Another freeware LOWS WAMozart Salzburg came out yesterday, and this time from a new developer who advises he started tinkering on buildings there and, well, he just kept going – and for a newbie the results look pretty good. A significant new Middle Eastern airport and city file came out as well, and we looked it over after we tried a new GA airport in the Netherlands, as well as a revised EHRD Rotterdam.
I wonder why we have three LOWS files now? Like…what is it about Salzburg that’s so compelling – from an “I need to develop an airport for X-plane” point of view? Well, besides the obvious, that Salzburg is one of the most famous cities in Europe, and that the city is relatively small, there’s really not too much there that’s difficult to model – aside from the biz-jet terminal on the far side of the field. Another enticing consideration? Adding elements of the city to your scenery file. So, let’s take a quick look at this latest rendition of LOWS Salzburg/Mozart – and then look at the other files to finish up this post.
LOWS by fsclips
First up, the new LOWS file by fsclips, and this new airport file adheres to basic structure on the ground, at least around the main terminal building. There’s the old control tower, the newer (taller) replacement, a tank farm, lots of roof skylines on main terminal buildings, the nearby warehouse district, as well as GA and air cargo facilities. As you’ll see in the images below, all this is set off by adding nice parking lots with lighting and added car “objects” – and not a smeary ortho. Also note that the interior of the older (shorter) control tower is modeled, right down to a weather radar displaying a thunderstorm approaching the airport. All-in-all, really impressive work for a relative newcomer. Oh, the last image shows the airport from a distance, with the castle over the old city in the foreground
At the Org: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44342-lows-_-salzburg-airport/
LOWS by X-plane Austria
The next version is a freeware file available from X-plane Austria. You can see immediate visual differences with the control towers (not as good), the canopied passenger entry area and the parking garage opposite – complete with the spiral ramp (better), inclusion of the futuristic looking business aviation terminal across the field (rudimentary but it gets the job done), and the same castle over the old city. One big negative? The parking lots are defined by smeary orthos. This is an older effort of course, but all-in-all it’s been a decent freeware alternative to DigitalDesign’s payware file, which we’ll look at next.
You’ll note the castle over the old city is the same in both.
The file is at Xp Austria, right here: http://www.x-plane.at/drupal/LOWS
LOWS by Digital Design
You can pull up images of LOWS on Google and compare them to Digital Design’s work; if you do you’ll be impressed. From the main terminal buildings to the ramped parking garage and passenger entry area, this file approaches X-plane perfection. By the time you look over the warehouse district and the VIP/bizjet buildings (great window textures) across the runway you might be tempted to ignore the old part of the city included with this purchase. Don’t. It’s very nicely done too, and the area looks especially good at night. The only negatives? The control towers aren’t all that interesting, and no interiors are modeled, but the overall effects achieved here are really very good.
There are some great files available for airports in Austria, and this one is near the top of my list. Room for improvement? Sure. Why not finish out the old city? A little more chaos under the approaches? Still, this is one of a relatively small number of files (in Europe) I truly regard as a Must Have. Flying from here to Heathrow (or Paris or Barcelona or…) is a perfect short haul 733 or A319 flight, and the approach here is just magic.
If you haven’t flown into this airport (in X-plane or otherwise) I recommend you do so on a bright, sunny day in the middle of summer. The mountainous approach, the verdant green meadows everywhere you look – and glorious Salzburg – make this one of the best small city airport experiences in X-plane.
Digital Designs’ payware file is available at the Org store: http://store.x-plane.org/LOWS-Salzburg-Airport-W-A-Mozart-XP11_p_662.html
A quick run-down of a couple other files that were released or revised within the past day or so. First up, a revised EHRD Rotterdam, which finds improved lighting and simplified trees on the change-log. Abu Dhabi City VFR landmarks and OMAA airport (+ Ortho) is a striking effort created with SketchUP and OpenSceneryX. Read the installation instructions carefully. EHHV Hilversum is a sweet little grass airfield just a little ESE of EHAM; tons of details make this an interesting and immersive airport, while its location guarantees lots of potential excitement.
Have a safe day up there – A