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Scenery Review : FlyCorfu XP by FlyTampa If I ever went to most Flight Simulator forums or any debate about Flight Simulator (P3D) vs X-Plane then one name always came up... FlyTampa. In most cases in the forums the users were usually absolutely loath to give up their FlyTampa sceneries. So no matter how advanced or how many features X-Plane put into their simulator it was always (with a few very good aircraft developers) a major sticking point with FlyTampa sceneries not available in switching over to the X-Plane platform. It is amazing that a developer can have such a grasp of so many simulator users with just good scenery. But in early 2018 things changed very quickly as first Orbix (another FS/P3D staple) announced and published their first scenery for X-Plane and then within weeks FlyTampa also and even quietly with a spoiler announced that they also were going to now release their first scenery on the X-Plane11 platform. That is a game changer for X-Plane. But that FlyTampa introduction announcement into X-Plane also gave me a few concerns? As Flight Simulator developers have had a notorious relationship with X-Plane, as their point of view was that what works very well for them in the FS/P3D sphere will simply work in X-Plane as well, is that a sort of arrogance, and maybe it is. But it also confuses the issue in that most times X-Plane usually came out the bad end of the deal or gets all the bad press in a viewpoint that was in most cases was in their own FS making. So here now is one the big one's, this is FlyTampa and could they get it also so very wrong, if so then the effects could be long lasting to both the developer and X-Plane in certainly not so much in a mortal way, but in a more of a "I told you so" conversation... so there was a lot of apprehension but also a undeniable excitement when I loaded in FlyTampa's first X-Plane release in FlyCorfu XP. Installing FlyCorfu XP FlyCorfuXP comes with both .EXE and .dmg installers for both either Windows or Mac (Linux notes for install is below), you just download the installer you require. I am using the .EXE Windows version. First is the Licence Agreement (You say yes! or I agree) then the provided Key Authorisation number. The next input is your address for the X-Plane11 root folder (not the Custom Scenery folder) and then the installer goes about it's job and extracts and installs three files. These files are: FlyTampa_Corfu_Airport (798.10mb) FlyTampa_Corfu_Objects (111.20mb) FlyTampa_Corfu_zMesh (2.33gb) It is your choice if you want to move the final zMesh files to the bottom of your .INI list, but in reality here it is not needed as there is no conflict with any other scenery, unless you are an administration freak. The fully installed FlyCorfu package is 3.01gb. Corfu Corfu or Kerkyra (/kɔːrˈfuː, -fjuː/; Greek, is the second largest island of the Ionian Sea, and is located at the northwest coast of Greece. (Google Maps) The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality, which also includes the smaller islands of Ereikoussa, Mathraki and Othonoi. The municipality has an area of 610,9 km2, and the island proper is 592,8 km2.The principal city of the island and seat of the municipality (pop. 32,095) is also named Corfu.(wikipedia). FlyCorfu XP by FlyTampa One thing to get clear from the start is that "FlyCorfu XP" is not just "Corfu" in the airport scenery? it is CORFU... in the WHOLE island of Corfu. So this scenery and the underlying mesh provided covers the whole island from top to bottom. To a point this is the fundamental important aspect of FlyTampa sceneries, and why they are so revered, as in you just don't get the airport or the side add-on of say the basic layout of the local area, no.. what you get with FlyTampa everything! This aspect is easier with a complete but self contained island scenery, a landlocked scenery is harder to do as it has to blend in to the surrounding areas, but even with an island scenery and one close to the other islands and the mainland coastline the visual effect of the custom scenery still has to blend in... ... so your first visual clues here with FlyCorfu are actually disappointing, but it shouldn't be that at all. The scenery is so well blended in you can't actually tell the difference between the custom scenery and the surrounding areas, in other words it is perfect, and as there are no vastly different mesh colours here, no badly joined sight lines, it is just the same as you are always used to and as Emilios Gemenetzidis from FlyTampa noted to X-PlaneReviews "in that we did spend a lot of time optimising/customising our work for XPlane" and that aspect is certainly very apparent here. And to note that I have also turned off my environmental special effects here so the view is clearer and more defined. Corfu the city is on eastern inland sea area and about half-way up the island. And as you fly closer the city becomes more detailed... A fly over of Corfu city and the close by airport is an amazing experience, as the scenery is so very well intergrated not only into the surrounding mesh but into the complete overall scenery itself. So instantly one of my biggest fears was discarded in mis-matching textures and mesh collisions, as FlyCorfu XP feels X-Plane through and through. So it was hard not to be impressed, and be very taken by the realism and authentic feel of an arrival at the Corfu scenery as this is one of the best I have seen for a long time. A low flight over Corfu harbour reinstated the quality of the scenery and the very high VFR potential aspect of the scenery. Ioannis Kapodistrias (Capodistrias) International Airport (IATA: CFU, ICAO: LGKR) or Corfu Airport is just south of the city and is set by two lagoons. And my arrival was via RWY 35.... The FlyTampa burb notes both the approaches as: "The approach path to RW35 passes next to the mountainous terrain, which runs along the southern coast of the island, often challenged by strong winds on short final. A few meters before touchdown, the path comes low above the monastery of Vlacherna and the sea bridge connecting the western coast with the famous ‘Kanoni’, which is embedded into the mountain cliffs, at an ideal location for aircraft spotters. RW17 provides an equally thrilling approach amid hazardous terrain. Its path comes low above the ship harbor, and ‘cuts’ though Corfu downtown, with the old city of Kerkyra and its glorious two fortresses standing high on the left" Glorious stuff and yes it is not glossed over, but to be honest I was far too focused on landing the Airbus A319, nice scenery as it is but a lot concentration is required to land here, there are no helpers either in any ILS but there is a DME/VOR (GAR - 108.80 MHz) and a NDB (KEK - 403 KHz) as your only guides into RWY35. The ramp and terminal area is on your right, and "Welcome to Corfu". Corfu City and Island Turn on the X-Plane theatrical and effects and what you get is simply "wow"... Now FlyTampa note the best graphic settings to run the FlyCorfu XP scenery in the manual and that is reproduced here below... This is actually very close to my standard X-Plane review settings anyway, but I put my Antialiasing up to the full 8xSSAA-FXAA (Highest Quality) without any effects, in fact the overall framerate at those settings was 40fr-50fr which is highly impressive considering the size of the mesh scenery, but I was consuming "4134 mb" of texture loading, so only graphic cards of 6gb or higher will get those numbers at those settings. So the overall verdict was that the scenery is very highly refined for use, but those with 4gb graphic cards or lower will have to lose another level in texture quality. To achieve those impressive frame-rates there is a bit of a slight of hand going on here. Most of the building modeling is square or rectangle in a sort of autogen look set out on the photo textures, but don't get me wrong as there are a lot of custom buildings set out in the city scene as well... The effect is highly impressive both ways with excellent framerate, but that unique look and feel is required. The important Corfu icons are all there with the old citadel (in Greek Palaio Frourio (Παλαιό Φρούριο) which is an old Venetian fortress built on an artificial islet with fortifications surrounding its entire perimeter with the "Great Cross", the new citadel or Neo Frourio (Νέο Φρούριο, "New Fortress") is a huge complex of fortifications dominating the northeastern part of the city, the The Old Town and Pontikonisi and on the list goes. What is a Greek island without a port, and here it is done very well with ferries, boats and an excellent detailed Cruise Liner ... ... distinctive Corfu Palace Hotel and the famous Vlacherna Monastery are all represented as well. In most cases with custom scenery the line is usually drawn about here, and once you are out of the main city environs the 3d scenery and hand object placement finishes unless there is a reason to add in say an iconic item... but not with FlyTampa! Every town, every village, every harbour and in fact every single settlement either on the coastline or inland is covered with 3d placement objects... You go from a sort of impressed to completely overwhelmed feeling as you make your way around the islands of Corfu and at the sheer amount of work by FlyTampa in this scenery, and to a point on a scale X-Plane has not seen before without the help of the native autogen. The coastal mesh is very good as well, you have to expect a certain lower resolution with the amount and the size of the mesh used here, but the effects are still outstanding with not only the beaches and rocky formations but the inner sandbanks in the water effect, from the air it is all highly-realistic. Ioannis Kapodistrias (Capodistrias) International Airport Buried just south of Corfu City in Kerkyra is LGKR or Corfu Airport. And it is the only airport on the island. Corfu International Airport "Ioannis Kapodistrias" Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Κέρκυρας "Ιωάννης Καποδίστριας" IATA: CFU - ICAO: LGKR 17/35 7,785ft (2,373m) Asphalt Elevation AMSL 6 ft / 2 m The Corfu airport was founded in 1937. During Second World War it was used by German and Italian forces as a base for transport and fighter aircraft and during the war the runway length was 600m. By the end of April 1949 the length had reached 800m. A further extension to 1260m took place by the end of 1951 to meet the then larger aircraft needs. The next and last extension of the runway began in 1957 and was completed in 1959, with a length of 2,373m. The first commercial flight took place on 19 April 1949 from Athens operated by TAE Greek National Airlines. On 2 September 1950 HELLAS also started flights to Corfu. In 1962 a small passenger terminal was built, which today accommodates the Corfu Aeroclub. In April 1965 the airport became International, with the inaugural overseas flight being operated by Olympic Airlines. The construction of the new passenger terminal began in 1968 and was completed in 1972. Notable Corfu is a very seasonal airport and mostly with charter airlines during the summer holiday periods.(wikipedia) Ramp areas There are ten parking stands at LGKR (no airgates) but stand 1 is 1A and 1B & and there is also a 2A and 2B. The layout is confusing when you arrive, so you will need to consult your chart. There is GA parking in front of the old terminal and across the 17/35 runway there is a large parking apron that will park a B737/A320, but my guess is this area is used as an overflow ramp at busy seasonal times of operations a few private jets are currently in residence. Terminal The single terminal building is now serving nearly 2,5 million passengers yearly is excellent here, I will admit the FlyCorfu scenery is not modern, in a brand new, new in design, it had been created for Flight Simulator after all, but the design here is still first rate, and FlyTampa have used the X-Plane11 reflective glass feature here to great effect on the windows and note the really realistic matrix metal roofing support framework, first-rate modeling. Detailing is simply excellent and the Control Tower is at the northern end of the building. The X-Plane "Tower View" was missed in the development, but FlyTampa note's it will be done in the first update. The airport has custom animated vehicle traffic, from graphic signed buses to baggage carts. They all roll around the aircraft at a nice pace but there is not too much activity zooming around but far enough to make it realistic. 3d object placement in vehicles and airport support ground equipment is again excellent in the sheer numbers and quality, the haphazard parking of the old "Olympic" airstairs and baggage carts is very well done and very realistic... I love detail like that. Fuel depots with supplier signage is also well represented with a large and now isolated aircraft hangar in the background, beyond is a really well done football field. Old Terminal that is now the "Corfu Aeroclub" is there, and there is a lot of very good perimeter surrounding buildings for restaurants and car hire that are very well signed with some great graphic detailing. Runway textures are first-rate, with great variation and tire wear is evident, taxiway and runway signage is also perfect. Like with the terminal glass, FlyTampa have also used reflections on the hard taxiway and runway surfaces which is very impressive... ... Grass! who doesn't love grass for the great effect it gives, and here the grass is really well done and with flowers as well. The grass is however contained just to inside the airport perimeter. And yes there is even animated swans swimming around in the lagoon... highly realistic. FlyTampa have completed the ATC ground routes, so A.I. and X-Life Traffic will work here very well. WorldTraffic3 however is a not as perfect in the way it interprets the built in WED layout. Takeoffs from the RWY35 end is fine when the wind is blowing that way, but landings from the RWY15 end doesn't work as well, because of that turnaround circle at the end of RWY15? (funny enough the takeoff circle works fine with the RWY35 takeoff). The issue is that aircraft land on RWY15 and then disappear as the ground routes end and so slowly the airport empties out? Note also that the airport is quieter in the winter than in the summer for using AFRE routes, so the autogen mode is usually the better of the two. Overall though WT3 works fine. Scenery Lighting To a point the scenery lighting is slightly different to what X-Plane users are used to. That is to the advantage here because you have that mesh of Flight Simulator lighting on the original scenery and the overlaid effects of the X-Plane lighting, it shouldn't work, but it does. LGKR Airport is not a great night operations airport to fly into. There is only the runway (side) lighting and no taxi guide lights either, so you will need good aircraft lighting to work your way around the runway and the taxiways... ... the ramps feel dark in places but where the lighting is it very effective and looks visually amazing, but I feel in front of the terminal a little more lighting would help. The football field is also dark? and it look really great lit up as well. The terminal however looks excellent at night, with great graphic night textures and brilliant signage... first-rate. Corfu City and Island The city scenery lighting is as noted a mixture of the old FS lighting and the newer X-Plane street lighting, but overall it is highly effective. Monuments are really nicely lit and look very realistic on any arrival or departure at night, I was surprised the "Great Cross" was not lit at night as it would stand out across the harbour. Even away from the City centre the lighting is very good. The moored Cruise Ship is a real highlight, as it looks very realistic in the harbour as do the major tourist hotels spread around the city. But visually the more you move away from Corfu the better it seems to get? The limitations of the X-Plane radius lighting is supplemented with the custom placed island lighting that extends the lighting right out in a way of perfection... ... here night approaches are sublime in their visual impact and are extremely highly realistic, could all of X-Plane please be like this? Summary The interesting point to make here is that FlyCorfu XP is like no other X-Plane scenery, not that it is Flight Simulator scenery either but it was obviously built for that platform and in most cases that would then be deprecated for X-Plane. So in reality there is a sort of adjustment in the way you are conscious of what this scenery actually is, as also in certainly the same context as when the other FlyTampa sceneries are released in that they will then provide this same depth of feel and immersion for X-Plane. In what FlyTampa delivers here is really simply overwhelming when you start to try to uncover the full island that has been in context completely modeled or is that remodeled, that aspect then produces another level of realism in visual and operational uses. The really clever part is that FlyTampa has also intergrated in their original scenery so perfectly into the X-Plane native mesh and that is far harder to do than you think it is and then also totally fuse in the X-Plane aspect as well. So you have to applaud the fact that the developers not only understand but have used very effectively all the X-Plane features available to them, and as FlyTampa's Emilios Gemenetzidis noted to me that they tried very hard to perfect and cover those areas for users of the X-Plane simulator, in other words they are also taking X-Plane seriously as a platform and except from say Carenado then how many Flight Simulator developers have done or even said that before. Negatives are very minute, but a little more lighting effects on the ramps and the lighting up football field and the Grand Cross would be nice additions, the scenery when installed is quite large at just over 3gb and from me a graphic card over 6gb or more would get you the full wow effects, but you can easily use a 4gb card at a setting below. The results of all this are spectacular and with the X-Plane effects like lighting and PBR reflections working along with environmental engines and then you are simply getting another level of realism. So yes the basic Flight Simulator elements are all in there in this modeling, lighting and the even with the textures, but with that coat of X-Plane over the top you get excellence and even better you get all of this at a value price of US$26.00. And have you actually looked through the FlyTampa back catalogue? Then do so because FlyTampa are a game changer in scenery for X-plane in more ways than one, because they just do everything in scenery, so very well... so no wonder all those users wouldn't go anywhere without their beloved FlyTampa sceneries, as from this moment on I would do the same as well. Highly, highly recommended! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the FlyCorfu by FlyTampa scenery is Available now from the X-Plane.Org Store here : FlyTampa-Corfu XP Price Is US$26.00 Features: Comprehensive and Ultra-High Resolution Scenery: Complete island with custom mesh, hand-placed vegetation, and 3D lighting Sloped Airport terrain Full coverage with custom buildings and all known landmarks Animated apron vehicles and road traffic Pre-rendered self-shadowing and custom reflection maps Requirements X-Plane 11 (still works with X-Plane 10) Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended For the best high-quality settings a 6gb graphic Card and above is highly recommended (framerate is excellent) Download size: 730Mb Installation Download scenery file size is 645.00mb. With the full installation installed package is 3.01gb in your custom scenery folder is as follows: FlyTampa_Corfu_Airport (798.10mb) FlyTampa_Corfu_Objects (111.20mb) FlyTampa_Corfu_zMesh (2.33gb) .EXE and .dmg installers for both either Windows or Mac (Linux can be used if they can run the .dmg package) are provided for install. Installing Linux is a little more tricky, but a user noted these notes: I found the best solution for installation under UBUNTU 16.04 1 - Create empty X-Plane-x86_64 files in X-Plane.app 2 - Install WINE 3 - Start the .exe file 4 - Enter the specific code. ______________________________________________________________________ Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 9th 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 11.10 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 - ToLiSS319 (A319) by ToLiSS (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$69.00
News! - Released : First FlyTampa Scenery with Corfu As noted on the 20th March "FlyTampa coming to X-Plane11" The developer has now released their first scenery for X-Plane and surprise, surprise it was "Corfu!" Feature notes are: - Corfu Ioannis Kapodistrias (LGKR) airport. - Complete island with custom mesh, hand-placed vegetation, and 3D lighting. - Full coverage with custom buildings and all known landmarks. - Sloped airport terrain (X-Plane only) - Animated apron vehicles, road traffic, and ship traffic. - Animated 3D Ramp workers. - Pre-rendered self-shadowing and custom reflection maps. - SpeedTrees (wind-animated trees) for P3D only. But this is a mixture of features for both the X-Plane and FS/P3D versions, so it will be interesting to see what the scenery really delivers for X-Plane... These are the official X-Plane images... This is the official FlyTampa Corfu Video, but not for the X-Plane version... < Price is interesting as it is far lower at US$26.00 (the FS/P3D version is now the same price) than the original €24 or US$29.61 price point... ________________________________________ The FlyTampa Scenery Corfu is now available from FlyTampa FlyTampa - Corfu (X-Plane) Price is US$26.00 Images and feature details are courtesy of FlyTampa ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 6th April 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
News! - FlyTampa coming to X-Plane11 Only a month after developer FS/P3D Orbix has announced and released their first scenery in X-Plane, now comes one of the other main heavyweights to join them in FlyTampa! The significance of FlyTampa more than the other developers is that they are not constrained to the USA/Europe axis, yes they do deliver scenery for the US/Euro areas, but their OMDB (Dubai), YSSY (Sydney) and VHHX (Hong Kong) are areas not covered by any current developers and these sceneries are the most bootlegged sceneries in X-Plane. FlyTampa has released a teaser image, but that is Corfu Kapodistrias (LGKR) airport. These are the FS/P3D version images not the coming X-Plane images But it does give you some sort of an idea of what to expect? No dates on release yet or of prices, but the FS/P3D Corfu is priced at €24 or US$29.61, but the scenery looks quite complete already... Images are courtesy of FlyTampa ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 20th March 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews