Thursday, November 21, 2013

ADX FirstLook: Sim720 Caernarfon!

P3D. Perhaps best known for their work under the famous Orbx logo, the team that makes up the name we all know too well as Sim720 has begun to trade under their own name independently. With a nice spiffy new office in Hampshire, the team is setting out to deliver an entire line of quality flight simulation products. Thus far, the team has released 3 airfields via their new website. One of which I have already covered (Catalina) and 2 I will attempt to cover now in this latest edition of ADX FirstLook! Oh and grab a jacket will you? The bloody weather in Wales and Scotland was pure crap today and the crosswinds even worse... But hey, this is what we play for!


3 products by this team already!

I guess that's one of the many wonders of the ADX FirstLook! series. I just don't have the time to cover everything in a full review and readers need some kind of third party perspective to draw some further conclusions from. So i'm happy to keep this short and sweet in a effort to convince you to head over to flight.sim720.co.uk to see for yourself all this team has to offer.

Now if you are an Orbx fan like me, then you should already be interested in what this team has set out to offer. I should also remind you that the team actually has a few products in development for Orbx. I have been assured that these products are developing on schedule.

Besides this, the team is also developing at this moment: Stornoway, Isafjordur, the East Frisian Islands, and Inverness among others. So do keep your eye on Sim720. Much is coming out of these offices in the near future.

Now the team was interested in my coverage of Caernarfon and shot me over a copy. But my interest lingered a bit further North to Scotland. Where situated on the banks of the Ardmucknish Bay lay the quaint and rather quiet Oban Airfield. Boy did this release blow under my radar. I suggested they send over this one as well and they happily obliged. So what's up with this place? Let's find out!
Ultimately there is not too much to say about this little airfield other than the face that it really offers an exciting approach with some very unique ans scenic vistas. Personally, I recommend approaching runway 01. This provides a steep angle of attack as you overfly the hills of Connel across the Loch Etive. You then have to bleed off the speed before crossing the river. Alternatively, you can avoid the hill altogether and fly an eastbound approach just before orchestrating a sharp left downwind tun to final. Either maneuver should be a bit of fun to carry out especially if there are crosswinds out there. Besides, if you bollocks the approach and have to ditch, you can make for the innovative buoy system just shy of the shore and swim your way in.









Fully compatible with FTX Scotland, all the surroundings are perfectly fitting. The Connel bridge looks perfect!

The only issue I have with the airfield is with the ground textures. They could be much sharper. Besides that though, the performance is very smooth and it's just a short flight north from Ronnaldsway. I need no excuse to fly up here. It's a really decent addon and if my screenshots do it any justice, then you also see for yourself it's a very worthy addon. Olban comes complete with photo-real layout and textures (30cm resolution within the airport boundaries and 60cm resolution outside. Custom auto-gen buildings outside the airport boundry, extensive library of airport clutter, accurate taxiway lanes, good looking custom made static aircraft custom night-lighting and runway lighting and 3D grass. it's also compatible Horizon sceneries as well as being DX10 compatible.


Okay, finally my flight to Caernarfon has arrived! But wait! What's this? A very interesting and good looking airplane indeed!
The Ryan Navion! The pilot exit's the plane, walks right over to me, says: "It's all yours mate" walks directly into the Loch Etive and just swims off. WTF was that all about? I walk up to the plane. There is a letter on the seat with my name on it. I open it and it's says it's all mine for free. And hey, who the hell am I to argue with that? I grabbed my camera and took some pictures. It's been quite a while since I saw freeware that looked this good!








Just judging from my screenshots, this is an aircraft addon that is worth a parking space on every prophead's harddrive. I put my little flight plan together and prepare to set sail for Caernarfon!
I fire her up and taxi to the active. The sounds are good, and taxi is smooth. In seconds, she is airborne. Now you can research about the history of this birdie on your own. I'll just say this, if you are at all a fan of the P51 Mustang. Consider this, this was built by the same company during the same period so she has a little fight in her. You have been warned. It's a beautiful aircraft and the developers have done a splendid job. As it's freeware, I need not say too much as I am sure you will head out and download her if you haven't already. So enjoy some more shots as I make my way into Caernarfon.

Be sure to pick up this beauty here:
http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforums/showthread.php?83140-LDR-Development-Ryan-Navion-B-Released














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Alright, the flight was very smooth and the aircraft was a very good girl. But once I descended back into the weather, things went to shit real quick. In seconds the the thermals made their presence very clear giving me a quite a fight down. The approach was even worse as the crosswinds set in. The active in use was 08 due to the heavy winds out of the south west. But for some stupid reason, the tower insisted I fly the 02 approach taking me right into the heart of a 15kt crosswind. Why did they do this to me? I could clearly see aircraft approaching 08 in the distance. I had to fight all the way in trying not to get a case of "happyfeet"/
As I got closer, something caught my eye. What the F*&^ is that?? As I got closer, I made out what I perceived to be 2 large ass wind turbines that appeared to be less than 100 feet off to the right of the runway edge. If I wasn't pissing my pants yet, I was about to...





Now parked and diaper changed, I set out to discover the latest staple by Sim720! There is good attention to detail in just about every part of this airport including high-res photo imagery on both the ground and buildings. Although, same as in Olban, the ramp texturing lacks a crispness to it. This was also apparent to me in the Catalina product.




These people are not "flowing" all static but bring a sense of life to the place nonetheless.

Nice fencing and object texturing. I'm impressed. Highly realistic.









Those wind turbines really tripped me out. Why on earth were they placed there?? They surely make for an exciting approach.
You will surely want to steer away from here at night. Unless I did something wrong, there is almost no night lighting at all but a couple lights on the buildings. If you don't think you will arrive by sunset, don't take off. There will not be any runway lighting to greet you.

As for performance, no issues at all in this area and the product is fully compatible with Wales. Just as with Olban, Caernarfon comes complete with photo-real layout and textures (30cm resolution within the airport boundaries and 60cm resolution outside. Custom auto-gen buildings outside the airport boundry, extensive library of airport clutter, accurate taxiway lanes, good looking custom made static aircraft custom night-lighting and runway lighting and 3D grass. it's also compatible Horizon sceneries as well as being DX10 compatible.

I am personally excited to see more quality airfields popping up in the UK. Not only is Sim720 picking good destinations, they are also choosing destinations that are both breathtaking and challenging to approach. Couple that with the great quality this team is well known for and you have a good recipe for fun and quality visuals that wont harm your frames! Head over to Sim720's website for more information!


Happy Flighting!

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6 comments:

Dave Nicoll said...

Excellent review...

There is no night lighting as the real life airport closes at 16:30 winter and 18:00 summer so it is not required.

DAndre Newman said...

That explains it! It's a great product!

Andrew said...

If winds are out of the SW, why in God's name would 08 be the active? Winds out of the SW would be in the quadrant 180 - 270°, so you would more likely see 26 as being the active runway. Still a nice review of all these, with good screenshots, that do the product justice, as opposed to that KIAD review :)

A

DAndre Newman said...

Honestly, I had to make that part up to fit with my story. That wasnt the active. Thanks Andrew!

Jean-Marc. said...

One criticism I would like to make is that the static-non-flow lady in the beer garden wearing the blue top, doing a Harry Enfield scouser impression, might need some remodeling because her twin-peaks are going to distract any red-blooded pilot landing at the airfield and cause them to wrap their aircraft around one of the wind turbines..

DAndre Newman said...

Now YOU sir deserve an award for making laugh first thing this morning!

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