We’ve seen several previews of Stairport’s KDAB Daytona Beach, Florida, so we were a little curious about this one. Until we saw the sales images at the Org, anyway. Those just about killed my curiosity, but then I remembered the previews actually looked decent so went ahead and pulled the trigger. And then, while waiting for the file to work its way through the Cuisinart and into my CS folder…a new tdg file came out, this for Malta, the island citadel in the central Med. A few minutes later, Grand Cayman popped, then a new file by CDB, and my day officially went from quiet to bat-shit crazy.
As we get closer to the month of June we should start to see new releases picking up a bit, for both payware and freeware files. Nothing new about that, but will we see a deluge of new work from FsX ‘crossover’ developers? That’s the big question, isn’t it? For developers missing the early summer rush the next big windows are around the first of September and the end of November. These have traditionally been the few big periods when the market heats up a little, so early June is kind of a big time, and one where a lot of people will be watching, with interest, to see what happens.
So, let’s head to northeast Florida, to Daytona Beach, an American mecca for NASCAR drivers and hawg riders from all over the good ole U. S. of A.
Oh…Carenado released the new v11 F35 Bonanza late last night. More soon.
KDAB Daytona Beach is aeroSOFT’s latest scenery file. Made by Stairport Sceneries, the final release file is available at all the usual outlets; the price is 29 buckeroos, which seems a little above average for this sized file. To be justified, the quality would need to be on the extremely high side of the equation, so what do we have here?
Well, the exterior model is decent and includes all kinds of skylights, and these skylights (glass-covered roof openings) reveal a substantial amount of effort has gone into modeling the terminal building’s interior. Another bonus? The massive Daytona Motor Speedway is modeled, yet curiously this centerpiece is not lighted, not even a little, so what could have been a real asset to the file ends up being a black hole at night. If your computer can handle HDR you’ll be gratified to find all kinds of PBR/reflective surfaces, including the windows seen in the set below. The interior modeling is very well done but ultra dark window tinting is used and as a result the interior is barely visible from the cockpit – under any condition. Static aircraft are included (yea!) but apron markings are a little hard to see. Ramp and taxiway textures are good, but again, markings need work. Parking lots have cars, but the lots are created from smeary orthos…
So, what we end up with here is a mixed bag. I suspect users in Xp who like flying to this part of Florida will want this file, regardless. Ditto Nascar fans and anyone who’s been to Race Week or did a ritual Spring Break in Daytona while in college, and that includes just about anyone who’s ever owned a Harley.
Pros: good model, bonus racetrack included.
Cons: this file really falls apart after dark.
A small secondary grass strip/gated community is included with the KDAB file. FD90 is located just west of the city proper; interesting choice though I’d have to wonder why this was included. I guess it’s there if you want it, and it’s a separate file so you don’t have to install it…but consider this. With all the little ponds around the area you have to wonder if an alligator will find its way out onto the runway.
tdg’s latest is another ultra useful Mediterranean airport; all we’re missing is an up to date Gibraltar and a few airports in Algeria and Tunisia, and possibly Cairo, then we’d have an up-to-date Med Network that we could have only dreamt about five years ago.
And of course some of the city is modeled, a few port highlights, too. Night lighting is perfect, car parks are worthy of a master class on how to model such things, night window textures are basic scenery library specials while the overall attention to detail is exemplary. Take a spin around the island, too. There’s no telling what you’ll find.
Designers from aeroSOFT ought to emulate tdg’s style, in more ways than one, too.
Get the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44654-lmml-malta-international-airport/
MCWR Grand Cayman
[note: this is NOT a review of the file from Runway 26 Simulations]
This fanciful freeware file by Skylark2992 is a riot of color and a kaleidoscope of shapes and textures. You might try this one just for kicks, but read the installation notes carefully before trying to run it. No night textures or lighting on the ramps, no parking lot detail.
File here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44639-mwcr-grand-cayman-airport/
If you don’t know who or what CDB is, maybe this scenery isn’t for you. As is her custom, this is just one more perfect snapshot of a tropical paradise, captured by her perfect imagination.
Get it here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44640-ngta-bonriki-intl-airport-kiribati/
And…chapter two! Or, two from CDB in one day, too…
File here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/44664-ngmk-marakei-atoll-kiribati/
Have a good weekend – C