Talking with a few more folks about the A310 issue led to some wide-ranging discussions about the state of development in X-plane. Needless to say, there are a few problem areas still cropping up, namely the lingering dominance of freeware scenery in our market. Still, word is that the more famous FsX developers who have tested the waters over here have been more than happy with the response they’ve had so far, and we can expect more scenery files from them, perhaps by the end of the year or early next. One common concern has been that a few FsX developers are dropping old, obsolete files on us, trying to squeeze a few more bucks out of tired old files, and the consensus is those few (dare we call them unscrupulous?) developers are earning a well deserved reputation for pawning off crap to an impatient market. No need to call out names, but I reckon most folks know who we’re talking about. Another tidbit? Work on one 742 is about done, so we may have that to look forward to this year, as well.
So…we have two freeware scenery files on the ramp tonight, and one of them (KMSP) is a revision, while the new EDCG file is from tdg…and both of these files are emblematic of the issue at hand. This thoroughly revised MSP file is getting so good it has now completely blurred the line between payware and freeware. Sure, there are still a few rough spots, but all-in-all this work has morphed into a seriously impressive file.
And tdg is playing the trickster again, this time with an über small airport on an island in the Baltic. If this file wasn’t so particularly interesting you might pass it over as unworthy of consideration, but one word to the wise: DON’T. Yes, it’s small. Yes, it’s an out-of-the-way location. And yes, it’s got awesome possibilities. All of which begs the question…why isn’t this guy making payware?
Anyway, let’s dive in and check things out.
If you’ve ever flown into this airport you can look at the images just below and without a doubt know exactly where you are (even if in X-plane). This freeware file not only looks uncannily accurate, it employs custom objects and bloody well is uncannily accurate. As MSP is one of Delta’s largest and most important hubs, this is a vitally important airport file for any commercial operator in X-plane to have on hand. If a Delta fan, this one is crucial.
Here’s the background of this version of KMSP:
KMSP v0.8 Scenery courtesy of Todd Fleck, updated and uploaded with his permission
Orthoimagery adjusted by Dhruv Kalra
Updated by Daniel Everman
- Custom-modeled airport buildings and surrounding area, including Mall of America and Downtown Minneapolis.
- Airport layout updated to match the current airport, including the extension of the Humphrey terminal.
- Orthophotos for airport and surrounding areas.
- Groundroutes for use with AI traffic programs.
- Animated jetways and ground traffic using Autogate/GroundTraffic by Marginal.
In addition, there have been numerous additions to areas immediately surrounding the airport, including two parks with lighted baseball diamonds…as we’ll see below.
Autogates now active except out on the RJ ramps is just one highlight; the expanded SunCountry terminal west of the main terminal is active now with lots of static aircraft.
PBR materials and HDR lighting are used to maximum effect now, too. One nice aspect of this file is the included additional Minneapolis City File, which offers a thorough and complete city skyline.
The lighting looks great whenever and wherever employed.
While the JarDesign Ground Handling Package looks good out on these ramps, you’ll find tons of relevant vehicles where aircraft are likely to be parked.
The remodeled terminal is up-to-date, and includes all the latest additions and revisions to gate layouts.
My biggest gripe continues to be a lack on night lighting on (or from inside) most of the terminal buildings. The central hotel is dark at night, as well. A last issue? The central parking lot uses a smeary ortho to depict parked cars on the uppermost deck.
The Signature FBO is modeled now, and several biz jets are parked on these ramps.
And above, the baseball diamonds are prominently visible on several approaches or while on downwind, and there are multiple air cargo areas, all modeled nicely and full of relevant static aircraft and ground vehicles. The SSG 748F and JD GHE package works wonders here, too.
All-in-all, this file has now reached a kind of critical mass; it’s just about perfect. So good there’s no reason not to have this file onboard…and you can pick it up here:
A 10/10 Must Have file.
Located one hundred and twenty miles almost due north of Berlin, the little airport on this island of Rugen is closer to Copenhagen than it is to either Berlin or Hamburg. While primarily a GA facility, the airport’s terminal also handles charter flights to Berlin, Hamburg, and other cities throughout Europe.
Spas, 19th century spas, often with stunning architecture, as well as the white chalk cliffs located along the water’s edge in Jasmund National park.
The airport is small, and only recently developed a paved runway and taxiway. Most aircraft parking is still on grass.
tdg makes great freeware airports, usually very big commercial airports loaded with impressive layers of detail, so when he comes along and makes a small facility like this you kind of have to wonder why. Well, the location is certainly unique, but beyond that why make this airport?
Maybe it comes down to personal choice. Getting tired of making on huge airport after another, perhaps it was simply time for a change…but then again…look at this airports location…then keep in mind the area has been a famous resort area for hundreds of years.
So…flights from all over Germany are a given, but so too are flights from Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. Poland, too, would be appropriate…so join us in the pattern as we land at EDCG Rugen…and see what else this little gem has to offer…
Note the proximity to the sea here, and to almost constant wind. Tricky final!
While the airport isn’t typically open at night, arrangements can be made for night OPS. tdg thoughtfully included interesting lighting features to really liven the place up a bit.
Check out the light on the control tower in the last image just above. Textures and HDR at MAX.
So…? What stands out to me is the foliage work around the airport perimeter. ScottishWings often goes to such extremes but I don’t recall tdg going to such botanical effort before. The areas around both runway thresholds are a riot of flowers and blooming shrubs, while the little terminal looks amazing at night…
So…was tdg working on new skills here? Time will tell, but again…the question remains…why isn’t he making payware files?!?!
Anyway, y’all have fun out there, and we’ll seeya around the campfire –