aeroSoft’s Dortmund is now available at both the Org and Threshold Stores, and Dreamfoils Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante has been revised to Xp11 compliance, and it, too, is at the Org Store. A really sweet looking TWA paint for the SSG 748i by KD KORONAKIS came out a few days back, and those who like old school paint will enjoy this one, worn during the mid-70s thru the 80s all around TWA’s global route network. That’s it above, and you’ll see a few more images of her further down. Good to see this gorgeous aircraft wearing these bygone colors, too. Thanks.
As promised, we’ll start out this post looking at two versions of the Osaka’s international airport: RJBB Kansai – the first by relicroy and the second from tdg. We looked at Osaka’s domestic airport last time out (RJOO Itami), but Osaka Kansai is a totally different animal. Purpose built on a man-made island in Osaka Bay, RJBB has been hailed as an engineering marvel and derided as one of the costliest boondoggles in history. The island is, you see, settling faster than expected.
The terminal building(s) were designed by noted architect Renzo Piano, though neither freeware effort for X-plane comes close to doing this place justice; it’s all curves so probably too complex to model and/or render efficiently. Let’s look at some images of the real terminal before we dive into the files for X-plane:
The total land area of the artificial island is 10.5 square Km (2600 acres), including areas slated for future expansion, and there are currently two main runways open for business. Cargo OPS are significant here, and there are rail links to the mainland. Do keep in m ind this is Japan’s most up-to-date international airport, and it’s just not right that a major payware file for this airport hasn’t been made yet.
There are more gates than can easily be counted and, of course, the most up-to-date landing systems currently available are in place. Major charting services provide ample coverage.
Now, let’s look at reljcroy’s file, beginning with a view from shoreside towards the artificial island, then working our way in to the main terminal, then an overview of the island proper.
Lots of details in this one, including a tank farm, the huge central AC plant, perimeter roadways, good paved surfaces with clear markings, and in some areas a lot of ground clutter. All foliage is rendered via the ortho, night textures are decent, and ILS systems calibrated. The control tower is not especially good, and at night looks almost garish.
tdg’s RJBB is an older file (now almost four years old) and a bit less detailed. I’d also say it looks less like the real affair than relicroy’s file; if this matters more to you – and it might – tdg’s file gets better performance. The overall structure of the island and the airport is almost the same in both files, so the choice is easy. If you want more detail then go with relicroy’s file; if a slower machine is on your desktop, try tdg’s.
In tdg’s file, the semi-tubular main terminal building and the control tower are sub-standard for an airport of this importance, lighting looks like v10, but some of the smaller buildings are quite nice, especially at night. Again, this is an older effort from tdg and he’s improved quite a bit over the past three years, but I almost wish he’d revisit this one, as well as Haneda, and bring them up to date.
You’ll find relicroy’s file (2016) here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/35606-rjbb-kansai-international-airport/
And tdg’s file (2015) here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/27332-rjbb-kansai-international-airport-japan/
While both get the job done, reljcroy’s newer file has more detail and better lighting, so I’d try that one first and check your framerates. Needless to say, once again what’s needed here is a seriously well executed payware file. I’d also say that the new airport at Kobe needs to be modeled ASAP, if only to round out the area.
We’ve seen a couple of freeware PAKT Ketchikans release the past few months, but after looking over this new developers file for that airport I think you’ll see this one is clearly superior in every regard. In fact, this may now be the best airport file available for Alaska, whether payware or freeware, and that’s saying something.
First off, Ketchikan is a coastal airport located in southern Alaska, about 60 miles north of the border with British Columbia. KSEA SeaTac is c660 air miles distant, while PAJN Juneau is c230 miles NNW; these are the number one and two destinations serviced by Alaska Airlines and Delta, though Alaskan serves a number of other cities in the region.
The airport is on an uninhabited island across a narrow channel from the town of Ketchikan, and access to the airport from the town is by dedicated ferry service; an attempt to build an auto-bridge to the island was ridiculed as “the bridge to nowhere” and funding was stopped in 2007…so ferry service remains the only link between the airport and its service area.
Good charts are available in all major charting programs.
Oleg Shevchenko’s new file contains some of the best modeling I’ve seen in a long time, details are excellent, and textures convincingly immersive, with regional decorative themes evident in multiple locales. The first two images below are views from the front office in the IXEG 733 and the Rotate MD80 (day and night views), followed by images of both approaches. Please note the town across the channel, but more on that in a moment.
I’ll next call your attention to the first two images below. I have never seen foliage as well done in any file, and in fact the effect here is almost painterly. This is the “entry” side of the main terminal area, with ramps down to the ferry docks and a sea-plane jetty. Details on the ramp-ways are outstanding, as are the rock breakwaters. Finally, the ramps, aprons, and taxiways are simply perfect, with clear markings and a decent amount of clutter. The docks and jetties are just perfect, with great detail, lighting, and textures. The only negative? Ramps are a little dark at night, but not a deal breaker by any means…
Below, the view from the town towards the airport, and a quick comparison between satellite imagery and what’s in the file shows more attention to detail by the developer. Wonderful to see the developer taking the time to create such an immersive surrounding environment, and this extra effort makes the file worth the price.
It’s the smallest details here that make the biggest difference. Look around the next two sets of images and just take it all in: the dock areas; details on the seaplane jetty; the covered walkways and wheelchair ramps up to the terminal; details around the main terminal building; including the spiral staircase up to the roof of the tower; and the steel bollards at the ferry terminal.
And in the next set: the main terminals windows at night; the metal grating on the apron; night lighting on the side of the FBO building; night lighting revealing insides of mechanical plant; backside FBO stairways and car park; and last, the Alaskan “totem motif” band outside the EADT 737-7s front office.
NOTE: the first two sets of images were made with Runway Follows Terrain Contours set to ON; the final two with it set to OFF – which I would recommend here.
At some point a winter version might prove interesting. All in all, this release comes as a welcome surprise, and for anyone operating seaplanes, bush-ops, or flying commercial routes in X-plane anywhere along this coastline, this has just become the Must Have file of the summer.
It’s currently at the Org Store for 25$USD.
KJAX Jacksonville International is located on Florida’s Atlantic coast well north of all the action around Miami, but it is close to Daytona Beach so gets a lot of winter and spring vacation traffic. Delta, JetBlue, and Southwest are the big players here, but American, United, Frontier and Air Canada are seasonal providers. Silver flies Saab 340s out to the Bahamas from here, as well.
This freeware file boasts extremely good detail on what is a complicated terminal building, decent night textures, good surrounding details like car parks, and note the multi-level parking garage is modeled as such, an excellent addition to a very worthwhile file. Get it here:
Here’s a very, very nice UKHH Kharkiv International Airport in the eastern reaches of the Ukraine. Ellinair flies to Thessaloniki, while LOT flies to Warsaw Chopin and Wizz flies everywhere (sorry, couldn’t resist), and here’s the rest of the list. Lots of Soviet era details on many of the buildings, and the extensive work evident on these objects marks this file as a standout effort. Foliage and grasses are superior. All in all, a 10/10 Must Have file for connecting this region to Central and Eastern European as well as Russian destinations.
You can get the file here:
And that’s all for now. Seeya around the campfire – A&C