Review by Rick Desjardins. Leeds Bradford International Airport, ICAO: EGNM is located near the city of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. The airport primarily serves the cities of Leeds and Bradford as well as the wider region of Yorkshire. When the airport originally opened in 1931 it went by the name of Leeds and Bradford Municipal Aerodrome or Yeadon Aerodrome.
Like many other airfields civilian traffic was halted during the Second World War between 1939 and 1945. An aircraft factory was built next to it and was connected via a taxiway meaning that aircraft built at the plant could be delivered and flown directly from Yeadon Airfield. Several years after the war ended, in 1947, civilian flights resumed and since that time has seen lots of growth and expansion in a number of areas such as destinations, airlines and facilities.
The airport which is served by a single runway 14/32 @ 7,382ft saw almost 3 million passengers pass through its gates in 2012.
The process is straight forward and only requires you to add your product keycode and confirm a few pieces of information before the installation takes place. During the installation process you will be presented with a screen that allows you to make some scenery configuration choices.
The installer will add the scenery to the FSX library and create a UK2000 Leeds Xtreme FSX program group from where you can access product related information including the manual and the Options utility
This is a screenshot of the Options setup screen. Most of the selections are self-explanatory however the manual does give some helpful information if you are unsure of how to proceed. Whatever choices you make they can always be changed by selecting Options – Configuration from the UK2000 Leeds Xtreme FSX program group.
The manual is a brief seven page PDF document that serves for both the FSX and FS2004 versions of the scenery. The document contains lots of good information, especially those parts dedicated to “Display Settings” and “Options Program”. If you are not familiar with UK2000 scenery products I highly recommend reading the document.
Leeds Bradford International Airport is the latest in the continually expanding repertoire of detailed “Xtreme” UK airports that have been created by the scenery developer UK2000. The product coverage area is restricted to the airport and a minimal area surrounding its boundary.
Comparing this product with what you get by default with FSX, the overall enhancements are quite dramatic and clearly visible.
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I do not own the recently released Orbx EU England product so I cannot comment on how well the two integrate.
Base textures for the scenery consist of high resolution photo textures. Their use means that we see lots of details throughout the entire coverage area even when viewed from very low altitudes. To make the ground look even more realistic they’ve added volumetric grass and low shrubbery in the areas where you might expect to see these in real life.
Hard surfaces look very realistic as well. In the touchdown zones we see rubber stains and in high traffic areas and aircraft parking locations the effects of wear and dirt are visible and more pronounced as you’d expect.
This airport has a somewhat unique ground feature in having a tunnel for the A658 road to allow it to traverse the airport under runway 14.
All of the structures throughout the entire scenery were consistent in their quality. That is to say, very well done and quite realistic looking. To recreate them they use a combination of high quality imagery with additional discrete details to further enhance what is visible in the images. The high quality of these images allowed for some pretty impressive details that remained crisp and clear even when scrutinized from very close up.
In these images we could also see how the effects of aging and weathering took its toll on the many different surfaces. Accuracy of placement is an important factor as well and when photo ground textures are used any inaccuracies are usually very visible; at Leeds I didn’t see any problems.
Buildings at this airport are concentrated in two main clusters one north of the runway and another south of the runway.
North of the runway is where you find the main terminal, control tower and fire station along with some other small buildings. This area is mainly used by commercial air traffic.
The largest airfield structure is the main passenger terminal and it is also the building with the most complex design. It is in a “u” shape with several jetways located in the central area and a long ground level extension that runs eastward along the edge of the main apron.
On the opposite side of the terminal is where we find the fire station, fuel depot and a small cargo building. Moving further west is a number of other small miscellaneous buildings. In each and every one of them you could see the quality of the developer’s work. I especially liked how great all the structures looked when viewed from a pilot’s perspective while seated in the cockpit.
One negative comment I have with regards to the main terminal, is that I would have liked to have seen more emphasis on the roof top detailing. Looking at aerial photographs the central roof area is cluttered with lots of ventilation ducting and HVAC units but the building here has none of these.
The second cluster of buildings is south of the runway and here we see a series of hangars owned by Multiflight Aviation Services. Along with the buildings are three aprons known as Multiflight East, Central and West. The area is used mainly by GA and business aircraft. Again they’ve added plenty of visual enhancements to give them a realistic look and also interesting to look at.
In addition to the airport structures they have also included some that are located immediately next to the airport. The most noticeable being the large warehouse/commercial building just north of the terminal.
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Objects and Vehicles
Looking around the airport it quickly became apparent that this scenery developer had a good handle on what it takes to make an airport look alive and busy. It’s not only what types of objects/vehicles you add but also how many, where you place them and finally their quality. In this airport I felt that they found the right balance for all of these factors and combined that with outstanding visual quality.
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By default they include all of the various objects/vehicles that you would expect to find in an airport environment however they also give you the option of adding even more if you so choose. Should you decide to select the optional objects of the Airliner and GA/Biz jet static models you will find that the airport is even more immersive. I found the quality of their static aircraft deserved special mention for both quality and variety. They include small single engine GA aircraft, biplanes, helicopters and business jets.
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I chose not to select the Airliner option as I am running Ultimate Traffic 2 and didn’t want the static models to interfere with the AI traffic.
Like many of their previous releases they include an option to install 4000+ 3D cars. This is one option I highly recommend if your system can handle the extra load.
Although cars aren’t something that affect airport functionality they are important when considering how realistic the airport looks. It is for this reason that I think they are a great visual feature.
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Also included to enhance the airport environment are a number of animations; they include road and airport vehicle traffic, a Marshaller at gate 8 and also a service fleet. Each of these can be enabled or disabled from within the options setup screen.
Night time brings a whole new perspective to an airport and a totally different flying experience. Rather than relying on all of the normal daytime visual cues and clues we rely on the various types of lighting to help define the visual experience. Not much of a surprise here, they did an outstanding job.
Looking at the various types of ground lighting, building lighting and then overhead lighting each one was very well done. Light intensity and coverage areas were realistic. Especially impressive is the technique they use to illuminate the ground next to the taxiway/runway lights.
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| Test System |
• Intel i7 960 OC @ 4.2 Ghz
• 6 Gb RAM
• EVGA GTX560 Ti 1.2Gb
• Win 7 Ultimate 64
• FSX w/acceleration
Screenshots enhanced with
Ultimate traffic 2, REX Overdrive, GEXn, UTX, AES, GSX
Test Time: 20 hours
UK2000’s work keeps getting better and better with every new release and this is another very good product by this scenery developer. It is obvious that they take a lot of pride in what they create and we benefit by getting realistic frame rate friendly airports. I highly recommend this airport to anyone looking for an airport in the United Kingdom.
What I like about Leeds Xtreme
- Night lighting.
- Overall quality and variety of the objects/vehicles.
- Scenery configuration options to customize the experience.
What I don't like about Leeds Xtreme
- Nothing really.