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Found 35 results

  1. Scenery Review : FALE - Durban XP by Aerosoft/FSDG Only a month after their last crossover conversion scenery of HKJK Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta", then FSGD - FlightSim Development Group through Aerosoft have now released for X-Plane11 Durban XP or to give it it's full name "King Shaka International Airport Durban". This Durban scenery is also the third scenery released for Africa after GMMN - Casablanca and HKJK Nairobi, of which I am finding that they are all workmanlike sceneries, but certainly not average either. They are however also in bringing the African continent alive, so these sceneries are very interesting in that important aspect. Starting the review I thought I would just "Hop" on down from FSDG's last scenery in Nairobi, but on checking out the route I found that the simple "hop" was actually 1800nm or around 4h 30m flying time, so that shows the massive size of the African continent, it is doable obviously and I will fly that route, but in reality we need to get on and take a look at King Shaka International Airport. King Shaka International Airport abbreviated KSIA (Shaka was the leader of the Zulu nation in the early 19th century), is the primary airport serving Durban, South Africa. Located in La Mercy, KwaZulu-Natal, approximately 35 km (22 mi) north of the city centre of Durban, it opened its doors to passengers on 1 May 2010, just over a month before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It replaced Durban International Airport (ICAO: FADN) and uses the same IATA airport code. So the airport KSIA is very new in a clear field design. King Shaka International Airport IATA: DUR - ICAO: FALE 06/24 - 3,700m (12,139ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL93 m / 304 ft Being modern and a fresh field layout then FALE looks clean and open. The first viewing is actually quite surprising on how good this scenery actually is, as it looks and feels very nice. Intergration into the X-Plane default textures is very good, except for a few areas as we will note later, but the overall approach feel is excellent. The King Shaka single large main Terminal is quite impressive, detail is very, very good with excellent quality modeling. Exterior shapes and window blind/shade detail is really good, glass is not bad either, not the very best but very realistic with nice reflections. Reflection detail is also very nice in the roofing quality, yes modern materials are easier to reproduce, but realism is not... but that is not case here as it looks very good and real world. Parking stands A5 to A16 and C3 - C6 all have the SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) active airbridges. A1 to A4 and C1,C2, C3 and C5 are all walkon/off stands. Zones are Alpha Apron A, Bravo remote Stands B1 to B9 and Charlie Apron C1 to C6. The airbridge design is really well done here, lovely shape and the glass work brings out the best of SAM plugin, that they work as well is a real bonus, and there are VDGS guidance signs on the Terminal at each gate. Ground clutter is very good and Swissaport/SkyChefs branded, and there are a few South African buses buzzing around as well like at Nairobi. I found the v11.50 version didn't work with the traffic plugin, I have the updated Vulkan plugin version and it fixed about half of the animations, but they crashed into each other and stopped and started, so the traffic is good, but currently not working correctly? Landside The other two GMMN and HKJK sceneries were let down by their poor landside detail. Here at FALE is is far better in that aspect and more detailed and that gives it a far more visual realism... ... again the terminal detail and construction webbing is really good and the animated vehicles give it all a bit of activity as well... The carpark is just a photo on one side but there is high detail on the other, Advertising and signage is very good and detailed, but the landside is not perfect as the arrival area is still a bit ortho-photo flat, but overall it is far better than their earlier African sceneries. Infrastructure Overall FALE is a compact airport, so the infrastructure is quite small and separated into two zones. The areas around the Terminal have mostly under cover carparking and a Hotel in the 29º South, which is very good and noticeable from the air as it is set out a distance from the airport. The Phase 3 section being now built is included in the scenery as finished, this area has two remote parking zones E - Echo E1 to E14 stands and F - Foxtrot F1 to F12 stands and the recreation is very well done, and fills in the former separated empty area between the terminal and cargo sections. Cargo The Cargo facility is part of the Dube TradePort's TradeZone Precinct, and has a initial size of 15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft) and the initial capacity for 150,000 metric tons (165,000 short tons) of cargo per year. Long-term expansion could see the cargo terminal expand to a size of 100,000 m2 (1,100,000 sq ft) and the capacity for 1,000,000 metric tons of cargo per year. Notable is the connection from the cargo receiving terminal to the secondary cargo facility. This is Apron D or Delta with D1 to D6 Parking bays, Detail is very good and for the long cargo hauler a great destination to aim for. The Field Control Tower is position directly behind the Cargo apron, the tower is not overly modeled or textured, but it is good in context, aerial detail is also helped by the very good mobile cell installation... .... tower view is good but set a bit low to the roof of the tower, so there are a few few obstructions in the viewpoint, overall it is fine on both approaches. To the northeast behind the cargo zone is more of the Dube TradePort's TradeZone Precinct. FSDG did a good industrial park area in the GMMN scenery and this is even better... Highly detailed with excellent business branding like Shreeprop, PranPark, Schenker and the whole area works really fine, it even includes animated trucks revolving around the estate. The same area adjoining the main A Taxiway is the Fire Station by the cargo area and at the other end is the E -Echo apron for General Aviation parking, but it is a bit bland in detail. Ground Textures The ground textures are very good, but like most of FSDG's work not that ultra ribbing detail we expect now, but the textures are hare very good with PBR reflective (wet) and burnt-in ambient occlusion and all is done here far better that the GMMN and HKJK surfaces. Again no 3d grass also adds in to the blandness of THE acres of Lo-Res textures that needed to have been broken up, in one airport that needs 3d grass it is here again at Durban, it is amazing how much difference a simple thing like no grass can make to a scenery? Lighting The lighting at FALE is excellent, to really, really good. Approach lighting, runway and yes even in darkest Africa there is taxiway centre guidance lights! But there is an important note to make. On the final approach to Rwy 24 there is the "Tongaat Toll Booth" noted on the N2 Tollway (arrowed), the red and white lights of the Toll Booth have been known to confuse pilots with the runways PAPI lights and created some confusion on the approach... ... the Toll Booth is not modeled here, and the so called lights are missing, but that is also taking away a big local effect of the arrival into FALE, how hard can it be not to model that effect? On a brighter note the whole of the section of the N2 Tollway is nicely lit and adds in well to the scenery. Main terminal and apron areas are really good... Apron lighting is brighter in tone than Nairobi and even better and I liked the HKJK lighting a lot, but it is nice to work down here, however a few areas could do with some secondary fill lighting. Landside is really, really good (those words again!) The Terminal lighting as a sort of Heathrow Terminal 5 feel about it, it looks lovely in the right lighting conditions, the night glass textures could be a little bit brighter to be perfect (as a side note I hit the photoshop and increased the main terminal lit a few points higher, I think it is now about right.. below) but they are still overall very good. The lighting variation is excellent with the Landside in contrast to the Airside, and again it feels just about right. Dube TradePort's TradeZone area is also very good, with nice street lighting and a few dropdown set lights... ... the only blight on the copybook is that the signage on the front of the Cargo Terminal and the 29º hotel is unlit, and you really miss both items even though they are quite small? Taxiway navigation signage are excellent and reflective, this aspect always adds in nicely to the experience when arriving or departing an airport. ---------------------- Summary It seems that with every release from FSGD - FlightSim Development Group (distributed by Aerosoft) that their crossover conversion scenery goes up a notch. This is their third scenery for X-Plane in Durban FALE in South Africa and it is their best scenery yet in every department. Africa is has always been a low point for quality X-Plane scenery, but FSDG has been releasing to date three sceneries with Casablanca, then Nairobi and now Durban it at least give you some very interesting and quality destinations within the African continent. Durban is also part of the key airports for domestic services throughout South Africa, serving the "Golden Triangle" between Cape Town International Airport, O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg... FSDG does have a FlightSim version of FACT in Cape Town, but no Johannesburg, but that is better than nothing if it is released. Instantly I saw a very good scenery here from FSDG, as noted everything has sort of gone up a notch in the excellent modeling, quality of the textures, lighting is really, really good and so is the intergration of the SAM airbridges which are excellent as well, the layout also includes the new stage 3 remote parking stands of Echo and Foxtrot areas and the Cargo, northwestern infrastructure is also very well filled out, there is not a lot to discredit here because it is very good, even the usual FSDG Landside weakness is covered here. There are a few wobbles, in the main terminal lighting textures are too slightly dark, and the missing signage lighting is missing like the important Toll gates and the traffic animations don't work correctly (in "yes I know it is a beta" v11.50) and the visual aspect of no 3d grass, but otherwise FALE is a really good solid scenery. It is rare for a crossover from FlightSim scenery developer to improve on every scenery, mainly because they are just replicating the old to the new, but to understand the dynamics and improve to match the new platform has to be admired, obviously it is not an X-Plane developer, but this is really good X-Plane scenery... kudos to FSDG.... Recommended! _____________________________________ Yes! FALE - Durban XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG - Durban XP Price is US$22.99 Features: Extremely realistic rendition of King Shaka International Airport, Durban, South Africa, and surroundings Realistic shadow and light rendition Animated ground traffic Future Foxtrot apron and extended Bravo taxiway already included Includes Dube Tradeport PBR ground and dynamic lighting Optimized for great performance and visual results Animated jetways (SAM plugin required) Compatible with all known add-ons including ortho4XP Manual included WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download-Size Windows: 600 MB Download-Size Mac: 1.6 GB Current and Review version: 1.0 (July 31st 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is with the full installation of three folders is installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip FSDG-Durban_XP_1 FSDG-Durban_XP_2 FSDG-Durban_XP_3 Total scenery installation is 1.26Gb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts Manual_FSDG-Durban_XP.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 6th August 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and tested in v11.50b17 (really good!) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - Default Boeing 737-800 by Laminar Research
  2. Scenery Review : HKJK - Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta" International Airport by FSDG/Aerosoft Africa is like Australia in that you can fly for over four hours and not see anything, so after the constant buzz and cosmopolitan feel of Europe it all feels a bit empty and even flat as you grind your way towards the horizon. So in reality in the simulator is a sort of barrier to places that are far more remote out of the safety of the friendly two hour flying circle. Personally I love the emptiness as I would living in Australia, as you feel you are going somewhere different and interesting, and I can keep myself interested in many ways anyway of working my way through the hourly fuel burn figures and FIR regions. Flying time is 6h 43min over a distance of 3006 nm, but I was late departing LIRF-Rome for HKJK-Nairobi because the JARDesign A330 wouldn't load correctly, partly my fault in not flying the A330 for a long time, but also because a few bugs I had to workaround. The later 12-noon departure now meant I would now arrive at NBO-Nairobo in the dark and an hour and half late, and not at my planned twilight arrival time... This is the second Africa scenery by FSDG under the Aerosoft banner after their earlier GMMN - Casablanca back in late April. I did like GMMN overall, but I noted it as "workmanlike" as it all felt a bit production line with not a lot of finnese, but it was good to get a scenery in a different local than the usual US/European centric. HKJK - Nairobi "Jomo Kenyatta" International Airport In earlier X-Plane one of the key bland aspects was that the autogen out here in Africa was not very good, so most areas even when populated were shown as empty spaces around the airport. Views of autogen like this around Jomo Kenyatta Airport is now a saviour and welcome here even if the autogen is a bit unAfrican... .... and the sharp zig-zag tree line both sides of NBO looks like a developer lazyness idea, but it is actually really shaped like that on Google Maps. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Uwanja wa ndege wa Kimataifa wa Jomo Kenyatta IATA: NBO - ICAO: HKJK - WMO: 63740 06/24 - 4,200m (13,507ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL: 1,624 m / 5,330 ft Only one runway at HKJK, but it is a very long one at 4,200m and 13,507ft, and to note that very high elevation, so you have to be aware of your landing altitude. Main terminal is circular like an African Apple Spaceship design... Thankfully FSDG have made a better fist of covering up the photo images in the centre of the terminal landside zone and but it is still Lo-Res, but still far more passable than the awful Casablanca landside scenery. There are two terminals. Terminal 1 which is arranged in a semi-circular orientation and is divided into four parts: 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1E are used for international arrivals and departures while terminal 1D is used for domestic departures and arrivals. Terminal 2 is used only by low cost carriers. Parking stands 4 -21 all have SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) active airbridges. 2A-2C/3A-3C T3D are all walkon/off stands. Outer circle remote stands cover J1-J9 and H1-H10. Terminal 2 is used by low cost carriers is separated on a smaller (M) apron with six M1-M6 walkon/off stands (below). This is a prefabricated terminal which opened in April 2015 and has a capacity of 2.5M passengers and was required to take the pressure off the main terminal building. This FSDG Nairobi scenery is a crossover from FSX, so in areas it it is dated, and just spruced up a little for X-Plane, and that aspect is evident in the modeling and certainly with the textures. Airside close up it is well done and it overall does have a lot of variety and detail in the modeling. In the main yellow sectioned Terminal 1A the FSX elements are highly noticeable, they look slightly aged and the windows have a flat bland look about them, it works though but only just, but you seriously notice the missing HDR feel and realism. And a lot of the design is like this, as they don't hit the mark either in matching to the photo-based textures... Clutter is mostly Swissaport branded, but a lot of the ramp vehicles are local and custom made. Traffic animations are very good, with a lot of movement and lovely rundown African buses doing the remote ramp transfers. Between large spaceship T1 and the Lo-Cost T2 is the nice Kenya Airways administration building and a very nice Control Tower... .... both are well done especially the Control Tower, but the Tower View is set deep into the T1 Terminal and is practically useless. Cargo and Airport Infrastructure Apron Two southwest is the large Cargo facility that hosts Emirates SkyCargo, Kenya Cargo and Tradewinds Logistics and all are represented. Nine cargo parking slots F1-F9 are available on Apron 2 and note the large and very visible Fuel Depot on the southwest boundary of the airport. Again like FSDG's Casablanca scenery the airport support infrastructure again to a point saves the whole scenery... situated behind the cargo zone and part of the road approach to the airport there are a lot of infrastructure buildings and administration buildings.... that covers a fairly large area. Kenya Airports Authority head office and hotel chains Sheraton/Four Flags and the Crowne Plaza are all well represented as are a lot of factories and warehousing... overall the area is a great backdrop to the airport and for the realistic departure and arrival views. Embakasi Airport (now JKIA) On Sunday 9 March 1958, Embakasi Airport (now JKIA) was opened by the last colonial governor of Kenya. This facility is situated directly across the 06/24 runway and was the forerunner of what is now currently Nairobi Airport, the further expansion of the airport to it's current layout including a new international and domestic passenger terminal building that also included the airport's first dedicated cargo and freight terminal, new taxiways and the associated aprons which were all completed in 1972. Situated here is the original Nairobi terminal, but now the area is used by the Kenya(n) Air Force and is sometimes referred to as the Old Embakasi Airport, in the scenery it seems to set out more as an aircraft storage parking area, with loads of nice static Kenyian KQ B747s, B737s and even a few ATRs. Kenya Airways have two main maintenance hangars and a third large open hanger, all are Boeing 737 size hangars which are well represented with again some nice static KQ B737 models. Ground Textures Casablanca did have nice reflective (wet) ground textures, but I don't think the HDR process has been used here at HKJK... as they look a little too ordinary. Edge and taxi lines look newly painted and don't feel very worn or realistic, at all so overall the ground textures are no better than the default X-Plane textures... No 3d grass also adds in to the blandness of acres of Lo-Res textures that needed to have been broken up, in one airport that needs 3d grass it is Nairobi. Apron and taxiways are again just passable, it works but that word always keeps on coming to mind "Workmanlike". Lighting 6h 41min after I hit the timer clock on throttles up back at Rome, I am now approaching HKJKs Rwy 06, first signs are good as the approach lighting is bright and sharp, the lights of Jomo Kenyatta Airport are to the right and they look good as well, but as I get closer to the threshold I notice there are no centre line markings? Just the width and a lot of black space between the runway parameters... not a good start. Once down and a taxiway exit with Taxiway L and then it is the long ride back down the parallel Taxiway G towards the terminal area. I needed the full A330 lighting on, on the aircraft to navigate my way around the taxiways and thankfully it is good, as it is dark down here, yes there are no taxiway green guidance lighting either... I know this IS Africa and the country can be known for basic airport lighting, but I didn't expect to be crawling around in the dark at a big installation like Nairobi International. The lighting around the huge spaceship terminal was however excellent.... my parking bay is No.7 and I really love the full apron coverage as I work the aircraft into the gate. Yes I love arriving from a dark flight at night to that bright city airport feeling at your destination. Into the bay and the marshaller pops up for the SAM system, but he is very hard to see as he is small and partly hidden by a building support. But SAM is always a great feature to have, and better still when it actually works as it does here. Note the nice reverse service road lighting... well done. Full Airport overview is that the runway boundaries are well lit and so are the terminal areas, but inbetween it is a huge blank blackhole. Overview of the main terminal has all that great lighting on the main aprons and the remote stands. Landside lighting is good as even if mostly like GMMN it that it hides the Lo-Res ground textures and another aspect between Casablanca and Nairobi is the night terminal textures are better than the daylight versions, overall they are not bad with their T1A orange glow feel. Up closer and the window textures are not too bad either, but it looks like the Africans are having a Christmas Party inside... Overall though I like it. Terminal 2 lighting is lame.... but the Cargo ramp looks great. Rear infrastructure area is quite good in a FSX way, but no detail but just coloured blocks, and no lit up Hotel or business branding is a real disappointment.... Embakasi Airport ramps are okayish, but at least you have a lot of Nairobi city lighting behind to give you for some realism. Summary FSDG or FlightSim Development Group have been doing cross over conversions of their FSX sceneries to X-Plane under the Aerosoft banner. First conversion was GMMN - Casablanca that was a basic crossover scenery. In reality the conversion of the HKJK - Nairobi has a lot in common with the Casablanca scenery in that it has the advantages of being a exotic scenery, but the same disadvantages in the conversion. FSX textures and modeling are very obvious in Nairobi XP, so that means older designs and flat textures, no X-Plane features like HDR are used to convert them to a more modern and realistic feel, and in many areas you get that model on a flat base feel. That said in context Nairobi XP is very good overall in definition, as long as you don't look too deep into the detail. Like all FSX convertion it depends on the developers understanding of the X-Plane features and dynamics. Here is is about half and half in that the lighting is overall excellent, but missing the critical runway and taxiway centre line lighting? Missing 3d grass is another dynamic loss in covering the excessive ground textures which are also a bit average and not very realistic. The tower view is also not set? Thankfully SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) active airbridges are excellent here and so is the traffic animations and good detailed clutter, so again the call is if you don't look too deep there is a lot to like here. The view is that again if FSDG was too just do a little bit more on the X-Plane dynamics these sceneries would be far more attractive and deserve the sales they could achieve. I noted in the FSDG Casablanca scenery that it was "workmanlike" and that moniker can be said for the same here in Nairobi as well, but there are a few extra points to weigh up with this African scenery. First it is African and any scenery that can add to your X-Plane routings in an exciting way is always welcome, secondly is the sub-US$15 value price and for that price set then it is a great if even overall brilliant value. Recommended? Overall yes, I like Nairobi XP, but it deserves just a little more attention to make it the really great scenery it can be. _____________________________________ Yes! Nairobi XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG - Nairobi XP Price is US$25.95 Features: Accurate rendition of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (HKJK) Realistic shadow and light rendition Optimized for great performance and compatibility Animated jetways (SAM plugin required) Compatible with all known add-ons including Ortho4XP Manual included WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download-Size Windows: 310 MB Download-Size Mac: 900 MB Current and Review Version: 1.0 (June 19th 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip FSDG-Nairobi_XP Total scenery installation is 694mb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 2.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts Manual_FSDG-Nairobi_XP.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 4th July 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  3. Scenery Review : Casablanca XP by Aerosoft/FSDG You feel like going somewhere and doing something exotic! But you are also wanting to fly a route for not very long, in fact you don't want to break your two hour flying rule either? You have also flown most European connections and even ventured as far north as Iceland, but you are wanting now something a bit different, even a challenge... so what about North Africa (South Africa is too far). With all these parameters then what about Casablanca, as it is a very exotic and quite a popular destination and only a two to three hour flight from most southern European ports... in reality it is a done deal. I have been to GMMN - Casablanca - Mohammed V International Airport a few times before, and then used a quite average freeware version, But have always loved GMMN if for it's north western coastal African position, not too far from Europe but more importantly it is also an airbridge to South America as a refueling stop. So when developer FSDG or FlightSim Development Group released CMN - Casablanca I just wanted to go back there and finally to a decent full quality X-Plane Casablanca scenery. Casablanca is situated on the very top the northwest coast of Africa, and is a mere two hours from anywhere in Southern Europe. I flew from LEBL - Barcelona which is exactly 2h flying time (okay 2h - 1m give or take a minute), Frankfurt is 3h - 21m which is a bit outside the two hour rule but still doable. The distance from Casablanca (Port) to the Mohammed V International Airport is about 25km directly south, or about 30min driving time. I will note in these views I am using the SFD (ShortFinal) local autogen to give the area a local flavour... Mohammed V International Airport مطار محمد الخامس الدولي ⴰⵣⴰⴳⵯⵣ ⴰⴳⵔⵖⵍⴰⵏ ⵎⵓⵃⵎⵎⴷ ⵡⵙ5 Aéroport international Mohammed V IATA: CMN - ICAO: GMMN 17L/35R - 3,720m (12,205ft) Asphalt 17R/35L - 3,720m (12,205ft) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 656 ft / 200 m Both runways 17L/35R and 17R/35L are exceptionally long at both over 12,000ft in length, they are in a parallel western layout together with all the airport infrastructure situated all to the eastern side of the field. The main apron is one huge continuous apron set into zones of parking in B-C main inner Terminals, E outer remote, J Middle outer Remote, D Cargo inner remote. There is a separate area to the east far south that you could note as General Aviation with parking G (inner) and F (outer) and far south is another remote... remote stand parking. Terminals Both terminals one and two are fused together via an S shaped design, Terminal One is north and more modern and Terminal Two is south. Terminal One: There are four main airbridge stations, but in an odd arrangement of three gates per bay. The use here is for either a narrow body or a wide body aircraft, but it does make it complicated into finding your right parking line and airbridge. In most cases two narrow-bodies will fit into each bay. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin is available with both Marshaller (Terminal One) and VDGS guidance (Terminal Two)... .... but SAM does have it's quirks at CMN? Again selection of the right gate (airbridge) to the type of aircraft is important. The MD88 is a low to the ground aircraft, so on one gate with the airbridge connected the airbridge was then set at a steep angle to the low door? Another (image above) on the far right line (or third) didn't connect to the airbridge? but the position would have been perfect to connect to the low MD88 door position? The correct position was actually the first line into each bay for the MD88... your choice to the aircraft? SAM airbridges are again very good with Attijariwafa Bank branding. Clutter is good, but not too much in overwhelming way, so a pass here... but only a few are custom branded and most clutter visible comes from the Laminar collection. Terminal modeling is okay... ish. Overall it is not bad as a design, but you are missing any real or realistic detail, glass is reflective but still looks bland. Biggest issue is that the photo ground ortho-photo textures as they are all very low-res and flat. So this makes all the modeling looked like it is all placed on to the top of the flat surface, of which of course it is? Carparks are the same, a flat washed out photo base with objects placed on top, that there is a lot of objects on the surface to at least fill out the scenery, trees are horrible... cardboard and flat looking they don't relate well to the light at all, again at least there is a lot of well placed fauna to cover over each others flaws. And yet in an overview the scenery does actually work, the trick is just don't look for the close intimate detail and at the different areas too closely. Control Tower The control tower is mid-field and set back behind trees... again close up the glass is boring and flat, so the tower comes out the same way... but it is detailed well. Tower view (T) is however set perfectly with great views of all approaches. Cargo The cargo hub is huge and well represented at Mohammed V... Royal Air Maroc Cargo, operating as RAM Cargo has a huge base here. Swift-air Cargo, DHL and UPS are also represented. Airport operators including EADS and Regional Air Maroc are both shown with custom buildings and with hangars to the south.... .... to the north is is the large Royal Air Maroc's base and it comes with twin maintenance facilities. One twin maintenance hangar is set on the main apron north, but behind is another large apron with another large maintenance area, there are some nicely placed static aircraft including a RAM Boeing 747 that is done very well. Note the army surplus holding yards for vehicles. Area Infrastructure To a point the feature that saves this scenery is the large placed infrastructure landside behind the airport. The infrastructure comes with tenant buildings, warehouses, factories and general buildings to make up a pretty good visual aspect of the airport. Note the nice fuel depot. ... a lot of the buildings are very basic and repeated, but a lot are also custom made to fit into the area, and on the whole it works very well. Far south General Aviation area is good, but a few static aircraft may have lifted the area a little... Surfaces Runaway and taxiway surfaces are good, not brilliant, but good, the detail is there and I like the tyre markings.... all markings and signage is excellent (although there was a taxiway in the scenery not on the Navigraph chart?) however the surfaces and markings are all a bit too new with no wear or tear, but overall it is not too bad. All surfaces are PBR (Physically Based Rendered) and have nice reflection details, wet and damp conditions are very good (does it actually rain in Morocco?), but there is no 3d field grass or flowers in creating a very flat airfield. Lighting I was genuinely surprised by the lighting at GMMN, as it is very good. Mainly it is because there are two hues in bright apron lighting airside and a copper lighting landside, but it is visually very effective. Approach (RAIL) and taxiway navigation lighting and signage is excellent, so you won't get lost here. All apron areas are well lit, but it is the landside... .... that stands out, mainly because I think the lighting hides the poor Lo-Res photo textures, but it does all look very realistic and pleasing to the eyes. Also helpfully is fact that the street lighting is done well into the landside areas and goes out a fair way from the terminals. Again very effective from the air when departing or arriving at GMN. Terminal glass is better at night as well, as there are lit images on the glass, not even close to good, but still better than the daytime blandness, the landside images though look like a car showroom? Summary GMMN - Casablanca - Mohammed V International Airport is the main port into Morocco and a great destination that is available within the two to three hours flying time from central or southern Europe. FlightSim Development Group (FSDG) have released a good payware airport with Aerosoft for X-Plane to cover this very exotic destination. Overall the airport is very good, with a lot of features and great detail going landside, but the word that keeps coming up here is "Workmanlike", good but so close to being excellent. The scenery is let down by the usual Aerosoft practise to use very Low-Resolution textures for the scenery's base, very zig-zag blocky, washed out and no detail, the lo-res textures create a flat (boring) surface that shows up the placed above object elements, it could have been so much better with more detail, poor cardboard looking trees also don't help in the visual impact. Glass is flat (meaning bland) but better with images at night that don't help either, but still this Casablanca scenery does not give up without a fight to be good, because the (If complicated gate arrangements) SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin tool is excellent, and well done here. Overall I actually do like this GMMN - Casablanca, and yes I will use it and probably on a regular basis, because in the areas I want it does actually create a worthwhile Mohammed V International Airport. It works like a lot of Aerosoft sceneries do, you want them to be better and they can easily be in that aspect, but you use them anyway because they work for you well in another aspect... workmanlike, but still so close to being a very high-quality scenery. _____________________________________ Yes! Casablanca XP by Aerosoft/FSDG is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FSDG - Casablanca XP Price is US$25.95 Features: Accurate rendition of Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco (GMMN) Includes new ground layout Superb quality and performance Animated jetways and marshallers (with SAM plugin) Animated ground traffic Routes and positions for AI traffic and static aircraft included Manual included WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows or Mac (not compatible with Linux) 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.0 (April 9th 2020) Download Size: 1.3 GB Installation Download scenery file size is with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder with a (Windows Installer) Mac is zip FSDG-Casablanca_XP Total scenery installation is 1.3Gb SAM Plugin - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 1.0 is required for this scenery Documents One extensive manual in English with notes (6 pages) but no charts Manual_FSDG-Casablanca_XP.pdf _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 29th April 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  4. Scenery Review : EDDN - Nuremberg XP by Aerosoft One thing you are not short of In X-Plane is a lot of very high quality scenery for Germany. Mainly that is because Aerosoft are based in the country (Paderborn) and are servicing their own market and also from JustSim, but that said the airport quality for Germany lately has been exceptional as with LFSB - EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (JustSim) and with EDLW-Dortmund XP (Aerosoft - recently updated). This EDDN - Nuremberg scenery is by 29 Palms who are a German art house that has done scenery for Aerosoft and Orbx, This is their ninth scenery for X-Plane that covers Bavaria's second largest international airport. Nuremberg Airport "Albrecht Dürer" Flughafen Nürnberg IATA: NUE - ICAO: EDDN 10/28 - 2,700m (8,858ft) Concrete/Asphalt Elevation AMSL1,046 ft / 319 m First to note is the well intergrated scenery into the X-Plane surrounding envions, as the custom insertion here is about perfect... It is helped by the excellent autogen which is German (European), but even with that aspect taken into account it is still very good... here are a few arrival images into RWY 28 to highlight the arrival. The western RWY 10 approach was just as impressive over the Erlanger Str (4) autobahn as is the above eastern approach. There are four forward apron zones with M1(Cargo/Hangar A) left, M2 Terminal, M3 Remote Stands and far right M4, rear apron zones (stands) are again left to right with N1, N2, H4, N4. EDDN Terminal The single terminal is very big with four active airbridges and two walk-on stands... design and modeling quality is exceptional, and really well done. Glass is perfect and it is really all well co-ordinated in together, roof is supported and the support structures are also really well done... ... overall it is all very impressive and it is also very well designed under the airbridges on the lower service road... all (four) active gates are SAM (plugin required and supplied) interactive. A marshaller will guide you in and then the gate will become active (arrowed). Excellent airbridge Sixt Rent-a-car advertising is very authentic. Internal terminal detail is also very good, but only on the departure side... but it is very well done with a lot of detailing and not really lo-res like most internal lounges. Clutter is excellent and all vehicles are locally branded. There are a few static aircraft as well, mostly private jets and KingAirs which are very nice area fillers. Landside On the terminal landside the detail is excellent. There are a lot of areas to take in from the four massive carparks, Mövenpick Hotel and airport administration buildings... signage detail is first rate as is the cafe. Some signage is inverted, but it is a minor oversight here to the overwhelming detail... ... note the exhibition space (above left) and the well tended gardens. Control Tower Iconic control tower is really well reproduced, it has a revolving radar and great internal detail. Tower view is set perfectly just above for all approaches. There is a large general aviation area around the control tower with multiple large maintenance hangars.. Branded are FAI, FlightAmbulance, Aero Dienst, Fly-Alpha and DRF Luftrettung. A SAM feature is that you can open the FAI gates manually to their apron and hangar facility, it is in the APO/Controls. East there is a lot of airport logistics and support areas, with the site of the largest maintenance hangar in the EDDN scenery... .... again the detail and clutter is highly impressive, and the area includes the airport's Fire Station... .... But overall you have to be blown away by the huge detail on offer here at EDDN... hidden behind the east (M1) apron is the comprehensive cargo facility. Ground textures and field All surfaces are PBR (Physically Based Rendered) so you get excellent reflections and rain effects... Newly tarmaced (Asphalt) areas are well done, but overall the textures are first rate with a huge amount detail and wear and tear. Taxiway and runway signage is really good and clear, grass and the lovely spring flowers dot the field for a nice arrival. The scenery does come with the XP-SAM Seasons pack provided so you can have all the seasonal changes. I don't personally run this package (yet) as I use xEnviro for my seasonal coverage, but the SAM system is now very good. Lighting Overall the lighting is good, and I like twin hue apron lighting, although the terminal section is a bit yellowish. Terminal looks okay, but a bit darkish, but I still think it is actually authentic to the airport. Landside however is very dark... as there is no street lighting and it shows here badly. Carparks and advertising are well done, and so are the various working areas... .... the dark areas really show though, but the night signage is very good, you do wonder why 29 Palms came along so far but left out these significant street and carpark lighting effects? WT3 : There are no provided WorldTraffic files with the scenery. However the ATC taxiway system has been done and done well, so you get a good generation of the ground routes and overall the WT3 system works like clockwork with only a few pop-offs on the runway. _______________________ Summary This is a great rendition of EDDN - Nuremberg by 290 Palms for Aerosoft. Now well established this is a very professional scenery by this art house. The scenery is very well intergrated into the X-Plane mesh, with the excellent German autogen providing a very good cityscape of Nuremberg. Modeling and detailing is absolutely first rate, with some good internal terminal detail as well. Every area of the EDDN airport is well covered here, from the huge landside detail to all the private companies associated with the airport. Clutter is locally branded and again extremely well done. SAM is featured as well with the option of opening the FAI gate, all ground textures are PBR active and the textures wear and tear detail is again all top notch... Only blot in the copybook here is the lighting and the missing landside street lighting, this aspect makes the approaching and internal landside areas quite dark, a shame because this was easily a full 5 star scenery, that got lost at the very last hurdle... otherwise the scenery is exceptional and it is very well priced for good value. _____________________________________ Yes! EDDN - Nuremberg XP by Aerosoft is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : EDDN - Nuremberg XP Price is US$22.00 Features: Highly realistic rendition of Nuremberg Airport based on most recent geodata 55 km² satellite imagery coverage with resolution up to 20cm/px including all seasons Highly detailed buildings with internal modelling of the terminal and Hangar 2 PBR ground and marking textures Athmospheric HDR night lighting Animated Jetways (SAM2 Plugin required) Custom seasonal textures (SAM2 Plugin required) Snow and rain effects Animated FAI gate (SAM2 Plugin required) Custom Runway lights automatically switched on in low visibility Detailed airport lighting including REILs, Running Rabbits and HDR Lighting Custom vehicle animations on the apron Animated tower radar (SAM2 Plugin required) Static aircraft with proper liveries and registrations XPlane conform export of all scenery elements using the latest techniques WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are not provided and a generation is required, and overall the airport generation functions perfectly. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: Version 1.1 (April 6th 2020) Download Size: 2.3 GB Installation Download scenery file size is 2.30gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are nine install folders in order below: Captain7 - 29Palms - EDDN Nuremberg 1 Captain7 - 29Palms - EDDN Nuremberg 2 There is currently a patch required (downloaded separately) to replace the Earth Nav Data, just overwrite your current EDDN (Nuremberg 1) nav data. Total scenery installation is a huge : 3.24gb As noted there is a seasons pack to be downloaded and inserted with the new SAM - Scenery Animation Manager - Suite 1.0 On your download this SAM install is listed as the AS-Scenery-Animation Manager? of which it is nothing to do with Aerosoft, if you have the current SAM v2 (current v2.05) then there is no need to download this pack. The update patch is at the bottom. Documents One extensive manual in German and English with notes (9 pages) EDDN-Nuremberg-XP11-DE EDDN-Nuremberg-XP11-EN _____________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 15th April 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)
  5. Scenery Update : EDDF - Airport Frankfurt XP11 v2.0 by Aerosoft Aerosoft have updated their excellent EDDF - Frankfurt XP11 scenery to v2.0. Already an excellent scenery, this update does a couple of nips and tucks to keep the airport totally current and up to date. In the last EDDF update v1.10, the focus was on the installation of the SAM (Scenery Animation Manager) on all gates. But a few didn't work correctly? These were the complicated three airbridge units (A380/B748) on A54 - A58 - A62 - B25 - B46 - C14/C15/C16. Now in v2.0 they work as required. Having all three units working is highly impressive, a nice fix. Added also are the seasonal orthos (SAM2 plugin required) and the missing marshaller at some parking positions that was fixed in v1.21 The P4 taxiway overpass had a few sinking issues (aircraft would bob up and down), but now the surface is smooth right across and correct. The forests surrounding the airfield are now also more denser, but the lines between the custom and default are also more noticeable as well.. The complicated N3 taxiway markings have been fixed.... still complicated though? Finally there has been some ortho color corrections for the airport to blend in better. Overall this v2.0 (a full version number is really wasted here on the few changes) of EDDF - Frankfurt is a nice set of fixes to keep the scenery front and centre of your routings. Yes I use EDDF a lot, love this scenery and it is one of the best currently for Germany along with ShortFinal's EDDM - Munich Full detailed original release review for this scenery is here: Scenery Review : EDDF - Aerosoft Airport Frankfurt XP11 ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the EDDF - Airport Frankfurt XP11 v2.0 by Aerosoft is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Airport Frankfurt XP11 v2.0 Your Price is US$32.99 If you already have purchased the Airport Frankfurt XP11 scenery, then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore to update to version v2.0 Requirement: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum. 8GB_ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 2.0 (March 11th 2020) Changelog EDDF v2.0.txt ________________________________________ (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) News by Stephen Dutton 19th March 2020 Copyright©2020: X-Plane Reviews
  6. Scenery Review : Seychelles XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane I love to be surprised. The biggest surprise scenery wise in 2019 was the release of Faroe Islands XP by Aerosoft, but created by Maps2XPlane. It was by all accounts an extraordinary scenery and even with some high quality competition against it, it still won my best "Scenery of the Year 2019" accolade. Basically the scenery had everything including a picturesque airport at Vágar, but overall it was the stunning high quality mesh landscapes were simply out of this world in detail and realism. I loved the scenery and to back up my love for Fareo, the scenery was then a frequent visitor on my routings for the rest of the year.... in other words I flew there a lot, and loved being in Fareo every single time. For any scenery to be that good, then it creates an even bigger issue, in that how can you top such an achievement, well we are about to find out with Maps2XPlane and with their next release in "Seychelles XP". In reality then although both sceneries are islands, then the Seychelles are about as black and white in context as you could get to the Faroe Islands. The Faroes are cold, wintery and bleak, were as the Seychelles is all tropical kaleidoscope waters, palm lined beaches and expensive huts over looking lagoons. Faroe, could be noted as remote in being situated high up in the North sea, but compared to the Seychelles they could be a set of islands just off shore with easy connections to Scotland, Denmark and Norway... and even Iceland at a push. (Navigraph) The Seychelles however are a very different set of islands. Positioned in the western Indian ocean, Seychelles consists of an archipelago of 115 islands. Its capital and the largest city is Victoria situated on the island of Mahé, which lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa. Other nearby island countries and territories include Comoros, Mayotte (territory of France), Madagascar, Réunion (territory of France), and Mauritius to the south; as well as the Maldives and Chagos Archipelago to the east. The Seychelles in X-Plane terminology is really in being "absolutely nowhere". You are at least a 3 to 4 hour flying time to the nearest decent X-Plane scenery and Madagascar is the closest, but how many X-Plane sceneries do you have in Madagascar, I don't think I have one. Best choices are either Dubai or Johannesburg, I picked Jo'Burg, but that airport is still 2081 nm or 4h.38m flying time from Mahé near the capital city of Victoria. So for X-Planers then the quick hop or short flight to the Seychelles is not going to be a simple morning or afternoon flight, I know because I am now flying that long route, and it is a full day's flying to get to the central part of the Seychelles. Air Seychelles flies to only 4 international destinations direct in Johannesburg, Mumbai, Mauritius & Antananarivo (Madagascar) using Airbus A320-200 equipment. Range of the A322 is 3,300 nmi (6,112 km), but the issue is that if you get into trouble and want to divert, then you don't have a lot of choices of diversion airports with Dzaoudzi–Pamandzi International Airport (IATA: DZA, ICAO: FMCZ) the closest... when you fly over Dzaoudzi, you really then feel exposed going out and into the expanse of the open Indian Ocean in only a A320. But you have to admit in being this far out, and in so far from anywhere else it does create a sort of excitement, a hope the travails to get all the way out there is worth the trip... but that does also create a certain expectancy of the scenery to live up to as well... in other words "it had better all be worth it". First sign of the custom scenery was actually about 230nm before getting to main group of islands, this is Alphonse Island, and about 30nm before waypoint OKLAB... ... the significant point here is the tropical reef view from above, and it looks excellent even from 35,000ft. As the cloud cover clears you can see quite a few of these excellent reef islands... here is Desroches Island, D’Arros Island and a lot more.... and I admit I was serious impressed by the scale of the scenery as the most remote scenery provided is Assumption Island, and this island is located 1.135 kilometers southwest of the capital on Mahé, the main Seychelles Group. A full map of the scenery coverage is provided by Maps2XPlane. A note is required here in that the scenery does require you to insert new mesh data in the X-Plane/Resources/map data/water/ folder (This is the MAIN X-Plane resources) folder, so be aware that it can be overwritten if you do an X-Plane update. It also begs the question in why Laminar Research don't provide the same tropical reefs as part of the default scenery, this would be a huge enhancement to the simulator world wide from the aspect of that view of Alphonse Island,? Finally after a flight time of 4h 30m we get our first look at Mahé, and the main Island itself... Seychelles International Airport (FSIA) or Aéroport de la Pointe Larue in French, is the main international airport of the Seychelles and it is positioned on the northeast of Mahé, and it has one 13/31, 2.997 m, Concrete runway. The Approach to SEZ is excellent, with the coral reefs and the tropical mountainous regions are spot on, I live in Queensland, Australia which is also a tropical zone and the feel here is exactly that we have in the far north (Qld) and Pacific Islands. 13/31 runway is worn concrete with asphalt headers and is also perfect... very impressive. After all those hours in the air, I was very, very happy to feel the wheels touch that concrete. Runway and taxiway surfaces are really good, and dynamic PBR reflective as well, great for those tropical storms that you would get way out here. Guiding me in is a SAM (Scenery Animation Manager, Plugin required) Marshaller... ... but it didn't feel quite right? he guided me right when I was dead straight on the line, and parked me up very nose forward and even past my ground parking marker... my nose was slightly more forward than the other parked aircraft as well? Seychelles International Airport / SEZ By international airport standards then SEZ is very small, very islander in design and detail. With just one terminal building with six gates, and three to the side for domestic services (i.e. small prop aircraft). ... I love the fuel depot and high quality detail on the storage tanks, and they do dominate the scenery. Airside and Landside detailing is very good as so is the local buildings, airport infrastructure is also well detailed with fine detail and local signage. Note the satellite dishes on the runway edge. There are two other general aviation areas at SEZ, one about a third down the runway and another with an open hangar at the threshold of runway 31 for the Zil Helicopter base... All round FSIA's detail is very impressive, but note also the quality mesh with the rocky outcrops above the airport... There is another remote parking area by the runway 13 threshold, and it has a few static aircraft, but it is a great area to park away from the main ramp areas for both large, private jets and local general aviation... ... Seawalls and grass on the field are also well done, so as an airport scenery by itself then SEZ is really, very, very good. Victoria and Mahé The Seychelles capitol in Victoria is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) northwest of the airport. And between the airport and Victoria is a large tourist resort. The Seychelles rely heavily on tourism as it's main income, so you will find a lot of tourist focused areas all thoughout all of the scenery. This is the Eden Island resort and the replication of the resort and marinas is very good and highly detailed. Overview of Victoria will see a load of custom buildings, there are no default autogen here as every building is custom made for the local area. And not just in Victoria as the objects are placed completely all over the island of Mahé in a lot of detail. The highlight is the port of Victoria... ..... The port is well modeled with ships docked, but also with animated shipping (large and small) that transverse around and in and out of the port. Huge pylon wind generators also dominate Victoria's seafront. So city detail overall is very good, but don't look for local detail like the Victoria Clocktower as it isn't there, but overall this is very good VFR flying scenery in the locales in being a good representation of the area and it's capital. Maps2XPlane are first and foremost a mesh scenery developer, and they don't disappoint with the island of Mahé. For the scale we are dealing with here, the vistas are extraordinary, as you have about the best island scenery yet with the quality available here... .... not just in the overhead long views, but also in the small detail of rocky coastlines and outcrops, this is a very good if not a perfect coastline and no space has been spared for creating the realism of the detail available here. The Faroes was very, very good, but so are these terrains but in a very different tropical context. Praslin Island One of the most popular tourist islands of the Seychelles is Praslin Island, situated just northeast of Mahé. To get there though, we are going to go the long way around via clockwise circuit of Mahé before going to Praslin Island and our equipment today is the C208 Caravan from Carenado. Departure is from Seychelles International Airport runway 13, and then tracking south past Pointe Au Sel and finally down to the southern most point in the Pointe Du Sud, a hard bank back northwest covers the Pointe Lazare and the bay of Anse A La Mouche. This flying very much reminds me of the same feel and look as the exquisite Sint Maarten - Princess of the Caribbean scenery by AWD, so if you liked that sort of flying experience then this Seychelle scenery would certainly be a very good companion... ... the coastline along the western side here is exceptional and the islands of Therese and Conception at almost the top of the island with the aptly named Silhouette island is also framing the windscreen in the distance. Another bank to the right at Cap Ternay and you are now almost on a direct course to Praslin Island... ... once clear of L'ilot Island at the most northern point of Mahé it is then a 44km flight straight out into the Indian Ocean that connects together the two major islands of the main Seychelles group. Praslin is the second largest island (38.5 km2) after Mahé of the Seychelles, and Praslin has a population of around 7,533 people living in two administrative districts of Baie Sainte Anne and Grand' Anse that is split directly down the centre of the island. Finding the Praslin Island Airport - FSPP is actually quite hard as it is well covered from the seaward approach angle in the Grand Anse, I needed to take an overview flight to find the correct runway angle 15/33 and the correct position and the layout of my landing approach... .... the runway is 1,405m long but also has large approach stopway lengths on each end, and a very long 222m section on the RWY 15 approach. Airport reconnaissance done I decided to do another full clockwise island circuit around Praslin and first up is the famous Lemuria Golf Course and the course is noted here in the scenery. On the northern side of Praslin there are a significant number of big and small islands that stretch far to the east of the main island. Curieuse is the first and I got quite close (down to 500ft) to have a good look at the great rocky detail... .... in the distance are the Grand Soeur, Felicite and Marianne islands and remember single every island in this scenery is all custom mesh and highly detailed. One thing you have in this Seychelles scenery is a lot of areas and islands to explore or do sightseeing trips, by fixed wing or helicopter activities you can spend hours flying around and finding these great views and areas, as there are loads of secluded beaches, fantastic reefs and the water colours are brilliant... ... Praslin is split between the main island and another major tourist island area of La Digue is just to the east, here I slipped between them and headed back to the airport FSPP which also known as Iles des Palmes Airport. From 500ft and the correct 330º angle you could say that this time I had a decent shot at landing on FSPP's 1,405m runway. I really love the concrete dirty runway look, the concrete is all very weathered and very realistically done, and again it reminds me of our local airport conditions. Praslin Airport terminal is very South Pacific in design, this could be either Fiji or Tahiti, and not the western Indian Ocean. The detail of the terminal and its surroundings is simply outstanding, and in a very walk around and to be in the place of pure realism... ... every detail is covered from the ramp to the landside fauna, it is probably the best regional terminal scenery I have seen for a long time, certainly one of the best regional terminals in X-Plane currently. From the exceptional steel roof, to the balcony detail, and the reflective and again lovely detailed windows, it is all modeling art. The township of Praslin and the across the runway the control tower/fire station are also presented and detailed. That is the central focus of the Seychelles in Mahé and Praslin Islands, but as we noted on the flight into the Seychelles there is a lot more in destination islands as well, so let us quickly go through them from the closest to the most outward of the islands. __________________________________ Frégate Island Airport - FSSF, (Grass, 502 meters) is an airstrip serving Frégate Island. It is the easternmost of the granitic Inner Islands and located 55 kilometers east of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles on Mahé. The runway is located along the northeast shore of the island next to the Frégate Island Private resort. A nice little getaway island that is not far from Victoria, and well worth the short flight as the island has some very nice rock and rock wall detail. Denis Island Airport - FSSD (Grass, 775 meters) is an airstrip serving Denis Island. It is the second north-easternmost island in the Seychelles, located 60 kilometers north of Mahé. It lies at the northern edge of the Seychelles bank, along with the nearby Bird Island. The runway is located next to the Denis Island Resort and is served by Zil Air. Denis is a perfect tourism island and is also the closest Seychelle Island to Victoria, and although the strip is only grass you have microwave and radio towers, solar farm and lovely little bungalows with the same steel roofs of the terminal at Praslin. Bird Island Airport - FSSB (Grass, 920 meters) serves Bird Island. It is a small and the northernmost island in the Seychelles archipelago, 20 kilometers northwest of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. The airport is served by Air Seychelles and Zil Air which both have chartered flights from Seychelles International Airport on Mahé. The runway is located next to the Bird Island Lodge. Bird Island is small walkaround in an hour island, with some nice bungalows, but the runway is small and grass. Platte Island Airport - FSPL (Concrete, 1.000 meters) is an airstrip serving Platte Island. It is part of the Southern Coral Group of islands that are part of the Outer Islands, the island is positioned 130 kilometers directly south of Mahé. Platte is fairly typical of most of these Islands with an extensive reef and inner lagoon and one concrete runway, vegetation is very lush and has a few custom buildings to make up the housing. Coëtivy Airport - FSSC (Concrete, 1.400 meters) is an airport serving Coëtivy Island. Coëtivy Island is located 290 kilometers south-southeast of Mahé. Along with Platte Island above is the nearest neighbor 171 kilometers northwest, it comprises the Southern Coral Group of the Outer Islands. Coëtivy is very long with a very extensive and beautiful coral reef, the airport strip is directly across the central section of the island. Desroches Airport - FSDR (Concrete, 1.372 meters) is an airport serving Desroches Island. It is located 227 kilometers southwest of Victoria, the island is measuring 5,5 kilometers long and 1,5 kilometers wide. The island is one of the few to have (expensive) tourist facilities along the beaches, and the airport is angled on the western point of the island. Again there is an extensive coral reef and an extensive lagoon vista to enjoy. D’Arros Island Airport - FSDA (Grass, 975 meters) is an airstrip serving D’Arros Island. The airport is located 255 kilometers west-southwest of Mahé. The island is not far and 50 km to the northwest from the nearby Desroches Islands. D'Arros is not one island but along with St Joseph Island a cluster of islands with some pretty extensive lagoons, D'Arros is the most western island of the group and the only one with the runway, note the animated golf cart that will meet your aircraft. Remire Island Airport - FSSR (Concrete, 478 meters) It is a small circular island and is located 245 kilometers southwest of Mahé, at the northern extremity of the Amirantes Bank and is 31.5 km directly north of D'Arros Island. A very small and round island that has a few houses, but it has a good concrete landing strip across the middle. Marie Louise Island Airport - FSMA (Concrete, 770 meters) is an airstrip serving Marie Louise Island. It is located 308 kilometers southwest of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. The runway is located along the eastern shore of the island. Mary Louise is a lovely little island but it is so small that you have to park on the beach, at least the welcoming is nice. Alphonse Airport - FSAL (Concrete, 1.220 meters) Alphonse Island is the sole island of the Alphonse Atoll. It is a small triangular island barely 1,2 kilometers wide, and is located 400 kilometers southwest of Mahé. The runway is located next to the Alphonse Island Resort and served by Zil Air. Alphonse Island is the island I saw from the A320 in flying to Mahé earlier, and of all the outer islands the one with the most facilities. There is a solar farm for electricity and quite a few nicely detailed waters edge bungalows. Alphonse is worth the long distance to get here with its world-class fly fishing and Scuba Diving/Snorkelling which are the main attractions. Farquhar Airport - FSFA (Concrete, 1.179 meters) Farquhar Atoll is part of the Farquhar Group of islands in the Outer Islands and is 770 kilometres (478 miles) southwest of Mahé. The airstrip is located on North Farquhar. The concrete runway length includes a 130 meters (430 ft) displaced threshold on Runway 31. Farquhar Atoll is huge as the total area of the atoll including the large massive lagoon is 170.5 square kilometres (65.8 square miles), and the airport is positioned tight on the end of the north island. There is settlement here and a few animated golf buggys. Astove Island Airport - FSSA (Concrete, 640 meters) is an airstrip serving Astove Island. It is a raised coral island, a single stretch of land, that measure just 1,4 kilometers at the widest part. The island is located 1.041 kilometers southwest of the capital on Mahé. Lovely coral island, but that runway is mighty short at 640m, so you need to pick the right aircraft to go out this far and be able to land on a dot in the ocean. Assumption Island Airport - FSAS (Concrete, 1.210 meters) is an airport serving Assumption Island. The island is located 1.135 kilometers southwest of the capital on Mahé, and is part of the Aldabra Group. If you are going to assume there is a lot out at Assumption Island then don't bother, there isn't really anything here except an island. ______________________ Helicopter Pads There are four Helicopter pads, but only three H Pads. Zil Air Base - FSIA The Zil Helicopter base is positioned by the threshold of RWY 31, there no H Pads are noted here which means you can't just jump to the start point? Naval Base - XHFSNB Mahé. Located on Perseverance Island, an artificial island lying 2 kilometers from the capital Victoria. Hilton Labriz - XHFSSL Silhouette Island. Silhouette is located 20 kilometers northwest of Mahé from where it is clearly visible on the horizon. It is the third largest granitic island in the Seychelles. La Digue Helipad - XHFSLD La Digue. Located 43 kilometers from Mahé and 6,5 kilometers from Praslin. Lighting Overall the lighting in the Seychelles scenery is excellent. SEZ looks great at night, but the lighting is not minutely detailed, but however still good for a scenery of this scale. The green taxiway lights can be lost in the displaced threshold approach lighting, but the aprons are excellent as is the landside lighting. Again the fuel depot tanks are the attraction at night as they are beautifully lit. Victoria The lighting in Victoria is also quite extensive. Eden Island resort is well lit and so is the port with again some nice lighting on the fuel depot. Housing and office building lighting is however a bit boring and bland, very old school flight Simulator of which is a look I don't particularly like as it doesn't look overall very realistic... but in the wide view Victoria looks very good. Praslin Island Once you get away from a major centre island communities, then there usually not a lot of island lighting... ... however the runway is lit, so you can at least fly to Praslin at night and the waiting terminal is very nice as well with a very well lit apron, landside is creative and also good, but once you move away from the airport the lighting is gets sparse except from some odd areas like football (Soccer) fields. We can't cover every island's lighting here as they are mostly the same in context and all quite dark. All runways concrete and grass are not lit, so night flying operations are not available anyway. But there are some nice details set out in the different islands that doesn't make them all look or feel exactly the same, porch lighting, tennis courts and cabins are all nicely lit as are the radio and microwave towers. But most buildings (houses) are the same one dimensional grey window colour. __________________________________ Summary We had big expectations after the last scenery of the Faroe Islands XP by Maps2XPlane (Aerosoft) as the scenery was extraordinary in scale and mesh detailing, it was easily my best choice for scenery of the year in 2019. This Seychelles scenery is the follow up and it certainly does not disappoint in any way, not in scale nor in detail to the Faroe Island experience, but compared to Vágar it is vastly different as the scale here is mega, in fact for thousands of kilometers across the Indian Ocean to cover entire archipelago of this extensive package. Central area of the Seychelles is Victoria situated on the island of Mahé that lies 1,500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa, so you are looking at least a 3 to 4 hour flying time to get there, but it is certainly well worth the effort for what this scenery delivers. Seychelles International Airport : SEZ/FSIA is very well represented in the Seycelles scenery with an excellent and detailed airport with dynamic runways and surfaces and SAM marshaller activity. And so is the capitol of Victoria with its port and tourist resorts, Mahé lighting overall is again excellent, but most housing lighting is one dimensional and old fashioned. The other significant area is Praslin Island and the airport there is simply the best rendered and detailed regional terminal I have seen for years. Also significant is the multitude of islands and detailed reef and lagoon features, There are thirteen islands altogether spread out to a distance of 1.135 kilometers from Mahé. All are hugely well created and detailed with distinctive features to each island, most runways are concrete but many are also grass as well. Maps2XPlane are known for not the their scenery but excellent and detailed mesh, and that is the basis of all the scenery in this package. Not only is the mesh highly realistic, but rocky outcrops, rocks and all coastline detail is excellent and there is a lot of coastline in this scenery to cover with such quality and detail and those coral reef and lagoon vistas which are exceptional. The price in a scenery context is high, but you also get a huge scale and a high quality return for your money with a lot of adventure and exploring that will keep flyers happy for long periods of time, so overall there is a lot of value in the Seychelles scenery package. I have spent almost a full week in the Seychelles scenery package, and it is a very, very good experience. So much to explore across the entire archipelago and so much to even just absorb, so you have to give credit to the developers in creating a scenery on this scale. For you and me though it is just a matter of installing the scenery and getting involved with the experience, and then you just dream of if the rest of X-Plane in mesh and detail was just simply as good as this.... highly Recommended! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! Seychelles XP by Aerosoft - Maps2XPlane is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Seychelles XP Price Is US$49.99 Features Custom terrain mesh with photo-realistic textures and vegetation Highly detailed rendition of the Seychelles International Airport Highly detailed rendition of the Regional Praslin Island Airport Renditions of thirteen additional airfields and four heliports Hundreds of custom objects and landmarks all over the islands Custom autogen with country-specific buildings and objects Road-network and sea-routes with animated, dynamic traffic Custom static aircraft and liveries by Pedro van Leeuwen Implementation of the “Scenery Animation Manager” (SAM v2) Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Video Card. 8Gb+ VRAM recommended Download Size: 3 GB Current version : 1.0 (Feb 17th 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is 3.07gb and with the full installation installed in your custom scenery folder as there are nine install folders in order below: Seychelles4XPlane - Overlay Seychelles4XPlane - Airports Seychelles4XPlane - Additions Seychelles4XPlane - Terrain Total scenery installation is a huge : 7.31gb There is the requirement that the scenery does require you to insert new mesh data (provided in the Additions folder) in the X-Plane/Resources/map data/water/ folder (This is the MAIN X-Plane resources) folder. The developers note you need to adjust the X-Plane "scenery_packs.INI" so the loading order is correct. Documents One extenisve manual in German and English with notes, and one scenery area map. Manual_SeychellesXP_Xplane_de-en Map_SeychellesXP_Xplane_de-en ______________________________________________________________________   Review by Stephen Dutton 13th March 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.31 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.13 US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - A320 Ultimate by Flightfactor (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$89.95 - C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Careando (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$34.95
  7. Quick Impression : LGSA - Chania Ioannis Daskalogiannis XP by Aerosoft The X-Plane simulator saw a huge focus on the Mediterranean and in specific many Greek airports for scenery in 2019. All the major scenery developers with JustSim, Aerosoft and mostly FlyTampa recreated a full network of routes that were interesting and created in the Greek Island and mainland some great destinations. It has been a little quieter this year, but here is another scenery from Aerosoft for the Island of Crete in Chania - Ioannis Daskalogiannis Airport. I will note that in this Quick Impression is that I am using the misterx6 SFD Global autogen to create a Greek vista. Chania International Airport "Daskalogiannis" Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Χανίων, "Δασκαλογιάννης" IATA: CHQ - ICAO: LGSA (Navigraph) (Navigraph) Geographically Chania is not far from LGIR - Heraklion created by FlyTampa last year, as LGSA is just more to the west along the northern coast of Crete. First impressions are that LGSA looks like a huge airport with double or even triple runways, but there is actually only one active runway 11/29 at 3,347m or 10,982ft. So that shows how quite large the two taxiways in S and N are. These strips are actually backup runways, because LGSA is also on the north and south sides a military base Maleme (Military) Airport and now run by the Hellenic Air Force, this is a facility that was constructed by the British Military, shortly before the Second World War. The cilvilan terminal area is of the whole complex just a quarter section in the northwest. The single use terminal was built in 1996, but the stand layouts and new parking arrangements are all new and are represented in this scenery layout. 1A - 12 and L1 - L3 and S1, S2 stands are now all pushback and not circular, doubling capacity. Terminal modeling is good and detailed, but it doesn't have that "wow" factor, it feels like a modeled terminal, if you know what I mean. New modern Fire Station is well represented, and the landside area is well filled out and it all comes with a lot of clutter detail. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager is also active (plugin required) in marshaller mode and is available on all stands. There are some very nice gradient detailing with the various levels of excavated areas, and the Terminal is built over a gradient level between the gradient upper (ramp) and lower (ground) levels. Note the extensive fauna and grass, with some nice wildflowers dotting all the field areas. Concrete channels are excellent, as is the extensive custom mesh to replicate the elevated taxiways and sloped main runway, so this is a very well done and very authentic airfield. Field textures are also excellent, with a wide variety of surfaces from fine asphalt to stony asphalt and the various concrete surfaces. Nice detail includes a military arrestor wire across the main runway. The military have use of most of the rest of the field... with one area adjacent northeast from the terminal civilian area. This northeast area is fine, but not over detailed as the military barracks, the photo textures however do create a few areas of flatness that is noticeable, especially from the eastern direction. South military section is mostly aircraft hangars and typical remote military parking stands.... There are two apron areas in A and C where there is a main hangar on each, Apron B is by the field control tower and some main administration buildings. Note the huge antenna on the top of the nearby Akropoli. Lighting Again because this is mostly a military facility there isn't a lot of lighting at LGSA. Note that taxiway N is lit up like the main 11/29 main runway. The terminal however looks like a soccer (football) stadium, a bit too bright! Apron lighting is all very good, but overall the lighting here is average. On approach to this northwest area of Crete and Chania is excellent at night, and arriving at dusk would give you a very nice arrival vista as the local environs come very much alive. Feature list is very good, with a lot of dynamic X-Plane11 features provided. High detailed ground textures and runway - taxiway lines including the new apron parking positions and lines modified in summer 2018 High detailed 3d objects & buildings including the new terminal building completed in 2018 Custom static aircrafts according to real world service HDR lighting including detailed 3d taxi and runway lighting Animated vehicles in the apron area Animated marshaller (SAM required) Custom mesh for unique elevation including sloped runway (Ortho4XP patch included) PBR ground textures HD vegetation and grass Custom Color & Season Adjustments (SAMv2 Plugin required): ORBX TrueEarth (Vegetation) ORBX TerraFlora (Vegetation) SAM Seasons (Vegetation + Orthophoto) Ortho4XP (Vegetation) SFD Global (Vegetation + Orthophoto) First Impressions Overall LGSA - Chania is another great addition to the Greek Island collection and this time from Aerosoft. The ground layouts and the custom mesh for runway and ground gradients is excellent, and so are the wide and varied texture surfaces. But a lot of LGSA - Chania is what you would call very workman like, okay if quite good, but not really exceptional in any way and certainly with the modeling, a nice to have and to use certainly, but it wouldn't standout significantly of the want to see the use of the scenery regularly, but an early dusk arrival at LGSA would make the route worthwhile. Three out of Five stars ☀️☀️☀️⭐⭐ Chania - Ioannis Daskalogiannis XP by Aerosoft is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore here: Chania - Ioannis Daskalogiannis XP Price is US$24.95 Requirements are: Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Video Card. 8Gb+ VRAM recommended Download Size: 1.6 GB Current and Review Version : 1.0 (Feb 20th 2020) ________________________________________ Quick Impression by Stephen Dutton 25th February 2020 Copyright©2020: 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)
  8. 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)
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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)
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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