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  1. Scenery Update : PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska v1.2 by NorthernSkyStudio NorthernSkyStudio released their excellent scenery of PAKT in Ketchikan, Alaska in August 2018. In our review I totally loved the scenery as NorthernSkyStudio is a very good and quality scenery developer... we covered the initial release with a review here; Scenery Preview : PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio. Ketchikan is known as "Alaska's first city" due to its strategic position at the southern tip of the Inside Passage, connecting the Gulf of Alaska to Puget Sound. A vibrant harbour and significant position to thrive on fishing industries, canneries in particular, tourism, government, and forestry. In the release review I had really nothing at all negative to say at all about the PAKT - Ketchikan International airport. As a scenery it is exceptionally well done. Notable is the two-tier layout with the main runway of which is located about 30 feet (9.1 m) higher than the apron further on up the hillside, and the runway is connected between the two areas by two (steep) sloping taxiways in Taxiway A - RWY 29 and Taxiway B - Rwy 11 for departures. The single terminal building was also exceptional in detail and authenticity, as the design is very unique with the huge boxy control tower place above the terminal below. The local native aspects are well done in the terminal's construction and external detail. The main airport sign has also been updated. The only airport comment I did make was that the single AirBridge here is only static... really well done, but you would certainly want to connect to an active walkway if you flew into the airport, the AirBridge is sadly still static in this v1.2 update? We are covering two updates here in this update review in v1.1 and v1.2... and here is the changelog; Version 1.1 -terminal name fixed -more boats added -more city buildings added -USA flag added -cruise ships added Version 1.2 (April 26th 2021) - Taquan sea planes base added - new static models added - few models fixed - windsocks direction fixed - "ground traffic" plugin removed - x-plane native boats added - pier added 95% of my negative comments originally of this were not about the PAKT-Ketchikan International airport scenery as noted. But the viewpoint of the Ketchikan city itself, and most of the these updates are thankfully focused over here. The view from the airport of the Ketchikan city was not great, and not totally realistic either. NorthernSkyStudio has take the approach of using a very highly detailed Ortho-Photo base and then put the 3d objects on the top of the Ortho-photo to make it look realistic. But the big problems with Ortho-photos is that although highly detail, they are always also very flat, so you lose a dimension that can affect the realism factor. They also make the areas look flat, when in reality they are not.. i.e the wharfs situated on the waters edge. In v1.2 (and v1.1) there has been some considerable work done over here to fill in a lot of the negative blank spaces... Ketchikan actually now looks like a more realistic location. Some areas however are still nasty and flat, and worse by being brightly coloured or being directly sited on the water... ... and the unique Newtown colourful neighbourhood and cruise terminal is still also missing, and another note was that the ferry was animated and went across the river from the airport to the city terminals, but currently it is now static? But overall this is a significant step forward in detail. Besides a lot of new actual 3d buildings in the city. The biggest visual changes are both the Taquan Air Sea Plane base... .... there is a nice wooden boarding wharf, with neatly modeled Beaver aircraft moored alongside. The other major visual change is the addition of five cruise ships and two ferries (large and small). NorthernSky is not going to win any design awards for the cruise liners,in being boxy and Lo-Res, but they are welcome and hide what should be a significant cruise port facility. Oddly I still don't get putting in (if default X-Plane objects) yachts, set under full sail in scenery marinas, this is very rarely seen? masts only please for realism. But to note the Ketchikan city vista does now work, but it deserves still more attention. One thing I noticed (it rains a lot here), was the PBR effects that are really excellent here, with amazing highly realistic standing water reflection detail... ... drop the lighting down and it comes alive with perfect reflections... top notch! ____________________________________ Summary It is always nice to go back and see a worthwhile update, of what was already certainly a great scenery by NorthernSky Studios. This is PAKT in Ketchikan, Alaska and the scenery was originally released in August 2018. The original scenery was nearly perfect, but it did have and still does have this single static AirBridge that is still not an active feature. Most of the comments however were of the Ketchikan city area, that was created via flat Ortho-Photo bases with 3d objects placed above, great on detail but not what you could say is realistic. In these two concurrent updates v1.1 and v1.2, a lot of work has been done in the city area with loads of new 3d buildings, to (thankfully) cover more of the flat Ortho images, there is a new Taquan Air Sea Plane base and new cruise liners and ferries, flags and more yachts, a new pier and the windsocks corrected, and that covers the updates. Overall and it is becoming quite realistic, the Ketchikan City still needs a bit more attention to make it still a bit more of an authentic feel of this of all Alaskan Cities... but don't get us wrong, this two-tier airport with great detail and brilliant active effects is a great addition to anyone's collection... certainly the airport deserves a high recommendation and now comes at an even lower value price. ____________________________________ Yes!... PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska v1.2 by NorthernSkyStudio is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska Price is US$18.00 If you have already purchased PAKT-Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio. Then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore Account and download the updated version. Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.1 GB Current version : 1.2 (April 26th 2021) ____________________________________ Scenery Update by Stephen Dutton 7th May 2021 Copyright©2021 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview 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 Release : PHJH- Kapalua Airport, Hawaii by NorthernSkyStudio NorthernSkyStudios has added in another Hawaiian scenery to match in with their already released Molokai and Kalaupapa airports with PHJH- Kapalua Airport. Kapalua Airport (PHJH ), also known as Kapalua–West Maui Airport, is a regional private use airport on the west side of the island of Maui in Hawaii. It is located five nautical miles (6 mi, 9 km) north of Lahaina, in Maui County. Most flights to Kapalua Airport originate from commuter airports on the other Hawaiian islands by commercial commuter services, unscheduled air taxis, and general aviation. Features: The most detailed replica of airport buildings and vehicles High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Compatible with X-Plane 11 features Custom mesh for the airport area (Ortho4XP) All materials created for full PBR Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on all airport buildings High-resolution building textures Custom orthophoto for the airport and surrounding areas World Traffic 3 compatible Compatible with with Ortho4XP and default mesh NorthernSky are doing great little quality scenery at the moment and this Kapalua Airport is not just highly detailed externally, but also internally as well... all at a great value price. Images courtesy NorthernSkyStudios _____________________________________ Yes! PHJH- Kapalua Airport, Hawaii by NorthernSkyStudio is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PHJH- Kapalua Airport, Hawaii Price is US$12.00 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 545 MB Current version : 1.0 (April 19th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 20th April 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
  3. News! - Scenery Updated : Molokai and Kalaupapa airports, Hawaii v2 by NorthernSkyStudio As per a decision in what to review I did a flight back in 2017 of the newly released Molokai and Kalaupapa airports in Hawaii, by NorthernSkyStudios. It wasn't that I was not overly impressed, but the missing aspect was I was not greatly impressed by the ground textures... as a scenery combo it was not that bad, but not that brilliant either? Interesting because as a developer NorthernSkyStudio is very good... but pass over the package I did. So here comes an update to the Hawaiian Islands scenery and this time a very good one it is as well. Molokai Airport Founded in 1927, Molokai Airport (PHMK) is a state-owned, public use airport located six nautical miles (7 mi, 11 km) northwest of Kaunakakai, on the island of Molokai in Maui County, Hawaii, United States. It is the principal airport of the island. As per Federal Aviation Administration records, the airport had 89,468 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2008, 65,984 enplanements in 2009, and 88,688 in 2010. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a non-hub primary commercial service facility. Molokai Airport occupies 288 acres (117 ha) at an elevation of 454 ft (138 m) above mean sea level on the central plateau of the island of Molokai. The airport has two asphalt paved runways that accommodate commuter/air taxi and general aviation activities, as well as some military flights Kalaupapa airport Kalaupapa Airport (PHLU) is a regional public use airport of the state of Hawaii, located on the northern peninsula of the island of Molokai, two nautical miles (4 km) north of Kalaupapa Settlement, in Kalawao County. Most flights to Kalaupapa originate from Molokai Airport or from airports on the other Hawaiian islands by unscheduled air taxis and general aviation. It is also used as a cargo facility carrying goods for Kalaupapa, which has no road access from the rest of Molokai. The airport offers scheduled passenger service from Makani Kai Air, which began providing Essential Air Service (EAS) subsidized scheduled passenger service in January 2012, using two nine-seat Cessna Grand Caravans. As per the Federal Aviation Administration, this airport had 3,206 passenger boardings (enplanements) in calendar year 2007, 3,135 enplanements in 2008, 2,035 in 2009, and 1,217 in 2010. Version 2.0 (April 4th 2021) - new high quality orthophotos for PHMK and PHLU - new terminal model with interior for PHMK - new misc models added - new grass and vegetation - new ground textures But this new updated v2.0 version of Molokai and Kalaupapa is now well worth checking out... the highlight is the excellent terminal interior at Mokokai. Molokai Airport Kalaupapa airport Molokai and Kalaupapa airports, Hawaii v2 by NorthernSkyStudio is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore. Current purchasers can update to v2.1 by going to their X-Plane.OrgStore account and downloading the new v2.1 version. Images courtesy NorthernSkyStudios Interior Images by X-PlaneReviews _____________________________________ Yes! Molokai and Kalaupapa airports, Hawaii v2 by NorthernSkyStudio is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Molokai and Kalaupapa airports, Hawaii Price is US$18.00 (on sale, you save US$2) Main Features include: Highly detailed airport objects and vehicles Custom texture for taxiways, runways and apron Custom surroundings Custom airport lights (you should tune COM1 on 125.7 to turn on landing lights in night time) Compatible with X-Plane 11 features Animated ground vehicles (plugin by Marginal) Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on all models High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures High resolution building textures Excellent night effects Realistic reflections on glass World Traffic 3 compatible ( Ohana airlines now,) Compatible with with all custom and default mesh: default XP11 mesh HD Mesh v3 by AlpilotX US Orthophotos https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/36327-us-orthophotos/&page=16&tab=comments#comment-223275 Ortho4XP terrain Requirements Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 758 MB Current version : 2.0 (April 4th 2021) ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 5th April 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  4. Scenery Preview : PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio If your brief was to create an International airport with limited space and on the side of a steep hill, then certainly PAKT - Ketchikan International Airport, Alaska would be the result. Unique as well with this position is as the airport is located on Gravina Island, just west of Ketchikan itself on the other side of the Tongass Narrows, and passengers must take a seven-minute ferry ride across the water to get to the airport from the town. Around the World War II era until the early 1970s, longer range land plane air service to Ketchikan including flights to Seattle were operated via an old military airfield located approximately 20 air miles to the south on Annette Island. Aircraft operated into the Annette Island Airport (ANN) for flights in the local southeast Alaska area included the Grumman Goose and Catalina PBY with these amphibian aircraft being utilized to link the airport with the Ketchikan Harbor Seaplane Base. The current airport PAKT was opened on August 4, 1973 and was dedicated on the following day. The airport opening was the culmination of an effort by local residents, a 1965 study by the Alaska State Division of Aviation, another study in 1967 choosing the current site on Gravina Island, and land clearing in 1969. One of the first airlines to serve the new airport was Alaska Airlines which inaugurated the first jet service from Seattle to Ketchikan International Airport on August 4, 1973 with a Boeing 720 jetliner. Alaska Air primarily operated Boeing 727-100, 727-200 and 737-200 jetliners (including 737 passenger/cargo Combi aircraft) into the airport before switching to later model Boeing 737 jets. (edited wikipedia). NorthernSkyStudio The first release in scenery for X-Plane by NorthernSkyStudio, was in Hawaii with their Molokai and Kalaupapa airport package. This was a well done package, but quite a small release that would be a great addition to anyone that need's a very good Hawaiian scenery. So here is their next release with the very complex PAKT - Ketchikan International in southern Alaska. My main connection with PAKT - Ketchikan is that is a superb supply airport for CZST Stewart, and the excellent Beti-x scenery that is positioned close by there. So I have over the years toodled back and too to Stewart in mostly Bush, 208 Caravan and the odd GA aircraft from Ketchikan. But that is not using this scenery to anything but it's full potential. The airport is of course positioned central on the famous "Inside Passage" that consists of thousands of islands that are stretched right up the upper west North American continent from Seattle to Glacier Bay, and it is noted as one as THE very best flying areas in the world, for bush pilot and regional flying services. Ketchiken is also on the famous "Milk Run”. The Milk Run are routes that are run daily by Alaska Airlines and Flight 65, starts in Seattle and stops in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg and Juneau before flying on and landing in Anchorage. The opposite route flight, Flight 66, starts in Anchorage and stops in Cordova, Yakutat and Juneau before flying on to Seattle. There used to be B737 Combi aircraft flying on the route, but the last run was completed last year, and the combi's have now all been replaced by three dedicated 737-700 freighters. Ketchikan International Airport IATA: KTN - ICAO: PAKT - FAA LID: KTN 11/29 - 7,500ft (2,286m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 92 ft / 28 m The airport does have a very unique layout with the main runway of which is located about 30 feet (9.1 m) higher than the apron further on up the hillside, and is connected between the two areas by two sloping taxiways in Taxiway A - RWY 29 and Taxiway B - Rwy 11 for departures. From an X-Plane modeling point of view this multi-elevation layout is extremely hard to get right as you can't rely on the initial mesh layouts, so everything has to be modeled to fit. Get it right, like here at this PAKT and it makes for one of the best arrival experiences in X-Plane. To fit aircraft parking areas on a hillside, it requires different parking zones and there are two (another zone looks like a parking area on TWY A but it is large turning or holding area.). The lower, lower zone (above) accessed by TWY C is for all General Aviation parking and it is quite a large area. The upper apron in front of the terminal is the main commercial zone. If International in the broad sense is the general idea, then PAKT is not in the same capability as say like KDEN - Denver or KLAX - Los Angeles. To put that into context it is to say international here is going from the USA into Canada, not to Japan or Europe. So in that context you have one (yes only one) airbridge and only one large stand or two large (B737/A320) parking slots. The (small) international terminal and it's very striking offset control tower is excellent, really well done with even the local carving set out around the building for authenticity, all the areas around the terminal are also very authentic and highly realistic... .... including the ferry connection ramp system landside, which is highly detailed. The Ferry itself "Ken Eichner -2" is also animated and docks on both sides of the Tongass Narrows waterway. On the airport side it perfectly fits into the wharf. Only comment is that the single airbridge is static and not animated, which is a shame as that would have been a big feature for the scenery. Next to the main apron is a commercial apron for local services, in i.e. charter, sightseeing flights, and island hopping. On the apron are four large hangars of which the first "Aero Services" of who is the cargo handler for the airport. All four hangars have been faithfully reconstructed and are simply excellent. Note the excellent grass and foliage, that is done all around here very well. Ground clutter is again excellent, with correctly branded and shaped custom cargo pallets (called cargo Igloos!), ramp aircraft boarding stands and branded baggage trolleys. Static aircraft are also provided with 208 Caravans and Lear Jets and are all also correctly locally branded. Detail is also really well done. With all the correct fencing and airport aids (including the ILS System). Seaplane base is also highly detailed, beautifully done. There is also a tunnel under the runway, a small thing but again great detail. Textures and surfaces are good, but feel a little light in colour and especially with the runway and taxiway A, which both needed to be both slightly darker, and note the excellent steel drainage grids. The odd looking light green colour surrounding the runway and taxiway areas is actually correct, and not a faded poor texture as it must be a coloured concrete mix (I checked). Port of Ketchikan Where as the airport island scenery is excellent, the port area on the other side of the narrows is a mixed bag. The area looks fine from the airport view point, but I feel the issue here is the underlay ortho textures in being far too light (washed out) in colour. The textures are flat around the wharf edges and level with the water and that creates a non-realistic feel? Worse there are a few important buildings missing that in their distinctive style and roof colour looked poor in being flat, and are as well front and centre visually... overall there is that "okay we will stop there, why bother doing any more" sort of feeling. And missing is all the shipping at both here at the port zone and in downtown Ketchikan (cruise shipping) as well and because they would be noticed from the airport on arrival or departure it makes it all look again rather more empty than it needs to be ... ... there is a huge slipway building, but I can't find the same on any maps? but it looks visually very good. The sailboats don't work either? They are all a bit bright and samey... I'm not expecting every one to be different, but a few changed styles would have made it that all the more realistic. Lighting The lighting overall at PAKT is excellent... Approach lighting is fine. The signage though looks totally out of scale... ... the sign looks as big as a Cessna 152? The colour brightness reflection is far to strong as well and not realistic. A shame because the terminal building and ramp lighting is absolutely first rate. So many developers get night lighting textures so wrong? but here they are perfect and highly realistic. Detail lighting including the excellent down lights are very well done... Ketchikan Port side is more simplistic, but fine and still includes nice lighting window textures, so the lighting is very good all over the scenery. WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided with the scenery, and over all they work very well including the hard situation of a taxi and turnaround on the end of RWY 29. But don't expect a lot of traffic here at PAKT as it is pretty quiet operations wise. Preview Notes I was actually pretty surprised by this PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio as it is really very good, even excellent. Quality and detail is very through and there is a lot in this scenery to consider it's worth. And plus Ketchikan as in it's position is a pretty important airport for not only recreating the "Milk Run", but for a base to cover and explore this excellent "Inside Passage" area, as it is a bush pilot, and regional service supreme flying area. There is a lot of excellent work in here, and to say that NorthernSkyStudio is a developer to watch in delivering quality scenery, but there is the odd fumble in here that needs to be watched, but overall from them this is an excellent release. Positives: Great modeling with a very difficult X-Plane terrain (mesh) to recreate. All airport scenery is absolutely top notch, and night lighting is first rate, detail is excellent with the terminal and ferry ramp and ground clutter is branded and well recreated in detail. Negatives: Ketchikan Port feels like a bit of a left over from the main airport scenery, and feels a little half finished, no shipping is a big visual emptiness that shouldn't be? Signage is out of scale to the airport, looks odd at night and the single airbridge is only static. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska by NorthernSkyStudio is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PAKT - Ketchikan International Alaska Price is US$25.00 Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Review version : 1.0 (August 6th 2018) Download Size: 1gb : Install Size 2.29gb Installation is the airport folder must be set above the "terrain" mesh in the .INI order PAKT_Northern_Sky_Studio (2.25gb) PAKT_Terrain_Northern_Sky_Studio (35.80mb) There is optional 2K textures if you run a lower powered computer, but to be honest they are not really needed as there is really nothing around PAKT to overuse your processors, running 4K textures my framerate was well within the 40's to 50's Extras and Documents: Manual in txt PAKT Installation manual ______________________________________________________________________ Preview by Stephen Dutton 13th August 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview 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 11.25r2 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - Default X-plane by Laminar Research
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