Fred-E.Net / NAPS PHNL Honolulu International Airport
NAPS developers Marc Leydecker, Hans H. Gindra, Brian Godwin and Freddy De Pues, proudly present Honolulu International Airport (PHNL) and Hickam AFB (Air Force Base).
According to Freddy “Realism is not what I’m only looking for. Most and for all, it has to look good as well. In order to be plausible and fun, I added gazillions of objects working around the existing autogen. Although USGS provided quite fair orthophotos, I decided to put extremely detailed taxiways & runways on top of the overlays. Customized buildings and landmarks were created with the help of Marc Leydecker and Hans H. Gindra for realism. Artistic additions were placed for fun and exploration. Last and not least, it is so detailed that you can see your mother at the kiss and go.”
Some of the features that this freeware package offers are:
– USGS orthoimagery
– Extreme pavement markings/signs
– Runway and taxiway signs verified by official ATC
– Stripes on shoulders everywhere
– Customized buildings
– ATC traffic and flows
– Ground Traffic
– 3D objects and lights placed with artistic sense
– Extensive use of multiple objects
– Created with Alpilotx HD Mesh 2
Now it’s time to check out the real airport and that will be followed by a comprehensive review/impression of Honolulu International Airport (PHNL).
The Real Honolulu International Airport and Hickam Field
Honolulu International Airport is the principal aviation gateway of the City & County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaii. It’s known as one of the busiest airports in the United States, with traffic now exceeding 21 million passengers a year and rising.
It is located in the Honolulu census designated place three miles (5 kilometers) northwest of Oahu’s central business district. Main roads leading to the airport are Nimitz Highway and the Queen Liliuokalani Freeway of Interstate H-1.
Honolulu International Airport serves as the principal hub of Hawaiian Airlines, the largest Hawaii-based airline. Hawaiian offers flights between the various airports of the Hawaiian Islands and also serves the continental United States, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Tahiti, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. It’s host to major United States and International Airlines, with direct flights to American, Asian, and Pacific Rim destinations. It’s also the base for Aloha Air Cargo, which previously offered both passenger and cargo services under the name Aloha Airlines.
Hickam Field (formerly Hickam Air Force Base) is a United States Air Force facility, named in honor of aviation pioneer Lieutenant Colonel Horace Meek Hickam. The facility merged with the Navy Base Pearl Harbor to become part of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The airfield neighbors Honolulu International Airport and currently shares runways with the airport.
Hickam is home to the 15th Wing (15 WG) and 67 partner units including Headquarters, United States Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), Headquarters – Hawaii Air National Guard and the 154th Wing (154 WG) of the Hawaii Air National Guard. The Air Mobility Command’s 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing (515 AMOW) provides tactical and strategic airlift within the Pacific region.
The XP10 Package
It’s quite a big package, 523MB, but that’s because it’s not only the airport that comes with the package, but also some ortho photo material. Big or not, with a longer download time then normal, it’s worth your download time.
After you’ve unzipped it, it’s basically copy and paste the complete folder into the Custom Scenery folder. But you need more before you can use this airport. You need to have installed the following sub programs in your Custom Scenery folder:
– OpenSceneryX 2.0
You also need to keep in mind that your PC/Mac needs the following requirements:
– Minimum X-Plane 10.20 32/64 bit
– A Modern Video Card with MINIMUM 512Mb VRAM
– “Runways follow terrain contours” must be disabled
– Select “Gritty Detail Textures” in rendering options
– You will want to run this scenery at “very high” or “extreme” texture resolution
– Set objects, forests, road networks, airport to extreme
Then, after you’ve followed the above guidelines carefully, if you want to go for the suburb look, you could add the following packages too:
– World Traffic by Classic Jet Simulations
– Live ATC PHNL
– AlPilotX HD Global Mesh Scvenery v2
– Animated Sea Traffic
– Asphalt Runways Enhanced HD
– HD Environment X
– Wide Taxiway Markings
– Replacement Day and Night Lighting
– Vehicle Library Extension
– Replacement Day and Night Lighting
It’s time to have a look what you can expect, but first you need to get familiar with the PHNL airport diagram.
The airport comes with six runways, however, they are not all used for the commercial large jets. There’s a “sealane” 26W/8W runway, runway 22W/4W for General Aviation (GA) and the remaining ones are for the large commercial jets. To highlight, runway 26R/8L is a huge one – 12,300 feet while the parallel 26L/8R is 12,000 feet. Taxiing from the 26L/8R takes a while to get to the passenger terminal, but you’ll have a nice outside view during your taxi time.
So, what will we find at PHNL?
Between the runways 22L/4R and 22W/4W, you’ll find the GA passenger and cargo terminal, a huge apron almost over the complete length of this area, a fire station, fuel tanks etc.
North of runway 26R/8L you’ll find right in the middle, the International passenger terminal as well as a fire station. Left of the fire station is the freighter area.
Finally, fully left of the beginning of runway 8L, you’ll find Hickam AFB, divided over several ramps. The above three areas are all located within the airport fences, but there’s much more. The area covered in this package outside the airport fences is huge. You can say that everything below the H1 (Queen Liliuokalani Freeway) and the 92 (Nimitz Highway), is modeled with ortho ground textures. There’s also runway 26L/8R which is reclaimed land, with all the ortho ground texture files. There’s a lot to explore with this recent released Fred-E.Net / NAPS Honolulu International PHNL and Hickam AFB package.
With that, it’s time to start exploring those three regions, followed by an impression of the ground textures, runway and taxiways with signs.
Exploring NAPS/Fred-E.Net PHNL
The General Aviation Area
This area is a mix of General Aviation aircraft and a cargo terminal. Besides the many handmade buildings and hangars, you’ll find a lot of static aircraft and many objects. The whole idea of this is to give the GA area a realistic look and a feel that you’re not alone here. This cargo apron is full of baggage containers and taking a close them, these are not LD3 and LD4 cargo containers which are common for upper and lower deck cargo holds. Near the hangars you’ll find car parking areas, cars and other static objects. Further on, a WestJet Boeing 737NG and a Boeing 737NG from American Airlines is parked at the apron.
If you walk to the middle of the apron, you reach the GA section. Some high quality and expensive jets are parked and although not directly linked to GA aircraft, this area is filled with large ship’s containers. All of these static objects have only one disadvantage. They’re frame rate reducing. Depending on your system, you could decide to keep the frame rates within normal range, to reduce the Rendering settings. On the other hand, setting it all to the MAX, gives you a great overview of how busy this apron is and together with the UPS MD11, two FedEX MD11s and a FedEX Express ATR, it completes the crowded look of a cargo terminal area. As you go even further down the apron, you’ll reach the GA parking positions.
There’s not just one GA aircraft parked, it’s almost full. So it’ll be difficult to find a parking spot. I can tell you that you won’t miss this part of the airport in case you have planned a takeoff from runway 4R. Runway 4L will also give you that view, but it is further away from the GA apron.
As I mentioned, this area is in between runway 4R/22L and the bay. And about the bay, I’d like to say that this is mainly based on photo-real material. That means the typical green/blue sea color gives overall, an impressive look. It’s as if you’re really there at PHNL. If you look down from 1,000 feet to the GA area, you’ll see why it gives you the idea that this is a busy area with all these static objects and the handmade buildings, hangars etc.
International Passenger Area
Lucky, Red-E.Net and NAPS kept the international terminal and apron, more or less, free for you. When you arrive, you can park either at one of the gate positions or at gate 1A, 1B or many others. It doesn’t matter where you park your commercial airliner jet, at every parking spot, there’s something to see. You’ll see containers, trucks, static people at safe spots, baggage belts, GPU (Ground Power Units) and so much more. Just to give you an idea, at gate 2 you’ll find a Boeing 767 from American Airlines, at gate 4, a Hawaiian Boeing 767 and so on. If you come closer to the passenger terminal and to those gates with jetways, there’s even more static ground equipment positioned. I’m sure I missed a couple, but I’ve seen push back trucks, movable stairs, open and closed baggage containers, fuel trucks, catering truck and trolleys etc.
The passenger terminals are all covered with photo real material which looks good from a normal distance, but the moment you zoom in too close, it becomes a little blurry. Still, it looks awesome. In the middle of the terminal building you’ll find a characteristic building with the official sign on it “Aloha Honolulu International Airport”. And while looking at the building from a certain height, hovering above the ground, I have a good look at all the large parking garages that are situated in front of the passenger terminal. The ground textures used outside the airport fences around the passenger terminal look to me a little too green and, I’m not sure if this is the intention, but all roads to and from the different passenger terminals are not modeled.
You can see the road but on the ground textures as photos. But, back to all the parking garages, they have many cars with some on the roof. All of this gives this side of the airport a realistic look. Besides the passenger terminal and ground equipment, the apron looks good too and has all the linings on it, including the parking spots. Where needed, the tarmac is a little dirty to indicate aircraft parking locations. I haven’t highlighted the jetways yet. They are either from the XP10 data base collection or handmade. The jetways from the terminal to the aircraft connection, are made of transparent light blue glass. I’m sure that it’s a nice experience while walking the jetway to the aircraft.
Past the terminal, you’ll reach an area that seems to me dedicated to parking and perhaps even aircraft engine test runs. There’s a helicopter spot and a dedicated place for the US Air Force Two or perhaps another number? Actually, the static Air Force isn’t an existing aircraft type since it has four engines, winglets and a tail that seems to me from an Airbus and does the US fly with an European Air Force aircraft? No, that’s not possible. Anyway, the model isn’t a real one, but it stays at a designated parking location.
Moving parallel in a western direction along runway 26R/8L, we reach Hickam AFB (Air Force Base). When you look at the PHNL airport diagram, you can see that the overall area of the AFB is approximately the same as the passenger terminal area.
The first apron we reach is only occupied by static aircraft such as a Boeing 707, a KDC-10 and a C-17. So in the worst case, you can always park your aircraft here. Along the side of the apron you’ll find a cargo terminal. At least, it looks like that with several fuel storage tanks in the rear. Adjacent to the first apron, there are many more aprons, all connected to each other. In between these aircraft, there are also many objects visible. Mostly military GPUs, trucks etc. Moving along brings me to hangar number 21.
If it’s something special, I’m not sure, but it looks to me like an older type of hangar, handmade with a C-17 parked in it and with a Follow Me Car ready to guide the C-17. Around the corner, there’s, you guessed it, another apron with many handmade hangars. I must say that those hangars looks impressive although at the same time I also see some brown hangars of which the photo real material isn’t of a high quality. Actually, they’re blurry. With this airport, sometimes it’s very difficult to find where the Fred-E.Net/ NAPS airport boundary stops. True enough, you can check the included ground textures, but that’s not always a guarantee that this is correct. Anyway, back to our AFB.
Did I miss some thing of the AFB?
I probably did since there’s so much to see, but while walking around the AFB, I found these nice two fighter shelter/hangars for several static F-14s. There’s also a covered gas tank station and ground equipment etc.
Overall, I’m quite enthusiastic about not only the AFB, but also the other two previously discussed areas. But, there’s also a down side with having so many static objects and that’s the frame rates. I already mentioned that you need to check your PC/Mac about how to set the sliders under Rendering Options. When you play around a little, you should be able to get reasonable frame rates. But wait, is there anything to see outside the airport fences? Let’s check that out!
Ground textures, Runway and Taxiways and additional Buildings
Using photo-real material or ortho photos for ground textures always depends on the base quality. It’s not always possible to get the highest resolution photos for free and since we’re dealing with a freeware airport, you can imagine that the NAPS team tries to get the best of the best without paying.
The overall ground textures of the airport are good, especially from a certain low altitude. The advantage of using ortho material for ground textures is that the airport gets a realistic look and sometimes it doesn’t make a big difference if the quality of the ortho material is lower then you would like. On the opposite side, not on the apron side and the passenger terminal of runway 26R/8L, past the taxiways, you’ll find a huge golf course. Add to this lot of trees, and it all looks quite realistic. While surfing over the airport, one of my favorite spots is runway 8R/26L including the surrounding ground textures. This runway, with taxiways, lies perfectly in the ground textures that stretch a little further than only ground textures. Since water is on both sides of the runway, a lot of “ground water” textures are included. What I like most, is the perfect blending of these “ground water” textures into the XP10 Ocean. Awesome!
Suppose you land on 26L and taxi to the passenger terminal via taxiways RM, RA and RB. I can tell you that will be a colorful experience, especially if you’re sitting on the left hand side of the aircraft. You could ask yourself, why? The moment taxiway RB enters the mainland, you’ll see, on your left hand side, the light house with all that belongs to it. It really looks great to see how this is modeled. Although not directly related to the airport terminal, it’s still an important object in this airport. Then, a little further on, after you’ve passed the golf course, for passengers on the right hand side, you’ll see the Fire Brigade Lesson Aircraft. I think it’s a McDonnell Douglas MD11 without winglets.
I tried to find out where the scenery package ends. It turns out that everything south of H1 (Queen Liliuokalani Freeway) and the 92 (Nimitz Highway), going over into the South Avenue is Fred-E.Net / NAPS airport. South of the Queen Liliuokalani Freeway and the airport fences everything is all photo real ground textures and at some locations, you’ll find handmade buildings, but to the East, there are no handmade building, but photo flat buildings. I would recommend, when a Service Pack or patch comes out, that these flat photo buildings be replaced by handmade buildings.
Although there’s always something to complain about, the overall look is great, so keep in mind that although it’s freeware, a donation is always welcome.
First of all, it’s free of charge. That means you can always download it and explore yourself. If you don’t like it, which I could hardly believe, you can always delete it from your system. If you have to reduce your Rendering Options, do so and then see if you’re still happy. In any event, if you have a high-end PC/Mac, then you should go for this Fred-E.Net / NAPS PHNL airport. It’s worth it! The two photos in this review are courtesy of Airliners.Net, while the airport diagram comes from the AirNav website.
Did I cover every corner of the airport, within and outside the airport fences? Oh, for sure I’ve forgotten certain areas, but I think the majority is covered and should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Feel free to contact me if you’ve got additional questions related to this impression. You can reach me via email Angelique.van.Campen@gmail.com.
Angelique van Campen
|Add-on:||Freeware NAPS PHNL Honolulu International Airport|
|Publisher | Developer:||X-Plane.Org | NAPS|
|Description:||Realistic rendition of PHNL Honolulu International Airport|
|Software Source / Size:||Download / Approximately 527MB (unzipped)|
|Reviewed by:||Angelique van Campen|
|Published:||January 1st 2014|
|Hardware specifications:||- iMac 27″ 3.5Ghz Late 2013|
|- Intel i7 3.5Ghz / 3.9Ghz during Boost Mode|
|- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB|
|- 32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3|
|- 1 internal 1TB SSD (El Capitan 10.11.4)|
|- 3 external 1TB SSDs|
|- Saitek Pro Flight System|
|Software specifications:||- El Capitan (10.11.4) | Yosemite (10.10.5) | Mavericks (10.9.5)|
|- Windows 10 Professional|
|- X-Plane 10.45c | X-Plane 10.45m|