We’ll look at KPVD Providence today, a payware version that’s been around for a few months, as well as a two new freeware scenery files, and even two paints from an unexpected source…so…let’s hop to it.
The first couple of iterations of this payware file were a little bare, but recent revisions have taken this file to a whole new level, and if you were reluctant to purchase this one a few months back…well…it might be time to rethink that decision.
So…welcome to Providence, Rhode Island, otherwise known as Boston’s southernmost suburb. Boston is one of the few cities in the US with something approaching both inner and intercity rail hubs; KBOS Boston Logan is linked to the rest of the city by the T, via the MBTA’s Silver Line, which takes you to South Station and then on out to the rest of the city. Another such MBTA line, the Providence Commuter Rail Line, links the City of Providence, and KPVD, to Boston and her suburbs – so it’s not wrong to think of KPVD as, kinda sorta, serving the Boston market, too.
And once Southwest Airlines figured all that out and moved in-force to KPVD the airport experienced a renaissance, and now you’ll find not only the Big Three legacy carriers (American, Delta, and United), but also Southwest, Frontier, Spirit, JetBlue and Allegiant. Interestingly, you’ll also run across AirCanada, Azores Airlines (formerly known as SATA), as well as Norwegian, which, oddly enough, services Dublin, Cork, and Shannon, all in Ireland. FedEX and UPS also have a big presence here, primarily due to a regional Amazon warehouse and shipment node.
This file, by VerticalSIM, has been out for several months and is already at v2.2, so the developer is constantly at work, revising and updating as he finds things to tweak. That’s an interesting approach, one at odds with most other payware developers – who release a file and unless major errors are found simply leave it alone. Anyway, let’s take a look at a few of the highlights here…
So far…you’ll find a generally quite accurate layout, good variety of building materials presented – from brick to metal to stucco. Jetways are high quality, some roof detail is modeled (but some detail is represented by ortho), most car parks are filled with objects (and not orthos-as-car-parks), ramps look quite busy and pavement markings are adequate.
Now, what about night? How does she look after dark…?
Basic textures generally good except for windows, ramp lighting is a little dim, runway and taxiway markings decent enough and runway lighting accurate, including VASI. Here’s the relevant diagram:
Still, a few minor problem areas remain:
The tower is of marginal quality; there are more than a few trees in roadways; a few buildings have missing elements so there’s some show-through; there are some floating cars on upper decks of multi-level car parks (as well as some cars embedded in the concrete); and there’s no ramp lighting at the cargo, GA, and FBO ramps – which is in need of immediate attention.
The developer has included a large and complete VFR City file and good supporting documents, moving this up to and Excellent rating and Must Have file territory, especially if frequenting the US Northeast Corridor in your travels. The file is at the Org Store (for a very reasonable 15$USD, too), performance is very good, and the developer’s conscientious approach to updating his work make this a good long term investment in flying fun. Highly recommended, and we’ll update as progress warrants.
So…what’s ruifo’s latest? Well, behind curtain number two its MMAA Acapulco, Mexico, one of the original Jet-Set airports from the late-50s. If you recall names like Liz and Dick (aka Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton), those two A-list actors put this place on the celebrity map back in the day, and then Acapulco leapt to further fame after the Elvis/Ursula Andress film Fun in Acapulco was filmed in and around the city (including the famous cliff diving scenes). Currently the city is in the grips of chaos as cartels and corrupted law enforcement gangs do battle with government troops, and the US has listed most of the region under a “prohibited” travel advisory.
The airport has seen the likes of Pan Am, TWA, Braniff, BOAC, and Air France come and go, though United Express still maintains a tenuous link to the US through KIAH/Bush. AirTransat and Sunwing also offer seasonal Canadian service, but everything else is domestic now, and will probably remains so until the Narco-trafficantes are pacified.
ruifo’s file is generally very good, though some confused roadways in and around the airport look kind of rough, so consider this an interesting addition to your scenery folder…kind of a blast from the past, so to speak.
Ah, but ruifo has another treat in store for us gringos. A South of the Border tribute to President Trump in the form of a livery for the new Carenado Citation II! And don’t miss his Brazilian UFO livery for the same .acf.
The file is located here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/48008-mx-mmaa-acapulco-intl-airport-2018/ …and its a Must Have…
Good airport files in the Caribbean are few and far between, but here’s one you’ll want to keep on hand. Punta Cana was built in the early 80s in a traditional palm-thatched roof style, and many of the concourses remain open to the outside.
You’ll want to explore the airport AND the region after getting here, and you’ll find facilities for air cargo as well as limited GA/biz-jet ramps. Located on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, the location is nice for GA hops from Florida to Puerto Rico and points east, as well as Florida to Brazil in your TBM900!
All in all, an interesting set of features here, and an impressive list of carriers and destinations to work with. The file can be found right here, too:
Image up top today? A Swissair MD80 departing UK2000s EGFF. Hope you enjoyed the post, and we’ll see you next time –