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  1. Scenery Review : KRAL - Riverside Municipal by Rising Dawn Three years ago a small studio released KHAF or Half Moon Bay, for X-Plane an airport is on the coast just over on the peninsula and 18 miles (30 km) south from downtown San Francisco. This was Peter Suranyi's KHAF - Eddie Andreini Sr. Airfield. Usually you do a review and then move on from a scenery, but somehow this little gem of an airfield stuck. In time X-PlaneReviews would do about 40% of our General Aviation reviews from this very airfield, so there was something certainly very special about this high quailty scenery, the extra wide and long runway also helped out in the cause. The XPR review is here; Scenery Review : KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios Great stuff so what is next from Rising Dawn? The airport announced was Riverside Municipal in Los Angles, great! when will we have that....? Well it was a three year wait, a long three year wait but now here KRAL - Riverside is finally released, and it was well worth the extended wait. My first fear was the position of KRAL (or Riverside Arlington Airport originally) as it is set in the large LA basin. The worry is that the LA basin is flat wide and very congested, so if you like your autogen at maximum (like I do) it creates issues in that this area is one of the worst (or best) considering the layout of the extended autogen. Then add in the multiple major airports and KLAX - Los Angeles situated in the middle of all that and it will all grind your framerate down to close to a stutter... But in reality KRAL- Riverside is quite a way out from the central LA zone as it at located about 55 miles (89 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, so although you still have a lot of autogen around you, you thankfully don't get the major LA framerate hit out here either. Riverside is off the San Bernardino Valley in the Moreno Valley in an area known as the Inland Empire. The first runway 9/27 was paved about 1956 and Bonanza Air Lines appeared soon after; until 1969 it and successor Air West flew DC-3s and Fairchild F-27s to LAX, Las Vegas, Palm Springs and beyond. But otherwise KRAL is an industrial aviation hub focused on General Aviation, US DOT FAA administration, loads of pilot training academies and the airport has also been home to Civil Air Patrol Squadron 5 since 2005. KRAL - Riverside Municipal First impressions is on how well the custom scenery is embedded into the surrounding default X-Plane mesh, in parts from low angles it is actually hard to see the scenery from the complex autogen surrounding the field, but in a good way. Riverside Municipal Airport IATA: RAL - ICAO: KRAL - FAA LID: RAL 9/27 - 5,401ft (1,646m) Asphalt 16/34 - 2,850ft (869m) Asphalt H1 - 60-18 Asphalt Elevation AMSL 819 ft/250 m The central focus of RAL is the iconic terminal or really a departure/arrival building and administration facility. The modeling and detail here is excellent, and so highly realistic you can feel the building from a real life point of view (which is the main objective of any good scenery). There is a great blend of materials, terra-cotta roofing shells to wooden set beams and the brickwork in between, it is all here in great detail. Businesses in the building are also well noted with the "Airport Cafe" and "AvTech" FAA/FCC Exams Testing Center are both represented. Glass and reflections are excellent as is the rooftop detail with animated air-conditioning units. Internally the terminal is very detailed as well and with excellent views out, this opacity is very hard to do and most developers get this glass aspect quite wrong... not here as it is simply perfect. One very important aspect of scenery like this is the "walkaround" factor and is it feasible. Here at RAL that believability factor is actually extremely high in exploring the details and the various areas in a "walkaround" context, in other words you can be transported to the airport and actually explore around as if you are at the airport. Half Moon was like that, but there was however little to explore there, but here you could explore around to your hearts content. The scenery is highly dynamic as well... The trees actually move depending on the wind speed, this aspect didn't quite work at KHAF, but the idea has been refined here and it is far, far more realistic... well done. There are birds that twitter and move around on the powerlines and one bird will actually fly around the airport!... quite brilliant, another brilliant dynamic are the carparks... .... overnight and in the early light the carparks are nearly empty, but as the day goes on the carparks will fill up, later in the day they will empty out again until it is again quite empty again, all so very realistic and extremely clever and you have to admire the idea. The same feature also uses people, in the day the airport is busy, but then they all go home at night. There are loads of these dynamic ideas in this scenery than make it a very lively and interactive scenery, we will note more of them as we go along. Riverside Aero Service Second focus area is the "Riverside Aero Service" area, Hangar cum offices cover RAS "JetCity" and "Wilco West Aviation" and the detail is very, very good including a fuel service point. Part of the RAS area is the biggest hanger at RAL... There was a similar hanger at KHAF, but it was quite small, in fact my baby Bonanza F33A could barely fit in there, but in here there is a huge amount of space and easily enough for a private jet to taxi straight in... so the hanger is far more highly usable. The overhead skylights are very authentic and realistic in that inside the hangar can be seen, and here is a lot of small hangar internal details to keep your lovely aircraft nice and airworthy. Also in hangar on the right forward wall is a digital clock that works, another working circular clock is on the veranda of the RAS offices. This hangar is again like KHAF in that it is also highly modifiable to your tastes. Note my lovely logo! There are five choices in Rust (default), Blue, Dark, Red and White for the hangar beams, and choices of ten flags and twelve aircraft posters... .... a photoshop file is provided to make up your own poster or image in 2048x1024 (good high-Def!) in the .png format, you then just replace the object (texture) file... as noted our X-PlaneReviews logo came up brilliantly with great quality and excellent cloth detail. All choices are kept in a separate folder in the KRAL scenery called "RDS_KRAL_CUSTOM" for ease of access and changes. Control Tower and CBU B727F The control tower is the slab sided design that reflected the mail beacon era that is the predominant ATIS at small airfields across the U.S., there is another at Louisville’s Bowman Field (KLOU)and the tower design has been faithfully reproduced here at KRAL... Tower View is excellent as all approaches are well positioned and clear. Sited next to the Control Tower is a FedEx Express donated Boeing 727-200F to California Riverside Baptist University for its aviation science program. The aircraft is on permanent display at the airport and will provide a working laboratory for aviation science students. The aircraft, N266FE (cn 21672/1538), is a Boeing 727-233/Adv(F). Again the activity of the day is noted with students around the aircraft in the daylight, then the aircraft is closed up at night. Between the RAS area and the tower is another section is the Civil Air Patrol Squadron 5 Search and Rescue base, and part of the hangar is used by the "True Kolors Aero Paints" company... A provided livery pack that can be downloaded from the X-Plane.Org that cover three aircraft with the default LR C172SP and two DC-3 aircraft with the C172SP with three liveries of AlohaOne, AOA Flightschool and Riverside Baptist University noted here... there is another well positioned AG AvGas fuel service point out front of the CAP facility. Other noted facilities that are also reproduced here at RAL US Dept of Transportation FAA have two office facilities here in the "Flight Standards District Office and "Flight Service Station" note the "Phillips 85 AvGas fuel service point out front on the apron and they are both set on the corner of 09/27- 16/34 runways. Riverside Aero Academy, and Precision Aerial Photography, Riverside Rotor Specialists, AOA Pilot Training and Socal Aviation Services Inc... .... with the biggest tenant being the Commemorative Air Force with a nice D-Day branded C47 sitting out front. At the threshold of Rwy 16 on the eastern side is the Riverside Police Department Aviation Division facility, and funny enough there was a load of SanFran Police cars parked up in storage at KHAF.... coincidence? There is a lot of GA hangar parking in the garage type (north) and the barn style (south) again very similar to the styles at KHAF, and the small detailing is outstanding. Off field and there is a lot of infrastructure to compliment the airfield. Mostly storage and warehousing which is very close to the actual layout... ... the infrastructure is excellent and so is the photo-ortho textures. Here we have the balance between lo-res photo textures and good detail, and the balance works very well, better is the hidden boundaries of the ortho-photo into the default mesh in giving you a perfect transition from the custom to default mesh... can it be done better, I don't think so. The textures are compatible with ORBX SouthCal as well. A major landmark is the "Riverside Energy Resource Center" or as we usually call them "a power station"! There is a twirling output of smoke from one of the tall funnels which is debatable if it looks authentic or not in it's 3d form? I got used to it in time, so in this case it is a tick to the yes, but it is debatable? Overall the surrounding Riverside detail is excellent with most major areas covered with the Arlington Ave Business Park, Rutland Park Community, Doolittle Ave Industrial Park, SmartStore Self Storage, Boise Building Materials and Water Treatment plant all noted. Ground Textures I loved the worn and realistic ground textures at KHAF, and they are as good here... cracked, weathered and all the various surfaces are all very well done, can you ask for more... not really... ... the surfaces are also PBR reflective (wet) and has burnt-in ambient occlusion and finely detailed as well for light rain realism.... airfield detail is very good with the decommissioned Riverside (RAL) VOR and the various field weather stations, a note that there are a few "Easter Eggs from the "Back to the Future" films also hidden around in the scenery, if you know all three films then look out for the clues... Grass is 3d authentic in that it is the same wild flower flora as at the real KRAL, looks good as well. And the "Wheels" sign at Riverside is also done, in a note to students to "put your wheels down" it is very scary in a way that would be pilots needed to be reminded of an important aircraft operation? Activities There is always the thoughts and ideas on how to use any scenery, a route to one destination or return is mostly the option we take, but I like to do scenic tours or short connector flights from small fields to the bigger airports. That aspect is taken to the extreme here with a full 12 month calendar full of various ideas and activities for you to do... clever and totally brilliant in the same breath. Several activities are actually interactive, the biggest is the "Riverside Airshow" on the 11th July... most of the year KRAL's activity is perfectly normal but set your calendar to the 11th July and "whola!" there is now a full airshow day in progress! Pride of place is a huge C-17 Globemaster, but most aircraft on show here are warbirds. The "Battle of Midway" ride is actually animated (very realistic) and there are even drones flying around... and floating balloons! You can take a personal part in the proceedings by doing a few flypast routines, then parking up you aircraft to show it off in the space provided, like I did here with VSkyLabs C-47, again the authentic livery is provided as the "D-Day Doll" via the livery download. Another activity is the Rocket Launch, Set out at Vandenburg AFB in October, you can make your way out there (180nm) to KLPC Lompoc, blast-off is around 18:21:30 local time, but the loading of fuel and gantry retraction all happens before the final countdown.... .... it is all very well done, and two more is on the 13th April is the StratosLaunch at KMHV - Mojave Air and Space Port and some strange objects flying over Barstow by the HECTOR VOR, all very X-Files and all very "Da dum de do" that brings out all your Mulder and Scully fetish. Best not to do them all in the one year and there are far too many to cover in detail here, but I think it would be clever to print out the pdf and use it as real. Lighting You are expecting the lighting at KRAL-Riverside to be good, and your not disappointed here either... but to note the airport is not really a night time hub of activity, so the lighting is going to be more regional than LAX metropolis. Runway lighting is good, but it comes with no centre line or taxi lighting as there is none here. Runway 27 has a Visual Approach Slope Indicator and Runway 34 has a Precision Approach Path Indicator. ILS is on Rwy 09 (110.90-IRAL). Aprons are nicely lit but not overly so, this is not a night time working airport, most lighting is set out over the (now empty) carparks and it is well done. Focus is on the detail here and not on the overall context and it is all very good... Hangars are well lit from within and the lit signage is excellent. But it is in the minute that it works the best, nicely formed downlights, hung building lights and great detail like the AG AvGas sign that flickers, with a poor worn out bulb... love it. The ground navigation signs are also the same designs as at KHAF, as they reflect nicely on the surrounding grass to give off that realistic glow. Los Angeles There is a supplemental package called "RDS_LA_LP" package that will give you a sightseeing tour of Los Angeles. L.A. always did not have a good scenery pack (there was a very odd early version) in X-Plane and so this is a very welcome addition... You leave KRAL and track almost directly west 265º... ... and soon the murky silhouettes of downtown L.A. will appear out of the smog... Big LAX lies just ahead and to your left, and note the immense amount of autogen around you that needs a fair amount of processing power to compute this never ending L.A. expansive layout... at least you now have a decent L. A. Downtown now to make it a worthwhile approach or departure into LAX. Highlight is the Santa Monica Pier that has an animated Roller Coaster, Big Wheel and swing boat, and the pier is lit up pretty like a funpark at night. As a side note the X-Plane autogen does a great job of recreating Santa Monica as a realistic suburb, combining medium and large objects that is totally convincing of the area. Another major landmark is the iconic "HOLLYWOOD" sign... nicely done in that the letters are not just set straight but disjointed out as they really are. The HOLLYWOOD sign looks great at night and also represented is the Griffith Observatory... L.A. Dodgers Stadium and Staples/LA Convention Centre L. A. Downtown is not bad... outwardly the surrounding autogen does a great job, but close up it is fenced out... Nightlighting contrasts badly with the excellent Laminar autogen building lighting, blocky and totally grey it is not that convincing... Only in context does it all work. Another landmark provided is the Vincent Thomas Bridge in the Los Angles port (not the Long Beach port), it feels a little non-realistic in these surroundings as the port itself is not realised, there are however a few cranes and fuel depots to fill it out... but in reality it is a VFR landmark only. _______________________ Summary KHAF or Half Moon Bay was Rising Moon Studio's first scenery release for X-Plane and very good it was with some clever ideas and great detailing. Here is the the follow up to Half Moon Bay with KRAL - Riverside Municipal Airport and if you loved KHAF then this new edition if three years in the making is just as clever and as highly detailed. The airport RAL is home for a large SouthCal General Aviation community, US DOT FAA administration and has loads of pilot training academies. So KRAL is a perfect base to explore the Los Angeles basin. Modeling and texturing here is excellent, not only in the actual buildings and hangars on the airport, but in the expansive infrastructure surrounding the field. Detailing is also top notch if the highlight of the scenery as the whole airport is easily "Walkaround" in detail and for exploring all the contents in close-proximity. Internal detail as inside the terminal and the hangars are also easily accessed in creating a perfect environmental escape of realism. More clever are the dynamic elements that make it an active scenery... movement of time changes the carparks and density of people in the scenery, the clocks work in real-time as well. Birds flutter on wires and fly around and even drones will take to the air, trees will also move to the strength of the wind speed. Personal interaction can change the hangar beams in colour, set a flag or an image on a drop down banner and provided liveries can match the scenery for the X-Plane C172SP and the vSkyLabs or AWXD DC-3/C-47. A provided year activity calendar gives you clever ideas on what to do around the year at the airport, but the highlight is the yearly "Riverside Airshow" on the 11th July in that it changes the scenery into an epic show day, again interaction is very good as you can be a star of your very own airshow displays, a UFO encounter, Rocket launch and a StratosLaunch are also clever interaction activities. A provided L.A. City pack includes downtown L.A., Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood sign, L.A. Dodgers Stadium and Staples/LA Convention Centre. Ground textures are also very good, runway and taxiway layouts are realistic with built in PBR reflective and burnt-in ambient occlusion, navigation lighting is also reflective on ground surfaces. 3d grass is area compatible and the photo-ortho finds the balance between the lo-res and quality ground detail. Lighting is good with high detail, but don't expect LAX lighting at this regional outpost. Negatives, very few, but there are a few small areas in the ortho-photo the autogen is not visible, LA city tower lighting is basic, smoke is well... different if 3d solid. There is huge value here at KRAL-Riverside, not only for the excellent airport reproduction, but with the sheer dynamic interaction and provided action with this package... above all like with Rising Dawn's excellent and in my case highly used KHAF-Half Moon Bay it is a scenery to love and be used to it's very capable attractions... Rising Dawn certainly is noted for high quality scenery, but all comes with with a high gratification as well... an easy five stars! _____________________________________ Yes! KRAL - Riverside Municipal by Rising Dawn is currently available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KRAL Riverside Municipal Price is US$24.99 Features LA Object Pack Customizable Hangar Live Aiprort Loads of animations, including vents, pitot covers, birds and vegetation Attention to details 3D effect Dry grass Taxilights that illimunates the world around them PBR textures Virtual annual Riverside Airshow Activity Calendar with 100+ Activities Easte Eggs Your Own hangar ORBX TE SoCal compatibility and more (read manual for more details) WT3: WorldTraffic GroundRoutes are provided in the Custom Folder and overall the airport generation functions perfectly, but not much action. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.2 GB Current and Review version: 1.0 (July 19th 2020) Installation Download scenery file size is installed in your custom scenery folder 1.11Gb RD_KRAL_1.0 Los Angeles pack is 81Mb RDS_LA_LP_1.0 Five folders cover the full installation including: RDS_KRAL_Custom RDS_KRAL_Airport RDS_KRAL_Activities RDS_KRAL_Ortho RDS_LA_LP Total scenery installation is 4.32Gb A "RDS Livery Pack 1.0.0" can be downloaded at the X-Plane.Org, it includes liveries for the Laminar Research' default C-172, the Vskylabs C-47, and the Aeroworx C-47. Documents A Highly detailed Activity Calendar and comprehensive manual are both provided RDS_KRAL_Activity_Calendar RDS_KRAL_Manual_1_0 ______________________________________________________________________   Scenery Review by Stephen Dutton 23rd July 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews  (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and tested in v11.50b15 (fine) Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini  Plugins: None Scenery or Aircraft - Bonanza F33A XP11 by Carenado (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$26.95
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