) Total scenery installation : 686.30mb The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... and that the "LMML_JustSim_2_v1.0 (Mesh)" is below the Airport and overlay files, but above the Global Airport folder. Documents One manual with notes ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 1st March 2019 Copyright©2019 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - 208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Careando (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$34.95 - SAWC - El Calafate Intl Airport by awall86 (X-Plane.Org) - Free (note this scenery was updated with objects for the review by the author) 
  12. Scenery Review : Everest Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini All my life there has been a connection to a mountain, and it is the largest and most formidable piece of rock on the planet. The mountain is Mount Everest or Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा) and in Tibetan it is noted as Chomolungma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ). The monolith straggles both the borders of Tibet and China and dominates the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The mountain's full height is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft), but that estimate changes from year to year, but extremely seriously high is close enough. As I was born in the United Kingdom in the 50's then the conquest of the mountain in 1953, with a ninth British expedition led by John Hunt was a national empire success story. Hunt selected two climbing pairs as then as the first pair failed just 100m from the summit, it was the second pairing of the New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepali Sherpa climber that the feat was finally successful when they reached the summit at 11:30 local time on 29 May 1953 via the South Col route. With this conquest it was rallied and celebrated thoughout my childhood, so you couldn't really ignore the celebration, I knew more about a damn mountain on the other side of the world than my own family sometimes... Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini As in all areas of life then also as in X-Plane it tends to break up teams into specific categories. For the names of Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini it is in the specialist area of mountainous regions. It started with the their excellent "Dolomiti 3D" Scenery, then there was the excellent Matterhorn Park 3D as reviewed earlier this year... now it is the turn of the largest mountain range on earth with the Everest Park 3D scenery. The Everest Park 3D scenery is noted to cover territory of about 1000 square kilometers in the Himalayas along with another eight thousand in a lower resolution and situated along the border between China and Nepal. Other famous mountains included here besides Mt. Everest (8,848m) are the Lhotse (8516), Makalu (8463), Nuptse (7861), Pumori (7161), Ama Dablam (6812), Taboche (6543), Baruntse (7129) ...The scenery area included here is in the degrees +27.086 +27.087 + 28.086 +28.087. Airports and Helipads included are VNLK - Lukla airport, VNSB - Syangboche... Helipads Base of HELK - Lukla, Base of HENB - Namche Baza and coverage of Lukla and Namche Bazar, Everest base camp, Tengboche which is home to an all important Buddhist monastery and Gorak Shep. Noted as well is the Pyramid of the CNR (Italy) at 5050 mt. Laboratory and Observatory in the Khumbu Valley, it is a center of study and medicine on the reactions of the human body at high altitudes. Mount Everest Folklore of my childhood was the trek from Katmandu to the fabled mountain. You walked for three weeks carrying mountain gear along Sunkashi River, then up through the Khumbu Valley via the Dudh Kosi (Kosi River System) with names like Namche Baza and Tengboche then Dingboche and finally the Village of Gorak Shep at 16,942 ft (5,164 m) which was the last stop before reaching the Everest Base Camp. It was treacherous, dangerous and the survival of the fittest and required rest days to acclimatise to the altitude. It was exotic and a world away from today's consumer travel expeditions that make the same trek almost like going to the South of France. It still isn't easy to get to Everest Base Camp, but it is now just a rubbish tip like everywhere else we populate. I have seen Mt.Everest in X-Plane before, I used to route regularly over the area when returning from Shanghai, China to Bahrain on my criss-cross of the globe with my F1 Racing freight in the rear. There are no air routes over the Himalayan area and for a very good reason. Mt. Everest is nearly 29.000ft high, so at 35.000 ft at altitude the mountain's sheer size can be still frighting to be passing only 6000ft below the aircraft's belly, do that in bad weather and it can go seriously wrong, but on a clear day the view was excellent, if to the limited capacity of X-Plane's early standard mesh. But note that FL290... that is a normal flight height on any short main route around the world, say in Europe, and with that aspect in mind you can feel the sheer size of the mountain. The hard part is getting up to that flight level, and that is just to gorp at the mountain. Another aspect is the type of aircraft to use up there in that thin air, A jet is more than capable but it is too fast, and there are not a lot of props with the power to operate in the area, most will use a helicopter, but be aware of the aircraft's limitations at these altitudes, so my choice (quite wisely) was the Carenado Do228. It is a very popular aircraft for this area, and used by all the local operators, but it still has a 7620m (25 000 ft) ceiling and here you are going to use every inch of that. I am going to show the X-Plane local Map of the route, it has to really be all VFR, you could create a FMS route, but I don't think you would have enough waypoints to make it safe, there is a lot of directional changes you will be doing anyway to try to automate the route. I worked out the fuel required by time and distance, I wanted to find the best balance in having more than enough and I ended up with 4500kg or 9900ibs, without the weight of full tanks for safety. But flying into areas like this is a bit like going out over the sea, as once airborne there are limited areas or places to land or to find safety, and that has to be taken into account for margins of error. I dug out a very old VNTK - Kathmandu Tribhuvan Intl. But I have absolutely no idea where it came from? but there is a global airport version built into X-Plane. There is also a rumor that Cami de Bellis also did a VNKT? Even sitting on the apron at VNKT, you can see the Everest 3D Park scenery as the Himalayan range is very visible to the north. VNTK is tricky as well. It sits at 4400ft, but Katmandu is sitting almost like in a crater, and you need to climb almost straight up out of this hole to clear the surrounding walls of mountains, hills are maybe a bit of a stretch, as you need to climb at least 12,000ft straight up in a short distance, I am going to 18,000ft. An early note is you have to choose if you are either going to fly to Everest the mountain, or to VNLK - Lukla at 9,334 ft/2,845m instead because the differences in altitude between the two are quite substantial. So all you do is climb, climb and do more climbing at a steady rate of around 1000fpm. In climbing up higher and higher then the sub-range becomes even more visual, even at this distance it looks very realistic, even against the foreground default mesh. The view out was starting to get exciting, as you felt you were nearing something special.... .... the crawl up to 18.000ft was a slow and steady climb, but finally the gap to Khumbu Valley finally opened up. It can be very hard to find as it looks just like every other valley opening, but a clue is the airport VNPL - Phaplu Airport as it gives you a position to turn north. Once in the valley... you just start climbing again, but now you are targeting 25,000ft. The outside temperature is plummeting as well as you go higher, and already it is below -20º and by the time you get to Everest it will be -40º, and simply that is why you die out there. As soon as you move into the valley then Lukla is on your right far below (arrowed)... Note that distance in altitude? Namche Baza at 3,440m is set higher and not too further down the valley on your left, note the grass/gravel runway that is set above the village. Finally Sagarmatha fills the windscreen. The mountain is very impressive, as it should be, it is biggest block of rock there is on the planet. You are then trying to put every thing into perspective as the detail allows you to do that... The valley floor, the immense Khumbu Icefall... and the twin peaks of Lhotse and Everest itself. ... the area covered is huge and very spectacular. Looking through the aircraft's windows gives you a more high feel of the detail available here. All the scenery is 3D and according to the DEM data (digital elevation model) and further elaborated with many structural details. Many textures (over 40) are based on 4K (4096x4096) extreme quality images. Moving around to the north (Chinese side) and it the visual aspect changes quite significantly, you could call it the "back side of the mountain", it never was as very photographic or dramatic as the Tibetan side, and could be noted as just mountainous. Lhotse (8516) (arrowed below) is right next to Everest, but to the east is Makalu (8463) which is just as dominating as the main attraction. I feel I am just a little too close to the peak of Makalu, but the weather today is fine, but I wouldn't try this in poorer visibility. Heading south again you are looking for the doorway between Tobuche (6543) and Ama Dablam (6812). And with one last look left at Everest I turn back down Khumbu Valley with Ama Dablam just glazing to my left. Moving away from Everest and you are making trails back to Katmandu, there is only one thing to do now... and that is to go all the way down again, and at least it will be far, far faster than when you were clambering and coming up here. Mount Everest Detail Go to ground level and the very familiar images of Mount Everest all start to appear. The Everest Base Camp is reproduced here. I always thought that the base camp always looked like a moonscape, and to an point it does here also.... ... a view of the mountain that many climbers have seen, and know they will be going up there tomorrow. The usual route up was via the Khumbu Icefall or icefield. Which is really a river of deep frozen snow. It was in many ways it still is the most treacherous parts of the ascent, with open crevasses, rock falls and the odd Avalanches. Camp 1 and camp ll are simulated as is camp lll (arrowed), then get up to the South Col and one of the most photographed views in the world comes into view, the aspect is looking east towards Makalu and Baruntse. The South Col is also known as the "Death Zone" or the depletion of oxygen at 8,000m (26,247ft), and many climbers are still here buried in the snow, like Rob Hall from New Zealand who was leading the1996 Mount Everest expedition in which he died trying to save a customer climber. There is another camp called camp IV at the southern pass, and three climbers are sited at the higher Hilary Step... The mountain's detail is exceptional, certainly in the different layers of time built up rock, this is the certainly the most authentic representation you will ever get of Everest, and you can feel every niche of this formidable rock face. It has been hard to assemble the actual rock faces because there is no actual satellite images available, this representation came completely from photographic images. On arrival at the summit you will find that two other climbers have already beaten you to the apex of the mountain... ..... the view up this high is however well worth all the effort. Streaming and falling back to earth, as only you can in X-Plane11.30. VNLK - Lukla airport - Tenzing–Hillary Airport This airport is one of the most famous in the world and easily holds the title of "the most dangerous airport in the world" and the attraction for any simulation is just to take on the "the most dangerous airport in the world"... it is a no brainer there. The strip (if you can call it a strip) was built by the great man himself Sir Edmund Hillary back in 1964, it was only paved in 2001, and so earlier on it was only a gravel strip. The runway 06/24 is 527 m (1,729 ft) × 30 m (98 ft) with a 11.7% gradient, and the airport's elevation is 9,334 ft (2,845 m). It sounds easy but when you see that gradient in stu, then you can see the challenge, add in high winds along the mountain sides and with absolutely no go-around procedures, you have to land or do an early missed approach, once committed, your really committed. Certainly you are restricted to the type of aircraft you can use here and VNLK is accessible only to helicopters and small, fixed-wing, short-takeoff-and-landing aircraft such as the De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter, Dornier Do 228, L-410 Turbolet and Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter. There are only four parking slots at VNLK and space is at a premium, and so the aircraft can get seriously busy at peak Everest trekking periods, then add in the weather factor. Most services are VNKT - Katmandu to VNLK - Lukla, and mostly it is a ferry service, but no doubt a brilliant experience. Fares are USD $161 each way and the flight lasts for 30min, which is a bargain really considering the significance of the route. VNLK - Lukla as scenery has been in X-Plane for some time, but what we are looking at here is an authentic approach and a perfect representation of the runway and it's famous gradient. This aspect is not to taken too lightly as it is incredibly hard to model the scenery perfectly, in other words it needs an expert in mountain modeling to get the modeling right, that to a point it is what you are paying for here, the perfect experience of the hardest airport in the world to land in. The developers do provide a chart for the best approach to RWY 06, and note the altitude numbers carefully, as to get them wrong is not just hitting something really, really hard... but to be in the wrong altitude in being too high or too low to get the correct approach path. I have tried landing at VNLK a few times, and it is incredibly hard to get it right, you are looking for a speck on a mountain side, so a sort of dummy run is always the go if you are flying this challenge for the first time, the advances in the X-Plane simulator help a lot now as well, the aircraft are far better tuned to do what you want the aircraft to do... My choice of Carenado's Do228 was perfect and I recommend it highly with this scenery. Height and speed are obviously critical. Speed is as low as you can get away with, without stalling down into the valley. In the Do228 it is at 70 knts on the red line, full flap. Lukla is 9100ft above sea level, so you need to be just slightly above that at 9300ft... and your aiming for the mountain side on your left to land at VNLK on your right. Once past that outcrop you begin a nice steady approach curve to the right. A critical point to make is that the 06/24 RWY can look flat on approach, but in reality it isn't as it has that 11.7% sloping gradient. That can be useful as well, as you can sort of... if the aircraft positioned correctly use the gradient to come to you, rather than you landing on the ground, bringing up the nose in a slight flare can also help in that effect... I started out with the perfect approach path, but once closer to the runway, the wind was very blustery and I was suddenly fighting the rudder to stay in a straight line... ... this is were the real skill comes in, and it can get very, very tricky. You are holding your breath, almost at stall speed at 60 knts, and fighting the aircraft... then that nice flare that has to be absolutely perfect. A carrier landing, yes absolutely, but with no arrestor wires... Your on the hard stuff but not out of the woods yet... as you have to time perfectly more power and thrust to not only stop the aircraft sliding backwards back down the slope (and off the side of the mountain), but to keep the momentum moving forward perfectly correct as well... ... get that right and now all that thrust is now a liability as you kink over lip to the flat area on the top of the runway. There is not much space between you now and a hard wall! The pro's are amazing to watch on YouTube videos as the get all these sequence of actions perfectly in line to swing right into the small ramp area with four slots. It is very tight squeeze in here, and the poor turning circle that Carenado only allows you at low speeds, means I couldn't do the full 180º parking turn. Note the strong windsock, and up here when the engines are shutdown and the propellers are feathered, they still keep on turning at a high windmilling pace. Tenzing–Hillary Airport तेन्जिङ हिलारी विमानस्थल IATA: LUA - ICAO: VNLK 06/24 - 527m (1,729ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 9,334 ft / 2,845 m The reproduction of Tenzing–Hillary Airport at Lukla is very well done and authentic, but the resolution of the textures are a bit low unless you can run your texture resolution at full settings, and that is tricky, because even if around the airport the textures are quite minimal... there is the huge amount of custom textures covering the actual Everest Park area adjoining. It is the same sort of feel and quality as the Matterhorn scenery, detailed, but not extremely detailed in a walk-around fashion. As a rule Lukla is only a small village, and although a major tourist hub, it is in most cases quite small. The area around the ramp is the most complex, and the airport terminal and ramp is very well done and highly detailed with some great clutter. Note the largest hotel in Lukla is set directly behind the airport terminal. There is a static Do228 set on stand 4, but the rest of the stands are empty for your use. There is a helicopter landing area set just down the runway to the left... ... there is space to land two helios on the top level, and two with a static set on the lower, but there is no set X-Plane H landing pads? The control tower is more of a ramp tower, and in my version the tower view was not set (I has been done for the release version), but the tower is basic, but workable in a Tibetan sort of way. The famous Shangra -La Lodge and cafe is well done at the end of the runway, and the rest of the area is covered with Tibetan housing and small lodges with a lot of shrines thrown in. There is a very alpine feel to the village, but in a good way, but don't look for highly detailed Tibetan housing, it looks good, but it is still basic and well fitted well into the landscape. Lighting at Lukla is very moderate. Obviously night operations are out of the question, but there is a set of green taxiway lights up the runway is you want to have a suicidal try at it. But the lighting does reflect the sort of feel you would have being up here surrounded by the mountains, watching dawn or dusk is a sublime moment, in a feel sort of way the scenery is very good. Namche Baza - VNSB - Syangboche - Tengboche All three areas that cover Namche Baza, VNSB - Syangboche, Tengboche are close together. The village of Namche Baza is by the airstrip of VNSB - Syangboche, which is set out just above with the Khumjung small settlement set out on the flat level just behind. Tengboche and its famous Buddhist monastery is just across the valley further north. Namche Baza is just a typical if very famous Tibetan village and the layout is very similar to Lukla, but thankfully the all important shines were not forgotten. VNSB - Syangboche (IATA: SYH - ICAO: VNSB) Runway 1,312ft - 400m /Elevation AMSL 12,402ft /3,780m is an unpaved runway and is the closest landing strip to the Everest Base Camp, so it is a vital point to deliver to. Most rescue operations are flown from here of the injured or for the required elevation acclimatization. The Hotel/Terminal is basic, and there is a static helicopter and a little clutter to make it a worthwhile stop. Up behind is Khumjung Village and the aptly named "Hotel Everest View"... Again there is sort of alpine feel to the area. Tengboche and its famous Buddhist monastery is across the valley further north. Tengboche and the Tengboche Monastery complex which is built around the village is considered to be the oldest Sherpa celibate monastery in existence. The rebuilt monastery is large and an impressive structure with a camping area in its front and with a number of lodges and shops.Tengboche is surrounded by the ancient mani stones (flat stones inscribed with the mantra, "Om Mane Padme Hum"), prayer flags flying atop the high peaks (flags are flown in 5 colours denoting the five Buddhist elements: earth, wind, fire, water and consciousness. The courtyard and storerooms are large to facilitate the monks' religious rites and activities. The main building has the mandatory Dokhang, the prayer hall, where a large statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is deified. The statue extends to two floors of the monastery and encompasses the "Ser sang lha khang", the first floor shrine room. Sakyamuni Buddha is flanked by Manjushri, the deity of wisdom and Maitreya and of the future Buddha. The scriptures of the Kangyur, the original teachings of the Buddha translated into Tibetan are also part of the sanctum. In small areas set around the scenery are other resting lodges to cover the trek route to the Everest base camp, and these are represented as well. The only thing missing is that plume of icy wind from the peak of Everest... maybe that with the new 11.30 particle effect generator that could, be done as well? even so it is still all very dramatic.... the "Roof of the World". Summary It is a strange feeling... If you have invested in Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini's spectacular sceneries and they are part of your X-Plane scenery, then you get this sort of completeness. No airport, maybe a large city scenery, but not on a scale like this do get that feel your X-Plane world is more complete, fulfilled and realistic. Dolomiti 3D Scenery and the excellent Matterhorn Park 3D scenery covers the Alps, there are few areas like Monument Valley as well that are covered, but this scenery with Everest Park 3D now covers the "Roof of the World" and the Himalayas. The scenery covers territory of about 1000 square kilometers in high detail, and 8000 square kilometers in lower quality detail, and DEM data (digital elevation model) are modeled on 4K (4096x4096) extreme quality images. The results are of course spectacular, but the main thing to remember is that the most important areas are the ones you don't see. Any mesh can be molded to shape, but to get accurate mountain modeling you have to create the actual mountains from scratch, it looks easy... but it isn't and that is what you are investing in here, pure geographical layouts to replicate the real mountainous chains and individual mountains that make up the areas ranges, in other words total realism. Other highlights include the "Most Dangerous Airport in the WORLD" and that is big announcement, but that is what VNLK - Lukla is, and a huge challenge for any X-Plane flyer of distinction, VNSB - Syangboche, Namche Baza, Tengboche and the famous "Everest Base Camp" are all in here if you want to follow the footsteps of some of the greatest climbers that ever climbed. The quality in context is extraordinary, but you will need full resolution texture settings to bring out the best of the textures, if not they look a little low res... One of my journeys in X-Plane has not just been the flying or the learning of different aircraft and their systems. It is also exploring the planet in the many ways that you never expected before... the mountains on the coast of Oman, the sheer beauty and vast expanse of Greenland, the vastness of Australia to the mountains of Afghanistan, sheer beauty all and with high quality mountain ranges like these from Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini' it again brings the scenery of the simulator up to another higher level of realism and immersion... Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Everest Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Everest Park 3D Price Is US$28.95 Features Area Included Everest Park 3D includes a territory of about 1000 square kilometers in the Himalayas along with other eight thousand, on the border between China and Nepal. Other famous mountains include the Lhotse (8516), Makalu (8463), Nuptse (7861), Pumori (7161), Ama Dablam (6812), Taboche (6543), Baruntse (7129). Airports included The Lukla airport (icao VNLK) is considered by the pilots, one of the most difficult especially in the landing phase, the track is just over 500 meters long. and has a significant change in slope in the initial part during take-off (12%). Syangboche (icao VNSB) in clay ground, just over 400 meters long, secondary airport but officially coded. It is located just above the village of Namche Bazar, a mandatory stop for hikers to the Everest base camp. 7 Helipads: inserted in the most important points of the scenery, normally located in residential areas, scattered at various points along the route to the base camp. Ultra-High Definition Scenery Pack The main mountains of the area have been rebuilt with 3D models. DEM data was used and further corrected with 3D graphics programs. Later the textures were applied, mostly in 4K, taken from high definition photos. The positioning on the modified mesh was very accurate, respecting the dimensions and the main morphological characteristics of the terrain.\ Summer only scenery Manual included. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM (absolute minimum) - 4 or 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 500Mb Installation Download scenery file size is 512.10mb. With the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder There are a lot of elements to installing this scenery. And more importantly it has to be installed in the correct order as listed below. The developers have provided with the scenery an INI list to directly insert into your X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... install sizes are noted on each scenery 3D_Everest_Park (407mb) Himalaya_Scenery (249mb) Mesh_Himalaya (236mb) MHimalaya_lib (332mb) Full installation is 1.19gb It is a bit messy in your custom scenery folder, but it is what it is.... Documents 3D_EVEREST_Manual Scenery Features INI_Scenery Configuation ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 30th November 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.26 (tested in X-Plane 11.30b6) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Dornier Do 228 100 HD Series by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$37.95
  13. Scenery Review : Matterhorn Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini had a lot of kudos bestowed upon them for their excellent "Dolomiti 3D" Scenery that covered a very extensive area of the northeast of Italy. It came with a high price as well of €68.00 Euro's which is around US$84.00 that was just a little too much out of my pocket for a review. Their second scenery choice is Zermatt or the breathtaking area around the Matterhorn or the Italian Cervino and thankfully it also comes at a far easier cost on the bank account at around €20 (about US$25). And first I will note that this is a niche scenery. For the helicopter pilot it is seventh heaven, there is a lot to see and a lot areas to fly to around within this scenery and all of it is spectacular. General Aviation pilots also get a look in, but you will need a GA of a bit of power as you need a lot of altitude, but what about service and route pilots? Well yes they can use this scenery as well, but only in a fly over context because it does do one thing and that one thing very well and that is it represents the iconic mountain in reference to the scenery... in other words, is that it looks good from the windows of an aircraft if you are flying over the alps of which I do constantly, and yes I always want to see the Matterhorn as I use it as a reference of my position (going to Milan anyone or Zurich the other way). I personally also have a connection to the scenery. I have been to Zermatt, which is quite a feat from Australia. And unless you are a one percenter, Zermatt is not the easiest place to get to or get out of, but that is also one of its main attractions. In a way it is like a Swiss Disneyland with only walkways and electric carts to get around the village, but the consumerism has also caught up with the place which makes it now more a theme park than ever. But there is something else about Zermatt that is unique. I have traveled to a lot of places within my life but nothing, I mean nothing came close to the spirituality of the area. Nothing can put your life in to perspective more than feeling overwhelmed by the minute of yourself and your life, compared to the shear scale of the mountain and the area... this is the world around you on another scale and a deep history of the area is significant in that you come away from Zermatt a very different person than when you went there... the world for all its crazyness is nothing to the scale of life that is laid out there in front of you by a mountain. A point I will enforce more in the review. Valais, Switzerland - Aosta Valley, Italy As with most major mountain ranges the Alps form a border between two countries, in this case of the position of the Matterhorn it is the canton of Valais, Switzerland and the Aosta Valley in Italy and with its near-symmetrical pyramidal peak in the extended Monte Rosa area of the Pennine Alps, the summit is 4,478 metres (14,692 ft) high, making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe and straddles the border. The four steep faces, rising above the surrounding glaciers, face the four compass points and are split by the Hörnli, Furggen, Leone, and Zmutt ridges. Zermatt is northeast of the Matterhorn in the Matter Valley while Breuil-Cervinia is directly south of the Matterhorn and the Theodul Pass, is the main passage between the two valleys on its north and south sides. Gornergrat is on Gorner Ridge; 3,135 m (10,285 ft)) overlooking the Gorner Glacier. Matterhorn Park 3D The best perspective of the size of this scenery is with the winter textures switched on with the Matterhorn in the centre separating the two valleys... ... the odd thing is that there are no winter textures for this scenery? Only summer textures, but the developers have noted them as "coming later". But if you do a lot of over Alp flying and considering the longer winter seasons lately then it would require the area to be usable of which currently it isn't, so you have to remove the scenery or note the INI to use the Alps with the winter textures. The scenery is better in the summer and certainly looks realistic, but if you do look closely the greener custom textures do note the sceneries placement within the X-Plane landscape. Matterhorn The central aspect of the the mountain itself is obviously the most important element in the scenery, and thankfully the Matterhorn is simply outstanding. One of the developers fortes are doing extremely realistic mountains and uses here DEM (digital elevation model) at 5m/pixel and then further elaborated with many structural details and that makes the Matterhorn overwhelmingly a masterpiece in scenery craftmanship, it is so realistic and with X-Plane11 shadows and textures it is a very believable scenario even when you get very close to the mountain.. Zermatt 5,800 inhabitants live in Zermatt and it is classified as a town even if it looks like a pretty village. At most times of the year Zermatt is crowded well beyond its locals by a factor of three to four, this is a tourist town and a very busy one at that. There are no photo-ortho underlay textures here, but I think that is to the advantage as trying to make orthos match up to the native textures would be a nightmare and one that would be more to a negative than more a positive idea. It also helps in with the framerate factor as well. Framerate is certainly not an issue here, because autogen is almost zero, but you do need your texture quality at total maximum to get decent views of the township and even then a lot of the buildings textures are still a little out of focus in quality, some are really good, but other textures are average. The Catholic Parish church of St. Mauritius is the town's centrepiece and it has been beautifully recreated, the only thing missing are the chimes that rebound around the Matter Valley. In an odd perspective from this side of township as you can't actually see the Matterhorn as the west valley side hides it, that is until you stand outside the church, then the mountain is revealed in all its glory and combined with the bells it is quite a spiritual moment, if even a reverent ethereal point in your life and even then if you are not a devout Catholic either. The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof is the most significant hotel in the town and it is next to the church with the Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis dome building outside. Missing though is the beautiful bronze marmot fountain in front of the museum which is great favorite to everyone especially children. There are however lovely fixtures here though with benches, chairs, umbrellas and flowerbeds all recreated for detail. One significant area has been well created and that is the Friedhof or Zematt's Cemetery. There are some significant tombstones behind the church, but most are laid to rest in the Friedhof. The cemetery is significant because most climbers killed on the mountains around Zermatt and of course the most loss of life is on the Matterhorn itself and four were killed on the way down from on the very first ascent of the mountain. Power of the Friedhof is that the names etched here are not just the ones whom had died over the centuries but I also saw many names that had fallen only months before my arrival, in other words the danger and unpredictability and the sheer power of that mountain is still as monumental as ever... you need to give it respect and the mountain is a far bigger and more powerful thing than you and anyone else. There are two churches in Zermatt and second one up on side of the valley mid-town is the St Peter’s ‘The English Church’ were all the English climbers are buried (mostly Reverands?) but the ‘The English Church’ is not modeled here. Most of the township is made up of hotels or Swiss style apartments for both tourists and locals, and they have been recreated to give the sense of the Swiss environs, and in most cases it works, but there are more brand shops in Zermatt now more than ever. One here that has not been reproduced is the area of your main entry into the Zermatt in the railway station. Yes there is concrete sort of station, but it is not like the one I remember as it was all very clean and very Swiss and it fronted on to a small piazza with the Swiss tourist centre and more of those Swiss branded shops... But more significant was the Co-Op supermarket opposite the railway station which is the main commercial centre in the town called the "Viktoria Centre" and also more importantly missing is the Zermatt terminus for the Gornergrat cog-railway, you can see the tracks? but no terminus, and this is one of the major icons of the town. I can't see how you could miss that one? There is a street called the Chrum in Zermatt and it has still the original climbers huts from the early days, It is a fascinating street to walk down as you see the progress from these basic huts to buildings and their ages are indicated by the size of the windows, as the bigger they are the newer the hut is... and the large flat stones are there to keep the rats out, and here you certainly feel that original Alpine climbing history and the burly men with ropes hung around them as you walk between the these century old pioneering pieces of Zermatt history. Zermatt is a Ski-Resort and the chair-lift system is very well represented. The main ski-house in Zermatt is at the southern point facing the Schwarzsee and this lift is the Zermatt - Furi that can go on to Schwarzsee and also on up to Trockener Steg... ... most chair-lifts are laid out here and the system criss-cross's over the mountains, however once you start to get close to a landing pad, then watch those cables, they are very hard to see and your tail-rotor can easily catch them, and the lifts are not animated which is shame, but there is too many really to be practically possible. The most important area from an X-Plane point of view is of course the "Air Zermatt" helicopter terminal on the west side of the entrance to Zermatt... This significant heliport has been very well reproduced with four H pads for your choosing, the deck is very authentic and the hangar termnial is well done with a animated Swiss flag blowing in the wind. It is tricky to land on though as you get crosswinds coming up the valley. Only service vehicles can enter Zermatt and even then they are restricted. You park up north still in the Matter Valley at Täsch which is basically a huge parking station and railway station called the Matterhorn Terminal Täsch and shuttle trains depart here every 20 minutes to take you into Zermatt. Täsch is modeled very well and there is an grass strip here called "LIZER" for your GA use. But there isn't any grass strip In real Täsch as this is the Golf Course, so it is a virtual airfield created for the scenery. But more oddly there is "real" airfield just out of the Matter Valley called Raron Airport (LSTA). It is a disused Military airfield, but still in use for GA flights and Air Zermatt have a base there? (Jonas Goetz) LSTA would certainly have made a very interesting airport to use, wouldn't it? and also a great addition to the scenery. Gornergrat If you follow the (cog) railway from Zermatt (hard at times because it is covered with trees) you will end up high on the Gorner Ridge at Gornergrat (3,090 m (10,140 ft)). The building was the Kölner Observatorium für SubMillimeter Astronomie KOSMA and before that (until 2005) the Gornergrat Infrared Telescope. But mainly it is a major tourist attraction... and it overlooks the Gorner Glacier and of course one of the best iconic views of the Matterhorn.... spectacular is not the word, it is giddying overwhelmingly view and that is mostly because of the really thin air up here. The main Observatory is done really well, but the iconic castle style rail-station is missing as is the large viewing platform next to it? and the railway line just stops mid-stones. The mesh doesn't match well here either with fine grade on one side and low-res textures on another, so it all feels and looks like a bit of an afterthought. Breuil-Cervinia Interestingly the Italian side of the Matterhorn has a better view of the mountain than Zermatt, but Breuil-Cervinia in the Aosta Valley is a far smaller ski resort and more a village than a township. The Residence President Palace (Hotel) is the most distinct building in Cervinia. It is not badly modeled here but still basic with no external detailed forms but just a curved block, it works but could have been modeled more realistically. The red/white communications tower (watch out for those microwaves) is here as well. The Sainta Mary Queen of Aosta Valley church is well done and prominent in the village. The wooden sculpture at the entrance to Cervinia is there, but it is only basic as the real one is more tree like.Cervinia is a tight set small streetscape village and not as open as denoted here, and like Zermatt not much in the way of consumerism is shown, but there are again nice park benches and flower beds and rubbish bins the Italians never use... Again another Golf Course serves as a grass airport to the south of Cervinia and this one is called "LICER". Flying around Cervinia is highly regulated but Heliski who are based in the village use a really nicely constructed landing pad high on the Via Cristallo (HELBR) (below right) and another temporary pad (HELCV) on the their football pitch central Cervinia Helicopter Pads There are altogether not counting the Zermatt, Täsch and Cervinia helicopter pads there are six other landing sites... HEPLM is Plan Maison with the Hotel Lo Stambecco and ski-lift house (below left). The Refuge Duc des Abruzzes à l'Oriondé (HELOR) Which is a sensational destination at the foot of the Matterhorn (below right). The absolutely amazing HELPR on Plateau-Rosa, and watch those blustery winds as they will easily flip the chopper, and "oh" the look-out for those ski-lift cables as they are really dangerous here as well. On the Swiss side you have LSST Stafelalp (below left) and LSSW Swarzsee (Below right). And the pad at Gornergrat LSEG... There is of course a multitude of small climber huts, refuge buildings and groups of small housings spread out over the mountains and the whole extensive area of the scenery and some are the very early small-windowed huts for climbers to rest or hide from the weather. Lighting Zermatt is a dark place at night with the darkest room I have ever slept in... so dark I couldn't see anything, nothing, ziltch... scary, and I slept over by two hours in the total blackness until somebody woke me up... like I said really scary. But the lighting is actually very good, with nice realistic street lamps and well lit windows, the only bright area is the Tennis Courts center Zermatt. The Zermatterhof Hotel and Catholic Church are also well lit and look very realistic. The warren of streets also looks great and so does the non-reflecting lighting at the Air Zermatt terminal, but only one landing pad is lit... Cervinia is very similar, but with less highlights than Zermatt. And distant lights twinkle here and there from the refuges, ski-lift buildings and hotels surrounding the mountain to complete out the scene. Summary For the investment scenery has a job to do, and in fact it has several jobs to do. One is to reproduce the area or airport that is your destination and be active in the fact you get a realism effect of the place and the area. Another is to create a feeling of that place that you are reproducing and that is quite hard to do, but get it right and you can be transported to that same sensory overload and see the place as it is. Overall X-Plane does a very good job of recreating most of the visual elements of the world, but to get real detail you need to focus on that area and recreate it in a more dynamic way. So mostly this will focus on large and small cities and towns, but also on certain aspects of iconic areas... No doubt the Alps and certainly the very imposing mountain in the Matterhorn deserves such quality treatment. In one way this is just a very visual investment but when it is done this well then it is a worthy one. The Matterhorn is and always will be a visual point of reference if you are flying in this part of Europe, to have the the completeness that this scenery delivers is certainly a major plus point for your simulation flying. For the mountain itself and its visual aspects it is perfect and in that point this Matterhorn Park 3D is exceptional. For the township of Zermatt and village of Cervinia they are very well done, but not walk around visually realistic well done. The central area of the Zermatterhof Hotel and Catholic Church and excellent Friedhof (cemetery) have had a lot of focus and that works extremely well, but other significant and visual VFR points of reference like the rail-piazza and very important Zermatt terminus for the Gornergrat cog-railway is a major oversight if wanting a VFR reference of the town... the smaller English Church is missing as well. The Air Zermatt terminal is very good, but with only one active pad to select from and the Gornergrat observatory feels like an afterthought. Which overall is a shame as a lot of work and thought has gone into this scenery and all the excellent points of helicopter destinations throught-out the scenery are all also nicely done. Textures mostly are a little out of focus in quality, but overall convey the feel of Zermatt. No activity in animations are also noticeable, say with the little electric carts or rail shuttles. The biggest surprise is the missing winter textures? This is a ski resort and with X-Plane now able to switch or MOD winter textures you are now flying in the winter as much of as the summer. But a bigger impact is that users who want the dynamic quality of the scenery from altitude can't use it with winter textures unless you have green patches down there, so this scenery has to be disabled or removed every time you want to fly over the Alps which defeats the purpose really. Certainly Helicopter pilots will get far more out of this scenery than most simulation users, as this scenery is a playground like no other to use the machines to their absolute maximum capabilities. General Aviation users can also marvel at the scenery as well if you have the power and speed to get to a reasonable altitude... even as noted in flying over this scenery heading either to the north or south of Europe then the Matterhorn can fill in your visual reference to the maximum. And not just the mountain, also for smaller elements like the Plateau Rosa Ski station or the Gornergrat observatory as you wouldn't have even looked for them before, but you will next time you fly over the Alps, small details but it all adds in to the experience and realism of flying over a more detailed and dynamic scenery. Overall though this extensive and great value Matterhorn Park 3D does really deliver on the feel and certainly the majesty of the Matterhorn and Zermatt. Look at the images in this review and they are as realistic as many in my photo library and from my point of view a very real reminder of a significant point in my life, once been to the Matterhorn you will never look at your life the same way again, as compared to the sheer scale and undeniable power of the mountain it puts a lot of life's niggles into a whole new perspective as that mountain has been here for a long time, and after you are gone, it will still be there a long time after as well. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Matterhorn Park 3D by Frank Dainese & Fabio Bellini is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Matterhorn Park 3D Price Is €20 (US$24.95) Features Zermatt and Cervinia regions completely rebuilt using a method of positioning polygons-textures, appropriately designed for the characteristics of the territory.(Without the use of orthophotos). The Township of Zermatt and village of Cervinia are built using more than one hundred types of 3D buildings typical of mountain areas. Includes tqo small airfields (Cervinia and Tasch-Zermatt) for short flights with small aircraft. Added 10 more Helipad for take-off / landing helicopters see ICAO codes. IL Matterhorn was reconstructed on a DEM (digital elevation model) at 5m. and subsequently processed. Textures based on 4k (4096x4096) for greater realism. summer only scenery Manual included Requirements X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM (absolute minimum) - 4 or 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Installation Download scenery file size is 645.00mb. With the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder There are a lot of elements to installing this scenery. And more importantly it has to be installed in the correct order. The developers have provided with the scenery a INI list to directly insert into your X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... install sizes are noted on each scenery SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Cableway/ (5.51mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Cervinia/ (131mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Matterhorn/ (132mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Tash/ (26.6mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/3D_Zermatt/ (291mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/MC_Scenery/ (251mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/Mountain_lib/ (475mb) SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/MeshCervino/ (122mb) It is a bit messy in your custom scenery folder, but it is what it is.... ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 15th March 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.10 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - MBB/Kawasaki BK-117 by NilsD (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95