Welcome back to Chaos manor! Today we’ll look at a payware file that’s been out for a while, LIMJ Genoa, and another Italian airport not too far away – in NE Italy’s Tirol region – LIPB Bolzano, a famous airport located near the gateway to the Dolomites. Last up, we’ll go all the way up to Sweden’s west coast and look at ESGG Göteborg. So, two in Italy, one in Sweden, and if you’re ready, let’s get set and go…!
A few bits of news today worth passing along first; the first, word is out on Orbx’s next offerings:
“Our next project, KVUO Pearson Field, is nearing beta testing, and will be our first new Orbx project. KDAL Dallas Love Field will follow on its heels, and KPDX Portland International Airport will be released via Flightbeam as previously announced. We’re hoping to sneak in a couple other projects this year after those are all out as well.”
KVUO is Pearson Field, located in Vancouver, Washington, and is a stone’s throw from Astoria, Oregon, and so not at all far from Portland. KDAL is Dallas Love Field, the current home of Southwest Airlines (not to mention the old home of Braniff International!). It stands as a monument in US history, of a kind, as this was where JFKs Air Force One touched down for the last time. It was LBJs airplane later that afternoon. Also, I’ll bet you didn’t know that Delta and Braniff both operated the 747 from this airport’s original terminal, with Delta flying to Atlanta and Braniff to London and Paris. It will be fun to see this airport finally make it into X-plane, and it’ll be a very nice, medium sized airport to use on flights all over the US.
Also, if you’ve not heard, word is out that Fly Tampa’s first scenery for Xp will be Corfu, Greece. Now, let’s go to Genoa, the gem of northwest Italy – located in the heart of the ancient Italy.
There have been a few decent freeware files for this airport since Xp v9, and they’ve all shared one common characteristic: they’re frame rate killers. Below, the rendering options used here, but even after cutting back VE and TQ significantly, and Objects to low, load size remained quite high. This file may be useable for people running moderately powerful systems but the results might not look as good as expected, and even with 16Gb on a graphics card, this file makes computers work very hard. Stuttering is common at such higher settings, and this is one of only a few files that causes this for me.
Yes, that scenery load is almost 22Gb when settings are near MAX.
It’s easy enough to understand why this is so, however, once you look around. This airport file is as richly detailed as any urban airport ever executed in X-plane. Look at the very top image once again, at the very top of this post, and look at the depth of detail included…from the highway bridges inland to the port area on the left side of the image. It would take days to count the cars in the airport parking lot! So, the truth here is that while this LIMJ file is sold as an airport file, what you’re getting is much, much more than that. Some might say…too much more.
Images here were made with AlpilotX’s HD mesh v4, and this offers a stunning improvement in roadway detail over the default, as well as to the local hills.
Consider this, too: most of the major European carriers operate in and out of here, from BA to Air France to Lufthansa. See the list, here. LIMJ remains a very useful airport to have in Xp.
Another consideration? tdg’s latest airports, including last week’s Florence and today’s Bolzano, are nearby. AeroSOFT’s forthcoming Rome will be just down the coast, too. Corsica? Yup, just to the west. Can you see this as a focal point for operations in this part of the X-plane universe?
With the right computer, yes.
This is a tantalizing file, however you look at it. The airport, though quite small, occupies just a corner of this download; perhaps if the developer had been content to model the airport alone, and left the city and the port to Xp, this file would be more manageable and performance would be acceptable to a wider audience. As it stands, this is a gorgeous file that will, most likely, remain out of reach for users with older, less up-to-date computers.
The airport is, however, quite well made and is a treat to look at under HDR. With a modern, well equipped computer this is a Must Have file. It’s at the Org store.
tdg’s latest – LIPB Bolzano.
The city, located in northeastern Italy and just south of the “central region” of the Dolomite Mountain Range and National Park area, is an area with rich links to the old Roman Empire, the early Christian Church, and a close linguistic association with southern Austria.
This region has some of the most dramatic, some might say awe-inspiring mountains on earth, and while X-plane puts on a good show it in no way resembles the real deal. For a closer approximation you’ll need to turn to Frank Dainese’s Dolomites 3D file – which also features LIPB Bolzano. You’ll also note that there is a recent LIDI Cortina file out there, also in this region (we reviewed it recently). Here is an image of the airport included with the Dolomites 3D file, the image from the developers site:
When using this file, it’s difficult not to get pulled into the landscape, as even in a simulator the visual surroundings are impressive. With AlpilotX’s v4 mesh installed, the surrounding mountains are quite striking.
There’s a little less to the commercial side of tdg’s airport file than what I see in the 3D file, and his file appears to focus on the freight and helicopter side of the equation. Though small, the airport is quite well made – with Xp11 materials evident.
But yes, helicopters are the ideal way to see this area, with or without the Dolomites 3D file. With the v4 mesh, urban elements come alive, too. This is one of the more impressive areas in X-plane, even “as is.”
This was an interesting choice by tdg, too. He’s offering users who can’t get the 3D file onboard a means to explore this part of the X-plane universe, and that’s not a bad deal. My thinking is that many people will look over the region and decide to get the full 3D package onboard, and that will work out well for all concerned.
Our last file today is ESGG Göteborg Landvetter, located on Sweden’s west coast and quite near Oslo, Copenhagen, and Hamburg.
This airport file in Xp is built on a low-res ortho, though, as you can see, it looks quite good from pattern altitude. Get lower (as below) and you’ll find that the parking lots and many smaller structures on the ortho are quite blurry, and detail in daylight suffers.
Lighting and hard surface materials look Xp11 compliant, though the converted terminal buildings seem to be simple Lit objects and, as a result, a little too uniformly bright when seen at night. This looks a little like a very good v9 airport file.
I’m usually not too impressed with these types of files, either, yet this one works. The runways and taxiways are, in particular, very well done, so if simply using this as an airport I think you’ll enjoy having this one onboard. If you want to make screenshots and videos, look elsewhere. It’s not going to win any awards for realism but if you need an airport in this part of the world, this one will get the job done, and then some. More than that, however, looking at the objects from the cockpit…there’s a good feel about the place, especially at night.
We still desperately need a good Copenhagen file in X-plane, and Fly Tampa makes one. Let’s hope that file makes it into Xp – and soon, too. With this ESGG file, the Baltic Regional route network we’ve been putting together comes closer and closer to perfection.
Y’all have fun out there. – A