If it seems like a particularly slow time in X-plane right now, at least as far as new file releases go, well, yes, it does seem that way – but it’s not all that unexpected. Kind of like a pre-Christmas blitz followed by the January doldrums, there’s usually a period of quiet leading up to summer. Why? Who knows, but I doubt kids getting out on summer vacation has much to do with it. Maybe some of us never really grow up and summer is SUMMER! Heaven only knows, but after five months of snow and ice, summer is sounding really good right now.
There were a few announcements of new files coming out this week (you are checking out Threshold, aren’t you?), but one I haven’t seen anywhere concerns a new file from VFR France, for the French Mediterranean airport LFMT-Montpellier Méditerranée. There’s been a file for this airport by xpfr for years but it’s in need of updating; also consider the location is really interesting, being about halfway between Marseilles and Barcelona AND really close to the Pyrenees. In terms of sheer usefulness for flying around the Med, this file will be hard to beat. Limited imagery available yet, but they’re claiming a May release. Count us in. We’ll have a review up as soon as possible.
It seems our review of Montego Bay wasn’t the only one to voice displeasure. Those of you who’ve read the blog over the years know that Stephen Dutton wrote with us for quite a while before moving over to the Org to write in-house reviews. His typically thorough review is perhaps even less charitable than ours, and I do think I saw the word ‘crap’ used – which left smiles on our faces. I remember all my email exchanges with Stephen with fondness, but I do feel a little betrayed as he too was always on a Mac. No more. Oh, well, these things happen. Anyway, the Org store still has the file listed at 20 buckeroos, while the Threshold store has it for around 13 or so (USD, both). That’s still overpriced.
If you’ve got FlyTampa’s Corfu onboard now but would like an airport or two within an hours flight time, or perhaps even less, well…you almost have to consider an airport in Greece to make that happen. Or, well…I suppose there’s Albania – if that floats your boat. If you’ve been flying in the region long you probably have all of tdg’s Greek files, but what if Corfu just recently stroked your – curiosity – about all things Greek? Or you have, heaven forbid, never heard of tdg…
Well, we’re going to look at three of his older files today, for Athens, Mykonos, and Thessaloniki. Along with Corfu, these three will provide you with a tight little route network serving the most important regions of the Greek tourist alley. First up, as well it should be, is LGAV Athens. We’ll end with a quick look at a few freeware files that have come out over the last few days.
I guess Athens really should the heart of any Greek route network, and for reasons too obvious to list here. tdg understood this simple reasoning and went all out, too, and considering the file came out just last November it fits into the Xp11 scheme of things quite nicely. It wasn’t all that long ago that PanAm and TWA had full stations here; the three US legacy carriers still have seasonal service, and the list of carriers and destinations is here.
A lot of scenery library objects are in tdg’s files, but they’re so carefully used (not to mention arranged) you can hardly tell the main buildings are not custom objects. Ramps are cluttered, lighting is just about perfect, and while there are a few smeary blue window textures these are usually unobtrusive. Along with having a very useful Athens International onboard, consider that because this is a library objects file the frame-rates will be better than decent. And as far as freeware files go, this one is tops in its class. You can find the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/41042-lgav-athens-international-airport-greece/
I wonder why there’s not a gonzo city file for Athens?
LGMK Mykonos serves the island mecca where going Greek is a way of life. This is one of those places where everything is white stucco, even the underground discos. Mykonos is deep in the southeastern Aegean, so about as far away from Corfu as you can get and still be in Greece. Most of the middle-tier of European airlines flies here, too (list).
tdg proves he can make small airports as impressive looking as large ones here on Mykonos. Ramps aren’t cluttered but the lighting is great, and so too is the entrance side of the terminal building. I like all the covered passenger entries on the ramp side, and the cruise ships offshore are a nice touch. Get the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/37489-lgmk-mykonos-greece-xp11/
LGTS Thessaloniki is an impressive airport, and tdg’s file is good enough to make a payware version risky. Located in far northeastern Greece (near Macedonia), this is the third busiest airport in Greece. Still, while tdg’s file is interesting, this is one airport where a really accurate/detailed payware development would be welcome:
That in no way belittles this effort, however, as this file is more than good enough.
This is a good approximation of the real airport, and the list or airlines and destinations is even longer (here).The file is located here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/40693-lgts-thessaloniki-international-airport-greece/
MMMY Monterrey, Mexico
This developer’s stated objective is to start working on Mexican airports. Our recommendation? Don’t waste time on lego-brick airports ruifo has already made, and learn how to make exclusion zones. Nice effort.
Two new city files round out the freeware files so far this week. Bakersfield is a largish city in California’s Central Valley, but if flying from KLAX to KSFO it’ll be far to the east. Some routings from KSAN or KSNA up to Sacramento or Stockton overfly the area, and a lot of GA traffic runs this corridor, too. Charleston, West Virginia is an odd city, strung out along the Elk and Kanawha rivers and with the airport on a plateau above the western part of the city. The file looks good at night, too.
And its adios time. Seeya later – A