Another new Tahitian file today, a revised GA airport file in NE Switzerland, and yet another trip down memory lane as we reflect on Dallas Love Field in the 60s and 70s. Ready? Okay, let’s dive in…!
Continuing a recent trend with Alpha Aviation releasing another file in the Tahitian archipelago, and todays new airport is for NTTB Bora-Bora. This island group is located about 140 miles NW of Papeete, so a long trip in a GA single and more suited to a twin like the Navajo, the new Aero Commander, or any number of small King Air-class turboprops. Scheduled service to a number of regional islands is carried out via ATR-42 & 72 aircraft by Air Tahiti.
The island is justly famous as a diving paradise, with reef diving a notable activity here. Looking at sunsets probably ranks as the number two activity, and a quick look around at the surroundings will reveal why:
I’d guess the main attraction is the new Four Seasons Resort complex:
And the other attraction? Diving…
This airport is located on a small motu (island) in the lagoon area, so ferry service is required to get passengers to the main island for transfers on to their hotels, and this transfer pier is included in the file… Oh, try this livery for the MagKnight 789 at NTAA:
Freshly revised: LSGY – “Yverdon-Les-Bains” Airfield
Lots more little objects in this revision, like the large mower seen just above, and this file is getting more interesting with each new revision.
Something a little different today: a look back at KDAL Dallas Love Field, Braniff International, and with some gratuitous shots of Fly-J-Sims 727v2 thrown in for good measure. And we’re imaging the airport in Xp11.25 using this airport file: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/38777-kdal-dallas-love-field-by-dsd-gaming/
This is a decent enough freeware file, in some ways almost as good as payware, and it’s a reasonably accurate rendition of the airport circa 2015-2107. There are always construction projects going on as this airport morphs again and again to accommodate Southwest Airlines.
Below, a 727-100 in Braniff’s first “Flying Colors” scheme, followed by a 722 in the second version.
Fly-J-Sim’s cockpit lacks only one thing to feel complete: fresh coffee and stale cigarette smoke. This ‘pit – without a GPS or INS – is the way flying should be, while this night ‘pit is about as good as it gets.
Which is a good thing, as this KDAL works especially well at night.
As good as Jack’s 727 series is, there was room for improvement and he’s about to release v3, and we’re excited about this one, folks. I’ve heard rumbles about no cabin model, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’re still no opening doors and cargo hatches. And I get that, too. Save framerates for the things that really matter and cut out everything else. And although we agree, odds are more than a few people won’t get this file for those very reasons.
All I can say is “Wow, you don’t know what you’re missing.”
Oh, the second image below is the old Braniff simulator campus & maintenance hanger, but more on that further down…
Above, the airport in Xp; below, the real McCoy on a broken overcast day, with Big D in the distance.
Commercial aviation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area has a long, storied history – while some might call the history between these two cities more than a little contentious. During the post-war years – up through 1969 – there were two commercial airports in the region: Love Field in Dallas and Amon Carter Field on the southeast side of Ft Worth, this second airport later called Great Southwest International. Carter/GSW ceased operations in 1969 after the CAB refused to support two airports in the region, and demanded the cities cooperate in the construction of what would become KDFW, which opened for business in 1974. Hostilities then commenced between the two cities and have rarely subsided since, yet American Airlines has huge facilities on the remnants of Carter/GSW, including a major simulator facility.
Love Field underwent a drastic transformation after WWII, changing from an Army Air Corps training base to something that looked a little like this by the late 1950s:
Braniff even had a sort of monorail system in place, and though it was short lived it was one of the first of its kind in the world. Today the main terminal looks somewhat different, though the basic skeleton remains reasonably intact:
Love Field was the home of Braniff International, and many of Braniff’s original hangers and operations facilities are still visible at Love today, including this distinctively shaped building:
Which is currently being renovated and will soon look something like this:
Maintenance and pilot training took place on this campus, and this side of the airport also had a number of large FBOs (the most successful was Southwest Airmotive), as well as a large installation hanger maintained by Collins Radio.
JFK landed here in Air Force One on 22 November 1963. When he returned to Andrews AFB later that afternoon he was no longer our president, and that event has colored the city – and the airport – for generations.
As we mentioned in a post a few days ago, Love Field saw the first jumbo operations in Dallas, not KDFW. Braniff flew 747s to Honolulu and London from Love, American their first DC-10s, while Delta first flew 747s to KATL, and then L-1011s. Here’s Fat Albert (aka The Great Pumpkin) taking-off for Hawaii on 13R, from the Braniff Archives:
KDAL is currently ground zero for Southwest Airlines, and whether you manage to get hired by them or just want to go buy a type rating in a 737, their facility at Love Field is where you’ll end up. The video below will take you on a quick look around the facility, and give you an idea of the scope of pilot operations here, but their new campus at KDAL is huge, and will be expanding again soon.
I suppose we’re lucky to have a decent freeware KDAL in X-plane, but given the airport’s long history I hope a good payware file comes along someday. There are a lot of ghosts wandering around the old Braniff facilities, just as there are one or two people left who still have good memories of the place, but time marches on.
Whoever tackles the project, don’t forget the skyline. It’s dramatic and quite colorful at night.
If you weren’t around when Southwest got off the ground, their first slogan was The Airline That Love Made, referencing Love Field – this despite the airport got its name by way of an Army aviator, Moss Love, who was killed in a training accident in 1913.
Just as an aside, the Dallas Police Department’s Academy was, once upon a time, located in the immediate area, and the jogging trail around Bachman Lake (seen in the image just above) was notorious for applicants barfing their guts out on hot summer afternoons. If you’ve ever piloted an aircraft into Love, or jogged this trail, the image above might bring back a few interesting memories. The DPD academy is now, by the by, located by Red Bird Airport, near Duncanville, Texas.
So, a quick look around KDAL, and if you’re flying Southwest 737s or Delta MD80s, don’t forget to hop in here from time to time. It’s a great training airport, and home to a lot of special memories…
And we’ll see you next time. Thanks for dropping by – C