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  1. Quick Impression : LIMC - Milano Malpensa XP by Aerosoft What is it about Milano Malpensa in Italy? this nothing to do with the scenery or even X-Plane. I have been looking to do a quick overview of this new scenery release from Aerosoft (via a conversion with Windsock Simulations) and I have had not ONE single day of good weather? It's rained, its been so foggy you can't even see the tails of the aircraft, its always dull, dark and it is still raining and raining? wet, wet, wet says it all... My routing takes me to Italy a lot, I go to mostly LIRF - Rome and for Milan it has always been LIML - Linate, but very rarely do I fly to LIMC-Malpensa. There are several reasons for this, one the LIMC-Malpensa (freeware) that had some really weird green (sickly looking) ground textures, and had bumps in the runway that threw the aircraft off in odd directions, but overall I was not that really endeared to the place unlike Linate of where I have actually been to and truly love. So here is a new LIMC version if still only another FSX conversion that is worth looking at, and even to a point in now using. Milan Malpensa Airport Aeroporto di Milano Malpensa "Città di Milano" IATA: MXP - ICAO: LIMC My very first impression of LIMC-Malpensa was literally a grey fog, with a few airline tails sticking out of the murk. But with a CAVOK clear and you could finally and actually see the airport... and yes it looked far better than the freeware LIMC version, a big step up, but the devil is as usual in the details. My reference towards LIMC-Milan is from the earlier in the year release of Aerosoft's Rome XP. When that scenery was released I thought it was a great disappointment, and a poor conversion of an old FSX/P3D release. But use and time have brought this Rome-LIRF into my routing quite considerably and I now enjoy the scenery quite a lot, and to a point I can see the same form and pattern happening here at LIMC... in similarities they are very much the same in feel and detail, but this LIMC has a slightly more modern feel as we shall see. The dated design of the terminals in the modeling and low-res textures is highly evident, but the detail is in there, but you really miss that HDR realism. The bonus of course is that these airports will run on a lower-res graphic card, but a 6Gb card is still required. There are two terminals or the old one T2 and the new larger International T1. T2 is positioned a fair way from the main terminal and is set out between the 17R-17L thresholds and is now mainly used for the LCC (Low Cost Carrier) services. There are some strange yellow areas which I think is actually grass, again it is all a flashback to old Aerosoft FS design, very odd and they are also poor quality textures? You would have had the same low quality of all the converted buildings including the three main satellite terminals... .... except they were saved by the expert use of the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin (Plugin Required)... custom and branded they are all really well done here at LIMC.... more so because they hide the poor textures. Highlight is the LIMC Control Tower, which is nicely modeled but with some average glass, it is very striking and highly visible... .... tower view is well set and highly usable. WT3 generation from the noted completed ATC ground routes is available, but it is all very average. No flows and only B737/A320 aircraft are visible, no heavies, cargo or regional aircraft are seen. Runway pop-offs are frequent, but a few ground routes work... a poor effort considering the scale of the airport but the ATC routes have been updated in v1.1... however GentlePilot has created a full set of ground routes, flows and stands WT3 Ground Routes LIMC and they are thankfully perfect, I really do wish developers would put more attention into this ATC area, most products this year have been seriously dismal. With aged original photo ground textures, there has been an effort to try to cover them over or fix them... the joins to the default mesh are a bit average with no blending and mostly straight hard angle lines, and all with different style textures, sadly most joins are under the approach paths to each of the runways and that makes them highly noticeable (a note that I am running the misterx6 SFD Global autogen and his new textures).... .... some areas have been just covered with a basic facade texture like the landside the cargo area, and for a payware this is a pretty cheap way to fix an issue and it looks crappy as well. The added east side industrial area has the same (this time grass) facade textures, it is not good over there either. Visually landside it is very good. Yes there are the low-res photo textures and very poor low-res buildings but the ground areas are mostly covered up by 3d vehicles and objects, and good gradient changes and 3d elevation stops it all being a totally flat surface, but the photo textures show up here and there... but overall the areas landside are not to bad. Ground Textures Runway/Taxiway textures are good, but you will need a very high to max texture setting to get the best out of them. ..... landing at LIMC is a good experience overall, but the ground textures do look a bit flat and with no 3d grass that doesn't help either.... Textures are PBR (Physically Based Rendering) active (wet, rain and reflective), but don't have that full wet feel or more a shiny look... they do however bring out the nice texture feel of the asphalt and concrete. Lighting The lighting at LIMC is overall quite sensational... the airport looks excellent from the air. Runway and taxiway lighting is very good, and the apron and landside areas are lit to perfection.... again it is only the really older FSX textures that are the limitations. Bland (blue) and no texture PBR makes them flat, and put a nice shiny aircraft next to them and they look really dull... .... but that is not to take away the experience of landing at LIMC - Malpensa at night, it is a great place to arrive at or to depart from. Feature list is very good, with a lot of dynamic X-Plane11 features provided including the SAM Plugin. Features: Accurate models of all buildings, the tower, and terminals 1 and 2 Apron with exact ground markings Detailed 0.5 m/px ground textures Orthophoto of the airport with the adjacent industrial area Custom vegetation in the surroundings Realistic static aircraft Animated jetways (SAM Plug-in required) Animated docking systems (SAM Plug-in required) First Impressions Finally a decent LIMC-Malpensa for use in X-Plane, and a great companion for the Aerosoft Rome XP scenery. Obviously an older FSX conversion, but the X-Plane11 dynamics have been expertly used here by Windsock to cover most of them up, and in many way successfully, but you still can't hide a decade or more old style modeling and their low-res textures. Great SAM and lighting lifts the experience and overall I know I will use this Italian airport frequently, but I will probably bring an umbrella and raincoat. Contrary are those ancient building modeling and low-res textures, night building textures are also (seriously out of date) and no glass PBR, covering up ground photo or matching it into the default textures is in areas quite average and the ATC routes are not refined but there is a fix for WT3 users. Animation is minimal and non-existent landside (where it is badly needed). Three out of Five stars ☀️☀️☀️⭐⭐ LIMC - Milano Malpensa XP by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore here: Milano Malpensa XP Price is US$29.99 Requirements are: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.6 GB Current and Review version : 1.0 (October 24th 2019) Note version v1.1 fixes: Ortho4xp patch is now included, World Traffic routes added and Extra Animation has been added ________________________________________ Quick Impression by Stephen Dutton 21st November 2019 Copyright©2019: 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)
  2. Scenery Review : EDDF - Aerosoft Airport Frankfurt XP11 From the earliest days of Aerosoft providing scenery to the X-Plane simulator there has been a custom Frankfurt International airport in "Aerosoft - Frankfurt". This scenery was provided free with the introduction of X-Plane10 (X-Plane boxed set "Global Edition") and was made as were a few other Aerosoft airports in being in the default scenery and loaded into X-Plane as part of the main download or any update of the simulator... In other words you got the EDDF scenery if you wanted it or not. At first I was excited to have my first Aerosoft scenery, but over the years in reality I didn't much care for this EDDF or worse I hardly used it. Yes I flew into EDDF a few times (six I think) but mostly I found it missing something. It is still in your custom scenery folder if you want to browse it over, but what you will find is this... By early X-Plane10 standards it is pretty good, so what was my problem? Mostly it was in the way that Aerosoft were at the time not very good at using the intergration between their own ground textures and the X-Plane default textures and creating bands of nothing around the airport scenery... here at EDDF there wasn't actually any custom ground textures but still the empty spaces around the airport didn't use the autogen or the extensive default traffic system to their best advantages, so you always sort of got an airport that was isolated out there like an island feel. The airport buildings themselves are still pretty good, but the lower resolution does show, the scenery surprisingly is also heavy as well on your framerate for so little visually. Many users worked hard to fill in this default EDDF and were very successful for their extensive efforts as the basics are quite good to work with, but in reality you were working to fix something that was compromised in the first place. Overall because of Aerosoft's supreme reputation you expected far, far better so overall you were disappointed in this EDDF even if it was free. EDDF - Aerosoft Frankfurt XP11 So when the X-Plane11 version of EDDF - Frankfurt was released, you were really expecting the older original X-Plane10 scenery just to be updated for the current X-Plane version of X-Plane11. Well I was... ... but this EDDF - Frankfurt is absolutely nothing like the original version, quite simply it is excellent, and yes this scenery has that first time look of the "wow" factor, and I have already done six flights to EDDF and that is more flights to Frankfurt in one week than I have flown to the airport in the last five years. The so called "wow" factor is highlighted by certainly the X-Plane11 dynamics, but also by some other more important reasons which we will cover in this review, but the biggest change is really in the attitude of Aerosoft itself and the approach of the way they are now creating scenery for X-Plane. So let us now do first an overview of EDDF. Frankfurt Airport Flughafen Frankfurt am Main IATA: FRA - ICAO: EDDF 07R/25L - 4,000m (13,123ft) Asphalt 07C/25C - 4,000m (13,123ft) Asphalt 18/36 - 4,000m (13,123ft) Concrete 07L/25R - 2,800m (9,240ft) Concrete Elevation AMSL 364 ft / 111m Your first overview impression is that Frankfurt XP11 is really well now intergrated into X-Plane. The old bland layout setting has been totally wiped, with now the excellent ortho ground textures and well set out trees. One bonus of X-Plane11 is you also get the default German autogen and that looks great as well, but it comes with a big stick... there is a lot of autogen around EDDF (mostly to the north) and at full object settings it can be very heavy on your framerate... if you can run that setting then great for you, but even I had to pull the setting back one notch as shown here. You don't lose too much in the visual sense with the setting down a notch and considering the huge to massive object count in this scenery, the framerate count is very good if not excellent at this setting. The object count is extreme and to the limit, but there is a slight little bit of cheating going on in here as a lot of the buildings are really only quite basic and their textures are so good you don't really notice the square or oblong flat building holding them.... it is clever and never ever really looks that way in the scenery. But where it counts in the design of the terminals and the major significant buildings they are well designed and produced. Frankfurt Terminals Airside the Terminal layout looks quite confusing? But study the design from above and you can work it out. Frankfurt - FRA has two main terminals in Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Obviously T1 is the original FRA terminal and to a point the original terminal is still there but now buried by decades of extensions. More to that fact is that the oldest part of the first terminal in Concourse B has just been completely renovated and Concourse A has been extended for A380 operations and is called A-Plus. Terminal 1 Terminal Mitte (Central Terminal, today known as Terminal 1) was originally divided into three concourses (A, B and C) with 56 gates and an electric baggage handling system. It was first opened to the public on 14 March 1972. Since the 1970's it has spurred off concourses and gates. The layout now is Concourse A and AZ, Concourse B and Concourse C. Concourse B is now the old Central Terminal reconfigured (above) and Concourse A and AZ (below) is to the west and Concourse C to the east. Gate numbering is not sequential and there are 25 gates in Concourse A/Z, 18 gates in Concourse B and 11 gates in Concourse C. Concourse A The new A-Plus (Z) concourse (below) can park category F A380's with gates A54, A58, A62 and A66 with double deck boarding gates. Modeling is excellent, but it is those reflective glass textures that are really the business, this is as real as it is going to get for any simulation... Concourse B The two spread circular arms of concourse B have been remodeled to match the rest of FRA. But the central original Mitte Terminal is still visible amongst all the decades of renovations, the old control tower is like a ships bridge that still looks out over the ramps, even though it is not used any more, and the original terminal glasswork is a transport back into time and another era of aviation, yes it looked liked that to me as a boy... There are two category F gates on each circular arm in B28 and B46... ... and again attention to detail is extraordinary good. Concourse B is very well modeled in blending in the past with the newer elements. Great detail in passenger moving coupling buses as every area is very well populated with ground and ramp equipment, that is very well placed to add in the correct volume of visual equipment without obstructing you when arriving and departing the gate. Concourse C The left arm on arrival into Terminal 1 is the Concourse C. The concourse is a real mixture of old and new, with the older inner gates in a marked contrast to the new category F A380 (yes more) gates in C14 - C16 to the east. The addition of the newer C gates can confuse with the Terminal 2 gates of D and E as the C gates overlap well into the Terminal two area... So if you want a different contrast of a EDDF arrival than the overwhelming mostly glassy modern Germanic architecture then Gates C 1 - C11 will give you more of the original FRA feel, just like the few pockets left of older gates at Heathrow. The contrast between the eras has been well developed here and the newer terminal glass looks so good it is translucent. Terminal 2 Terminal 2, which has a capacity of 15 million passengers a year, was opened in 1994 and is divided into concourses D and E. It is a continuous concourse between the main Terminal 1C and 2D provides direct, but non-public access between the two terminals. It has eight gates with jetways and 34 apron stands for a total of 42 gates. The glass construction of T2 is different from the rest of FRA's terminals, but still very green glassy in design. This is the terminal for the oneworld team of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines and SkyTeam alliances of Aeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Saudia, TAROM and Vietnam Airlines with gates E2 and E5 as category F. All gates have the animated boarding bridges with Safedock A-VDGSs and marshallers on stands, but which ones work and which ones are the eligible gates/stands is not easy to find out as there is so many to check around, the few gates I used were animated and did work well in A24 and B27. There is huge amount of animated traffic as well as this EDDF is a busy place. The traffic tends to queue up a lot, mostly at intersections and parked aircraft, but that just adds into the dynamics of the airport. The Fraport railcars that connects to all the terminals are in there, but not animated. Lufthansa Technik and Fuel Depot Lufthansa'a engineering arm Lufthansa Technik has a very large presence at EDDF. It is set out in two areas with one central north and another larger facility on the south side of the airport (built for the airlines A380's). In the central north there is a very iconic and distinctive maintenance hangar. The buildings construction is excellent with perfect realistic textures, certainly with the concrete roof supports, there is a secondary large maintenance building behind the hangar. Next to the Technik hangar is the airports fuel depot. Not just the actual tanks, but great detailing around them with buildings, pipes, fencing and vehicles... this type of detailing is highly evident right though out this scenery, there so much visual detail that is present and certainly far too much to cover in any detail here in this review, but for noted eye candy you have almost everything you need to fill out all your senses here. Cargo Frankfurt is the second largest cargo hub in Europe after Charles De Gaulle in Paris and the huge facility here is split into two areas with in the north (CargoCity Nord) and in the south (CargoCity Süd). CargoCity Nord is all Lufthansa and is basically two separate ramp areas and is the Lufthansa Cargo headquarters. For the haulers out there then this is the place to work from, it is about as good as it gets and this is the departure point for the interesting Lufthansa Cargo route to Yemelyanovo Airport in Russia. So why fly an MD11F to a freezing cold Russian airport in the absolutely middle of nowhere? To get Russian overflight clearance, that is why. Overall the FRA Nord Cargo area is one of the best in X-Plane with great detail and markings and all the buildings and cargo storage areas are first rate. Far west CargoCity Nord is a multipurpose cargo area with a big FedEx complex, and some small hauler/carrier offices. A note is important here. The main taxiway to "Runway Northwest" 07L/25R cuts through Cargo Nord at intersection N11 to taxiways F then P. This taxiway is so, so easy to miss but then get ready to turn right just past the fuel depot. The Lufthansa Technical Training building (above right) is off this taxiway P as well. EDDF Control Tower Frankfurt's main Control Tower is position central by the A gates and Lufthansa Technik hangar. Modeling of the tower is absolutely first rate, with great detail and excellent glasswork. Finer details include railings, air-conditioners and stairs. Field view is obstructed by the tower elements, but not in a poor way as all the approaches can still be seen clearly. Frankfurt Landside The original Aerosoft Frankfurt scenery (the free one) did have a lot of landside buildings, but they were more generic than attributed to the actual airport skyline. To many the inclusion of these buildings are not the primary aspect of the airport, but to a point they are as important as the actual representations of terminals and airport logistics, in many ways these landside skylines represent the airport as a whole... the wide view so to speak, so if they work well then so does the whole scenery and that aspect is certainly crucial here at FRA. You are not disappointed here in that aspect either. Every significant building or complex has been covered, even the more outer perimeter flat/hi-rise towers are represented. The list of course is huge, from Sheraton Hotels to airport administration buildings they are all here and fully modeled for your enjoyment... but there has to be a catch? Well there is... you can't have a huge object count and not feel it on your framerate, so there has to be a compromise. For smaller mid-sized airports you can do that high object detailing and even down to say park benches or wastebins. But you can't do that in a scenery this large and expansive. Aerosoft's basic textures are very light or a lower resolution than anything else, their argument would be that you really don't see them anyway with the building placement. So the ground textures are mostly low-res and it shows and the ground fill (cars, buses) is light as well, and as noted many of the buildings are quite basic modeling wise, but the good quality textures surrounding them hide that fact. The important aspects are however in there. Like the First Class Reception centre of which most of us earthly beings will never see inside of... and the great modeling of the huge Sheraton Hotel/Frankfurt Airport Centre complex. The most significant building is of course is the 2011 large office building called "The Squaire" (a portmanteau of square and air). It was built on top of the Airport long-distance station and is considered the largest office building in Germany with 140,000 m2 (1,500,000 sq ft) floor area. The main tenants are KPMG and the two Hilton Hotels. And like were it counts with the Squaire, the modeling is absolutely first rate (the glass work is exceptional), and the active traffic (and trains) works well here as part of the scenery that flows under the building. The traffic system is used to great effect also in the far east section of FRA, it is perfectly intergrated and visually very good. LH Sky Chef's Catering and another small cargo hub is positioned here in the east as well. A great addition to the scenery is the Commerzbank-Arena that is situated far east of EDDF, but is significant visually for all eastern approaches. South EDDF The south section of Frankfurt Airport was up until recently the Rhein-Main Air Base. It was closed on the 30 December 2005, as the US Air Force moved then to Ramstein Air Base. This area's history actually goes back even further as it was originally part of a base used as a field for fixed-wing aircraft and in the extreme southern part near Zeppelinheim it served as a base for the Zeppelin rigid airships. This section of Rhein-Main later became the base for the Graf Zeppelin, its sister ship LZ-130, and until 6 May 1937 for the ill-fated Hindenburg. The airships were later dismantled and their huge hangars demolished on 6 May 1940 during the conversion of the base to military use. Most of the airbase has now gone, but a few remnants remain like the Dakota C47 and C-54 Skymaster by the Berlin Airlift Memorial and old gatehouse. A lot of the old expansive airforce base ramp space is good for aircraft storage, but the area is earmarked for Frankfurt's new Terminal 3 complex. The new A380 Lufthansa Technik maintenance hangar is impressive, massive, but the detailing on the other Lufthansa Technik hangar is also excellent. There is an engine test blast fence here as well. Most of the southern area is part maintenance for Condor and Lufthansa Cityline and part CargoCity Süd (South). All south side buildings are covered and the old military tower is now the south ramp tower, it is really another airport on its own without the huge complex the other side of the runways... The old airbase headquarters is now a hotel, and south, south there are factories just placed on the ground, but with no real detail as their only purpose is to fill out the area. Runways The main active runways are the two parallel runways of 07R/25L - 07C/25C. Runway and taxiway textures are first rate if not perfect. Lineage and signage is as expected very good, but it very easy to get lost out here, so study your ground chart. In the right lighting conditions the ground reflections are very good and shows you the great and almost realistic 3d asphalt textures. note the worn to lighter parts of the asphalt... lovely. There is however no famous Aerosoft 3d grass, and it is highly noticeable with the wide flat grass field areas. My guess it was the framerate hit that succumbed us to the loss... but I think we still could have had the choice. Runway 18 is used only for departures south and is great to use with the busy parallel runways of 07R - 07C providing brilliant arrivals vistas... The controversial new 07L/25R is great as well. This runway is used only for arrivals and there is a great Fire Station located on taxiway P. Main highlights here though on 07L/25R are the two aircraft overpasses over the A3 autobahn... who doesn't love an aircraft overpass and certainly when you get a lot of traffic and even trains running under you, and there is one situated on taxiway P... ... and the other overpass is on taxiway P1 far west of the cargo area. WT3 : WorldTraffic3 Aerosoft's EDDF - Frankfurt is fully compatible with all A.I., X-Life and WorldTraffic3 activity. The airport has extensive WED ground routes that are highly modified for activity operations, and for me and throughout this review I have used the WorldTraffic3 plugin. Lately on its airport conversions, Aerosoft have used an excellent X-Plane developer called Omar Mansoor. The differences of the quality and how good a (talented) X-Plane scenery developer can bring to a scenery is no doubt highlighted very well here. The ground routes which were created after WT3's release are simply superb. A run of the route generator creates perfect ground routes for you to use, and if any scenery displays the sheer brilliance of WorldTraffic3 in action is certainly here at EDDF. The images throughout this review speak for themselves. But the highlights are that all cargo areas/flights are fully functional and if you like A380's then you will go to superheavy heaven here... Set your clock to 8.30am Frankfurt time and watch them roll in and out, six A380's leave and two arrive in twenty minutes. And all throughtout the day these aviation monsters arrive and depart from mostly Asia or Lufthansa's departing to America. WT3 on or off is a stark comparison, but the airport will tick over like clockwork if you set the real time AFRE routes... ... and EDDF is always running WT3 busy, busy day or night. But somehow they all land, find and park at a gate. If you want EDDF, then also purchase WT3 as they live together perfectly and go hand in hand. Lighting EDDF's lighting is excellent, and in some areas some of the best night textures you have seen. The airport lighting and the night traffic lighting combines to make any approach exciting. Runway and taxiway lighting is first rate and what you would expect from a major country hub like FRA. But the taxiway signage can be slightly dull, but is realistic. There is nice varied lighting and the ramps do look spectacular with great spot and throw elements. The only areas that are dark and should be lit are between the Hotels/Carparks and Terminal one, it is all in terminal darkness and not lit at all (below right)? Again it is the what you don't see you don't need factor, but it is highly noticeable from anywhere in the air. For the main Terminals and ramp areas you have however the best night building textures and lighting you can get. Signage and windows look excellent and highly realistic... Anyone would welcome an arrival here with these excellent textures, and working on the ramps here is a breeze. Two other highlights are the lovely Lufthansa Technik hangar doors with a nicely lit Control Tower right next to it. And the really well lit beautiful blue the "Squaire" and Sheraton Hotel. Services I could fill two pages of services for EDDF... Lufthansa LH of course dominates everything here but in reality you have everything from LCC's (LCC's mostly park on the South side) and there are stands and ramps for everysize and every type of commercial aircraft you fly. There is a very small area for General Aviation on the south side, but EDDF is all totally commercial and legacy airline operations hub right up to those huge A380's. Cargo is the same with Lufthansa Cargo the main tenant, but there is ramp space and parking areas to use to fly to any haulers destination in any operators aircraft. In other words it is one of the best cargo hubs in the world. Summary Frankfurt EDDF is a huge German Hub and this scenery is just as mammoth in its scale and content. Yes Aerosoft's FRA does have that huge wow factor, but it is in the finer details that makes it really stand out above the crowd. Aerosoft in reality has for years delivered airports of this scale and quality. But the scenery was missing that certain vital element to make them first grade. Here with Omar Mansoor's input and skill, he brings EDDF alive like only X-Plane11 can with ground airport traffic, A-VDGS animated gates, lighting and excellent laid out ground routes, add in the WorldTraffic3 action and you have a blockbuster of a scenery. All the main modeling and 3d work is exceptional as is the landside building fill as well. Detailing and the sheer object count here should bring your computer to its knees, but EDDF doesn't do that because of the lighter ground textures and none overfill in areas that don't require intimate filling just for the sake of having it there. With this size of object count the scenery is excellent on frame rate, but there is still a lot of objects in here and so even I use the one step down of object (graphic) setting to not to ruin all the action... overall the scenery is excellent on frameweight within reason. Building Hi-Resolution textures are some of the very best in the business, in the day or night as is the runway and taxiway textures, signage and layouts. All round Aerosoft's EDDF - Frankfurt is the best future of X-Plane scenery that you will get today. The deal is that it is the most complete scenery in every area of a large commercial airport (not to be compared with a small highly -detailed scaled airport) as sceneries of this size usually come with some sort of compromise, but EDDF doesn't have that compromise, it has everything, and delivers everything you want in a major hub of a scenery. Invest in EDDF and be sure of a lot of use and enjoyment out of this excellent part of your X-Plane flying... If you fly in Europe or fly to Europe then you will need EDDF Airport Frankfurt... it is just as simple as that. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the EDDF - Airport Frankfurt XP11 by Aerosoft is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Frankfurt XP11 Your Price is US$32.99 Features: All 3D objects of the airport area recreated according to the official documents of the Fraport AG Uses advanced XPlane features such as 3D spill lights and glass reflections Animated passenger boarding bridges, Safedock A-VDGSs and marshallers at all eligible gates/stands (using the freely available AutoGate plug-in) Complete taxiway network for use by ATC and AI aircraft Fully compatible with the X-Life plug-in by JARDesign Makes full use of the new ground service vehicles introduced in XPlane 11 Thousands of hand-placed objects such as parked cars and streetlights Road network with animated traffic Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Highly Recommended Installation : Download scenery file size is 134.40mb. With the full installation listed below in your custom scenery folder. Aerosoft_EDDF_1_Parked_Cars (35 kb) Aerosoft_EDDF_2_Roads (23 kb) Aerosoft_EDDF_3_Scenery (499.80mb) Parked Cars and Roads can be turned off to save framerate, but the saving is small. I recommend using the Frankfurt/Main VFR scenery for the Frankfurt city skyline, download link is below. Great visually but no LIT textures at night? Documents Charts_Airport_Frankfurt_XP11 (100 pages) Airport Frankfurt V2.0 XP-11 Version Technical Manual (X-Plane details) Manual_Airport_Frankfurt_XP11 (Aerosoft) WT3 : WorldTraffic3 ground route conversion is absolutely excellent and activity is perfect... Full cargo and lots of A380 activity with real time AFRE arrival and departures... a must have for this scenery! ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 7th December 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 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.05 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 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 Default by Laminar Research (Free with X-Plane11) - Frankfurt/Main VFR - Scenery Packages (v11,v 10, v9) By Günther Kremp (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  3. Scenery Review : EGCC - Manchester XP11 by Aerosoft After breakfast I did the usual bookmark rounds to see what had been released while I was still in the land of sweet dreams and the thoughts of Scarlett Ingrid Johansson doing nice things with me (I'm not married so I can have these thoughts). First up was a new version for X-Plane11 of EGCC - Manchester from Aerosoft... it was going to be a very good day! This scenery staple was originally created by the now split Icarius Studios : Scenery Review : EGCC Manchester Airport by Aerosoft/Icarius. Over the years this excellent Manchester scenery has been one of my absolute staple go to sceneries for not only reviews but also for a lot of my own simulation flying. It is an important scenery to me personally, as I was born only a few miles away just over the Welsh border, but also for the sheer quality of the scenery for realism in the simulator. This X-Plane10 EGCC is also part of my 10 ten best of sceneries in X-Plane.... so yes I like this Aerosoft/Icarius scenery and use it a lot. The Good So an upgrade to X-Plane11 is very welcome and certainly as Aerosoft have now included the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin feature as well... the grin then got a lot bigger. First impressions were good as well... the new underlay and ground textures are nice... EGCC never looked better and looked gorgeous. Some of the original Icarius building modeling is still here, but updated with X-Plane11 dynamic glass reflections and PBR effects... Glass in the ramp and old control towers are now clear... but it all looks strangely odd? Runway and taxiways have PBR reflection dynamics for that wet surface look... and yes I like that wet surface look. ... so all the new ground textures are redone and X-Plane11 and the ground textures now have Full Orbx (TrueEarth) compatibility. The SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin has also been added and obviously it is a very welcome addition... but I am still a little perplexed to see that a lot of the airbridges still however don't match up correctly to the aircraft doorways... some aircraft like the FlightFactor A350 are still well out or even completely out of alignment? The ToLiSS Airbus A319 alignment is slightly too high as well... as these airbridges are manually configured by Stairport Sceneries and don't rely on the developers to do the alignment, which makes the whole point of the out of alignment issue a bit more of a head scratcher. There is also now a "Winter" MOD as well... the winter mode can be used with the various version from winter textures and colour corrections for Orbx sceneries, TerraMaxx with and the JSGME MOD, of which I used here.... ... the MOD works, but there are areas of joins that are (green and sharply) noticeable, trees and many buildings are white... whited out, so they don't look authentic alongside the default winter trees.... but any winter settings are always welcome. The bad and the Really Ugly To this point the new EGCC - Manchester in X-Plane11 form looks very good... but I was realising that the scenery was not showing a lot of the detail that was present on the earlier XP10 version, and then the more I looked at the detail then the more horrified I became in what I saw.... No I ❤️ MCR? (XP10 left, XP11 Right) Yes I know that the ❤️ logo is now a faded mess at EGCC, but I still like it... Taxiway J Blast wall is missing and you have the wrong warehouse design? The "Airport Hotel" pub detail is stripped bare? Oh the pain! "Oh my god what have they done to this scenery!" All the scenery fencing is missing and it is highly noticeable, certainly around the northeastern boundary, where the road networks are completely totally ruined as well... You get better detailed 3d vehicles, but the rest is simply a mess, there is no carpark lighting, no fencing, no entrance gates... well nothing? The quality detailed carparks have been replaced by crap flat versions, and again with no fencing or lighting? Airport approach road networks are totally ruined, they are just now a flat green not anything. Old MCR Control tower is missing the ground radar, the building textures are also different, and have lost their worn decades old feel? The filled in green tower windows look years better than the newer clear versions. The "Runway Visitor Park" has not been spared the murdering either? The Cafe/Museum with the internal Concorde that can now not be seen... all detail here is wiped away. ... no fencing... oh why not!... just let the kiddies play on the taxiways. Engine test area is missing the inner blast fence.... .... and the Runway 05L threshold radar tower is also completely missing.... "but oh who by now really cares anymore!" Lighting Obviously with so much detailed lighting removed, you knew beforehand that the EGCC XP11 lighting would be bad, and it is... (XP10 left and XP11 Right) Even if the lighting is slightly dated in the XP10 version, it is still world's away from the horrible lighting in the XP11 version... lovely lit carparks are rendered into black holes in the XP11 version? Nicely lit motorways are also replaced by a darkness of gloom... Summary Icarius Studios created one of the best loved and highly detailed sceneries of EGCC - Manchester for X-Plane10, this was of course in association (or branding) with Aerosoft. This is the newer X-Plane11 version from Aerosoft. With the upgrade to XP11 comes all the X-Plane11 dynamic features like reflective glass, taxiways and runways. Newer and better ground textures for use with Orbix TrueEarth compatiblity and AI Traffic and World Traffic 3 compatibility. Winter textures that will change with the seasons and of course the current scenery must have in the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin. All very nice. The general idea with an upgraded project, either in an aircraft or scenery. Is that the newer version is usually a big step forward in quality and features than the older version it is replacing in line with the advancement of the simulator.... in most if not all cases that is usually the case or the deal. But this newer X-Plane11 version of replacing the Icarius Studios XP10 version is simply a devastating mess, 60% of the original detail is simply gone, road networks ruined, average modeling and textures, missing elements like radar (and their towers), no fencing, road, street and carpark lighting and all the original quality is now in tatters, file size is now enormous to the detail, Winter textures are over whited. Words like "Epic Fail", "Monstrosity" and any other thesaurus crap you lavish on this scenery is well deserved. God help us if Aerosoft do the same hatchet job on Icarius Studio's other sister scenery in EDIW - Dublin. If you already have the original XP10 EGCC from Icarius then simply don't replace it, you don't need to as you will be installing a far more inferior scenery... I would personally will pay anyone to install the SAM plugin on the XP10 older scenery to have that functionality, the rest shown here is simply not worth bothering with... Aerosoft's EGCC XP11 is certainly NOT Highly Recommended... Just keep the old one! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! EGCC - Manchester XP11 by Aerosoft is Available (sic) from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Manchester XP11 Price Is US$19.99 Features HD ground textures including PBR Custom HDR night lighting Custom static aircrafts HD vegetation Animated service vehicles Animated jetways/VDGS/marshaller (SAM plugin required) Full Orbx compatibility (Orbx TrueEarth required) Compatible with default AI Traffic and World Traffic 3 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current Version: 1.0 (April 2nd 2019) Installation Download scenery file size is download 1.30Gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder at a huge 5.05Gb One folder: Aerosoft - EGCC Manchester Replaces the original three install files: EGCC - Manchester Ground Traffic EGCC Manchester Airport EGCC Manchester Mesh OPTIONS Folder holds "Winter" files. They cover Orbix, TerraMaxx and JSGME MOD Colors + Seasons JSGME Mods SAM - Scenery Animation Manager Plugin - Free, is required for this scenery Documents One manual with notes in English and German  Manual_Airport_Manchester_de-en.pdf ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 3rd April 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 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : SAM Plugin - Free (required) Scenery or Aircraft ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  4. Scenery Review : Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft In the history of monumental stuffups and total ineptitude then the saga of Berlin's Brandenburg Airport "Willy Brandt Airport" is at the top of any infrastructure category list. In that this new airport is the focus of a main European capitol city is even more astounding and that it is also a high performing precision focused country like Germany then the whole idea turns simply into disbelief. But that is exactly what has happened with this new airport for Berlin. Brandenburg was originally It was originally intended to replace both Schönefeld and Berlin Tegel Airport and become the single commercial airport serving Berlin and the surrounding state of Brandenburg (The glorious Tempelhof Airport had already been closed). In reality it was a simple idea, extend outwards the runway and Schönefeld facilities and then close down the older airfield. Start date was in 2006 and the opening of the new "Willy Brandt Airport" was planned in October 2011. Poor construction planning, execution, management, and corruption created a debacle or even a complete fiasco that deems the airport is still not opening until at this point until sometime in 2020 or 2021. The most significant cause for the continuing delays has been the fire protection and alarm system that did not adhere to the construction permit and failed all the mandatory acceptance tests, more delays are encountered in that all the original information screens are all now in need of replacement because they are already out of date, and not one passenger has ever even used them to review their flight details... and that the current airport head is both simultaneously earning a monthly wage and a retirement pension as a former state secretary of the state of Berlin, so there is a situation that is now described as a "scandal" and even potentially illegal shows the deeper ongoing issues. Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft The heading says Aerosoft, but in reality this is a LimeSim scenery with some development (SAM) by Stairport Sceneries. You get with the scenery two options... one use the Schönefeld setup were as Brandenburg is just a sealed of construction site (the real view currently) or use Brandenburg and have a side airport of Schönefeld available. In reality there are two airports as part of the package, both the same quality and both are situated in the scenery. However the switching (manual details) are very ambiguous and confusing on how you switch them over (create a ACTIVATE BER folder and insert the nav-data) but the actual ACTIVATE BER folder already exists with the included nav-data? the default is the Schönefeld setup, so that is the review setup here (can't this airport get anything right?)... anyway I like reality over hypothetical, If you want to use the BER version then you copy the nav-data in the ACTIVATE BER folder and replace it with the nav-data in the main "Earth nav data" folder, and vice-versa if you want to use the SFX version (my guess this is what the manual is actually trying to say?). If using WT3 then it gets a little more messy. In reality you have to generate two sets of ground routes from each location, and then swap them over to the required nav-data of which layout you want to use. The new Brandenburg - BER and Schönefeld - SFX are almost diametrically opposed with SFX slightly to the north, and they both share the older runway 07L/25R Asphalt runway (the darker one) to the newer unused 07R/25L which is concrete. From above the layouts of both airports are very distinct. Earlier and closed in 2007 SFX had another (Northern) runway also called 07L/25R, a few remaining sections can still be seen in the scenery. EDDB - Schönefeld - SFX Before the Berlin wall came down then Schönefeld was the main East German/Berlin airport (Tegal was on the Western side) so Eastern bloc airlines were once a regular visitor and user of the facilities. Schönefeld Airport consists of the four terminals A, B, C, and D. All terminals are located next to each other but have separate landside areas; however they are all connected through a joint airside concourse. Terminal C has no check-in facilities, it is used exclusively for passengers clearing security checks to enter the airside boarding gates. Terminal D was opened in December 2005 due to the rapidly growing passenger numbers. Being nearly identical to Terminal C at Berlin Tegel Airport, it features check-in counters D40–D57, which are mainly used by Ryanair, Condor, Germania, and Norwegian Air Shuttle. It does not feature jet bridges but several walk-boarding stands. In November 2016, the new 4,500 square metres (48,000 sq ft) large arrivals area D2 opened right next to Terminal D but it is noticeable as the newest part on the complex. There are only three airbidges, so mostly at SFX it is stand parking and a lot of the stands are remote. The large Apron 3 is directly in front of the terminals for stands 50-59, and Apron 3a is in front of terminal A for stands 61-65... stands 31-36 & 60 are remote with stands 40-43 far foreground. ... Stands 28, 29 & 30 are just west of the main Apron 3 on Apron 2A. The larger Apron 2 stands 19 -27 is further away off Apron 2A. Directly across the runway on what was the old Schönefeld field layout, but now part of BER is Apron 4 with a large maintenance hangar for Lufthansa Technik.... this area is now designated the "General Aviation" area. Aprons A, D and E are positioned in front and around the new BER terminal complex, but they are only remote storage stands and not currently passenger stands, we will see these when we look at BER. Terminals are noted by their letter, and the large central original is Ter A, with Ter C slightly to the right and Ter D the larger low set building (centre left), Ter B is the corner extension (centre right). All modeling is very good with nice textures, but all the objects are situated on a different scale photo underlay (Usual Aerosoft standard) so the detail is very smudged at ground level and the detail is lost, so there is that object on a flat surface look in most areas... and like that with the carparks and rental parking areas in that they are not defined. Apron fencing is also missing (poor quality anyway) in critical areas which shows a lack of attention to detail... so there is not great airside security here? Apron detail however (thankfully) is very good, as is the glasswork and finer terminal details. The highlight here are the three airbridges, design is excellent with lovely glass. All airbridges are SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) powered (both BER and SFX) and it is extremely well done by Stairport Sceneries. The bridges are well branded and have custom Safedock T2-24 VDGS guidance, if not in use they show the current time. There are a few apron animations (traffic) scurrying about, but nothing really to write home about. Other SFX airport infrastructure is to the west of the aprons, here there is a secondary apron used for cargo (very small) and the older original airport built in 1934 when construction began to build three 800 metres (2,600 ft) long runways to serve the Henschel aircraft plant in Schönefeld. There are two control towers (three including the new one over by Brandenburg), Fire Station and various catering facilities like for GateGourmet and SkyChefs. There are a lot of good custom buildings and a train station outside the actual airport environs, but the poor grainy ground textures defeat any real detail... ... signage is good, and the surrounding German Autogen creates a very viable landscape, as on approach and departure point of views. If in the SFX layout there are some nice bollards that show non-access areas, both around SFX and of course all around the BER terminal, 3D grass is also very good and plentiful. EDDB - Brandenberg - BER In the SFX layout the BER area is deserted and looks very authentic as a newly built but closed airport... ... the full glass BER terminal is excellent, with great detail and great tinted glass, inside the terminal internals are seen, but there is not much detail like seating or shop fronts. SAM detail and branding is again excellent. Gate B15 has a strange ball display set out over the gate access? Must be a reason? The terminal central and detail is very good, with the set out carparks and parking zones... but set in the BER layout is is still the same situation, with no fill internally with 3D vehicles or any items to say the areas are operational, so in both SFX and BER layouts you get the same emptiness feeling. BER infrastructure is good with custom buildings including the twisted observation tower and stand out BAYER sign, again the further out you go the more it is an object on the ground textures than detail, and the maintenance areas are all a little empty. The Waltersdorf shopping complex is to the south-east of EDDB, and it can be seen on both 25R and 25L approaches, it includes an IKEA and Hoffner stores... well done but no detail in say 3D vehicles renders it all a little bland. The autobahn 113 that crosses the same approaches does add in a lot of activity to the airport. BER Control Tower is well done and the default tower view... nice detail includes external stairs and the complex box construction arrangement. Either side of the tower there are two large aprons, with Apron D the main apron for BER terminal parking, the remote Apron E is to the west and both aprons are used currently for aircraft storage parking... ... far further west is a maintenance area with two large maintenance hangars for (now defunct) Air Berlin and Lufthansa Technik, The Lufthansa Technik doors open courtesy of the SAM plugin. Runway and taxiway textures are good, but not over high quality and detailed, yes the newer BER section may not have any use to date, but the runways have still been out in the weather elements for ten years or so, overall they just all a little too clean.... there is also some runway PBR effects for rain or shine in wet conditions. The darker 07L/25R Asphalt runway is a nice contrast to the newer 07R/25L concrete with the joins well done, there is a some nice island detailing as well. The charts (Navigraph) only cover the Schönefeld EDDB areas of the airfield and approach, departure and stand info, so there is none for operation with the BER area if you are using the BER choice of layout. Overall there is not really a lot of difference by switching between the two sections SFX and BER, and I think this is where to a point the scenery needs more development. The biggest issue is if you use WorldTraffic 3 to make sceneries active... currently there are no custom WT3 ground routes, so you have to generate your own and for each section... in the SFX generation it is really quite good, as it works around the Schönefeld takeoff and landing operations, with a bit of static parking over at BER, the AGRE routes work fine as well with LCC carriers EasyJet and RyanAir as the main players. The BER generation is a bit of a mess.... for one it doesn't generate the arrival ground routes, and the population parking is extremely low. Admittedly there are no AGRE routes for BER, but even with the Auto-Gen it still doesn't work... it makes the airport look empty, at least fully occupied working WT3 aircraft on BER would have made some inroads to making the BER layout work and active, so it fails. Lighting The two separate layouts have two different lighting layouts as well.... with SFX active then runway 07L/25R is active, with 07R/25L and taxiways in darkness. With the BER layout then both runways and taxiways are active. SFX BER SFX Terminals There are two different light sources with SFX being bright white and BER being a yellow shade. Schönefeld is very nicely lit and with some great working areas under the lights, and the terminals look good as well... .... The landside is not too bad as the terminals stand out, but you notice the blank bland carparks which are heightened under the lights. An oddity is that apron 3A is under yellow lighting and not the usual white, so it makes the area in front of Terminal B look darker (above)... BER Terminals The emptiness is heightened under the lights of the empty terminal. No doubt great for an arrival effect of the new airports position in the scenery.... .... The contrast to the whiter interior to the yellowish ramps looks great and effective, but the airport looks and feels empty.... very empty. Two highlights are the nicely lit observation tower and Control Tower detailing, but the missing street lighting is a major head scratcher, even if the street lighting effect is present. Summary When you review sceneries then most fit into a category... totally brilliant, excellent, very good, passable and simply crap. But now and again a few come along that you can't fit into a category, because even though they should fit one, in reality they should be totally in another.... and Aerosoft's/LimeSim Berlin - Brandenburg XP certainly fits that category. So what is causing that confusion? All the elements are all here and correct in this scenery to make it an excellent if outstanding scenery, but it falls far short. The modelling and detail is very good and even in parts even excellent, glass and textures are all very good as well and so is the layout, most of the lighting is also very good as well, SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) intergration is first rate, so where does it all fall apart... on the smaller details. We have to live sometimes with very grainy ground textures because they look good from the air, but if you do use them then on the ground then you have to cover them with detail, and that is what is missing here, all the small stuff. Carparks are awful, not detailed, no security fencing, no road side lighting, no 3D vehicles, no airport landside furniture or clutter were they are required and so the emptiness and I am not talking just about the BER area, but overall is very apparent. Switch to the BER from the SFX and the differences are very small, if not worse where WT3 is concerned, in reality with the airport open or not, then switching over should be a transforming event, but instead it is a dud, and not much different than before. The only difference is that you just get another runway and taxiway system to use and not a full working airport... that is if you can work out how to change the airports over in the first place (it is easy when you know how). So how do you approach this scenery. Currently just use SFX Schönefeld because it is very good, and WT3 works fine. If that was the developers intentions then they have achieved it, but what a waste it is in not using BER... to its full capacity. Overall most niggles here can easily be fixed with an extensive update, but in the immediate period then just some decent custom WT3 routes for the BER section would get you out trouble... overall very good, but it could have been totally brilliant. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Berlin-Brandenburg XP by Aerosoft is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Berlin-Brandenburg XP Price Is US$29.99 Features Highly detailed rendition of Berlin Brandenburg International Airport "Willy Brandt" (BER) Includes the older Schönefeld (SXF) airport (north of BER) with the same level of detail Includes two configs to switch between SXF and BER operation Custom animated approach lights (SAM Plugin required) All jetways animated (SAM Plugin required) Numerous dynamic objects like apron vehicles High resolution day and night textures Extensive coverage of over 100 km² with high resolution aerial imagery (0.2-0.4 m/px) Realistic 3D grass and vegetation Ground Layout: End of 2018 Compatible with default AI-Traffic and World Traffic 3 Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimu - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3Gb Current and Review Version : 1.0 (March 5th 2019) Installation Download scenery file size is download 2.91Gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder at a huge 7.29Gb Choice is required on if to use either SFX Schönefeld only (BER is there but not active) or the BER - Brandenburg. Change of the provided nav-data is required for the version you want to use. Limesim - EDDB Berlin Brandenburg Documents One manual with notes in English and German Manual_Airport_Berlin-Brandenburg_XP11_de-en_web.pdf ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 14th 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 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free : SAM Plugin - Free Scenery or Aircraft ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  5. Scenery Review : Faroe Islands XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane Sited almost directly between Norway and Iceland, and 200 miles (320 km) north-northwest off the coast of Scotland is the Faroe Islands. This archipelago area of 18 islands is about 540 square miles (1,400 km2) with a general population of 50,322 and is part of the 1814 Treaty of Kiel that granted Denmark control over the islands, along with the two other Norwegian island possessions of Greenland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands have been a self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark since 1948. In world terms these islands are absolutely nowheresville, and buffeted by the strong winds of the North Atlantic on one side and the cold arctic winds of the Norwegian Sea with a climate that is classifed as subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc) or very windy, wet, cloudy, and cool. Temperatures are usually average to above freezing throughout the year, and it is all so desolate and windswept that there are the only two images that comes to mind when thinking of these groups of windswept rocks, so why would you want to really go there?... then why not, because the Faroe Islands are perfect for everything we love to do in flying simulators. It is a remote destination, it is very challenging flying wise and it is somewhere very different to explore... Faroe has got it all in three and plus with a great name like "Vágar!" that is very Viking in origin, and that makes it all sound like a brilliant destination. (Apple Maps) I will note from the off that the scenery is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, but a very clever one but also hence the requirement of a large download (1.5gb) and the install (2.35gb) of which in reality supply two sets of the same terrain mesh and textures... one for summer and one for winter. They switch depending on the time of the year, so if you want the summer textures then set your calendar to July or August, if you want the winter then set the date to December or January, the best way to switch is via the reload scenery selection in the developers X-Plane menu, also the "Runways Follow Terrain Contours" checkbox needs to be on. As it is currently January at this time of the review my settings are set in the winter mode, but I will show both seasons. First Impressions I started services to the Faroe's with a twin hop... one from EGKK (Gatwick) to EGPH (Edinburgh) and then the second service on to EKVG (Vágar). I am flying FJS Sim's Dash Q400, so I figured I needed an extra service to sharpen up my skills in that I haven't flown the Dashy for a few months and that the approach to EKVG was going to need all of my skills ready and fine tuned for a interesting landing, and certainly my foresight was well founded. Being the dead of winter it was certainly very cold up at FL220 (22,00ft) and the Dashy needed the de-icing switched on to cover the -38º cold air, It was already on my mind what conditions I would have to face when I got to the Faroe's as Scotland was already at it's freezing drizzly best. 40nm out and the start of descent and it didn't look any better as the cloud cover was thick and far to the horizon, once under it was as expected seriously murky... Approach was from the south into EKVG RWY30, there are no VOR stations on Vagar (the island) but only two NDB frequencies in (VAGAR - 348 VG) and (MYGGENAES - 337 MY) close to the airport (there are overall four NDB stations). Both runways have ILS approach systems with RWY 30 (110.30 MF) and RWY 12 (109.10 SF) but to note that RWY 12's ILS is offset to 111º. So with the conditions I picked RWY30. In the murk I finally saw the canyon terrain as you thread your way up the Hestfjørður between the southern part of Streymoy the main island of the Faroes and smaller Hestur Island on the east, on the tracking you go slightly west and the chart notes not to go lower than 4,000ft, with reason. I didn't and went down to 2000ft to help with the visibility to my bad... The next island after Hestur is Koltur and it is all mountain peak and it made it's presence known very quickly within the murk... I judged the height, but it was still very close with the terrain warnings raining over me, next time I will stick with the 4,000ft limit. Once past Koltur then Vagar Airport is directly in front of you on Vagar Island, but again still don't start descending as the terrain is still quite high on the left.... and spectacular it is! and more of a warning if you want to do a short approach and cut around through Vagafjørður to avoid Koltur Island, as you still need that height judgement on the approach. If you have the tools then use them, and ILS glideslope into RWY30 is a good guide, but be very aware if you want then switch over early to do the manual landing phase, as with switching off the Autopilot can then put you in a very tricky place as the side crosswinds across the Vagafjørður are savagely ferocious... I held on, but it could have also gone all seriously wrong and right down to the threshold, as I really had my hands full just keeping the aircraft tracking the centre approach lighting correctly... the charts are noted with a lot of cautions! Just to note this is midday in Vagar as daylight in January from sunrise at 9.41am to sunset at 3.26pm as that is barely six hours of daylight, and it is mostly dull even then. Both runway approaches have RAIL guidance, but to note the runway 12/30 1,799m (5,902ft) on approach looks very short, it isn't but sloped, but I would call it more curved at both ends... Maps2XPlane have done a great job getting it very exact to the the original gradients. Both ends of the 12/30 runway have turnaround areas, but they are both quite small, so watch the tight turning for say a B737/A320... the taxiway in is central runway, so it is a fair taxi back to the turn entrance... the Vágar airport looks however extremely authentic that was created by Albert Ràfols, so I am certainly getting a quality feelback to the scenery, it feels a little like the old Truscenery Tampere-Pirkkala airport, but not quite as detailed. Aerosoft in their manual noted to turn on the "draw parked aircraft" selection in the X-Plane menu, but what appeared was not what I expected, but a Hawaiian A330??? I though that Aerosoft had their own static aircraft library? They do, and obviously it doesn't work... so the HA A330 was quickly banished. I parked at stand 4 in front of the newer opened 17th June 2014 terminal, with the older one to the left and a small cargo facility to the right (Stand 5). Stands 1 and 2 are both turn around stands as 3, 4 and 5 are nose in parking and there are three helicopter pads are available directly in front of the main apron (one has a static aircraft). So the first impressions are overwhelmingly great even if you can't actually see much of the scenery, and even more so with the difficult conditions raging around me, but I would expect that at this time of the year as it is possibly normal, but with the winter effects running it certainly was very realistic in creating that extreme environment (note the weather was created by xEnviro). EKVG - Vágar Airport The airport was built by British Royal Engineers during World War II on the island of Vágar. The site was chosen mainly because it was hard to see from the surrounding waters and the area was hidden from any potential guns of a German warship. The first aircraft landed here in Autumn 1942. Also British engineers had similarly first built Reykjavík Airport in Iceland in 1940, then known as RAF Reykjavik, following the British Occupation of Iceland. After the war, Vágar airfield was abandoned and left unused until 1963 when it was reopened as a civilian airport at the initiative of two Sørvágur residents, Hugo Fjørðoy and Lars Larsen. The two worked with the Icelandic airline Icelandair which began the scheduled flights to Bergan, Copenhagen and Glasgow using a DC-3 aircraft (Just think flying around here in a DC-3! good god). In 1964 a separate airline, Faroe Airways, operated flights, The company ceased operating on 28 September 1967. In 1971, Icelandair was then operating Boeing 727-100 jetliners into the airport with weekly nonstop services to Glasgow and Reykjavik. In 1988, Atlantic Airways was formed and flying British Aerospace BAe 146-200 jet services nonstop to Copenhagen. Until 2004 Maersk Air also operated flights into the airport. Maersk Air flew Boeing 737-500 jetliners into the airport with services to Copenhagen, with aircraft's short airfield performance of the British Aerospace BAe 146-200 which was the best type until the runway was extended on 3rd December 2011. Atlantic Airways is now the only Faroe airline with one A320-200 and two A319.100's. SAS also started a Copenhagen service in March 2016. Vágar Airport Vága Floghavn IATA: FAE - ICAO: EKVG 12/30 1,799m (5,902ft) - Asphalt Elevation AMSL 280 ft / 85 m As a landscape the setting for Vágar Airport is breathtaking, certainly in the winter setting. Note both approach lighting pylons that are in brilliant detail. Airport and terminal layout and is exceptional by Albert Ràfols, you have the detail and weathering for authenticity and for the perfect local Faroe ambience. Basically there are three areas, the long rear Cargo/New Terminal/Old Terminal area, the forward Control Tower and built-in fire station and the only large airport maintenance hanger which is also a base for Atlantic Airways. There is a great contrast between the two terminals, with the glass and steel of the new building and the old wooden timber feel of the original 1963 terminal, note the original hut style "Customs" hall. There is really great lattice work on the modern terminal landside and all the glass and surfaces are reflective and PBR active... ... carpark detail is also first rate with great ground textures and markings, with the excellently detailed covered walkways and the quality 3d static vehicles. Only notable omission is the no active ramp vehicle traffic, but the point is that EKVG is not going to be really buzzy busy airport, so I think that aspect would work more against the scenery than for it. The hanger/base for Atlantic Airways is visually the standout, mainly because of it's yellow colour scheme, but it looks very authentic, shame the doors don't open, SAM style. Control Tower - Fire Station The distinctive control tower is really well recreated, as two levels cover the approach and ramp activities... there is a static S&R helicopter on standby out front... No poking out the door with any Fire Engines, but again I think that is again for the better here, as with the static vehicles in there is enough, but not an overwhelming feeling of clutter... in other words perfect. Tower view is set perfectly... with the setting just above the aerials and with that you get a full complete 180º unobstructed view of both the approaches (on a clear day). Helicopter Pads Besides the main airport at Vágar there are also eight helipads that are spread out all over the islands as in most cases it is only by air that is the main way (or the only way) to navigate the islands, all have this great infrastructure or buildings built around the pads and as they are not just plonked straight in there as most scenery developers usually do... the Heliport at Tórshavn is the standout (below left). Runway textures All textures and ground elements of the runway confines and surfaces are excellent, there are also perfect ground surfaces that looks realistic with weathered wear. note the authentic snow sticks for taxiway edge navigation.... all surfaces are also reflective and fully PBR active, nice. Faroe Islands The scenery is not just a focus on the airport, but on the whole archipelago area of the18 islands that makes up the Faroe chain. Provided is high resolution HD terrain mesh that is extremely detailed. There is 1.400 km² of Faroe area to be explored and all are in high quality mesh landscapes, yes it is all very highly impressive, and highly realistic as well. As the only thing missing are the puffins on the craggy cliff faces. Faroe settlements, villages and townships are dotted totally throughout the scenery on all islands with connecting active traffic (unless on the outer islands)... ... with the township of Sørvágur which is on the approach to RWY 12... ... and Sandavágur that is on the right on the approach into RWY 30... note the fishing circles. And the village is voted the most famous village in the country, and also best voted as a traveling experience and highlighted by the beautiful red-roofed Church has a distinctive architecture that was built in 1917. This point highlights the only real adverse area of the Faroe scenery. There are yes the distinctive Faroe architecture in houses and dwellings but not much else... as the distinctive churches are also critically missing, as say there also is neither any industrial buildings in sheds or warehouses... not even the fishing boats on which that the Faroe economy depends on? Which brings us the capital of Faroe in Tórshavn. Overall Tórshavn is very disappointing in context with the very high quality of the rest of the scenery. The capital is just more of the same of a lot of Faroe housing with no port? or any commercial infrastructure or buildings visible either? There is no ferry in the harbour or really anything at all... The capital has a lovely fishing village feel with coloured housing surrounding the port (very Dutch) with the distinctive buildings on the entrance to the port... you are not expecting a complete recreation of the capital here, but you do expect something to sort of represent it? Summer Seasonal Textures Switching to the summer season in Faroe is visually extremely dynamic, it is almost a completely different style and feel of scenery. I debated on which seasonal scenery was the best season to represent the review... but in reality they are really completely Jekyll and Hyde in comparison. The landscape is all quite breathtaking in scale and detail... Night Lighting Overall the lighting is very good at EKVG - Vágar... with a nice contrast between the airside and the brighter landside illumination. Aprons are bright and workable, but like most developers with reflective glass the new terminal feel is a bit flat, and even dull.... ... the nice spot lighting on the lattice work terminal landside however does lift it up, as does the great lighting in the carpark. The Atlantic Airways hangar is very imposing and there is a large amount of very well done drop down spot lights on most of the buildings... .... so it is a high pass on good lighting. Summary At US$45.99 then Faroe Islands XP scenery is not cheap and that high price might put some users off in purchasing this excellent scenery... but even with that high price then there is a lot of value to take in here. As for being quality scenery Faroes XP does certainly deliver, and it is also an interesting diversity as in reality you really have two sceneries in one as there is the huge contrast between teach of the seasonal textures which are quite unique... and they both certainly deliver that "Wow" factor, as noted was my arrival in mid-January which was very dynamic and authentic, but any arrival in the summer would give you just another style of an astounding experience. And there is this huge expanse of high quality landscape to explore, either by helicopter or even with a general aviation aircraft, or say a very light aircraft (or glider) of even the Aerolite 103 style, which would allow you to soar around those magnificent cliff formations. Airport quality and detail is excellent, but Faroe has no active apron traffic, (dynamic vehicle traffic however covers all the drivable islands) but as noted it is debatable that a lot of ramp activity is actually required. Night lighting gives you a dull terminal, but otherwise it is all very good. Negatives... actually not a lot, but for the money, the oversight of not developing even a basic foundation of the Faroe capital in Tórshavn with a port, is one that should be quickly rectified, these islands are here to be explored and the area with Tórshavn in my mind is very important into delivering the full exploring island experience, a few local (colourful) churches would not go amiss either. If you read a lot of X-PlaneReviews you will know that I support that scenery value comes from the usage, or the versatility within the simulator. Even considering the remote aspect of this Faroe scenery in that context the scenery is a very worthy addition to your X-Plane simulator, certainly if you fly within the northern European context. For one the scenery is extremely challenging on approaches (certainly in poor weather conditions), but also visually it is very comprehensive and dynamic. Routing can be very interesting between Iceland, Norway, Denmark and the UK, but Atlantic Airway's do services as far away as the Mediterranean ports and SAS also do services... overall it is the huge amount of landscape that is on offer and in very high quality visually aspect as well, and that credible distinction will certainly draw you here, it is just one of those types of sceneries you could get easily addicted to like I did with Aerosoft's Keflavik Airport, and keep coming back to again and again, Faroe XP is a very worthy addition to the X-Plane landscape.... Highly Recommended! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Faroe Islands XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane is now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Faroe Islands XP Price Is US$45.99 Features: Realistic recreation of the complete Faroe Islands with an area of about 1.400 km² High resolution terrain mesh with various texture sets for a seasonal representation Customized local terrain details, e.g. realistically sloped runway at the Vágar Airport Detailed rendition of the Vágar Airport and the eight helipads spread over the archipelago Faroese themed autogen, navigation obstacles and dynamic traffic on the islands Hundreds of custom objects with PBR materials, 3D vegetation, night lighting WT3: Ground routes are set in the scenery and the scenery will generate a set of routes. No custom routes are yet available. Yes they work, but only in a limited capacity with only the Atlantic A319's doing all the traffic work... Many GA or Jet arrivals just disappear on landing, but the runway layout with turnarounds makes EKVG hard to navigate... a custom adjustment would certainly help... but overall WT3 works. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum Download size: 1.3Gb Review version v1.0 Installation Download scenery file size is download 1.5gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are three install folders: Faroes4XPlane - Overlay (206.40mb) Faroes4XPlane - Airport (2.01gb) Faroes4XPlane - Terrain (311.4 gb)  Total scenery Install is : 2.35gb  The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... and that the Faroes4XPlane - Terrain Mesh is below the Airport and overlay files. Documents Manual_Faroe_Islands_XP11_de-en_web (In German and English) ______________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton 16th January 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 11.30 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$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 by FlyJSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$30.00 - AW139 4.0 - By Laminar Research (default) - Free
  6. Scenery Release/Update : Aerosoft update Zurich v2 and release Genoa both with SAM plugin Aerosoft have updated their LSZH - Zurich v2 Airport to v2.05. And released their LIMJ - Airport Genoa “Cristoforo Colombo” for X-Plane11 at the same time. In most cases this is just an upgrade or a new scenery release. But both of these sceneries come with the built in effects of the new plugin from Stairport Sceneries called SAM... or "Scenery Animation Manager", and in the case of Zurich v2.05 it is the main reason for the scenery upgrade. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager Over the last year or so X-Plane has had a few breakthrough's in introducing new ideas to replace the older free but essential elements in the simulator. First it was push back trucks with the excellent "BetterPushBack" plugin that is a brilliant creation to replace the totally wide variety of pushback ideas. Now here is another clever plugin to replace another stalwart but quite basic plugin tool "Autogate" for airbridges by Marginal. When released the Autogate feature was a revelation, it still is very good, but with no updates or newly added features for many years it does feel now quite outdated. Autogate also had a few limitations. As for one it totally relied on the aircraft developer setting the door point in X-Plane's PlaneMaker application, which in most cases the setting had usually not been done (annoying because it was simple to do), so the gate did not work. Secondly was the fact that if you were pushing back (BetterPushBack) the gate was still attached to the aircraft as you still had not started the engines? and it felt a little unrealistic... more so as you only had one autogate to attach to the aircraft, and so for double or triple gates it was really a none issue? SAM installation You can download the SAM plugin for free here: Scenery Animation Manager and the plugin is simply inserted into your plugins folder, you also have to insert a "SAM_Library" into your Custom Scenery folder. All airports (or scenery) that has inserted the "sam.xml" file is then active with the plugin. Jetways, VDGS, Marshaller, Hangars, Wind Turbines are all included, but there is still a fair amount of freedom to utilise and create custom objects and custom buildings around the plugin's systems. The plugin will also be upgraded and enhanced as the developers add in more features and fine-tune the current ideas. LSZH - Zurich Since the extensive update to Aerosoft's Airport Zurich to v2 and it is still one of the best sceneries in Europe, and I use and fly in and out the airport extensively and you will find LSZH has been placed in the many reviews within this site's columns. V2.05 has had an upgrade with the SAM plugin. On arrival at Gate A03 the VDGS "Visual Docking Guidance System" (A-VDGS) looks and activates quite differently than the older Autogate version. You do get a lot of information on the type of aircraft distance and direction pointer detail, and yes it is very impressive. There are several VDGS versions available: Honeywell AVDGS (above), ADB Safegate-Safedock Type 2 (below) and more types of VDGS's will be added as development goes forward. Stand and non-airbridge Marshaller is also present. This is a quality marshal, with great smooth arm animations and far more movements than the marginal version... .... he comes in two versions, with a bright orange Hi-Viz vest or black with yellow Hi-Viz stripes. The best news of all is the Marshaller does not appear until you start your turn into the stand, so there isn't now hundreds of marshallers standing around and spoiling your scenery. The airbridges are sensational. They are fully animated in all directions with not only in the swing, but also the height and extension, they are about as realistic as you would ever need, and they work realistically as well with turning wheels and a moving cab. The only area they are slightly wanting is in the doorway cover extension as that doesn't work, so the cabs do tend to stick up quite high above the aircraft... Double or triple gates are also now available, again sensational they are for realism. The Autogates are activated in two ways. First is the auto-setting which will activate the gate when all the engines are shutdown and then the beacon is switched off. Note: not all aircraft will automatically connect with SAM? First of all there is a list of all current aircraft that have airbridge settings ready for use, but most aircraft should work with the marshaller. Odd ones that need a manual operation are like the FlightFactor A320 Ultimate, which is disconnected from the X-Plane system (pure plugin driven). A coming feature will allow the airbridges to go almost to ground level for regional Jets, which is a missing item on all current X-Plane airbridge systems. Menu The second option is via the SAM menu panel that is sited within your X-Plane "Plugins" menu. There are currently three menu settings: About, which is the plugins details. Settings, which selects the options for switching off the noted "Auto Connect jetways" and to adjust the sound volume. The third option notes the current active airport, and In this case it is Aerosoft LSZH - Zurich. This shows all the gates and the ones that are active... ... and at the bottom of the menu are any other effects that are available at this airport, noted here the Rega Hangar, and two entry points, we will look at those in a moment. Click on the airbridge selection you would like to connect with the aircraft and... it start the warning lights and goes into a very realistic operation. When done you can then select if you want to remove the airbridge from the aircraft at your wish. Here with the A350, I can use both airbridges to L1 and L2 doors. The auto-connect is fine, but as I am a control freak I love the total manual access to the airbridge operations. Other options include open/close of hangar doors (hangers are provided)... ... another feature is the VFR Entry point marker, which can be activated to line up your runway approach. SAM Authoring Unlike the Marginal system, which was quite tricky and even a bit laborious to set up and use. Sam has it's own built in Authoring system, or more like a construction set. It covers all the aspects of adding in the different elements to the airport. Obviously it is focused on ease of use with even has built in utlities to help you align the elements you want to use. The system is scaled as well to add in new features and ideas as the plugin grows. Any negatives, not really but the glass in the airbridges hide the aircraft (scenery is fine)? but this is an Laminar/X-Plane issue and we are still waiting for the bug to addressed. LIMJ - Airport Genoa “Cristoforo Colombo” Aerosoft airports can a be a bit of a hit or miss. Many are excellent like EGCC - Manchester and ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen. But many fall into the "made ages ago, but even when updated still dated" category like with their LIRF - Roma. But this LIMJ Airport Genoa, sort of slips into the middle. Genoa Airport Aeroporto di Genova "Aeroporto Cristoforo Colombo" IATA: GOA - ICAO: LIMJ 10/28 - 2,916m (9,564ft) Bitumen Elevation AMSL13 ft / 4 m What is it about the eccentric Italian airports. What of all the red and white stripes and very odd looking controls towers and terminal designs that range from weird to the down right bizarre, nonconformist and individual... but yes I do love them immensely as landing in Italy it is like landing on no other planet. This scenery from Aerosoft delivers certainly all that, but I will note up front that the original scenery delivered here is still the old traditional Aerosoft design, buried beneath an X-Plane wrapped wrapper. Italian airports are all usually vast parking aprons set with a kinky terminal design, and you get both aspects here at Genova. The airport is surprisingly small, a small aircraft carrier layout area set out in the middle of Genoa's port zone, but again that is LIMJ's attraction... it is different and it is visually it is exciting to arrive or depart from the Aeroporto Cristoforo Colombo. Let us look and at the old first... Certainly this sort of texturing and modeling was first rate back in the days of early FSX, nowadays it looks like what it is, boxy and heavyhanded. But subtle changes have been made.... all the terminal glass is reflective and the see-though balcony glass is X-Plane new and also transparent. Filler port warehousing and factories are also have FSX heritage, they are what they are... fillers, but the blue never looked good, even in FlightSim. LIMJ's Control Tower is an Italianate work of art... you couldn't be anywhere else but in Italy. Tower view is set, but both approaches are obstructed by railings. Even a year ago you would have discounted the Aerosoft scenery as just a conversion of the original FSX LIMJ, with those blanked out gates. But there is another subtle difference that changes and it is that aspect that turns this scenery on it's head. Here the SAM plugin has been used to convert the airbridges to active. The really clever part here is how well the new (SAM airbridges) have been intergrated into the older chunky scenery, and in the process redefines not only the activity but how it modernises the terminal as well... this is great design work. The important point to make here is that how the SAM plugin can be used to not only be able to be flexible in the vastly different airbridge designs, but how to be also retro-fitted into existing scenery to make the scenery more modern and active. I could list a lot of Aerosoft sceneries that would benefit and certainly be much more contemporary by utilising this plugin's system. The SAM marshaller is also intergrated well on the remote stands as well. Two hangars with the Guardia di Financia and the Piaggio Hangar also have had the SAM hangar door open/close treatment and again the intergration is very well done. The airport's hangar and administration buildings are well represented, and the detail on the hangars is actually good. But there isn't much fill in between areas but the flat washed out photo textures. But the Sheraton Tower Genova Airport Hotel & Conference Center, is very well done and detailed. (the TripAdviser reviews are however not great) Ground Textures LIMJ also benefit's from having to use X-Plane11 new style textures and ground layouts, that updates on and over the older Aerosoft textures... ... but there is the odd "RWY STOP" signage that is duplicated. Aerosoft famous 3d grass is also present, but not right through the scenery, but it is still a nice to have feature. Genoa Port and City The actual scenery does stretch along the northern Italian coast for a considerable distance and covers most of Genoa and it's very complex port system. There is a fair amount of detail in here, but it does really show it's age compared with say Drzewiecki Design's Seattle. The average slightly washed out ground textures don't help with the detail either, so mostly this is all fill. The X-Plane11 autogen does do an extraordinary job is filling in a lot of the areas and the gaps at the required full "maximum" object setting, as this scenery would be simply awful visually with this vital autogen missing. The famous Genova Lanterna, renaissance lighthouse of Genoa which was built in 1543, is well represented, as is a little of the city... ... but don't go looking for any real Genova detail, because there isn't any, not even the Monumento a "Cristoforo Colombo". Lighting LIMJ's Lighting is passable but in reality old and average. Not even X-Plane's effects can really save it? Approach lighting and taxiway lighting is okayish and useable... .... the aprons are nicely lit... but? Why didn't the developers use the correct lighting structures (arrowed)? as they are all dark? and they would have been far more effective than the smaller placed poles? The terminal lighting is frankly well... horrible and yes another throwback to the early FSX age. The Lanterna lighthouse looks very nice on the harbour, and the lovely night textures on the office buildings are the only standout quality lighting. Summary This review is really two elements but they are highly related to each over. One is the new SAM or "Scenery Animation Manager" from Stairport Sceneries, and the second is the LIMJ - Airport Genoa “Cristoforo Colombo” Aerosoft scenery and the LSZH - Zurich v2.05 update. SAM This is an outstanding plugin, that will certainly evolutionise X-Plane and updates significantly one of it's main original features. Everyone has a lot of respect and affection towards Marginal's brilliant original tools, but they getting very long in the tooth, with no updates or no new features for years. SAM wipes them all out sadly in one swipe as the original tools will no doubt be mostly replaced by the newcomer. Brilliant animations and excellent effects with a full menu control for Jetways, VDGS, Marshaller, Hangars and Wind Turbines is not only very adaptable to all sceneries, but is also very expandable and versatile to new features and the ease of use in converting new or old scenery to the features of the plugin. You will see this plugin spread very quickly throughout X-Plane... finally it advances the X-Plane simulator with another great outstanding tool. Airport Genoa XP - LIMJ - Airport Genoa “Cristoforo Colombo” Aerosoft do repackage their old FSX sceneries for X-Plane11. Depending on their age or the quality of their developer then they range from brilliant to average. So how does Airport Genoa fair? It is a fair question. Overall it just slides through, but the heritage of the original scenery and the washed out photographic textures do show through. the lighting is very poor in design (no lighting on the main lighting structures) and those original blue window textures (glass maybe a reach too far) are horrible, but pure FSX. But the X-Plane11 aspect of new ground textures, grass, amazing autogen in creating a somewhat realistic backdrop to the airport, better glass and reflections, large port facilities and the feature tip the scales into the positive area is the excellent SAM plugin intergration of the airbridges, marshallers and hangar door animations, they and SAM certainly lifts the scenery over into the usability factor... so the scenery gets a pass but just. So fly in, fly out and enjoy the airport surroundings and don't look too hard and you will get a lot of use out of the scenery. LSZH - Zurich Airport v2.05. The Zurich v2.05 upgrade was to just to install the SAM plugin features, but what features they are. All gates are now SAM active with not only single gate airbridges, but double airbridges as well.... marshallers cover all the remote stands. Airbridges are now first rate with glass and great animations, two hangar door features and two VFR entry point markers are also featured. Airport Zurich was always one of the really very best Aerosoft sceneries, and now it is simply first rate. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Airport LIMJ - Genoa XP and Airport LSZH - Zurich is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport LIMJ - Genoa XP Price Is US$25.99 Features: High resolution photoreal coverage of 187 km² Includes custom models for the city and the harbours of Genoa Well-detailed, accurate and high-quality renders of Genoa airport (LIMJ), including baked/pre-rendered shadows and realistic transparency of the terminal windows Unique, realistic and accurate airport night light (runway, taxiways, aprons, surroundings) Accurate and realistic ground poly based on photos and satellite images Large number of custom objects dedicated for Genoa airport and city – cars, trucks, buses, airport equipment, boats (many types), static aircrafts, and more Landable helipads at Sheraton Hotel and City Hospital Accurate renders of the harbour and many objects along the approach Realistic and accurate ILS offset of 2 degrees Animated jetways, VDGS and hangars (SAM plug-in required) 3D volumetric grass between taxiways Massively optimised for good performance Animated ships around the airport Custom mesh for the airport runway over the sea (by Maps2XPlane) Custom-made realistic static aircraft, including: Bell 412 SP (Guardia Costiera) Hughes NH-500MC (BredaNardi) Piaggio P-180 Avanti Piper Archer 2 PA-28 Aeroclub Genova Canadair CL-415 VIGILI DEL FOUCO Automatic low visibility lighting World Traffic 3 Configuration files included WT3: Ground routes are provided and the scenery will also generate a set of routes. But there are no parking defs in the configuration files? which is really odd? Under AFRE there isn't a lot of activity, but overall WT3 works fine. Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2GB VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.4Gb - Installation 2.91Gb Version and Review copy is v1.0 (Dec 12th 2018) GayaSimulations - LIMJ Genoa - Airport GayaSimulations - LIMJ Genoa - Mesh The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct... and that the GayaSimulations - LIMJ Genoa - Mesh is below the Airport files. ______________________________________________________________________ LSZH Airport Zurich v2.05 Airport Zurich v2.05 Price is US$27.99 Current purchasers of the Zurich v2 Scenery can update for free, by going to their X-Plane.OrgStore account and redownloading the new version. X-PlaneReviews full Zurich v2 Review is here: Scenery Review - Updated : LSZH Airport Zurich v2.0 by Aerosoft ______________________________________________________________________ SAM - Scenery Animation Manager by Stairport Sceneries Scenery Animation Manager Plugin is Free, but the scenery is required to have the "sam.xml" file inserted to be active with the plugin. plugin is inserted into your plugins folder, and you also have to insert a "SAM_Library" into your Custom Scenery folder. ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 14th December 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 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin : US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  7. Scenery Preview - EDLW - Dortmund XP by Aerosoft Set in the center of the Ruhr region in Germany is Dortmund and Aerosoft has released a scenery for the city's airport EDLW for X-Plane11. It is a companion airport for EDDL - Düsseldorf Flughafen which is only 70 km (43 mi) to the southwest, which also a very good Aerosoft scenery and a highly favored airport that I use in reviews. So certainly EDLW is an overflow airport for EDDL. This scenery is an update of Aerosoft's FlightSim version included in their German Airports 2 package, but converted and enhanced for the X-Plane11 platform. The main addition includes 280 km2 of surrounding orthoscenery at a DOP60 / 60 cm resolution and intergrated into the native X-Plane (German) autogen. Closer airport detail includes DOP30 / 30 cm resolution at both the main EDLW and the added on grass runway airport of Hengsen-Opherdicke to the south. A city skyline and Dortmund iconic buildings are also included EDLW - Dortmund Airport Dortmund Airport Flughafen Dortmund IATA: DTM - ICAO: EDLW 06/24 - 2,000m (6,562ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL130 m / 427 ft First view of EDLW is that it is a fair way from the city centre of Dortmund at 10 km (6.2 mi) to the southeasst, so it is very countryside bound, but there is a huge amount of X-Plane autogen surrounding the airport and as this is Germany then the German (European) housing style fits right in. A side note is that as we are now using X-Plane v11.25 with the autogen upgrade noted in the Expo 2018, then the added urban (factory) autogen is now highly newly visible here as well and very good it is. So the combination of the extensive surrounding orthoscenery and a high object setting creates a very good and if extensive visual panorama of this Ruhr area. The buildings are of course the direct same versions and textures as the FlightSim version, and that scenery was created in 2013, so they look a little outdated and noticeable in quality... ... unless you have to have your texture quality setting at "maximum" (no compression) were as I prefer to keep the setting at "high" for maximum object (autogen) performance, and with that lower texture setting it shows here in that the textures are noticeably more blurry. If you can get away with the standard "maximum" setting it is not too bad, as overall the modeling is quite good. Your eyes certainly can't ignore the large flat empty expanse of landside behind the main airport buildings, it awful, flat and isolates the modeling. This is highlighted more by the Global airport version of EDLW (below left). This landside area is automatically filled in and feels more realistic even if the terminals are not? No fencing between the landside and airside just also highlight's the issues even more with the Global version above and the Aerosoft version below, so the all important intimate clutter detailing is missing.... ... The airbridges are solid, and are not active? and the difference to the latest X-Plane native airbridges are now also highly noticeable in detail, but you do have marshals to guide you in. Elevation changes to the southwest are very well done, and on the elevated area is the GAT or General Aviation Terminal. There is a catering company here and also a large maintenance hangar... far west is the airport administration building and Star Wing's hangar. Highlight here is the well done and detailed engine test bay. Ground textures are very good as well as the around runway detail, Linage and surfaces are varied and well done. Highlight is again the Aerosoft grass, here the textures come in the various different types and feel. There is animated ground traffic, but they have a habit of queuing up and not moving at all and are usually queued around your aircraft, no matter where you park the aircraft. There is a little ramp clutter, and branding in areas, but it would be in the minimum 3 setting more than the 10 mister6X maximum zone Hengsen-Opherdicke The grass strips of Hengsen-Opherdicke is a lovely place. A glider's heaven and earth, there is not much here, but it is very authentic and visually very good. The airfield is run by the Air Sports Club Unna-Schwerte eV Gliding area Hengsen-Opherdicke 7.25 850 m × 60 m grass 7.25 580 m × 30 m grass Elev 125 m (410 ft) Above MSL Great small detail and every area covered, you sort of scratch your head to wonder "is this the same scenery package"? Dortmund The city of Dortmund has recreated buildings to reflect the city centre and the city's skyline and in a visual aspect in arrival or departure from RWY 06 or from the airport itself. All the main buildings and Churches are covered in the package including: ADAC, Altes Hafenamt, Alte Post, Big Tipi, Brackel Kirche, Continen- tale, DOGEWO21 skyscraper, Dortmunder U, Dreier Werk, Ellipson, radio tower Florian, Gasometer Hoesch, Portal cranes at the harbour, Raiffeisen, Rhenus Logistics, Harenberg City Center, main station, Helmut-Körning-Halle, Hörder Castle, Stadt. Immobilienwirtschaft, coal- red power station Kneppler, Kronenburg (prev. Kronenbrauerei), Stadt- und Landesbibliothek, NH Hotel, Petri church, Probsteihof, town hall, Reinoldi church, RWE of ce building, RWE Tower, Siemens of ce building, Hauptsparkasse, Stadtgarten subway, Stadthaus & Berswordthalle, Südbad, Telekom building, City theatre, Deutsche Bahn-Verwaltungsgebäude, old water tower „Lanstroper Ei“, old water tower at Southern Station, old water tower at the Deutschen Bahn factory garage, 6 wayposts, Westfalen halls 1-8, Westfalen stadium, Westfalentower, wind farms, Zeche Gnei- senau, Zeche Minister Stein, DFB Museum, Volkswohlbund of ce building The Hospital Dortmund North (clinic centre Nord) has a Helipad for use (XEDZ1) and the wind-turbines are well done but don't actually work? they are noted as animated, but mine were always static? and as there is a lot of wind-turbines this static element is noticeable? Overall for VFR flying this Dortmund scenery is very good to excellent, with the right visual elements all in place to navigate your way around the area, or if you are passing over the area, say i.e. from the EDDL - Düsseldorf Flughafen Interesting for this package and any other X-Plane scenery is the new commercial autogen released in v11.25... with the more high-definition orthoscenery and your object count set high the new urban commercial building really fill out the area, the buildings are a very high quality and gives you an excellent surrounding clutter fill bar none. The effect is more pronounced here as the Euro style buildings fit in extremely well with this Germanic scenery. But to note they work better with custom ortho textures than the standard X-Plane mesh, but a nice if unexpected bonus with this scenery for Aerosoft. lighting Runway lighting is first rate here at Dortmund, it is custom for the airport and very authentic, so all the runway and taxiway lighting is as per spec at EDLW. The airside areas in lighting are a real mixed bag? It is well lit... ... but the Brackel hangar's roof is a distracting bright white and not very realistic, and in other areas in the cargo and on the engine test bay apron the lighting is also over bright. The Terminal lighting is not tooo bad, but the night textures are certainly showing their age here. Dortmund city lighting is pure FlightSim, but it is better than he usual bland greys and blues, although there is still a lot of that in here. Again the city vistas are enhanced immensely by the new commercial native autogen, of which the night textures are extraordinarily good. A night view in a city sense is now excellent, when you combine the custom buildings with the autogen correctly, Dortmund is this context is simply brilliant. WT3: No WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided, but the airport will generate GroundRoutes. Overall the airport functions fine, but with EDDL not that far away then most traffic is attracted to that larger airport than coming to EDLW, so mostly the traffic is here of the LCC catergory. Parking here is split between nose in at the airbridge gates and nose out on the main apron... ... as the aircraft arrive they turn into the right parking position, but stop more parked forward? so a bit of editing is really required here to fine tune the ground routes. But overall WT3 works fine. Preview Notes When I started in X-Plane and the simulator was void of any real decent scenery, and back then Aerosoft was the benchmark of what X-Plane wanted to give it the credibility and also the visual sense of realism. Even now years after Aerosoft has released their products in X-plane they still sort of blow hot or cold. The good ones even if (still) lacking many X-Plane features are still very good and even excellent as is the local here EDDL - Düsseldorf or LSZH - Zurich v2 which are both favorites that I use mostly for German and Swiss operations. So the events of releasing the so called "Back Catalogue" of Aerosoft sceneries you would think then it would be a major addition to the X-Plane simulator environment, but it is not actually turning out that way? There is for one that very varied quality in that many are being excellent and too many being in being just passable, and sadly this EDLW - Dortmund is way into the latter category. I really don't think you can now take older (or old) sceneries and just simply put them into another simulator and even with more updated and better ortho set out underneath the objects, and at least do not do something to up date the textures or to use clutter to make the scenery at least workable, and again sadly both or any ideas have not been implemented here... and it shows. Global (meaning free) airports are leaving scenery like this way behind in quality clutter, this is 2018 and not 2013 when this scenery original was released. So if you want a Dortmund airport and the surrounding VFR scenery then it is available here and in many areas better than the free version in more authentic buildings, but overall EDLW - Dortmund and X-Plane needed the better of this scenery makeover that it deserves. Features: Detailed rendition of the airport and its surroundings, incl. landmark objects Photo realistic ground textures based on aerial images (50cm/px) All airport buildings and facilities True-to-original navigation aids (ILS, VOR/DME, NDB, ATIS) Excellent night effects True-to-original runway and taxiway lighting Detailed 3D city model of Dortmund incl. colour-corrected 60cm/px aerial image covering the entire city area Authentic rendition of the airfield Hengsen-Opherdicke incl. colour-corrected 30cm/px aerial image The aerial images for Hengsen-Opherdicke can be turned off Autogen covering the area of the aerial image, corrected by hand Animated wind objects: wind turbines and windsocks specific to Hengsen-Opherdicke as well as the helipad the Hospital Centre North Ship traffic at the Dortmund-Ems Canal when using the Seatraffic plug-in by Marginal/Jonathan Harris Volumetric grass, toggleable PBR-based reflecting water surfaces Backup library – runs without add-ons Positives: Large area and high quality ortho textures, and good airport ground textures, Nice grass, many varied and authentic city objects with VFR references, Hengsen-Opherdicke glider field is excellent. Negatives: Poor old texture quality and requires a "Maximum" setting, poor detailing landside and clutter detail is very poor in minute areas like fences, gates, signage and road detail, scenery relies heavily on autogen to create fill and atmosphere. Animations don't work correctly and lighting is below average, heavy install and download with a messy folder installation... ouch! ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... EDLW - Dortmund XP by Aerosoft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Dortmund XP Price is US$22.95 Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2.2gb : Install Size 6.33gb Installation is messy, with one major airport folder and six minor folders that should have been grouped together. Aerosoft - EDLW Dortmund (196.40mb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_99_Extras (247.50mb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_05_Ortho (6.04gb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_04_Scenery (228.90mb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_03_Autogen_Fixes (26mb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_02_Forests (47.30mb) Bahrometrix_Dortmund_v100_01_Vegetation (8.5mb) Extras and Documents: Manual in German and English (24 pages) - Manual_Dortmund_XP11_de-en_web ______________________________________________________________________ Preview by Stephen Dutton 31st July 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 - ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
  8. Quickview Review : KDAB - Daytona Beach by Aerosoft / Stairport Sceneries There is a lot I like about flying around Florida, it is just a very interesting area to explore and see all the diversity of the state. So any scenery that can impact on extending out the detail of the area is always welcome. This scenery is by Aerosoft, but it is not a created Aerosoft scenery but a hosted one by Stairport Sceneries. Daytona Beach is famous, not for aircraft, but for racing cars and even in the early days for breaking land speed records. A major circuit is built here and this place is also the base of the American NASCAR Series of which the yearly Daytona 500 is a highlight of the racing season. Daytona Beach International Airport IATA: DAB - ICAO: KDAB - FAA LID: DAB WMO: 74787 7L/25R 10,500ft (3,200m) Asphalt/Concrete 7R/25L 3195ft (974m) Asphalt 16/34 6,001ft (1,829) Asphalt Elevation AMSL33 ft / 10 m This scenery comes with two airports... KADB - Daytona Beach and a small grass airfield called Lafayette Landings Airport (FD90). KADB - Daytona Beach International The scenery is spread over a fair area, so you get a lot of detail for the investment. The famous banked Daytona International Speedway (below) that was built in 1959 is adjacent to the airport and is a major visual part of this scenery, it is well done but a bit flat and bland in the centre from a distance. The tourist wheel is animated and there are a few racing associated buildings, leaderboards and pits. First thing you notice is the ground ortho textures are a lot lighter than the X-Plane native textures? This is very common with Aerosoft sourced scenery and I have lost count on the times I have had to run their textures through photoshop to saturate them with more colour to match up the differences, one bonus here is the heavy density of the trees hide that all the nasty joins. The three runways are all very well done with different texture types well reproduced with great markings and navigation signage, the short 7R/25L 3195ft (974m) is a great GA arrival entry point worth using regularly. There is the 3d grass "hooray" but against the light bland ground textures they look odd. The main terminal is well done with see-through tinted glass. The developers note that they went to Daytona Beach Airport and matched the textures to photos... the building is a very light peach in colour so that doesn't really help as it looks bland here in the scenery, the problem is there is no worn or dirt textures, so it all looks like it is 3d modeled with colour than with actual exterior textures. That said it is well done, and you get a full interior as well that is very well recreated with hi-roof skylighting, and the glass is tinted. On the ramps there are six airbridges that are all animated and have Safedock A-VDGSs with their marshallers, and they all work fine. There is an odd parking stand that crosses over gate six, but that parking layout is correct as it is the same as the real ramp markings which are also worn and faded. Lots of nice detail and ramp equipment makes the ramps a nice place to work on and to also to arrive or depart from with buzzy animated traffic. Away from the main terminal there is the Interesting UCF - University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program building with a single built in airbridge. Control Tower is well done and tower view is great and also set correctly. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is part of the airport on the north-east corner, but it comes across as a bit bland. There are a few reproduced shopping malls, and they are all well represented, one large mall has set 3d cars in the parking lots but the other few don't... Lafayette Landings Airport (FD90) About 25miles west at De Leon Springs is Lafayette Landings private grass strip. This is a sweet little strip that is just a grass strip surrounded by a few houses and the odd GA hangar. Lafayette Landings is certainly a nice little field to drop into, have drink and catch up on life, then head on to your destination. WT3: WorldTraffic3 generated fine, but there isn't a lot of action coming and going on here at KDAB, my guess it needs a little adjustment to make it more interesting and busy (any chance K-Man?), the ground routes work fine so all is missing is the actual traffic... but be careful when you arrive or depart to the west of KDAB as the close by airway V267 is a major north-south corridor and it is busy with a capital B. Lighting Lighting is poor here... Only RWY 7L/25L has the main approach lighting, the rest of the runways and taxiways are just outlined. Terminal lighting is also really average... the ramps are okayish, but the see through grey glass comes across as quite average. Overall, don't come at night. The wasted opportunity here was not to light up the Speedway? It would have looked great on arrival... Summary There is no doubt a lot of work in here and you get a fair quota of buildings and objects. Overall it is well done and well laid out, but there are a few areas that tone it all down. The ground textures are too light and need more saturation compared to the surrounding native texture mesh, ditto the buildings that although they are matched to the local colours correctly, still they come out all bland and very 3d modelly, X-Plane scenery users are now used to and expect quality textures as with say like ShortFinal's KABQ - Albuquerque International Sunport. This aspect is emphasised with like the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University which should look realistic, but it like many points here it just misses the mark. Lighting is also very average. Lafayette Landings Airport (field) however is a little hidden gem. The big question is would I fly and use KDAB - Daytona Beach? That answer strange enough is a definitive yes, as it is a great link around the Florida State with my highly used KRSW - Southwest Florida, KMCO - Orlando and KMIA - Miami, and it adds in very well for both GA, Interstate and regional routes, so there is no doubt I will be very actively coming in and out of here. And that is the context here in summing up the scenery. In that any scenery that will get a lot of use has value, it is then in that aspect certainly worth the investment. _____________________________________ Yes! KDAB - Daytona Beach by Aerosoft / Stairport Sceneries is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Daytona Beach International Airport Price is US$28.99 Features: Highly detailed recreation of Daytona Beach International (KDAB) Accurate, highly detailed building models Detailed terminal interiors High-resolution textures based on photos taken at the site Detailed, accurate ground layout High-resolution ground textures with PBR effects Photo scenery covering most of the environment with current aerial images Custom models for city buildings (e.g. university) Animated environment Custom bridge models Animated jetways, Safedock A-VDGSs and marshallers at all eligible gates (with the free AutoGate plug-on by Jonathan Harris) Detailed recreation of Lafayette Landings airfield (FD90) Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum, 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Downlaod size: 530Mb Version: 1 (May 11th 2018) Installation Download scenery file size is 502mb. With the full installation installed packages in your custom scenery folder are: Aerosoft - KDAB Daytona (667mb) Aerosoft - FD90 Lafayette Landings (Lite) (309mb) Documentation One Aerosoft Manual is included in German and English. (11 pages) Manual_Daytona_Beach_International_XP11_de-en_web ______________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 16th May 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 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 X-Plane11 by Laminar Research - Free with Simulator
  9. News! - Scenery Release : Airport Rome XP by Aerosoft Aerosoft has released their L’Aeroporto di Roma-Fiumicino “Leonardo da Vinci” Rome XP scenery. Features include... Fully detailed rendition of Rome Fiumicino Airport (LIRF) High resolution ground textures (2048x2048 pixels) Animated passenger boarding bridges and Safedock A-VDGSs at all eligible gates/stands (free Autogate Plug-in required) Complete taxiway network for use by ATC and AI aircraft Fully compatible with the X-Life plugin by JARDesign Works with the ‘Draw Parked Aircraft’ feature Makes full use of the new ground service vehicles introduced in XPlane 11 Road network with animated traffic Great balance between quality and performance Requirements: X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended But this is a very light scenery on your graphics card, you should easily run with a 2Gb card, but not less. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Airport Rome XP by Aerosoft is NOW! available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Rome XP Price is US$25.99 Download scenery size is 140mb ______________________________________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 30th March 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (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)
  10. News! - Coming Soon! : LIRF Roma from Aerosoft I heard a rumor around Christmas that Aerosoft were converting their "Mega Airport Rome" to X-Plane11... I was excited yes... very excited, Rome-Fiumicino is one of my major hubs on my X-Plane network and will be very happy to see that area filed in... release... very soon! This is the FS/P3D version... ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 4th March 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  11. Scenery Update : LSZA Lugano XP11 by Aerosoft It was one of those weird moments. I have wanted to checkout LSZA - Lugano scenery by Aerosoft for simply ages and it was just to see how it looked now in X-Plane11. Lugano is special in a way to me, because it was the very first payware scenery I had professionally reviewed. That then is noted on how long ago LSZA Lugano has been actually released (2011) and it was also one of the first (actually the second released) scenery that Aerosoft did release for X-Plane as well. It felt like a very long time ago and in X-Plane years I suppose it is. So flying into the original Lugano Airport (from Zurich LSZH) I found it was actually showing it's age in X-Plane11, it felt old and and also a little tired, but the great features and the details that I remembered are all still there, it was then as it is now still a great scenery. LSZA Lugano XP11 by Aerosoft And so just a few weeks after my catchup encounter with LSZA - Lugano, Aerosoft then released the updated version for X-Plane11. Aerosoft has been extremely busy lately with updating a lot of their original sceneries and converting them for X-Plane11. Although and as we will see with this Lugano scenery, is that most of the basic scenery is still original. These newer converted sceneries are however very much more X-Plane friendly and use all of X-Plane's features to a better degree than any of the earlier releases which are really just straight out converted sceneries from the Flight Simulator versions. To a point that was the issue with most earlier Aerosoft sceneries in that they had no idea on how X-Plane actually works and they all had very limited X-Plane involvement and interaction, it still happens as with their recent release for Bali. But with most of these newer conversions they are now done by a gifted X-Plane developer called Omar Masroor, and that makes a significant difference and why they are now far better to use as X-Plane dedicated scenery and have far better active features. Lugano Approach Flying into LSZA is challenging. The airport is situated at the head of Lake Lugano and deep into the foothills of the European Alps. So the approach is not anything but straight on directly to the airport, but there is a sort of S curve course into RWY01. RWY19 is even harder as the descent is very steep so most approaches are usually over water into RWY01. There is a ILS approach (111.50 ILU) for RWY01 but this is a difficult steep 6oooft at a 6.65º glideslope and as required the slow approach speed here is critical because of the short 4429ft (1350m) 01/19 runway at the end of the slope, and with a steep approach like that you are really hard pressed to hold on to a 60knt speed. So you sorta "peek-a-boo" your way in around the headland to the hidden LSZA airport (arrowed). This is not the official way in but the easiest. Speed and height are critical and 80knts down to you dare 60knts stall zone with 1000ft required right on the money as you line up with 01. The small outcrop on your left gives you a perfect lineup to the centreline if you hit correctly the boundary on where the land bump hits the lake you will align up nicely to RWY01. From then on it is all nerves and a steady focused hands on the controls to watch out for sudden wind shifts from around the mountains to keep your path straight. As with most approaches like these in real life you need a special rated certificate to land at Lugano and I can see why. Throttle control is vital to get the landing point just right over the end of the runway trees, and you have to hit that runway start line on the money or it is a "go-around and try again" situation. I know the approach very well but it still worked me hard to hit that line.... but I did. Once down on the hard stuff it was then fingers crossed to rub off the speed. You are restricted on what you can land at LSZA, Jets are usually out, but small to medium prop regional's are usually okay. The B1900D is perfect. There is a turn point at the end of RWY01, but none at the end of RWY19 and even then the turning area is tight. But that is the attraction of LSZA, it is a great challenge to get it totally right and fly into the airport. LSZA Lugano Overview Lugano Airport Aeroporto di Lugano IATA: LUG - ICAO: LSZA 01/19 4,658ft (1,420m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 915 ft / 279 m There is a major mesh issue at Lugano. This is created at a join of two tiles in the X-Plane mesh that don't quite join up with the same elevation data. So what you get are holes in the mesh. It is to be noted it is not the Aerosoft scenery that is the issue here, the scenery is correct and tested. There is no doubt on the origin of this LSZA scenery as it is crossed over from Flight Simulator scenery. That is a good thing and an adverse thing for the scenery in X-Plane. As noted LSZA is old by X-Plane standards but older still again by it's FS design. In areas it looks it's age, but in most areas it is still a very high quality scenery... in fact its design is actually quite endearing but you will need a fairly high setting of your texture quality to bring out detail, anything less will give give you a slight blur on all your buildings and objects. Lugano Airport was one of my first walk around airports. This is in the fact that the scenery is so detailed you look around the airport from real eye level and explore the airport from that viewpoint. At the time in 2011 it was and had the total "wow" factor, it still does give you that realistic feeling, but scenery has also come a very long way in the intervening years, as this was then early X-Plane10 and you didn't then have a lot of extremely high quality scenery to compare scenery against scenery with. It was this older texture aspect that made it feel old when checking out the original scenery out a few weeks ago. There no doubt about the great 3d modeling, but the textures are still old as well even if they are very good. Not much has changed there in the XP11 version as the textures have had no attention, but it is X-Plane11's features have added in another aspect that saves the buildings from that original outdated feel. The X-Plane11 reflection feature brings the glass areas to life, and helps a lot in the overall feel of the buildings. The expansive glass hangar doors on the RUAG maintenance hangars benefit the most from the reflections as the areas covered in reflections are large. Another bonus is that you now also have the 3d grass feature. All the grass areas now have great grass and if you wish you can disable it for framerate savings, but I found out that to switch is very negligible and the effect of the grass on is excellent. The ATC ground routes and ramp starts have all been completely revised up to current standards for X-Plane's A.I., X-Life and World Traffic3. Originally Lugano Airport came with a separate static aircraft package, but with the new ATC ground route layouts you don't need it any more, but to remind yourself to pull it out of your custom folder if you are updating from the older version. But Lugano creates major difficulties for these traffic systems even if the ground networks are perfect of which they are here. Problem number one is that LSZA is situated in a deep valley and all the approaches require very significant descents or climbs from a high position to allow a landing. Secondly is the fact that Lugano as an airport in frequency is not an overwhelmingly a busy place. So put the two together and LSZA is not going to generate a lot of action. Running World Traffic3 creates a lot of aircraft flying overhead as they couldn't master the complex approach. Occasionally one does actually work it out and lands, but not very often. So you do get this gradual departure loss as aircraft depart and don't return to fill in ramp spaces. Settings for the ramp is to be worked out as well, because above the 50% percentage of the parked aircraft ratio, it fills LSZA out full to the brink of aircraft? A great bonus of WT3 is that it does select the correct aircraft and operator (Darwin) with Saab 2000's for Lugano and so it does look authentic. The "Migros" supermarket, petrol station and "UBS World Trade Centre" buildings are still untouched, but the areas around them have been cleaned up and all the cars updated to the current X-Plane default 3d versions and look significantly better. All buildings are quite basic and are still the older FS designs, but they still do the job of filling in the scenery very well. The small industrial area/farm to the east and the hangar with the still for lease factory at the end of RWY19 are still also all the same original quality. The ground textures (orthphotos) are noted as being refined, but they look exactly the same as the earlier versions to me. Lighting The lighting has been upgraded to X-Plane as well, with all the areas now using the X-Plane effects for better light coverage on the ramps and building areas. Approach lighting is really good, but who wants to fly around Lugano in the dark? The building texture lits are a mixed bag. From the good terminal building photo textures to the really average older FS style flat colour textures on certain buildings. The scenery gets away with it, but only just, with no X-Plane ramp lighting it would have been now a quite average scenery at night overall. Again you have to have your fairly high settings of your texture quality set to the maximum to get it anywhere near passable... and then just. Summary LSZA - Lugano will always have a place in my heart as scenery. It is where it is positioned with that challenging arrival and also the feeling of being here. It was a complete revelation on its release, but remember even then it was an adapted Flight Simulator scenery and still in areas like buildings and lighting it still shows. The biggest change here in the XP11 version is mostly from the the X-Plane Simulator itself and its great active features. Lighting, reflective glass, ground routes, 3d vehicles and parking areas with better vegetation in grass and foliage are all added, but most of the work by a designated official X-Plane developer who has used his skills and has cleaned the whole scenery up of its foibles and odd items that were present in the original release, in other words it has been cleaned up and refined to X-Plane's current standards, and that is not overall a bad thing. If you already have he original version of Aerosoft's LSZA - Lugano Airport then there is a still lot that is similar including the buzzy textures, but the changes with this update does do the scenery a great service and make it a more modern and current scenery and even far better version than the release version and at a cheaper price as well... So this XP11 version gives Lugano Airport a new life and a better place in our current simulator for it's uses and now it has more in its better activity and dynamic features and that can't be a bad thing... ____________________________________________________ Yes! the Scenery Update for LSZA Lugano XP11 by Aerosoft Is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore! : Airport Lugano XP11 Price is US$19.95 This is a new initial upgrade product for XP11, so there are no deals or upgrade vouchers from the earlier version. It is only a new full purchase. Features: Highly detailed airport scenery of Lugano High resolution photo textures for the 3-D models Glass reflections of glass surfaces on buildings XPlane 11 ground vehicles with appropriate lanes added X-Life compatibility Revised taxi routes for better compatibility with X-Live and X-Plane's own AI traffic Revised ramp starts for a correct placement of the aircraft. The ramp starts now support the "Show parking aircraft" feature Stratification of roads added for X-Plane road traffic Old cars in the parking lots replaced by the better X-Plane-own vehicles Some parking vehicles and floodlights are added Duplicate X-Plane's own Navaid objects removed Unnecessary files were removed Revised objects for 3D grass Possibility of switching off the 3D grass for optimum performance All airport buildings as they are in real life New vegetation details with approx 20.000 grass polygons Night lighting in real time Sloped runway Manual and charts Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2GB VRAM Minimum - 4GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 45Mb (yes only 45mb!) WT3 : Traffic layouts are fine and the app will generate the correct WT3 ground routes. The airport however is difficult for its bottom of a valley position and irregular traffic patterns, so you don't get a lot of activity. ______________________________________________________________________ Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton 17th October 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 11.05 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.7 US$69.90 : JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Beechcraft B1900D HD Series XP11 by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$34.95
  12. Scenery Update : EIDW - Dublin v2.0 by Aerosoft Solid reliable scenery is important to get the best out of your simulation flying. To land at good scenery gives you another level of immersion and realism that can make your flying immensely satisfying. My cornerstones of scenery in the UK are actually all Aerosoft sceneries, in EGCC - Manchester, EGLL - Heathrow and EIDW - Dublin, all are extremely good but EGLL - Heathrow is very framerate heavy, not so much in the actual scenery, but the sheer amount of surrounding autogen,that can even easily bring any strong computer down to it's knees. EIDW - Dublin from Aerosoft was a great scenery from the start as I noted in the release review here: Scenery Review : EIDW - Dublin by Aerosoft That v1.0 Dublin release was way back in September 2014, and here is the update to v2.0 and it is now X-Plane11 compatible as well. Outwardly it looks the same as the original, and that is not a bad thing as the original release of the scenery was very good quality scenery in the first place. But early Aerosoft sceneries although very good in the visual sense, where not very good the using the X-Plane features and effects, that is the overall focus here with this updated scenery and with even the newer X-Plane11 features thrown in for good measure. In the overview it looks like the exact same EIDW I have flown into for years... but the textures have been upgraded to eliminate and refine the older blurry textures and you certainly notice the difference on approach. .... but on closer inspection you now also have that "Volumetric Grass" feature that Aerosoft are famous for. You can turn the feature on/off as well if you have a poor or weak processor. I have found that grass has never had much impact on framerate and I doubt it here as well because there isn't that much of a volume to talk of anyway, but it nice to have it from a visual point of view. X-Plane Animations Another new feature to EIDW is that all the (marginal) airbridges now work as well! Your guidance marshall is set to one side, but the alignment is correct and all the animated airbridges work very well on the airbridged piers in three and four. A note in that most parking here at EIDW is mostly stands than gates as this is Ryanair's base after all? but you do have a really great cross section of gates, stands and remote stands to choose from. Another point is that there is now a lot of ground service vehicles than there was before, now there is huge amount of them and to the point of clogging each other up on the ramps, and yes the default ground service vehicle feature (to the aircraft) now also works here as well. The animated ground service traffic here at Dublin is HUGE in a lot of a lot of vehicles scurrying all around the ramps and it makes the once very empty and static scenery now very active place, and yes I love that. Most original Aerosoft scenery was in part conversions from their Flight Simulator products and they mostly left their scenery barren for add-ons like ultimate traffic and Traffic X. But in X-Plane that then just gave you a really empty airport. There was a static aircraft filler option and there still is, but you now use the "Aerosoft - Static Aircrafts" (library) folder for all Aerosoft static aircraft and not the individual packages for each airport, again you can switch them on/off. But more importantly is that EIDW - Dublin has had all its ground routes redefined for use in X-Plane for the default ATC/A.I. system, but also for use with X-Life the AI traffic plugin by JARDesign. But the redefined ground routes they are also usable for WorldTraffic3 operations as well, and they are shown in operation in all the images here as I prefer WT3 to the other A.I. traffic options. There are still more animations as the landside road network now also has cars and vehicles running through the airport. You can't adjust the volume of vehicles anymore in XP11 (well you can with FlyWithLua but not officially) so the volume is quite low, but at least it is done and now working. Aerosoft have also gone to a lot of trouble to replace all the 3d static vehicles in the scenery (mostly in carparks) with the default versions for increased framerate and more vehicle coverage and it shows and it does overall make a significant visual difference. Again you can turn this static car feature on/off to save framerate. One small note is that the main airport boundary does not seem to have any fencing? You can walk straight over to the runway from any roadway? Reflective Glass For X-Plane11 users there is the reflective glass feature. Here at EIDW it is really well done, but you have to have the right lighting conditions to take in the full advantage of the feature. As there are great and different glass areas at Dublin, with old and new buildings giving you different perspectives and it all works in really well together. Lighting The original Aerosoft EIDW had really average lighting? The lighting was a conversion of or practices of Flight Simulator lighting and this being X-Plane it just didn't work... The result was a bad box or a frame of light around the source, so I was not surprised and very thankful that Aerosoft have found their inner X-Plane and redone all the lighting with the X-Plane lighting system. Lighting and sources are now quite comprehensive, there is now a variety of lighting and from a distance perspective the airport looks really great. Airside and landside lighting is (slightly) different, but mostly it is the small standard spot lighting. Ramp lighting is very good, but the throw is not very far and that in a few cases creates dark working areas, but overall you won't have any problems working down on the ramp. The original building night textures were very good, if a little dullish, but the combination of the new overhead and the old building textures does work very well here and it feels very realistic close up (note the nice drop lighting on the side of the building). So compared with the first Aerosoft Dublin the lighting is really night and day, and with no pun intended. I do love the merger of the old and the new at Dublin, the older legacy carriers also interacting with huge amount of LCC traffic, it is a great place to visit and use as scenery. Summary Aerosoft's early scenery was and is very good, but they never really understood X-Plane in the way it is a very more default built in active simulator, with its animations and lighting. Their approach was always the add-on Flight Simulator angle and so most early scenery released was good but very soulless. You need X-Plane developers to do X-Plane scenery, even in a conversion as noted with Aerosoft's Bali scenery which is brilliant scenery but let down by no X-Plane interaction. This EIDW - Dublin was like that. Great amazing scenery, but missing the X-Plane features and activity, but this excellent v2.0 update fixes almost everything about that aspect, you get a lot if not everything X-Plane thrown in here, with in areas like ground service vehicles to even the total maximum effect. There are now 3d grass and cars, reflective glass, animated airbridges, vehicle traffic and excellent ground routes and finally great (X-Plane) lighting that totally brings EIDW totally alive and more and that is because Aerosoft (finally) used an X-Plane developer to convert an X-Plane scenery and the difference is highly noticeable. A great deal also allow you to upgrade from the original v1 version to this v2 Dublin for only US$5, see details below and get the discount code from the X-Plane.OrgStore. As noted I use EIDW as a cornerstone of my flying in Europe and the one of the main triangles of routes between EGCC (Manchester) and EGLL (Heathrow) for most of my UK flying, and so to a point a really good EIDW is very important to my X-Plane flying, but now the overall experience is far more highly elevated with the newer X-Plane features now besides the already great scenery that was originally in place, so overall this is a five star scenery, a must have if you fly comprehensively in Europe and the UK... so simply it is now major requirement have for your collection and for its greatly enhanced X-Plane11 use. ____________________________________________________ Yes! the "EIDW - Dublin Airport" scenery by Aerosoft Is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore! : Airport Dublin v2 Price is US$24.95 Features: All buildings and installations at and around the airport High quality models and photo real textures High resolution runways and taxiways Highly realistic night time effects High resolution textures New in version 2.0: Entirely X-Plane 11 compatible Uses advanced X-Plane features such as 3D spill lights and glass reflections Complete taxiway network for use by ATC and AI aircraft Animated service vehicles Volumetric grass Animated road traffic Animated jetways and marshallers (AutoGate plugin required) Compatible with X-Life Added 249 road segments for X-Plane’s road traffic Added 1,198 new HDR lights Replaced all 7,176 old parked cars with better X-Plane default cars Added 9,834 additional parked cars and 136 semi-trailers Added 30 missing buildings Fixed blurry ortho textures Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4GB VRAM Recommended Current version : 2.0 (last updated September 7th 2017) Download size: 500Mb Previous owners of 'Airport Dublin' (v1) can buy this new v2 version for only $5: Check your original Dublin invoice at the store. the discount code will be listed there. WT3 : WorldTraffic3 conversion was overall excellent, there is however a strange ground route interaction around the V section of intersecting runways 28 and 34? In most cases the aircraft will route through correctly, but in a few cases they will get confused... ______________________________________________________________________ Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton 27th September 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 11.05 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 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 X-Plane default aircraft with ZIBO MOD installed
  13. Scenery Review : WADD Ngurah Rai International Airport Bali by Aerosoft For most Australians in traveling to Bali in Indonesia it is a rite of passage, a ritual like a Muslim on a pilgrimage to Mecca, a sacrament to the cause of being an Australian. It is not if but when you went to Bali, if you haven't been there then you are not one of our tribe as you haven't been through the ceremony and indoctrination of the Balinese culture while being totally paralytic and legless. It is the same rite of passage that the English make by going to Ibiza or Americans to Mexico. Bali is now a total tourist mecca, long gone now is the earlier sleepy island of lost grassed over monuments, and misty rice fields, the soft green Javanese volcanic hills and burning incense. The only soft green you see now is cultivated 5 star resorts lawns and lots of poor imitation branded goods to be sold at high prices, the selfie snapping hoards now easily outnumber the locals, but it puts food on their table and allows the Balinese to go the Thailand for a break, that is modern day tourism in all its glory. By definition Bali is actually not far from the mainland of Australia, but by a quirk of that most Australians live on the east coast of the continent it does take a 6hr 20m flight or more to get there.... and back. 14.8 million of these selfie hoards passed through the main gates of Bali at Denpasar and Ngurah Rai International Airport last year that is on a small strip of land called Tuban between Kuta and Jimbaran and is situated close to the tourist locations of southern Bali. The airport is named after I Gusti Ngurah Rai, a Balinese hero who died on 20 November 1946 in a puputan (fight to the death) against the Dutch at Marga in Tabanan, where the Dutch defeated his company with air support, killing Ngurah Rai and 95 others during the Indonesian Revolution in 1946. The Pelabuhan Udara Tuban, or Tuban airfield, was established in 1931 at the narrowest point on the southern coast of Bali. The airport was originally built as a simple 700 m long airstrip by the Dutch Colonial administration's Voor Verkeer en Waterstaats public works office. When first established the site only had a few huts and a short grass runway. The current airport has an east–west aligned runway and associated taxiway, with over 1,000 m of that runway's length projecting westward into the sea. In 1942 the airstrip was in use to stage fighter and bomber operations and received bombing damage from Japanese forces. It was repaired using PSP pierced steel planking. In 1949 a Terminal building and other aviation facilities were constructed and a simple wooden flight control tower was erected. In 1959 president Sukarno sought to further develop the airstrip. The new facilities were built as part of a $13 million (Rp 35 billion in 1959) renovation project. To allow jet aircraft such as the Douglas DC8 and the Boeing 707 to operate from Bali, it was necessary to extend the runway westward into the sea as any potential eastern extension of the runway was by now blocked by the expansion of the local fishing village. The International Airport Tuban was developed with the decision by the Indonesia government to further develop and rebuild the terminal building and extend the existing airport runway westward by 1,200 m to a length of 2,700 m with two 100 m overruns. The project, which lasted from 1963 to 1969 was named Project Tuban Airport and was for preparation of Tuban Airport for international operations. Land reclamation to project the runway and the two overruns by 1,500 m was achieved by taking material from the limestone rocks at Ungasan and sand from the river Antosari–Tabanan. With the completion of the temporary terminal and runway project at the Tuban Airport, the government inaugurated international air service on 10 August 1966. To meet the ever increasing number of passengers the terminal buildings were extended with construction of an International Terminal building undertaken from 1965 to 1969. This added international facilities to the existing domestic passenger terminal. The new Ngurah Rai International Airport was inaugurated the on 1 August 1968 by the then Indonesian President Suharto as Pelabuhan Udara Internasional Ngurah Rai, or Ngurah Rai International Airport. (edited Wikipedia) Aerosoft This Bali scenery is a conversion for Aerosoft by Caipirinha Games to X-Plane11 from the Bali X series by A-Flight Scenery, the word to note here is "conversion". First Impressions As I live in Australia it was always going to be the best way to introduce myself to Ngurah Rai International Airport is by flying from an Australian port. And as YBBN (Brisbane) is my nearest major port and that seems a great place to start. The ZIBO MOD Boeing 737-800 in VA Virgin colours also seemed to be the best equipment for the route as well, but a B738 is a little slower than a A330 which is also popular on this route, but the same as the A320 at 6h 20m flying time. This is not the first time for me to WADD, as there was a great but old WADD scenery around X-Plane for years and it wasn't bad, but I expect a far only a better experience with an Aerosoft scenery. Departure was around 13.30 (pm) for the 2512.36nm flying. One thing about flying around Australia is that there is not much out there, and mostly it is really just vast areas of nothingness, then more nothingness as you head out over the Timor Sea. My arrival via BENOA will mean a landing on RWY27 (3000m), this is the only ILS (110.30) approach to WADD as if you need to use 09 then that is a only a RNAV approach. Aerosoft do provide a great selection of both SID, STAR and RNAV charts and the full airport layout with excellent gate charts with the package (29 charts). If you fly a lot in the far east you will become accustomed to the hot mist in the tropics, and so with such a late of the day arrival the xEnviro created a lovely if perfect soup for our arrival. You may say, "come now Mr Reviewer!, I want to see something I am buying!". But that is not the point of first impressions in the fact that the idea is to give you a representation of what the scenery is like in a mood and feel way as well as the standard detailed overview of the scenery, this viewpoint may not give you absolutely clear images, but it does deliver an authentic feel of arriving in Bali. Approaching from the east via BENOA you arrive over Nusa Penida then WADD is straight direct west in front of you. From this direction the airport is just beyond a large lagoon with the two enclosing outcrops of Tanjungbenoa and Serangan. My pass over the outcrops gave me a great feel for the area as both are full of very authentic Balinese habitation, not X-Plane default scenery, but 3d created Balinese scenery... very impressive. My eyes then took in the over water Bali Mandara expressway system. At first I thought this was an X-Plane OSM (Open Street Map) mess up? but no the expressway is real and authentic. But then a sudden feel took to my bones... "something was not right?" my cross diamonds were correct on the ILS PFD (Primary Flight Display) but my eyes through the gloom told me something else? RWY27 ILS is not aligned? Two options, abort or go for the runway, I go for the runway as I feel I can adjust it enough over to the centreline... "That was a bit breezy!" but I managed not to screw up the landing, all those hours practising certainly paid off here. Once the speed had died down (and my heart rate was lower as well) I could again look out of the window at Ngurah Rai, and I really liked what I saw. It was all very different from the usual US and European style of design and it all had a very far eastern traditional feel, you were certainly somewhere different that was for sure. I was very impressed with the ground textures, the runway asphalt was good with concrete outer areas looked very realistic, lineage was excellent as well, but there was none of that famous Aerosoft grass that they do so well, but the actual grass colouring was very good. You can't allow yourself to get the landing wrong on RWY27, because at the end of it is a hard stone wall... this seawall (Dam wall) is well done and carries on and around the end of N7 and side P7 taxiways. Taxiway P7 leads you into the main apron area called " Northern Apron", it is very big, and there is a lot of gates to choose from, so it is best to pick the correct one you require before you arrive from the ground chart, the gates are mixed up as well in the fact "that what is the domestic or international gates", if you know it is not hard, but the layout can be confusing at first if you are not prepared. I really loved the airport's Balinese architecture, but there was some modern elements thrown in there as well. It was a really heavy dramatic arrival at WADD, not withstanding the ILS non-alignment, overall though with my first impressions I was seriously impressed. Aerosoft Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport IATA: DPS - ICAO: WADD formerly WRRR 09/27 9,842ft (3,000m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL14 ft / 4 m To understand extent of the full scenery package provided by Aerosoft is to look at the scenery from directly above... All around the lagoon in red with the airport to the bottom is the extended area of 3d modeling provided, it is a lot of buildings and and associated infrastructure that surround the airport, this does give you a great visual aspect in every respect to the departure and arrival and while on the ground. And you have to be seriously impressed by the object count and the 3d feel to it all. Everything is covered from the basic Balinese abodes to temples, hotel resorts, shopping centres, unit accommodation and warehouses. Not many developers have found the right transition from add-on scenery beaches to the outer X-Plane water, but Aerosoft have done that here... ... you have to be impressed by it. And this all comes with a 0.40m/pixel aerial imagery underlay, it looks and is all very, very good. WADD Airport There are two aprons in "North" and "South" The north is the main apron as the south is just mostly parking stands, private jet and General Aviation arrivals. The North apron has two terminals in Domestic and the newer larger International Terminal. The Domestic terminal is on the west end is the old original Bali terminal with its famous Balinese greeting gate. The new huge International terminal is mid-apron and it is impressive, and it has a long finger apron faced gate concourse with unique Balinese gate houses. Domestic Terminal These segments of adjoining L shaped buildings was the original Bali airport international terminal built in 1968. But with the newer and more modern International building being completed then the buildings were reconfigured with a merger of older and newly built areas to be a separated Indonesian domestic terminal which opened on 17 September 2014 with an area of 65,800 square meters, eight departure and seven arrival gates, 1 -16 with five passenger boarding bridges, as well as a number of counters — 62 for check-in, 4 for transit and 19 for ticketing. Note the exposed baggage carousels under the newest part of the Domestic terminal. Thankfully the famous "Bali Welcome Gate" has not been demolished out of existence with the changes and is still there and visible from the apron. International Terminal and Festival Plaza. International terminal has a similar but a more modern Balinese architectural theme and has separate departure and arrival halls was opened in Novemer 2013. Its capacity is up to 4,938,840 passengers a year. The departure area has 62 check-in counters. There are ten air-bridge gates 17-27 with one (27) usable for the A380. There is a well done strikingly well modeled roof on the International terminal, and it is highly decorated with Balinese style towers, arrival and departure roadways are set, but there is no animated traffic. The rear main carpark feels more Aztec than Balinese but then the cultures may be the same in some areas. Next to the International terminal is another and far larger and more impressive traditional Balinese gate and explore/rest area... ... that is connected with the Festival Plaza complex that separates the two terminals. ... and you have to be impressed by then how much the Balinese have gone to represent their culture at the airport, visitors note it is a very different arrival here at Ngurah Rai because of this cultural significance. Concourse gate detail is unique to say the least... ... In close up it is extremely well done with a huge amount of Balinese traditional architecture and elements, however there is a little transparency (blue) around the finer details that looks very early FS (Flight Simulator). There is a lot of ground equipment and ground support items, but not overwhelmingly so and the gates are well done but the gates are static and set too high for any boarding door connection. Cargo Area Far east on the north apron is the cargo area. These buildings were the old domestic terminal and they still look like more warehouse than terminal. The Fire Station is situated here as well, as is the excellent Aerofood ACS building which was the old domestic terminal reinvented. The cargo ramp space is good but tight for large (B747) sized freighters, there are ten stands 28 - 37 available with two helicopter pads at end of the far east apron. Control Tower The Control Tower is positioned mid-apron between the Domestic and International Terminals. The tower is highly decorated and feels small and old as it was part of the 1968 redevelopment. Tower view is excellent with both runway field views clear for any approaches or departures. However turn 180º and you will be fronted by the tower itself as the tower view is set too low? South Apron The south apron is just mostly empty parking stands for aircraft storage, private jet and general aviation arrivals and a few buildings to cater for those patrons. Here there is 16 stands 38 -53 and three helicopter pads on the west side. Like the rest of the modeling the buildings are well done, but there not much else down here. The textures for the concrete stands and areas is very realistic and looks and feels real. Two more areas worth noting is a Fuel Depot behind the Domestic Terminal and the almost same layout replicated on a outcrop of land into the Lagoon as you arrive on RWY27. Static Aircraft Aerosoft gives you the option of having local static aircraft showing or not. This is selected via the X-Plane "Graphics" menu for "Draw parked aircraft" tickbox off/on. You have to also download the Aerosoft static aircraft package (319.70mb) from a link that comes with the airport package. WADD in X-Plane11 Up to this point in the review you must be thinking "This is absolutely sensational scenery" and to a point it is. But I mentioned at the start of the review that this scenery is a converted scenery from Aerosoft's Bali X. As an X-Plane dynamic scenery it is however quite poor. There is no animated traffic, no animated gates (marginal), poor non-reflective glass or textures and the default ground routes and traffic flows are incomplete? This then leads into the lighting... Lighting Overall the Aerosoft Bali scenery is very poor on the lighting, basically you only have the X-Plane apron lighting and that is about it? In fact if that apron lighting was not visible then you would be hard pressed to see the airport at all at night? There is a little runway and taxiway edge light lighting and a RAIL on the lead into RWY27, but otherwise not much else. No centreline lighting or taxiway guidance lights, it is pretty dark around WADD at night. Thankfully the ramps are filled out, but there is only a few spot lights otherwise. Terminal building lighting textures are not much better and are a consistent bland old style FS light brown... ... lighting landside is non-existent, the main International Terminal is mostly in darkness as are all areas including the road networks with only the Fuel Depot and surrounding with a few spot lights spoiling the darkness. There is certainly a wasted opportunity or simply just no creativity in what could have been achieved here because the extensive well modeled Balinese buildings do have great lighting textures, but mostly their effects are just lost in the gloom. Services Most if not all Asian major carriers service Ngurah Rai. Other carriers like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and even KLM with their historic Dutch Colonial connections to the area still has services. Qantas is not a major carrier here with only Sydney services and so that leaves much of the selfie hoards to Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Tigerair, but in strange note Tigerair was denied access over an Indonesian diplomatic incident lately and has had to pull out of the route (for now). Domestic is covered by Garuda the Indonesian major carrier, but mostly now Indonesia is now full of cheap Low Cost Carriers (LCC). Lion Air leads the charge, with Sriwijaya Air, Batik Air, NAM Air and Explore and Explore Jet. Indonesia AirAsia has muscled in a lot, but in reality it is Malay airline and not Indonesian. Cargo operators are small with just Cargo Garuda Indonesia doing the honors. Summary There is not a lot of Asian scenery released in X-Plane, in fact this is the first significant Asian payware scenery I think that has been actually released, and after years in X-Plane and as I live in Australia then that aspect is a travesty? Asia is an exciting destination and there is a lot of this area of the world to explore. Bali is certainly a brilliant area to explore. There is some really great spectacular landscapes around Bali and close by East Java has some of the most exciting volcanic areas in the world, I know that because I fly over it all the time heading between Australia and Singapore. So yes this Bali scenery for X-Plane from Aerosoft is a significant release, and overall it is totally a very good scenery. The aspects of what you get in the not just Ngurah Rai Airport itself, with the extensive Indonesian layout surrounding the central focus aviation interest is spectacular and for that alone the scenery is a very worthy purchase. But from an X-Plane perspective the dynamic aspects are very poor, certainly the conversion was done by a none or not interested party in any aspect of X-Plane's features in fact there is very little of it, in fact I don't even know why it is called Airport Bali XP because there is so little X-Plane in it. The blame here rests on Aerosoft to make sure its branded products live up to its reputation, but it looks like that aspect also took a holiday here. The nightlighting in perspective is mostly X-Plane9, as are non-dynamic animations and not even the ILS is aligned? Basic stuff... But overall WADD Ngurah Rai International Airport Bali is well worth putting in to your X-Plane scenery collection as it is certainly a worthy destination to fly to and use extensively, just don't rely on that RWY27 ILS in poor or minimum visibility conditions. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the WADD Ngurah Rai International Airport Bali by Aerosoft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Bali XP Your Price is US$24.95 Features: 0.40m/pixel aerial imagery for the airport and immediate surroundings High detailed custom ground polygons High detailed airport buildings with high resolution textures Custom modeled surrounding area of the airport for a true Bali look and feel Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2GB VRAM Minimum - 4GB + VRAM Recommended Download size: 860MB Installation : Download scenery file size is 538mb. "AS_AIRPORT-BALI_XPLANE11" in being inserted into your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" Folder as a single "Aerosoft - WADD Bali" 718.30mb scenery file. You can also download the Aerosoft static aircraft package (319.70mb) from a link that comes with the airport package. This is selected via the X-Plane "Graphics" menu for "Draw parked aircraft" tickbox off/on Documents Provided are two documents in: Manual_Airport_Bali (English and German) Charts_Airport_Bali (29 Charts) ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 20th 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 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 X-Plane default aircraft with ZIBO MOD installed
  14. Scenery Review : ENBR - Bergen Flesland Airport by Aerosoft One surprise this year was a scenery that I really liked in Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen. It wasn't an overall extremely out there detailed scenery, but it was a very functional airport in that I could find many uses for and the routes to use it, and I still do use OSL and quite a lot. So I was surprised that in just a very short time after the ENGM release in that Aerosoft have now released another Norwegian scenery in ENBR - Bergen. So was I wanting to visit ENBR - Bergen... of course I was. My reasoning to which I would say is quite relevant is that ENBR would make a great companion route with ENGM Oslo. And so it turned out that way, but ENBR - Bergen is a very important port anyway and not just a regional destination so it's scope is larger than the reason's I think it is a interesting scenery. Another aspect and an important one is that ENBR is a major hub for Oil Rig services that covers the northern reaches of the North Sea Oil reserves, and the only direct UK connection from ENBR is with Aberdeen which is the major hub for the UK services for the same industry. So lets have a first look at ENBR - Bergen Airport. First Impressions Obviously I am going to do the regional route from ENGM - Gardermoen to ENBR - Bergen and the local regional airline Widerhoe seems to be the right vehicle for the route. The odd thing is Widerhoe does serve every major port in Norway from Oslo, but not Bergen? That is left to the SAS services, but it is only 164nm from point to point, so that makes using a A320/B738 a bit of an overkill for such a short route... The load factors must make up for it. But this is X-Plane and in the simulator we can override commonsense and fly the route with the right equipment. Jack Skieczius of FlyJSim's lovely Dash 8-400 in Widerhoe colours is a great way to fly the route. It is quite a difficult aircraft to fly as it is the real version, but I am very familiar with it and so I know I can outfly it's peculiar attributes... well most of the time. Departure from Gardermoen was via RWY 01R and you do an almost complete circle to head west via ATLA SID and otherwise it is a direct route to the west coast of Norway. Arrival for ENBR's RW 17 is via STAR BADA, but the final turn is very (very) close to the intercept of finals, in most cases if you turn at waypoint BABLU it is not a tight turn and you can easily be not lined up ready to the runway, It can be done manually but not using the FMS route, so my choice was to go slightly further north to the VOO - VOLLO (114.85) VOR and turn south from there and that gave me more time to adjust the approach via ASK - ASKOY NDB (360khz). Bergen is deep into fjord country, lovely areas with nice mountains and deep lakes. It is also highly susceptible to the weather. Low cloud, fog and misty weather are normal conditions here, and you have to be aware of these points in that it may excite a few passengers with the sudden looming out of the mist of high ground, but will it will also scare the living daylights out of the other not so in tune souls that see flying as a more of as something they have to do and rather than love the experience as we do. But the point is a looming mountain side out of the gloom here is to be more expected here than general sightseeing... in other words you have to be careful on your altitudes and speeds as you my not have the visual aspects to help you get through the approach in one piece. So the approach into Bergen is certainly visually excellent but is also highly unpredictable in the type conditions on the time you arrive there. This makes ENBR an interesting airport for flying in and out of, but the chances are the conditions will more to the average than the good. On finals the airport is like on a shelf surrounded by waterways and quite similar to like flying around Juneau in Alaska. Using RWY 17 is more advisable as it has a better ALS lighting system for approach and the guides can be seen more easily through the murk, the airport itself is quite hard to decipher in the haze and terrain and the distinctive approach lighting is a big benefit and in fact a requirement. So challenging ENBR is, but that is what makes airports interesting and even exciting to pilots. The autogen works as well, even if the buildings are the Germanic default, but it works very well in the layouts and the overall feel as you approach. Close in to the airport there is not a lot of buildings or urban areas, there is more to the south. So overall the area is dominated by the northern Scandinavian pine tree fauna. From that aspect Aerosoft have done a great job in creating the right environment, it looks very authentic and the airport is very well intergrated with the surrounding area, in so much so that it can be hard to distinguish the airport from a distance, which is worse in low cloud or foggy conditions. I have the 'runways to follow terrain" setting on, so there is a significant set of gradients on the single runway 17/35, markings are good and the runway detailing is well done. There is well done 3d grass with sparse areas and full growth areas by the runways and infields, that adds in realism to the ground areas. There is nothing to the west and all the buildings and the airport is to the east or with my arrival from the north to the left. The airport is split into three areas. Although all are terminals they are all defined on their purpose. The main one is the older central distinctive circular 1988 terminal designed by Halfdan Grieg. To the south in this scenery is the half-built new terminal to which I don't understand as it was opened in 2016? So why not complete it for use and to the north is the huge helicopter terminal which is located in the old 1958 terminal. Taxiway A6 was used as a departure point from the runway and that gives you direct access to the main central terminal, but I am using a stand, of which there is plenty of choice north and south and in my assigned stand which is 41 to the north on Apron N. There is a lot of linage to be aware of and a ground chart is helpful in finding the right taxi line to your gate or stand, they are well defined, but complex to follow correctly without some guidance. To surmise the arrival is very good at ENBR, but it feels murky and that is mostly the weather's fault, but also there feels a slight authentic drabness about Bergen Flesland Airport, but the word here is "authentic" drabness and not the actual scenery design but more of the feel of the place. My feeling is that a completed southern terminal would have given the scenery a slightly more modern feel, but it is as presented. ENBR Bergen Flesland Airport Bergen Airport, Flesland IATA: BGO - ICAO: ENBR 17/35 - 2,990m (9,810ft) Asphalt/concrete Elevation AMSL 50.6 m / 166 ft Most Scandinavian airports are both Military and Commercial, but Bergen which was originally an air station was overwhelmed in the mid-eighties by helicopter services servicing the offshore oil industry and was then with mostly the ending of the Cold War and following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, then the military activity at Flesland diminished down to the point there of there is now only about 30 military personnel at the airport. The northern military area is now only visible via the empty parking areas and a few hangars. As a note the main taxiway Y was used as a backup runway if required and is still serviceable in that role. Airport layout is mostly over covered by the local fauna, but that is what makes it more attractive in the detailing. There is a fair amount of autogen to the south and southeast which fills in the area very nicely. All runways and taxiways are well signed and designed, the area south is the new terminal construction zone that is well done. The runway is a single 2,990 by 45 meters (9,810 by 148 ft) runway numbered 17–35 (roughly north–south). The runway has 7.5-meter (25 ft) shoulders on each side and has 2,450 meters (8,040 ft) between the touchdown points.The runway has a parallel taxiway (Y), with nine intersections. There is also a taxiway further in along between the terminal and technical area (W). There are six intersections between W and Y, one of which leads to the military area. Main1988 terminal In today's mostly generic sameness of airport terminals, you do look to the past to see any local or regional flavor. Thankfully at ENBR you do get a different style of regional design in the slightly older circular terminal design. It is very well done in that Aerosoftish way, not really outstanding in design but still expertly done. It is authentic though with those very distinctive "Gerry Anderson - Thunderbird" type boarding bridges design that looks actually older in say an 60's era than the actual 1980's era of construction. Note the excellent animated vehicles of which there is plenty of movement and action. There is a huge carpark set out behind he terminal with a landside arrivals area and with attractive animated flags... there are eleven gates 21- 32 and there is a nice but small selections of ramp equipment at each gate. There is also the internal terminal detailing. Very nice, but it is very, very dark in there, but still very bright outside. The Airbridges are noted as animated with marginal's "Autogate" plugin... but I couldn't get them to work? It doesn't feel right either as the wall guides are very off centre to the actual parking lines. I tried both in the set out lines or directing the aircraft at the actual guidance system and it doesn't show anything except the aircraft type? very odd. On some remote stands (not all) there are guidance marshall's and they do work as advertised. New Terminal area To the south is the new in progress terminal construction area. It is well done, but I think that the scenery could have finished off in that area for use as Aerosoft will either have to update or see the this scenery go out of date very quickly. The new terminal also replaces the old cargo area, so there is no cargo zone either? Far south is "Remote Apron S" which has 10 stands 1R, 1, 1R, 2 - 8 but my guess is that this area will be the new cargo area in the future. More to the southwest there is more areas affected by the building works, so the scenery detail (below left) goes on well past the actual airport parameter. Apron N (North) The area just north of the central terminal is "Apron N" This is a stand aircraft parking area with stands 41 - 48. Here is also fronting on to the apron also is the airport's Fire Station and a few workshop areas. To the east of Apron N is the Clarion Hotel and the main open air large carparks... ... the hotel is pretty basic, but faithful to the original, it is also connected to the central terminal area. Carparks are completed with great lighting and 3d cars. Old Terminal The North Sea services were overwhelming Flesland to the point that they were thinking of creating a separate area for the operations. 30-40 rotations a day is normal here, so the idea was to build a new commercial terminal and use the older 1958 terminal for the oil Industry and that is the setup today. This has to be the biggest helicopter terminal in the world, as there are nine helicopter stands, of which six are situated outside the terminal building, the building is quite basic and grey, but "Oh" what a missed opportunity in leaving the area so empty? You can accept the idea of empty gates for aircraft traffic, but in areas that are not as defined then it is to the good developer's discretion to fill in areas that require activity to make a complete scenery viable. So the areas around the 1958 terminal are very, very empty when it should be a hive of activity and it shows.... badly. Part of the northern helicopter apron are two major helicopter operators maintenance hangars for Norsk Helikopter and CHC Helikopters. Both hangars are well done and well represented. To the east is a GateGourmet facility. As part of the older 1958 terminal's area is the set back control tower that was built in 1991, obviously with it's position more for the helicopter operations that commercial operations. The control tower is well done in construction by Aerosoft. Tower view works fine for both approaches, there are some railings to the bottom but they don't hinder or obscure the view in viewing. Air-Station The old air-station is in the far north of the airfield. The downgrading and use of the air station had started in 1988 and was completed by 1995. The Oil industry again took over much of the area, but it can be used as a General Aviation area as well if required. Mostly you are now left with some old military hangars and a large apron. The old F16 stands are still there and stretch way out into the forest to the north, and there are a few left over barrack buildings as well. Winter ENBR As a note Aerosoft do include winter textures for this scenery.... This will transform the scenery into a winter style simulation. So if you want a winter look you can use a set of Winter textures by xFlyer called Winter_Package or Simple Seasons. This set of textures is used with a MODS program that switches over the textures without messing about in root files, and the program is a windows program called Generic Mod Enabler or JSGME Generic Mod Enabler. The JSGME will work with the Mac, but you have to run it with Wine, and it works very well as I have used that system for years. The MOD does a great job of transforming the ENBR scenery to Christmas time! However there is an issue with the trees? In the process from summer to winter they have gone flat grey? And it certainly doesn't look very authentic as trees go... so I have done my own fix. I have have included the fix below, see installation notes... but it now looks far better. Lighting Lighting is good, workable without being spectacular. The approach lighting is very good (north is better than the south) as it needs to be with the weather conditions at the airport which is contrastingly always submitted to. With the airport's position there is a little autogen lighting to the south, but overall the area is quite dark. Ground navigation signage is excellent, but it rarely isn't now in X-Plane, but it is still a welcome help here. All ramp and stand areas are lit, but not overwhelmingly so, but still adequate enough to work on. The new terminal is lit on the ramp awaiting aircraft, and the rear carparks and airport approach roads are very well done and stand out. The central terminal was always going to be the scenery's focus at night and it doesn't disappoint. The highlight is the airbridge downlighting which is excellent. And the internal lighting works from both viewpoints in from the external and the internal aspects... ... where again nice downlighting lifts the scene. In the helicopter operations areas it is quite average, in both textures and just basic lighting... ... and the further north you go the less lighting you get. Services In 2016 Bergen Airport served 63 destinations. In addition, offshore oil platforms are served from the helicopter terminal. Twenty-three airlines operate regular flights out of Flesland. They are served by two ground handling agents, SAS Ground Services and Norport Handling. The largest airlines at Flesland are Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Widerøe. SAS and Norwegian exclusively operate jetliners on main-haul international and domestic routes. Widerøe operates the routes to Florø, Førde, Sandane, Sogndal and Ørsta/Volda on public service obligation contract with the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The airline's remaining routes are commercial. The airline's uses various sizes of the Bombardier Dash 8. Bergen Air Transport is based at Flesland. In addition to general aviation and executive jet operations, it provides a daily scheduled service to Notodden with a Beechcraft King Air. Danish Air Transport provides domestic services to Moss and Skien. Bristow Norway and CHC Helikopter Service operate to offshore oil platforms from the helicopter terminal. Lufttransport transport maritime pilots to ships on behalf of the Norwegian Coastal Administration. Charter carriers include Air Europa, BH Air, Corendon Airlines, SunExpress and Thomas Cook Airlines. (wikipedia) Summary As a companion to Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo then Bergen Flesland is a great and even a required scenery. It is tricky to fly in and and out of ENBR with interesting approaches and that weather. So it is technically a challenge and certainly in the FJS Dash8 but the fjord landscape is quite enchanting especially in low dawn or dusk lighting. Everything is here in an Aerosoft workman like way. But ENBR does come across as a little grey and dull sometimes. But there are a few areas that could have lifted the scenery to above average. The unfinished new terminal area is nice in construction mode, but it is really a waste in an operations point of view, why not just have made it complete and fully usable? And why add in gate guidance that is not aligned and doesn't actually work? Same with the oil operations areas, they are all just very empty when with a bit of imagination it could have been a hive of activity, it is certainly not in Aerosoft's blood to create dynamic sceneries, but here it really shows and it creates a certain blandness that is even a low point for even Aerosoft. You can of course do some work to fill in the areas, but why should you, it should already be created as you are paying good money for that, I hope an update comes soon. The rest is pretty good, but not overwhelmingly great or brilliant, workman like is the word, but it is a great airport to use if considering its location and to a point that does sum up a majority of Aerosoft's sceneries, so you know what you are buying every time. Worth the purchase? Overall yes, because it is a good scenery and you can get a lot of different operations out of ENBR including the different high rotation helicopter services that are quite rare. Yes I liked it a lot, but ENBR - Bergen could have been better, and even an excellent scenery with just a little more imagination. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the ENBR - Bergen Flesland Airport by Aerosoft is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Bergen Airport Norway - ENBR Price is US$21.59 Features: Highly realistic recreation of Bergen Airport, Flesland (ENBR, BGO) Fully compatible with X-Plane 11 High detail models of all airport buildings and installations Highly realistic taxiway and runway textures Animated jetways (Autogate Plugin required) Animated service Vehicles (XP11 native) Custom static aircraft Includes highly detailed terminal Interior Winter season included Realistic night time effects New terminal (construction site) included Custom runway slope and mesh Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb+ VRAM Video RAM Installation : Download scenery file size is 693.90mb. "ENBR - Bergen" in being inserted into your X-Plane "Custom Scenery" Folder. Aerosoft - Bergen - Airport (1.46gb) Aerosoft - Bergen - Mesh (47.50mb) Scenery order is important! The mesh file must be inserted below the main file in your .ini loading (txt) file located in your custom folder. X-Plane setting "runways to follow terrain contours" must be ON to use this scenery. Included in Scenery Package Aerosoft - Bergen - Airport Aerosoft - Bergen - Mesh Airport Charts Manual - Airport - Bergen Winter Textures As noted above I have done my own fix with the flat tree file, a fix will come but "Winter will soon be here" so I can't wait until they sort it out. In the "Aerosoft - Bergen - Airport" folder there is folder called "winter_textures". Within that folder is another called "objects" and the file you need to replace with the one below is the "ENBR_Tree_Generic.dds". The new file is a .png, so just throw away the .dds file and add in the adjusted one. And you will then send me a lovely Christmas gift to thank me for making Christmas real again... ENBR_Tree_Generic.png.zip ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 20th July 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 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.95 - Boeing 737-800 X-Plane default aircraft - Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 by FlyJSim (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$30.00
  15. Scenery Review : ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft Some sceneries makes a big splash on release, they are all bangs and whistles in that they take a lot of the air out of anything else around them. This is certainly the case with many scenery releases, but you will need to always check out that one scenery that just slips silently on to the lists as you maybe missing something special. It has happened twice now, in first that excellent JustSim scenery for ELLX - Luxembourg Findel Airport last month and now again here with Aerosoft's Oslo airport at Gardermoen. Gardermoen is a new airport by most standards and opened on the 8 October 1998. Like all Norwegian airports it was a military base and in fact the area was an army camp as far back as 1740. Mostly Gardermoen played second to Oslo's main gateway at Fornebu, but fog restrictions required a more permanent facility. The airport is modeled partially on Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with with two parallel runways and a single terminal with two piers on a single line but with a Norwegian flavour, and is located 19 nautical miles (35 km; 22 mi) north-northeast of Oslo city center. Although SAS (Scandinavian Airlines, often shortened to SAS (was previously Scandinavian Airlines System) is a Swedish based airline and it has major facilities including a SAS Museum at Gardermoen, there is a also a SAS built complex with 55,000 square metres (590,000 sq ft), including a technical base, cabin storage, garages and cargo terminals that was built the same time as the airport was under construction. ENGM Airport layout Oslo Lufthavn Gardermoen IATA: OSL ICAO: ENGM 01L/19R - 3,600m (11,811ft) Asphalt/concrete 01R/19L - 2,950m (9,678ft) Asphalt/concrete Elevation AMSL 681 ft / 208 m First impressions will always last in the memory. On first viewing ENGM Gardermoen my first thoughts were "wow", that is good. Surprised, yes I was as it is good scenery. The main point is of course does it fit in with the surrounding (X-Plane) landscape, that is always my starting point in good scenery and Aerosoft's ENGM is very good, it looks highly realistic and fits in naturally. Central terminal area is a simple T, but looks really good from the air, with the modern wooden roof of the newly constructed Terminal 2 is an excellent standout. Terminal Main terminal construction is excellent, the original 1998 Terminal one has two wings on either side of the central main terminal building. The newer just added beautiful wooden roofed Terminal 2 is another fine construction, it has great detailing and nice reflective glass work... Internally T2 is catered for as well, and the roof is just as a great piece of work from the inside as much as the outside, the passing view inside out on to the taxiways is excellent. Both wings and gate areas are exceptional, with really great textures, signage and lots of detail. (you will need your "Texture Quality slider right up though") and the ground objects are very good as well, but you have too pick your gate though as most have a lot of objects, but a few don't have many or none at all. Full guidance and autogate docking is available (Marginal's plugin required) and the system has been adjusted to fit the local airbridges, which work very well and the aircraft looks great when docked. If there is no airbridge then you get a animated guiding marshall. Like T2 the wing areas are completed internally as well, but you can't see the aircraft through the windows? There are a lot of great remote parking areas and a Low Cost Terminal on the western side of the main terminal. Cargo terminal is however small. Lots of great animated vehicles constantly roam the airport's pathways and roads. The vehicles in X-Plane11 (version) are custom models made for Oslo airport and they are nice quality vehicles as well in that they fit in perfectly with the Scandi surroundings. Control Tower sits airside behind the main terminal is workable, but it is no piece of art and the textures are basic, "Tower View" is not set either, so you only see a ground view of a western ramp area, which not good enough for any pay scenery... The airside areas are empty of vehicles, so that area looks a little blank, if fact there is not much attention to the airside at all except for the required buildings and ramps. Even a few vehicle objects would have filled out anything over here and which would have been than nothing? Airfield Features Aerosoft has always been been known on how to create great grass effects and here at Gardermoen it is no different. Runway signage, lighting and linework is all very good as well as are the different ground textures. SAS Technical facility is well done but totally boring. A few static aircraft or ground objects are really needed to fill out the empty space. So you will need to hit the Overview Editor to help lift it a little with this area. General Aviation and Fire Station On the western boundary by runway 01L/19R is the General Aviation and Fire Station area. Certainly this area is part of the original Gardermoen airport as it looks and feels far older. The GA ramp with the Fire Station is mostly just the objects placed on the base, there is no fill in equipment or static aircraft (aircraft shown is WorldTraffic), so it is all a little bland out there, a few vehicles would have made it more realistic. Military Area The Military area is to the north of the main terminal complex. It is very much the same as the GA area with just basic fill of buildings and not much else. Gardermoen flystasjon is the location for the 135th Airwing and the 335 Squadron of the Royal Norwegian Air Force, which currently operates four of the originally five (see: 2012 Norwegian C-130 crash) recently procured C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft. So the point of just adding in a few C-130's as static aircraft would have been nice... a wasted opportunity Otherwise there are a lot of nice old fashion hangars hidden in the trees with a very visual tall radar tower that is the centrepoint of the airfield. To round off there is an engine test bay that is noticeable when landing or taking off from 01R/19L and taxiways S and H. Lighting Generally the lighting is very good, In the areas you need good lighting it works well and gives you great coverage. Runway, taxiway lighting and night signage is excellent with a very realistic approach at night. Focus is of the lighting is on the main terminal and ramp areas. There is not much variation in the lighting colours, but the actual lighting towers are really well done and look great in the daytime as well as working lit at night. All ramp areas are great to work in at night, you get nice coverage and it feels great for any departure or arrival once the sun goes down. Terminal lighting is basically dark (grey) at night, so the buildings don't quite light up, so they loom around you a little dark. Off terminal areas are well lit like the de-iceing areas (There are four in Alpha South, Alpha North on RWY's 01L and 19R and Bravo North 19L). Services SAS and Norwegian Air Shuttle dominate ENGM Gardermoen as it a hub for SAS, while it is the main hub for Norwegian. Most main European carriers including British Airways, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Air France (HOP!), Aeroflot, KLM, Swiss, TAP and more but a lot of charter airlines like Thomas Cook, Thomson, TUi also fly seasonal. Widerøe is the big local regional airline to be based here. International is covered by Emirates, PIA, Qatar Airlines, Turkish and Thai Airlines. Summary The core of Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen is excellent, this is certainly a great destination and you get a great feel and a lot of use out of the airport when you use it. The main terminals and associated buildings and ramp areas are also very good, beautifully constructed and very realistic of the real modern Gardermoen with fully animated vehicles and full docking features on every stand and gate. The airports layout is excellent as well with great intergration into the X-Plane landscape, nice ground textures and lots of great grass to take away the flat photgraphic feel of the ground plates. Full ground routes are implemented (although I might note the front in parking is maybe a turn around parking setting). Negatives are in reality small, but still highly noticeable. No "Tower View" is really a no, no for payware developers... Outside of the central terminal areas there is very little vehicle or static aircraft placement and it is very visible in creating empty spaces where there should be none, diitto with just the basic building objects and textures to fill out an area, and a bit more building creativity and fill could have been used. But totally overall ENGM is excellent scenery to get a lot of use out of if you need a very good northern Scandinavian port then you can't go past this scenery as to be part of your collection. I already love flying in and out of this Aerosoft scenery and is certain to make a use of it in the future, so for me it is a certain addition to the network, you just have to add in only a few vehicles and static aircraft to make it a total 100% perfect scenery. ENGM could have easily been an airport to very easily slip under your network radar, but Aerosoft's ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen shouldn't be... as it is good to great scenery that will be good scenery for great long future use in the simulator. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! ENGM - Oslo Gardermoen by Aerosoft is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Oslo XP Price is US$24.95 Features: Features: Realistic recreation of Oslo airport Gardermoen Highly detailed Terminal models and photo real textures High resolution runway and taxiway textures Highly realistic night time effects Interior models included for Terminal buildings Supports X-Planes „runways follow terrain“ features Custom Jetway animations (Autogate plug-in required) Custom Aircraft marshaller (Autogate plug-in required) Visual Guidance Docking Systems (Autogate plug-in required) Replaces X-Plane 11 ground equipment models with custom local models (X-Plane 11 only) Highly detailed clutter objects Custom Wig Wag models Custom animated windsock model Seasonal Textures included (seasons plug-in required) Requirements: XPlane 11 or X-Plane 10.50 Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10 or Linux or Mac 2GB+ VRAM Video Card Download-Size: 320 MB Installation and documents: Download is 344.80meg and the scenery is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder in this order... Aerosoft - ENGM Gardermoen (958.60mb) Aerosoft - ENGM Gardermoen - Roads (9kb) zzz_Aerosoft - ENGM Gardermoen - Mesh (12.50mb) Note the zzz_ mesh must be positioned below the other folders, use the "scenery_packs.ini" (text) to adjust the order. Marginal's jetway and docking guidance system plugin is required for the animated marshall and jetways : AutoGate plugin 1.72 Full manual is provided (24 pages) in German and English. Full set of charts are also provided (49 pages) ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 24th May 2017 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews (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 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x56 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 : WorldTraffic 2.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Airbus A320neo by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95
  16. Scenery Review : KDFW Dallas Fort Worth by Aerosoft One scenery I use a lot in reviews here at X-PlaneReviews is KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft. As it was not only a really high quality scenery, full of great features and was functional as well. The scenery was the first project by Omar Masroor under the Aerosoft banner and it set out from the beginning to be a high standard of quality scenery... so now for Masroor's follow up and the scenery is DFW. As scale goes you couldn't pick a larger airport to cover except for KATL - Atlanta, as DFW is a major international incoming hub to the United States. DFW is the third largest airport in size in the United States and the tenth in passenger movements in 2015. This is Texas after all. I will admit to being a little bemused by the choice of DFW, because it was covered by Tom Curtis's "American Country" scenery only this time last year and of course comparisons are going to be made between the two projects, it is fine if you are going to deliver a much more higher quality scenery, but if you don't you are wasting your efforts when they could be put to better use on scenery that is required in X-Plane and not just duplicating what is already available. First Impressions First impressions are entirely favorable. The building construction is very good , even impressive in detail, remember our old adage in that the larger the scenery then the less we must expect in raw detail, but the DFW buildings here are very well defined. Approaching DFW from a distance it doesn't completely meld into the surrounding scenery, the boundary is distinguishable from the default textures by a lot of surrounding green space and the photo textures are slightly lighter inside the boundary, not that bad in reality but it is slightly noticeable. But look at a google map (below) and DFW is hemmed in by its surrounding suburbs, here the scenery feels slightly disconnected with all the bits of green space surrounding the airport. As a note that American airport developers seem to struggle more with intergrating their photo-textures into the default scenery textures, witness the same with Mister_x6's Salt Lake City Airport. Google Maps KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth layout KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth International IATA: DFW – ICAO: KDFW – FAA LID: DFW 13L/31R 9,0002ft, (743m) Concrete 13R/31L 9,3012ft ,(834m) Concrete 17C/35C 13,4014ft ,(085m) Concrete 17L/35R 8,500ft, (2,590m) Concrete 17R/35L 13,4014ft, (085m) Concrete 18L/36R 13,4004ft, (085m) Concrete 18R/36L13,4004ft, (085m) Concrete H1 158ft (48m) Concrete Elevation AMSL 607 ft / 185 m Runway layouts are excellent and you have a lot of if not a huge choice at DFW, only 31L does not have an ILS and it is a shame as it is the best approach to the airport. Runway and taxiway lineage is good, as is all the correct taxiways direction signs. The black side tarmac looks good, but overall the infield grass feels quite bland with not a lot of saturation (colour) and the difference is not only noticeable, but also creates an overall bland feel to the scenery... or could it just be that hot Texan sun? Dallas Fort Worth Airport is so large you really have to break it down into bit sized chucks to digest it. Central Terminal Area Central Terminal area has Five Terminals in north A - C - E and south B - D and Express South (carpark) which will be Terminal F Terminal A Terminal A has 30 gates: A8–A25, A28–A29, A33–A39. with Gates A34–A39 closed for renovations, as of March 2016. An American Airlines Admirals Club is located at Gate A24. The A terminal is a wholly an American Airlines terminal and is semi-circular in design. A major feature of DFW is the SkyLink terminal people-mover that commenced operations in April 2005 in replacing the notoriously slow original Airtrans APM (17mph). The large corner iconic terminal buildings are not actually part of the terminal, but are the Skylink stations that are sited around the extensive terminal loop that makes up the full transport system. In this scenery the Skylink is excellently reproduced with constant movement rail-cars moving (quite fast) right around the system in opposite directions, the track breaks now and again but overall the system here is excellent and a really great visual feature with the latest orange updated cars are animated in moving in and and out of your line of view. Lots of great animated traffic running round the ramps as well and giving you that busy feeling, but there is this strange anomaly that most of the vehicles are SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) vehicles... in Texas? The ramps are crowded as well with a large selection of vehicles, but with a bit too many. If you use JARDesign's excellent "Ground Handling Deluxe" which I do a lot, then it becomes horribly confusing? I never had this problem with Omar's KRSW, in fact it was the best in the right factor of amount of ramp vehicles and space usability, but here they all clash in together. The see through glass feature is to be noted as it looks really good, and it is usable inside as well to see out. Terminal B Terminal B is opposite Terminal A and has 49 gates: B2–B3 (FIS optional) and there is an American Airlines Admirals Club located at Gate B3, B4–B29, B30–B39 (North Stinger), B40–B49. and Gates B18–B23 are closed for renovations, as of March 2016. North Stinger is a walk-on satellite terminal. Terminal B was originally the main Braniff Airlines complex, but it is now completely American Eagle territory as they now run all the gates. Note the traffic highway (bottom right) that runs through the centre of DFW, cars and trucks run in and out of the airport very nicely to give you a movement feel. Terminal C Terminal C has 31 gates: C2–C4, C6–C8, C10–C12, C14–C17, C19–C22, C24–C33, C35–C37 and C39. And the The Hyatt Regency DFW hotel is part of this terminal complex (not to be confused with the south terminal D Grand Hyatt). Originally Terminal 3E is is another wholly American Airlines terminal with an American Airlines Admirals Club located at Gate C20. This terminal is domestic. The ramp tower situated between Terminal A and Terminal C and is also highly visible on departure or arrival from A or C terminals. Terminal D (International) Terminal D is the International terminal for DFW and it is a 2,000,000 sq ft (186,000 m2) facility capable of handling 32,000 passengers daily or 11.7 million passengers annually. The 298-room Grand Hyatt DFW Hotel is directly connected to the terminal. Terminal D has 30 gates: D6–D8, D10–D12, D14, D15–D16–D16X (A380 gate with three loading bridges), D17–D18, D20–D25, D27–D31, D33–D34, D36–D40. There is an American Airlines Admirals Club located at D24. A British Airways Lounge, a Korean Air Lounge, a Lufthansa Lounge and a QANTAS Business Lounge is located at D21. Both Emirates and Qantas use the A380 at this terminal. The highlight of the scenery is Terminal D. Noticeable is the extra attention the terminal has been given as it is more highly detailed and has a more complex construction. The terminal has lovely lines and shape, detail includes electrical work boxes and cabling. The scenery has full built in "autogates" and guidance by Marginal and the red digital "Welcome to DFW" signage is very welcome. Terminal D is also more detailed inside as well with shopping areas and the usual brands in situ. Terminal E Terminal E, was originally occupied primarily by Delta Air Lines until Delta closed its hub here at DFW in 2005 (still Delta does 50 flights a day from here). Now it serves U.S.- based carriers at the airport other than American Airlines/American Eagle and Sun Country, as well as Air Canada Express and WestJet USCBP that are precleared flights from Canada. Terminal E has 35 gates: E2, E4–E18, E20–E21, E22–E30 (Satellite Terminal), E31–E38. Delta and Alaska Airlines are the current occupants of the E satellite terminal, following the renovation project of gates E31–E38. The scenery can use three options for static aircraft. 1 ) is the inbuilt X-Plane11 static aircraft (shown here) and can be regulated by your graphic settings slider. 2 ) X-Life is also available with notes on how to use and install in the manual and 3 ) is World Traffic WT. All the correct inlaid ATC and taxiway traffic flows are built in and ready for use. Express South Express South is a huge carpark opposite Terminal E. It is the site for any terminal expansion and is noted as Terminal F and planning is due soon. The Skylink is already in place and well represented here as the orange rail-cars move right around the the carpark boundary. Taxiway A/B - X/Y Jet Bridge Who doesn't love a taxiway Jet Bridge over a highway! I love them... At DFW taxiways A and B east and X and Y west pass over the Route 97 International Parkway. In the Aerosoft DFW scenery it is really well done as you cross over the moving traffic, only note is that the street lighting pops up through the taxiway? A slight distraction in the day, but odd at night with the glowing street lamps in your path? Central core Both approaches from the west and east to DFW is well done, but the moving traffic adds a lot of functionality to the scene. The main 232ft central control tower (there are three field towers in South, Central and North) is the only main building on the strip. It is not an over detailed tower but I would note it as functional. The Tower view over the main central runways 18R/36L 18L/36R and 17R/35L 17C/35C thankfully is excellent with no obstructions and you can see the full four corners of the field. On the southern-east section of taxiway A and B is the "SouthEast" Cargo area (below right) which is a multi-user facility for quick transit parcel movement. With another long-term and car rental carpark areas set more to the south. On the south-west side of the southern approach to DFW are mostly the catering facilities (above left). A small fuel depot is well done with a large mobile-office (demountable) administration area set out behind. On the northern approach to DFW there is a large long term carpark to the west, The car-cover screens are not in 3d like Tom Curtis's version, but only flat in the ground images? On the west side along taxiway K is a corporate aviation ramp (Apron 1E) and reception terminal. With airport support warehouses next to the Parkway. DFW West The western boundary is defined by 13R/31L to the west and 18R/36L to the east and the Cargo and Maintenance (American Airlines) infrastructure placed between them. South-west in this area is "West Cargo" but noted as the DHL cargo aprons. American Airlines have maintenance complex here with two hangars covering the site. The "West (control) Tower" is positioned behind the AA maintenance hangars. American Eagle has its offices and maintenance hangars central west with another cargo apron along side known as "West Air Freight". Still another cargo complex area is north-west and this time it is for UPS (United Parcel Service). Also set out west - west by RWY 13R/31L is the airport's comprehensive fuel depot and fuel tanks. All items are covered but the area is not over detailed. DFW East On the Northeastern boundary FedEx has a big cargo complex aligned with RWY 13L/31R known as "East Cargo". In reality this area and runway is an airport on its own just for FedEx cargo operations, There is an adjoining Fire Station (no.3) complex as well. Mid-field east ibetween runways 17C/35C and 17L/35R there is the "East (control) Tower" and a big American Airline maintenance hangar (Hangar 5) and support aprons with the adjoining main central Fire Station (no.1). The American Airline office complex and operations centre and the DFW (airport) Human Resources building are covered as is the large "Flight Safety International" training facility. But they are facade style buildings and not 3d objects that are placed more for filling in than replication of existing buildings. The east runway radar tower is notably absent. Lighting Approaching DFW is always an event, and the scenery looks very good at night. All runway and taxiway lighting is first rate, there is nothing better than taxiing round (and believe me you taxi a lot and a long way at DFW) and here it is a very good view. Ramp lighting is excellent with those huge towers of directional lights hanging over you... And here is a little bit of a incertitude in that those lovely daytime glass effects that don't translate to night time look. It is all of course a personal difference on the effect. It helps in that you can see the buildings internal areas, but overall it feels grey and flat. The cause is not helped by the average night textures on the carparks and hotels. The Grand Hyatt is devoid of any life whatsoever (HYATT sign is the only highlight) and very different as the building looks great in the daylight, the building should be a visual highlight on departure or arrival. The Hyatt Regency is a better, but still uniform in its lighting patterns. But overall this throwback lighting is boring. If these lighting carpark/hotel effects had been more effective then they would have taken away some of the flatness of the terminal glass, but together they make the building lighting and the central/terminal area average and even bland. Night textures are very hard to get right. But if you do then it can lift a scenery into a great destination for a night arrival. Services You can connect pretty much everywhere from DFW certainly on any American Airlines/U.S Airways routes. So your choice is huge... top ten domestic routes are interesting with LaGuardia routes notably more used than JFK and no major Washington D.C. routes noted. Domestic 1. Los Angeles, California -1,199,000 - American, Delta, Spirit, United 2. Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois - 1,060,000 - American, Spirit, United 3. Atlanta, Georgia - 977,000 - American, Delta, Spirit 4. Denver, Colorado - 858,000 - American, Frontier, Spirit, United 5. New York–LaGuardia, New York - 787,000 - American, Delta, Spirit 6. Phoenix, Arizona - 693,000 - American/US Airways, Spirit 7. Las Vegas, Nevada - 672,000 - American, Spirit 8. San Francisco, California - 660,000 - American, United 9. Miami, Florida - 628,000 - American 10. Charlotte, North Carolina - 613,000 - American/US Airways International International routes are very interesting. You expect Mexico and Canada to be popular, but the British seem to really like Texas as well. Notable routes to the Far East (Toyko/Seoul) are surprising. Also surprising is the absence of the middle-east carriers, but with Emirates upping the Dubai - Dallas route EK221/EK222 to A380 services and other new connections then that absence won't be for too much longer. 1. Cancún, Mexico - 682,977 - Aeromexico, American, Spirit, Sun Country 2. London (Heathrow), England - 636,251 - American, British Airways 3. Mexico City, Mexico - 476,167 - Aeromexico, American 4. Tokyo (Narita), Japan - 305,321 - American 5. Frankfurt, Germany - 269,442 - American, Lufthansa 6. Monterrey, Mexico - 246,804 - American 7. Seoul (Incheon), South Korea - 245,514 - American, Korean Air 8. San José del Cabo, Mexico - 240,412 - American, Spirit 9. Toronto (Pearson), Canada - 221,385 - Air Canada, American 10. Vancouver, Canada - 200,460 - American Qantas currently operates the world's longest nonstop service route from DFW to Sydney. In August 2015, Emirates announced plans for a nonstop flight from Dubai to Panama City which will take the title of the world's longest scheduled nonstop passenger flight starting on February 1, 2016. Cargo With 22 cargo operators and with 578,906 tons of cargo handled annually, DFW is the world's 29th busiest cargo airport. If you have followed all the cargo areas in this review you would understand how big a cargo hub DFW is. So with plenty of choice in operators and destinations will keep any cargo hauler easily grinning from ear to ear. Summary Obviously the comparison with Tom Curtis's "American Country" scenery is always going to be a hard choice. In perspective they are very different sceneries and both have great features and ideas. In more modern effects and features certainly then Aerosoft's version has a lot more the Tom Curtis's but they are very different views of the same airport. In the negative I think Aerosoft's version is slightly blander because of the very light saturation of the photo textures. I had to work hard to get any colour into the images here because there isn't much colour to be had to do so. In fact the google image shows that within the airport grounds it is far more darker than the surround areas, and here it is the opposite way around. Building and texture night lighting is a bit more of the same, a bit grey and flat, but then KRSW's night glasswork was a little grey as well. Highlight is certainly the terminal modeling as it is very good, with Terminal D being the standout. And the Jet Bridges over the highways and great moving traffic flows fill out a great visual aspect while taxiing in and out of the airport. There are lots of features including the step approach of installing sections of the airport that if you wish to leave out can help with your framerate and not affect the visual aspect of the scenery. DFW is a far bigger scale up from KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport and all the great things that made that scenery good is in this DFW, but the larger scale does mean something can be more highlighted than they were on a smaller airport. Overall this KDFW - Dallas/Fort Worth scenery is very good with a lot of great aspects and features, but a more attention to the ground textures and night building lighting should have made it really great. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth by Aerosoft is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KDFW- Dallas/Fort Worth Price is US$23.99 Features: 30 cm/pixel orthoimagery and 1 cm/pixel custom ground detail/markings Airport lighting and pavement markings closely follow FAA/ACI standards Terminals with interiors modelled using actual architectural drawings Modelled aircraft overpasses crossing International Parkway Ray-traced ambient occlusion, local illumination and specular mapping Uses advanced X-Plane features such as decal shading and 3D spill lights Animated passenger boarding bridges and Safedock® A-VDGS at all gates (using the freely available AutoGate plugin by Jonathan Harris)* Animated road traffic and Skylink APM Complete taxiway network for use by ATC and AI aircraft Fully compatible with the X-Life plugin by JARDesign Makes full use of the new ground service vehicles introduced in X-Plane 11 Thousands of hand-placed objects such as parked cars and streetlights Parked cars, streetlights and terminal interiors can be individually turned on/off to optimize performance Uses 4K textures to maximize performance by minimizing draw calls Requirements: X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10 Windows, Mac and Linux 2Gb+ VRAM Video Card Installation and documents: Download is 307.90meg and the scenery is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder in this order... Aerosoft_KDFW_1_Parked_Cars (106kb)* Aerosoft_KDFW_2_Street_Lights (12.7kb)* Aerosoft_KDFW_3_Terminal_Interiors (58.30kb)* Aerosoft_KDFW_4_Roads (10kb) Aerosoft_KDFW_5_Scenery (678.90mb) * selections can be removed to save framerate. Marginal's jetway and docking guidance system plugin is required for the animated jetways : AutoGate plugin 1.72 Full manual is provided. No charts but available here : faa.gov ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 16th May 2017 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews (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 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x56 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 - Airbus A320neo by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95 - Boeing 737-800 X-Plane default
  17. Scenery Review : EGCC Manchester Airport by Aerosoft/Icarius Childhood dreams are hard to forget, emotional and still very vivid. "Ringway" is a significant name as the noted "big" airport and the "really big" aircraft flew out of there. School friends or "aeroplane freaks" would band together with myself to do a weekend or school holiday 'sortie" to the hallowed turf of the visitor enclosure (I don't know why they called it an enclosure as it was always open and freezing), but Ringway was the place to dream and mostly hear the sounds of pure aviation thrills (in other words really dirty pure 60's jet engines) it was to a 14 year old simply heaven... or close to it. The odd Boeing hush-kitted 727 may still grace Ringway's ramps, but the rest of the 50's and 60's machinery have now long gone, a Trident 3B G-AWZKl is however still on display in the viewing park to relive the glory days. but the Ringway of today is dominated by Airbuses and Boeings that are far more efficient and in far more numbers than in the yesteryear. The size of Ringway is now triple the apron space and the huge terminals cover the farmland that we would sometimes in knee high grass try to get to a better vantage point to get that photo of a departing Viscount or if really lucky a Boeing 707 heading away to Idlewild in the States. But for everything Ringway is in a way today still the Ringway we knew and loved, a lot of the basic infrastructure is still there if only now in a different disguise or function... the place is well, just bigger and better. Manchester Airport (IATA: MAN, ICAO: EGCC) started construction on 28 November 1935 and was opened partly in June 1937 and then completely on 25 June 1938. The name "Ringway" came from Ringway parish north of Wilmslow. It's north border was Yewtree Lane. During World War II it was the known base for RAF Ringway and was important in military aircraft production and in training parachutists. After World War II the base then reverted back into a civilian airport, and was gradually expanded to its present size. Historically, Manchester Airport has consistently been the 2nd busiest airport after London Heathrow for a number of decades following World War II. The airport is 7.5 NM (13.9 km; 8.6 mi) south of Manchester city centre. And from 1975 until 1986 it was called "Manchester International Airport". Now it is known again as just "Manchester Airport". Aerosoft and Icarius's brilliant EIDW - Dublin was in a way the revelation of last year in scenery (X-PlaneReviews review : Scenery Review : EIDW - Dublin by Aerosoft) and I made it a co-winner (with CZST - Stewart by beti-x) of the best scenery of 2014, and well deserving it was. Besides EIDW's great visual appeal it also had great usability and position, that is very important in our routes and simulation immersion. It worked and works really well in giving the pilot the full simulation experience. At the time EIDW - Dublin was released Icarius announced their next project as EGCC Manchester which is just a short hop over the Irish Sea to mainland northern England, so what a great pair to put together. But Aerosoft have also in the mean time also released in May 2015 their excellent EGLL - London Heathrow (X-PlaneReviews review : Scenery Review : EGLL London Heathrow by Aerosoft) so it has certainly been a golden banner 12 months for UK scenery in X-Plane. First Impressions It was only fitting to put the last airport by Icarius in EIDW - Dublin together with their latest in EGCC - Manchester and do a hop over the Irish Sea and get our first impression of Ringway 2015 style. Our ride is FlyJSim's Bombardier Q400, a perfect companion to do a short medium level commuter flight. EIDW still has that impressionable feeling, as it is still a great piece of visual awareness. I did the same route routinely three to four years ago between EIDW and EGCC and both points of departure and arrival were then very good if not the best scenery for X-Plane for the period in this part of the world. Looking at the older images of that time you can see the huge progress that has been made with X-Plane scenery to date. The Irish Sea hop is quite short, but the Welsh Mountains and Liverpool (EGGP) can create good visual references. A high flypast with EGCC on your right shows how well the airport is consumed into the X-Plane surrounding scenery, only the large apron areas stand out with the buildings, and even there the Manchester urban sprawl can disguise the northern boundary of the airport. If landing from the east into EGCC then runways 23L/23R can be tricky, In a medium sized airliner coming down it is quite straight forward, but with a lower flying commuter aircraft or GA you will find yourself hemmed in by the northern hills of the Peak District into a semi-circle bowl, so you have to follow the STAR or navigation with caution, get it wrong and you will find yourself easily rubbing your lower parts of aircraft with the highground. So there is a certain required slow speed and an awareness to get the approach right. Aerosoft supply a good set of STAR's and EGCC airport layouts with the scenery which can be studied (google earth helps as well), If flying at night or in poor visuals (i.e. fog) then don't go off your flightplan by a millimeter or fear the worse. It is worth adding in the "North England Landmarks" by sigoo as it includes the Jodrell Bank space telescope that is visible on the southern side of the airport and is a standout landmark on all approaches. The approach to 23R is excellent, as the airport is as noted well inserted into the surrounding default textures, but closer and at a lower altitude you can see how good it really is, the approach lighting is excellent as well. The runways 05L/23R and 05R/23L are offset and by a significant amount so it is not uncommon to see taxiing aircraft crossing 05R/23L at taxiway D midfield to get to the outer runway. Both runways are to the left/south on this approach and the airport infrastructure and buildings are on the right/north and the visual complexity and realism of the airport is simply first rate. (turn down your visual distance and have low light fog and it is simply sensational) I was very impressed with the runway and taxiway textures, there is some very good ground textures around now, but these are up there as they are very good, with patches of tarmac and worn areas, lineage and taxiway signage is also first rate. All the airport radars rotate (yeah) with animation and there is one on the left on departure from RWY23L onto taxiiway A which is a bit of a landmark when arriving and departing from the western part of the airport. On the left on taxiway A is the airport "Runway Visitor Park" which is a viewing area and museum, and then the huge hangars that is "Western Maintenance" the placed foliage is excellent so the visual appeal along this A route is excellent. The unique EGCC control tower stands next to Western Maintenance, and it stands out in design. The main older Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 dominate the view on this arrival and my parking stand 09 is on the right of the old original concourse of Terminal 1. I added in EGCC Ground Traffic XPD 1.0 by GMGK1 which was created for Emma Bentley's version of EGCC, but works fine here, it gives you a more buzzy airport and active vehicles. There is ground traffic included with the Icarius package and they are very good as well, but the two sets of animations double the fun. Gate 09 and the gate area is full of static vehicles and ramp equipment, ramp ground textures are excellent and the visual feast is very good. EGCC well caters for all types of operators, walk on commuters have plenty of bays around this older terminal one area and a few remote parking (east) stands as well, as we go through the terminals I will note the various areas. So overall the first impressions of EGCC-Manchester are overwhelmingly good. EGCC-Manchester EGCC - Manchester Airport (IATA: MAN, ICAO: EGCC) 05L/23R 3,048m (10,000ft) Concrete 05R/23L 3,050m (10,007ft) Concrete/grooved asphalt Elevation AMSL 257 ft / 78 m For the UK, Manchester EGCC is a large airport and covers a lot of area in this package. It is sitting on another crowded mesh tile (with Liverpool - EGGP), but somehow I always struggle for frame-rate at EGCC, maybe it is the terrain or just the heavy density urban textures of Manchester city itself. But considering the complexity and the huge amount of objects in this package it is not as bad as I feared. It is in the low numbers on my machine but not down in the red devil unrunable or unuseable zones. But I did find I could use this EGCC unlike other EGCC versions in the past, so in that case for the extensive detailing included in this package framerate is very good. One note is that the outlying underlaying (ortho) textures which are very good and high density, but they do block out a lot of the default autogen, the roads work (thank god) but there are many blanks areas were usually it is heavy density urban sprawl. There are three Terminal areas at Manchester, It is a good idea to look at the original layout of the airport as I saw them in the early 70's. The airport was then an old RAF airfield with a few large maintenance hangars dominating the airport, you had the two finger concourses connected to the single main terminal building and built in control tower. Noted is that Manchester was the first European Airport to have piers. Amazingly this original infrastructure is still part of today's layout, but the two piers have been separated into on the right left (west) Terminal 1 and on the (east) Terminal 3 with both newer extensions. A large new separate terminal area in Terminal 2 was built in the north-west. Terminal 1 Terminal 1 consists of two piers at 90º right angles, with the older (1962) concourse and the extension with a circular set of gates on the end. Terminal 1 is used by airlines with scheduled, charter operations and LCC's (Low Cost Carriers), flying to European and other worldwide destinations. It is the largest terminal at the airport. It was opened in 1962, by Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and it is a base for EasyJet, Jet2 and Thomas Cook. Some other airlines that use Terminal 1 include Brussels Airlines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Swiss, TAP Portugal and Turkish Airlines. The terminal has 29 stands, of which 15 have air bridges, and is the largest of the three terminals. Gate 12 (on the end) was specially adapted to accommodate the Airbus A380 which is operated by Emirates on their route from Dubai to Manchester, making the airport a Category10 airport as it can handle the A380 and Code F aircraft. Terminal 1's current capacity is around 11 million passengers a year, compared with an annual capacity of 2.5 million passengers when it first opened. It is noted that in time Terminal 1 will be demolished to make way for improvements, but a £50 million redevelopment programme for Terminal 1 was completed only completed in 2009. The Terminal 1 design is first rate, with different textures and feel with both piers, roof sections have good detailing with piping and air-conditioning ducts. neat details like the older huts and storage areas nestled in the corners of the ramp areas give authenticity. The Terminal building itself is supremely well done and reflects the design of the period. Terminal 2 The terminal is a one long row of tall gates with the the main terminal building central. It is impressive and very well reproduced here, certainly realistic to look at and use. Terminal 2 was opened in 1993 and it is a base for Monarch, Thomson Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Some other airlines that use the terminal include Air Malta, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, United Airlines and Cathay Pacific returned to the Terminal in December 2014 and operate a service to their hub at Hong Kong. Terminal 2 has 20 gates, of which 14 have air bridges. The design of the terminal makes it capable of extensive expansion; planning permission already exists for an extension providing additional gates, together with the construction of a satellite pier. Terminal 2's current capacity is around 8 million passengers a year, this will be extended to ultimately handle 25 million passengers a year. The arrival area and adjacent huge multistory carpark is very well reproduced and detailed with the highlight the multi-tiled glass roofing of T2. The central road area is a little too empty empty and the pipe style design on the carpark can fizzle around at a distance, but close up it is very good. At the eastern end of the terminal there is an adjacent Raddison Blu hotel, which is a very reproduction of the hotel. In front of Terminal 2 there is a very good central stand area called the "Western Apron" that has 14 hard stands. Terminal 3 The changes in the naming of Terminal 3 shows off its quirky history... “Terminal 1 – British Airways”, “Terminal 1A” and “Terminal 3 – British Airways and Domestic”. The right original pier was originally the British Airways terminal until it was merged into the new eastern section in June 1998. It is now the primary terminal for British Airways and their One World partners. It is also a base for the Flybe and Ryanair operations. Some other airlines that fly out of Terminal 3 include Air France, American Airlines, BMI Regional and KLM. The concourse is very much changed from the original pier but the old bits still poke through. The rest is curved or slabbed concrete with a large paneled glass areas. It is very hard to get this terminal to look right as the green glass can come out usually too bright and gaudy, but Icarius have done a very good job in getting the right transparency, so it looks perfect, the faded worn concrete is a visual delight as well, and very authentic. Far east of the T3 complex on taxiway G are three stands (58,57 and 56) that I use a lot, which are very handy to 23R or 23L. You can't go pass Terminal 3 without noticing the dominating old control tower on top of the building, it is still in use but only as now a ramp observation point and not runway or approach control center. Highly realistic it is a perfect reproduction of the real design, and the contrast between the old and newer facades is well done. A radar works above the tower. As with all the ramp areas they are full of baggage trolleys, aircraft stairs, containers and all sorts of airport equipment, so detailing is first rate. Behind Terminal 3 is a huge concrete carpark of the older style and more east to the airport boundaries are well laid out carparks with numerous 3d vehicles. The "Airport Hotel" pub is well represented with beer garden on the eastern boundary. The Station & Hotels The Station is the simplified name of the Manchester Airport railway station, opened in May 1993. It sits buried behind the T1/T3 Terminal complexes. The station is surrounded by hotels, built into the station is the 4M accommodation block (green), Voyager and the Bewley's (now called the "Clayton") and the Raddission Blu as noted, The Premier Inn is there on the western boundary (see Cargo below) but the Hilton and Crowne Plaza further east are missing? All the hotels and rail station are very well recreated and well reproduced, but carparks are a little empty and flat around these buildings, sadly the ortho textures take out the maze of OSM roads and traffic movement in the inner area that was so good with other EGCC sceneries. Cargo and Western Maintenance The cargo area is extensive and called the "World Freight Terminal", which is a bit grand for a collection of modern warehouse style buildings and a lot of old warehouses and ex-hangars set out behind. But as a cargo area it is very good, and the older warehouses are quite good if a little repeatable closeup in their textures. The Premier Inn is set out on the M56 motorway. The World Cargo Terminal was opened in 1986. There is 550,000 sq ft (51,000 m2) of warehouse and office space on site, including a chiller unit for frozen products and a border inspection post. There are three aircraft maintenance hangars, with five transit sheds, operated by British Airways Regional Cargo, Swissport Cargo, Menzies World Cargo, Plane Handling and Servisair. There are over 100 freight forwarding companies on site. There is a good fuel depot/ground equipment storage to the east of the World Freight Terminal, and then the huge impressive (blue) Thomas Cook maintenance hangar that dominates the EGCC scenery. The Thomas Cook hangar is sensationally well done, not just the exterior but the interior is as well detailed as well, the excellent lighting highlights the building even more, few aircraft ground support items set out inside would have been a good idea. Behind are two more large maintenance hangars for Air Livery an aircraft repainting company, and the older style Monarch Airlines maintenance hangar. Control Tower and Fire Station The new EGCC control tower was opened on 25 June 2013. And at 60m tall, it is the UK's second tallest control tower, after London Heathrow, and it replaced the old tower on top of Terminal 1. Well proportioned and a great reproduction the airport tower is well done, closeup detail is excellent with the internal elements easily visible. Glass transparency is very good as well. The Manchester Airport Fire Station is set out at the base of the tower complex, and that includes another mini-fire tower. Control tower view is first rate. The viewing point is set just above the revolving radar in a perfect position, with a clear view of the runways and most of the western area ramp areas. Very good for watching your approaches and departures. Runway Visitor Park and Periphery areas Behind the World Freight Terminal and Western Maintenance and fronting the western taxiway A is the "Runway Visitor Park" (formerly "Aviation Viewing Park" (AVP), It is in anorak circles quite famous but there are other more (closer and off limit areas that are better) for viewing 23R/05L action, but you can be amazed how close you can get to a lumbering A380 here. One of the best preserved Concorde G-BOAC is in a hangar here that opened 13th January 2009. The Viewing park celebrates all things British in aviation, a Trident 3b G-AWZK, RAF Nimrod (in the wrong colour, should be grey) and the last airliner to be built in the UK, BAE Systems Avro RJX G-IRJX. The park attracts 300,000 vistiors a year, so aviation is still a major tourist attraction is done right. Icarius have done the park really well with all the current attractions shown and the Concorde housing well designed and created. An excellent blast fenced area is available to the right of the park. The "Airport Hotel" pub is well represented with its beer garden on the eastern boundary. And there is an aircraft fire fighting simulation area on the eastern-southside. There is not a lot of General Aviation areas here, but you could use the Landmark Aviation building by the Fire Station as a refuel, private jet drop off area. Ground/Runway Textures Ground and runway textures are first rate, in being, cracked, worn and patched, center runway tire markings are good as well. No 3d grass here, like some Aerosoft airports, but the infields are well done and realistic. Night Lighting There is not a lot variation in the lighting. It is basically all one tone, carparks and all. but the light spread on the ramp and stand areas are good for working around the aircraft in the dark. The building/hotels are good, and the terminal glass lighting which is very hard to get right is very nice. The standout feature is the lighting on the old control tower which looks very 70's. Runway (approach is excellent) and night signage is very good, and well placed. Usability/Routes There is not a lot here for General Aviation or Private Jet services, but for anything else EGCC is a pretty comprehensive hub. Tours, Charter are big business around here as the package tour business to Spain, Greece and the Mediterranean took off around here in the early 70's, and Florida/Disney is a still big business. Domestic, LCC and European destinations are comprehensive as well, but long distance International services are becoming even more frequent as travelers are using Manchester to avoid the congested London Airports. It is not a big A380 port, but it is known as the "Hub of the North" and EGCC is becoming more important as it is convenient. The airport is the base for Thomas Cook, Flybe, Monarch Airlines, Jet2.com Routes 1 London-Heathrow - 876,597 1 Dubai - 799,630 2 Dublin - 755,594 3 Tenerife South - 743,069 4 Amsterdam - 728,198 5 Palma de Mallorca - 654,543 6 Alicante - 597,580 7 Málaga - 545,042 8 Paris-Charles de Gaulle - 506,018 9 Dalaman - 470,644 10 Orlando - 426,879 11 Abu Dhabi - 394,547 12 Faro - 394,500 13 Arrecife de Lanzarote - 388,189 14 Frankfurt - 375,183 15 Munich - 324,492 16 Sharm el-Sheikh - 308,158 17 Belfast-City - 297,467 18 Copenhagen - 294,885 19 Paphos - 289,243 20 Doha - 239,380 Cargo FedEx Express - Birmingham, Paris-Charles de Gaulle FedEx Express operated by Air Contractors - Glasgow-International, Liège, London-Stansted, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Shannon Lufthansa Cargo - Frankfurt Summary EGCC-Manchester Airport is a great companion airport to Icarius's EIDW-Dublin, and certainly another good addition to Aerosoft/Simwings London Heathrow, as they are together a great trisector of UK Airports of high quality scenery. Highly usable and in an outstanding position for flights to the USA and Europe, and even Asia in Singapore and Hong Kong is now in the mix. Domestic and Tour, LCC routes are bountiful and can keep you running routes for weeks servicing the holiday markets. If you want to use the A380, then you will have to remove the single static Emirates A380 as there is only one gate for this Code F aircraft. Price and quality is excellent for this investment, and you get a lot of high quality scenery for your money. The airport scenery itself is not really a frame-rate issue but the area is, so a medium to powerful computer is a bonus. The quality is outstanding in this scenery on all the terminals and buildings, only the slightly boring overall lighting and in areas flat ortho blanks are not really a minus on all the positives. Airport buildings and detail are excellent and the airport is a fine reproduction of Manchester Airport... In other words it is top notch scenery. Icarius have announced that KORD-Chicago is their next scenery, So their conquests have turned to the Americas and no doubt they will conquer over there next with quality scenery, if EGCC is anything to go by... I can't wait. _________________________________________________________ The EGCC Manchester Airport by Aerosoft/Icarius is available now from the New X-Plane.org Store : EGCC - Manchester Airport Price is US$22.00 Features include: Highly detailed rendition of Manchester Airport (EGCC) High resolution day and night scenery Animated car traffic around the airport Complete reconstruction of the airport's lighting equipment Animated airplane towing Animated radar Highly detailed manual (PDF) Compatible with X-Plane 10 HD Mesh Scenery V3 HD and Ultra HD textures X-Plane 10 HDR lightning Custom ground textures with about 5cm/px (only airport area) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Documents and Installation : Include Manual in English and German (12 Pages) and Aerodrome charts (above) Download: 743.90mb : Installed in two packages EGCC Manchester Airport - 1.98gb, EGCC Manchester Mesh - 29.9mb Aerosoft installer is used to place the scenery components in your "Custom Scenery" folder. You are required to in the scenery_packs.ini (texteditor) move the "SCENERY_PACK Custom Scenery/EGCC Manchester Mesh/" low down at the bottom of the list, if not the EGCC mesh will interfere with other scenery packages on the same mesh tile, or hide them. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Technical Requirements: X-Plane 10.30+. Any edition Windows, Windows, Mac, Linux - CPU 2.6 Ghz or faster - 4 GB RAM - 1Gb+ VRAM (recommended) Installation size: 1,9 GB - Download-size: 800 MB ______________________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 3rd September 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.36 (final) Addons: - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose Soundlink WiFi Speaker Scenery EIDW-Dublin Airport by Aerosoft/Icarius US$29.95 available at the X-Plane.OrgStore Aircraft Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 - by FlyJSim US$29.95 available at the X-Plane.OrgStore
  18. Scenery Reviews : LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport - JustSim and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, Corsica - Aerosoft Two sceneries were released together quite independently but are perfectly aligned to go together as a perfect double point to point route. LFMN is on the French Côte d'Azur and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, is on the island of Corsica which are only 94nm apart or just across from each other on the Mediterranean Sea. This makes for a perfect days flying in either a General Aviation aircraft or as I have done here with a quick hop regional service. (Google Maps) JustSim are the developers of the Nice Scenery which actually will replace the default Aerosoft scenery who are the developers of the Calvi Scenery. I have already covered a few of the excellent JustSim sceneries already this year and Aerosoft are well known for their excellent European scenery so expectations are that both of these airports are very good work from each of the developers. LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport - JustSim LFMN - Nice Airport hangs out like a huge aircraft carrier deck on the French south coast just 3.7 miles west of the city centre of Nice. As noted X-Plane already comes with a default Aerosoft version of LFMN, but I have had a few if many problems with this scenery, so in most cases I have not used Nice Airport as much as I wanted to. The biggest issue with the Aerosoft version was under many of the surfaces the areas had not been covered correctly, and in most cases when taxiing or in my case when parking on the ramp west of the Terminal One (T1) I found the aircraft was going over rough ground and bouncing me and my passengers sick... not good. So my flights were mostly restricted to Private Jet or the odd UK-Nice Service, overall it was never on my flight lists. Which is a shame as it is this is great destination. So with the chance to replace the troublesome Aerosoft version with a workable one then I was not going to say no to the idea. And I am very glad I did as well. Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (IATA: NCE, ICAO: LFMN) 04L/22R 2,570m (8,432ft) Bituminous concrete 04R/22L 2,960m (9,711ft) Bituminous concrete H1 29.25x96 Asphaltic concrete H2 29.25x96 Asphaltic concrete Elevation AMSL 4 m / 13 ft JustSim has been very prolific this year with X-Plane Sceneries, with great quality at a great price. So how can they do that with most other developers taking three times as long to deliver the same content. There is a trick involved but a clever one. Most developers use a full 3d tool to create their sceneries which can give you great detail and quality, but there are downsides to this in the fact it can take a lot of time to create every 3d object and detail it and all those 3d objects have a very heavy load on your computer. Now in the main infrastructure JustSim still does just that and make 3d objects, but in many areas the developer uses also "facade" style buildings. The trick is that if the quality of the textures and cleverness in creating facade objects that are in tune with the 3d objects around them then you can easily fill out your scenery. You can't get around every item with facade as we know from tdg's work or most WED sceneries, but with great skill you can use many areas that are just really boxes or basic shapes, like warehouses or offices. By using this method you would think you are being short changed for what you are buying, but actually the opposite is true. With clever facade work it really lowers your loading time and the sheer frameweight on your computer compared to having all those bulky 3d objects, facades take a huge less time to build and like with JustSim's sceneries you can do a lot more objects and cover not only the immediate airport areas but a lot of the surrounding areas as well. And that is why these sceneries are great value at a lower price but you get more in there at that price, and that is great deal if the quality is in there and JustSim can turn out far more sceneries in a year than most do with one. There are two terminals at LFMN - Nice with T1 and T2 with a small terminal parking area on the west of T1. Terminal One (T1) T1 is the European domestic terminal at Nice and it looks the modern of the two terminals, but is actually the older building. The terminal has been really well recreated here with a lot of detail and shapes and the unique question mark style supports showing the great detail involved. The landside is a bit average as JustSim has relied on the ground images to do the road network and detail work for them, but they are too buzzy to be really effective. Airbridges are great but have too much thrash on them, there are no animated bridges in this scenery. But the detail and glasswork is excellent. Terminal 1 has 25 gates. It features flights to domestic, European and Schengen and non-Schengen destinations. It should be noted that there is a huge amount of remote parking at LFMN, and the areas between the terminals do overlap. As seen below there are no static aircraft with the scenery, and it is noticeable here. So you are going to have to get creative in either using X-Life, X-Plane 10.50 with the new static aircraft rules or hit the OverlayEditor big time... I used WorldTraffic and that plugin did the job very nicely. West of T1 is an area I like, it a small remote apron that is great for LCC's (Low Cost Carriers) and walkon boarding regional jets... I have used it for the odd VIP arrival in a private jet as well. The parking linage is extremely confusing? but it is a great place to park up. Terminal 2 (T2) T2 is dominated by circular bowl or spaceship terminal, with an arm to the west and a hall to the north. The terminal is very well done but the glass is a little more see through in the real version which is more grey and Terminal 2 is the newer and larger facility here at LFMN and has 29 gates . There is a lot of infrastructure connected to the cargo area is set out behind the terminal with the usual carparks and ramps landside, rooftop solar panels are well done and overall detail is very good. There is a small cargo facility in the nort-west zone and a radar tower, there are several radars and they are all animated. Centre field is a bright red fire station with animated fire trucks, in fact there is a lot of vehicle animations covering the whole airport including buses, trucks, vans and baggage trucks. Control Tower The control tower is extremely well modeled and is in with enclosed with the airports administration buildings, everything is not very highly overly detailed but all work together very well. Tower view is awful with chunks of the model blocking out all the views of the runways... Both 04L/22R and 04R/22L are well done with the outer runway more of the original concrete than the patched up inner runway, all lineage and signage is excellent. Nice has a huge transiant of (rich) passengers that fly on to the hot spots of the French Riviera and Monaco, so the helipads here are the best in the business, a few vehicles would have been nice. Far south there is also a working radar that is well placed. There is not a lot of off airport infrastructure, except for a cargo facility east and the excellent distinctive Parc Pheonix aviary. LFMN - Nice to LFKC - Calvi, Corsica The route is only 100nm between both airports and so you really don't have the time to do the full cruise routine, a good regional jet or prop is ideal for the run, but if you have the time then a nice GA would fill in a few hours. I'm using JRollon's CRJ-200. I am adding enough fuel to do the round trip back to Nice to save turnaround time at Calvi, at this short distance it really doesn't matter. LFMN lineage is very good, but you will need an airport layout and plan your route to the runways as not to lose any time as there is a lot of remote parking that looks like taxiway lines... LFMN is a busy airport and today is no exception, you just go when you get clearance and not look behind you. The view out of the cockpit and passenger windows is excellent as the airport looks very good and far, far better than the Aerosoft default version. The CRJ is the BlueSkyStar version with the uprated sound package and as the throttle goes up you feel the push and that really great sound behind you. Departure to Calvi is by Runway 04L using SID LONS6A Trans MERLU. And that departure means a hard right turn after you clear the airport JustSim provides a download of Nice City scenery in OSM with the package (see note at the end of the review) but it is not used here in this departure. On departure that southern Mediterranean French feel comes in really well visually, as you pull up and away from the French Coast Climb is only to 14.500ft and once you get there then the descent starts almost straight away, so the cruise section is only a few minutes of say ten to fifteen minutes. So there is no time to relax on the flightdeck. As one coast quickly faded into the Azur, another coast then quickly appeared through the mist under the hour, This was the northern-west coast of Corsica and LFKC - Calvi was just slightly inland inside a beautifully set valley. There is an ILS approach to Calvi - Sainte-Catherine which has only one runway in 18/36 and the ILS (freq 109.50) was set on the sea approach to RWY 18, Aerosoft do provide a nice few charts for the arrival and departure, but be warned in that the DME is a lock only in a horizontal centre focus on the runway, the vertical lock does not work (I checked via several aircraft) so you will need to do the descent yourself, if you wait for the lock then you will fly too high and miss the approach... The approach visuals are excellent from either up front or via the passenger experience, but it is a tricky landing that keeps you on your toes as RWY 18 is set slightly inland and you only see it through a gap in the trees. The village of Borgo is too your left. It is important to note that Calvi Airport requires your "Runways follow terrain contours" to be ON. If not you will get a lot of the off airport village buildings floating on contour edges and the airport itself is not set right. This "follow contours" creates a very demanding approach situation because as you settle the aircraft it goes over a contour change downwards (same for departing in that you are literally launched into the air like on a carrier skijump!) and get it wrong and your nosewheel will leave the ground again. With all these contour changes you bounce, bounce and bounce until you arrest the speed enough, on completing your landing and you will note the terminal and ramps are elevated to your right. To get up to the ramp you have to judge the incline correctly with enough power to get up and not stall the aircraft and to not then zoom across the ramp with too much thrust, tricky, but with practise you get it right. There are eight main parking slots with slot five taken up by a static Air Corsica A320. There are no airbridges as it is strictly walk-on or walk-off. Overall the approach was excellent with great scenery and a demanding landing, the Terminal is very good if a little blank in detail. Calvi Airport by Aerosoft Calvi – Sainte-Catherine Airport (IATA: CLY, ICAO: LFKC) 18/36 2,310m (7,579ft) Concrete Elevation AMSL 209 ft / 64 m The scenery is nestled in the valley and well intergrated the scenery is with the default X-Plane scenery surrounding it. But it is not perfect as the flat underlying ortho images are prone to show up in some areas and it is quite noticeable by their blurryness of what they are and spoiling the overall effect. However the mountain flowing streams on the east side of the runway are very visually great. There is no grass on the airport infield that Aerosoft do so well and here it would have made a significant difference to hide the orthophoto flatness, but overall the visual impact is good. The terminal is a single building is certainly well done, but is not overly detailed, detailed. Landside is great but like with LFMN the underlay ortho photos don't allow a lot of detail, and there is a lot of ground support vehicles and equipment and all around the airport the tree and foliage work is very good. Overall it is pretty good. Control Tower and Fire Station is great even if they have to work out of dismountable buildings... ... and the tower view is fine with all the runway approaches easily visible and with a 360º rotation Rear of the terminal has great support infrastructure with numumerous car hire depots (Europcar, Hertz), Undercover parking and a really well detailed Ford Dealership. There is a thing in the area for car dealerships? there are as as many as six on the google map. There is a little off airport buildings in Borgo and the "Citadel" a "Games of Thrones" style fortress in Calvi has been reproduced with a cruise ship, but the sweet town of Calvi itself is missing. Calvi is serviced mostly by Air France (Paris - Orly) and Air Corsica in regular services. Seasonal routes are very popular to many ports all over Europe. Italy is close and it is only 160 nm to Rome. LFKC - Calvi to LFMN The return service back to Nice was operated during the late hours, to highlight the night lighting. LFKC - Calvi has only average lighting at night. There is a few throw lights on the ramp and various lighting on certain places on the around the airport and that covers the airside. The poor lighting in the carpark would require you to use a torch to find your car, the Terminal is not much better. The Ford Dealership was the only highlight.. Lighting to runway is non-existent, but this a small regional airport. But even some lighting from the terminal would help you miss the A320... Watch that slope, a "feeling your way" to the runway workload. The edge lighting shows the runway's uneven pattern, you would need all your skill to land here at night... Mainland city lights come up over the horizon. X-Plane puts on a show as you get that "back in civilisation and I'm home" feeling. Arrival is by RWY 04R and LFMN - Nice looks great on approach in the cockpit windows, runways are clear and easily defined. The airport lighting looks great to the left and very realistic... The passenger arrival view is also excellent, the hills around Nice provide a great backdrop as the city lighting is in full view... The CRJ-200 does not have any runway turnoff lighting and that creates a small problem. The scenery has no centre green lighting strips? So you have to go slowly down the runway to find the yellow lineage turn off route, it is harder than it looks. It makes it hard to work out where the turn offs to the taxiways are, yes the taxiways have the lit direction boxes but you really miss those green strips and it makes it darker out here than it needs to be. You know the feeling when you have arrived and you are taxiing past rows and rows of brightly lit aircraft at the gates, it is a great feeling and it is replicated here. pull into the ramp and night turns into bright light... So in the context of arrival and working on the ramps you are going to like it here at Nice. The lighting is very good. The ramp lighting is excellent and so is most of the remote stands. The building lighting including the Control Tower is not as refined, it is good but not overly great as the glass is very grey and the terminals a just a shade of grey or blue. The T2 Terminal glows in a purple phosphorescent. At a distance LFMN as a collective works fine, but up really close the lighting it is a little average on the buildings. OSM The package comes with the optional download of NICE city scenery. This option is OSM (Open Street Map) converted to 3d objects to replicate the size and scale of the real buildings. I am not a big fan of OSM and decided not to use it in this review, one... because it kills your frame rate (15-20 frame loss!) and two... it has a loading error when you load up the scenery. But it is a personal choice. Summary In a strange way both sceneries are very much alike or even feel related, and that is why they go so well together. Both are well made, but also both use in areas the poor resolution orthophoto underlays. Lighting is better on LFMN but only over the ramp areas, if this was taken away you would find both sceneries have average building lighting, with LFKC being quite dark. Both don't have taxiway green guidance lighting and both really need them. I was just relieved to get a working Nice, compared to the Aerosoft default version, so JustSim's version of LFMN is a no-brainer for me. Now it will go more on my radar and be used regularly as the French Riviera is a great destination and positioned for many different routes not only in Europe, but North Africa, Spain and Greece are all well within the short route time zone. It looks good, feels good and the scenery is highly efficient with your framerate. You will however need to sort out the missing static aircraft. Aerosoft's Calvi Airport is not an airport you would use regularly, but it is in a very interesting position for great GA flying around Corsica. French and Italian coasts are also within easy distance and the odd Paris-Calvi flight would be interesting. It is a beautiful and technical airport as well, so there is a fair bit of value in here. Price is the key here as JustSim's LFMN is US$19.50 which is terrific value and Aerosoft's LFKC is US$18.99. No doubt you get a huge amount of more value out of NIce, but both together are certainly a worthy purchase. I really enjoyed the LFMN - LFKC route, and as all the route data is done will do a few more flights over the next few days without the pressure of a review to be completed. JustSim's LFMN - Nice and Aerosoft's LFKC - Calvi are a great double act, and are both well worth visiting, and a great way to fill out those lazy northern summer days. Dedication This Review is dedicated to the innocents that lost their lives in Nice on Bastille Day 2016 May their lives are not lost in our thoughts, because they did no wrong but be alive and were enjoying the freedom that the country they were celebrating allowed them that choice. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Both LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport by JustSim and LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine, Corsica by Aerosoft is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LFMN - Nice Cote d'Azur Price: $19.55 Requirements X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) Windows, Mac, Linux 800Mb HD Space Available 1Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum - 2Gb VRAM Recommended LFKC - Calvi (Corsica) Airport Price: $18.99 Requirements X-Plane 10.45+ (any edition) Windows 7/8/10, OS X version 10.6.8 or later, Linux Ubuntu 12.04LTS or compatible 3 GHz, multi-core CPU (or, even better, multiple processors) 8 GB RAM - 3D graphics card with 2GB+ of on-board, dedicated VRAM Download-Size: 300 MB Features LFMN Shading and occlusion (texture baking) effects on terminal and other airport buildings High resolution photo scenery near airport and city. All objects are manually placed. High resolution ground textures / Custom runway textures Runway reflection effect Custom apron lights High resolution building textures Optimized for excellent performance Animated custom ground vehicles X-Life traffic compatible LFKC Realistic rendition of Calvi St. Catherine based on real life images Photo real buildings Large Aerial image with 50cm/pixel in the surroundings and 25cm/pixel on the airport, carefully fitted into the default X-Plane landscape and colour-adjusted Customized terrain, runway follows terrain Realistic reproduction of ground markings including old, painted-over markings Animated marshaller (additional plugin Autogate™ required) Customized night illumination Custom made trees and forests Very good performance and implementation Animated bar on the entry of the parking lot Numerous details Changing static airplanes including wreckage to the south west Animated road traffic Recreation of the citadel of Calvi and vessel Installation and documents: Download for the LFMN Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is 506.90mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder at 1.21gb Install requires the scenery pack "JustSim_LFMN_Nice_terrain" to be below the main "JustSim_LFMN_Nice" folder in the INI order, if installed the "NICE-OSM" has to be below both of the above... If you are using WorldTraffic you can get the LFMN ground routes here: LFMN Nice GroundRoutes Download for the LFKC Calvi - Sainte-Catherine is 282.10mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder at 937.20mb Install requires that the "runways follow terrain contours" checkbox to be ON. Package comes with a full set of charts and Aerosoft manual _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 30th July 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews 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 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe US$14.95 : WorldTraffic US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - CRJ-200 by JRollon Planes (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$49.95 : CRJ-200 Sound Packs by Blue Sky Star Simulations (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$20.00
  19. News! - Scenery Released! - LFKC Calvi (Corsica) Airport by Aerosoft Aerosoft have release an Corsican scenery with Calvi Airport in Sainte Catherine in the North-West of the Island. Calvi - Sainte Catherine (CLY / LFKC) is located in a beautifully embedded valley 6km to the south-east of the town of Calvi. Features Include: Realistic rendition of Calvi St. Catherine based on real life images Photo real buildings Large Aerial image with 50cm/pixel in the surroundings and 25cm/pixel on the airport, carefully fitted into the default X-Plane landscape and colour-adjusted Customized terrain, runway follows terrain Realistic reproduction of ground markings including old, painted-over markings Animated marshaller (additional plugin ‘Autogate’ required) Customized night illumination Custom made trees and forests Very good performance and implementation Animated bar on the entry of the parking lot Numerous details Changing static airplanes including wreckage to the south west Animated road traffic Recreation of the citadel of Calvi and vessel Requirements: X-Plane 10.45+ (any edition) Windows 7/8/10, OS X version 10.6.8 or later, Linux Ubuntu 12.04LTS or compatible 3 GHz, multi-core CPU (or, even better, multiple processors) 8 GB RAM - 3D graphics card with 2GB+ of on-board, dedicated VRAM Download-Size: 300 MB LFKC is a destination for for Air France, the German TUIfly, Air Berlin, Germanwings, Swiss, Luxair, HOP, Brussels Airlines and a hub for Air Corsica. The 18/36 2310m long runway is used over 2500 times a year and is is a popular destination among private pilots as it is close to the French Mainland. ______________________________________________________________________ The LFKC Calvi (Corsica) Airport by Aerosoft is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : LFKC - Calvi (Corsica) Airport Price is US$18.99 ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 22nd July 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2016
  20. Scenery Review - Updated : LSZH Airport Zurich v2.0 by Aerosoft Aerosoft have updated their X-Plane scenery of Zurich Airport to v2.0. This is a significant overhaul of this scenery and not just a nip and tuck job and I have a little bit of history with the scenery as well. The first Aerosoft release for X-Plane was the excellent BIRF - Keflavik which is still one of my all time time favorite sceneries that I used very regularly and even monthly. Second release was LSZA - Lugano Airport and this great little gem is buried in the shadow of the Alps on the Italian side. Both were excellent but still only small scale sceneries. The first "Mega" scenery release from Aerosoft was the third and that was LSZH - Zurich and the scenery was released in June 2012, and knowing Aerosoft's reputation in their "mega" series I was expecting something really amazing in scenery to come to X-Plane, but when it hit the desk, I was a bit and if not quite disappointed in the results. No doubt the buildings were used from the FSX (Flight Simulator) versions and they were excellent in design and textures, but overall the scenery left me cold. I rarely used the LSZH scenery either with only a few visits over the years, which is a waste of scenery in monetary terms. So Aerosoft and Pad-Labs have gone back to basics and given the scenery a total overhaul and re-released it as version 2.0, so no doubt I was very curious to see if the changes had been significant or just a quick brush over to make it more up to date... thankfully the former in a total makeover has been done, so let us see what the changes are. First Impressions The EADT Boeing 737-800 v5 was a nice choice for the route EGLL (Heathrow) to LSZH (Zurich) and on approach the scenery did look significantly better and different than I remembered from the arrivals in the past. No doubt the Windows machine makes a more comprehensive fill of the autogen, but LSZH looks far more intergrated into the X-Plane scenery, it now looks like a natural fit than the earlier v1.0 version. So immediately I am more comfortable with the the scenery than with my feelings of it in the past. On approach it feels great, though I notice the runway lighting is on in all hours. Where are the joins? Thankfully gone. Aerosoft notes all the orthophoto textures have been completely redone and the difference is excellent as it blends in perfectly now with the outer boundaries of the airport with the default textures... yes loving it. On the ground in the runways and taxiway textures look different and although the building structures are the same there is another change of look there also. It can actually be easily misleading as the main original terminal building texture is certainly the same, but the textures were excellent in the first version, so why change them, and thankfully they haven't. One of my first gripes on v1.0 was that Aerosoft didn't use any of the X-Plane features available to them, but those comments have been heard and on Gates A44, A47, A48, A49, A55 and you now have the animated Jetways feature (thank you), but it is a bit tricky as there is no auto guide or marshall to guide you in, so you have to guess your parking stopping point, go to the "Global Airport" menu of which the parking places are now noted and use it to verify the actual parking point and then note it for future reference. A small note is that you can tell the animated gates because glass is slightly different, not enough to look out of place, but enough to know which ones are active. So with this arrival I am already finding a lot of changes with v2.0 and all to the very good. Airport Overview The scenery does look very different, and if you go to my original images of v1.0 (below) you can see why and how much work has been done to the scenery to get it to match in correctly to the X-Plane landscape. The original v1.0 boundaries are very wide and it looks like the airport has just been dumped in the middle of the X-Plane scenery, areas are even cut off by a sharp line (roads) and then go back to the newer v2.0 and it is now all perfection in how the areas have been very well intergated into the surrounding areas. You can tell easily with the ground textures based on aerial images (0,5m/pixel) are so much more of a higher quality and the runways and taxiways are greatly improved and in the runways context and a few taxiways they are even a different colour. Terminals The main Piers of Concourse “A” and Concourse “D” which are directly connected to the main terminal. Concourse “A” is easily noted as it has the Control Tower on the top of the central part of the concourse. Concourse E is a remote terminal set to the north of the main terminal infrastructure and is connected to the Main Terminal zone by the automated underground “Skymetro” system. Concourse A: Gates A42-49, A51 - A56, A62 - A69, A70 - A79, A80 - A89 are on Concourse A, and are used exclusively by flights to and from destinations inside the Schengen Area, including domestic flights within Switzerland. It takes the form of a finger pier, directly connected at one end to the Airside Centre. If you think the A concourse looks different it is because it is different... all the textures have been completely redone from the dark flat greenish colouring in v1.0 (below) and the difference is now quite significantly better and the quality visually is overwhelmingly far better in transparency and better detailing, textures are now noted as 2k quality. Concourse 😧 Gates are prefixed B and D on Concourse D, Gates are D31 - D39 (minus D32/D37?), D41 - D42 and D51 - D58. Concourse D is designed to handle both Schengen and non-Schengen flights at the same gates. Each such gate has two numbers, one prefixed B and the other D, but with different passenger routes to and from the gates in order to keep the flows of Schengen and non-Schengen passengers separate. Again the concourse textures have been totally revamped on concourse D, if you look (above right) you can see the awful v1.0 textures and the whole concourse look far better with the extra new changes. Note radar installations, tower radars with wind hoses are animated as well. The highlighted extra detailing is certainly very noticeable. very much like the Aerosoft EGLL in textures and detail, but overwhelmingly nice. Concourse E: Zurich Airport's international terminal is the remote island Concourse E known as "Dock E" is situated between runways 16/34 and 14/32. Gates E16 - E19, E22 - E27, E34 - E37, E42 - E47, E52 - E58 and Gates E62/64/67 are used at this concourse. First the v1.0 original concourse was... pretty crappy. This is the v2.0 updated concourse... Of all the terminals this "Dock E" has had the biggest transformation. Textures and glass has been totally overhauled and remodelled and is now simply excellent, and has see though with people inside. But the external detailing is really good and again very much like the Aerosoft EGLL facades. This is the sort of exceptional detailing that was missing from the original airport scenery and you really notice the differences. The western side of the terminal on gate 67 has been remodled to accommodated the A380 airbus. The parking position E67 at Dock E now includes a separate, elevated boarding bridge(s) and a Static Airbus A380 of Emirates Airlines. Which I am not sure about because if you take your A380 to Zurich then how can you park at gate E67?. also there is updated taxiways and parking positions, for creating parking positions for the Airbus A380 and changed lot of taxiway markings to accommodated the super-sized aircraft. Enhanced Apron P has now additional parking positions. Opposite "Dock E" the Swissaport GSE chalet style maintenance building has undergone a complete rework of the average original. And the building is now very authentic, with great placement of vehicles. Another new feature in v2.0 is the 3d ground changes that allows vehicles to go underground via tunnels. There is one at the eastern side of "Dock E" and another by the main terminal (below). Note the great detailing behind the tunnel entrance. Really well done the tunnels are complimented by another X-Plane feature missing from v1.0... moving airport vehicles. The airport has now a load of animated vehicles moving all around the airport doing various jobs, very animated and I really love (as I always do) these great X-Plane features when done really well, like here at LSZH. The animations scurry around across ramps, under terminals over airport roads with great purpose, love it. One of my really big gripes with version v1.0 was the landside area behind the four main prominent (P1, P2, P3 & P6) carparks with the main Terminal buildings with the Radisson Hotel connected to P1. This is what v1.0 looked like... I admit I could not run my render setting as high as I would have liked, but it was by Aerosoft's standards pretty dismal. This is (above) v2.0 version, and that is what you expected in detail in the first place. The area is now complete and those horrible low-res photo textures have been replaced by a far better hi-res set, the 3d ramps look slightly tagged on and don't blend into the ground textures as good as they should do, but overall the work done here is excellent. Lots of car animations also help with the area not being so empty and blank. The neoplan bus station is excellent with moving colourful neoplans going about their business. The northern maintenance area has the Gate Gourmet facility and the large and comprehensive SR Technics engineering building. These areas were quite barren in v1.0, but in v2.0 they have been filled out with more objects, and building textures are far better in detail. Most importantly this northern maintenance zone blends in now very well with the X-Plane boundary with a few extra buildings added to combine both areas into one complete scenery, visually it is now perfect. Cargo The cargo area has better textures but the zone is still quite empty, a few cargo objects the odd heavy static cargo plane would have lifted it a bit more... Western Boundary There is a lot of nice building detailing on the western boundary surrounding the approach to RWY 10, this includes the Fire Station and various airport and commercial buildings. Note the great approach lighting. There is a huge amount of field objects dotted all around the runways, including shacks and this good VOR station. The views across the runways to the terminal areas is excellent. v2.0 Lighting Airport Zurich's lighting (above) was totally horrible in v1.0, beyond awful. No doubt the lighting textures was crossed straight over from FS (Flight Simulator) and only a few areas like along the top of the concourses had any HDR X-Plane lighting effects. V2.0's lighting is far, far better... but not perfect. On the runways there is no center green guidance line and neither are there any on the taxiways, with just the blue edge lights. So you will need your aircraft lighting to help you find the centerline of the runway in the dark. Approach lighting is good though. Building and terminal textures are far better, but still a little dullish, I really wanted a lot more light in the areas and certainly in the glass windows, but the rear landside windows are certainly a major improvement over the v1.0 originals. Ramp areas has various lighting, but it pretty dull out there while working in your turnaround services. I had to use the JARDesign "Ground Handling Deluxe" to light the side doors so the passengers could find their way to the aircraft on the stand... should be brighter there alone. The landside by the carparks is also quite dark, no street lighting has been placed on the vehicle ramps and it is noticeable, as I said, far better but not perfect. Summary v2.0 Airport Zurich certainly resolves most if not all of the problems that I griped about in v1.0. It uses the great X-Plane features of animated jetways and vehicles, HDR night lighting use is far better (but could be better still), the use of ground orthophoto textures are now very, very good and beautifully intergrated into the scenery. The complete redo of the buildings and terminals with hi-quality textures has lifted the scenery to a really high quality and visually brilliant viewing. This scenery is great X-Plane scenery, coming up from an average position to very high on the scale of desirable scenery for the simulator. Older purchasers of Airport Zurich can get a 50% discount on the new version and although there maybe a grumbles about paying more for a scenery they have already bought, then my opinion is that this is certainly a vastly upgraded, expanded version and worth the extra payment to have a really good LSZH - Zurich as part of your X-Plane scenery collection. So yes I am delighted to see great work done well, Airport Zurich v2 certainly now lives up to the Aerosoft quality and reputation that was missing in the first release version... ____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Updated : LSZH Airport Zurich v2.0 by Aerosoft is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Zurich v2 Price is US$27.99 Note: Owners of the former Airport Zurich v1 are entitled to get a 50% discount: please send an email to sales@x-plane.or to get your discount code. Updated Features: Newly created buildings and objects with lots of 3D details, partly high resolution 2K textures New transparent boarding bridges with glass sides at every gate Updated taxiways and parking positions, as creating parking positions for the Airbus A380 changed other positions and moved lots of taxiway markings Parking position E67 at Dock E now includes a separate, elevated boarding bridge Static Airbus A380 of Emirates Airline, parking at Gate E67 Terminal 2 was recently rebuilt and was finished by the end of 2015 – we already completely finished the terminal for this scenery Enhanced Apron P with additional parking positions Jet engine test site with new, large noise absorption hall The entrances to terminals 1 and 2 were recently rebuilt – we already completely finished the reconstruction for this scenery, including a new roofing Additional features: Completely created scenery of Airport Zurich for X-Plane 10, state of late 2015 Detailed representation of the airport Photo realistic ground textures based on aerial images (0,5m/pixel) All buildings and airport facilities Photo real textures for buildings, vehicles etc. Complete taxiway and runway signage “High speed taxiways”, allowing for exiting the runway at high speeds Great night effects (baked textures X-Plane 10 HDR) Animated radar systems and wind hoses Animated vehicle traffic at and around the airport True to original runway and taxiway lighting Traffic routes with ground traffic signage Optimized for good performance (frame rate) Custom Mesh for the Airport Area Animated De-icing Trucks east of Terminal E VFR Helper Gates A44, A47, A48, A49, A55 with animated Jetways (installed AutoGate Version is needed) Manual in English/German and up to date charts Requirements: Windows 7 / 8 / 10 +, Mac, Linux X-Plane 10.40 + (Any edition) MultiCore Processor with 3 GHz or faster - 8 GB RAM 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4GB or higher is recommended) Download size: 400 MB. Install: 1 GB Installation and documents: Download is 446.60meg and the scenery is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" There are three folders to install: Aerosoft LSZH Airport Zurich V2.0 a (958mb) Aerosoft LSZH Airport Zurich V2.0 b (136kb) Aerosoft LSZH Airport Zurich V2.0 c (57.80mb) Marginal's jetway and docking guidance system plugin is required for the animated jetways. Documents: Include a manual (German & English) and a comprehensive set of LSZH charts ____________________________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 27th May 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 8 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe plugin - US$14.95 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing x737 by EADT x737 Project (X737 Project) - Free! - Avro RJ100 by The Avro Project (X-Plane.orgStore) - US$22.95
  21. Scenery Review - Updated : KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft It is funny in X-Plane where you find your place. I live in Australia and I do use my local airports in YBCG - Gold Coast International and YBBN - Brisbane Airport a lot in my everyday flying. But my place is set out in Florida, KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. I even made a home there by installing a portable office and all the odds and items in fuel drums and cones and all the odd stuff I needed to make it look like it was a work place. Most reviews start there, but I do try to make different reviews match certain locations. But KLAL is still my first port of call in any review. There are many reasons for this, but mostly it is a set parameter in finding out an aircraft's frame-rate (which I call Frame-Weight) and if the aircraft delivers the certain performance and conditions the developer has set out in the aircraft, in other words the scenery is an excellent base line. KLAL works well for other items, mostly in checking the frame-rate against X-Plane's default scenery (a lot of autogen on one side and none on the other), Its runways are extremely wide (Needed for aircraft like the Akoya) and you have great approach paths with the runways that are very good for circuits and you have one single ILS approach. Taxi distance to the runway is very small, but overall it is a really great airport to do reviews... so KLAL stuck. So if you want to do a review flight (Mostly in the lighter aircraft catagories), the most common routes I use is to either KOPF - Opa-Locka Executive Airport but it is surrounded by a lot of (heavy frame-rate) autogen or I go to KFMY - Page Field in Southern Western Florida. KFMY - Page Field is a lovely little airfield situated in Fort Myers but until now there was a huge blank space by the side of KFMY airport... This is KRSW Lee Country-Southwest Florida International Airport. So when Aerosoft announced that a KRSW - Southwest Florida scenery was in the works I was very interested, that scenery would certainly fill in a very big hole in my network and it was perfect for testing out larger regional and small airliners from KLAL. KRSW is just a perfect fit from so many angles, and so it has proved to be just that in my use of the airport in reviews since it was installed. KRSW - Southwest Florida Intl Airport (RSW) As airports go RSW is not an old airport as it was only conceived in 1973 when it was clear that the existing airport in Page Field would be too small (They were certainly right there). So the government of Lee County selected a site near Interstate 75, which was then under construction. The aipport groundbreaking was done in 1980, and Southwest Florida Regional Airport was opened on schedule, May 14, 1983, with a single 8400-ft runway. Delta Air Lines operated the first flight. The original terminal was located on the north side of the runway at the end of Chamberlin Parkway. The airport was renamed Southwest Florida International Airport in 1993, though it had hosted international flights since 1984 and U.S. Customs since 1987, mainly for flights to and from Germany. The name change coincided with the completion of a 55,000 square foot Federal Inspection facility annexed to the original terminal's Concourse A. The single runway was also lengthened to 12,000 ft (3,658 m) at the same time to better accommodate international service (making it the fourth-longest runway in Florida). The airport has hosted Boeing 747s (including Air Force One), but as of 2009 the largest aircraft scheduled to RSW are the Airbus A330-200s on Air Berlin's non-stop flights to Düsseldorf and seasonally the Boeing 767-300s operated by Delta Air Lines non-stop from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Atlanta, and Detroit . The Midfield Terminal Complex expansion was required when in 1988 the original airport terminal had by then already exceeded its annual capacity of 3 million passengers; by 2004, the airport was severely overloaded in serving nearly 7 million passengers annually. The original terminal had only 17 gates on two concourses. While three of the gates were added in a minor expansion of the B concourse in the late 1990s, the original terminal's design was however not conducive to a major expansion. With this small terminal operating at more than double its intended capacity, construction of a new Midfield Terminal Complex began in February 2002. The $438 million terminal opened on September 9, 2005. The terminal, was designed by Spillis Candela/DMJM Aviation, and has three concourses and 28 gates and which can eventually be expanded to five concourses with 65 gates. Demolition of the former terminal north of the airfield was completed in spring 2006. KRSW first Impressions First a note. This review has been updated to cover the changes by Aerosoft since the original release in November 2015. Since the changes were recent I thought it was better to update this current review than redo the changes in a separate post. The route flight was from KATL-Atlanta to RSW by Rotate's MD-88 in current Delta colours. The route is almost a direct line south from Atlanta and around the half-way mark you come directly over the western-Florida coast. You follow the coastline directly all the way down to a descent point just south of Tampa around Sarasota. Approaching Fort Myers is a great panorama as there is a set of barrier islands called Boco Grande, Cayo Costa, Captiva and Senibel Islands which are national park areas. The following directly above the Island chains they are a great tool for selecting the approaches for both Page Field and RSW. Page Field is a slightly easier vector because it is directly inland from the hook of Senibel Island, where as the Southwest Florida approach is just slightly more south over Estero Bay. In GA approaches you can get a lot lower (1500ft) and it is visually a great approach over the chain of islands. RSW can be very hard to locate. I am arriving on RWY 06 the only runway with an ILS approach. And you can't see the actual runway from a distance. The problem is created by the way the developers have used the photo texture base in squares. At a distance they blend into the background and you get a green cast over the actual airport approaches. Approaching RSW lower in a GA the problem is magnified by the fact you can see the only the photo texture squares which are zig-zagged when angled from a distance. It is almost impossible to get a course or angle directly onto the runway as the runway itself does not exist, so your only choice is to use the ILS or CDI (course deviation indicator ) to get a line on the centre of the runway... This issue is caused by not having your "Anisotropic Filtering" setting too low, it has to be set at least 16x or the full setting to make the textures clean and if you use this high setting and then runway texture quality will be very good to excellent. Closer to the runway you can see great detailing on the surfaces with ribbing and joins that are very good. The ribbing design however can cause a little interference in patterns on my iMac screen. but I didn't find it annoying or distracting. The actual airport and terminals is to your right (landing on 06) and a cargo facility and the GA areas are on the left. Mid-field on the left is the control tower complex. From a landing perspective the terminal buildings look excellent and realistic and you enjoy the arrival at RSW. Runaway and taxiway marking and runway/taxiway signage are excellent, as noted the surfaces are very good at this level. Infields are also good and the visual aspect is great. There are no charts provided with the scenery but a link http://airnav.com/airport/KRSW) is provided for download. There are three arrival charts (STARS) and four departure routes (SIDS) and five instrument procedure charts. The main parallel runway taxiway is F with another A which is a smaller parallel taxiway on the north side of the 06/24 RWY. Taxiway's J and L are arrival and departure taxiways for the main three concourses. There are no ramp numbers at RSW just gate numbers with my bay B4 which is situated on concourse B (far south). The airport is buzzing with vehicle animations, a lot of movement in mostly baggage trucks and carts, vans and service trucks. The animation routes are excellent and you enjoy the visual movement when departing or arriving at RSW. Gates are also all activated with Marginal's animated gates and here you have marshals to guide you into the bays and park the aircraft. Visually the airport looks great from the ramp. There is the option for static aircraft that requires xOpenScenery to be installed. There are few placements of vehicles and gate equipment, but I have my "Number of Objects" set at "a lot" and if you go up to the higher settings (Tons - Higher Tons) you certainly do get a lot more ramp objects but they come at a severe high frame-rate cost (in my case nearly 50%) and so a bit more refinement on the objects would compliment the excellent airport animations. In the update Aerosoft have changed the above settings on the "Number of Objects" to be more efficient at a lower setting i.e. "a lot". That now means that the ramps are now full, if even cluttered from the sparse view that you had before. In one way you would think that adjusting the object setting would be a great advantage and a visual step forward, and it is. But I found different situation in that it pulled my frame rate down because of the all extra loaded objects. And it took away the advantage that before if my framerate was too low I could then reduce the amount of objects and lose a certainly a lot of the visual impact of static ramp objects to gain framerate and have that user factor of the scenery. Now I can't do that? and my framerate suffers because I can't now adjust the amount of "objects", so it is one step forward but two steps backward in trying to fix the feature. (see Important update notes below on object changes). Aerosoft KRSW - Southwest Florida International Southwest Florida International Airport IATA: RSW – ICAO: KRSW – FAA LID: RSW 6/24 12,000ft (3,658m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 30 ft / 9 m Airport Overview Orthophoto images are used under the scenery and they are very good, quality and has great definition. There is a slightly different colour balance to the default X-Plane scenery but not to the point it looks false or stands out poorly visually. So from a visual on the ground or approach view the airport looks very good. In the update you have an extended area now to the east with a full set of new of added taxiways in G3, G5, G6, H, K and L. This greatly enhances your arrival and departure options and make the latest airport developments current. Also added in with the update by the new taxiways is the new $16 million Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting facility that was opened in July 2013. And well recreated is this new facility. Intergration with the X-Plane scenery is excellent with a lot of traffic entering and departing the scenery, so you have that activity aspect to the areas, As noted in the first impression on arrival the runways and taxiway textures and detailing is excellent, and from the air point of view they do look very authentic. The huge carparking areas do dominate the southwest points of the scenery, and they are a mixture of flattened cars in the orthophoto and added in 3-D vehicles, but only one southern section of the carpark is covered by the 3-D items, with the rest of the parking areas empty unless you use those heavier higher "Object" settings, and then still one large carpark is empty. There are a lot of outlaying airport support buildings that are very good, if a little blank in texture detailing. Terminal KRSW has only one large terminal with three concourses D, C and B. There are no A area gates (probably in the older demolished terminal). The airports landside and terminal construction is very good in that lots of pored concrete infrastructure look. The terminal design is well done and detailed. The areas are however quite blank. There is no advertising, roadway direction signs or small items like coke-cola machines and other great detailing details, so it comes across as bland, certainly far more could have been done. The outlaying airport support buildings that are very good, but again a little blank in texture detailing. Can you find your rental car company from the rows of buildings? I can't because they are not branded. And the "Welcome to Southwest Florida International Airport" signs over the road are missing as well. In the update the amount of static objects as noted above have been increased substantially and this does come across as a better viewpoint. The changes have reflected well on the rental car areas and many areas of the carparks, but the upper level terminal carpark is still quite barren when is should be quite busy. The RSW airport entrance sign has been added, but the resolution is quite low, but at least now it is in there. Concourse B - Gates B1-B9 B Concourse is for International departures in Air Berlin, Air Canada, and far northern state American airlines in Frontier, Sun Country and LCC Southwest Airlines. The concourse in design is excellent with as noted has with all gates it has working airbridges. The Customs and Immigration services for the international flights are located on the lower level of Concourse B C Concourse - Gates C1-C9 Central C Concourse is used by Delta, Delta Connection, United, United Express and Westjet. There is not a lot of differences in all three concourses in design or construction as there is no different buildings built at different times in the airport's history, so they all have a samey appeal. Concourse D - Gates D1-D10 The northern concourse D is home to American Airlines, American Eagle, JetBlue, Silver (local) and Spirit Airlines. All three concourses are identical as noted but Con D is the one I favour and use gates D2 and D4. No particular reason, but it feels great there and taxi times are closer to RWY 06. Concourse detailing is good. Mid-Field north is the control tower and firestation complex. The complex is a modern US standard in design, functional and efficient the tower is not distinctive. The design is however well done but the carpark behind could do with at least a few cars and trucks... The Fire Station on the airport layout chart is noted on the south and opposite Concourse B, but this is the new $16 million Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting facility that was opened in July 2013. Tower view is excellent with no obstructions to block or hide the view, and both ends of the runway are clearly seen. East of the Tower/Firestation complex, There is a small industrial area and the airport's fuel storage. And slightly north-east of the Control tower is the long term undercover carparking and rental outlet. West is the General Aviation area. There are two general aviation hangars, one smaller behind, but the larger open door hangar is very usable. GA ramp areas are excellent with just the right amount of GA aircraft to find the right parking space. To the east there is a very good "Private Star Services" hangar and office building. Finally far east on the north side there is a small cargo area run by the Lee County Port Authority with one warehouse that is mostly usable for regional cargo routes, certainly you can still park a big hauler here but it is not that big a facility. KRSW Nightlighting All runway and approach lighting is very good with a MALSR: 1,400 foot medium intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights on RWY 06. Taxiway and signage is very good. There is not much variety in the lighting in one for landside and building ramp lighting airside, but there is a lot of it and it covers all the airport's areas including the carparks and inner and outer roads. Terminal and concourse windows are all one dimensional grey and quite boring. The ramp work areas are well lit but with not much variation and do not throw the lighting out far from the concourses. So overall the lighting is good and workable, but not exceptional. Services Southwest Florida Intl Airport is an extremely popular airport, mostly because it does not have the serious heavy volumes of the eastern Florida ports. Basically it is regional port, but a far reaching one and its position on the western end of the Floridian peninsula gives the airport a wide arc of destinations. Seasonal is big business here as the winter snowbirds come down here to escape the northern Canadian and higher US states cold winter weather. Domestic In rank Atlanta is the overwhelmingly busiest route, double of anywhere else and no doubt a hub connection route. But many airports to the Eastern seaboard ports are also very heavily utilised. Atlanta, Georgia - 597,000 : Delta, Southwest, Spirit Chicago–O'Hare, Illinois - 313,000 : American, Spirit, United Detroit, Michigan - 283,000 : Delta, Spirit Charlotte, North Carolina - 238,000 : American/US Airways Boston, Massachusetts - 229,000 : JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - 221,000 : Delta, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country Newark, New Jersey - 215,000 : JetBlue, United Baltimore, Maryland - 172,000 : Southwest Chicago–Midway, Illinois - 166,000 : Southwest Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas - 152,000 : American, Spirit 1 Delta 22.44% 2 Southwest 22.44% 3 JetBlue 12.32% 4 American 9.56% 5 United 8.62% Delta and Southwest are the most popular airlines for RSW taking between them almost halve of the passenger loads. 1 Toronto 133,534 - Air Canada, WestJet 2 Düsseldorf 39,891 - Air Berlin 3 Montréal 5,713 - Air Canada 4 Ottawa 4,165 - WestJet Canada is easily the most popular international route, but the Düsseldorf numbers show the future potential of more overseas vistors to RSW. Summary The overall impression of KRSW - Southwest Florida Intl Airport (with the update included) is that this is now a very good scenery. the road signage and general advertising are still missing and the terminal windows are bland and really boring at night and building lighting is average. There is an annoying MM (Middle) marker beacon that drives you mad as you sit on the go point of RWY 06 (I moved it in the local map). There is the situation of the "Number of Objects" settings that for me in the first place was a viewpoint of sparse ramps but good framerate. And now with this update the situation of full ramps, but as the lower "Number of Objects" setting does not allow for any lowering of the number of objects (well you can go lower but to a detrimental effect of the overall X-Plane view being worse) in the scenery it has now created the opposite effect foe me on that now I have all the visual fulfilment that I can wish for but I can't adjust the render settings and recover any usable framerate. So if you have a slower or less powerful computer the original release version is actually a better performer in the framerate area. That is a shame because the airport building basics are all very good, so are the orthophoto textures, runway and taxiway textures, animations are first rate and in all KRSW is overall a really great airport. From a personal point of view I love Southwest Florida Intl Airport and use it regularly if not most of the time while doing reviews, in fact if you follow the reviews here you will find that KRSW is in most of them, and that is the main point to understand about the scenery. Its geographical position and lightness of frame-rate (if the objects are kept down) keeps me coming back here and it is a regional airport par-excellence. It is just a really good and flexible airport to have and use in your network, so usable and flexible that you do easily overlook its now minor faults. With Aerosoft addressing KRSW's those small faults it is very close to perfect. RSW overall well worth adding to your network, as noted in the images here the airport is great visually and the airport is highly usable. This always brings up the question on how you value your scenery. Good scenery is a great investment in one main area... How much you actually use the scenery. Yes you can spend money on a really great detailed scenery, but if you never use it then it is a waste of money. But a scenery like KRSW that if like me in that if I use it almost constantly then I know I am getting my money's worth and that is a very good investment... So yes overall KRSW it is a very good to great investment. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft is available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport Price is US$24.99 Features : 10 cm/pixel aerial ortho imagery covering the entire airport (approx. 8.41 sq. km) 1 cm/pixel custom ground detail/markings Baked-in, ray-traced ambient occlusion on all major buildings Baked-in, ray-traced night illumination on the airport terminal building Specular reflections and all-HDR lighting Accurate building heights, measured using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) elevation data Designed using X-Plane 10-native methods for maximum performance Animated jet bridges and marshallers at all gates (using the freely available AutoGate plugin by Jonathan Harris) Static aircraft as an option Animated and static ground vehicles Volumetric grass Road traffic Compatible with HD Mesh Scenery v3 by Andras Fabian Installation : Download file size is 1.75gb to your X-Plane - Custom Scenery Folder. Installed file size is two files - "KRSW 1_Roads" 10.80mb "KRSW 2_Scenery" 1.09gb Aerosoft scenery installer is provided and you require an installation key Notes: There are a lot of ground textures in gigabyte size and they take up a lot of memory. So a minimum of 2gb in graphic VRAM is recommended, there is not a lot of autogen around the airport so that aspect does not have an impact on your frame-rate. There is a clever trick that the developers of KRSW - Southwest Florida Intl has built in to the scenery to adjust the amount of objects (hence your framerate) to your preference. You need WED 1.4r2 (WED 1.4r1 does not work on saving) and open up Aerosoft KRSW 2_Scenery folder in the WED application. In the OBJs group you will find the groups of scenery objects named New, Density Level 1, Density Level 2 and inside those folders are the categories of scenery objects. You can adjust the amount of objects in the categories by clicking off the eye and resaving the scenery. I found I needed to only adjust a few categories to recover a significant amount of framerate, and still leave a great selection of objects in view. Well worth adjusting and making the scenery as efficient as you can to your system's capablities. Documents : There is an Aerosoft manual (12 Pages) in German and English. No charts are provided with the scenery but a link http://airnav.com/airport/KRSW) is provided for download. There are three arrival charts (STARS) and four departure routes (SIDS) and five instrument procedure charts. Requirements : X-Plane 10.40 + (any edition) Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 10; Linux; Mac Multi Core Processor (CPU): Quad Core 3,0 GHz Minimum 8 GB RAM 2 GB Free Hard Disc Space 2 GB of on-board, dedicated VRAM _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton Updated review 17th February 2016 Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery, Plugin or Aircraft - McDonnell Douglas MD-80 by Rotate ((Rotate MD-88 - X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95 - JARDesign Ground Handling Deluxe Plugin (Ground Handling Deluxe - X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$14.95
  22. News! - Now Released! - KRSW Aerosoft Southwest Florida Intl by Aerosoft KRSW is now available at the price of US$24.95 Images have been released of KRSW - Southwest Florida Intl in Fort Meyers, Florida as Aerosoft's newest scenery release. Features include: 10 cm/pixel aerial orthoimagery covering the entire airport (approx. 8.41 sq. km) 1 cm/pixel custom ground detail/markings True-to-life pavement, not repetitive textures Never-before-done, hand-placed pavement seams covering the entire airport apron, runway and taxiways Baked-in, ray-traced ambient occlusion on all major buildings Baked-in, ray-traced night illumination on the airport terminal building Specular reflections and all-HDR lighting (no hand-painted lighting) Accurate building heights, measured using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) elevation data Designed using efficient modelling techniques and X-Plane 10-native methods for maximum performance without compromising on quality Animated jet bridges and marshallers at all gates (using the freely available AutoGate plugin by Jonathan Harris) Static aircraft as an option Animated and static ground vehicles Volumetric grass Road traffic Compatible with HD Mesh Scenery v3 by Andras Fabian The Airport Southwest Florida International is located on the south-western coast of Florida and is the second busiest single-runway airport in the U.S. handling around 8 million passengers a year. This model of the Southwest Florida Intl Airport for X-Plane 10 offers a highly detailed reproduction of the real airport thanks to its 10cm/pixel aerial image and 1cm/pixel ground layout. The developer made sure to use non-repetitive textures. Baked night illumination and ambient occlusion as well as HDR lighting complete the visual impression, while static aircraft, road traffic and both animated and static apron vehicles create a lively area. Additionally, the scenery is compatible with the AutoGate plug-in, adding animated jet bridges and marshallers at all gates, as well as with the HD Mesh Scenery by Andras Fabian. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport Price is US$24.99 Southwest Florida International Airport XP Price is Eur €20.13 (no VAT) ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements X-Plane 10.40 + (any edition) Windows Vista / 7 / 8 / 10; Linux; Mac Multi Core Processor (CPU): Quad Core 3,0 GHz Minimum 8 GB RAM 2 GB Free Hard Disc Space 2 GB of on-board, dedicated VRAM Download-Size: 1.46GB Stephen Dutton Updated : 21st November 2015 Copyright©2015: X-PlaneReviews
  23. News! - EGCC-Manchester is now available at the X-Plane.OrgStore Aerosoft/Icarus Development Team's EGCC - Manchester is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore for download only... ... and is priced at : US$22.00 Here: EGCC - Manchester Available in Windows, Mac and Linux versions. Noted is... "During development it was of great importance to make use of all new X-Plane Features, e.g.: HDR-lights, Object Instancing and many more. The Airport is modeled with high accuracy and has been provided with a combination of ultra high Definition (UHD) Textures and High Definition (HD) Textures." Go check out the largest airport in the UK outside of Greater London. Features: Highly detailed rendition of Manchester Airport (EGCC)High resolution day and night sceneryAnimated car traffic around the airportComplete reconstruction of the airport's lighting equipmentAnimated airplane towingAnimated radarHighly detailed manual (PDF)Compatible with X-Plane 10 HD Mesh Scenery V3HD and Ultra HD texturesX-Plane 10 HDR lightningCustom ground textures with about 5cm/px (only airport area) Images courtesy of Aerosoft®/Icarus Development Team Stephen Dutton 11th August 2015 Copyright©2015: X-PlaneReviews
  24. Scenery Review : EGLL London-Heathrow by Aerosoft / SimWings When I was first indoctrinated into the X-Plane simulator (around early versions of X-Plane9) I was totally dismayed on how little was really available in the major areas of mega airports. There was a few, but most were converted 2004 FS sceneries done by devoted souls like Ted Davis. For the major London area it was really almost laughable, and the thought of not even a slightly decent London-Heathrow for the simulator was simply demoralising. If your British then Heathrow is the cornerstone of your route flying, in the same way that KORD (Chicago) is to the Americans. EGLL is in west London the single busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic. It is also the third busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic, and in 2014, it handled a record 73.4 million passengers. The airport has a personal history for myself as well, as my father worked there as a chef in the central main airline and staff staff kitchens in the early 70's, and a few summers of my youth were not chasing skirt (oh come on!, those Air French stewies were WAY out of my league and I was to young anyway), but aircraft rego's from behind powerful binoculars perched up on the freezing cold Queen's Building terraces. It is Heathrow and that distinctive smell of everything British. The Heathrow of today is very different from the one of childhood memories, the Queens Building and most of everything else has I knew is gone or been replaced or renovated. In confined spaces the airport is changing to meet the modern demands of today's passengers, and there is more to come. But a few areas of old Heathrow are still there as I saw while creating this review, but for how much longer is debatable as committees usually get what they want in the end. Through the X-Plane simulator I was able to do something now I only could dream about on those cold terraces all those years ago, land and takeoff an aircraft at the airport... how great is that. But then another question came and haunted me, in? Will I be disappointed, can this scenery from Aerosoft live up to decades of memories and the feeling of a place that I have transversed through so many times over most of my life. First Impressions My BA699 route was from LOWW (Vienna) to EGLL (London), arrival was via RWY 09R with STAR (Weald) DETLING (DET 117.30) and EPM (EPSON 316). First sight of Heathrow is of not much. It blends in well with the default scenery as I pass due south of the airport. If you use Heathrow regularly then to the south and west of the airport then the huge seven reservoirs are your main visual focal points to your position to the airport and approaches to the runways 09L and 09R. Your focus soon changes on final approach as there is a then lot of buildings (if just blank objects) and a pass over the busy M25 that makeup the arrival view. The exceptionally large Terminal 5 looms on your left with the smaller T5B and T5C terminals in line just past and the distinctive British Airways cargo building is significant on your right. After landing and aircraft cleanup your now having to consult your charts as taxiing around Heathrow is quite a complex business, nothing is noted just as A or B taxiiways (they are there of course) but are all joined together by a multitude of "links"(noted by numbers "35") and short runoff points (off the runways) noted as like "N2", "S5" or "A10W". There are also multiple important ground holding points noted as "PLUTO", "RABIT" or "OSTER" were you have to note your position to the tower. If you are on the radio it is going to be a busy place in them directing you around. My runway departure point was "N4W" that put me directly in line with the new Terminal 2 building which was very impressive with its distinctive wavy roof. Besides the noted Taxiways A and B, there are two main sets of A and B taxiways on the north and south sides of the airport. "Link 32" then directed me to main taxiway "B" for my long trundle west to the T5 complex areas. You are extremely grateful then that Aerosoft have bundled in a full set of charts (73) with the scenery that includes the ground routes, SID, STAR, RNAV and SIDPT's (Standard Instrument Departure Procedure Text) significant also are the included ground route charts for Airbus A380 movements at the airport, you can only go certain routes in your movements to a certain runway or terminal gate position with this VLA aircraft. You will keep your printer working for quite a while to study the routes on the ground to make sure you follow the correct procedures and directions. Ground signage is excellent, not only are the directions clear on one side, but the actual signage boxes are well done in design with the back as detailed as the front... high detail on the infields is also excellent with a lot of various weather, ILS, stripy marker poles and even the many fire hydrants dotted around, but no grass? which is notable feature for an Aerosoft airport scenery? Runway, ramp and taxiway textures are excellent and so is all the taxi and ramp linage, with even great ground detailing like the drainage grates on the ramps. Heathrow is the United Kingdom base for its flag carrier... British Airways. And the flags are certainly flying here. You can download an optional comprehensive static aircraft file to fill EGLL out with a lot of static aircraft (OpenSceneryX is required) and very well done it is, but note that if arrive with your BA A380 you will be very hard pressed to find a gate to dock to? They are all filled up already, so a little editing is required to make a few gates available for use, even with the A320 I was taxiing, I was finding it hard even to find an open BA gate to berth in? Aerosoft's EGLL-Heathrow is extremely well populated with every imaginable piece of airport equipment you can think of, this airport is full, totally! You are surrounded by a perfect airport landscape and the detailing here is simply beyond believable, the surrounding areas are highlighted by the airports vehicle animated traffic, which is very expertly done, baggage carts dart, food trucks pass, buses bus, security survey in totally realistic surroundings, very impressive. My Gate is 523, nudged right up at the end of the most western southern end of the huge monolithic T5(A) Building. It is very impressive close up and when turning into the gate the full range of ramp equipment is waiting for me... the gate areas are extremely well appointed and the best replicated gate areas I have seen to date. You do have the "safedock" option, that will guide you in and on every gate or stand in the airport, but the airbridges don't actually dock with the aircraft? Just even a few working ones on each terminal would have been nice. Another feature is that every gate and remote parking stand is selectable via your X-Plane airport menu, that is a lot of choices! But the gates are well marked to select the one you want, notable is that there are very few gates that are without an airbridge? If you arrive with a regional aircraft and want your passengers to deplane via your stairs, then you will be taxiing around here forever trying to berth your aircraft... there are actually a few available and I will list them as well when we go through the different terminal areas, and I would note them down if you can. From the air Aerosoft's Heathrow looks a little empty from a distance but once into the scenery you will want for nothing in a visual sense. It is overwhelmingly good on the ground, but there has to be compromises, this is a very large area of airport to cover, if every single detail was covered your computer would simply grind to halt, so that is an issue to deal with first. EGLL-Heathrow Frame-rates Airports like EGLL-Heathrow get a triple killer whammy in simulation. First is that the airport scenery area to be covered is usually huge and complex with a lot of objects. The second hit is that usually the airport is surrounded by a dense city, in this case London and its suburbs, which translates to a lot of default "autogen" and even cityscape buildings, roads and god knows what else. The final whammy is that certainly in this case the airport requires a lot of very heavy metal, there are no GA or even private jets in here... it is all the really big stuff, A380s, B777s, B747s, A330s and even a lot of A320/1 and B737 series aircraft. And you want your serious (payware) heavy to work in here. My biggest concern when these huge airport sceneries are announced or released is not if they are any good, but can I actually run in them? Aerosoft's very good X-Plane EHAM (Schiphol - Amsterdam) is one in question, brilliant scenery no doubt but I can't fly there unless I am in a really light (note boring) aircraft and my texture resolution settings are set to almost zero, which defeats the whole idea of great scenery. So the biggest question of this review, is not if this scenery is very good scenery... but can I actually even use it without any serious compromises? My first impressions for Aerosoft's Heathrow were actually very good. Close to the line in around the low 20s (with Peters Aircraft A320), but with still with a high texture resolution setting is very impressive. Peters Aircraft A380 was very,very marginal at around 20-19 frames as was JARDesign's A330. So for my computer performance then EGLL is useable, but marginal. But still far, far better than EHAM, which I checked out by flying the A320 from EGLL - EHAM on the same settings and got a 12-13 frames there in contrast to EGLLs low 20's. For the power users then EGLL will be great and for the rest of us, it is actually still usable... there is a trick though to use! And I will show you how to later in the review on how run the most heavy of payware aircraft with no major compromises. EGLL London-Heathrow London's Heathrow airport is best visualised as three different areas. First is the Terminal 5 complexes of A, B and C. Then the (Older) central area with the new T2/T2B Terminals and finally the T4 Terminal on the south-east boundary of the airport layout. In fact Heathrow is three airports grouped around two runways. BA maintenance (or as the British say "Engineering") dominates the eastern area and Cargo is in the south. London Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR, ICAO: EGLL) 09L/27R 3,902m (12,802ft) grooved asphalt 09R/27L 3,660m (12,008ft) grooved asphalt Elevation AMSL 83 ft / 25 m Heathrow Airport started in 1929 as a small airfield (Great West Aerodrome) on land south-east of the hamlet of Heathrow from which the airport takes its name. Heathrow area as a very big airfield started in 1944: it was stated to be used for long-distance military aircraft bound for the Far East. But by the time the airfield was nearing completion, World War II had ended. Croydon in South London was London's original aerodrome site, but when civil operations closed for WW2 and the airport was used as an RAF fighter base, Croydon was deemed to small for expansion after the war and so the title "London Airport" was moved to the new west London location in 1946 and then renamed Heathrow Airport in 1966. In the 1950s, Heathrow had six runways, arranged in three pairs at different angles in the shape of a hexagram (✡) with the permanent passenger terminal in the middle and the older terminal along the north edge of the field; two of its runways would always be within 30° of the wind direction. As the required length for runways has grown, Heathrow now has only two parallel runways running east–west. These are extended versions of the two east–west runways from the original hexagram. From the air, almost all of the original runways can still be seen, but incorporated into the present system of taxiways. North of the northern runway and the former taxiway and aprons is now the site of extensive car rental outlets and car parks. Aerosoft have created an extensive scenery over a wide area. Like most sceneries they can be confusing from a distance, but as we go through the various areas it is quite easy to see where and what is included into this scenery. Only portions of the original "mega" Flight Simulator scenery was actually used for the X-Plane release because there has been so many changes to EGLL - Heathrow since the original FS scenery was created for FS2004 with its release in Sept 2007. The current FS version is the "Extended" version of this scenery. If you were nosey enough to look closely at the X-Plane free inserted Aerosoft airports, then EGLL - Heathrow was quite limited and was quite an old layout with just really the central area in any actual form (not even T5?). So this extensive scenery here is totally different in context and even form. Listing of the Terminals and areas are noted by their location and not by their position in history. Terminal history is noted in the terminal area details. Terminal 5 Terminal 5 is a complex of one receiving terminal (A) and two island terminals (B and C). Leading architects the Richard Rogers Partnership designed the monolithic T5 Terminal from 1989, but construction didn't begin till September 2002 (with eight years of committees blathering in between). Queen Elizabeth II officially opened Terminal 5 in a ceremony on 14 March 2008. It is used exclusively by British Airways (and now IAG (Iberia)), the terminal opened for passenger use on 28 March 2008.... then abruptly in the following 10 days some 42,000 bags failed to travel with their owners, and over 500 flights were cancelled. British Airways was not able to operate its full schedule from Terminal 5 until 8 April 2008 and had to postpone the transfer of its long-haul flights from Terminal 4 to Terminal 5. The difficulties were later blamed on a number of problems with the terminal's IT systems, coupled with car parking problems. When finished I was not sure if this huge hen house deserved the accolades and awards that was thrown at the architects and engineers. I mean it is just really a big huge box like structure with a swoopy roof. Middle Eastern and Asian airport design was getting more stylistic and futuristic and all the British committees could come up with is four walls and a roof? The idea was how it looked from the inside and not out. It was to be big and airy and try to convince people that England didn't have the worse inclement weather on the planet. But to a point today the T5 Building has come to represent the iconic face of a modern Heathrow Airport, and with the other islands sections of Terminals 5B and 5C now completed there seems to be a more cohesion to the madness, but a pretty building or design I still don't think T5A is? Imposing however is a different perspective, as it is to be functional and not a statement of architectural prowness. At 396 metres (1,299 ft) long, 176 metres (577 ft) wide and 40 metres (130 ft) tall, It is the largest building in the Terminal 5 complex and is the largest free-standing building in the United Kingdom. There is no doubt that the Aerosoft version of T5 is simply outstandingly good. As we will find throughout this review, the one feature that is a really exceptional in this scenery are the glass textures (Day and Night). Not just in being glass but the way the depth is created and the internal structures are represented in the textures. This is what you pay for in payware scenery, great detail and realistic textures... and you really get your money's worth here as it is stunning. Gates A1–A23 internal and 501-523 external with 524-527 as remote stands. All stand fixures are absolutely perfect, about as real as you could possibly get. taxiiway and ramp signage is perfect, but you have to watch that some gates through out the T5 complexes have double usage, and that the same gate can be used for a single-aisle aircraft with one airbridge or as an twin-aisle aircraft with two or three airbridges, and usually noted by their L/Left or R/Right listing (548L). However the arrival side is well done but the ramps and smaller detailing are quite sparse, signage is good, but very little vehicle or passenger traffic. T5A is mostly used by single-aisle BA aircraft for local and European routes. Terminal 5B Terminal's 5B and 5C are satellite island terminals connected to T5A via an underground people-mover (not to be confused with the fast people-mover pods in the carparks) and long tunnels. The 5B design is similar to the T5A shape but a lot longer and smaller. Gates are noted internally as Gates B32–B47 internal and 531-548 (R/L) external. T5B is an international terminal with mostly twin-aisle aircraft. Externally in design T5B is very much the same as T5A with full fixtures and well prepared gates. the Terminal itself is faultless with excellent vehicle animations running all around the inbound areas. Terminal 5C T5C is set up almost identically as T5B, but it is the BA Airbus A380 terminal as well as the standard international routes. Gates C52–C66 Internally with 558-561 external. External 591 to 595 and 558 to 596 are all A380 stands. And the terminal like T5B comes with full fixtures and well prepared gates. To dock your A380 at this terminal you would need to remove a few A380's from the extra static aircraft feature. Terminal 5 Remote parking Part of the Terminal 5 complex is a central remote parking area. Remote stands 572 to 596 (13) are great for preparing or parking aircraft. A fuel storage area is on the north section, and a fire station mid-section. There is a significant admin BA building in the southern section and it is surrounded by well filled ramp and vehicle equipment storage yards. Great detailing is supplied here, and very realistic viewpoints if arriving and parking (passing through Heathrow for fuel) or aircraft flight preparation. Central area - Terminal One - Terminal 2 - Terminal 2B - Terminal 3 Terminal One Terminal One looks like the oldest terminal at Heathrow, it is not as that now is Terminal 3 and the older now demolished Terminal Two/Queens Building. Terminal 1 was opened in 1968 and was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II in May 1969. At the time Terminal One was the biggest short-haul terminal of its kind in Western Europe, and this was the area the BEA Tridents and Viscounts flew their European routes from. Terminal One is the earlier Heathrow of my youth but it won't be there much longer as it will be closed on the June 30 2015 for the extension of the Terminal Two complex. But for now in this scenery it still lives on. A lot of Heathrow was like an added on jigsaw in the central area, The airport would call on some contractor and say "I do want another 8 gates going that way my good man" and the contractor would come in and say "No problems there guv'ner" and was simply added it all on in a none-orthodox fashion. Land at Heathrow and you went through long tunnels to places connected to other places until you came out the other end at a terminal building and sometimes not at the terminal building you actually gated at? Lovely place is Heathrow. The Central part of Terminal One has two piers in Pier 3 and Pier 4 which look now very old but very authentic Heathrow, situated off the north end of the terminal is a newer extension called the "Eastern Extension" or Pier 4A which was opened in 2005. Pier 3 Gates 16-21(Gate 21 is 21L/R) and stands 117-121R/L, Pier 4 Gates 5 (a-b/c-d) -8 (a,b,c,e and f) and are stands 101-110, The newer 4A concourse is Gates 74-90 with stands 174-192 (L/R). Stands 186 and 121L are none airbridge stands, and 121L is the best of the two for a regional arrival with walk off facilities. BA and TAM currently use T1 for mid-haul and long haul but that will all end soon You have a real mish-mash of styles in Terminal One in old, newer and modern, but all very reminiscent of an age now gone by. Detail work by Aerosoft is first rate as it really captures all the different building eras, for character then Terminal One stands out. Great animations flow around the different sections in one complete flow of passing vehicles. Arrival side of Terminal One is perfect, and just as I remember it, but the area is however quite blank of cars and people and no animations are activated in the central area so it looks totally boring including the central bus station (it does have a couple of buses). The main central iconic control tower is now gone (along with the central canteen), but everything else is still here and the maze of buildings and central carparks are very well recreated. The main ground radar is there as well, but it does not revolve? A real waste of an opportunity to give a great animation to the scenery... it is notably noticed from any view of the airport in its stationary position? Terminal 2 and Terminal 2B The original Terminal 2 opened in 1955 as the Europa Building and was the airport's oldest terminal along with the Queens Building which was the airport administration building. Terminal Two the building became increasingly decrepit and unserviceable and so a grand plan was created to build a brand new terminal to replace it (and the Queens Building) designed by Luis Vidal + Architects (LVA) and Terminal 2 opened on 4 June 2014. The new terminal does change the whole feel of Heathrow from the past to the future. Called the "Queens Terminal" it has a satellite island terminal attached like the T5 and T5B/T5C complex called T2B. T2 certainly compliments the T5 philosophy but moves it forward in design, it is a dark building but quite attractive in its own way and very distinctively modern in that British modern design. Again the outer building and glass textures are simply extraordinarily good. look at the glass panels and see the people set out behind the dark green tint of the windows, the dark panel facades are gorgeous and so is the waves of the distinctive roof, it is modelling at its best. Terminal 2(A) Gates are 3-26 internal and stands 216-226 external... stands 218 and 221 are L/R parking. Terminal 2 is Star Alliance operators with code shares Germanwings, Icelandair and Aer Lingus. Singapore Airlines and Thai Airlines use the A380 at gates 218/221. Gate 216 is a non-airbridge stand. Terminal 2B At this point access to Terminal 2B via a temporary "bridge" from Terminal 1 (and will continue to do so) until the T2(A) extension is completed, but the "bridge" is not shown in the Aerosoft scenery. Again the facade theme is like T2A, and it is again exemplary to look at. I have my texture resolution settings set on "very high" and the textures are perfect at that setting... some of the HSBC signage is slightly blurry, but otherwise it is all very good. Terminal modelling and airbridge links are perfect. And ground fixures and equipment is also as good as every other terminal area. Terminal 2B Gates are 28-49 internal and stands 231-249 external (the scenery positions are slightly different to the real stands because of the "bridge") Stands 233, 236, 243 246 and 247 have L/R Parking To the east of the Terminal 2B facility is a line of remote stands 251 to 258 with 253, 254 and 258 with L/R Parking. Terminal 3 Originally called the "The Oceanic Terminal" it was built to handle flight departures for long-haul routes and was opened on 13th November 1961. Renamed Terminal 3 in 1968, it was expanded in 1970 with the addition of a new arrivals building. Other facilities added included the UK's first moving walkways. The terminal was refurbished between 1987 and 1990 at a cost of £110 million. In 2006, the new £105 million Pier 6 was completed to accommodate the Airbus A380, and Emirates and Qantas now operate regular flights from Terminal 3 using the A380 aircraft. (stand 342 on Pier 5 will also accommodate a A380 aircraft) Terminal 3 is certainly an hodge-podge of various piers and areas, but no doubt it is well represented here in all its glorious forms. Basically the huge terminal had originally three piers in 5, 6 in a line and 7, until Pier 6 was redeveloped and turned east towards the new T2 complex. Terminal 3 is even if hidden below all that change is still the heart of Heathrow. It is today the base for the "Oneworld" carriers including American Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and many others. In most cases if you arrive at LHR from overseas then there is good chance you will pass through T3... from a simulation point of view then T3 will give you an authentic (meaning old) feeling to arrive at Heathrow from another far off continent. Note that all BA departures for the US will still depart from T3 and not T4 (from Oct 2015). Pier 5 are Gates 23-42 Internal and Stands 323 - 342 External with remote stands 351 - 355. (S342 is A380). Pier 6 (below) are the new gates 1 -11 Internal and Stands 301 - 311 with 305 and 303 L/R Parking (A380). Pier 6 was completed in 2006 for the introduction of the A380 aircraft, The building has the same sort of style as the newer T5 and T2 complexes in the evolution of creating the darker boxy design, and Aerosoft have been faithful in getting the details perfectly correct. Pier 6 feels new of which it is and again the ramps and stands are gloriously complete, and arrive here from a long-haul and you will get your achievement of an arrival in the UK. Pier 7 are Gates 13 - 22 Internal and Stands 313, 316 - 322 and 363 - 365. Arrival side of T3 is as it always was the face of Heathrow International. The area does have a few cars in the drop off area, but everyone knows that this area can be controlled chaos on most days. Again Aerosoft has done a superb job in representing this iconic terminal, it is a complex building, but it has been reproduced faithfully here. Control Tower To build the new Terminal 2 complex then the old original control tower building had to go. So this new modern Control Tower was built and completed and handled its first flight early on Saturday 21 April 2007. The tower is 87m high – the tallest tower in the UK. It is more than twice the height of the old tower which has served Heathrow for over 50 years. The tower was designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners and engineered by Arup. The tower was constructed on site at the world’s busiest airport. The 30m high cab at the top of the Tower is equivalent to six storeys and weighs more than a jumbo jet. It was built on the airfield perimeter, on the 29 October 2004 it was moved 2km overnight to its final location. Over a 12 week period, the structure was raised by jacks; six steel mast sections each 12m high and 4.6m in diameter were progressively slotted into place. The tower was finally anchored to the ground with steel cable stays. (There is cable Discovery show of the whole construction process). The new control tower was always going to be significant to the scenery, and no doubt here it is. The design is excellent and the tower looks and feels very realistic. Tower view is excellent as well, with all the areas and runways of the airfield covered with no obstructions. Terminal 4 Opened in 1986 on the site of a former farm or farms called Mayfields and Mayfield Farm, Terminal 4 is situated to the south-east of the southern runway next to the central cargo terminal and is connected to Terminals 1, 2 and 3 by the Heathrow Cargo Tunnel, and is now home to the SkyTeam alliance, as well as some unaffiliated carriers. Terminal 4 has recently undergone a £200m upgrade to enable it to accommodate 45 airlines with an upgraded forecourt including two new stands to accommodate the Airbus A380 with Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways now operating regular A380 flights. (Malaysia Airlines may soon with draw their A380's as they are leasing them to Turkish Airlines). Aerosoft have updated the scenery to take in the changes at Terminal 4 and so you get your A380 gates and updated lounges (as viewed from the ramp). In some ways T4 is a very conventional terminal with the arrival building central and a pier going out each end. On the northern end it goes into a large U section with a pier at the eastern point. The pier is not noted separately but as part of the northern extension. T4 Gates start south-east 1, 1a,1b, 2, 3 then loop around the front of the building to the north 4 -12 with 5a/5b and 6/6a being the A380 gates. At this point you go around the U infield with Gates 14 - 25. Stands follow the same course with 401 - 403 then 405 - 412 and in the U 414 - 429 there are three remote stands behind the U 430 - 432. Stand 406 is noted as 461 and Stand 429 is a non-airbridge stand close to terminal access. The terminal is again an excellent replication of the current buildings and piers, stands are full to brim with ramp equipment and vehicles and other areas are detailed well with used and stacked empty cargo containers. So authenticity is very evident while moving or parked in the areas. Carparks and all arrival areas are very well done with (not a lot of cars) positioned correctly. There is a Hilton hotel situated in front of the terminal, but it is quite average? Here it is represented just as an angled box with textures on each side, when in fact the front is a folded in design, and quite striking. To do the fold design was quite an easy thing to do? The south ground radar is as dead as the central one? Well designed though Terminal 4 Remote Stands and Royal Suite Directly opposite T4 is two remote stand/parking areas, in one central and one aligned along taxiway W. Both are good for refueling or aircraft flight preparation. There are a few FedEx aircraft here with the static feature, but these stands are too far away from the Cargo area to be really effective unless for parking. Central remote stands are 440 and 441, W taxiway stands are 449 - 456. There is a Royal Suite and VIP receiving centre that was run by that upper-crust snotty nosed woman in the reality show. So a great place to deliver your special guests or Royal charters as the ramp area and building is very authentic. The flags don't fly however? no flapping "Flags of the World" here? Cargo South and parallel to Rwys 09R/27L are Heathrow's Cargo areas. Central-south is the newer logistics buildings and further west are the older warehouse style piers. Most cargo today is not stored at the airport but transferred directly to the surrounding local large warehouses, so the area is mostly designed as an customs and shipping area. There is a large Royal Mail centre based here and noted in the scenery Stands 601 - 609 are on the main front aprons and 611 - 616 are in the older section The Heathrow "British Airways World Cargo" building is a very distinctive C - Curved design that was built in 2008, and Aerosoft have done a brilliant job in recreating it. And any landing or taking off on Rwys 09R/27L will love the view aspect of a pure Heathrow design. All the correct Heathrow cargo elements are set out correctly here and the cargo area is very detailed and well represented along the (very empty of vehicles) Southern Perimeter Road. Any serious hauler arriving or departing from the Cargo area would not be disappointed in their surroundings, it is here as good as it is going to be. The older warehouse style piers are noted by their building numbers 577 or 582 along Sandringham Road. And are very authentic with great worn rusted roofing and skylights and tired brick bases (very British) and very well done here, and there is a cargo fuel depot situated far west. British Airways Engineering and Maintenance All of the far eastern areas of Heathrow and the covers of the approaches of Rwys 27L and 27R is the large maintenance bases of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. For many these areas are as famous as the airport itself, as most aircraft launches including the famous Concorde were done here. The BA base is huge, but once they were two areas for both BOAC and BEA, one area is still known as BEALINE Base even though the airline has been merged now into BA for decades. Aerosoft have recreated buildings that still look the same as passed by them everyday back in the 70's, certainly there has been a few new logo signs here and there, but mostly it is still the same. The buildings are very realistic and familiar which is the very point of good scenery. But the area feels very empty on the ramps around the buildings, There are few details but a few more items here would have not gone astray. Concorde BOAB is situated in the old Concorde engine test bed (tied down so it won't fly away or up) on the approach to runway 27L, the Old BEALINE engineering building is behind the aircraft. The iconic Virgin Atlantic maintenance hangar is well represented as here, with its distinctive shape. North Perimeter Road One of the biggest fears I had with any Heathrow scenery was not with the actual airport, but with the areas along the north of 09L/27R or the North Perimeter Road. Here we fear not, as any view when landing or taking off is well filled out to the north. The area mostly consists of car rental offices, car parks and hotels including the Renaissance London Hotel that rents room out for great views of Rwys 09L/27R. There is HM Customs house here as well with the main entrance to the airport. Most of the areas have been reproduced well including all the car rental offices and hotels, but the rental car parks are quite thinly filled. The area looks quite empty mostly because the underlying photo images cancels out the X-Plane traffic roads feature, as it does at other various areas around the scenery. So any movement or traffic activity around Heathrow except for the M25 in the west is mostly lost. There are basic building items in groups set out beyond the outer airport boundaries, they are not really anything of detail, but basic building forms, but they do go a long way in building up a complete picture of the airport area, and they are very good. But there is no interaction with the X-Plane autogen scenery and so you still get a blank area between the Aerosoft scenery and the default autogen and makes the outer areas slightly dead. Airport Night Lighting Lighting is good, but only a single tone. So although the areas are very well lit, there is not a lot of variation or very different types of light sources like you see in carparks and various off ramp areas. It is not boring, but could have been better. The Virgin Atlantic T3 entrance stands out from the single tone in a bright Branson style purple. Get in close to the terminals and the glass textures again shine brightly (sic) They are beautifully created to give a realistic feel to the airport. T5 mega building glows like a jewel with the new T2 looking great as well and the ramps are very well lit to work on. The T3 Pier 5 A380 gate area is excellent with a depth of the internal views that is highly realistic. All runway lighting and taxiway signage is first rate, landing at Heathrow at night can be a great experience. Frame-Rate Trick At the top of this review we talked about frame-rate and the triple-wammy effect that you get with heavy scenery like EGLL, a heavy aircraft and lots of surrounding autogen. Certainly you want to fly heavy aircraft like FlightFactor's B777 and the excellent JARDesign A330 out of LHR, but one I use quite regularly is Peter's Aircraft Airbus A380. Chances are my frame-rate with this aircraft is usually marginal at best here, and the average is just right on the margin of 18-19 frames. This makes the aircraft a bit of hard work and usually stuttering slowly around the airport is not much fun either. So try this... Most times to reduce your autogen you lower your "world distance detail" to get your frame-rate back up, but it is still marginal? but it is also messy in then X-Plane re-renders the full simulator to readdress the autogen outlay. A quicker way is too reduce your visibility distance on the Environment/Weather/Set weather uniformly for the whole world X-Plane menu, 6nm will still leave you with a slight blue sky, but 5nm or less can gain you more frame-rate by blocking out the autogen in the distance. In the A380's case 5-8 frames, not a lot you ask? but it still gets you off the borderline frame-rate stutter and makes the aircraft usable. out of the heavy frame-rate killing 3d cockpit and your frame-rate is 25 - 28 frames. It depends on the situation, but I have had as high as 30 frames in this mode and making EGLL and other very heavy scenery airports possible, and adjustment is instant as well with no rerendering. Yes you will get a very misty and foggy sort of view if you pull the visibility back to the lower numbers, but London-Heathrow is that sort of airport, days of bright sunshine and Heathrow don't really fit into the same sentence mostly. So LHR looks actually more authentic with this setting than it does on bright summers days... Departures can be breathtaking early in the morning as seen by this A388 departure to Hong Kong and with a very nice 43 frame advantage. Services Most airlines and routes run out of LHR, so to list them all would take pages of this review. So basically the terminal complexes are broken down into the alliances and their members, if you follow this guide you won't go far wrong. Terminal 2 Star Alliance (except Air India), Aer Lingus, Germanwings and Icelandair Terminal 3 Oneworld (except Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways), British Airways (some destinations and USA), Delta Air Lines (some destinations), Middle Eastern Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and a few non-aligned airlines Terminal 4 SkyTeam (except Middle Eastern Airlines and some Delta Air Lines destinations), Air India, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and most non-aligned airlines Terminal 5 British Airways (most destinations, except those at Terminal 3) and Iberia Domestic routes 1 Edinburgh - 1,472,812 2 Manchester - 876,597 3 Glasgow International 870,988 4 Aberdeen - 776,880 5 Belfast City - 674,889 6 Newcastle upon Tyne - 478,806 7 Leeds/Bradford -132,325 Dublin is noted as International International Routes 1 New York JFK 2,972,729 2 Dubai International - 2,437,889 3 Dublin - 1,650,675 4 Hong Kong - 1,563,714 5 Frankfurt - 1,506,705 6 Amsterdam - 1,486,995 7 Los Angeles - 1,354,610 8 Madrid Barajas - 1,274,707 9 Paris Charles de Gaulle - 1,247,665 10 Munich - 1,178,614 11 Newark - 1,168,357 12 Chicago O'Hare - 1,160,217 13 Singapore - 1,125,125 14 Delhi - 1,067,486 15 Zürich - 1,048,878 Cargo Cathay Pacific Cargo - Delhi, Hong Kong, Milan–Malpensa, Paris–Charles de Gaulle DHL Aviation - Amsterdam, Brussels, East Midlands, Frankfurt, Madrid–Barajas, Paris–Charles de Gaulle Emirates SkyCargo - Dubai-Al Maktoum Etihad Cargo - Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt Ethiopian Airlines Cargo - Lagos IAG Cargo (British Airways) - Madrid–Barajas, New York–JFK Korean Air Cargo - Seoul–Incheon Royal Air Maroc Cargo - Casablanca Royal Jordanian Cargo - Amman–Queen Alia Singapore Airlines Cargo - Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Sharjah, Singapore Swiss WorldCargo - Zürich Turkish Airlines Cargo - İstanbul Summary EGLL London-Heathrow is a major hub not only for Europe and North America, but also the Middle East, Africa and Asia. And till this point X-Plane has not had a Heathrow scenery that can live up to the reputation to this quality of investment. This is a big scenery and it is not cheap either at US$27.56 From a distance it does not look as comprehensive as it is, but once inside this Heathrow you will want for nothing. Buildings, Terminals and the total infrastructure are simply awe-inspiring and the texture design is almost an art of perfection. You do look in and not out of Heathrow and in the areas that the aircraft are used you want or view for nothing, but an outward view is a little sparse like in the areas between the terminials and outer airport boundaries. To be fair, you can't install everything and choices have to be made to allow the scenery to be used, but carparks can be filled and more animations to cover blank areas would fill in a lot of space. The non-rotating radars are a noted oversight. Animated apron traffic is a highlighted feature, and you have "safedock" but no actual moving gates (just a few would have been nice) actual taxiway layout with new rapid runway exits and taxiway links is complex and very realistic. And London Heathrow with near airport surrounding areas is about 42 square kilometers in total. The airport is right up to date with all the T5 and T2 complexes available and great representations of the older and more familar terminals gives the airport users a great choice between old and new facilities. Overall EGLL London Heathrow Airport is a significant scenery, well delivered by the award-winning team sim-wings and a extremely good investment for the X-Plane simulator. If you run your routes and Europe is your hub, then you can't really not have this LHR missing from your collection, with a few extra updates to cover the few minuses, it could be one of the best large airport sceneries available for X-Plane... It is that good. Review by Stephen Dutton 12th May 2015 EGLL London Heathrow Airport is now available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : EGLL London-Heathrow Airport and is priced at only US$27.56 Installation : Download is 880.20mb and installed to 2.47gb and the scenery is placed in your Custom Scenery folder. "Static" aircraft add-on can be downloaded from the Aerosoft site - (Free Payware extension) EGLL - Statics a little editing is however required. and then deposited in your custom scenery folder (note: static aircraft "_DefaultStreets London-Heathrow" file must be placed above your Aerosoft - EGLL Airport London-Heathrow scenery in the "scenery_packs.ini" file to work!) Aerosoft provide their own installation application with the scenery and a serial number is required. The installer will insert the scenery into the main X-Plane "Custom Scenery" folder and remove the "Global Airport" default EGLL version. Note: To use the Autogate (safedock) you need the free AutoGate Plugin. You can download it for free under following link: http://marginal.org.uk/x-planescenery/plugins.html The "safedock" feature is off in the install. To activate the "safedock" align parking you have to switch over the supplied .dsf (tile) files. The image shows how your files should look when changed over and the safedock is activated. You take the installed +51-100.dsf and label it "+51-100.dsf.no_safedock" and remove it from the +51-100 tile folder... and the file noted as +51-100.dsf.safedock is then changed by removing the "safedock" text so it shows just +51-100.dsf and is then placed into the +51-100 tile folder. Once you run X-Plane the safedock pylons and system will guide you into the ramp areas. Documents : 1 Manual pdf, Charts (73) includes all the airport layouts, ground routes, SID, STAR, RNAV and SIDPT's Features: Airport London Heathrow with near airport surrounding (about 42 square kilometers in total) Fully detailed buildings at the airport Safegate and other dockings at all gates (only with AutoGate) Includes new T2 and T2B terminals Pre-rendered self shadowing and raytraced night lighting Fully customized high resolution aerial ground textures (about 30cm/pix) with custom detail textures for taxiways etc. Detailed ground markings Actual taxiway layout with new rapid runway exits and taxiway links Hand placed autogen Seamless integration of the ground to the Flight Simulator Animated Apron Traffic Requirements: X-Plane 10.30 / X-Plane 10 - Europe Edition / X-Plane Steam Version Windows XP/Vista/Windows7/8, Mac, Linux MultiCore Processor with 2.6 Ghz or faster 4 GB RAM 3D video card with at least 1 GB is required! Download-Size: 930 MB Installations-Size: 2.5 GB YOU MUST HAVE OPENSCENERYX INSTALLED FOR STATIC AIRCRAFT TO APPEAR. Current version: 1.0 (Last updated April 24th 2015) Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb - Seagate 256gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.32 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose - Soundlink Mini Aircraft - Airbus A320-214 CFM Engine by Peters Aircraft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$54.90 - Airbus A388-841 Trent 970B-84 by Peters Aircraft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$59.95
  25. Aircraft Review : Aerosoft ATR 72-500 If not anything else the Aerosoft-McPhat Studios ATR-500 has been controversial. The release deadline was moved back more and more until the aircraft was finally released early in December 2012. Then it really divided the users into those who really liked it and those who just didn’t like it at all. Even I was disappointed by the amount of issues that it was released with and many of them were just minor. The extremely large file size and as some perceived the high price in that the aircraft is known as a systems “lite” machine in the fact that many of the aircraft’s in-depth systems including parts of the hydraulics and electrical, Air-Con and others are just blanked out and not accessible to the user. The idea of a “lite” version was to capture a market that didn’t want to spend 10-20 minutes in just getting the aircraft ready to fly. To also spend two weeks with your head in a manual to work out how to turn off a single light on the overhead panel that was bleeding air off from the engines. This sort of in-depth simulation is what aircraft simulation is really all about - but sometimes you just want to start the engines and go. The the point of the ATR-500 was in just doing that with some very nice visual aspects to help the cause along. Now almost 8 months later after the release the first upgrade in Version 1.10 is here and how does it all shape up after a period of time in our hangars. Regional aircraft are the most interesting aircraft you can use in simulation. With that aspect they sell very well and are used a lot by users, because one they are great as the distances are usually very short in around a 200-500nm radius. That is really just a morning or afternoon in flying time. If you want some more extended flying you can then rope in together two or three sectors and do a service loop around a country or an area, or just simply fly back to your original departure point after a brief turnaround. This gives you a satisfying experience that won’t keep you up all night in having to land 6000nm away in Singapore or the Far East. The ATR 72 was developed from the ATR 42 regional airliner built by the French-Italian aircraft manufacturer ATR (Now Airbus (EADS)) in order to increase the seating capacity from 48 to 78 passengers by stretching the fuselage by 4.5 metres (15 ft), increasing the wingspan, adding more powerful engines and increasing the fuel capacity by approximately 10 percent. The 72 was announced in 1986, and the aircraft made its maiden flight on 27 October 1988. And only one year later on 27 October 1989 Finnair then became the first airline to put the aircraft into service. Since then at least 611 ATR 72s have been delivered worldwide with orders pending on at least 28 more. Cruise speed: 511 km/h; 318 mph (276 kn) : Range: 1,324 km (823 mi; 715 nmi) : Service ceiling: 7,620 m (25,000 ft) : Takeoff Run at MTOW: 1,165 m (3,822 ft) Installation Aerosoft use an install system to place the aircraft into your “aircraft” folder. The (v1.10) download is huge at 1.80gb and is expanded out to 3.14gb on installation. The installer requires a registration number and will only install the aircraft in the “Heavy Metal” folder, which slightly annoys me in the fact I have a separate “regional Aircraft” folder that I would usually use for this category of aircraft. There are two manuals - One the main “manual” “In (English and German) and one for “Procedures”. Aircraft Textures McPhat Studios in Holland are one of the great simulation studios in the business. Their quality in texture design is one of the best regarded all round, but until the ATR their work was only available in FSX land. And a high quality this aircraft is. The detailing on the liveries are really second to none... the detail in close-up is simply amazingly good. But it does come at a cost in downloading these huge 80mb files and they take a long time to create. They are also highly shiny? This is a debatable issue. Are aircraft this shiny? Most Aircraft I have flown on are quite a semi-gloss unless they have just come out of the paint shop... But here it can be hard to sometimes get a clear image because the shininess wipes out bright white on most of the lines of the aircraft. So am I a fan? no not really, but that does not takeaway the quality of these 12 excellent liveries and the default livery of which is the TRIP... These complex livery files are split into almost every panel or item on the aircraft to achieve this sort of depth of detail. Because the aircraft itself is quite light in frame-rate it can carry these heavy files without sending your computer into meltdown and that is part of the tradeoff. You can open the large front baggage door and the rear passenger door by using the F1 and F2 keys. A few bags in the front baggage area would be a great addition as the area is very empty. Internal detailing is just as good, if not one of the best cabins I have seen in this scale of aircraft. The graphic text detail is a little blurry at a low texture setting but otherwise it is excellent - and the whole cabin is even better at night. In the Cockpit The first view of the cockpit is of a high quality in depth and colour... But you need to look closer. First off is that there are two cockpit colours in Blue and Brown. These different setups can change with a selection of a different livery. You can note the slight colour seep of blue on the brown panel when it gets slightly darker. but otherwise they both look great. At one look the quality is outstanding with amazing quality and detail and the standout areas are the black textures around the main instruments, central engine dials and the gear lever. The whole panel of light reflections are simply excellent as the glass is in parts almost fully reflective of light. The Autopilot and Radio (COMM and NAV) frequency panel is first rate in set up and usage, and I really like the heading large and small degree adjustment feature. The centre pedestal is also a great work of art in design and function. Levers are excellent in operation and feel, and the MAP (zoom), NAV1/Nav2/FMS selection knobs are slightly twiddly but very clacky in operation and you soon get used to using them. FMS panel is standard X-Plane with default layout and the same default but in this case separate correct COMM/ADF/TRANSponder instruments. One feature I really like is the window blinds and shades, pull up or move down they are great while cruising high with the light on the wrong side of your face. I use them effectively all the time. One issue is the difference in texture quality with the render settings. Set the “texture” setting on “high” in the render settings menu and although many of the main dials are perfectly fine, many however are very blurry and mostly so is the label text on the side panel knobs .. If the texture setting is on “Very High” the problem mostly goes away. You can still see the differences between the two types of textures but now they are more aligned. In version 1.00 these textures were even worse and McPhat have totally redone in v1.10 the textures to be better and use less memory, of which now differences are now much closer. But they are still slightly noticeable if looking at detail and if you can’t run the “very high” setting, then even more so. On the OHP (Overhead Panel) there is not a lot of functionality, Lights and and some Electrical/Hydraulics/Pneumatics and the vital ice and rain protection items work and so the knobs and switches required to start the engines... But the rest is mostly just for show. In three areas the needles on the dials are missing altogether, but my feeling is that they will be made to correctly work in a future version. The altimeter on the main panel only clicks down to the last four digits at 3000ft... before that it still shows 14000ft for 1400ft? My biggest annoyance is the wipers. The switches are there and so are the beautifully rendered items on the windscreen... but they don’t have any animation?... Nothing is better in a regional aircraft than battling down to a runway with a rainstorm in your vision. But with no wipers flapping in your face it sorts of ruins the whole experience. Another small irritant is there are two 1px wide lines on the otherwise excellent propellers. They rotate in your view and if you like to do the view from the passengers perspective in the cabin then they are all you see outside of the window... It is noted the lines were fixed for v1.10, but they are still there? Engine smoke is above the wing and not below by the exhausts. The flap and undercarriage animation is excellent and well created as is the lighting at night. The standard Strobe, Nav and Beacon lighting are all well done. The aircraft has two landing lights under the fuselage and the lighting from the cabin from the outside view is very realistic. Most of the outside lighting has had a lot of attention in the v1.10 upgrade, the main landing lights, the taxi light now works and the lighting does not show through the cabin (floor) anymore (except for the taxi light). The main panel looks gorgeous at night and a place you want to be and so is the well rendered OHP. HDR on or off does not make that much difference. Flying The ATR 72-500 At first count I didn’t know what I really felt about the ATR72, mainly because I couldn’t read all the graphics in the cockpit. But I have had this aircraft for 8 months now and the upgrade has helped to fix many of the small issues. In simulation what is the main value when buying an aircraft. It is in the amont of time you use the aircraft. You could spend US$50 on an aircraft and fly it only a few times and no matter how well created it is, you have to ask yourself if that was good value? With the ATR I found myself flying it almost every week in one form or another. The biggest draw-card was it is an interesting aircraft dynamically to fly. It challenges you to fly it really well and hit the numbers on the money. Jack’s Dash Q400 from FlyJSim is the same and it is not a coincidence that both of these aircraft are direct competitors in the market place. It may be systems “lite” but you still get a very big reward in flying the ATR. Speeds are crucial to every point of the flight from takeoff to landing. There is a “power management” system that adjusts the engine power for a certain segment of the flight from MCT, TO, CLB and CRZ. but be wary in the fact it could bury your power if not used in the right segment as in some cases you need the speed momentum to set the correct power. Leaving the runway requires you to use the power wisely. The ATR is in a way like a big GA and so you have to gain height slowly and it takes time to get to 15,000ft which would be around your average cruise altitude. On a longer sector 20,000ft would be your aim. You are very conscious of the wing. It is a strange beast in its function and so the extension of flaps can make the wing do different things in the way the aircraft will balance on the pivot of the wing behind you. It creates a very small speed zone to work in as well around 120knts to 115knts under full flap, too much power and your nose is going to angle (very severely) down very awkwardly, set the power too light and your nose is soon at a strange stall position, no doubt this aircraft has a very small slow speed window in which to set your flaps, but when you get there then the balance between flying and stalling is very small. The balance is the skill you are willing to give the aircraft. Under the throttle for landing you are very conscious of the speed in that small zone. Using the ILS can give you a false sense of security in that you can easily adjust the nose angle by the slightest of speed adjustments, but coming out of the ILS you can find yourself either going to fast (usually) or going to slow and both actions will give the aircraft a major bounce on the runway. Coming in too fast is usually always the safe side of the equation... But too fast is still to fast. You don’t have any airbrakes and so the reverse pitch is the only means of slowing the speed once on the hard stuff and sometimes the landing is like hitting the deck on an aircraft carrier... Your job is to avoid that sort of flying and try to make it more like a nice smooth touch and reverse thrust approach. Duplicate that by three or four landings and takeoff’s a day and you are in the zone. The reward is in getting it all right every time. And that is the attraction. The pull. The ”I really want to give that run another go” thought. So with every spare few hours that you have you “do have another go” and that is the constant and always repeatable use of the aircraft because... It is challenging and it challenges you hard to fly it really well. Conclusions The ATR72-500 from Aerosoft/McPhat is if anything a “Tour-de-Force”. On one side the graphics and detailing is totally outstanding... but in other areas of simple items and a few extra features still persist that could be quickly fixed with an (no livery) update. It is an almost there aircraft. Most aircraft released over the last year and some noticeably from JARdesign and FlightFactor have had regular updates and extra features that tweek their product into perfect shape. If only the ATR could have that same lavish attention. It is again an aircraft that will certainly divide the punters. But after using the ATR72 for a period since its release I will note it is an aircraft that really gets under your skin, It challenges your skills and it keeps you interested month after month in various ways to get you to keep on coming back and wanting to fly another sector, try another route... It is so addictive in that only and if a few other aircraft have held my attention for these sort of long periods. And with that it comes back to value... If you use aircraft as much as I have flown this aircraft then the value is in there and in a way it starts to deliver on the original promise now with the update (1.10) and with more liveries added in to the package. In the end in context. Even with some compromises with systems and a couple of slight issues that I really try to ignore - The ATR72-500 is with out doubt one of my favorite aircraft that I use constantly and relish in testing my skills and just enjoy flying. And in the end that is what good simulation is all about. The Aerosoft ATR72-500 (ver1.10) is available now from the X-Plane.org Store : Aerosoft ATR72-500 Price is US$32.05 This Aircraft is only available for X-Plane10 Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/7 (updated), Linux, Mac CPU: 2,6 GHz (Duo / Quad core recommended) Memory : 2 GB RAM Review By Stephen Dutton Note: I listed four other liveries available for the ATR72-500 by Elanport here : Developer Site : McPhat Studios Ver 1.10 list of changes - Landing lights illuminate brighter. - Landing lights don’t illuminate the Cockpit any longer. - Taxi light works and steers with wheel. - Cockpit textures are brighter and better readable. - Strobe lights now illuminate objects (plane, runway etc). - Camera movement is limited inside the cockpit, so you can no longer go through the walls. - Engine start works as described in the manual for X-Plane 10. - Fixed prop animation. - 5 new UHDT repaints: Air Nostrum, Azul, CSA, Flybe Nordic, CSA Skyteam - Added wing registration to the existing and new liveries. - Fixed Air Austral registration on fuselage. Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle
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