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  1. News! : On Approach Scenery : KRAL Riverside and LA Pack by RD Studios New scenery developers for X-Plane can be a real mixed bunch. Some can be very good but very, very rough around the edges and have not yet really understood the full range of areas you have to cover or learn enough to deliver quality scenery. This is okay if they learn quickly and a... fix up their average efforts, and b... show that learning curve that delivers better and better work as they go along, I mean not everyone is absolutely totally perfect at the start of their developer career and that is even with the best of them. But some developers come very complete straight out of the box, and in this case it is RD Studios or Rising Dawn Studios. His excellent KHAF - Half Moon Bay was exceptional, and I have used the scenery in a half a dozen reviews. So over the last year RD Studios have noted that their next scenery is to be KRAL - Riverside Municipal Airport in the Jurupa Valley east of central Los Angeles. There is a lot of similarities to the first RD Designs KHAF - Half Moon Bay scenery, as in the same type and style of airport, but that is also the main attraction to this new scenery as well... it also comes with a huge bonus as well in that the scenery also delivers an excellent Los Angeles city (downtown) and major iconic landmarks of the this of all famous Californian city, that aspect is worth the purchase alone... So as RD Designs have published over the last year a vast collection of images on the KRAL - Riverside scenery it was worth collecting them all together to see how excellent in detail and ideas this scenery already is. KRAL is certainly a Americana style general aviation airport, but that is a big part of it's charm... Detail is very... well detailed as noted by the real clock. The main terminal is more like a steakhouse, but very authentic and you can see the huge amount of research that has gone into this work, to make it all as authentic as possible. Highlight of the scenery is the freestanding Hangar, there was two hangars originally like this, but the other one has been dismantled. In the KHAF - Half Moon scenery you also had a working hangar, but this one is far more larger and far more easier to work in, perfect actually. Other hangars are also very well and even excessively detailed, and again almost perfect, and again like with KHAF there is a lot of GA hangar parking. Fueling up the tanks at KHAF was excellent and so it is here at Riverside as well, highly realistic. Ground textures were also a highlight at KHAF and so again here they are the same worn surfaces and excellent. Reflective surfaces are a given here as well as KHAF has them already. Verges and desert aridisols are very realistic, realism 101. I loved the signage at KHAF and again here it is top notch stuff, perfect detail with even the labels on the equipment. A joke? No seriously would would be amazed on how many pilots actually forget to lower the gear, this warning is on the approach to RWY27. There is the note from RD Design's that are including a scenario of the airport in that Riverside had a very active role during the Californian Gold Rush in the 1800's. So there is an idea of recreating the airport in that period. But X-Plane can't be used in a historical sense (time shifting which is very "Back to the Future") The idea is to use the FlywithLua script to do the changeover. If this feature makes into the scenery is still very debatable, but it interesting. One of the big features of this scenery is the addon factor of the Los Angeles downtown buildings and major LA iconic landmarks called the "Los Angeles Landmark Pack"... All the major LA Downtown buildings are included, and what a difference this will make to your LA skyline, certainly if you have a LAX running nearby. Griffith Observatory and Capital Records buildings are noted, as is the famous "Hollywood" sign... So this new scenery from RD Design's has all the makings of another brilliant scenery release, as good and even better than KHAF - Half Moon Bay with not only the actual airport but the LA landmark package... No notes yet on a release date from RD Design's but certainly before the middle of the year, this is certainly a must have for any Californian flyer. ______________________________________________________________________ All images are courtesy of RD Designs News by Stephen Dutton 30th April 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)
  2. Scenery Review : KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios Passion, it gets things done. Passion gets things completed even if you can't face another minute of it, overall Passion drives X-Plane. If it is not an aircraft you particularly want to bring to life or a place that is important to you then Passion will get it done. Well KHAF or Half Moon Bay is certainly important to Peter Suranyi of Rising Dawn Studios as he had certainly a lot of passion of the place to bring it to your desktop. KHAF - Eddie Andreini Sr. Airfield is on the coast just over the peninsula and 18 miles (30 km) south from downtown San Francisco which is a public airport in San Mateo County, six miles (9 km) northwest of Half Moon Bay, California. The airport was renamed to Eddie Andreini Sr. Airfield in December, 2015, to commemorate his contributions to the community - he had learnt to fly at Half Moon Bay in 1953, and became an airshow pilot. Sadly, his love for flying eventually became his fate: he died in an airshow crash in 2014, at the age of 77. So lets get straight into a first impression First Impressions I flew in from the south and you could easily pick out the scenery by the prominent Pillar Point Air Force Station. The air station provides radar coverage for Vandenberg AFB space launches and naval operations, there is a museum located there as well. The Pillar Point AFS is part of this KHAF scenery. Once past I did 180º turnback and reduced speed and height to 500ft to get a closer lower flyby look at the airport. From a distance it looks a little barren, but there is in reality not a lot out there as the airport itself is situated on a slight outcrop of land. KHAF is only a small GA airport that does do an air/car show twice a year called Pacific Coast Dream Machines and provides a variety of emergency service and response functions including: Air ambulance and Medevac flights; law enforcement and homeland security patrols and Coast Guard sea-rescue operations. The Pillar Ridge Trailer park is also highly noticeable on the west side as is Princeton by the sea township itself in the background. The airport has only one runway in 12/30 5,000ft (1,524m) long (alt 66ft or 20m) The Pillar Point AFS is always going to be your focus in landing from the north as you can always keep a focus on your current position and line up turn points anywhere in the bay by its prominently positioned radar globes. You can go slightly inland to align directly into RWY30, but the sweet curve of Half Moon Bay also gives you a very perfect slight left down wing trajectory straight into the runway, it is there so why not use it. Princeton by the sea itself is now your focus, there is a harbour with Pillar Point Harbor's huge marina and the town is directly at the end of RWY30. It is a very open space directly on the Pacific Ocean, so it is to be aware of sudden winds that can come out of nowhere as you get closer to the land. Princeton by the sea has a lot of modeling with marine and boating suppliers highly visible as is with on the coast side is the Pillar Ridge Trailer park but the trailers are very close together and colourful. Runway is super wide at 150 ft (46m) so you have plenty of space to adjust to those crosswinds. Runway textures are first rate, great markings and a great realism feel to the ground. There is great 3d grass as well for added realism, but you have to be almost on the ground to see it, but it is very good. The trees are interesting so we will get to them in a moment. Signage is excellent, in fact this pilot information for noise abatement sign at the end of RWY30 is a great marker of where to turn off to the taxiway... ... there are also a lot of container style aircraft hangars or boxes? littered all over the airfield. And I love the way the yellow taxi guidance lines are not actually perfectly straight but have been painted by someone by hand as it weaves around here and there in places. All runway and taxiway textures are ambient-occlusion refined and they look very realistic and worn. You have to be very aware of having the "Draw Parked Aircraft" tickbox on. If it is you get loads on Piaggio pusher aircraft and Cessna Caravans, the scenery comes with static aircraft that you can either show or not, it feels more realistic with the checkbox off as in reality there is not a lot of parked aircraft sitting at the airport, and was well certainly not very full when the google car drove past taking images. This is a pure and simple General Aviation airport, even a small jet feels big here and the stands are too small for one as well. A quick tour past the excellent "Frank Sylvestri Terminal Building" or shack with refreshments provided by 3-Zero Cafe. Once parked I went over my arrival and overall it is a really great scenery to fly into, very interesting with a lot of great features, but there are a couple of odd notes we will get to. KHAF - Half Moon Bay Airport Overview Eddie Andreini Sr. Airfield Half Moon Bay Airport IATA: HAF - ICAO: KHAF - FAA LID: HAF 12/30 5,000ft (1,524m) long ( Alt AMSL 66ft or (20m) On the outset you feel there is not a lot in the scenery, but there is a lot of really nice intimate details when you walk around the place. There are lovely old rusted hangars, and the detailing is quite good. The highlight was always going to be the terminal cum cafe which is very well represented here. My adage is that if you walk around a scenery and it feels like you are actually there then the scenery works from a realism point of view, and that is certainly the point here as I liked walking around KHAF a lot and taking in all the details. A nice little feature is that when the cafe is closed then the blinds come down and open/closed sign on the cafe door changes as well, I like that. Finer small details are well done with a fruit stand across the road and a great worn and rusted fuel depot. Most of the scenery consists of aircraft storage with both modern in container style and older more of the worn style hangaring. They may be not the most visually interesting buildings but it is faithful to the airport, so it works very well. One hangar in 58-9 is for your own use. This hangar is fitted out for you to use and even customise to your own specifications, which is a great feature. There is a lot of options you can do with your hangar including changing the poster on the wall and 10 are provided including B17, Cropduster, F35, Jumbo, Mustang, RD Logo (default), Trainer, US Flag, Yee Haw or you can insert your own image as 1024x512 in dimensions and as a .png file. Other options include seven different metal beam colours, two types of lighting in strip or old fashioned bulbs and a clean or dirty hangar. There is full details on how to change all the different options in the manual, but you do have to overwrite the main scenery files, but RD Designs do make that easy by a folder set up. I used a different way than recommended by using the MOD (JSGME) tool to switch over the files, this way I didn't touch the original files and I could switch them back and to as I wished. You can place your aircraft inside the hangar, but it is quite small. The Bonanza F33 just nicely fitted, but the Phenom... well it just didn't. Other areas to see is a SFPD Police car storage and maintenance area with nice well done mobile cell towers set behind. Surface features All runway and taxiway surfaces are excellent, but more than that they are also reflective, and beautifully so if there is a little rain around. They are quite lovely in the right lighting conditions. Animated Trees and Powerlines One feature that is new to X-Plane is animated trees and powerlines... The 3d trees move in accordance with the current wind speed and close up it is very effective as they swish in the wind, as do the powerlines which you can set at three speeds, none, light and full movement positions. But even if this is a really great feature, I certainly don't like the look of the trees... (boo hiss). It may be the X-Plane11 lighting effects but they don't look not very realistic at all, in that the heavy cross form of the trees that is heavily highlighted and quite badly. I loaded in the extra provided standard 2d trees (above right) and they didn't look much better either? great idea though, but it basically doesn't do what it is supposed to do and that is to look and make the scenery be realistic. The grass is as noted very good when close or on the ground, and fills out the large areas of the scenery. You also have the choice of different grass volumes in density if you are short on performance. Pillar Point and Princeton by the sea The Pillar Point AFS is a big focal point in the scenery, but so also is the Princeton township not to be confused with the Princeton in Colusa County. The great othrophoto ground textures really bring out the Pillar Point landscape with a great fusion of detail as it moves into the sea, the coast line around the scenery is first rate and no doubt the AirForce Station is a real landmark in this scenery. Princeton by the sea is well recreated, but the ground textures are not overly minute, so you get a slightly spotted ground in some areas instead of detail, but it is overall very good. The Pillar Point Marina and Oceano Hotel and Spa is the centre point of the township (manual notes it as the Pacifico Hotel?). Marina is very well done with a lot of detail and static and animated yachts piling the harbour. The Oceano Hotel is really well done and stands out on any RWY30 arrival. The townships buildings themselves are a bit generic, they however show flats and units were as Princeton it is far more industrial and filled with large sheds and shops (boating and marine is big here). Pillar Ridge Trailer park is well represented and detailed. Lighting The lighting effects are a real mixed bag... on the one hand they are really brilliant, but in some areas they are quite basic. This is a daylight hours operational airport and so the lighting at night is always going to be low key. I am sure the lighting is correct, but RWY30 approach is well done, but the RWY12 approach has no end of the runway marker lighting? Airport buildings and field lighting is very good... ... no qualms about that area at all, and the Chevrol Fuel area is a highlight. The scenery also comes with the great feature of the field signage is reflective with the ground, which is excellent. But Princeton by the sea is a bit average? Oceano Hotel lighting is quite bland, and except for some street lighting the township is quite dark, no housing lights or lit signage to bring it alive? Trailer park is far better, but overall the township is quite dull at night. Summary There is no doubt there is a lot of passion felt in this scenery as the developer has had a personal investment and direct involvement with this airport... and it shows via the excellent detail and all the love that has been lavished here. You also have to take into account that this is Rising Dawn's first scenery release and overall it is a really good one with a lot of optional features like the dynamic hangar you can tailor to your own tastes, choices of trees and performance options. Great clever features like animated trees and powerlines, brilliant modern X-Plane11 features for excellent surfaces and lighting and in many areas it is outstanding. But in a few areas it is a little basic. Those trees are certainly great in action, but look very old fashioned in overall context, more X-Plane8 than 11 in distance viewing, which is a shame as they are a focal point and major feature of the scenery. The township is a little a) rushed to finished or not quite b ) thought through. If you look at Beti-x townships like you would then know why? buildings that match the area and are correctly lit with signage, it feels a little rushed or unfinished, the Oceano Hotel and Spa and Marina however are excellent. Overall the KHAF - Half Moon Bay scenery is outstanding if you like these small drop in and fly out scenic airports, the excellent orthophotograpic images are excellent from the air and that makes this scenery a very worthwhile destination. Yes I loved KHAF - Half Moon Bay, great general Aviation scenery with a lot of great clever features, a worthwhile addition to your collection. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KHAF - Half Moon Bay Your Price is US$19.90 Features: Highly detailed rendition of Half Moon Bay Airport Photo scenery coverage of the airport and nearby areas with 0.3-0.6 cm's per pixel High resolution day and night textures Animated 3D trees which sway according to wind strength Ultra detailed pavement and runway markings, with reflections Baked in ambient-occlusion effects Realistic grass, with customizable density Animated powerlines A special night mode on the terminal building Requirements : X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10.5 Windows, Mac and Linux A video card with at least 2GB of dedicated VRAM - 4GB+ VRAM Recommended on X-Plane 11 Current version: 1.2 (Last updated August 25th 2017) Note: X-Plane11 features only work in X-Plane11 Installation : Download scenery file size is 310.90mb. With RD_KHAF_Airport (327.10mb) RD_KHAF_Ortho (170.95mb) In being inserted into your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" Folder Note the "RD_KHAF_Ortho " must be listed in the .INI situated UNDER the "Airport" file to work. I found a (major) conflict with ground textures (Ortho) with Tom Curtis's "Golden Gate+South Bay" scenery, so you can't run both sceneries at the same time... sad. select via the X-Plane "Graphics" menu for "Draw parked aircraft" tickbox off for realism. Extras including hangar customization and performance are created by replacing the original items with the extensively supplied versions. They are supplied in a folder sequence to overwrite the current scenery files (very clever), but I found the JSGME Mod Enabler MOD tool more helpful and quicker. Documents Provided document is a full detailed manual and much included with more information and history: RD_KHAF_Manual ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 27th August 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Piper PA30 Twin Comanche by vFlyteAir (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$29.95 - Review here: Piper PA30 Twin Comanche
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