Monterey Regional Airport – ORBX – review (6*)

Very good, amazing… that is what I think when I am in Monterey. Thanks to Jarrad Marshall and ORBX the route between Monterey and Palm Springs became my favorite in FSX.

monterey-32

Pros and cons

What I like in Monterey?

  • great static planes
  • ground textures (7cm/px resolution at airport, 30/60cm/px around it)
  • City of Monterey and it’s surroundings
  • points of interest
  • 5m mesh
  • static and animated people
  • airport buildings
  • performance
  • people behavior and scenes created at airport

What I do not like?

What can be improves?

  • textures of some buildings

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Monterey Regional Airport

Monterey Regional Airport is a large general aviation airport with a small number of airline operations. Located at the northern gate to Big Sur on the mid-Pacific coast of California.

With over 26 thousand flights general aviation itinerant operations make up biggest portion of KMRY traffic. Local GA ops add additional 11 thousands and air taxi flights amount for another 12 thousands. With above three thousand military flights and almost 1500 commercial – the amount of traffic totals to over 55 thousand operations annually.

What a pilot should know about KMRY?

There are two parallel runways 10/28. The southern runway is 2268 meters long (7440 ft) and 46m (150ft) wide. The second runway runs on the northern side and it’s only 1km long (3503ft) and 18m (60ft) wide. Actually it looks like an improved taxiway.

The longer runway is equipped with PAPI lights at both directions. 10L is also equipped with ILS. 28R features localizer. There are several instrument approaches that you can use – ILS, LOC and RNAV (GPS).

Monterey is a controlled airport located inside class C airspace.

Both runways use northern traffic pattern.

What to fly and where to fly?

Airliners

United, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Allegiant Air fly routes to:

  • Los Angeles
  • Las Vegas
  • San Francisco
  • San Diego
  • Phoenix

All of this airports have good or at least sufficient sceneries available for FSX.

Bombardier CRJ 200, 700, 900, Dash Q400 and MD-80 visit this airport nowadays.

In the past other aircraft types landed here – BAe 146, Boeings 727, 737 and 757, Embraera and BAe One-Eleven among them.

ORBX scenery includes many static planes suggesting that it’s a popular destination.

Bizjets

With a high amount of air taxi traffic you should expect many business jets parked at this airport. There are 12 or 15 parked in various places around the airport – most of them near Monterey Jet Center FBO.

As usually – I have no suggestion for the routes of such aircraft – they fly where their owners (or lessors) need them to fly. With the number of high quality sceneries in Western U.S. you will easily find a good destination.

General aviation

Nearly all planes are suitable for this airport. Nearly – keep in mind that it’s a class C airspace so you need a mode C transponder. If you are used to flying in European airspace you should remember that you do not need a clearance to enter class C airspace in U.S. A contact prior to entry is enough but you need to comply with ATC instructions once you enter his airspace.

Where to fly? GA pilots have even more possible destinations than bizjet pilots. Choose one of excelent Californian airports or go for a longer flight…

As a general aviation pilot you will find several aprons here. You can park in front of each FBO or at by the hangars.

Navy has it’s Flying Club. It’s apron is located north of the shorter runway.

Military

On the northern side of the airport there is also a military apron. Unfortunately it’s empty in this scenery.

The number of military operations gives an average of around 10 per day but it was very hard to find any information about such operations. I suppose that the airport may be used for training during missions in nearby Warning airspace. Also – C-130s and C-141s used this airport when moving troops to one of nearby bases.

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ORBX Monterey Regional Airport

What is included?

Scenery consists of the airport and it’s vicinity. Comparing to usual range of FSX sceneries – this one is quite large. It extends 3-6 miles (nautical) from the airport.

Scenery includes:

  • the airport
  • airport buildings
  • static planes
  • static and animated people
  • Monterey city scenery and points of interest
  • photoscenery (30/60cm per pixel)
  • airport HD textures (7cm/px)

This scenery was created by Jarrad Marshall – who also created Palm Springs (read my review – 6*).

Purchase and installation

Scenery is available in FlightSimStore at 29.95 Australian Dollars.

Installation is no different from other ORBX sceneries – you need your order number, order date and product key to unlock the installer. The scenery can be activated with the whole NA region in FTX Central. Remember to update ORBX libraries after you install the scenery.

Documents

As with installation – the scenery arrives with a standard ORBX manual where you will find information on how to set up your FSX and how to configure the scenery.

Config tool

In case of trouble…

I use KMRY with all optional items enabled and I have no problems in FSX:SE. I had some OOM (VAS) issues with the old FSX when my settings were higher than recommended in manual. Lowering autogen slider solved them. In case of any OOM problems I suggest you start with autogen instead of removing some of the scenery’s great features.

When it comes to frame rates – I am happy with my locked 30fps so I did not see any reason to change the settings. If you suffer from lower framerates – try turning on some performance heavy features. I would suggest you started with ground textures – (select 7cm for the best quality, 15cm for medium and 30cm for low). Other options that may help with frame rates are grass, animated people and advanced autogen and objects.

Other settings – like lighting insensitivity and static planes should have a very low impact on your frame rates (or no impact at all).

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Impressions (6******)

I hate this man! I was taxiing to Monterey Jet Center apron and there is a guy who is walking on my taxiway. He just walked in front of my Duke like he never saw me!

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Western side of the airport – Monterey Jet Center

Monterey Jet Center is located in the western side of the airport. They have several hangars and an apron where several jets and turboprops park. I would like to see the mess caused by an attempt to relocate the 757 that sits at the very end of this apron – they would probably have to move all other planes out for such operation.

Apart from the planes and a guy I mentioned before you will find menu small objects placed around the apron – warning cones and warning poles, fire extinguishers. There is also a roll of cables hanged on a hangar wall – it’s just waiting for someone to connect his plane to ground power source.

They placed many warning poles around fuel tanks. There is also a sign saying that you need to look around to check for a taxiing plane (clearly the guy mentioned before did not see it).

At the back of the fuel tanks there is a storage space that does not fit in here at all. Some crates and tires are lying in mess so close to multi-million dollar planes. The other side of apron looks much better – there is a nice office building of this FBO.

Del Monte Aviation

Del Monte Aviation – a second FBO in Monterey is my next stop. This building, kept in the Spanish colonial style looks like it was moved in time. It’s clearly the highlight of this airport and this scenery. I love the balconies and old lamps on the wall. A flying boat in front of it only improves the impression. It’s my favorite spot here.

Recently I started to notice (and admire in some cases) the quality of window reflections. I like it. If you look at this windows you will see that there is some reflection there. It’s a nice touch.

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Terminal

On my way to the passenger terminal I walked along the parked planes. On the other side of a fence there is a parking lot filled with cars.

Visitors terrace is the most impressive part of the building – with it’s glass wall protecting people standing behind it looks very realistically in this scenery.

The other thing that caught my attention was what is happening around the planes – people are disembarking from an airliner, baggage is being loaded. Developer even thought about such details like ground power unit – each airliner is connected to one. This are small things but they change a simple scenery into a masterpiece.

GA aprons and hangars

Free space around the runways and taxiways was taken by GA aprons and hangars. The closest to the terminal are located next to the airport fire house. Next is the Navy Flying Club – on the other side of the runways.

If you need to put your plane under a roof – go to the hangars in the northern part of the airport. There are 40 or 60 hangars here! It’s here where I found the single mistake the author made in this scenery – some of the hangars lack door on the accessible side. I don’t mind…

Points of interest

If you fly low and slow you will surely notice Hilton building (Embassy Suits) and Monterey Tides hotel on the beach. MM shaped building that I spotted when flying south along the coast is 1 Surf Way – also a real world location.

On approach to 10R runway planes pass over Naval Postgraduate School. A campus is well recreated in FSX. As is the Fisherman’s Wharf. Closer to the airport there is a Monterey County Fairgrounds golf course and on the other side you can spot Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Why I think it’s a six star scenery?

Mesh (6*)

5m mesh is impressive but you need to actually get really low to make use of this resolution. I suggest you get install a boat in your FSX – then go and admire the coastline details. Superb!

Ground textures (6*)

7cm covering airport? Exactly what I wish for. 60cm (and 30cm in selected locations) around the airport – it’s a good choice.

Textures – buildings (5*)

The resolution is very good from a distance and good when I look at the buildings from a parked plane. I only see the artifacts when I am very, very close to this buildings. I understand that this can not be improved without sacrificing performance… and it’s not necessary.

Models – buildings (6*)

Buildings are either good (hangars) or great (the terminal and both FBOs). I like them and I can not find any flaws here.

Static planes, people and small objects (6*)

There are plenty! And they are all very well placed. Additional points for using real world airline liveries on the planes that actually fly to this airport.

Other 3d models (5-6*)

As good as always in ORBX sceneries. I especially like the lights on the golf course – great modeling.

Performance (5*)

The performance is very good – with the exception of OOM risk in old FSX. FSX:SE and P3D users should not have this problem and FSX (legacy) users can always adjust their settings for long haul flights (there are no problems during short flights).

Framerates are surprisingly high. I expected something worse at the airport of this size.

Summary (6******)

Very good, amazing… that is what I think when I am in Monterey. Thanks to Jarrad Marshall and ORBX Monterey – Palm Springs became my favorite route in FSX. I flew this route in several different planes and every time I was amazed by how well this airport is designed. There is no difference in quality no matter if you taxi to the main terminal or to the hangar located at the far end of the airport. The scenery is as good on the ground as from the air. I am really impressed.

Quality to price ratio – great

In my opinion this scenery could cost more…

 

Summary
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Monterey Regional Airport - ORBX
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