x+s+r // freeware quicktakes 6 jun 2018

xsr ehrd


If crystal balls are anything like accurate, my guess is a whole bunch of files will release in Las Vegas next week. That said, the show should give us a pretty good indication of just how healthy our part of the sim genre is. Anecdotal evidence suggests a downward trend, but there’s not a lot to back that up. One positive trend? Airlines are going to need trillions of new pilots over the next decade or so, and there’s no better way to light a fire under a kid’s rear-end than to stick him behind the controls in X-plane and give her (or him) a lesson. I still think those of us in the community need to evangelize a little more than we do…share our passion with any one you can, but go out of your way to get teenagers off the latest first-person shooter and into something with a little more reality behind it – like a 737 in X-plane.

And speaking of 737s…EADTs x737 site has been down for a week? What gives, guys?

Anyway, a fair crop of freeware out over the last few days, so let’s jump right in.

EHRD Rotterdam

There’s been a decent freeware file for this airport since the late Jurassic period – or maybe from v8 onward, anyway – and yet this latest file is just about payware quality. Well, it’s better than some recent payware, but enough of that.

We’re generally seeing more developed ramp clutter and animation lately, with items like parked (static) aircraft with catering trucks and other appropriate ground clutter/action in view, and you’ll find some here in Rotterdam, too. Great ramps, in other words. Good nearby commercial development and what looks like a good ortho are in place. Terminal entry-side is well modeled, and you’ll find that many of the local commercial buildings have photo-textures, a rarity in freeware.


This file really struts its stuff at night however, but don’t take my word for it. Take a look and see for yourself (and the cockpit shot is from the eadt x737-7)…

ehrd 2n

This is, I think, as good as we can expect from freeware, but with great ramp detail and a high quality terminal model that looks very much like the airport on the ground…? This is a 10/10 Must Have file, and you can get it here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/39679-ehrd-rotterdam-the-hague-airport/

VRMM Velana International Airport, Maledives by fsclips

In the first image immediately below you can see a runway and some airport lighting…and at the far end of the runway some lights off to the right.

And…those are sailboats at anchor.

This airport might as well be a really big aircraft carrier! It’s located on a tiny island and water-taxis carry you out to any one of a number of resorts spread around the area, some on private atolls. Quite fun, in other words, and we’re seeing better quality coming from this new developer as he picks up skills. That’s fun too.


A nice addition to your long-haul inventory – as this one is well off the beaten path. The Maldives consist of 26 atolls and islets located about 3-400 miles SW of the southern tip of the Indian Subcontinent, and the list of airlines and carriers is surprisingly long. One look at the image below might explain why…

Male real 1

Compare the airport in the file with these airport images, and you’ll see why we think this is a Must Have addition…for all kinds of reasons…

Male real 00

Male 3.jpg

Still, can you imagine what this file would be like with all the islands finished-out, complete with seaplane landings? Anyway, get the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45019-vrmm-male-maledives/


SPTN Tacna by jorgechin

We reviewed this one in our earlier Peruvian airports series, but here’s another version of SPTN Tacna, and it’s so good we think you might update your scenery folder with this latest version.


We won’t go over all the particulars again but its worth the download for those doing short haul in and around the Andes; you’ll find the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45071-tacna-sptn/


revised: KPHL Philadelphia International and City v1.5, by StevePHL

Lots of ongoing changes in this file, with the airport proper now using gateway objects. Highly recommend you get this and look it over, especially the downtown area…as this one just keeps getting better-n-better.


Get the latest version here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/38420-kphl-philadelphia-international-airport-and-city/

The SSG 748 series was updated today, and while most of this update covers instrument procedures, there’s also been some tinkering with the cockpit and other lighting. The improvements are subtle, but nice…:


Imaged at aeroSOFT’s LSZH…and for a reason, because tdg just released a new freeware LSZH, right on the heels of fsclips releasing another version of the same airport, and we have to ask: Why? Why…when one of the very best payware airport files in X-plane happens to be aeroSOFT’s LSZH? There are so many airports out there that need to be made…so again, why expend the energy to undermine the success of a payware developer? It’s one thing to make a freeware airport file and then have a payware developer come along with a duplicate effort – like UK2000s recent efforts at Edinburgh and London Luton – and that’s their business, too. But when a good payware file already exists is there really such a need for a freeware duplicate, especially when yet another version exists in the gateway airports series that comes with every copy of X-plane…?

Anyway, when such circumstances arise we won’t review the new freeware file. In short, we will try not to actively work to undermine good existing payware files with a review of new freeware. tdg’s work at LSZH is, as always, quite good, but that’s beside the point, and yes, while our purpose here is to look at new files, we have to look at what’s ‘best’ for all the varied aspects of the community, too, and we hope you understand. We’re quite aware of the potential to be seen as hypocritical, and we love tdg’s work, but our recommendation for a good LSZH Zurich is to buy aeroSOFT’s file, if only because it happens to be one of the very best payware files available in X-plane. We also think the SSG 748 series is getting quite interesting, especially for long haul drivers – A

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