ENNO Notodden Airport – ORBX – review (5*)

The first Norwegian airport by ORBX. A very nice one! It is an interesting location – you will find a public road crossing the runway so make sure your are right on the schedule when arriving in anything bigger than a Cessna 172. Welcome to Notodden!


Pros and cons

What I like in Notodden?

  • grass and vegetation
  • airport surroundings
  • buildings
  • custom objects in Notodden
  • animated people boarding B200
  • mesh
  • photoscenery
  • closed or open runway – depending on the time of the day
  • performance

What I do not like at ENNO

  • no spawning position at seaplane pier
  • “lite” scenery of seaplane base

What can be improved

  • night lighting
  • a simple bug – levitating trees on the waterfront (you will notice this from a very close distance)

Short version – 5*****

Notodden is an interesting scenery that will surely be popular among general aviation pilots flying in Norway. When I visit this airport I always have this impression of a job well done. This scenery looks just like every scenery should look like and its strengths successfully cover one or two tiny slips. It is outstanding in terms of performance – a rare quality of such a beautiful and detailed scenery. In short – I like to fly around Notodden.

Notodden Airport – ENNO

Notodden is a municipal airport in Southern Norway (Telemark county). It was created with passenger traffic in mind and for such it was extended and improved a couple of times but despite this efforts it never managed to attract a significant number of airlines. Currently there are two operators flying more or less frequently to cities like Bergen with Beechcraft King Airs or similar planes. The remaining part of the main apron is used by general aviation pilots. There is also a smaller apron which serves as a glider base. At the nearby lake you will find a small seaplane base.

The airport has a curious feature – a road intersects the runway in about the third of its length cutting available take-off or landing distance from 1400m to 800m at times when the road traffic is allowed to cross (which is most of the time). At certain hours the road is closed to allow larger aircraft to land. Later I will give you the timetable that was used in the scenery.

Notodden is an uncontrolled airport. Although it has a tower – it provides only AFIS – Airport Flight Information Service.

There are two instrument approaches for runway 12 – one based on localizer and one RNAV/GPS.

What to fly and where to?

As I already said – general aviation makes the most of the traffic in Notodden. If you prefer gliders – to the south of the airport you will find mountains that are perfect for sailplane flying.

The biggest aircraft that visited Notodden were Boeing 737-200 and an F-16 of the Royal Norwegian Air Force which flew in for an air show in the eighties. Should you try to bring a 737 here – you may find the apron a little crowded.

It is a great place to operate a twin – but you will need to plan your landings and take-offs according to the runway/road crossing schedule.

Where to? Southern Norway, Sweden and Denmark seem to be the natural choice, but this region is promoted as a skiing destination so a long distance flights in a King Air or a bizjet would also be realistic.

I spend a lot of time flying short routes to nearby airports – the surrounding scenery is very nice so I strongly recommend it to you (try Skien – only 15-20 minutes away!).

If you care for such details – this airport provides both avgas and jetfuel.

ORBX Notodden Airport

It is the first airport created for ORBX by Kristoffer Hansen.

You need to have FTX EU Norway to enjoy all features of this scenery.

Scenery features (quote from ORBX website):

  • Ultra detailed modelling of the airport buildings, including interior modelling
  • Most significant buildings in nearby Notodden city modeled
  • More than 500 typical Norwegian houses handplaced
  • 50cm city- and 10cm airport photoreal background with summer and hard winter seasons
  • Random placement of airplanes, vehicles and people using ObjectFlow
  • Switchable runway length depending on time of day (07.00-08.00, 10.00-11.00, 13.00-14.00 and 18.00-19.00)
  • Simulated boarding of a Beechcraft B200 chartered plane during same hours of day
  • Fully custom winter season with snow on roofs and frost on walls and windows
  • Custom animated windsock (p3d only)
  • Custom runway lighting
  • Control panel options to turn off animated content
  • Animated car traffic across runway and on parking lot
  • Animated Norwegian regional train
  • All custom static aircraft with real-world paints
  • All ORBX Flow technologies
  • Fully optimized for excellent performance

Purchase, installation, manual and configuration

You can buy this scenery in FlightSimStore. 34,95 Australian Dollars equals 23 Euro or 25 USD (at current rates – February 2016). It is available as a download and it is nearly 500MB in size.

Like with other products by ORBX you will need to enter the order date, number and the product key to run the installer.

The manual provides some information about the scenery, its creators and recommended settings. Inside you will also find real world airport and approach charts but unfortunately there is no parking stand chart for FSX spawn places.

You can use configuration tool to enable or disable:

  • People flow
  • Animated Car Traffic
  • B200 Boarding
  • Animated Train

Actually I never felt the need to disable any of scenery features – with outstanding performance there is no need to turn anything off.

The airport (5*****)

Notodden airport is beautifully located at the end of a valley, just beside a small river which flows into Heddalsvatnet lake at the eastern end of the runway. Surrounding mountain peaks reach 4,200 feet creating a fascinating place for local scenic flights. If you prefer high-altitude IFR flights – you will undoubtedly enjoy the quality of apron and airport buildings.

Textures and models (5*****)

They are perfect! Buildings are very detailed and the quality of 3d models is outstanding. If you wonder whether some features are modeled in 3d or just textured nicely to give the appearance of the third dimension – in most cases you will find that they are modeled in 3d. I like small details like protruding gate numbers and wall lamps that actually extend from the wall. Many developers would omit such a small lamps…

Withing this airport I did not find a single building that would look even a little worse than others. I really enjoyed walking and peeking around. High level of details is visible everywhere. The same applies to the textures – even small lettering of the signs is clear and readable.

Ground textures are equally good – I especially like the natural wear of concrete surface and the quality of lines and markings.

Grass and vegetation (4****)

The developer of this scenery placed high grass in mostly visited locations around the airport. The grass itself is perfect – dense, high and very detailed (you can notice spring flowers too). Unfortunately – there are places that were not covered with grass and I miss the vegetation when I pass this places. I do not understand why the grass was not placed everywhere around the airport – with the performance this good the scenery could hold much more of it.

Static planes, people and small objects (5******)

This is one of the best sceneries I have seen in terms of static aircraft and clutter. For an airport of this size – it is crowded with planes. Additionally – there are cars parked around the airport. The only thing I am missing are people. Apart from the great animated scene of Beechcraft boarding – there are only a few at the airports. And they all disappear when the runway is closed. I wish there were more people here – it would make this scenery almost perfect.

One thing is absolutely outstanding – floats lying in deep grass. They make this scenery so much real!

Runway (6******)

They really close the runway! Depending on the time of the day (in real world – depending on arrival and departure schedule) they close or open the western part of the runway. If you need 1400 meters – make sure you take off or land between 07.00-08.00, 10.00-11.00, 13.00-14.00, 18.00-19.00 (local time).

Seaplane base (2**)

The only part of this airport I do not like is the seaplane base. Curious enough – it is the second scenery by ORBX that should feature a seaplane base which does not (the first was Juneau I reviewed some time ago).

I do not understand why it was not modeled a bit better. I also do not understand why the gate is closed making taxiing an amphibian plane somehow strange. A little bit of grass here, two or three small objects there and a taxiway covered with a better texture would make a huge difference here. What I see instead is a “lite” scenery – something that I would expect in one of the enhanced airports in FTX regional scenery.

Night lighting (3***)

In terms of quality night lighting of the airport is superb. In terms of quantity… it is simply too dark in here. I am sorry – it looks like 4 in the morning, low season… I prefer lighting styled for busy evening.


Surrounding terrain and Notodden town (5*****)

Photoscenery (5*****)

Airport surroundings are covered with a photoscenery. 50cm/px gives a good impression even at low altitude.

Trees and buildings (5*****)

I love how the autogen and scenery objects match the photo-background. Placement is simply superb! Tree density is ok. Building density is great.

Custom objects (6******)

I like this situation when I can find a real world buildings or structures in FSX scenery. Like the truss-bridge next to the airport. Or a hydropower plant in Notodden. And three stadiums in the town. Maybe they are not detailed enough to land a helicopter on the grass, but you can clearly see NOTODDEN written on the stands. And if you fly closer you will notice small models of goals.

When departing from Notodden Airport – take a look at the camping on one side and the shopping center on the other.

Helicopter pilots will enjoy flying over the waterfront in Notodden – go and visit the industrial park there.

Performance (5*****)

I flew in Notodden with my frames set to 40fps. I did not see any negative impact of this scenery. The performance is outstanding!

Summary (5*****)

Notodden is an interesting scenery that will surely be popular among general aviation pilots flying in Norway. When I visit this airport I always have this impression of a job well done. This scenery looks just like every scenery should look like and its strengths successfully cover one or two tiny slips. It is outstanding in terms of performance – a rare quality of such a beautiful and detailed scenery. In short – I like to fly around Notodden.

Quality to price – good / very good

23 Euro / 25 Dollars (US) – it is a price of a quality scenery. Is it worth it? Yes – definitely.

Added value

I like the situation when a scenery joins other creating a complete world in my FSX. This is just the kind of scenery I was looking for – it makes Norway even better in my Flight Simulator – with FTX Norway for the whole country, several payware sceneries of Norwegian airports and several packs of freeware airports – Norway becomes one of my favorite places to fly.

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Notodden Airport - ORBX
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