This may be the first time we’ve focused on a freeware airport file by anyone other than tdg, but here goes!
CYYC Calgary International Airport by Canada4Xplane
We had a major new Calgary International release over the weekend, and do take note: this file is easily the equal of many payware files and should not be ignored simply “because it’s freeware.” The file includes a decent Calgary skyline file, as well as heliports at several local hospitals, so the depth included easily surpasses most payware files. Furthermore, the file is loaded with dozens of custom buildings, and not just an assortment of library objects. In short, this is the real deal, folks, and again, you don’t want to ignore this one.
Two things to keep in mind about Calgary. First, it’s the gateway to Canada’s oil exploration region. Second, about 90 minutes to the west (by automobile) you arrive at Banff, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. If unfamiliar, do click these links for the Banff Springs Hotel, Chateau Lake Louise, and the Columbia Ice Field Parkway. There is no other region in North America as spectacular.
CYYC is serviced by an odd assortment of airlines, and with an almost equally odd list of destinations. You can fly non-stop from here to Amsterdam, Beijing, Frankfurt, Houston, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, or Zurich – yet, if you want to fly to one of the larger cities of the American Midwest you’ll likely do so on an RJ type aircraft…just as if you were flying from MSP or ORD. And Frankfurt and Zurich are handled by Condor and Edelweiss, not Lufthansa or Swiss. Like I said…weird. And…there’s no service to Paris at all, by anyone, unless by charter.
This file is by Canada4Xplane, and his work should by familiar to you, assuming you’ve downloaded Canadian freeware airports in the past, anyway. These earlier files are typically decent to very good, but this CYYC is orders of magnitude better than what I was expecting. Also noteworthy and as already mentioned, the file includes custom objects, GA and air cargo aprons, as well as a detailed city file that also includes heliports at local hospitals. The airport includes a local flight museum complete with CF-101 Voodoo on static display, too.
Let’s take a look, daylight images first…and note that the main terminal looks very accurately modeled, and that a hi-res ortho is employed. Further, a winter textures file is included.
You’ll find all the usual suspects here – like international and domestic concourses – but you’ll also find peripheral ramp areas broken down by users, such as avgas dealers, (forest) fire fighting companies, and helicopter services…in addition to the GA areas already mentioned. And if you’re in the mood to do some serious trash hauling (air cargo), look no further…!
Nightscapes are as good as I’ve seen in freeware, with excellent ramp lighting and decent terminal glass – runway and taxiway lighting: ditto. Ramp clutter is in the good range, even on the cargo aprons, and many car parks use automobile-objects, though a few “out of the way” lots are covered by the ortho. I would say that terminal glass at night is the chief difference between this file and many payware quality file.
Below, the downtown skyline with the airport beyond; then the airport at dusk with the skyline beyond; next up, one of the far-flung heliports (this one at a fire station, though it’s not modeled), and last up, another shot of the trash hauler ramps, with the SSG 748f and the JarDesigns GHE plugin adding some depth.
If you’ve been following our blog recently, you know in what high regard we hold tdg’s work. This latest file by Canada4Xplane comes very, very close to payware quality, but you need consider this: tdg rarely uses custom objects for terminal buildings, while this file employs a number of them – the overall effect is simply stunning, too. Mr X has made better files at KBOS and KSFO, but not by much, and as such I’d say this file is in the running for freeware file of the year honors. We have to wonder what’s on his horizon for an encore…?
Note: the Digital Replica Cessna 310L seen above was revised AGAIN over the weekend, now at v1.6 and including a detailed FMOD sound set. At X-Aviation.
See you next time –