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  1. Scenery Review : Seattle Airports XP by Drzewiecki Design The Seattle Airports XP Package for X-Plane11 is part of two packs from Drzewiecki Design that cover the full Seattle, Puget Sound area of the American north west. X-PlaneReviews has covered the excellent city of Seattle scenery pack in a review here: Scenery Review : Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design The two packages are created to work seamlessly together, and the area covered is quite substantial from North Everett in the north, and right down to Federal Way in the south. As noted in the city scenery review, to cover such a wide area with so many objects is going to require a certain amount of power from your computer, and a few tricks on how to best run the packages are covered in depth in that city scenery review. In context these packages are created to a level of detail and are refined to their best ability to get the very best ratio of quality to quantity and still get the very best efficiency out of the packages, in this area Drzewiecki Design have done an outstanding job... certainly each package can be purchased separately as together they cost a substantial US$67.00 with this Airport pack being the most expensive at US$43.00. Personally were as the Seattle City XP scenery can be purchased and used with freeware airports, I don't think you could purchase the Airport pack without the Seattle City scenery, you would just lose too much of the iconic skyline to make it totally realistic (but there are a few Seattle skylines on the .Org if you want to take that approach). The airports covered in this package include: KSEA Seattle-Tacoma, KPAE Paine Field, KBFI Boeing Field, KRNT Renton and S50 Auburn and one major missing field is of course KTCM - McChord AFB of which was included in the Tom Curtis version of the Seattle area called "Gateway to Boeing Country". A few notes first before we deep dive into the airports. First is that if you do use both packages together then the custom scenery load order on the .INI is very critical in the scenery running correctly, Drzewiecki Design do or can set this load order correctly via the installer, but I prefer still to set my own .INI order as not to mess up a.. my already correct set ups and other scenery load orders, and b.. I'm a control freak! Second note is you have the options for both static aircraft visible or not and the quality of your texture mesh (personally the the difference between 2K mesh and 4K mesh in most cases is minimal), but it may make a difference in some cases. But with the static aircraft option is that it is all or nothing... this means that at every airport in this scenery you can have those lovely static aircraft or not. In most cases this is not an issue if you use WT3 or X-Life as static aircraft is switched off, but in this package it can make a huge difference? K-Man has created a set of perfection in WT3 ground routes and layouts for KSEA, so you will want to use these right? absolutely... but killing the static aircraft at KSEA to run WT3 also kills all those perfectly created static aircraft in various states of last stages of fitting out at the Boeing factories at Boeing Field, Everett (Paine) and Renton? The solution is to keep the static aircraft option on, but to use the overlay editor to clear away the static aircraft at KSEA. I really doubt you would need WT3 at the other airports and I found this option the best compromise in having KSEA active with traffic, but keeping the excellent visual aspects at the Boeing factory airports. This review is created in that setup of WT3 at KSEA and the rest of the airports with the custom static aircraft still in place. KSEA - Seattle–Tacoma International Airport or Sea-Tac (KSEA/SEA) Sea-Tac has had a long association with my flying and reviews in X-PlaneReviews, but not lately. Sea-Tac is also Laminar Research's own default airport for X-Plane and has been since X-Plane10, and the area is an excellent place to show off the simulator. Basically you have everything here from gorgeous backdrop volcanic mountains, great local VFR flying destinations with Canada and Vancouver on your doorstep. Most of my early flying was usually up (and down) the Puget Sound to Victoria or CYYJ airport and the learning curve of VOR navigation... it is simply a sensational area to fly around... but. I fell out of love with Sea-Tac for one reason, the runways. Every scenery from the provided X-Plane "Demo" to the payware versions of KSEA all have one major issue, as the runways at KSEA are all a roller-coaster of hills with the "Runways follow Terrain Contours" switched on, switch off the follow contours tickbox and then KSEA becomes then a plateau of "Lost World" proportions, with autogen housing clinging to the sides at very odd angles? so setting either choice does not work. Seattle–Tacoma International Airport Sea–Tac Airport IATA: SEA - ICAO: KSEA - FAA LID: SEA - WMO: 72793 6L/34R 11,900 (3,627m) Concrete 16C/34C 9,426 (2,873m) Concrete 16R/34L 8,500 (2,591m) Concrete ELEV 433 ft / 132 m AMSL Your first impressions of Drzewiecki Design's version of Sea-Tac is that it is superb, obviously the very best yet and believe me there has been a lot of different versions of KSEA in X-Plane. Currently Sea-Tac is under an expansion development, but the scenery here is noted with the newer expansion construction work as completed - with the new International Arrivals Facility, both Satellite Terminals modernised and with the additional structures added to the A terminal and with the amazing new Skybridge. But all that and even everything else is of now of no consequence if the basics don't actually work? but thankfully they do and are done here to best solution as well. So the first really big feature and to me this is the most important one, is that the KSEA runways have been built on a false base and are not allowed to follow the mesh contours, add in some really lovely and totally correct landscaping and walls, then you have perfection... .... and note the excellent approach RAIL lighting gantries on all the northern approaches, ditto the smooth and thankfully flat runways, this is finally a Sea-Tac we all deserve. Terminal Detail We have noted that these packages are created for their best efficiency, but that has not come with any real loss of quality and the trimming of detail. All the terminals and island terminals have been recreated in detail and with the correct reflective glass... ... as all of the internal terminal areas are fitted out and that can be seen from the ramps. Ramp detailing and clutter is also first rate with not only the service and ramp equipment, but 3d people as well external and internal. The airport's airbridges are all active but only a certain number have the guidance system, loads of animated vehicles move around the airport, but there is no an overwhelming amount of vehicle movement, however this is to the better and not to the detriment of the action with using the scenery. Maintenance and Cargo You could call that Sea-Tac is the supply depot for the north or further to Alaska. So all the cargo facilities here at KSEA are large and varied. These important areas are really well covered with this scenery... ... cargo zones (and there is a lot of zones to choose from) are all expertly recreated and with just the right amount of cargo clutter to make freight moving at KSEA a joy, there is also some great branding (mostly Alaska Airlines) and realistic ramp textures. South Sea-Tac are the prominent maintenance hangars for Alaska Airlines and Delta. Hangar detail is not just external which is very good anyway, but internal as well with aircraft under maintenance set out inside. Landside Detail, detail landside is not high high if you get what I mean, but the the amount of buildings and airport support infrastructure including the required hotels and carparks is immense. And in many ways the layout reminds me of Aerosoft's Frankfurt. Detail is not restricted to just the terminal side of the airport, but right around the the whole perimeter. Warehouses and a small GA ramp are notable to the southwest... ... working (or animated) radar tower is to the west and the concrete detail of the elevation of the field are all standouts. Control Tower The distinctive control tower is really well created and looks highly realistic. The tower has excellent internal detail as well, but with no set tower view? KBFI - Boeing Field or King County International Airport. (KBFI/BFI)  Except for the World War II period, when it was taken over by the U.S. government, Boeing Field was Seattle's main passenger airport from its construction in 1928 until Seattle-Tacoma International Airport began operations in the late 1940s. The Boeing Company continues to use the field for testing and delivery of its airplanes, and it is still a major regional cargo hub. King County International Airport Boeing Field IATA: BFI - ICAO: KBFI - FAA LID: BFI 13R/31L 10,000 (3,048m) Asphalt 13L/31R 3,710 (1,131m) Asphalt ELEV 21ft /6 m AMSL KBFI is a large and complex scenery in that it has so many different elements. It a Boeing Company airport but also a working one for light GA and private jet aircraft and smaller regional services (Including helicopters). The northwest area is dominated by the Boeing Company as it is a last fit-out area for overflow aircraft from the Paine and Renton plants... The main Boeing hangar is well reproduced as is the fit-out ramps which are highly detailed, and note the excellent static aircraft that were left in the scenery and not removed. The southern part of the Boeing zone is related to Boeing's military business, and here it is a separate area for those top secret military aircraft fit-outs (above right). Seattle Museum of Flight Nestled between the factories is the famous Seattle Museum of Flight and right beside the museum is the "Red Barn" that is also known as Building No. 105. Built in 1909, the building was used during the early 1900s as Boeing's original aircraft manufacturing plant. A lot of attention has been given into recreating the museum, not only in with the high detailed museum buildings, but the with all the correct aircraft on show as well. The eastern side of the runways is the private and business areas of Boeing Field. There is the historic terminal building on the east side with the original terminal that is still operating, but now as a cafe. And there is a huge amount of ramp area parking not only in front of the old terminal, but also for the use of a designated private jet service terminal next door as well. There is a huge amount of choice for parking GA aircraft and medium sized jets on the eastern side, so you can just make your extensive choice from the long list of branded operators located here, and so it is as well for helicopter services with HeliJet dominating with services to Victoria and Vancouver. Note the 3d grass which is excellent and covers all the airports in the package, clutter is again excellent and there are also a few animated vehicles moving around the scenery. Control Tower is mid-field west... ... the tower is well done and authentic with built in Fire Station... Tower View is actually correct! KRNT - Renton or Renton Municipal Airport (KRNT/RNT) Renton is really two airports set around one single runway. On the west side is the Renton Municipal Airport, which is really a General Aviation/Seaplane base, and on the east side is the Boeing Renton Factory that churns out the hundreds and thousands of B737 series aircraft. The factory has had an illustrious career in producing Boeing aircraft from the start of WW2 to today. Famous aircraft built here includes the Boeing B-29 Superfortress (built 1,119), Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (built 943), Boeing 707/KC-135, Boeing 727, Boeing 757 (built 1,050) and the B737 series that is currently in production today. Renton Municipal Airport IATA: RNT - ICAO: KRNT - FAA LID: RNT 16/34 5,382 (1,640m) Asphalt/Concrete EVEL 32ft / 10m AMSL Renton is an extremely hard place to reproduce and to make it look authentic. It is situated in a valley and the autogen does not take to kindly to the mesh and so and intergration to make it look even believable is a task by itself, but Drzewiecki Design pulled it off by using custom placed objects to cover over the weak areas, so it works and it works very well. The highlight at Renton are the huge aircraft factory buildings... ... not only is the external buildings done to be realistic, but the internal production line is also created, it is all very basic texture wise but I do like the different variants of the B737 series in production, and not just the same single-800 variant. East Renton The eastern side of the runway is in two sections, one section to the north are several fit-out areas and in the south is a GA and business receiving area. The engine test building is the standout building and is well detailed at the rear.... the Ace Aviation hangar and Aero-Dyne Aviation are both well represented, and this is a very nice GA and usable arrival area. The overall idea seems to be "if you have a space then put a B737 on it!" but there are still lots of parking bays left over for your own aircraft, note again the required static aircraft setting as it makes a big if not huge difference with the correct static aircraft in various states of completion. Work ramp detail is again exceptional, highly detailed and "Boeing" branded. The highly visual sports fields including the Renton Memorial Stadium and Liberty Park are also well represented for detail. RWY 34 approach has numerous buildings for eye detail including a Walmart, McLendon Hardware and Fred Meyer store and more sports fields. West Renton The western boundary is "Renton Municipal Airport" but Boeing seems to have helped itself to most of the significant parking areas, so the area is a mixture of GA facilities and more Boeing fit-out parking bays. Renton Municipal Airport itself is sort of boxed into the centre, but there is still a lot of parking spaces if you land here in a GA. Animated vehicles are represented around Renton, but not too many. North is the seaplane base or the official name as the "Will Rogers - Wiley Post Memorial Seaplane Base", as it was here Wiley Post left for his fatal last flight. The water ramp and jetty is not as good as the Tom Curtis version, but it is still usable. Apartment blocks and light industry buildings are all custom made to fill out the open areas and this is a significant point of making the overall scenery very effective, the detail and even the style is very, very basic, but it still does a very good job alongside the autogen in creating a very realistic Renton. KPAE - Paine Field or Snohomish County Airport KPAE/PAE Paine Field was originally constructed in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project. At the time of development, it was envisioned that the Airport would create jobs and economic growth in the region by becoming one of the ten new "super airports" around the country. Paine Field was taken over by the U.S. Army prior to entry into World War II as a patrol and training base. In 1947 it was transferred to the U.S. Air Force which continued that operational plan until the early 1960s. On July 25, 1966, Boeing announced that it would build the Boeing 747, a jet airliner capable of carrying nearly twice as many passengers as previous models. To build the giant jet, Boeing had to construct a facility large enough to handle the world's largest commercial jetliner. Land just north of Paine Field was chosen to construct the new facilities, including some development on the airport itself. Both the local government and the FAA concurred with the development. Work on the massive building began in August 1966 and the first employees arrived in early 1967. The 747 made its first flight at Paine Field on February 9, 1969. There has been numerous ideas to restart scheduled air passenger services or air cargo service from the airport, mostly by Allegiant Air and Horizon Air, but to date it is still Boeing that totally dominates the Snohomish County Airport. KPAE does however have four flight schools — Chinook Flight Simulations, Regal Air, Northway Aviation and Everett Helicopters — making it a popular destination for flight training. There are also a number of flying clubs on the field. Today Paine Field is the primary assembly location for Boeing's wide-body 747, 777 and the 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Paine Field Snohomish County Airport IATA: PAE - ICAO: KPAE - FAA LID: PAE  16R/34L 9,010 (2,746m) Asphalt/Grooved 11/29 4,504 (1,373m) Asphalt (not active) 16L/34R 3,000 (914m) Asphalt ELEV 606 ft/184.7 m AMSL You can never get your head around the scale of the Boeing aircraft factories at Everett, they are one of the huge step forward 1960's projects that stunned your mind, the other was the VAB building and Saturn 5's rockets that took men to the Moon. The Boeing Everett factory is still the largest building in the world by volume at 13,385,378 m3 (472,370,319 cu ft) and covers 399,480 m2 (98.7 acres; 39.948 hectares; 0.399 square kilometres)... big enough to build a 747 in! It is to great credit to Drzewiecki Design in that they have created all the assembly lines for the versions B748, B777 and B787, there is great detailing in not just shoving aircraft in the buildings, but to also have them in their various states of assembly... radar domes up, missing engines, or cowlings open, gantrys and all the clutter required to build aircraft. The huge triple engine test buildings are also really well represented... .... and the numerous bays are stacked out and full of out-fitting aircraft, did I mention about the required static aircraft... yes I think I did. There is the Boeing delivery centre with working airbridges and docking guidance, just the perfect place to take delivery of your new Boeing X-Plane aircraft. There is the new "Dreamlifter" operations centre over on the western boundary... and it is highly detailed with a Dreamlifter and cargo. Snohomish County Airport Internally within Paine Field is a commercial airport called Snohomish County Airport. Over the years commercial passenger traffic has declined almost to nothing, so Snohomish County Council has created with a private company a new passenger terminal that was commenced on June 5, 2017. The 30,000 square foot building will have two gates and will be capable of handling about 16 flights per day. That terminal is represented here as complete and is due to open now or Sept 2018. Opposition to the new facility was fierce by local communities, but note the overwhelming heavy commercial operations by Boeing... I doubt a few Dash8's or B738's are going to make that much extra noise or traffic in or out of KPAE? Terminal detailing is excellent, with a full interior and reflective glass... Alaska Airlines, United and Southwest all have plans for services. Attached to the new terminal is a new control tower, again it is well created with internal control room, but no tower view? And note the lovely pre-war hangar on the new terminal ramp, it is a nice reminder of early Paine Field. Southeast is still the older remnants of Paine Field including the very small GA runway 16L/34R... and RWY 11/29 which is now only for aircraft parking. To the south there are more Boeing facilities, but also a few museums with the "Flying Heritage Collection" and the "Historic Flight" Museum. There is a huge amount of custom buildings to the south and to the west of Paine Field to give you a great approach and visual stimulation, like at Renton the buildings are still quite basic and light on detail, but they serve a purpose, however a lot of the buildings to west tend to float? S50 Aurburn Auburn Municipal Airport is known as "Dick Scobee Field", after Francis "Dick" Scobee, an Auburn and Washington native who was the commander astronaut for the Space Shuttle Challenger. Scobee was killed in the 1986 Challenger disaster. The small airfield is also part of the "Emerald Downs Horse Racing" complex. Auburn Municipal Airport Dick Scobee Field IATA: none - ICAO: none - FAA LID: S50 Overall there is not much here at Auburn Municipal Airport except for GA hangars and loads of excellent stand parking... .... but that is not to say it is not the best place to use to base your GA to fly and around the Seattle area, in fact it is the perfect location, and so expect this field to show up a lot in a few GA reviews in the future. All of the airports in this package have excellent runway textures and excellent realistic reflective surfaces. All runway and taxiway signage is top notch and correct for navigation via charts... oh and a lot of 3d Grass is thrown in on top of the deal. Seattle Airports Night Lighting The lighting throughout this extensive scenery is excellent and quite varied. KSEA - Sea-Tac Sea-Tac scenery is very good, but the most basic scenery with only a few tones, overall it looks and is very good to fly into and use on the ground... ... but on closer inspection sees okay look and feel with the see-through glass to just plain greys for some other terminals and outer buildings, internal areas inside maintenance hangars are excellent and highly realistic. Branding and hotel lighting is fine and well done. Ramps including the cargo stands are well lit and the highlight is the nice upward spot lighting on the control tower. King County Boeing Field is not a 24hr airport in operations, so the lighting reflects that aspect, it is well lit, but in areas the lighting is only sporadic... The fit-out flightline is the brightest area as are the other Boeing work zones, the control tower is well done and looks authentic on arrival. Highlight is the lovely private jet terminal that looks welcoming at night on arrival.. note the nice ramp reflections and textures Renton Overall the best lighting in the package goes to Renton... ... different lighting tones separate the manufacturing/carparking areas from the airfield, and it looks spectacular around the main assembly buildings. There are different tones also to note the football (soccer) field and the many other sports facilities, the Ace Aviation building is the highlight. Again the Boeing fit-out stands are very well lit as are all the surrounding apartment buildings. The approach into Renton at night from the south is excellent and certainly well worth doing. Everett Paine Field is a lot like Renton in lighting but more spread out in area. Different areas have different tones but not to the full extent of Renton... ... fit-out areas are again very bright, and the internal work areas of the factories are well lit for 24hr aircraft production. Highlight is the amazingly lit delivery centre! (below) Snohomish County Airport is lit well one side with the carpark... but dark on the airside? The control tower looks however lovely in great lower area/ground lighting. Southern areas are sporadic but well done and overall KPAE is a well lit scenery. Auburn Municipal Most lighting at S50 is indirect, but it looks nice at night from above, but it feels a little odd on the ground as the lighting can be bright in one direction and very dark in the other, but overall S50 is a daytime operation airfield... disappointing is the racetrack and the Emerald Downs Horse Racing complex is in the dark... ... note however the amazing surface textures with the indirect lighting. Summary Where do you start with a scenery this expansive and so highly detailed. Price of course and value. Yes it is US$43.00 for just this Airport package and another US$24.00 if you then add on the Seattle City package. Breaking that down and just take KSEA Sea-Tac as a scenery alone, and what would you expect to pay for that US$25 or US$28.50... it is certainly worth that in benefit, so in context then the full five airports are all good value. Object count and clutter numbers here are in the outrageous category, you are bewildered just on how much detail there actually is in here and the coverage is uniform across all the airports, ditto the amount of custom objects surrounding the actual airport boundaries as well to make up a significant visual viewpoint of almost visual perfection (in context) of what you have in the Seattle area... and this all comes with an amazing efficiency and not creating overbearing pressure on your computer's hardware, and even in the context of a lower texture quality setting, you still get a sensational high quality visual package... in other words it all more than usable and even if you only have a 4K graphic card. Negatives are few, with only a few floating buildings and some night textures that are a bit bland, and many custom objects are created for a high efficiency more than detail are noticeable, but the objects are not positioned of where it counts. Many tower views are not set correctly? Scenery like the Seattle City/Airport packages are not your usual purchase... they are a major future investment for your simulator. Yes all up the packages are expensive, but the return of what you actually get and also to get to future proof your Seattle area for years to come and with all the significant flying you can do here in Seattle... and that then all adds up to a worthwhile investment of including and using extremely good high quality scenery in X-Plane. The jury will always be out on what is the very best scenery currently in X-Plane, in absolute detail then no, but in expansive and with the absolute sheer volume of coverage and detail you get here, then certainly this Seattle Airports XP package is right at the top of the list. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... Seattle Airports XP by Drzewiecki Design is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Seattle Airports XP Price is US$43.00 Scenery Features 5 high quality airports included: KSEA Seattle-Tacoma, KPAE Paine Field, KBFI Boeing Field, KRNT Renton and S50 Auburn in the most up-to-date versions possible, including the new International Arrivals Facility and Satellite terminals at KSEA and the new passenger terminal at KPAE. Extensive though performance-friendly internal modeling including Boeing Everett Factory (the whole assembly building with 747, 777 and 787 assembly lines), both delivery centers of Boeing (at KBFI and KPAE) and all terminals at KSEA. Autogates, VGDS, many custom animations, advanced lighting Highly advanced performance-friendly design World Traffic 3 compatible Recommended for use with: Seattle City XP Price is US$24.00 Review is here: Scenery Review : Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 1.2Gb Current version: 1.1 (September 6th 2018) Download and Installation Installation : Download file size is 786.41mb and is inserted into your X-Plane - Custom Scenery Folder. Installed file size is 2.70gb. Package comes with installers for both Win (.exe) and Mac-Linux, and be sure you download the correct version for your system. DD Seattle Airports ARoads (66kb) DD Seattle Airports XP (2.43gb) DD Seattle Airports XP Documents (6.9mb) ZZZ DD Seattle Airports XP Terrain (23mb) If both the Seattle City XP and Airport scenery XP files are installed then the correct .INI order is required, but the installer will arrange that for you. Recommended is K-Man's KSEA WorldTraffic3 in WT3 ground routes and layouts Editing is required if you want to keep the specialized static aircraft. For the full visual impact the "World Object" (autogen) setting is required at the "maximum" setting, and it is well worth the framerate drop. Extras and Documents: Manuals for installation are in English, Polish and Russian. Airport charts are provided for KRNT, KPAE, KBFI and S50 KBFI Diagram.pdf KPAE Diagram.pdf KRNT Diagram.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - English.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - Polish.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - Russian.pdf S50 Diagram.pdf SEATTLE_AIRPORTS_XP_MANUAL.pdf ______________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton 12th September 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 v1.07 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - Default X-plane by Laminar Research
  2. Scenery Review : Miami City XP by Drzewiecki Design Call up your inner Sonny Crockett and lets blast through the cityscape to South Beach, all vice in Miami Vice. Yes I remember it well, all the pastel suits and sock less shoes... and all to a brilliant rock soundtrack. Yes we knew how to live in the 80's, it was all style and substance. Cityscapes are to a point a new thing to X-Plane, the first was actually a Parisian scenery that came from FSX, and it was very good if in the wrong scale. But one of the first dedicated X-Plane cityscapes was from Drzewiecki Design with Miami City that was released as far back as in September 2012. So this Miami City XP is not actually new, but updated and reconfigured. The original was okayish, but was quite heavy on the graphic engine, or on the sort of lame power you had back six years ago, it had also a strange boundary line that was highlighted pink that took a few years to be fixed, it was a shader issue, but it was distracting... otherwise from that the scenery has sat in my Custom Scenery Folder all those years, and yes it was used quite a lot, but it still was heavy on the framerate in every time you wanted to use KMIA - Miami International. So you are going to be really curious of how the new version stacks up. First views of Miami are spectacular, as this cityscape is a far cry from the original view, but there are various changes in the years that have done this total transformation, overall you now see how far we have come in X-Plane as a simulator... cityscapes were the simulator's weakest aspect, to a point it still is, but we are finally getting there.... but we are slightly getting ahead of ourselves. Installation Download is via an installer, and Drzewiecki Design provide an installer for both Windows and Mac... here I am using the Win version. Make sure if you have the original DD Miami City scenery then remove it, you also have several options to use other third part scenery (say Nimbus - KMIA) or the lite versions with the Miami City XP scenery, and they cover three airports with KMIA - Miami International, KOPF - Opa-Locka Executive Airport and KTMB Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport. Second option is to use the Photoreal textures under the scenery, and with this you have four options of both combinations, with either all showing or not, just the lite airports and no Photoreal, or the Photoreal and no lite airports. Once selected DD installer will install the scenery and manuals into your custom scenery folder, and it will ask you finally if you want to reset your .INI scenery order, of which I don't want to because I have already a lot of custom ordered scenery. If you want to change your options then just rerun the installer. Resolution As with all Drzewiecki Design sceneries you have to consider the resolution setting. There are a huge amount of objects in the scenery and they all take a lot of processing power to achieve the desired result. Another factor is the autogen, and you will need your autogen (World Objects) set at the maximum setting. All images in this review are supplied at the Texture Quality setting of "High"... in that setting you have a graphic load of 4525 Mb, which is borderline for any 4K Graphic Card (below left)... Bump it up just one setting to "Maximum" (below right) and the graphic load is now a whopping 11296 Mb and killing even my 8K Graphic Card. So the MAX setting here is for only the fortunate few... I always stay in the HIGH setting anyway, and obviously can't change settings mid-flight, so we are stuck with the HIGH setting and the average quality. The differences here are really minuscule anyway as we will see. Miami Beach The Photoreal textures are very good, but are lighter and a little overexposed as all these photo textures usually are (which is what I don't really like about these photo images as they can clash with the default textures)... .... and where there are spaces you get those bright flat buildings, but overall the Photoreal here works fine... From Bal Harbour all the way down to South Beach on the Miami Beach island is fully represented, the scenery goes far south to Key Biscayne and so the coast coverage is very long and even impressive, and on the inland coast the scenery is covered all the way down to Pinecrest. Miami City I see a lot of new Miami City skyline buildings that have been added into the scenery, and it is now actually quite comprehensive in the number of buildings that are now included. If you have DD's New York City scenery you will know what to expect here... There is a slight dullness to the buildings and in a many cases the detail is a bit smudged, we are going for efficiency here and not detail, like with New York even if you rack up your texture quality it still isn't absolutely detailed but again a smudgy outline of the details.... at the FULL Maximum setting it looks like this.... .... obviously marginally better, but still not what you would call a purely detailed object or anything close to the great detail of Laminer's own Landmark series, but then they usually only supply a few buildings whereas here you have a full spectrum of the city skyline. One surprising omission is the old waterfront "Miami City Hall" (white square below) as it is a significant landmark and also still missing are the important Art Deco District and Miami Seaplane Base. But overall the city skyline works very well and for the scale it is quite light now on your framerate. The biggest change here is not the the work however of the developer. But of the autogen system of X-Plane11 itself. The original Miami City scenery had virtually no help at all that left the buildings almost isolated in the background, it worked to a point but not to the effect of what is required for VFR flight. If you know your autogen buildings then you can see the huge contribution the autogen is making to the scene, mostly in the medium buildings and urban aspects... ... the clever trick from the developer is merging the two areas together as a whole, and at Miami you see that aspect in it's full glory, and very, very good it is. And this tool was always the ultimate goal in creating or perfecting excellent and efficient X-Plane cityscape vistas. Only problem is that if you go past the autogen boundary then the visual changes are not pretty, and certainly with those overexposed photoreal textures... ... but this is an X-Plane limitation, not the developers, and I am hoping that the better processing of Vulkan/Metal will allow Laminar to move on beyond these limitations. This is really on how it used to be, so again the sheer contribution and changes that we have had in X-Plane here shows it's worth, and put it all together and the vista is pretty impressive. Only blight on the whole scenario is the depiction of Dodge Island, which is basically just a huge wharf in the middle of Biscayne Bay and here it is absolutely flat and only surrounded by shipping... yes it is also really relatively flat with mostly just low lying warehouse buildings, but where are the distinctive cranes and the loads of containers to fill out the spaces, it looks awful for such a center piece of an area. It is also a real head scratcher as well because Drzewiecki Design did fit out the similar wharf area in their Seattle City scenery very well. Nighlighting The Miami City lighting is very good. In reality it is trick lighting that highlights the main city areas from below and lighting the buildings to sort of glow, it works well from a visual aspect and I like it a lot... .... arrivals and departures are spectacular and very realistic from this Miami, as you feel you are coming and going from a highly active area. Airports As noted there are three lite versions of three airports included, including KMIA - Miami International, KOPF - Opa-Locka Executive Airport and KTMB Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport. KMIA - Miami International From a distance KMIA looks quite good and detailed and fits in very well into the surroundings... .... get closer and the "lite" becomes very apparent, as the poor resolution textures are really quite average. The custom quality airbridges (Marginal) jar also heavily against the poor resolution textures and all look more of an addon than part of the building, it feels so bland down here... .... so why didn't DD use far better resolution textures just for the airports, crank them up to deliver a punch at a higher resolution setting or at least give the airport a better quality, as the overall framerate hit would have been negligible in the larger picture, so in this case if you have another 3rd party KMIA scenery or even a good default Global Airport, then both are far better options than this. HDR lighting on ground textures do produce the wet effect, but it works oddly here and certain areas stand out with other dry areas, so it is noticeable in certain conditions, not really very good either. KOPF - Opa-Locka Executive Airport Opa-Locka is slightly north of KMIA and 10 miles (16 km) north of Downtown Miami. Again overall KOPF blends in really well with the surrounding scenery... it looks good if nothing else. On the ground it is again pretty bland at the "High" setting, as textures are heavily blurred with no detail and with a few statics thrown in. I have a KOPF from seven years ago that is better than this, so KOPF in here is barely a pass. KTMB Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport Kendall-Tamiami is 13 miles (21 km) southwest of Downtown Miami and is marginally better. The new extended runway 9R/27L is also included here. I am still trying to work out what the mess is in the eastern side of KTMB, it is not the custom scenery however, but the autogen gone mad? Again the textures are quite average and X-Plane had these sort of visual airports way back 10 years ago and X-Plane9, we have moved on a lot since then... but to use as a working scenery then Kendall-Tamiami is not to bad of the three. KFLL - Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and KFXE - Fort Lauderdale Executive are not included in the scenery. One aspect west of Kendall-Tamiami is the edge of the Photoreal (sic) because although for a large part of this custom scenery the autogen hides the join, but here it is highly exposed... ... it isn't pretty either and even amateurish on the pronounced edges of the scenery, again X-Plane has moved on from this sort of average detailing, and blending it in or even correcting the colour balance would have certainly helped out the cause, and it spoils an otherwise great immersive scenery. Summary This is an updated version of Drzewiecki Design's original Miami City XP release from 2012 to X-Plane11. In context a lot has been added in to this XP11 version in objects, but overall it requires the detailing and high setting of the built in X-Plane11 autogen to complete out the vista. In this aspect the scenery is very good and even good enough for VFR flying. With the actual Miami City and Miami Beach areas they are well covered here, but don't expect much detail as with the famous Art Deco District, Miami City Hall and Miami Seaplane Base are all completely missing and the central Dodge Island wharfs are simply an eyesore. So detail is not the high point here, but just a plausible city skyline. Photoreal teaxtures are included, but they are as much a hindrance as a benefit, good while buried under the autogen, average when exposed, and if more refinement had been given to the Photoreal in colouring and transparency edging it could have been a far more a realistic scenery. Three "Lite" airports are included including KMIA - Miami International, KOPF - Opa-Locka Executive Airport and KTMB Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport. But overall with the HIGH texture setting they are all quite bland and basically average, even dated as old by today's standards, and we know that Drzewiecki Design is more than capable of far better airport scenery. So considering the time the scenery has been on the market and it's original age, this is really an average upgrade, worthy enough to help out with the area around Miami with say a good third party KMIA,-Miami International, but in reality it is not really up to the mark of the quality we expect for the X-Plane simulator, at least the buildings at night are now lit for nice night arrivals, but overall this Miami City XP is not up to Drzewiecki Design's usual standards. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... Miami City XP by Drzewiecki Design is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Miami City XP Price is US$25.00 Scenery Features Fully compatible with X-Plane 11 Complete area of Miami including Miami Beach, North Miami, Coral Gables, Key Biscayne etc. Whole area photo coverage with autogen, roads, railroads and other X-Plane native features Hundreds of custom-made city buildings with photoreal textures Up-to-date airport layouts Each airport includes HDR lighting Requirements : X-Plane 11 (not compatible with XP10) Windows, Mac, Linux 4GB VRAM Video Card Minimum. 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Current and Review version: 1.4 (June 19th 2019) Download Size: 800-900MB Download and Installation Installation : Download file size is 789.90Mb and an installer provided will insert the scenery into your X-Plane - Custom Scenery Folder. Installed file size is 2.20gb. Package comes with installers for both Win (.exe) and Mac-Linux, and be sure you download the correct version for your system. You can option on/off both the Photoreal and Lite airports, recommended with a 3rd Party KMIA - Miami International Extras and Documents: Miami City XP MANUAL.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - Russian.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - Polish.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - English.pdf ______________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton 28th June 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) 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 1Tb 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 v1.10 US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - Default X-plane by Laminar Research
  3. Scenery Upgrade : UBBB Baku and City XP v1.3 by Drzewiecki Design When Drzewiecki Design released their Baku and City scenery for X-Plane11 it caused me very mixed emotions. This was a scenery I really wanted and to use as it filled in that exotic location criteria, plus just in being on the edge of the eastern European boundary it wasn't too far away from any major European airport gateway either. In the first aspect it was a great scenery, but overall it was the conversion aspects (UBBB Baku was originally a FSX scenery) to X-Plane that just left the scenery feeling a bit too empty.... The full reference review is here: Scenery Review : UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City by Drzewiecki Design So here is Drzewiecki Design's v1.3 of the Baku scenery (v1.2 was a small update) and I was wondering if it would be just more of the same, or will DD now bring to the scenery more to the dynamics of X-Plane than the dullness of FSX. First views of Baku v1.3 was that it still sorta looked the same, but in reality it certainly is not. Early emptiness was created by using a lot of photoreal textures, and these were very good... from the air, but they were very tabletop flat when you got closer to the ground. They are still there, but the extra Azerbaijan whole-country photoreal is now not an option anymore, and mostly because it ruined the great original X-Plane default textures (in other words this is X-Plane and not FSX and you don't need them). Another relevation is that Drzewiecki Design has now inserted the area's autogen and in that development in also hiding the worse of the flat aspects of the photoreal from the ground perspective, and so it now works very well as it spreads right down the coastline and all around UBBB and especially on the approaches and departures from Runways 15 and 16 which are now excellent with the autogen now filling right out to the northern coastline. And another important fix is that the actual X-Plane11 UBBB Airport "Location" layout now actually exists... .... the original is on the left, and the fixed working version is on the right, and this is a great start of getting UBBB to a condition we require. With the airport's layout done, there was another area fixed as well... ATC routes! and if you have ATC routes, can also now have WorldTraffic3 ground routes... Yeah! I will admit that the biggest turnoff for me with the Baku scenery was simply no airport activity. In the original release I could have lived with everything else, but no activity mean't that UBBB was a very empty and sterile place to use and so I didn't add it in to my usual route choices. That is not the case now as you can generate those important WT3 routes, but it still comes a little quirk. If you want your Baku full and active your only choice is to use the "Autogen" flights? Yes the AFRE flights work, but because there is so little flight data on the AFRE you will get only minimal activity, it works if you want that aspect and it helps to have the static aircraft option switched on as well to fill out the aprons, but overall the Autogen option is the one to use. Tower view is sorta fixed as well... it is now set at the right coordinates, but it is still set too low? The left image is the tower view setting, and the right image is where it should be.... but it is far better than looking at a carpark. Nice tower as well. Newly added into v1.3 is the nice curvy 747-8 maintenance hangar and some static Embraers in Buta Airways livery... ... and the detailing up close is very good, and it is a very welcome addition. The extraordinary Terminal 1 (International) is now even better with now HDR effects in reflections and detailing, almost all the glass and metal framework feels more realistic, it deserved far better in the original release. Another area covered is the lack of ground clutter and animations... now there is great clutter with the correct airport branding GYB as well... ... animated truck, buses, luggage carts and vans all work across the airport, there isn't a lot, of a lot of animated vehicles but they are still very welcome. A new addition to the terminals is SAM - Scenery Animation Manager. The plugin now works here with both VDGS and Marshallers... All gates on both Terminals are active, and Marshallers are on all the remote stands. SAM has been around a few months now and you would expect the areas of gate elevation to be now sorted? Obviously not so and it is annoying... but I am still a big fan, big surprise is that DD don't use the animate hangar doors option, as the onsite Silk Way maintenance hangar is an obvious choice Besides the better HDR glass reflections, the runways/taxiways have had the same dynamic wet look treatment... ... the effects brings out the nice and realistic textures, very moody... but excellent. Another big criticism of the release version of Baku was of the airport lighting... the main Terminal one was very good, but everything else around it was to be desired. Biggest missing area of illumination was all the apron lighting (it was quite weak), and that has been handsomely rectified. UBBB at night now looks brilliant. More so is the fact you can see the airport from a distance.. and it is now not just a black hole between two runways. Terminal 1 looks glorious and simply bathes in light.. .... with Terminal two it is another transformation in that the apron lighting disguises the inadequate FSX lighting. The airport's entrance to the terminals infrastructure is now also more realistic (in other word you can now actually see it) and the cargo ramps are perfectly workable and would even now coax you all the way out here for a night time freight run. Areas are very well lit and the new maintenance hanger drop down lighting is really nice, and it is in nice contrast with Terminal 1 in the background. It is highly debatable if coming to UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev is now best at night, certainly at dawn or dusk than in the daytime, this is now an excellent night period experience. Baku City Part of the package is the city of Baku itself... Yes we had issues with that as well. This was again the very same photoreal textures that created flat spaces around the custom city objects. I grabbed the default S-76 to have a look. Again the restricted autogen reach means that the Baku city at 25 km from the airport is what works around UBBB does not work in the city... First views are very good, with the autogen doing a very good job, even if it is SoCal housing, and you have a lot of urban industrial as well... ... but once you get to Baku city, it all sort of peters out to just residential housing (again SoCal), and so the custom Baku objects in places are islands again on a photoreal underlay... .... so it doesn't look like a capital city, and in fact looks odd with the low flat housing and the stand out custom objects, in areas it is still plain empty. So it is a real shame really as the autogen does such a great job outwards, but fails inwards of where it is also needed, and obviously the city is not that great for VFR flying, but still consigned to just being an outline on the horizon for approaches and departures. A point is that is this a Laminar Research issue or a developers issue, my guess it is an Laminar issue as I find this aspect a lot in these near city areas. Azerbaijan Airports The original six airports in regional Azerbaijan of UBBL Lenkoran (In X-Plane as UB10?), UBBG Ganja, UBBN Nakhchivan, UBBQ Qabala, UBBY Zaqatala and UBTT Zabrat. have mostly been pulled. They were very average anyway, but I still thought they could have been enhanced more rather than simply pulling them out... Two are still usable in UBBG Ganja and UBTT Zabrat which is near UBBB. The UBBG Ganja (left below) is now a global airport and quite good, but you will have to clear the apron of trees before you use it? UBTT Zabrat (above right) is basically untouched in the update. Summary My first reaction to Drzewiecki Design releasing their Baku and City scenery for X-Plane11 was of excitement as it's position globally which is great for interesting routes out of Europe and the eastern Mediterranean ports which is a growing area of X-Plane activity. First views was that this is a great airport with very interesting terminals... but overall UBBB was an empty and stale place with just a straight FSX to X-Plane conversion. Personally I had fears that this v1.3 update would be just more of the same. My negative list in the review was quite substantial, but this update has crossed almost all of them out, and added in a few nice additions that takes UBBB Baku forward immensely. The missing airport ground layout.. fixed, missing ground routes... fixed, lighting... fixed, empty photoreal textures... fixed, and on it goes. All the fixes also go forward more than that as the fixed ground routes will now support WorldTraffic3 with some amending in that the AFRE routes out here are pretty thin, so the "Autogen" is required to give you an active airport, static aircraft "on" also helps in filling the place up. The lighting fixes are the biggest improvement and the airport is now one of the best for lighting and use, and the photoreal textures have been covered over by some great autogen, although it doesn't work quite as well in the central city area of Baku. Additions to v1.3 are excellent as well. All glass and ground textures are now all HDR with reflections (Glass) and Wet Surfaces. SAM - Scenery Animation Manager is also now active and usable and there is now more branded ground clutter and animated vehicles. A new large modern 747-8 maintenance hangar also adds into the scenery. The changes here in v1.3 all sum up to a scenery that was interesting, but boring to... a huge up jump to be the one of the best in this category... in reality this should have been the original release version, but for those that paid out then, then now they get their money's worth, and for the rest of the fence sitters then why wait any longer to get a very active and interesting destination in a new and upcoming area of X-Plane activity... five stars on getting it right for Drzewiecki Design, they did really good, but more importantly they listened and changed the Baku airport to the needed requirements... (now) Highly Recommended. ______________________________________________________________________  The UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City v1.3 by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : UBBB Baku Airport and City XP Price is US$23.00 Features Extremely detailed model of UBBB Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku UBBB with 3D people, high quality static aircraft, up-to-date airport layout Advanced interior modeling (Terminal 1, tower, Silkway hangar) Baku city with hundrieds of custom-made landmarks with night textures HDR lighting, detailed markings, static aircraft Animated jetways, VGDS, marshallers (SAM plugin) Custom-made UBBB airport charts included v1.3 features - upgraded Baku city autogen - much better HDR lighting at UBBB - new animations and other details - new 747-8 hangar and static Embraers in Buta Airways livery - SAM plugin support for jetway animation, VGDS and marshallers - airport aprons with reflections and rain effects Requirements: X-Plane 11 Mac, Windows or Linux 4Gb+ VRAM Video Card 1GB HD for Installation SAM plugin is required for use of this scenery. Current and review version : 1.3 (June 14th 2019) Documents: DD Baku XP Documents Baku XP MacLinuxInstall Baku XP MANUAL UBBB CHARTS (charts are quite basic in two airport layout charts and two ILS runway approach charts) These UBBB charts are better: http://uvairlines.com/admin/resources/charts/UBBB.pdf Navigraph charts are excellent as well, but you have to have an account. ______________________________________________________________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 18th June 2019 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2019 (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 : Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design This Seattle City XP scenery is one pack of the two packages that cover the full area that makes up Puget Sound in the far north of the American west. The second package covers the main five airports in the Seattle Airports XP Pack, X-PlaneReviews will cover those airports and their details in a follow on review. Obviously the two packages have been created to work flawlessly together to cover all aspects of this significant area and it's very rich aviation history, but if you wish you can still use this city scenery portion with some good freeware airports if your cash flow is not for say "forthcoming", as the whole set of the two packages can add up to the significant cost of US$67.00. The views taken in this review are of the full two packages installed together, so any freeware airport sceneries will look a little different (mostly in the distance) if you have those items installed rather than the Seattle Airports XP pack. Drzewiecki Design have undoubtably become the foremost scenery developers on delivering custom city scenery for X-Plane. Past impressive scenery packages includes their Washington DC XP, New York City XP, Warsaw City XP and their very impressive Moscow City XP scenery, and in that even makes you to actually want to visit such a far away destination as Russia. The major point to make that these sceneries are not just focused on airports or facilities, but whole complete areas including the city itself and the surrounding airports. The trick is that the whole in the full expansive area is to not make your computer burn a hole in the ground beneath itself, but to actually cope with all that extensive processing in that all the sceneries are refined together as that one whole. So there is always going to a trade off between full absolute detail and the best performance you can get with the full package installed, overall I think Drzewiecki Design have delivered an outstanding job in this area, but to note that also still depends on the power of your computer and graphic card. Again the option of the Seattle City scenery and freeware lite airports can help in areas were as your computer is not that powerful and you can still get a welcome use out of the package. If you do run the complete set of packages, then another option is to lower your texture quality to the "high" setting, you lose a little visual quality and get a slight blur but with the size of these city scenerie packages then that setting is usually the normal one... hopefully the coming Vulkan/Metal API changes may allow you to go back up the slider. But the graphic numbers still do count in that 8351mb at Maximum, and 2855mb at the High setting for the complete installed twin packages, it is only one step on the graphic slider, but it is still a very high jump in numbers and small loss in quality. Seattle City XP From the very outset, you have to be aware of what the scenery consists of all the notable buildings and the city infrastructure of Seattle of which they are all very well represented here, but the buildings are quite basic in design with only a few highly customised objects like the iconic Seattle "Space Needle", but there are still 2000 custom-made objects positioned in the city and other areas of the scenery package and the mesh even covers and creates a detailed Mount Rainier. You have to really accept this compromise to get any sort of efficiency out of the scenery, and overall the effects of this approach is very minimal with the best in not only efficiency range and and still get those excellent visual aspects. The actual Seattle custom photographic scenery covers an extremely large area. From North Everett in the north, right down to Federal Way in the south and out east to Redmond. The size and scope of this scenery however catches up with X-Plane's limited basic autogen layouts.... If you say sit/park your aircraft out at KSEA - Seattle Intl. and move your viewpoint over to the city, then the autogen stops quite abruptly just by the Space Needle? (seen here below right), ditto at night as this causes a black hole in the roads lighting networks to the north. Certainly flying over the city has no effect with the full and very effective autogen at your disposal, but landing at KSEA from south at night it is noticeable? Autogen working (below left) and the overall city effect is astounding. The Space Needle itself is excellent with animated lifts running up the external structure and a detailed two level interior. The most detailed area is south Seattle and the Harbor Island docks. Standouts are the two stadiums in "Century Link Field" and "Safeco Field" For VFR flying the stadiums are very best visual reference with their distinct roofs... ... the "Port of Seattle" Harbor Island docks is also very impressive, most scenery developers just add in a few cranes and do not do a lot of the required dockside clutter, but you get everything here and it looks very and highly realistic. Seattle's famous wharf's are all covered with the Pier 55, Miners Landing and the Seattle Aquarium all represented... ... the Minors Landing "Great" wheel is animated, if moving very slowly. The "Coleman Dock" ferry terminal is well done and complete with the boarding gantries... ... and also represented is the Coast Guard wharf. There are available H helipads for Elliott park, Broadcast House Helistop, Komo TV, 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza and Harborview Medical Center. Lake Union with "West Lake" and "South Union Lake" are covered with the Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) building set at the south of the lake. Redmond 17 kilometers or 11 miles east of Seattle is Redmond. The city is the home of Microsoft, Amazon and Nintendo of America and other various high profile tech companies. Mostly in Redmond except for the branded Microsoft Building it is just Hi-Rise buildings, nothing custom, but the city skyline does give you a great visual reference when flying into KSEA from the north or east, I did find a few floating buildings to viewable to the west of the CBD. Federal Way 25 miles to the south (and way past KSEA) in Tacoma is "Emerald Downs" a horse racing center... ... because of it's very visual VFR reference and for any approach into Sea-Tac from the south the racetrack has been created, it is certainly very visual item and well done with the light industry surroundings. Night lighting Drzewiecki Design has decided to light the city areas from the ground and not to use the usual reflective X-Plane lighting, although the street lighting is in place to add in to that aspect. This is a very brave thing to do as to get it wrong and it can seriously ruin a great scenery... but here they get away with that idea and the city looks spectacular. As noted if the autogen is not active, then in certain city areas it can be very dark and ground blank? The Seattle city lighting textures are very good and the city night view is highly realistic... ... The Space Needle looks brilliant, but the Carnival cruise liner is gaudy beyond belief, but the ship is animated and very slowly disappears into the sound. Overall the night lighting gives you a real sense of arrival with a big city feel, simply great views on the northern approaches into Sea-Tac and this is currently one of the best American city sceneries now available for X-Plane11. Summary Part of a two part package from Drzewiecki Design, this pack covers the City of Seattle in the American far northwest. The full Seattle City XP and the combined Seattle Airports XP Pack is quite an impressive coverage of this very exciting from an aviation point of view VFR area. You can if you don't want to purchase the whole package still use this city scenery with other relative local airport sceneries and most probably with the freeware or global versions, and even in that context this scenery will give you a good to very good representation of Seattle. The scenery itself is excellent, if still created with high efficiency in mind, so don't go looking for extreme detailing, but as an overall skyline and for excellent VFR visuals then it is an excellent addition to your X-Plane11 city scenery collection. Laminar Research's autogen is also now showing its boundaries with area sceneries of this larger scale. The autogen's lines and boundaries are now being shown, and lower texture settings are required to get the best overall performance from the scenery and the area. In content the scenery covers all the major attractions and buildings in Seattle, custom buildings and stadiums are included as well as a highly detailed and animated Space Needle, other areas covered include Redmond and the far south down to Federal Way with a detailed Mount Rainier which is also included. Seattle is home to Boeing, one of the biggest aircraft companies in the world with a long and rich history, and so the city is important to represent the area to X-Plane users... this Seattle City XP is certainly an investment, but a very highly regarded one in to which to build the best X-Plane scenery you can assemble into recreating the best flying world around you, either in the smaller general aviation aircraft or the bigger more powerful jet aircraft, flying around Puget Sound from now on with this scenery installed, will never be the same again... only now better, far better. Highly Recommended. ____________________________________________________________________ Yes!... Seattle City XP by Drzewiecki Design is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Seattle City XP Price is US$24.00 Features: Seattle, Washington scenery with over 2000 custom-made buildings incl. whole downtown in 3D plus other landmarks, bridges, stadiums, harbors/marinas, trains, containers and other objects, all with night textures. Mount Rainier is also included. Large scenery area (Federal Way – Everett – Redmond) with night textures and a detailed autogen as well as seaplane bases (W55 and S60) and heliports Highly advanced performance-friendly design Added H helipads for Elliott park, Broadcast House Helistop, Komo TV, 1001 Fourth Avenue Plaza and Harborview Medical Center. Recommended for use with: Seattle Airports XP Price is US$43.00 Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum - 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 1.2Gb Current version: 1.1 (September 6th 2018) Download and Installation Installation : Download file size is 1.12gb and is inserted into your X-Plane - Custom Scenery Folder. Installed file size is 4.34gb. Package comes with installers for both Win (.exe) and Mac-Linux, and be sure you download the correct version for your system. If both the Seattle City XP and Airport scenery XP files are installed then the correct .INI order is required, but the installer will arrange that for you. Extras and Documents: SEATTLE_CITY_XP_MANUAL.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - Russian.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - Polish.pdf Mac and Linux manual install - English.pdf ______________________________________________________________________  Review by Stephen Dutton 7th September 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 v1.09 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - Boeing 737-800 - Default X-plane by Laminar Research
  5. News! - Released! - Double Seattle packages by Drzewiecki Design Drzewiecki Design have released two packages covering the Seattle area. The first package is the city of Seattle itself called "Seattle City XP" and the second package is for the Seattle airports "Seattle Airports XP" surrounding the city. Included is five airports covering KSEA Seattle-Tacoma, KPAE Paine Field, KBFI Boeing Field, KRNT Renton and S50 Auburn. There care over 2000 custom objects covering everything from buildings, bridges, boats to the complete Seattle docks zone. The scenery spans 50 miles from Everett in the North down to Federal Way in the South. Seattle City XP Features Seattle, Washington scenery with over 2000 custom-made buildings incl. whole downtown in 3D plus other landmarks, bridges, stadiums, harbors/marinas, trains, containers and other objects, all with night textures. Mount Rainier is also included. Large scenery area (Federal Way – Everett – Redmond) with night textures and a detailed autogen as well as seaplane bases (W55 and S60) and heliports Highly advanced performance-friendly design Seattle Airports Scenery Features 5 high quality airports included: KSEA Seattle-Tacoma, KPAE Paine Field, KBFI Boeing Field, KRNT Renton and S50 Auburn in the most up-to-date versions possible, including the new International Arrivals Facility and Satellite terminals at KSEA and the new passenger terminal at KPAE. Extensive though performance-friendly internal modeling including Boeing Everett Factory (the whole assembly building with 747, 777 and 787 assembly lines), both delivery centers of Boeing (at KBFI and KPAE) and all terminals at KSEA. Autogates, VGDS, many custom animations, advanced lighting Highly advanced performance-friendly design KSEA Seattle-Tacoma KPAE Paine Field KBFI Boeing Field KRNT Renton S50 Auburn Obviously both of these Drzewiecki Design packages are to be used together, but you get a lot of acreage and modeling for your money... Seattle City XP - US$24.00 - Download 1.2Gb Seattle City XP Seattle Airports XP - US$43.00 - Download 890Mb Seattle Airports XP Total Seattle package cost is US$67.00! and personally I have never seen any area in X-Plane that has been covered so widespread and so detailed as both of these packages provide and overall I think you get a lot of value and investment for your money... Both Seattle Packages are now Available from the X-Plane.Org Store (links above) Images are courtesy of Drzewiecki Design ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 22nd August 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  6. Scenery Review : New York City and NY Airports v2 XP Part One by Drzewiecki Design This New York City review are three separate sceneries that are combined as one whole to cover the New York Tri-State area in the United States of America. These three sceneries are: New York City XP New York Airports v2 Volume 1 (KJFK - KLGA - KTEB) New York Airports v2 Volume 2 (KEWR - KCDW - KLDJ) All sceneries are to current X-Plane11 standards (you have to update NYC XP if you have the original version) and are developed to interact with each other to create a full perspective of New York. First off with the three packages purchased (there is discounts if you already have the v1 versions) is quite significant at US$84.00, so yes you will expecting a lot of return for that kind of expenditure, but you can buy one or two and add in more later, but you would also expect a full package price as well for the three NYC packages purchased together. This first review focuses on the New York City XP package with Part Two focusing on the Airport Packages in Vol 1 and Vol 2 Before we even purchase any of the sceneries there is another big point to consider, and it is more relevant to the main New York City XP segment than the two airport packages. Framerate? I ran for many years the Aerosoft New York X scenery converted to X-Plane, it was very good in detail, but the scenery had a huge and heavy pull on my framerate and then combined with FunnerFlight's KJFK it broke my computer's spirit to framerate hell and usually right down into the single digits. So mostly New York was off my regular routes, I just couldn't simply fly into JFK. So I approached these sceneries with a bit of trepidation. And another earlier issue was that earlier Drzewiecki Design airport (and city) sceneries had a bad pink tinge all around the sceneries edges that didn't look very authentic but that issue has been fixed here. So here is the problem with large urban areas like New York, London, Los Angeles and so on. Great in the idea, but totally horrible in use and the ease of flying into and out of these iconic cities. Even if the custom scenery was very efficient then the huge native autogen downpull usually did you in anyway. Your only option is to dial your autogen back to barely nothing and leave huge swathes of blank areas in your viewpoint, or you just don't bother flying there... which really defeats the whole point. Thankfully autogen has got more efficient in X-Plane11 and computers are now faster and far more powerful, so these cities are now more of a possible and than in the past of being simply totally impossible to use. ___________ Which brings us to New York City XP. Sensing overload I set my X-Plane graphics "World Objects" slider to the more efficient Medium setting and my texture quality to my usual High setting. On running the scenery in X-Plane11 I then found the scenery wanting with too low an object count. But the framerate was far better than I expected. So the point is to get the maximum benefit of this NYC XP then you will definitely need to be able to run the scenery with the "object" slider set to "Maximum" and that is asking a lot, but the texture quality is not as important unless you want absolute high detail. This Drzewiecki Design scenery is certainly highly efficient as at those above settings as my graphic card only hit 3341gb, so I doubt you are going to better that anywhere else, but you will still need a bit of power to cover the large autogen base required here and just one notch higher in the "maximum" texture setting wipes out my 8gb Graphic card at 8572gb. That said in my (medium texture) settings here I still achieved between 30fr to 24fr depending on the viewpoint and all the images in this review reflect those set settings, so NYC XP IS useable and flyable and so are all these NYC sceneries and for what you do get in visual terms is quite extraordinary for the sheer amount of objects on display here, but I will note that in processing this monumental amount of numbers I sometimes found a sight catchup shudder in viewpoints like out of the side of the cockpit or cabin windows, or if you pan the horizon with the autogen at its most complex. New York City XP This is in reality the original release of the DD New York City XP scenery, but it has been upgraded to version v1.6 to intergrate with the updated airport sceneries and to use X-Plane11 effects, so even if you already have purchased the NYC XP scenery you will still and it is a good idea anyway to upgrade to the newer v1.6 version. To get a the full depth and aspect of the scenery I flew the S-92 Sikorsky by DMO right around the city in the important VFR reference, with departure from Newark and then first flying up the Hudson River to the George Washington Bridge and then looping over the rear of the city to come back down the Harlem/East River back to Battery Point, Manhattan. It is a very cold early New York morning and as I can't adjust xEnviro's engine for a more pleasant summer's day, so we will have work through the gloom and it is however very atmospheric in look, feel and very realistic. Departure from Newark - KEWR is misty, but a quick look over my shoulder and I can see the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that has been modeled to separate the outer New York Lower Bay from the internal Upper Bay. There is a crucial point to make here. The whole New York area (Tri-State) has been completely covered with Photo-Terrain or Orthos (with the full set of packages). So they create an excellent VFR aspect when flying over the scenery. All the edges of the rivers and inlets and ferry terminals and can all be seen and easily recognised and the custom ortho is far, far more highly detailed than X-Plane's native mesh. To highlight that point here is the Bayonne Energy Center and Fuel Terminal at Constable Hook, New Jersey with the Port Jersey Global Terminal in the background. They are not, detailed, detailed... but they do give you a perfect representation of the area and are excellent from the air, however a few New Jersey Port Cranes would have given the area a bit more realism. Upper, Upper Bay is of course the Statue of Liberty with Ellis Island set out behind the Statue. Detail up close of the Roman Goddess called Libertas is not extreme (my texture settings are set only to high) but you are not going to exactly walk up all the steps to the torch either. The view of Jersey City in the background is very well done, as most New York sceneries only deliver the Manhattan Island side, but the Jersey side is just as important to give the scenery its full scope. Past Libertas is the iconic Manhattan itself, The lower tip is Lower Manhattan, but that point is a misdemeanour really as the area has some of the largest and highest buildings in the city. 9/11 changed the tone and feel of Lower Manhattan, as the Twin Towers have now been replaced by the one "One World Trade Centre", and here in the scenery it is very prominent and well done, but the older buildings like the Woolworth's Building, One New York Plaza, Federal Reserve, Union Banks and City Hall are all noted. The World Trade Complex really dominates the Lower Manhattan area, with the surviving 4 World Trade centre and the newer 3 Trade Centre are also noted. The Twin Tower (Reflection) pools are there, but the new Fulton Street Complex is still visually under construction, Battery Park City is also represented ... Overall it is a very good and accurate representation of the area, but to note that this is New York, and there are a few (okay a lot of) mega thin vertical cities under construction, ugly or not, this is the New York visual of the future. Once you pass Lower Manhattan you cover the relatively flat SoHo/Village areas. You are not going to get very detailed buildings and in fact look quite ugly up close, but they are the correct shapes and and totally create the correct vista of the area, it certainly feels and looks like New York. All the Hudson River wharf's are there including the Pier 25, Pier 40 Stadium, but a real disappointment was the missing Aircraft Carrier Intrepid Museum? That brings us to Mid-Town. This is the core of New York and the city's heart. Front and centre is of course the "Empire State Building" and the iconic "Chrysler Building" is just a few blocks up and over. Prominent is the "MetLife" building at the top of (or the middle of) Park Avenue, but we still know it as the famous PanAm Building right! The huge "Madison Square Garden" complex is very well represented as is Times Square with its electronic billboards. Past Mid-Town, Central Park then divides the city into the Upper West and East sides. The Plaza Hotel is represented but the park itself relies on photo images and many 3d trees and objects, but from the overview visual aspect it does work fine, and it is in fact really good. The area along the famous Central Park side West is noted including the Majestic, Dakota and San Remo buildings but there is a large space were the Natural History Museum should be? Wanted to know where the Laminar Research building is? Well it is right there at the top end of Central Park! Ben Supnic's development offices are on the right top... kidding, as there is no such building in New York... Once you clear Central Park the building density drops away to just urban sprawl as you move over Harlem. This is where the native autogen comes into its own, reduce your autogen and the area goes into plenty of blank spaces, run at the full "Max" (object) settings and the urban fill is very impressive. But up in Washington Heights there are still (some very nice) custom buildings to fill out the area. Looking back to Lower Manhattan from this far up the reach of the Hudson shows how very extensive the scenery is, as it covers in fact a huge area. Washington Bridge is really the boundary of the custom scenery, but the autogen goes on far further to complete out the scene. There are a few odd old approaches on the bridge and are noticeable, but thankfully situated below and not above the span, GW bridge itself is excellent and a good landmark when arriving in the area from the west. Cutting over the back of Manhattan the view is certainly very impressive, it has been a long time coming, but now X-Plane can finally have these sort of expansive sceneries to use. Over the Harlem River and into the East River and the area is dominated by blocks of tenement building, mostly bland in detail but still realistic. The Queensborough Bridge over Roosevelt Island looks very authentic, but close detail shows it is created more for efficiency than detail, looks good though. Next is the United Nations complex, the administration building is surprisingly very detailed and looks very good in the right lighting... New York needs a lot of power... Consolidated Edison Inc power-station provides it and that power plant is situated on the East River. The more basic steel Williamsburg Bridge is up next and the twin-tier design is very well reproduced here... The twin bridges of the Manhattan Bridge and the most famous bridge in the city with the Brooklyn Bridge are next and both are very realistic, although the top walkway on or over the Brooklyn Bridge is not represented. Reaching the Lower Manhattan area completes the Manhattan Island circuit and I will admit it was very impressive and very good for VFR flying. Again I flew out over Jersey City and to the west of Manhattan. Moving over New Jersey confirmed the long reaches of the autogen that again filled out this huge urban landscape, as noted it is important that both the custom and the autogen do brilliant work together here, it is in reality a culminant of a dream of what the developers of X-Plane were aiming for. One aspect in custom can only do so much in filling in these huge city urban areas, but the added resource of the built-in autogen then delivers the rest, it all works here very, very well. Lighting As you would guess in that the lighting of New York City is going to be no easy task... and that answer is a big yes and a slight no. Thankfully the main Lower Manhattan and Mid-Town building lighting is very good, if excellent, but Drzewiecki Design are very good at this as noted in their Moscow scenery's office buildings, and at least it doesn't all look like that dreadful 2004 Flight Simulator block lighting, as I totally hate that look and terrible visual feel. So in the main it looks excellent at night. All the bridges are well lit and look spectacular close up and from a distance. Mid-Town is like Lower Manhattan but the rest of the areas in between are quite dark, it passes the mark, but it could have been better in respect to these areas? Away from the centre of the city there is a lot of custom lit buildings, but the autogen needed to work harder in filling in the urban night vistas, but it doesn't quite do that job quite as good as it should do... A little bit of help with the scenery comes with the expanded lighting feature in X-Plane 10.20, it does create a wall to wall urban nightscape that works very well here... overall you won't be disappointed on any arrival in New York City in the darker hours, in fact it is quite sensational. Summary By getting to this point in the review you would now understand the sheer size and complexity of this scenery (and we haven't got to the six airports yet!). So there is a lot of visual aspect and detail in here. You will also now understand that why this scenery does require still a few compromises to run with at least some working headroom, unless you have some sort of computer that could run weather data. Overall we have to run this scenery so most of us can actually use it and that means the area to suffer here is texture quality, but as you can see in that yes some buildings are not at all detailed and just look like blurry blocks, but at least the view is good and in good lighting or weather conditions this issue is not a real problem as this scenery is really just about creating a visual viewpoint than a totally really detailed street by street reproduction of the city. The point to remember is that only a few years ago, city scenery like this was dream, and now like here it works, in another few years with say Vulcan and even more powerful processors then the full texture quality will also be achieved as well, but having the Object settings set at "Maximum" is crucial to making this scenery work together with the native autogen, if your computer can't achieve that setting and performance then you would be simply wasting your money. All the major New York icons and buildings are in this scenery and so are the important bridges as well including the important Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Washington Bridge that notes the size and coverage of the scenery. Pretty well every tenement building and high-rise building is noted in here and to the correct shape and height, but they are approximate in detail more than exact, but it all does give a very good representation of New York and its surrounding boroughs. There are a few things that were missing in here that would have been a nice to have. The New Jersey dockyard cranes are a really big surprise in their absence as they are very visible from virtually every approach to New York and especially as they are close to KEWR - Newark Liberty. The missing Natural History Museum on Central Park West is a "what the" moment in that it leaves a hole in the ground but also mostly breaks the areas line of tall buildings almost down to zero too early. And the missing Intrepid aircraft carrier museum is another blank area that was an easy fix? and some ships at wharfs would have been a nice touch. This review is part one of two reviews with the six airports in KJFK, KLGA, KTEB and KEWR - KCDW - KLDJ in the next edition. You don't have to purchase all the packages to enjoy this New York City scenery, but it certainly helps in getting the full aspect and the full use of the New Your area. So overall there are a few compromises, but this is a very efficient but outstanding visual scenery of New York City, and in reality it is the sort of scenery we dreamed of having in X-Plane only a few years ago... now it is here and it is all very, very good it is as well. Highly Recommended. _____________________________________ Yes! New York City and NY Airports v2 XP by Drzewiecki Design is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : New York City XP - Price is US$36.00 New York Airports v2 Volume 1 (KJFK - KLGA - KTEB) - Price is US$24.00 New York Airports v2 Volume 2 (KEWR - KCDW - KLDJ) - Price is US$24.00 Features (New York City XP) Scenery features: 2500sq km area with high resolution (30cm-1m/pix) ground textures with autogen, including Jersey City, Newark and all 5 boroughs of New York Over 6300 custom, photoreal buildings from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Jersey City and Newark Numerous heliports in the area including four detailed heliports Highly advanced performance-friendly design, numerous optimization techniques Perfect for general, business and commercial aviation as well as microlight and helicopter flying Fully compatible with New York Airports XP by Drzewiecki Design Requirements X-Plane 11+ (or X-Plane 10) Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Video Card - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 1.4Gb Current Version: 1.6 (Last updated Feb 19th 2017) If using all three v2 packages together in 2 x Airport and NYC then the New York City XP needs to be the updated v1.6 scenery package version. Installation (New York City XP) Download scenery file size is 1.34gb. With the full installation installed package is 3.41gb in your custom scenery folder. The New York City XP comes with an installer for Windows, but a manual install information .pdf is supplied. This requirement is mostly for the order of scenery folders with the added in airport packages, if only New York City XP it is only a one folder install. Documents Both install and information manuals are included. NY_AIRPORTS_XP_MANUAL Mac and Linux manual install - English/Polish/Russian ______________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 26th April 2018 Copyright©2018 : X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) 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 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - S-92 Sikorsky XP10 by DME (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$19.95
  7. Scenery Review : Moscow City XP by Drzewiecki Design You fly for hours, anticipating your arrival, wanting to take in the area and the views of another country far away from your departure airport. The airport and the area you leave from is detailed and visually full, and you know you have a great airport scenery waiting for you at the other end of the flight, then when you arrive... ... Nothing, but flat plain emptiness and the same boring standard X-Plane basic scenery, worse there is no OSM (Open Street Map) data in the tile either, so there is no road or autogen detailing in there as well, just well nothing. When Drzewiecki Design released their UUEE Sheremetyevo Airport XP, I loved it because it was like a visitor from the Cold War past, the Soviet era, and it was also great scenery and great choice of a destination to fly to from any of the capitals of Europe... but that was it, just this great airport in the middle of nothingness, bland.... zero ville. Now Drzewiecki Design has released "Moscow City" a scenery package to compliment their UUEE Sheremetyevo, and boy how much a difference this release has done to this totally boring area. To get the full first impression effect I flew JARDesign's A320neo from EFHK Vatnaa, Helsinki to UUEE Sheremetyevo which is flight Finnair AY153 which is a daily 9.25am service. First Impressions I was surprised to start picking up scenery still quite away out from central Moscow, as I approached my 6000ft transition altitude. Here there was buildings and houses and the physical visual notes you were arriving somewhere. Looking hard at the horizon through the A320's windows and you could see the iconic silhouette of Moscow city. The scenery provides lite versions of all Moscow's Airports, this is UUWW Vnukovo, which was easily recognisable as you flew over. As you fly closer to the centre of the city the density of the objects below becomes quite heavy as the landscape fills in. You have all kinds of infrastructure including, blocks of flats, tower blocks, factories, housing, skyscrapers and almost everything that makes up an urban landscape, in all there is 2000 custom-made buildings that makes up this impressive scenery. A note here in that you don't get that rolling as you move feeling effect where as it just suddenly appears in front of you and then quickly disappears behind as soon as you have flown out over the area. There is a slight effect of that as there has to be, but only in the far distance and as you can see from the images the views in every direction are widespread and visually it is very good to excellent. The "Seven Sisters" or "Stalinist skyscrapers" built from 1947 to 1953 are all in the scenery with their "Wedding Cake" architecture or officially Russian Baroque - Gothic style. Most famous is the Moscow State University, front and centre of the image below. Central Moscow is excellent and extremely realistic, and you really need a travel guide to pick out the landmarks and detail, but it is hard to miss the Red Kremlin complex and St Peter's square from the air. Both sides of the aircraft is visually full until you have crossed right over the city. I am not a fan of the generated 3d OSM scenery, but this is very good in blending in perfectly with the X-Plane default scenery and giving you a smooth transition from country to urban and back again with great realism. Over the city and turning north towards Sheremetyevo, another Moscow airport UUMU Chkalovsky is represented on the turn. The city skyline is now easily visible on landing at Sheremetyevo, and that really helps in the arrival factor, more so in that the cities building infrastructure spread now comes up and around the airport to fill the gaps to the city itself, and making the original Sheremetyevo scenery that was so open and lonely in the old X-Plane view is now a big part of the whole in this combination. No doubt it really brings this always good scenery now alive and very usable. Sheremetyevo Airport Before we move on to the city itself. It is important to note the area around UUEE Sheremetyevo itself. Compare the large image above to the earlier image at the start of this review to see the amount of change there is around UUEE Sheremetyevo with the addition of this Moscow City package. The two sceneries are of course meant to be used together, and in reality it would look odd if you had Moscow City scenery installed without the Sheremetyevo scenery included to fill out the northern areas. A highlight is that both sceneries together form a single whole, as the areas between the airport and the central city area are well filled in and that gives you a huge area of coverage and the full visual aspect. To get a closer lower look at the Moscow Center I commandeered Dreamfoil's lovely Bell 407. There is a 4.000km² total area covered with this scenery here, and you have expect some sort of building replication to cover all that ground. There is of course but as well in the fact there is also enough variations as to not keep it all interesting and not obviously visually obvious. The closer you go to the central area, the variations in the buildings change there in style and density as well. And then more of the iconic buildings start to appear as you get closer in again to the middle. The business district is excellent, with a lot of business towers and the more modern futuristic skyscraper architecture that stands out in every view point in eye scans across the city. The more recent is in tune with the more older Stalinist era that makes up the Moscow skyline. The Kremlin Complex and the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed (St Basil's) is excellently represented and so is "Red Square" There are Orthodox churches everywhere and all the big icons in the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Grand Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium, Otkrytive Arena and department stores, museums and power stations and more.... I did have issues with many buildings floating, including the Kremlin. I tried both "Runways follow terrain contours" on and off with no flattening of the objects and there is no information in the manual either on how to fix the problem. Night lighting is very good, yes there is again a repeatable pattern to the majority of the hundreds of the apartment blocks that does stand out, but the more individual buildings do all have that personal touch and some buildings look really very good. The highlight here is the business district which looks magnificent and is very realistic from any direction at night as is the lit Stadium. Although away from the central area the Ostankino Tower that stands 540.1 metres (1,772 ft) tall, and is the tallest freestanding structure in Europe and it looks great at night and is a very good position indicator from the air from any direction. Included Moscow Airports As noted also included in the scenery are seven airports and several helipads. UUWW Vnukovo The futuristic Vnukovo International is very good for a lite version, with great terminals and lots of small detailing. Only thing missing is the static aircraft and a bit more ramp equipment, but otherwise it is highly usable. UUDD Domodedovo The oldest of Moscow's International airports is Domodedovo. Again it is quite devoid of static aircraft and I am not crazy about the blue terminal glass work, but it is still a very workable scenery to use and has a lot of well made objects. UUBW Zhukovsky Zhukovsky was a major aircraft testing facility since the cold war years, with most of the major Russian Experimental Design Bureau's having facilities here. It is also now used by the Ministry of Emergency Situations! and cargo carriers. It was also used as a test site for the Soviet Buran reusable Spacecraft because it has the world's second longest pubic runway at at 5,402 m (17,723 ft). Mostly it is a collection of very large hangars but has a lot of static aircraft in storage. UUMO Ostafyevo International Business Airport A former military airbase. Ostafyevo features a new modern glass terminal, and caters primarily to business aviation. UUMU Chkalovsky Chkalovsky is a military logistics airport that is famous for it's support for the Russian Space program and transport to Star City and the Yuri A. Gagarin State Scientific Research-and-Testing Cosmonaut Training Center. Yuri Gagarin left here on his final flight before crashing by the town of Kirzhach. UUBM Myachkovo Airport Myachkovo is a small General Aviation Airport that is owned by the Finpromko company. Cargo aircraft up to the size of the Ilyushin ll-76 freighter can also use the airport. UUMB Kubinka Kubinka has been a significant Russian military airbase and large airshows are held here to show off the Russian military might. There is also provided UUU1 Kremlin Airport, within the Kremlin walls, but I couldn't get it to work? There are two pads in H1 and H2. Summary Your first thoughts after reviewing this excellent Moscow scenery is not with this actual package. You then wish that you could have this extensive scenery at London, Rome, Madrid, Berlin and the list could go on with any of your favorite European Cities, and don't count a load in the Middle East and Asia. But a London scenery like this would certainly be a godsend in our X-Plane world. Drzewiecki Design has already done Warsaw and Manhattan, so there is always hope. It is not cheap either and you need to add in their UUEE Sheremetyevo scenery package on top of that as well. But you get an awful lot of ground covered here for your money, with the area covered here that is extensive... huge and flying into Moscow will never be the same again. A few areas to note in one that in my case a few of the buildings floated, the download is huge load at 1.4gb and this Russian area is not the best for navigation aids and programming FMS units as most waypoints are not recognised. Most of the airports ILS coordinates also have to checked and recalibrated (Drzewiecki Design do provide all the correct coordinates) so there is a little work to do to set up repeat services but the work is worth the results. Not only is the actual Moscow city and all it's buildings supported, you also get seven (if lite versions) of Moscow's other airports included as well, but the framerate processing of all this huge amount of objects and scale is pretty good to excellent. Framerate does hurt more on a lower (helicopter) level and certainly you need a computer with a little extra power is in no doubt required, but overall for the size of the area the scenery is extremely efficient. Yes I was impressed by this Moscow City Scenery, as this once very barren area of X-Plane is now a very attractive repeat destination as nothing can give you a greater fulfilment than seeing your destination appear in the distance and then give you a huge visual experience as you fly over and approach your destination. Moscow City certainly delivers that and more... Just more sceneries like this please! _____________________________________________________________________________________ Moscow City XP by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Moscow City XP Price: $36.00 Scenery features: Extremely detailed model of Moscow metropolitan area in Russia Almost 2000 custom-made buildings and other objects, all high quality, FPS-friendly and with night textures Whole Moscow center done in 3D as well as all other important landmarks - museums, palaces, skyscrapers, towers, bridges, railway stations, Zara stores... Trains, ships, 3D people, cars, airport vehicles, static aircraft - anything you can imagine About 4000 sq.km of photoreal 0,5-1m/pix terrain with autogen Sceneries of all surrounding airports including UUWW Vnukovo, UUDD Domodedovo, UUBW Zhukovski, UUMO Ostafyevo, UUBM Myachkovo and UUMB Kubinka, with all airport buildings, detailed layouts, people, airport vehicles and more Very detailed Kremlin model with newly constructed heliport Fully Compatible with UUEE Moscow Sheremetyevo XP by Drzewiecki Design Requirements X-Plane 10.50+ (any edition) Windows, Mac, Linux 1Gb VRAM Video Card - 2Gb+ VRAM highly Recommended Download size: 1.8Gb! _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the Moscow City XP is 1.47gb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Custom Scenery" as four files: DDZ Moscow City XP (3.99gb) - Yes GIGABYTES! DDZ Moscow City XP Layer 2 (30.20mb) DDZ Moscow City XP Documents (1.0 mb) ZZZ_DDZ Moscow City XP Terrain (20.10mb) Installation for Windows comes with an .exe installer that deposits the files in the correct order required (however I still moved the ZZZ- folder to the bottom via the INI text install list. Installation Instructions are provided for Mac and Linux You need to check all airports ILS coordinates are correct, instructions are provided. Documents: Two documents include Moscow City XP MacLinuxinstall Moscow City XP Manual (seven pages) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 26th September 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 10.50 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 - Airbus A320neo by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$59.95 : A320neo Sound Packs by Blue Sky Star Simulations (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95 - Bell 407 by Dreamfoil Creations (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$34.95
  8. City Scenery Review : Washington XP by Drzewiecki Design Channel your inner Frank Underwood and build your own "House of Cards'. Go all out to "Own this Town!" as this town is Washington D.C, the powerhouse of political power and runaway egos. And now you can with the release of Drzewiecki Design's "Washington XP" and the XP denotes this scenery is for X-Plane. I was immensely impressed by Drzewiecki Design's "Moscow City XP" scenery, but Moscow isn't exactly close to most of your local routes, unless you are Russian. But Washington is very handy. I am on a bit of a crusade on supporting city sceneries. They are strange creatures in the fact they don't really do anything in an active way like an airport scenery does, they are quite frankly just nice visual aspects to admire and absorb while you fly. But they are in context as much as an important contribution to the simulator as the airports and aircraft themselves than everyone takes for granted. Worse I have seen that this area as one of the real points of neglect in X-Plane and mostly by developers, as there is simply no point in having one of the best sceneries you can buy next to a major city, and no visualization of the city to introduce you to the airport... for me that sense of arrival or the point of departure over a credible landscape is just as important as any other factor of simulation. In this area X-Plane has been very poor, and it is even to barren to far worse in Asia where you land to an open flat lifeless world. Another point is that the actual city scenery has to be good as well, a few nice well positioned tall buildings is not a city built, as each city has it's own very unique character with outlined skyline and that character has to come through in feeling and with a visual statement. For Drzewiecki Design they seem to have taken up the niche of creating credible city sceneries. With New York, Miami, Warsaw, Moscow, and now Washington, so how good is this latest city in Washington in adding to the collection. Installation: There are a few notes on installation and so we will cover that area first. This review is run in X-Plane11 with the object settings most set to the highest positions. So if you can do this then I recommend that. Framerate is actually very good for the insane amount of objects on show here, and newer more denser X-Plane11 autogen is a huge advantage in the visual aspect of the scenery, so I recommend X-Plane11 to get the full visual impact of the scenery, also to note that "runways follow terrain contours" select-box is turned on. There are two types of download with an Installer .exe package for Windows and Folders for Mac and Linux. The folder package has to installed in the right order to work correctly. The Windows installer is very good. First you have to agree to Drzewiecki Design's license agreement. Then select either X-Plane10 or X-Plane11 and then you have a choice to either have static aircraft in the scenery on or off. You can return here later to turn off the static aircraft if you wish to not have them displayed in the future. Another note was that I didn't see the option of where to install the scenery if you have more than one copy of the simulator on the desktop? Installation is DD Washington XP layer1 and DD Washington XP layer2 in that order with the DD Washington XP Documents (Manual) in no really important role on the install, if you want you can remove that folder. Drzewiecki Design does also have an objects library in "000 Drzewiecki DesignLibrary" that I already have installed, but there are no notes if that is required here? Washington XP The scenery package comes with the city scenery of Washington D.C. and its iconic buildings, including the Capitol Building, The White House, Supreme Court, Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson Memorials, Washington Monument, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Castle and for "Get Smart" fans the "International Spy Museum"! and altogether there are 1500 custom-made buildings incl. whole downtown in 3D plus other landmarks, bridges, stadiums, harbors/marinas and other objects. Airports are included as well with: KDCA Washington National Airport (Ronald Regan), KADW Joint Base Andrews, KCGS College Park Airport, KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport. Helipads included are: White House, KJPN Pentagon Army Heliport, KBOF Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Sibley Memorial Hospital. First Impressions My first look at Washington lived up to one of the area's names in "Foggy Bottom"... The city is known for it's murky dealings so it felt actually appropriate. No doubt X-Plane11 can now create a very atmospheric feel to X-Plane. But I suppose you would want in this review a more clearer view of Washington. City Overview Great X-Plane autogen allows for virtually no boundary between the actual scenery and the installed scenery, so the overview of Washington is spectacular. And efficient as well, as I was getting 40 frames with this view. So your first impressions are "wow", yes the Washington scenery is this good. In any scenery of this scale there has to be some sort of realistic expectations. Nobody more than me would like detailed suburbs and local elements recognised and displayed, but that is not simply possible... well not yet anyway. But the underlying OSM (Open Street Maps) maps built into the X-Plane simulator do really help here to define the city in its structure and feel, and here it works for you very well. Most Capitol cities have a defining iconic location and in Washington it is "The Mall". Your city scenery can hinge on just one area to represent the iconic view of the city. If it succeeds then the whole of the scenery succeeds, but get it wrong or create it with poor textures and your scenery is going to fail. In this Washington XP view of the mall the viewpoint is beyond successful and in the right light like above it is very realistic... impressive. The Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Capitol Hill are perfect, as is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the approach. A note that Drzewiecki Design has not added in the 14th Street bridge but simply allowed the X-Plane traffic to flow freely on the autogen bridges, I think this is a wise choice here, as it looks more natural in context. All the Mall's buildings are individually detailed and created, including all the Smithsonian Museums and Castle. The Federal Triangle, U.S Navy Buildings, National Archives Building and most Washington downtown buildings have been reproduced. Noted they are not detailed, detailed here but they are very good representations of the buildings. Both Libraries of Congress (John Adams in the foreground) and all the governmental buildings that a capitol requires is included. One building that does standout however is the Washington National Cathedral far in the distance up west of downtown Washington. Capitol Hill Think of Washington and the icon it is most known for is Donald Trump's hair... No not him!... The Capitol building on Capitol Hill. And the reproduction of the Capitol Building is very impressive. There is a lot of work in this building, detailing is excellent, extremely realistic even at close quarters, I love the copper roofing on the Representative and Senate Houses. This is outstanding design. The White House Another Icon is of course the White House. Until as many note Trump ruins it, "The White House" is the most famous building in America, some say Graceland (Elvis Presley) in Memphis is now more famous but the design is the same colonial age anyway. The famous "West Wing" is well produced, and the Navy One is sitting on the North Lawn ready. Overall the same excellent design as the Capitol Building and it is photographically perfect. You can also visit the Oval Office to collect your own "Make American Great Again" cap from POTUS himself. West over the Potomac River is the Pentagon, Pentagon City and Crystal City with the Arlington National Cemetery also shown. The Pentagon is also perfect, and the reproduction of office buildings and apartment complexes behind the complex do a great job of filling out the scenery. A big mistake from most city scenery developers is they do the central Icons which is fine, but without these skyline buildings and towers the scenery can look empty, but that is not the case here as the more mundane areas that mostly make up cites are also addressed as well. So overall the Washington centre is excellent in every area, a flyover is a must. KDCA - Ronald Regan Washington National Airport The main airport included in the package is the central Ronald Regan Washington National Airport. I still call it "National" as that name was originally "Hoover Field" but from 1941 it was always Washington National. Both of my most favorite approaches is north and south into RWYs 01/19, they are exciting and visually very good, they can be challenging as well if the weather is poor, which it is most of the time. Sadly Washington's other major airport in Dulles is not included in this package, but it is available on the X-Plane.Org and details are below. DCA is excellent, but doesn't have a lot of X-Plane special effects like animated airbridges or vehicles. There is however a lot of objects on the ground and that does at least fill in the scenery that could have felt empty and bland. Main DCA terminal has been well recreated in pure 3d modelling, with real see-through glass and a built in walk through interior. The terminal's historic intriguing roof structure is very well done both inside and externally, so it looks realistic. Control Tower is great as well and looks correct. Tower view works... just, only don't look up for the struts showing in your view. But the runway views are fine and that is important here, as the approaches are worth the excellent views over the city of Washington. Overall DCA is very good, and a worthy addition to your collection. Additional Airports Other airports included in the package are: KADW Joint Base Andrews, KCGS College Park Airport, KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport. Helipads included are: White House, KJPN Pentagon Army Heliport, KBOF Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Sibley Memorial Hospital are all positioned over the Potomac in Maryland southeast of the central Washington area. KADW - Joint Base Andrews Andrews AFB is the entry and departure point for not only POTUS (President of the United States) but incoming heads of state or delegates, so the airport hosts and is the base for 89th Airlift Wing with both the Air Force Ones in VC-25A's which are modified 747-200B's (Serial SAM28000 and SAM29000, SAM is Special Air Mission) and the Boeing C32's (Boeing 757) Air Force Two aircraft. It is not just the main governmental aircraft that are based here but all the logistic aircraft also required to transport the higher governmental heads and brass. And chances are that if an alien attack did head for Washington, then no doubt the fight as noted in numerous Hollywood dramas will start and possibly end on this base. Considering the sheer scale of the importance of Andrews AFB, the airport is quite stark. Mostly the scenery consists of a selection of large hangars on both sides of parallel runways 01L/19R 9,300ft (2,835m) and 01R/19L 9,755ft (2,973). Both VC-25A's are noted here, but there very little else in aircraft or equipment. Certainly not a bustling Airforce or Naval base. Note the ajoining Golf Course, Washington GA Airfields All the smaller GA airfields have grass and are fenced in. Small additions to the extra scenery, but with great benefits here. All building/hangar textures are not high quality and have a low resolution, but they are workable for scenery usage. All the fields are quite picturesque and are well worth visiting. KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport Both airports in KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport or Hyde Field are parallel and right next to each other. And so it would be very easy in not mixing them up and using the wrong runway? But W32 has the larger runway of the two at RWY 5/23 3,000ft (914m) long were as KVKX is RWY 6/24 2,665ft (812m) long. And both are part of the "Maryland 3" airports located within the Washington area with KCGS Collage Park below. This is the D.C. Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ), in that these airports are subject to the Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) restrictions imposed by the FAA after the 9/11 Attacks. W32 Washington Executive Airport The biggest GA/Exec airport of the GA fields. Not much here but a few hangars and offices. Also known as Hyde Field it was originally an Army aviation training field, and it still has the older style military buildings, but it is no gleaming executive facility. KVKX Potomac Airfield Potomac Field is only 1.10 nautical miles (1.27 mi) west of W32 and was formally known as "Friendly". Not much here except some storage hangars and parking areas. KCGS College Park Airport College Park Airport has an interesting history. The field was established in August 1909, and civilian aircraft began flying from College Park Airport as early as December 1911, making it the world's oldest continuously operated airport. In 1977 the airport was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The field was also used to develop and test the first radio navigational aids for use in "blind" or bad weather flying. This was the forerunner of the modern Instrument Landing System used today by aircraft. Runway is 15/33 2,607ft (795m) long, but has significant lead in areas on both ends. There is a museum reproduced here on site called the College Park Aviation Museum that first opened to the public in 1981, and houses antique and reproduction aircraft associated with the history of College Park Airport. The museum was updated in September 12, 1998, and includes a 90-seat auditorium, a non-circulating appointment-only library, gift shop, museum offices, and a replica of the original 1909 College Park Airport hangar. There is a spare Naval Seaking on the other side of the field. And rail lines along the boundary gives the field some action. Scenery Lighting Night lighting in most city sceneries are mostly average, and yet this view is important. The Washington XP lighting is between very good to fair and fine if you don't get in to close for detail. Thankfully the main Washington monuments are well lit, so that is a huge benefit to the overall night time view of the city. For the city's buildings it is not bad, but not very imaginative lighting either, so "workable" is the main thing that comes to mind. Overall the city's lighting is slightly dull or dark. Pentagon and Crystal City towers are not bad in being more realistic, but thankfully default traffic lighting does help throughout the whole scenery. KDCA at night is average. The ramp areas are well lit... But the terminal is in... "Terminal Darkness" and not very realistic. Drzewiecki Design's night glass textures have always been bland, as they are again here. Mostly flat and dull and quite unattractive, it is overall at DCA average lighting and not very imaginative or diverse. Summary Looking at the broad-strokes then Washington XP is absolutely excellent, a must have scenery in your collection. You get a lot of area covered for your money as well as the full area covered includes McLean – Newington – Cheltenham - College Park districts, and the main central Washington downtown area. All the iconic buildings are well covered here with important Capitol Hill and The White House as standout sceneries, the Capitol Building itself is a major classic piece of work. Airports are well covered with KDCA, Andrews JBA and smaller W23, KVKX and the famous College Park, but no KIAD - Dulles. The most significant point of city sceneries is just a simple fact... visual. To convey a feeling of place or area, and in this main point the scenery succeeds perfectly. Now on any approach to DCA you will be transfixed by the views around you, This scenery completes and makes Washington now one of the great arrivals in X-Plane. I can't expound a more powerful point in why these sceneries are so important to the simulator, because without them, you have no sense of place or being in the X-Plane world. Flying aircraft is what the simulator is of course all about, but the dimension of real world realism in where and in the moment visually as you fly to has a huge bearing on the full experience of simulation as well. So support city sceneries and your X-Plane world will be far more better place with them than without them. Positives : Excellent City Visuals, All Washington Icons and Monuments are included, Great Frame-rate for the mass of objects included, many important surrounding areas are also included, overall great value. Negatives : DCA not bad, but Andrews is a bit bland, Night lighting at DCA is average and overall the city could be brighter, Smaller airport textures are a more lower resolution, No X-Plane animations in vehicles or airbridges. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Washington XP by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Washington XP Your Price: US$30.00 Scenery Features: Washington, D.C. scenery with about 1500 custom-made buildings incl. whole downtown in 3D plus other landmarks, bridges, stadiums, harbors/marinas and other objects, all with night textures Large scenery area (McLean – Newington – Cheltenham - College Park) with night and seasonal textures and a detailed autogen Detailed scenery of KDCA Washington National Airport, with terminal interiors, detailed ground markings, static aircraft, native X-Plane reflections etc. Lite sceneries of KADW Joint Base Andrews, KCGS College Park Airport, KVKX Potomac Airfield and W32 Washington Executive Airport with custom-made all airport buildings and realistic ground poly layer. Many helipads and heliports including White House, KJPN Pentagon Army Heliport, KBOF Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling, Sibley Memorial Hospital and more. Recommended for X-Plane11 for more advanced features. Requirements : X-Plane 10 or X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac, Linux 1Gb VRAM Video Card - 3Gb+ VRAM highly Recommended Download size: 600Mb Framerate is excellent for the density of the scenery, but still subject to computer system standards Installation and documents: Download for the Washington XP is 555.30mb and the unzipped files are deposited in the "Custom Scenery" X-Plane folder... DD-Washington XP Layer1 (1.75K) DD-Washington XP Layer2 (1.50GB) DD-Washington Documents (Manual) Note... scenery must be set in that above order to work correctly, full Windows .exe installer is included (Install noted above) KIAD - Dulles is available from the X-Plane.Org (Free) here : KIAD - Washington Dulles International Airport 3.3 Static aircraft can be switched on or off via the installer. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 30th March 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 11b15 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90
  9. Scenery Review : UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City by Drzewiecki Design The tales of the "Arabian Nights" is intertwined with the feel and place of Baku in Azerbaijan. The Arabian Nights stories are also originally known as the "One Thousand and One Nights" and the tale of a ruler called Shahryār, Ruiling in the 8th century over Persia he is shocked to discover that his brother's wife is unfaithful; discovering his own wife's infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her executed: but in his bitterness and grief decides that all women are the same. And so Shahryār begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. Running out of Virgins then Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion of this tale, postpones her execution once again. So it goes on for 1,001 nights. With the translation into English of the tales of Scheherazade, is the stories you have heard at school or watched on Disney including Aladdin, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, The Seven voyages of Sinbad and many others. Over time the images that are created by these stories are also imprinted on your conscious including a golden city in the desert, a fort with flags adorning the turrets and huge men with massive curved scimitar blades or Shamshir swords standing guard and at the whims of their rulers, Persian might at the central crossroads of the world. History is a place to create and to visit, but overall to feel a time and a certain imagination of a world now long gone. But in Baku, Azerbaijan it is mixture of everything, first is that Arabian Night feel as there is an actually a real fortress still sitting out there in the sands of time, but now surrounded with glitzy new age glass sparkling towers as notes to our modern era. The bazaars are still full of goods as they were in the days of the Silk Road trails, as Baku was a major stopover point in the travelers journeys from East to West. Its culture was created on the countless back and to invasions by the Persians (Iran) and the Russians over the centuries, until Azerbaijan had its independence in October 1991 after the Soviet collapse. Oil is the main growth profit creator, but tourism is also huge business and the city is now wanting more a lot more, European more, Chinese more, American more as the new Dubai of the new world order. No I am not working for the Azerbaijan tourist agency but you can see the attraction of a place to fly to that is such a kaleidoscope of contrasts, and only a few hours flying from central Europe. LOWW - Vienna to UBBB Baku - First Impression So the best place to start our review of Baku was in Central Europe, and Schwechat LOWW airport in Vienna (Wien) in Austria. AXDG has done a nice job of Schwechat and their latest version 1.1.1 now has working boarding gates. The distance between central Europe to Baku is around 1,500nm, or 3-1/2 hours flying time between points. You can easily fly a single aisle A320 or B737/B757 or Twin-aisle B767 but I am using the A330 by JARDesign as it is the right size and speed for the leg. The early morning traffic jam means that the departure from Schwechat is slow, "I'm burning fuel waiting here". Once clear of the traffic we can stretch the A330's legs, altitude to FL356, and .m84 means we go high and fast. The route covers Hungary, then Romania and then a third of the flying is over the Black Sea. (google maps) Until you hit the coast at Georgia and then finally Azerbaijan with Baku on the eastern side on the Caspian Sea. It is far from being a boring flight, with the Romanian Carpathian Mountain ranges (left) then the coastal lands of Romania (right). The arrival in Georgia brings up the magnificent Greater Caucasus Mountain ranges that you follow all the way over to Baku. It is a spectacular arrival. You slip out over the Caspian Sea to arrive from the south as Baku is set out on a peninsula. You do a large circle curve around to GOBUS which is the southern approach STAR that give you access to runways 34 and 35, but note that most charts note RWY35 as RWY36. Baku City itself is 20km southwest of the airport, and you can see on the horizon the distinctive buildings of the city. The Drzewiecki Design scenery comes with the option of using either of two sets of ortho images of which one version is 8m/pix in detail of photoreal coverage (with mesh) for the whole country of Azerbaijan and most mountain ranges nearby. I choose not to use the lower resolution, but the standard one and it is visually perfectly fine without the framerate hit of the far more detailed version that is more usable in the VFR rule role of flying around Azerbaijan, but that option is there if you want to do that. The photoreal images do make for a spectacular arrival, but they are flat. And because Azerbaijan is way out of the area for a detailed OSM (Open Street Map) data there is very little default autogen to give you a 3d aspect of the scenery, fine from above but the scenery can be flat on the ground. Heydar Aliyev Airport is positioned just slightly inland from the coast, but visually it is a great approach. I am using RWY35 which is on a slight angle to RWY34, so you have to be careful that you get your lineup with your chosen runway correctly, it can be slightly confusing from a distance. You cross over the Mardakan Highway (Airport Rd) on the final's and it makes a visual working treat. To the right there is a large Silk Way maintenance hangar and other infrastructure and on the left the old and new terminals give you a distinctive Islamic feel. Runway and taxiway detailing and marking is first rate, I really liked the dusty sand look on the taxiway edges. But it is a fair taxi back to the terminal area from the top of both RWY 34 & 35. There is a slight feel emptiness around the airport but there is a little and very good static aircraft like the great IL76's, but once in the terminal area itself and at the gates you are pretty well on your own. My gate (12) sits as part as the impressive new Terminal One that replaced the original Soviet era terminal, it is all glass and steel and very well replicated by Drzewiecki Design but the gates are not animated, which is real shame, there are vehicles in the scenery, but they are not animated either. Overall it was a very impressive flight and and a very immersive scenery at UBBB that gives out a really "you in a very different place" feeling, so my first impressions of UBBB are excellent. _______________________________________________ UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport IATA: GYD - ICAO: UBBB 16/34 2,700m (8,858ft) Asphalt/Concrete 17/35 3,200m (10,499ft)Asphalt/Concrete Elevation AMSL 3m/10 ft Heydar Aliyev Airport sits out there like a mirage in the desert, of which it is in a way. It is extremely well done, but you have to take the flat images as part of the deal, but because the detail in the images are so good, it isn't really an issue. Formerly Heydar Aliyev was called Bina International Airport by the name of a suburb in Baku. On March 10, 2004, the airport was renamed in honor of National Leader Heydar Aliyev, the third President of Azerbaijan. The airport is located 20 kilometers northeast of Baku, connected to the city by a modern highway, which was put into operation in 2008. It is the busiest airport in Azerbaijan and of the Caucasus. The airport serves as the home base for flag carrier Azerbaijan Airlines and its subsidiary AZALJet as well as freight carrier Silk Way Airlines. (wikipeda) Everything hubs around the two central terminals, and they are both excellent with not only fine detailing but a lot of the airside fill with carparks with 3d cars and great tree and fauna arrangements. Terminal 1 The four-level engineering concept of Terminal 1 was developed in July 2010 by Arup company, with a tricorn shape and semi transparent roof. The total building area is 65,000 square meters and the interior was designed by Turkish company AUTOBAN which has a series of oak-veneer 'cocoons'. Terminal 1, commissioned in April 2014, has twelve (A1 - A12) aerobridge equipped gates. The terminal is designed for 6 million passengers per year and it currently serves up to 3 million passengers per year. This terminal is a fantastic designed reproduction, detailing of the structure is outstanding and with no doubt a lot of work has gone into recreating this building. It would be interesting though to see all that glass with the new X-Plane11 reflection feature, but it is very well done... and not only the outside. The interior of the terminal is just as detailed and highly walk-aroundable. A great introduction to Baku. Gate detail is fantastic, but empty? It all feels a bit "Just built and the airport not yet opened". There is some gate service vehicles and cargo pallets throughout the scenery but not overwhelmingly so. Terminal 2 Terminal 2, serves serves only domestic flights, was completed in 1989, and has 11 gates (B1 - B11) Very Islamic in design than the newer T1, but very much more in keeping with the areas character. No internal/external design like with T1, but very well detailed around the terminal structures. Older style airbridges are also non-animated. Control Tower and Entrances The airport has a very distinctive control tower that has been well reproduced here. Tower detailing is excellent including the internal control room. There are also two very distinctive airport entrance posts that are also perfectly recreated. But the "Tower View" above is an "Epic Fail" as it is positioned somewhere in the middle of a carpark? Central Area The airport's entrance to the terminals is to the right filled with hotels and administration buildings Highlight is the excellent Sheraton Baku Airport and there is even a Mosque for prayers. There is a huge amount of remote (empty) parking space on both sides of Terminal 1, with a VIP reception on the eastern side. Cargo Terminal There is a huge Cargo/Logistics Terminal at UBBB, and it is a great destination for all the haulers. Local freighter Silk Way dominate, but this area is the best and mostly lively in the scenery. Opposite the Cargo Terminal as we saw on our arrival via RWY35 is the Silk Way maintenance hangar and a private jet or executive parking area. The modeling of the maintenance hangar is again very good and this area is highly usable as well. There is another large maintenance hangar mid-field behind Terminal 1 and various other designed and placed buildings, but there is more of Baku just on the horizon... Baku City Drzewiecki Design has designed most of the major icon buildings of Baku for the scenery. Items included are the Bibi-Heybat Mosque, Baku TV Tower, Government House, Flame Towers, Heydar Aliyev Center, Maiden Tower, Caspian Waterfront Mall, Baku Crystal Hall and the outlandish (still being built) Cresent Hotel Complex. There is also a load of stadiums, highrise buildings and complexes. It works very well from the right angle and height (below left) but closer to the ground it looks quite empty and flat with a few buildings on the plate look (below right). Drzewiecki Design has done a good job to fill in as much as they could do, but you just miss that autogen filler to give the full scenery that complete 3d look from every angle. The whole point is that it Baku looks good from a distance and for arrival and departure, and for that this city scape works very well. Azerbaijan Airports Spread around the scenery are a few light basic airports from Drzewiecki Design that cover the area of Azerbaijan. These airports are just mostly small GA airports but they are handy in exploring the country. These airports cover: UBBL Lenkoran (In X-Plane as UB10?), UBBG Ganja, UBBN Nakhchivan (upper row), UBBQ Qabala, UBBY Zaqatala and UBTT Zabrat (lower row). All are in great positions and a few in really picturesque locations... but. All the airports have significant problems? Five have runways that are over 6000m long? and one with dual major runways in the middle of nowhere? Another in UBBG has trees on the ramp? So they all look ridiculous, which is a real shame as they are highly usable? Only Zabrat has a normal runway and is also visible from UBBB Baku. Lighting Lighting at UBBB is passable, or to put it another way "it won't win any lighting and special effects awards this year". There is enough fill to get around the airport and park, but the original Flight Simulator night textures do show and are basic. Terminal 1 does look good thankfully, and is usable. Terminal 2 is passable. The Sheraton is mostly in the dark, but the Cargo ramps are well lit and are usable at night... just. Approach and Runway lighting is good, but the taxiway lighting is only on a few of the main routes, and it is very easy to get lost with a wrong turn and be stranded. A map is required to navigate at night and don't take that wrong turn! Baku City Again the Flight Simulator textures do show, but they not too bad. The autogen fill in between the 3d objects though is greatly missed. Services Baku is certainly different for your flying, but its position is not too far from Europe and you can easily cover Turkey, Greece and that general eastern Mediterranean area as well. Russia to the north is also a great way to go. AZAL and Azerbaijan Airlines dominate (both the same airline) and they fly as far as New York, London and Bejing in China. There are a lot the Eastern Bloc and a few Russian Airlines but not as many Russian as you would expect, but WIZZ and S7 are highly visible here as is Turkish Airlines. European Airlines are thin on the ground with Lufthansa the only airline with a regular service. Cargo Silk Way Cargo is the main user of UBBB and is based here, but it is a busy cargo hub for Cargolux as well and Iran Air Cargo, and the destinations cover a lot of ports both east and west including Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Frankfurt and surprisingly a lot of rides to Milan. Flight Simulator to X-Plane conversion This scenery by Drzewiecki Design is also available for FSX, MFS 2004, Prepar3d besides X-Plane. There is no doubt the conversion factor and in areas it shows the sceneries heritage, but that is fine as overall it is a great scenery for X-Plane. But the FSX to X-Plane conversion is poor? And really annoying in the fact that most of the items required to make the scenery X-Plane compatible are just so very easily done... so in this aspect it is noted as lazy. There is no X-Plane11 Airport layout? You can select your airport runway and ramp position, but not from the layout section? And that aspect is really needed here. No X-Plane animations in Vehicles or airbridges? There is no built in ground routes so you can't use xLife or the default X-Plane static aircraft or ATC? and there are no ground routes for WorldTraffic either, so all this together makes it a pretty staid place to be. The laziness is expanded to the poor tower view and the super long runways in the extra airport sceneries that renders them useless. X-Plane lighting is thankfully is just passable but not brilliant. And working autogen around the airport and Baku City would be a serious bonus with so much flat Ortho textures. In other words the conversion to the X-Plane platform here is minimal at best. Summary Although the above X-Plane features are poor in this scenery, it still delivers a great destination and a very interesting place to fly to and use. From that aspect it is good scenery, it feels very much like Aerosoft's Keflavik Airport when you are here in look and use and that scenery is one of my favorites. The modeling where it is good like Terminal 1 is excellent, and overall the modeling is very good and UBBB certainly delivers on what you want in a great destination and only a few missed flourishes could have delivered an outstanding scenery for X-Plane. But you do get a lot of scenery for your money, so there is a lot of value built in here. So are you willing to travel to an outpost on the modern day Silk Route, and feel the real Arabian Night tales in today's environment. This Drzewiecki Design is a great scenery to feel that aspect and it is a good scenery to go somewhere different and explore an opening up area of the X-Plane world just beyond Europe and the Middle-East. Flying to and using UBBB Baku is another great tale to keep Scheherazade from her fate, and another story and a great destination to add a very different dimension to your X-Plane flying life. ______________________________________________________________________ The UBBB Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport & City by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : UBBB Baku Airport and City XP Price is US$23.00 Features Extremely detailed model of UBBB Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku UBBB with 3D people, high quality static aircraft, up-to-date airport layout Advanced interior modeling (Terminal 1, tower, Silkway hangar) with native HDR lights Baku city with hundreds of custom-made landmarks with night textures 8m/pix optional photoreal coverage (with mesh) for the whole country of Azerbaijan (~80.000km²) plus ~8000km² of Iran, ~7000km² of Armenia, ~6000km² of Georgia and ~11.000km² of Russia (we followed mountain ranges and other geographical features rather than political borders) Lite models of Lenkoran, Ganja, Nakhchivan, Qabala, Zaqatala and Zabrat Custom-made UBBB airport charts included Requirements: X-Plane 10 fully updated (any edition) or X-Plane 11+ Mac, Windows or Linux 2Gb+ VRAM Video Card 1GB HD for Installation ______________________________________________________________________ Installation The download package is 836.40mb And there is four folders to be installed in your "Custom Scenery" Folder and must be in this order... 000 Drzewiecki Design Library (Installed 32kb) DD Baku XP (Installed 3.43gb) DD Baku XP Documents (Installed 3.3mb) ZZZ Baku XP Terrain (Installed 25.5mb) Windows version comes with a .exe installer with the option to install the 8m/pix terrain. For Mac users the notes are: "If you wish to remove the photoreal terrain of Azerbaijan, navigate to the : X-Plane\Custom Scenery\DD Baku XP\Earth nav data\Without_Azerbaijan_phototerr ...folder, copy all 3 folders that are located there, go one step "up" in the folder structure, to the folder: X-Plane\Custom Scenery\DD Baku XP\Earth nav data ...and paste the 3 copied folders into that folder. This will remove the photoreal terrain. You can easily turn it back on by unpacking the product's ZIP file and overwriting the whole DD Baku XP folder." Documents: DD Baku XP Documents Baku XP MacLinuxInstall Baku XP MANUAL UBBB CHARTS (charts are quite basic in two airport layout charts and two ILS runway approach charts) These UBBB charts are better: http://uvairlines.com/admin/resources/charts/UBBB.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 15th February 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2017 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 11beta11 / Checked install in X-Plane10.51 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery or Aircraft - Airbus A330-243 by JARDesign (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$60.95
  10. News! - Scenery Released! - UBBB Baku and City by Drzewiecki Design Go back 12 months and I would say... "Baku? Where the hell is that!" Well you will be hearing more of this crossroads of the world, as the region becomes more increasingly interesting. My point of view was that the Formula One circus hit Buku town for the first time as the "European Grand Prix" in June 2016 and this place is the middle kingdom of Arabian Nights and future world 2030. All built of course on an endless cash supply of oil. I of course hit the town with my global Formula One flyaway race program and Baku is a great destination and great area to around in with the excellent Caucasus Mountains a great area to explore. To enhance that experience Drzewiecki Design has released a great up to date scenery of this iconic Azerbaijan city. It includes that amazing new UBBB Heydar Aliyev airport and the futuristic new city skyline. Both old and new terminals are represented and the airport coverage is extensive. Internal terminal views are excellent... And those futuristic buildings of the city are just waiting to be explored... Baku is a great new destination just beyond Europe's borders, find it on X-Plane. ______________________________________________________________________ The UBBB Baku Airport and City by Drzewiecki Design is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : UBBB Baku Airport and City Price is US$23.00 Images are courtesy of Drzewiecki Design ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 20th July 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
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