x+s+r // nttm + cymx + mmpq

small LH707320c.png

It really doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago when jets like this Lufthansa 707-328 were new and exciting. Driving out to Dallas Love Field with my dad when I was a teenager, we routinely watched Braniff DC-6s and 7s lumber down the runway, or the occasional Trans Texas DC-3 too. Still, long before the Beatles burst on the scene we might see a Braniff 707 coming or going and, as we’d often park near the end of the runway while we watched the flow of traffic, when one of these new jets took-off we’d cover our ears as they roared-off down the runway. You could feel concussive waves through your entire body build – then fade slowly away, and I remember those moments as being full of giddiness – and something akin to awe.

When I was processing the image above all those memories came back to me, and who knows, maybe it was the black smoke that got to me. Those of you not around when the 707 came on the scene won’t have anything to relate to, but let me just say those beasts were really very loud, I mean ear-splitting loud, and the amount of dark gray soot that belched out of those primitive jet engines had to be seen to be believed. Those first jets would leap into the sky and you could still see them minutes later just by following the blackish-gray soot trail they left in the sky, and the pervasive smell of half-burned jet fuel surrounded the airport 24 hours a day. But if you were born thirty years ago? Well, all that was just about gone by that point…

Yet it wasn’t so many years after the first 707 came to Dallas when Braniff and Delta were flying 747s out of Love Field (yes, Love Field), but when one of those monsters took off the feel was entirely different. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of people gathered to watch those first flights, when Delta’s 747 took off for Atlanta and Braniff to Honolulu. Atlanta! – can you imagine Dallas to Atlanta in a 747? Those first 741s were remarkably quiet, yet as we watched them start their takeoff run we’d hold our breath…because we just knew there was no way something so big could really make it up into the sky. The first time my dad and I watched Fat Albert, Braniff’s bright orange 747-100, the sight was at once frightening and astonishing, truly a surreal sight. We’d watch the main gears retract and shake our heads…because something so big just didn’t fit into our conception of “flight.”  You can sigh at the cliché of “My, how things change…” – but it’s true. I think about my grandfather from time to time, born before the first automobile hit the market, and he would witness two world wars and men walking on the moon. That’s not a cliché…that’s life, and you might stop and think about that ebb and flow from time to time, try to make sense of the world streaming by…

Reading this week about Boeing’s current forecast for commercial aircraft over the next twenty years, they think 70+ percent of the market for new aircraft will be for single aisle aircraft, and while a market for the new 777 might still exist, it looks like the 787 will make up the majority of Boeings twin aisle market. The 747 looks to be going the way of the dodo and, indeed, Airbus’ A380 faces an equally bewildering, even a troubled future. Wasn’t it just a few years ago Airbus rolled out the A380 to such hopeful fanfare?

And yet over the past few months Boeing has absorbed Embraer and Airbus Canadair/Bombardier, so the trend towards consolidation continues, as does the outlook for smaller jets. Ventures in China and Russia will enter the market facing two immensely strong rivals with solid market presence, so who knows how the market will evolve over the next twenty to fifty years. Indeed, with Trump’s America embarking on trade wars of massive proportions, who knows what will happen to Boeing by the time the dust settles. And how will climate change shape the market?  To the people living in Los Angeles this past week, that’s a burning question – isn’t it?

One thing now seems certain, however. Twenty years on I doubt there will be many 747s left in the skies. Of course, there was a time, and it wasn’t so long ago really, when I said the same thing about 707s. Interesting to watch the flow of history. What will you see come and go?


No, nothing new from xpfr this time out, rather we have a new NTTM Moorea by Alpha Aviation, and we hopped across the channel to NTAA in the little E-Jet (it takes about five minutes, by the way, to get there, and don’t bother climbing above 1500MSL). So, one more duplicate file – but this one is nicely done so we’ve included it in today’s post in case you get curious.


The ramps at NTTM are too small to handle even the little E-Jet, and the Twin Otter is really all you need; and though xpfr’s French Polynesia files could use a little updating, you already knew that. The new NTTM file can be found here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45975-moorea-temae-airport-nttm-french-polynesia/


Next on our list today, CYMX – Montreal Mirabel Airport, located in Quebec, Canada. This new file, by the ever prolific Canada4XPlane, kind of came out of the blue and I would highly recommend you download this one straight away and look it over. The airport is huge, the facilities modeled are impressively diverse, and you’ll want to read up on this airport (here) before figuring out how to use this file. Here’s the opening paragraph from the wikipedia entry, just in case:

Montréal–Mirabel International Airport (IATA: YMX, ICAO: CYMX), originally called Montréal International Airport and widely known as Mirabel, is a cargo and former international passenger airport in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada, 21 nautical miles (39 km; 24 mi) northwest of Montreal. It opened on October 4, 1975, and the last commercial passenger flight took off on October 31, 2004. The main role of the airport today is cargo flights, but it is also home to MEDEVAC and general aviation flights, and is a manufacturing base for Bombardier Aerospace, where final assembly of regional jet (CRJ700, CRJ900 and CRJ1000) aircraft and the Airbus A220 (formerly Bombardier CSeries) is conducted. The former passenger terminal apron is now a racing course, and the terminal building was demolished in 2016.

That said (or read), you’ll want to look this one over carefully. It’s impressive, and not so long ago would have been considered payware quality.


If air cargo is your thing, this one ought to be at the top of your list of things to do this weekend. Get it here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45987-cymx-montreal-mirabel-airport/

And oh, there’s a separate winter textures file included. Nice touch.

748f to CDG, perhaps?


YPDN Darwin, Oz came in for a revision and it’s worth adding if only to provide another destination to fly to from Orbx’s Broom. Decent little file it is, too.


Next up (as in just above): this revised GMMI + Essaouira-Mogador Airport  serves Essaouira, Morocco, a small city in the Marrakesh-Safi region of Morocco. You’ll find direct flights to Paris from here, and an interesting variety of other European and Moroccan destinations, as well. Very interesting little airport, nicely done file. Get it here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45990-gmmi-essaouira-mogador-airport-v2/


Palenque most often refers to a Mayan ruin complex south of the Bay of Campeche, and the town that grew up in the area isn’t anywhere near as old as the ruins. ruifo’s latest airport file, for MMPQ Palenque, is actually one of the newest airports in Mexico, which appears to have been built to funnel tourists to the ruins.

The ruins?

Yeah, the ruins. Not familiar? Take a look:


One of the oldest such sites in the Americas, Palenque dates back to 200 BCE and was a flourishing city by 500 AD. More remarkable still? The current site open to the public covers approximately one square mile, yet estimates are that only ten percent of the site has been reclaimed from the surrounding jungle.

And yes, the area around the ruins is pure jungle, complete with big cats (jaguars) and even bigger snakes, and despite these cute critters almost a million tourists visited last year. The new airport has been purpose built to handle these crowds, and the town of Palenque in located near enough to present few logistical problems.

Looking at the first image just below, the more distant runway services the commercial terminal (just barely visible upper right) and the small GA/bizjet ramps are located lower center of the image…complete with their own runway!

ruifo’s airport uses Laminar assets (only) so frame-rates are not an issue, and let me call your attention to one of the images below – the fifth, to be precise. The Laminar MD80 is being serviced by the JarDesigns Ground Handling package, while the Laminar 738 is actually an AI aircraft…and note that it too is being serviced, only by Laminar’s ground equipment. First time I’ve run across this, and it was quite impressive to watch. The Laminar baggage truck at the MD80 drove up and stopped by the JarDesigns loaders, which was a first, too.


This new file is vintage ruifo too, meaning it’s simply excellent. I can recommend visiting the ruins, too, though when I first went (around 1970) conditions were a little more primitive than you’ll find today. We ran across a little restaurant out in the jungle (seriously) and they had bowls of “hot sauce” on the tables. Clear liquid, like water, only with a bit of shaved carrot and pepper floating in it…and I remember thinking: “How hot can it be?” Famous last words. Someone down there had discovered a potent new variety of rectal rocket fuel and put it in a bowl, and the lukewarm cerveza I downed as a result of the ensuing inferno did not one thing to put out the spreading fire. Then, of course, the cramps hit, followed by the dreaded Aztec two-step an hour or so later.

Ah, Mexico.

I didn’t check, but wouldn’t it be nice if the ruins were modeled and included in this file? Talk about nirvana for flutterbugs…!

Anyway, you can pick up ruifo’s latest right here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45985-mx-mmpq-palenque-intl-airport-2018/

Uh…hot sauce optional.


And last up today, if you want to drop a little old-school class on Mike Wilson’s Boeing 707-320c, try this vintage Lufthansa paint. Pure. Bodacious. Gorgeous. Both of ’em, and what an amazing aircraft to fly. Give it a try.

LH707320c comp

And you’ll find the paint here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45981-lufthansa-707-320/  and the acf at the Org Store.

And that’s about all the fun we can stand today. Y’all best fire up X-plane and go make a few memories of your own. Adios, and we’ll see you next time – C

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