PDI Sims has recently released its rendition on Vitoria-Foronda airport, an important airport for cargo operations, very close to Vitoria-Gasteiz, a Basque city.
That’s the feature list of the add-on:
-750 square kilometers of 1 meter per pixel ortho-imagery, with dynamic snow when the temperature is below 0 degrees.
-30 cm per pixel orthoimagery inside the airport.
-5-10 cm per pixel hand-crafted orthoimagery in the car parkings.
-PBR implementation (Buildings and ground textures).
High-resolution building textures with baked in ambient occlusion (and PBR).
-Custom vegetation for the entire ortho.
-3d vegetation inside the airport itself.
-Custom autogen for the villages of Estarrona, Gereña, and Antezana de Foronda.
-X-Plane’s default ground services.
–Custom weather effects
-Custom rain effects
-If it is raining when loading the airport, rain overlay will appear.
-Custom snow effects
-When the temperature is below 0 degrees, the default orthophotos will be replaced with snowed orthophotos. In addition to that, rain overlay will be replaced with snow overlay.
We’ll see shortly how the weather effects were implemented.
The textures are well done, the runways and taxiways are detailed even with medium/low resolution options, that’s one of the custom sceneries with the best textures I’ve ever reviewed, really well done.
I’ve noticed that even the photorealistic scenery, included in the package which weights 1,25 gigabytes compressed, is detailed and not too heavy on the performances, that were always very high, meaning that the optimization done was perfect.
The terminals are very well modeled, and the textures are good, I expected a little less detail for the cargo terminal which has an insane level of detail, just look at the trees, trucks and buildings outside of the apron zone!
The 3D grass implemented isn’t weak point, but I think that developer decided to find a quick solution that could have given a valid impression.
The goal was achieved, but I’ve expected a slightly better rendition.
The absence of static heavy aircrafts is not a thing that will affect the total experience that much, because you’re flying in a small regional airport, but due to the absence of traffic even on the various networks, the airport seems desert.
If you’re flying with GA aircrafts you won’t have any kind of issue, because there are a few aircrafts parked in the general aviation zone.
The ground traffic is not really customized, I think that the vehicles used are from the default LR library, while the routes were drawn by the developer.
The weather effects
One of the coolest features of this airport is the custom weather effect in case of rain or snow.
If it’s raining while the scenery is loaded, custom wet ground textures will appear on the apron and on the runways, this is a great use of PBR system and its potentialities.
The cool fact is that, in case of outside temperature below 0 degrees Celsius, the rain overlay will be automatically replaced by snowy textures, even the photorealistic will be replaced with a custom snowy one.
This is a really cool feature that demonstrates the great attention to details.
It’s important to know that if it stars raining while the scenery is already loaded, the effect won’t appear.
Outside the airport
The zones outside the terminals are very detailed.
The scenery features custom parkings, roads and traffic just outside the terminal.
Even the terminal itself is really detailed, featuring signs and indications both in Spanish and in Basque.
The Basque flag is also present alongside the Spanish one, a curious detail.
There aren’t many custom buildings, even the city is not modeled, but there are various renditions of some villages nearby the airport.
There are also custom streets, and a very well modeled motorway junction.
Also the secondary airport buildings are well done (like the radio building here).
This airport has become one of my favorite custom sceneries currently available: the great level of detail and the good performances really make it a new generation airport.
The custom weather effect, although already present in some other sceneries, is a very interesting addition, it works with any weather injector/evironmental plugin, when others usually work with specific plugins.
The price is right for the work done (24,50$ on x-plane.org and on Threshold store), and it has been on sale for 22$ recently.
It’s not a big airport, but it’s perfectly suitable if you usually fly with freighter planes or with low cost carriers.