Ever since Turbulent Designs announced that they have started working on getting their airports into X-Plane 11 back in June 2017, I was in flight sim heaven. I am such a big fan of their work so I said to myself “This is it, Ollie, this is what you’ve been waiting for!”. And right I was. Although we do see more and more developers enter our beloved platform, we do lack the smaller GA and regional airfields. X-Plane 11 is just too young as a platform to have a wide coverage of such payware airfields. However, with the appearance of Turbulent Designs (and having in mind that Orbx is about to enter the market soon) things are looking a lot brighter for anyone who loves to fly in the back country, which is where my heart is!
Turbulent Designs advertise their debut product as follows:
“Built for X-Plane 11, KIDA – Idaho Falls Regional Airport includes a large coverage area packed with unique, high-quality content.
KIDA – Idaho Falls Regional Airport is an air transportation center for Eastern Idaho, Southern Montana, and Western Wyoming travelers and serves as an access point to some of America’s favorite tourist destinations including Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Sun Valley, Idaho.
- Accurate representation of KIDA – Idaho Falls Regional Airport
- 11.7km2 coverage area including the Falls
- High quality modeled buildings and POI
- Includes Turbulent Designs’ renowned Real Flora vegetation textures
- High Definition ground poly
- Baked ambient occlusion
- High detail custom autogen buildings
- Support for X-Plane 11.05+
- Includes Turbulent Designs high detail clutter library”
All that said, follow me on this journey to Turbulent Designs’ KIDA Idaho Falls: X-Plane Edition and find out if the developers met our high expectations! Before we arrive in scenic Idaho Falls, though, see what add-ons I used for this review:
- US Orthophotos Project (Idaho) by Forkboy2
- HD Mesh Scenery v4
- Tree Lines and Farms V2
- SkyMaxx Pro v4
- World Traffic 3
As usual I want to show you all how well this scenery blends into its surroundings. In this respect, KIDA Idaho Falls really shines. The screenshots above show the airport in a HD Mesh v4 environment. As you can see, the airport perfectly blends into the scenery. There are no color variations, nothing! Perfect blending! The team obviously made an effort to adjust their ortho to work with the widely used HD Mesh v4. Well done Turbulent!
However, as we all know, lots of folks use ortho scenery from dozens of available sources. It’s impossible that an airport that was made to work with HD Mesh v4 can blend just as good with ortho scenery, right? Well, to my surprise, see this:
At least with Forkboy2’s popular US Orthophotos the airport looks just perfect. Notice that the orthos used in this setting look different than in the screenshots I took in the HD Mesh v4 environment? That’s because Turbulent apparently deliver two different and color-adjusted versions of the orthographic image to perfectly blend with the most popular base meshes.
Before you get all annoyed about the thought of copying and pasting different orthos into your scenery folder all the time, may I present to you the Turbulent Terminal software. This stand-alone software that is required to activate the scenery also features a convenient switch for ground texture blending. Jackpot, Turbulent Designs! I love this!
Let’s have a look at the airfield. I chose a sunny weather setting to show y’all the perfect texturing work. Simply stunning, razor-sharp textures! Have a look at the remarkable terminal building:
You might have already wondered about the static aircraft. Some of the smaller GA aircraft are from Turbulent. Some others but especially the jetliners are displayed by the World Traffic 3 plug-in, which perfectly works out-of-the-box with this scenery. Mentioning jetliners, there is one downside. Turbulent apparently did not utilize the Autogate plug-in and so all the jetways remain static for now. This is certainly an important detail for lots of simmers out there. However, I believe this can be forgiven for now as this is Turbulent Designs first X-Plane product and as they said themselves:
“X-Plane is an entirely new dimension for us so bear with us while we find our feet (or wings perhaps!).”
Fair enough! Anyway, have a look at the GA areas of KIDA Idaho Falls, which all look very impressive and detailed to me:
This is not too exciting. From a simulator perspective, Idaho Falls is a typical smaller city surrounded by rural areas so don’t expect Casinos, big hotels and whatnot. However, from a development perspective, the surroundings are crafted in the same passionate way as the rest of this outstanding scenery. I especially want to point out those trees. Have you ever seen such perfect and beautiful trees in X-Plane before? This is just a taste of what Turbulent Designs remarkable Terraflora could do to the whole sim if the team decides to release this product for X-Plane.
It should also be noted that Turbulent Designs did not use X-Plane’s roads in certain areas of the scenery. Instead, all you can see in these areas are the crisp and clear ortho roads. As a result you won’t see any moving traffic there. I can understand this design decision, though. There are some narrow or non-standard roads in these areas which X-Plane’s stock roads cannot display in a realistic way. However, as I said, it’s still noteworthy.
I did not expect much from the night lighting since this is a smaller rural airport. As you can see, I was wrong. The scenery really shines when those many many lights turn on and it’s definitely a joy to approach Idaho Falls during dusk.
The “Nasty” Stuff
I did find one minor bug, which I am sure will be fixed soon. It’s a layering bug resulting in parts of the apron changing the color as you come closer to the airport. Download this short video to see for yourself.
I love Idaho Falls. If you decide to use Forkboy2’s orthos with it (which you should), the results are simply stunning. This is now one of my favorite regional hubs in the US and I find myself more and more flying from and into KIDA Idaho Falls! My personal thanks to the developers for bringing this beauty to our sim! Thank you so much! Well done and great work!
I definitely recommend Turbulent Designs’ KIDA Idaho Falls: X-Plane Edition. Grab it now for its low price of just £19.19 (for a limited time, will be priced at £23.99) here.
Support this developer and root for their outstanding KMBS to be their next X-Plane airport!