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Aerosoft “Pullmann-Moscow Regional Airport”

KPUW … what’s that for airport?

Yes, yes, KPUW or perhaps easier to understand “Pullmann-Moscow Regional Airport”. Have you ever heard of this regional airport? With this impression I would like to give you some more information of this regional airport.

What can we find about the airport? According to Wikipedia “KPUW is a public airport in the northwest United States, located in Whitman County, Washington, two miles (3 km) east of Pullman and four miles west (6 km) of Moscow, Idaho.

The airport is accessed via spurs from State Route 270, and has a single 6,730-foot (2,050 m) runway, headed northeast/southwest (6/24), aligned with Moscow Mountain (4,983 feet (1,519 m)) to the northeast, the highest summit in the area.

The rural airport in the Palouse region is the primary air link for its two land-grant universities, Washington State University in Pullman and the University of Idaho in Moscow. Both universities use the airport for jet charters from Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Allegiant Air for their intercollegiate athletic teams. Horizon Air is the sole commercial airline serving the airport, flying Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft.

Horizon began service to Pullman–Moscow and Lewiston in March 1983. Horizon Air offers 3-4 daily scheduled flights to Seattle/Tacoma. Seattle Air Traffic Control, 250 miles (400 km) west, manages commercial traffic for the airport. The nearest major airport is Spokane International, 90 miles (145 km) north. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Ok, let’s start.
The first two screenshots below are as real as it gets while the third screenshot is an overview of the airport scenery boundary thus how it looks in X-Plane.

Another source of useful information is the dedicated KPUW web page of AirNav (https://www.airnav.com/airport/KPUW). Not that this dedicated page offers you STARs, SIDs or ILS information since the airport isn’t equipped with all of that navigation equipment. Instead, this AirNav KPUW page offers you the following charts:
– RNAV (RNP) Z RWY 06
– RNAV (GPS) RWY 24
– RNAV (GPS) Y RWY 06
– VOR RWY 06
– NOTE: Special Alternate Minimums apply
– NOTE: Special Take-Off Minimums/Departure Procedures apply

And what has Aerosoft/X-Plane.Org to say about KPUW? Let me check the dedicated Pulmann-Moscow airport features list where I only highlight the important items since the list of features is quite long:
– Complete airport and surroundings
– Aerial image with 59km2 coverage
– Resolution of 0.3m per pixel
– Photo real building textures
– City of Pullman contains all distinctive objects
– 3D grass (optional)
– Hundreds of hand-placed trees
– Static aircraft
– Static and animated vehicles.

Ready to Explore?

Yes, that could be an option, but let me quickly highlight what you get. This impression of based on version 1.01 and tested on Mac OSX. When time permits, I’ll have a quick look how it performs on Windows although I know now already that the airport isn’t complex in the way of having not many complex passenger terminals with lots of gates and/or jet ways. On the other hand, all the smaller buildings, hangars and other buildings including the ground- and building textures are all of a very high quality.

Ok, once you’ve downloaded the airport, unzip the package – AS_AIRPORT-PULLMAN-MOSCOW_XPLANE.zip – (872MB) and install it. By the way, this installer is for Mac OSX, Windows and Linux. Install it, how?

Ok, before I can answer that, we need to check the unzipped package. The unzipped package (no installer included and consequently no serial number is needed to install this) consist of 2 folders:
– Aerosoft – KPUW Airport Pullman-Moscow
– Aerosoft – KPUW Airport Pullman-Moscow Mesh

In the Aerosoft – KPUW Airport Pullman-Moscow folder there’s a sub folder named “manual”. This sub folder offers an URL to the AirNav KPUW charts and a German/English Acrobat file with essential information of KPUW and how to install it, I assume. Although it looks like that an installer is included, see for this page 12 of the manual, it isn’t. That said, you need to install manually by copy and paste both folders in the X-Plane’s Custom Scenery. I suggest that if you buy the package, that you forget the following sentence in the manual page 12 “One step will ask you for the path of the X-Plane main folder. Make sure that this path is correct, it should only be the path for the main folder and not for any sub-folders such as “Custom Scenery“ or “Aircrafts“.”

Another item to bring to your attention is related to DSF files (see manual page 13). There is stated that “The product contains two DSF files. These files allow switching the 3D grass on or off. To do that, you can rename the files +46-118.dsf.default (no 3D Gras) or +46-118.dsf.grass (with 3D Gras) in +53-007.dsf. To rename the files navigate to the following folder: [X-Plane main folder]\ Custom Scenery\ Aerosoft – KPUW Airport Pullman-Moscow \Earth nav data\+40-120\.”

And since I want to have everything included, even I need to follow these steps. Perhaps the most important part of the manual in my opinion is the correct sequence in the scenery_packs.ini file. The airport itself goes on top, followed or below that the mesh folder.

A Scenery Impression

City of Pulmann-Moscow
I could think of making approaches to see and explore KPUW. I could fly to KPUW, I could drive to the airport or I just wake up in a nearby motel and walk to the airport to explore it. I go for the last option, so ready to join me?

What said before and what you can expect, it’s a small regional airport that doesn’t have a huge passenger terminal, car parking garages, gates, jetways, a cargo terminal or large maintenance hangars. Instead, it’s a cozy airport, free of a complex security system, free to walk around. KPUW is basically split into two parts. The small, but cozy passenger terminal and the further northerly located General Aviation section. Although these are linked to each other with taxiways, the passenger terminal and apron have their own entrance. The passenger terminal building look gorgeous.

The following three screenshots give you an idea what you can expect from downtown Pulmann and yes, the Go Cougs is missing. Sorry!

Ho ho, hold on, let me start at the beginning and the beginning is that I stayed in a motel in Pulmann within walking distance from the Go Cougs stadium, therefore the previous 3 screenshots. That said, perhaps all or at least the majority of Pulmann city is modeled and thus included in the scenery package as well as all the ground textures or photo-real material.

I’m aware that you can’t include every 3D object and thus at many downtown places you’ll see something that has to be a house, office, building or shopping center however, not in 3D, but just seen on the ground texture photo. I also noticed that some additional work for an update is needed since several trees are placed in buildings and not every building is well aligned with this neighbor. But what said, I’m quite sure that an update will cover this.

The Passenger Terminal
While walking towards the airport, I see more and more 3D objects which makes sense to me. It’s basically the airport where and what this scenery is all about it. And of course the huge photo real scenery included around Pulmann city and KPUW and the very high quality of the airport ground textures although there’s something with the alignment and numbering at the passenger apron markings. Aircraft parking numbers are slightly blurry as well as the lines. The passenger terminal and fire station are well modeled and covered with photo real material to give it a realistic look. It must be said that not everything you see – building textures – are razor sharp.

The public passenger area (car parking) is separated from the airport customer area via fences and at some places the fences are even covered with material to prevent a lot at the apron. This small apron offers places for 3 medium size aircraft of which one is already occupied by a Frontier Airbus A320 Series. Although this is a static aircraft, so it stays there for ages, the overall quality isn’t bad at all, no, absolutely not and the funny thing is that static ground equipment is included too which gives it a realistic look and feel.

Around the apron there’s a lot of grass which is visible or not. That depends on what I wrote before if you rename the +46-118.dsf.grass to +46-118.dsf. When it’s visible it’s not green grass when you expect that, but brown grass. Not strange when you look to the dry and sandy environment. Does it cost many frame rates having grass visible? Normally I would say straight way … yes, grass influences your frame rates in a negative way however, I haven’t noticed this. I think that one of the reason is that the airport does have many tiny details and high quality textures.

By the way, I wrote earlier about the blurry lining and parking numbers. It is strange to see that the red and yellow lining at the border of the passenger apron are OK and thus the blurry lining and numbering of parking locations is only within this area. It must be possible to improve this blurry look and implement this in the next update, may I assume this?

General Aviation Area
Via taxiway C, by the way the only available taxiway that runs parallel along runway 06/24, I reach a large, and well modeled GA apron with lots of parking places, a hangar with office and fuel depot. The hangar looks gorgeous which is partly the result of using real photo material for the walls and roof. Also and worth to mention is the 3D modeling which is well done and this is not only for the hangar, office and fuel depot, this means everything around and included in this area. There’s a fence that separates the public area from the apron, a car parking with lots of parked cars, signs and other 3D stuff.

Having a closer look to the modeled hangar, which is by the way open at the front and rear, I must admit that all tiny details are included in and around the hangar. It looks good, it looks realistic! And I should not forget this … the modeled static aircraft are of an extremely high quality. I’m impressed by seeing this. These static aircraft do have, in my humble opinion, many polygons and that results in good looking aircraft even though they are just static objects. I’m not so sure and what to write about the tarmac which I also saw at the passenger apron. I’m not sure if the GA apron tarmac is photo real ground textures which are created by the developer himself.

Whatever is correct, the result is very nice. Perhaps also because the tarmac is black that not so much can be seen on the ground. For these type of aircraft, you normally don’t need the whole runway and therefore, at the opposite of the hangar you have direct access to, more or less, the middle of the runway. And yes, there’s a reason to highlight this. The tarmac with runway indication and signs along the taxiway and holding point are gorgeous. When you think this is it, then it’s time to follow me to the next area of the KPUW.

Storage Boxes and …..
Actually it should be the other way around. While moving along the taxiway, we first pass along the second large aircraft parking area which is occupied by some aircraft, but there’s still enough place to park your aircraft. Before the storage boxes, you’ll find a kind of hangar or office. Not sure what it is, but what I know is that this building is very nicely modeled and it’s not difficult to see that a lot of time and effort is put into it by the developer.

Those storage boxes or whatever you prefer to call them are ordinary 3D objects, but that would not be fair to mention and identify them as the way they are made. Although you see these objects in many freeware airports too, they are in this case covered with photo real texture material. But it must be said that some of these boxes have sliding doors, this can be seen on the photo real material however, no additional work is put into this to make them look like real doors.

Following our way to the end of the airport, it seems it’s a collection of small hangars except then those at the far end. Nevertheless, all the buildings, offices, hangars, boxes I see are realistically made with eye for details. Again, I can’t stress it enough, the use of so much photo real material makes or breaks an airport. In this case, it gives the airport a “as real as it gets” look and feel!

As I’ve said before, at the far end I spot two hangars. I assume they are, and although they look to me a little small in comparison with the aircraft parked in front of these hangars. Right or wrong, these aircraft are more or less of the same size as the Airbus at the passenger terminal and again, these static aircraft are also of a very high quality. Even though I haven’t said that, everywhere you look, there’s brown grass without noticing frame rate reductions as well as the presence of so much static ground equipment. It offers a well balanced combination with all 3D objects being hangars, buildings, houses, offices, static aircraft, grass, signs, billboards etc.

Outside the Airport
Although the airport is included, the overall photo real coverage is almost 60 km2 which is great although I would like to have seen that this area was larger. As long as you stay on the ground you see hills, trees, farms, but it’s not easy to spot the border of this scenery package. That will change the moment you’re airborne. Then you’ll notice that the 60 km2 isn’t far away.

Anyway, traveling along the roads in this covered photo real area brings you to many farms of which some have 3D objects, some do not have any 3D objects and at those places you just look to the photo 2D objects. Perhaps the developer can and of course will include at these locations also 3D objects. It will, in my opinion, improve the overall quality of KPUW.

Can I use KPUW on my PC/Mac?

That’s difficult to say, but what I can offer you is how KPUW performs with quite high rendering options on my iMac. My iMac specifications can be found at the bottom of this impression. The following screenshots are my current rendering options, and screenshots of the airport, surrounding area and the city of Pulmann. The screenshots and thus the airport performance are based on a size of approximately 2100 x1300 pixels. The screenshots are taken on a CAVOK day, 12:00 local time with SkyMAXX Pro disabled. I know, I prefer to have it available, but I’m not sure if everybody has SkyMAXX Pro and therefore, I disabled it for that reason. Further on, I also have chosen for CAVOK thus no clouds. Clouds can change and can influence the overall performance.

As you can see on the screenshots, the airport performs well with these high rendering settings. It depends of course where you are at the airport and which direction you look to. Judge by yourself, but I’m satisfied with the overall performance although I do take into account that it’s not a high complex airport as mentioned before, so no complex passenger terminal with gates. On the other hand, many tiny details are included as well as many static and animated objects and of course the 3D grass.

Summary

What else can I add to the summary?
It’s a well modeled airport with eye for details, although not complex, the developer has tried to add all kind of tiny details into it and used many photo real material to give every building, hangars, office, storage box or farms a “as real as it gets” look and feel. In this he/she has succeeded.

The additional city of Pulmann is included and comes indeed with all distinctive city objects, but it must be said that some modifications are needed. Trees, not all of course, are situated in buildings while I also spotted that some buildings are placed into each other. Overall a well-developed regional airport although I have to admit that in first instance I thought … Pulmann-Moscow, where is that? Now I know where it is and what it is and when you’ve read the impression, so do you too!

More information about Pulmann-Moscow Regional Airport can be found at the dedicated Aerosoft eShop web page or at the dedicated X-Plane.Org web page.

The airport is tested on an iMac with Mac OSX El Capitan 10.11.4. I tested the airport with X-Plane version 10.45.
Feel free to contact me if you’ve got additional questions related to this impression. You can reach me via email Angelique@x-plained.com.

With Greetings,
Angelique van Campen

 

 

Add-on: Pay ware Pullmann-Moscow Regional Airport
Publisher | Developer: X-Plane.Org | Aerosoft | Omar
Description: Realistic rendition of Pullmann-Moscow Regional Airport
Software Source / Size: Download / Approximately 2.7GB (unzipped)
Reviewed by: Angelique van Campen
Published: June 20th 2016
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 10.11.5)
- 3 external 1TB SSDs
- Saitek Pro Flight System
Software specifications: - El Capitan (10.11.5) | Yosemite (10.10.5) | Mavericks (10.9.5)
- Windows 10 Professional
- X-Plane 10.45c | X-Plane 10.45m

2 Comments

  1. wmg

    Angelique,
    Thanks for the review. Your pics really bring out the detail. I wonder if the author(s) attended one of the two universities? They certainly captured the flavor of wheat country on the dry, Palouse side of the evergreen state.

    Reply
    • Angelique van Campen

      Hi William,

      You’re so quick … I had the intention to inform you in advance, but so quick isn’t even possible for me. Glad you like the review.

      Reply

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