Looking over our last few post (about Jamaica) it’s curious why some FsX developers making the leap to X-plane are putting such a low priority on implementing Xp11’s new rendering technologies. The whole “make a quick buck” explanation makes sense, but so too does an even simpler idea: that these developers just don’t understand the tech, let alone how to implement it. Still, an outfit like aeroSOFT has the people and the knowledge on hand – and yet that didn’t make much difference with their new Rome file. Even more annoying, aeroSOFT had really good LOWW and EKCH files in FsX – almost ten years ago! – and those files still remain out of reach for X-plane. So, is the problem simpler still?
Because the X-plane community has had so few dedicated developers making payware scenery files, an especially vibrant group of freeware file developers grew up and matured during the Xp v.8 thru 10 period. Many of the files produced by these developers – freeware files, I hasten to add – are often as good as or even better than many payware files in FsX. Note, we said “many,” and not “all.” Orbx’s files, aeroSOFT’s Mega-airport series, Fly Tampa and many more outstanding payware files were all put together by large teams of like-minded artists and the results have been spectacular. In FsX and P3D, anyway.
But can you imagine what some of these better airport files would look like with Xp11’s new rendering tech?
Well, aeroSOFT gave us a glimpse with their brilliant EDDF, but Fly Tampa’s Corfu focused on the entire island and kept the airport proper on the simple side of the equation. Orbx? Well, EGCB wasn’t exactly the proper venue to showcase PBR and reflective materials, was it? Funny though, isn’t it? Two prime developers side-stepping the very reason they claim now is the time to come to X-plane. How would you like to find a Fly Tampa KBOS on your horizon? With Xp11 tech on full display? Or Vienna? Or Copenhagen? Or CDG? Or…aeroSOFT could set about updating their existing product line. EHAM, anyone? Even BKIF?
We don’t think the “door” will ever close for these large, talented developers. Their files are simply too good, the need in X-plane too large, and demand too pent up. The danger is that some people will simply give up and move on to other, more satisfying/gratifying pursuits, and without a new, stimulating influence flight swimming in general may fade to the periphery for many of these people. The excitement felt in the community about all the coming attractions is real, it’s palpable, but I wonder how durable this feeling will be without a steady stream of blockbuster releases over the next year or so. Something needs to kindle and invigorate this newfound interest, if you get my drift. New scenery files will do the job, but we desperately need some new aircraft files too, especially extreme quality 787s, Canadair Cs100/300s, and the next-gen 777.
Think of it another way. The sim audience is composed of roughly three age/tier groups, and these three groups represent three economic groups as well. The very young (almost always broke), a middle-aged group (often still struggling financially), and old farts (who tend to be a little more affluent). The problem for the FS community these days (and this holds true in a lot of hobby sectors) is that the old farts (with money) are dropping like flies, leaving two groups less likely to spend money on payware files. To put it in even more blunt terms, the prime target audience for payware files is a constantly diminishing market, so developers can’t really afford to go slow!
And, in the meantime let’s look at some more freeware files (because that’s about all that’s happening these days), and first up, a revised GCLP in the Canaries. Then we’ll look at a bunch of European GA airports before wrapping things up down under.
There’ve been a few revisions since we last looked at this file, so check the change-log to see if you need this one. This is one of the better GC/Canary Island files, with great night ramps and lots of wind turbines.
Get the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/41679-gclp-gran-canaria-canarias-spain-x-plane-11/
I tried to get the first version of this file to work with little success, so I was happy to see a revised file pop today. Great details abound here, and the location – 10km north of Alicante – puts it in the heart of the popular Costa Blanca’s tourist action. Big heliport here, too.
Here’s the real airport:
Get the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44345-lemu-mutxamel-muchamiel/
Here we have a small GA airport in the Netherlands, northeast of EHAM and nearing the North Sea. Nicely detailed freeware file, perfect for this new and expanding network of small GA fields in the region.
Location? Check out the shadowed circle…EHAM lower left.
Get the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/27664-ehdr-drachten/
A large, well finished GA airfield awaits you just south of Rotterdam and quite near the Dutch border with Belgium. EHSE features a large glass enclosed GA terminal and lots of hangers, one enclosing an aviation museum. The adjacent motorway adds interest, but note: no jets and limited night OPS.
Where is it? Yup, right there, in the shadowed circle again. Rotterdam top center.
Get the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/34079-ehse-hoeven-seppe-breda-international-airport/
I’ve yet to check out Laminar’s new assets in Sydney, but Kiwi_the_iwik’s Auckland is hard to beat. His Mechanic’s Bay heliport has been tweaked, too, with two additional heliports in the area added in the latest revision. Do yourself a favor and set up a stiff headwind making this approach at Mechanics Bay, and try for the pad next to the S-76. Easy on the cyclic…lots of rocks along the water’s edge!
The file is right here, too: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44193-nzmb-mechanics-bay-and-auckland-city/
And I hear the Fat Lady’s singing, so watch our dust! Adios – C