One of UK2000s newest payware files for Xp is EGNX East Midlands and we’ll take a look at this one today, then we’ll drop in on a few new freeware files along the way: a commercial airport in Mali, an air base in Spain, and a quick look at HungaryVFR’s latest update to the city of Budapest – and beyond.
It’s been kind of a long dry spell, with our regular stream of new airport and aircraft files slowing to a trickle. I still have hopes that we’ll see a resumption later in May, and hopefully we’ll see a bunch of new releases continue over the summer, too. Still, I get the feeling that the market may have reached a kind of plateau, that interest in flight simulation may have peaked already. There are certainly rumbles along those lines coming from the FsX/P3D universe, with “first person shooter” video games siphoning off more and more young people, people who might otherwise find their way into the flight simulation world. Isn’t the whole VR craze in Xp just a way to attract that crowd?
Well, time will tell. With X-plane as good as its ever been – and getting better with each new revision – there’s never been a better time to make the leap. Maybe it’s time all of us, all the hard core end-users and developers, try to get out and drum up interest among young people – over the summer, perhaps? Relatives coming for a visit this summer? If so, and if there are kids along for the ride, why not show them what you can with a 747-8 at Heathrow or Frankfurt? Who knows what kind of flame you can start? If nothing else, maybe we should start to see ourselves as ambassadors of the X-plane world, and when the opportunity presents itself we can help spread interest and, well, keep things growing?
Food for thought?
Well, off to the UK…
The few times I’ve passed through this airport its been cold and misty, so maybe that colors my memory of the place, but I love traveling by rail through this region. There’s something ancient about the landscape around here, like history is still alive, just lurking in the shadows. With a little imagination you can hear Roman legions marching towards Hadrian’s Wall, or King Richard leading his knights north to put down another rebellion. Or maybe Robin of Loxley racing through the woods not far from here…
All of which has absolutely nothing at all to do with UK2000s EGNX East Midlands, yet this area is so rich with history it’s hard to ignore.
You’ll note the proximity to Manchester and Birmingham, and that most of the commercial flights from here are for holidays in the sun. See the list of airlines and destinations here, but note that Ryanair, Flybe, and Jet2 are the big operators. The airport is also a primary hub for DHL, and the air cargo facility here is quite large.
This first set of images is all nightscapes. Window textures are rather like those found at Manchester, the same blue color-cast, and not unpleasant. The terminal has multiple levels and the well done texture set imparts a real sense of depth and is highly immersive, even when close – for instance when taxiing up to the gate. I like the look here.
The tower appears accurately modeled, the terminal entry side as well, and there are cars in the lots, not simply smeary orthos. The cargo terminal and peripheral airport details are nicely executed, though the ramps are a little bare. Lighting appears to be HDR compliant.
Performance is decent, though I suspect you’ll want 4+Gb on your GPU to run this with higher options. The file ends up priced in the low-20 dollar range after paying taxes to the crown, and is available now at the UK2000 store. Nice airport file, worth having if considering an expanded route network in the Midlands. With EGCC and EGCB, that’s become an attractive option hard to resist. Highly recommended.
GABS + Modibo Keita International Airport + Bamako, Mali
Bamako, Mali is where the real Lion King story began, only in the 12th century – when Sundiata Keita took over large swathes of what is now West Africa. Fascinating history in this region, too. Well worth reading up on.
And this is a great freeware file in an area too long without decent coverage in X-plane. Fully Xp11 compliant and HDR / PBR materials/lighting all sitting on a nice ortho, this file is perfect for expanding a Mediterranean or Namibian network into West Africa. A Must Have African file. Thanks to the developer for the nice effort.
Get it here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44436-gabs-modibo-keita-airport-bamako-mali/
LEAB Albacete + Los Llanos Air BaseAir Base + Albacete, Castile-La Mancha, Spain
Though there is a commercial terminal here, there is currently no regular commercial service, and only charters, to this airport. The file is finished out as an air base, with Mirage a/c on the ramps. Located SE of Madrid and West of Valencia, this is an interesting option for GA as well as military flights in the region. I would caution you to be aware of the power lines and pylon on the final approach to Rwy 27; you’ll need to maintain a high and to the left position for the last few seconds of your approach and flare. Quite interesting, almost fun in the C17.
Get the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44440-leab-albacete/
HungaryVFR + LHBP Budapest
The HungaryVFR project has been revised several times since we last looked at these files, and if you want to get low over Budapest this update is for you. Also, LHBP Budapest looks better with PBR materials now shining brightly. Here’s the change-log:
Budapest City scenery update – bugfixes (new textures), lot of new buildings. The whole 6th district 3D modelled.
Budapest Vechicles scenery – made by Peter Suranyi from Rising Dawn Studios (developer of KHAF – Half Moon Bay scenery), contains all tram lines of Budapest with authentic trams on the lines.
Few parking lots added; LHBP orthophotos are updated, planes have been masked out! Overlay scenery – slightly better fps
TV/Radio towers in Budapest city scenery and aerials fixed
Jaszapati and our Library has an update, in 11.20 betas they had a small problem (you won’t notice it, just in the log.txt), fixed
Medical Helipads has a fix, Honvéd Hospital has a custom 3D model
Budapest City scenery update, an existing LIT texture was not set in the object file
LHBB Budaörs HEMS air rescue base, near to our existing LHBS – Budaörs airport scenery (thanks to @Lazlow for his existing scenery).
You can pick up the revised file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/43436-hungaryvfr/
So, we’re off like a herd of turtles. See you next time – A