x+s+r // freeware, freeware everywhere

XSR 319 hdr

Continuing to work with TerraMAXX, and I’m surprised how easy it is to get really good results with little effort. Sometimes it feels like SkyMAXX can be difficult to get consistent results with (but c’mom, it’s weather!), yet TerraMAXX is simplicity itself: install, set either Full Auto or just pick the season, and away it goes. I like the extra-added ambient lighting, too; e.g., if you set winter the light takes-on a bluish cast; autumn has a little more of a golden hue. Another stroke of simple genius, too.

So, a bunch of freeware to get caught up on now, with ruifo releasing two more files from Down Mexico Way, a small GA airport in Northern California that has Peanuts written all over it, a little Swiss magic, a timely – and very well done – revision to a Mediterranean favorite from xpfr, and, to round out the post, a quick look at one of the primary airports in the massive VFR Hungary release. And yes, where appropriate, I’ll try to dial in some TerraMAXX.

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MMSD hdr

ruifo continues to churn through the list of under-represented airports in Mexico, and with Mexico City and Puebla last week I thought he might have outdone himself. Well, no way. There are just too many really useful airports left to do, and he released two more this weekend that are really excellent, and useful.

The first, MMSD Los Cabos, services the all-important Cabo San Lucas resort area at the tip of Baja California and, consider this: there are more US and Canadian airlines flying out of here than Mexican carriers. If you’re not familiar with Cabo San Lucas, just think of it as Mexico’s version of the Canary Islands…a secluded seaside destination resort surrounded by desert, and a perfect climate in winter.

Forty years ago Cabo was a sleepy seaside village with four small hotels on the beach; you dared not drink the water so instead drank copious quantities of either beer or tequila. Or, sometimes, beer AND tequila. I’ve sailed down from Newport Beach a few times and it’s a sleigh ride; I flew into the old dirt strip in a Beech Travel Air long before this airport was around, too, so this place and me, well, we go back a ways. There were lots of restrictions on GA aircraft flying from Texas to Baja in those days, too. You had to stop in Chihuahua and register a special flight plan, and at that time had to prove you had gear onboard to survive a water landing in the Sea of Cortez. It was preferred that you flew in a group, too. Oh, well, those were the days, right? Can you imagine a caravan of Bonanzas and Barons flying across Mexico, everyone deathly afraid to drink anything but tequila?

Yee-Hah!

MMSD ge

MMSD is about a thousand miles south of San Diego, California, and this part of Baja regularly gets pounded by hurricanes. From November through April, it gets pounded by tourists from California and Canada, and a lot of gringos are moving down here because the cost of living is really low. Indeed, you can now shop at Costco or Home Depot down there, though the general consensus now is that this airport is too small; plans are in the works to replace it with a bigger facility further north.

ruifo’s file is constructed of Laminar’s Lego-brick airport components; this provides a decent approximation of the original and the facility works well in Xp11. The single asphalt runway (16/34; 9843ft/3000m) will handle wide-bodied heavy metal (there was, for a while, non-stop service to Shanghai). Of singular importance, however, the airport is equipped with both a Burger King, as well as a Carl’s Jr. And tequila, too, pours forth from every water fountain (you wish).

MMSD 1

ruifo is an expert at getting all the small details done – and perfectly, too. Check out the ramp and taxiway markings, the ortho integrated into the taxiway islands, the parking lots and the trees. His airports are really fun to look at because they’re put together like a Swiss watch. This one is as good as it gets.

mmsd 2

Add the JarDesigns Ground Handling Equipment package to create a little magic of your own, too…

MMSD 3

This will be a good file for medium range flights to LAX, SFO, Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, Atlanta, Salt Lake, Houston, Dallas, and SeaTac. Oh yes, try Mexico City in the SSJ100.

MMCP hdr

ruifo’s second file this weekend is the exact opposite of Cabo; MMCP Campeche is a working airport that helps service the huge offshore oil fields just NW of the airport. As such, ruifo has wisely chosen to fill up the offshore areas with a dozen or so oil platforms, both large and small, so you too can work on your helicopter navigations skills:

MMCP 7

Yes, they ALL have pads; some have two or more. These are animated platforms, too, and very well done. Adding them to this file was a great idea, too, and if you’re into helicopters this will be a must have file for you. Besides, it’s a really sweet airport file, too!

MMCP 1

This is a Lego-brick terminal building, but note the circular structural details.

MMCP 2

MMCP 3

There’s a fair sized GA facility next to the main terminal, and…

MMCP 4

…several really good flutterbug pads, with excellent lighting.

MMCP 5

MMCP 6

Oh, here’s an SSJ100 at this airport, bound for Mexico City. Aeromexico handles most of the work out of here now, with flights to Mexico City and direct to Houston from there.

MMCP SSJ

If you haven’t tried Roman’s SSJ you really should. Great night panel, the best of his early work…before he became Flight Factor.

Anyway, ruifo’s two files are excellent, as usual, with great details everywhere you look. If you fly around the Americans south or southwest, these are all nice destinations to work on VOR nav skills. They’re also really good airport files. 10 out of 10, too.

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KSTS hdr

So, who is Charles M Schultz? Well, does this ring a bell?

Chuck

KSTS Sonoma Country Regional is located about an hour north of San Francisco, so think of all the short to medium range GA flights you could link this airport to. Seattle to Newport Beach, with a stop here for fuel? Or, start here and fly to Telluride or Aspen? Try this in the Carenado Cessna 340 or the default Baron, or just fly touch-n-goes here for fun.

KSTS ge

This area was devastated by wildfires last autumn, and it’s located in the heart of California’s wine country. Sorry, no tequila.

KSTS 1

There are some nice facilities here; good hangers and a diner, kind of above average quality too, so you might want to try this one out. I’m going to keep it for a while, too. It’s hard to find good airports around San Fran City.

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LFML hdr

Yup, another release by xpfr. Another cause for celebration.

LFML 00

LFML Marseilles has long been one of my favorite destination airports, since at least version 8 anyway, and I really enjoy ending a long GA or bizjet flight here. For an RJ flight? LFPO to LFLL in the morning, end up here an hour or so later, and that’s hard to beat. If not tired yet, look over the list of destinations here, because you can fly to, literally, almost anywhere from here, but consider Barcelona, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Lisbon, Casablanca, Frankfurt, Tours, Florence, Ibiza, Dusseldorf, Heathrow, Stockholm Arlanda, or Amsterdam. Feeling adventurous? Try Montreal with Air Canada Rouge.

LFML ge

You’re seeing TerraMAXX’s autumn textures below, and also note the window textures. Excellent work here, and a really nice upgrade over previous files.

LFML 1

That was the Toliss A319 up above, and this is the X-Craft E170, below. One is a little easier to see than the other, neh? Has HSBC taken over advertising on Jetways all around the world? Note the Autogate guide-on?

LFML 2

The window textures at night are not as clear as the day textures, but the overall effect is a little like a Van Gogh. Good colors, too.

LFML 4

Jetways, lighting, and ramp details stand out here; the GHE package helps give the scene depth, doesn’t it?

LFML 6

Details on both sides of the field have been improved, and this has gone from an average quality airport file to really very good. From the parking lots to the new lighting and static aircraft around the revised terminal buildings, this feels like a brand new file, and it’s just excellent.

LFML 7

A 10 out of 10. Don’t forget to add this one; it’s too good not to.

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LSZC hdr

Located about 25 miles south of Zurich in the lake district near Lucerne, Switzerland, LSZC Buochs was a military airfield (Mirage IIIc) until recently; it now serves Pilatus as a test and delivery airfield.

LSZC 1

The motorway details shown in AlpilotX’s v4 mesh are a standout feature near the airport, but the airport itself is really quite good. Even so, this part of Switzerland qualifies as one of the most gorgeous areas on earth, so flying from here to Lugano will be a popular affair with this file onboard.

LSZC 2

This is strictly a GA airfield now, and I’d think a PC12 would be put to good use here. I can also see taking the Bell over to Zermatt now, too (ahem, cough-cough), or a DHL Saab 340a to Zurich.

LSZC 3

So, add this to aeroSOFT’s Lugano for some challenging mountain flying in a GA single, or try Zermatt for a real alpine treat. Either way, you’ll want to try this one. (9/10)

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LHBO HVFR hdr

To characterize the Hungary VFR Project as significant is kind of an understatement; with an entire country’s landmarks covered AND almost a dozen airports modeled – then wrapped up in a freeware scenery download, is, well, I’d say an act of kindness to the community that we’ll be hard pressed to pay back. Anyway, you can find the files here.

And there’s no way I can cover this effort in one post, so the thinking here at Chaos Manor is we’ll look each airport over, one by one, over the next few weeks. This was a massive undertaking on their part, and from what I’ve seen so far, the quality is out there – like payware quality – so you might want to go ahead and download these. Or, you can wait and see what we find and report.

LHBP ge

South of Krakow (how convenient) and just east of Vienna (better still), this is a modern airport serving one of the most delightful cities in Europe.

LHBP real

The list of airlines and destinations is impressive, with American flying to Philadelphia and Air Canada Rouge non-stop to Toronto (another new file in Xp, too), but you can fly from here to just about anywhere…even EDDF or EDDM.

LHBP 1

Window textures display a little forced perspective in the main terminal buildings, but the overall effect isn’t unpleasant.

LHBP 2

And the model looks extremely accurate, right down to ramp markings and Jetways.

LHBP 3

Ramp details are here, but not overdone. I’d say more could be done, but you can achieve much the same with the GHE package, seen here (below) with the freeware Airport Navigator plugin.

LHBP AN

Below, ramps with the Better Pushback plugin. The control tower is excellent, BTW.

LHBP 4

LHBP 5

LHBP 8

LHBP 9

Of course, the airport is only half the story here…as the team has built out the city of Budapest, and you’ll want a powerful computer working on your side here – as the details are rich – and dense. From palaces and bridges, to parks and roadways, this city environment is as detailed as anything I’ve ever seen in X-p.

LHBP BP 1

And, yes…TerraMAXX looks wonderful here but my scenery load was nearly 8GB. You’ll need to plan carefully to make this work.

LHBP BP 2

So, that’s about all I can do in one day. I’d really recommend you look at this Hungarian effort ASAP, and we’ll have more soon.

Thanks for coming along – C

 

 

 

 

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