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BluePrint Simulations' KIAD - Washington/Dulles Intl' Airport
3 replies to this topic
Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:29 AM
Hello again folks,Tonight I'll be making this short yet comprehensive review of BluePrint Simulations' Washington Dulles International scenery for Microsoft Flight Simulator X. The general purpose of this review is to create a subtle POV of BluePrint's redention of this magnificent, and how it runs on such a weak rig such as mine. Overview Washington Dulles International (ICAO:KIAD, IATA:IAD) is a CAT II international airport located just west of the CBD of the District of Columbia, United States. Serving the D.C. mainland, it is named after Dwight D. Eisenhower's United States Secretary of State, J. Foster Dulles. It currently occupies 47.2 sq mi of land, of the total D.C. area. Approximately 60,000 flights depart and land at KIAD daily, with 23.000.000.000 passengers flying to and from the airport each day, making it one of America's busiest airports. The airport itself is a hub airport, currently serving as bases for American, Southwest, US Airways Express, Delta, United and Continental as well as JetBlue. The recent merger between the two latter airlines will eventually create United's 5th largest hub. United itself handles 57% of Dulles' traffic, with JetBlue coming second, with 7.6% of the total traffic. American Airlines comes third, owing 5% of the traffic. 143 gates and 14 hard stand parking spots graced the ground traffic at Dulles, used as bases for the trademark PlaneMate vehicles. Gate D26 will be remembered forever in American history, as an American Airlines Boeing 757-223, registered N644AA took off from this particular airport, leaving the gate at 08:09 AM local time, and took off 11 minutes later from RWY30. It was then at 09:37, that the plane crashed into the Pentagon, having struggled for less than an hour shortly after hijackers entered by the time it was 08:51. The airport is famous for being the subject of many Hollywood creations, including the 1975 movie Airport and the 2008 movie, depicted briefly as Dubai International. While set in other airports, Dulles is used as a stand-in to most airports, such as KJFK. It is also stood in by most of America's busiest airports, such as KLAX and KDEN (Stapleton, now closed). InstallationThe pack comes directly from the BluePrint website (http://www.blueprintsimulations.com) as a reasonably big 176MB installer. While it is provided both for FS9 and FSX, I chose the FSX version as it both offers more detail and eye candy, as well as better and more detailed textures, and that I only own FSX. Once unzipped I ran installer, and the installation was a breeze. The only quirk found was that the installer didn't directly install the scenery into the FSX scenery library; in other words, you will have to traditionally add the scenery to the library manually and activate the scenery automatically, but IMHO, I'm very well used to doing so, so I don't think that this is such a big deal. Well, it is, and it's a shame, because most commercial scenery developers choose to code it to install sceneries directly into the FSX scenery library to make things easier. SceneryI find the scenery to be average for its class; the scenery itself was rather distasteful, thanks to the lack of custom pavement textures and static vehicles. This isn't disastrous, but I'd like to see buses all around, and boarding passengers onboard a set of UAL aircraft. On the other hand, the scenery objects are well designed. All textures are made to the latest standards, and the distinctive terminal building itself is clear and sharp-looking at its best, at the great deal of comparing it to the ImagineSim scenery. One issue was night lighting; remember BluePrint's CYUL scenery, with the so called "wasteland" night lighting? Well, I've experienced them with great deal over gates D-E. Luckily for us, there's a service pack available on the site for free. Looking closely at the AFCAD files, they are proportionately accurate as per Google Earth images. The jetways are placed in the same positions as how the real KIAD gates would do, although sadly they are static. And after a slight inspection on the taxiways and ground textures (excluding pavements), the close look concludes that they are indeed realistic and precise to their real life looks. However, because the scenery is an airport only scenery you can see that beyond the borders and interstates as well as roads that link to the airport, everything is default. You can see though, how good it blends with the default scenery, as well as other terrain meshes such as UTX and GEX and such. Verdict? Another legible recommendation? You bet it is. Although there's no "Stamp of Approval" for this review, as I am a non staff reviewer, I'd very highly recommend the scenery for those who have very weak computers, or for those who are mainly purists and do not care for the static vehicles or the errors that are widely spread within the scenery. Of course, the hardcore simmer will find the bugs and the lack of eye candy rather disappointing, but seeing that the scenery is proportionally correct, and the consideration of the default scenery being horrible, this is one of the best must buys of the year, aside of the bugs I've mentioned above.Dave Gregory.
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Posted 30 November 2010 - 11:04 AM
It's early for me, I'm still on my first cup of wake up juice.The numbers are a little extreme? Should they be yearly data, as having an average of 42 flights for every minute of the day seems odd? While I've traveled a little in the area around D.C. and can attest to the heavy traffic, one million passengers an hour might have been the cause?Off for more coffee!
Approximately 60,000 flights depart and land at KIAD daily, with 23.000.000.000 passengers flying to and from the airport each day, making it one of America's busiest airports.
Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:23 PM
The wikipedia article says 23,000,000 and 47.9 square km. So, this is likely just a typo on the part of the poster.However, it is worth noting that Denver International Airport comes in at 53 square miles - almost as big as your city. I'm not sure all this area is used for actual airport operations though.- Martin
Yea, those numbers are high, and there's no way the airport can cover 47.2 square miles. My hometown CITY is just over 67 sq. miles. Be that as it may, the review was helpful, and I'll look at getting this soon!Tim