Jacksons International Airport – ORBX – review (5*) PNG#3

Jacksons International Airport and several bush strips in the jungle – the first of Papuan sceneries by ORBX.

fsx-25

Pros and cons

What I like in Jacksons International Airport?

  • coverage – Jacksons airport + jungle bush strips
  • Papuan villages along Kokoda Trail
  • vegetation (!!!)
  • people, birds and livestock in villages
  • sloping runways
  • Jacksons International Airport
  • Kokoda Trail landclass
  • Kokoda Trail vector scenery

What I do not like in this scenery?

  • unrealistically rough runways
  • (lack of) FSX starting points in villages

What can be improved?

  • Jacksons Airport
  • villages (realism)
  • villages – diversity

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Summary – 5*****

Jacksons International Airport is a great scenery for anyone who loves bush flying. If the Twin Otter, Porter or Kodiak is your plane of choice – you will find landing on village airstrips challenging and satisfying. For 737 captains there is a long runway in Port Moresby, but I personally use Jacksons more as a base for supply runs to villages than as a destination for my airliners.

Jacksons International Airport – ORBX

Scenery covers / includes:

  • Jacksons International Airport (AYPY)
  • Kokoda airport (AYKO)
  • 8 bush strips
  • 1 helipad in the jungle
  • 20 enhanced airports in PNG.

Other features of this scenery:

  • Photoreal bush strips
  • Handplaced Landclass and Vectors
  • Meticulously drawn Kokoda track with many small villages
  • Lots of custom Papua New Guinea airport objects and static aircraft models
  • Lots of custom Papua New Guinea vegetation providing a lush tropical feeling

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Purchase, installation, documents, required mesh

As always you can buy the scenery at FlightSimStore for 34,95 Australian Dollars (25 Euro / 27 USD). It is available as a download (500MB).

As always you need to enter purchase date, order number and product key to run the installer.

The manual explains how to set your FSX and what is necessary for this scenery to run.

Mesh – separate installation required

I do not like that the scenery requires a separate mesh installation. From what I read on several forums and from what I have seen on facebook – people often do not read the manual and do not know they need to go to ORBX website and download the free mesh. So please – install the free PNG Holger mesh from ORBX website.

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What to fly and where to?

Jacksons International Airport in Port Moresby is a commercial airport in a capital city of PNG. Regional airliners are most common here, but you will also find many smaller planes (like Twin Otter) and larger airliners. Some time ago even Jumbo Jets landed here.

If you need suggestions for flying small planes – read this text: PNG #2 – FSX/P3D planes for PNG flying

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Two worlds

This scenery seems to include two separate worlds. The first is the international airport with its asphalt runways, marked taxiways, ILS and airport lights. Villages on the Kokoda Trail are a completely different thing with their rugged, muddy airstrips and no infrastructure or equipment apart of the single lawn mover.

For some reasons – these two worlds are separated not only in terms of how developed they are. The separation is also geographical – it’s like there were two sceneries – one around AYPY and the second in the middle of Kokoda Trail. For some reason there is a gap in between and all flights from AYPY to villages have to pass over default landclass (FTX Global isn’t helping much). Additional landclass here would be nice.

 

Bush Strips – Kokoda Trail

Bush strips are my favorite part of this scenery. They are scattered around and along Kokoda Trail. The whole area has enhanced landclass, there are also vector roads (or paths) and streams. All this successfully changes the awful default scenery into a tropical rainforest.

The landing strips are so close to each other that you spend more time circling to establish yourself on approach than it takes to fly from one airport to the other. Keep in mind that these are all one-way-in one-way-out runways with no go-around possibility. So after you pass the no-return point you are committed and you need to land the plane.

Useful information

  • sloping runways (some are quite steep)
  • some runways are curved
  • rough surfaces (much rougher than the real world)
  • vegetation on or close to runways

I rarely see such rough runways in FSX. I have never encountered any as steep or difficult in a simulator. Unfortunately – I think the creators of this scenery went a little too far. When I compare these runways with real world footage, I can see that such runways may be steep but they are usually relatively smooth. I have not seen such bumps and lateral slopes on any video made in Papua New Guinea. Fortunately – FSX aircraft are more resistant than the real world ones.

Software recommended by C-Aviation. When you buy products at FSS following these links you help pay for keeping this site online. You may consider contributing directly. Thanks for your support!
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AYKO – Kokoda

Kokoda is a small regional airport with a grass runway. Compared to all the other landing strips – it is a developed place with a long and wide runway (sloping just a bit – but you can land and take-off both ways in a more powerful plane). There are also several buildings here.

Useful info:

  • preferred direction on landing – southern, on take-off – northern
  • runway length: around 3100 ft
  • palm plantation to the east from airport makes a great navigational aid

Isurava

Isurava is the place where Kokoda Trail memorial was erected and a helipad was modeled in the scenery. It is close to the monument.

Useful info:

  • make an approach at low level flying along the valley

Jungle villages

There are several villages in the scenery area – usually they sit next to the runways that serve them. There are shacks, buildings and sometimes tents in each of these villages. You will also find people and animals around the runway.

What I like most is the vegetation. All these bushes, trees and tall grass makes me believe that I have landed in a tropical jungle.

Some users may notice that villages are slightly overdone. They look a little like tourist destination with all the tents and tourists waiting for the plane. It’s not real, but it looks nice. Actually… I would prefer to see authentic locals instead of tourists and crated or bagged supplies instead of backpacks.

Bush pilot’s scenery? Yes!

If I was to say why I chose this scenery – it would be because of the awesome bush landings I am doing here. There are few places in FSX where you can enjoy bush flying in environment like this so for a Twin Otter pilot like me – this is a perfect place.

Jacksons Airport in Port Moresby

If most of what I have written in this review focuses on the smaller airstrips it is because I love them so much. But there is also the international airport in Port Moresby. And it is a good scenery with all the building models, nice textures and photoscenery covering its vicinity. There is a custom autogen around the airport and it greatly enhances my impressions on approach to Jacksons. Actually – if this scenery was closer to other sceneries that I have – I would be visiting it more often in my 737 or C-130 (there is a civilian Hercules operating from this airport – it is modeled in this scenery). Unfortunately – it is so far from any “big” scenery I have that I use it mostly as a base for my bush flights. A little warning – this is an ORBX scenery, but the level of detail is not the same as in their single-airport-sceneries like Palms Springs or Telluride. If Jacksons was the only airport in this scenery – I would rate it with 4 stars.

Enhanced airports

If they were in Europe – I would probably not look at them at all. But here (in the region where sceneries are scarce)… these enhanced airports open additional routes and make good destinations for planes that are bigger than the Twin Otter. Expect the level of detail similar to enhanced airports in FTX sceneries.

Performance – great

I did not see any impact on my frame rates. This is a light scenery in terms of fps and a very light in terms of VAS.

Summary

Jacksons International Airport is a great scenery for anyone who loves bush flying. If the Twin Otter, Porter or Kodiak is your plane of choice – you will find landing on village airstrips challenging and satisfying. For 737 captains there is a long runway in Port Moresby, but I personally use Jacksons more as a base for supply runs to villages than as a destination for my airliners.

Quality to price ratio – very good

25 Euro or $27 for an international airport (4 start) and several bush strips (5 stars) – it’s a deal.

Add-ons you can see in this review:

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Jacksons International Airport - ORBX

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