No Money Mondays: Beijing Nanyuan by Star Atlas

October 1, 2019
Dave Neely
nobody, apparently.

[UPDATE @08:01GMT] Shortly after publishing the article Eric reached out to us and gave us a new Earth_Nav_data folder, it turns out that I was using an optional build that leaves the airport fairly empty! We've updated the download to give you the corrected file. Sorry for the inconvenience and hope that the newly improved shots showcase their hard work and effort all the more.

In this week’s “No Money Monday”, we’re going to take a look at the recently released freeware Beijing Nanyuan Airport (ZBNY) from Star Atlas. Though the airport closed officially earlier this week (September 25th) with the opening of Beijing Daxing, we are able to keep it alive in X-Plane through the work of Eric Xu and his team.

Star Atlas are also working on a payware project alongside the final iteration of the now closed Nanyuan airfield - Beijing Daxing, ironically the airport replacing ZBNY. We’ve previously shown off their work on Daxing in partnership with them and Bridge, who are developing the scenery for Prepar3D.

A small note at this point to head off a possible issue folks may have. When I first tried to unzip the main airport file, I ran into a minor “pathname is too long” error. This can be worked around easily if you happen to run into it by removing the airport zip file to your desktop then unzipping it there. Hopefully you won’t experience the error, but if you do, this simple workaround will get you going straight away.

At first glance the airport is loaded with custom objects. From the Hanzi on the terminal on through the numerous textures, trees and other minor touches the airport, it is packed with lots of details.

The attention to detail is noticeable as everything fits well and looks fantastic. They didn’t stop when they hit the airport boundary as several custom objects are scattered about the local area adding to the ambiance, if you will.

I noticed a clock sign just outside the airport which showed the local time and temperature near the terminal which is a nice touch.

If you happen to fly in at night, you’re going to be treated well, with some fantastic lighting illuminating the airport in the dark hours. Here’s a brief look at the after dark experience at Nanyuan Airport.

For the price of a bit of hard drive space Star Atlas has shown they’re well worth your time and attention.
The download available on the Threshold Forum. It clocked in at 424MB as a zip file and just a touch under 750MB when installed in my custom scenery directory.

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