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Scenery Review : MMMX - Mexico City International by DreamFlight Studios There were areas in X-Plane that was seriously lacking in creating the "World Class" signature that is required for a really good simulator. X-Plane has everything in great aircraft, brilliant flying aerodynamics and excellent dynamic features. But even to a few years ago, even with the Global Airport initiative there was and still is to a point still some serious holes in the simulator wanting to be filled and mostly in scenery... airports for one and for any airport outside the US and Europe. X-Plane has done well lately in scenery releases, as now a few more FSX developers are now creating or converting their original scenery as well for X-Plane11, but as we have seen, many FSX success stories have not at all translated well to X-Plane, some work, but most are quite average to even horrible. So here comes DreamFlight and MMMX - Mexico City to X-Plane11, and will this conversion translate well to X-Plane, so we cross our fingers and hope it does work well, because to fill a large route hole in our American continents with the extremely high altitude positioned MEX it is a serious scenery we would all like use... first impressions are good... in fact they are very good. A good 90% of FSX sceneries fail badly in X-Plane because the developers try to enforce FSX details onto X-Plane dynamics, basic modeling is not the issue, as an object is still an object in any simulator, plus the X-Plane base layout (WED) is also very different from the way FSX is created. So the fundamental issues are how the developer can learn and use our tools in lighting, ATC routes, PBR reflections and ground effects in translation to the X-Plane simulator. Many FSX developers get around the issues by using X-Plane scenery developers, but the best can get snapped up by say Orbix and Aerosoft. However if you can master the X-Plane features then you can open up to a new and growing market and sell to users that are desperate for quality scenery. MMMX - Mexico City International Mexico City International Airport (Benito Juárez International Airport) is a bit of a challenge, as the airport with the surrounding city is positioned on a plateau at 7,316 ft / 2,230 m altitude. Think about that height for a moment, it is a small mountain in altitude, so aircraft engines and human bodies don't really work very well up this high, throw in smog and environmental issues and so fog (smog) and cloudy conditions are the normal, so it is no wonder it hosts in November of each year the festival of the Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). If you want urban sprawl then Mexico city beats Los Angeles hands down. Mexico City spreads over the valley of Mexico, also called the valley of Anáhuac, a 9,560 km2 (3,691 sq mi) valley that lies at an average of 2,240 m (7,349 ft) above sea level. Originally it was a system of interconnected lakes occupied a large area of the valley, of which Lake Texcoco was the largest. Mexico City was built on the island of Tenochtitlan in the middle of the lake. And MMMX airport looks like a green lake in the middle of the huge urban sprawl. DreamFlight provides a lot of custom textures with two ZZ Orthos's and an overlay, this creates a custom and autogen spread that fills out this gigantic elevated valley from end to end, it is spectacular and it looks very realistic. Add in some Mexico City centre buildings and other business zones with custom tower buildings and it looks about the best Mexico City scene you will get. Yes you will have to adjust your render settings to fit it all in, but even at a texture quality setting of "High" you can still have all this and the airport come in under 4K or 3591mb as the textures are heavily but light framerate defined. But there is one quirk that we will need to sort out early on. Slightly north of the airport is a hill with a radar tower and building positioned on top... the problem is to make the hill not levitate above the ground you have to set the scenery (or X-Plane) to turn the setting off of ""Runways follow terrain contours" so the airport is positioned flat, and the airport then not to be able to adjust to the local contours of the ground. Now that is all very well, but I always keep my "follow terrain" contours switched on because you can't switch over contours mid-simulation. The issue makes for a big problem if you say fly from LAX, DFW even IAH (Houston). Because all of these and many more US airports require the "follow terrain" contours switched on because they use 3d bridges or the terrain as part of their features, in fact the MMMX scenery will be the odd one out in any simulation flying and for me that is a really big issue. UPDATED: A fix has been provided to stop the levitation with the the contours switched on. The details are provided in the attached text below and the fix is easy to cut & paste into the apt.dat file... the results are excellent. The review is still done in the context of the "follow terrain" contours switched off as the fix is a late adjustment. but the differences are negligible. As they say "back in business".. Mexico City International Airport Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México IATA: MEX - ICAO: MMMX - LID: ME1 05R/23L - 3,900m (12,795ft) Asphalt 05L/23R3 - 3,952m (12,966ft) Asphalt 13/31 - 2,3007,546Asphalt (decommissioned) 5 Auxiliar - 7592,490Asphalt (decommissioned) Elevation AMSL - 7,316 ft / 2,230 m MMMX is currently structured around two long parallel runways 05R/23L and 05L/23R, with the older Terminal One to the northwest and the newer International Terminal Two set out in the south corner. Terminal One On July 8, 1943, the Official Gazette of the Federation published a decree that acknowledged Mexico City's Central Airport as an international airport, capable of managing international arrivals and departures of passengers and aircraft. Its first international route was to Los Angeles International Airport operated by Mexicana. Construction of Runway 05R-23L started six years later, as well as new facilities such as a platform, a terminal building, a control tower and offices for the authorities. The runway started its operations in 1951. On November 19, 1952, President Miguel Alemán opened the passenger terminal, which later became Terminal 1. 1980, the terminal was expanded to double its capacity, using a single large terminal rather than multiple terminals as in other airports. Ten years later in 1990, the mixed domestic/international gates were separated to increase the terminal's functionality, along with the separation of domestic and international check-in halls. Another expansion in 1994, with a new International Terminal building was ready and operational with more changes in 2001 that was called Module XI. This Module permitted eight new contact positions in the Airport Terminal, capable of receiving eight regular airplanes, two wide-body, or four narrow-body aircraft. Outwardly you see what you think is average non-textured building modeling, but on closer inspection it isn't anything at all like that. All the various different eras of terminals have been wrapped in a tall mesh fencing to create one seemless terminal complex. Gates 1 to 36 cover the main terminal. It is all extraordinarily well done and very realistic in the gate. All terminal details are very good as well, and with great aged detail... Glass here is not PBR reflective, but the windows are fine in context, detail is very, very good. Landside feels a bit basic and empty, and comes with no or few vehicles or any animations that don't help, a lot of the road networks don't match up either... the train is not positioned on the tracks and the tracks even finish abruptly. But the advertising signage is first rate. Clutter and ramp detail is very good, vehicles are noted as MAM and not MEX, but it is an insignificant detail. There is no ramp animated activity. A big feature here is the use of SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin (Plugin Required). MMMX has a lot of odd stand parking angles, so the use of the SAM is a huge advantage. Pull into the gate... .... and the gate Marshaller will guide you in, the flexibility of SAM can get around non-VDGS guidence operations and replace it with a Marshaller instead. Once in you activate the required gate, perfection and note the HSBC airbridge branding on all airbridges. There are a lot of remote stand areas, starting with "South Remote" on the south end of Terminal One with stands S1 - S8. Note the nice Interjet head office. "North Remote" is in two sections, one the south section is still part of the main terminal building but it is allocated for code F category aircraft, this includes the A380 on allocated stands 33A and 35A, the A380, B748 and AN-124 which also have restricted taxi routes. The second section covers Stands 37 - 40 which is a separate parking ramp and cargo overflow. Slightly north is the old and battered cargo terminal with seven stands 41 - 47, but two 41A and 46A are for code 4F Cargo (B748F) Far north is the large Mexicana MRO maintenance facility, the area here is very well represented and laid out with some nice support detail. Terminal Two In November 15, 2007, Terminal 2 was opened to replace a very moderate older Terminal Two set of buildings now crunched in between two huge hangars... The new modern terminal was built to significantly increase the airport's limited capacity. All SkyTeam members moved their operations to the new terminal, except Air France and KLM It was officially inaugurated in March 2008 and once the new road accesses and taxiways were finished. Again the terminal has a very distinctive facade and detail, and again it is all very well done... gates 52 - 74 are all covered with remote stands 75 - 81 noted on the T-2 remote. All airbridges are also SAM and Marshaller controlled, but the airbridge design is different to the Terminal One versions with a clear green glass insert. Oddly though there is very little terminal ground clutter at T2, so it can feel a little empty at the gates, a strange oversight because it is so easy to do? Southeast The southeast section of the airport that is along taxiway E is a humble jumble of hangers and maintenance areas with another domestic cargo area for Aeromexico, Aeromar... of which all are very well represented. Stand area is known as "Tango" and stands are numbered T1 - T9 with TA and TB to the right. There is a big mixture of new and old here, with huge modern hangars to just basic metal hangar shades. With the AVIACSA section it is well done with complex layout of different hangars and details, nice touch are the placed AVICSA parked static aircraft (as per the ground textures reflections) but there are also a lot of quality static aircraft to fill in the right areas. Control tower is a little basic in design, but more than workable, the high positioned radar behind adds into the view.... Tower view is correct in the field position, but set extremely high above the tower itself. So you can see all the approaches very well, but not at the realistic height. There is a small MASAir Cargo area here as well. Another set of GA hangars is next, with the AeroUnion maintenance hangar dominating the area, it is well done and note the really well made branded jetblast fence, and the zone is known as "East Remote". There are quite a few of these blast fences set out and positioned all around the scenery, all are well done and effective visually. Last in line is a new (at the airport) maintenance facility for AeroMexico... ... of which the hangar and detail is very well done. Far east are a row of storage buildings, with the emergency platform area which is also represented. South Tango Southwest is the South Tango zone by the threshold of RWY 05R, with the dominant building for the Federal Police (POLICIA FEDERAL). The area looks older than the rest of the airport and the hangars look like the original AeroMexico maintenance base buildings with a nice authentic period detail. There are two sets of remote parking stands here called Tango 1 for stands 82 -85 (above) which is wide open area but also a well detailed area, the second is Tango 2 (large image above) are remote stands 87 - 90. Ground textures All ground textures are excellent and well detailed with PBR reflections, very gritty and detailed. All surfaces are as per the real MMMX, newly laid areas (most surfaces) and the older concrete are all about as good as you need. DreamFlight note "Puddles" but I couldn't recreate the wet effect, if I can I will add it into the review. The airport has a very complex taxiway system, but the signage and lineage is perfect, but I do recommend the airport chart to find your way around. There is no field 3d grass and you notice it visibly here because the textures have a lot of flat detail the grass would cover over, 3d grass is really a requirement for this airport. There are other areas that the flat photo textures show through as well, the worse parts are on approach to RWY23R and it is where the autogen boundaries finish early, the flat images are very visible while taxiing in the airport because all are set on the boundaries of the airport perimeter and they are quite ugly and empty in areas. There are a few water textures that are quite FSX false as well, and they again standout badly on RWY23R or departure from 05L which gets the worst of the uglyness. Lighting Overall it looks like DreamFlight have mastered the dynamics of X-Plane's PBR lighting, but there are a few missed areas... In consideration MMMX looks excellent.... .... one big missing item though is the green centreline lighting, and unfortunately it is very noticeable, and hard it is finding your way around many areas of the airport in total darkness unless the aircraft has good turnoff lighting, a bad mistake? Terminal ramp and aprons are however lit very well, it is nice down here and a night arrival would give you a great experience... .... terminal window lighting is very good as well but most are hidden behind the mesh facade, but the main T1 terminal windows are however a bit dull and bland and the name is only sparsely lit, but the south remote Interjet offices are lovely. Terminal Two is excellent, with a green shade to the central building... the pinhole design looks excellent at night, but it also highlights the empty missing clutter spaces, overall though it is very, very nice over here. All aprons and areas are well illuminated and with great lit detail... .... drop down and spot lighting is excellent in making the hangars feel very realistic. Even the bland control tower looks nice at night bathing in a green glow. There is a lot of advertising signage around the airport and it is all very Mexican and outrageous, good in the daylight, brilliant at night. Mexico City business central area nd other custom Hi-Rise buildings are very good, and do the job well in creating a full city night panorama. WT3 : The scenery has no provided WorldTraffic3 ground routes, but the ATC routes are done and the scenery will generate a very good active layout. The taxiway and runway layout is complex, and there are the odd things that aircraft do, do like cut corners and sprint across the grass... but overall WT3 works very well here and on the whole you get a very busy realistic running MMMX airport. Services MMMX is a base and hub for: Aeromar Aeroméxico Aeroméxico Connect Interjet Magnicharters Volaris AeroUnion (cargo) LATAM Cargo México (cargo) And you will get a lot connecting international carriers, all the US majors use MEX, plus Air France, All Nippon, British Airways, Avianca, Emirates, KLM LATAM, Iberia, Chinese Southern, Lufthansa and Air Canada which are all frequent daily services. Summary For a first time FSX/P3D transition to X-Plane11 by DreamFlight Studios then this is a very good Mexico City scenery, currently it is certainly far and the best rendition of MEX for the simulator, as there is seriously a lot to like here with great and in parts brilliant detail and well created terminals and the airport infrastructure. Highlights are the excellent building mesh on Terminal One and the distinctive design of Terminal Two, great clutter on Terminal One however is missing on Terminal Two. All ground textures (PBR as well), lineage and signage is excellent, and the use of the SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin on all airbridges is a brilliant bonus, airbridges are designed and branded to match correctly to MEX. Scenery covers the full valley of Mexico, and delivers a huge autogen spread and custom Mexico City buildings. WT3 can be generated for MMMX ground routes and the results are a very active and busy airport. As with all FSX developer transitions there are a few quirks, not enough to distract you from how good this scenery is, but still in there. The one big issue was for me is the setting of "Terrain Contours" off to a flat base to keep a hovering hill in it's correct ground position, fly out of MEX to any US major airport or European destination and you are trapped the other end with the opposite contours problem... as MEX is the odd one out, and of course vise-versa... the fix is noted below. No green centreline lighting makes it hard work taxiing at night on the far reaches of the airport, an oversight there, and Landside is a bit empty with some crazy road structure. Areas where as the autogen meets the airports boundaries can be blank and exposing the average flat ground photo images and on approaches can be very distracting from an otherwise excellent scenery, and no 3d grass has the same effect over the textures of the inner field. Overall I love this excellent MEX and to a point a really well created MMMX has been a long time coming to the X-Plane simulator, however the contours usability was a big issue for me and now fixed I can absolutely recommend this MMMX - Mexico City scenery, brilliant! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! MMMX - Mexico City International by DreamFlight Studios is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : MEXICO CITY AIRPORT XP11 Price is US$24.95 Features: Highly detailed objects and vehicles High quality ground textures Realistic Airport Surroundings Custom City Buildings Realistic runway/taxiway lights High resolution building textures Realistic night effects PBR textures Water puddles World Traffic 3 compatible Sam compatible (Plugin Required) FPS friendly ______________________________________________________________________ Installation The download package is huge at 3.68gb and there are four folders with three overlays in your "Custom Scenery" Folder. MMMX - Mexico City Dreamflight Studios (980mb) Y MMMX Overlay (14.4mb) ZZOrtho4XP_+19-100 (1.92gb) ZZOrtho4XP_+19-099 (1.78gb) Total scenery installation is a huge 4.76gb SAM - Scenery Animation Manager plugin is required and to be installed in your X-Plane Resources/Plugin folder This scenery can now be ONLY used in X-Plane11with this XP11 version MMMX Elevation fix, just cut & paste into the main MMMX apt.dat data via a text editor MMMX_Elevation fix.rtf Documents: One manual MMMX_Manual (4 pages) Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3.7GB Current and Review version : 1.0 (July 28th 2019) ______________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 2nd August 2019 Copyright©2019: X-Plane Reviews 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 1Tb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 / Checked install in X-Plane11b6 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: WorldTraffic3 US$29.95 : Environment Engine v1.07 by xEnviro US$69.90 : Scenery Animation Manager plugin - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 738 by Laminar Research - Default with X-Plane11