After a nice July 4th surge we have some fine new airports to work out of, and it really feels like our network of (excellent) airports in Greece has finally hit a tipping point. Is this fast becoming the best region in X-plane to go for an hour or so flight – even in a GA aircraft? Mountains, picturesque islands, good navaids, and excellent airports make for a compelling argument, don’t they? Still, Norway reigns supreme in our book, yet even so Greece is looking better and better. Once you spend some real time at LGHI we think you’ll see what we mean, and with the dozen or so excellent freeware files available for the region…? Hard to beat the combination here. Add Corfu and a bunch of tdg’s files and you’re in business.
On the other hand, we have one new and one revised file to look at today, so let’s see what’s what!
Cedric Gauche’s EDDK Köln-Bonn is freeware, but the fact of the matter is simple: there’s no reason why this file can’t be considered every bit as good as the majority of payware files in Germany, or anywhere. Yes, there are a few scenery library objects, but hey, hangers are hangers. The custom work in this file is spot-on, as good as it gets, and this kind of file is exactly why payware developers are scratching their heads. How do you compete with free? And when the X-plane community prides itself on having a talented, let alone dedicated pool of freeware developers, the competition ought to be fierce. I’d say at this point there’s simply no need for anyone to develop a payware EDDK. It wouldn’t sell, period.
Here’s the change-log for v3.1:
- Custom ground textures incl. PBR normal maps
- Flowers added to vegetation
- new textures for shrubs and some trees
- Ortho4xp option for solving elevation problems with some objects
- Minor unspecified fixes
Before you poo-poo adding flowers and shrubs, look over the images here, then download the file and check it out for yourself. Then consider that many airports in the real world have (gasp) flowers and shrubs, and that these elements not only look interesting, they provide depth as well as a contextual sense of scale and place. In other words, the things increase one’s sense of peripheral immersion. You may indeed not consciously notice these things (any more than you might if taxiing a real aircraft around such things), but one one level you brain takes these things in while trying to orient itself to the world. Important? Hell, yes!!!
The ortho here shows very realistic mowing patterns, with the grass cut shorter around runways and critical taxiways. Yup, easier to spot FOD in shorter grass, isn’t it? This ortho really enhances the work.
Again, when you get into the file you’ll realize the line between payware and freeware gets pretty blurry. For freeware, it doesn’t get much better than this. The revised file is located here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/42950-eddk-colognebonn/
Oh, this new Lufthansa 2018 livery by KD KORONAKIS for the SSG E-195 looks pretty good, too. Get it here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45688-ssg-e-195-evolution-lufthansa-2018/
This is an airport you’ll want to use your LES Saab 340a at, as Rex (Regional Express) is the only game in town here. And who knew…? If you want to go skiing in Australia this is the airport you’ll use. Rex currently flies two roundtrips a day from Sydney in the 340…to the Australian Alps, but I think traffic is heavier in winter.
Winter? In Australia? And they have Alps down there?
Yes, the Alps, the Australian Alps.
And these puppies hit 6,000 feet MSL, too, so winter snowfall is just about guaranteed at these altitudes, and the main ski resorts are located approximately 30 miles west of the airport. And yes, there is more than one ski resort. Try…several. Blows your mind, don’t it, Jethro…
The airport’s elevation is 3100msl, and the runway is about 7,000 feet long, so quite capable of handling 737/7 and A319 class aircraft (let alone RJs), so I guess if you want to experiment, why not…?
There are modest facilities to accommodate general aviation aircraft here as well, and if you invoke winter in TerraMAXX…you’ll find…winter!
The file is actually fairly representative of the real facility, though the surrounding terrain is auto-gen and therefore somewhat generic looking. Still, if you want to load up your skis and hit the slopes down under, this is the airport! You’ll find the file here, under a foot of new snow: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45692-ycom-cooma-snowy-mountains-airport/
Have fun, and we’ll see you next time. Happy trails! – A