No Money Mondays: LTFM Istanbul Airport Turkey v2.0
August 2, 2021
On April 19th 2012, the Turkish government revealed their plans to build a third major airport to serve the country’s capital of Istanbul. With existing airports Sabiha Gökçen and Atatürk struggling to meet ever-growing passenger demands, a new five-runway, 76 Square kilometre airport was to be constructed approximately 35km to the north of the latter. The €26bn airport was fully opened to members of the public during the April of 2019.
For the X-Plane community, a faithful replica of the mega airport was developed and release, recently coming into its second major iteration, with version 2.0 of the file released in December 2020, X-Plane users can now enjoy flying both to and from Turkey’s new international hub thanks to the generous efforts of community members Hayri Buberci, M. Ali Oguducu, Kamil Uzun and Muhtesem Firtina Ozcinar.
Users have two download options:
The installation instructions for the ‘natural’ version of the airport are very detailed should you opt for it. The package requires very few 3rd party libraries due to LTFM including many custom objects. Most users who frequently download freeware airports will already have the required libraries installed.
Even when in the menu configuring for a flight, one can appreciate just how much effort the team has put into reproducing the airport layout. All ramp starts have been added with their correct names in accordance with the AIP. I cross checked published ramp start coordinates with the in-sim data output and was very impressed with the accuracy of the stand positions. This makes it an ideal candidate for usage online.
Anybody who has created an Airport in WED before will know that the SAM plugin requires every single stand to be calibrated for the appropriate docking guidance system. This is a painstaking process and is often the reason why many freeware developers chose the Autogate plugin instead. Regardless, the developers of LTFM have added SAM to every single ramp start at the scenery, making for an immersive experience upon arrival.
Ground markings and taxiway signs are abundant, making this maze of an airport easier to navigate.
Even road signs have been modelled for those who plan on practicing the non-precision approach into the car park. The team has done a stellar job with the 3d modelling, achieving a perfect balance between visual fidelity and performance. The scenery appears to have very little impact on my system in comparison to the default scenery.
Impressively, most support buildings have been modelled as opposed to relying solely on Laminar’s facade-based system.
It is also nice to see the inclusion of a simple 3d interior. This looks much better than uniformly coloured glass at night. The developers have also included a tasteful easter egg in the Southern part of the main terminal parallel to stand G11.
Overall, this scenery presents itself as a prime example of what members of the X-Plane community can achieve when working collaboratively on a project of this size. It is visually representative of the real airport, relatively feature-rich (SAM & terminal interior), and has minimal impact on performance.
Moving forward, the team should consider including ambient occlusion across more of their models to make this already excellent scenery even better. However, this is no easy undertaking as the models would require new UV maps, rebaking and re-exporting as they were produced in Sketchup.
Despite having spent three years on the project up until the release of v2.0, the team asks that any donations you wish to make towards the project are directed towards LÖSEV, a Turkish charity for children with Leukemia. Further information can be found on the scenery’s download page.
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