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Hi,

 

only after I purchased LSZS I realised there's a freeware version for the same airport. No complaints here, it's my duty as a customer to explore the market. But out of curiosity I installed the freeware and lo and behold- the textures of the runway are far superior in so far as the whole runway is clear of snow whereas in your version it is pretty much covered up - apart from some portion on both ends. As LSZS is a destination predetermined for winter usage I am wondering why Andreas has chosen to develop a mostly snow-covered runway? I highly doubt the airport operators will let any snow cover remain on the runway if they depend on the comfort and security of their paying customers.

 

Long story short: I am - again (see ILS autotune feature for addon airports)- disappointed by Orbx's quality standards in the MSFS realm and I hope we will see improvement with this and other sceneries in the future.

 

To be fair - apart from the runway (it's hard to approach a white runway in a white environment spotting white - yes, and a bit red! - papi lights) I like your scenery a lot, especially the added elemets for the surrounding area. The more I urge for improvement of the runway!

 

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Hi Nick,

 

I know the snow coverage of surfaces in MSFS is hard to handle for developers, at least that's what I learned from many reviews. Yet the developer of the freeware has managed to represent the airport in a state I think is predominant in LSZS and other winter destinations. While there are for sure some hours or even days where airport operators aren't able to clear the movement areas they mostly tend to clear at least the runway. In case of ongoing snowfall there might be slush remaining, but a solid cover will be the exception. For most airport surfaces in MSFS however it seems to be the rule, which is unfortunate especially for a winter destination like LSZS.

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2 hours ago, TomL said:

Hi Nick,

 

I know the snow coverage of surfaces in MSFS is hard to handle for developers, at least that's what I learned from many reviews. Yet the developer of the freeware has managed to represent the airport in a state I think is predominant in LSZS and other winter destinations. While there are for sure some hours or even days where airport operators aren't able to clear the movement areas they mostly tend to clear at least the runway. In case of ongoing snowfall there might be slush remaining, but a solid cover will be the exception. For most airport surfaces in MSFS however it seems to be the rule, which is unfortunate especially for a winter destination like LSZS.


Don’t mean to change topic, but I’ve been waiting to hear some critique of this new scenery, specifically how it compares to the fantastic freeware out there. Where does Orbx excel / fall short in comparison to the freeware?

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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3 hours ago, TomL said:

Hi Nick,

 

I know the snow coverage of surfaces in MSFS is hard to handle for developers, at least that's what I learned from many reviews. Yet the developer of the freeware has managed to represent the airport in a state I think is predominant in LSZS and other winter destinations. While there are for sure some hours or even days where airport operators aren't able to clear the movement areas they mostly tend to clear at least the runway. In case of ongoing snowfall there might be slush remaining, but a solid cover will be the exception. For most airport surfaces in MSFS however it seems to be the rule, which is unfortunate especially for a winter destination like LSZS.

 

The snow behaviour differs between live weather and the snow preset.  In the live weather if I remember correctly the runway was the lightly snowed but serviceable version, whereas the weather preset had the whole countryside and runway etc blanketed in white.  That's probably why the airport is as you see it, assuming you're using the snow preset?

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, bburkley said:

Where does Orbx excel / fall short in comparison to the freeware?

While I find the freeware extraordinary well done I like the Orbx version a bit better, but I have to admit that I didn't test the freeware beyond the boundaries of the airport perimeter. What I like about the Orbx version is the modeling of buildings in St. Moritz as it adds a lot to the immersion on approach. I mainly focused on the snow coverage of the surfaces where the freeware excels but to me the modeling of the airport in the Orbx version felt a tad more realistic, but it is good in both versions. However, I would recommend to install the freeware first an go by your own impressions - maybe you feel it's right for you. And the developer has improved the product regularly as it seems, so I'll surely recheck my assessment should new versions appear.

All in all I'd like to emphasize that I like the Orbx scenery and find it worth the money, but I'd for sure like a more cleared runway.

Edited by TomL
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5 hours ago, John Dow said:

snow preset?

No, it was live weather: CAVOK, no recent precipitation, but snow coverage in the whole area.

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Hello,

while  it is generous of you to review competitor's products, please remember that these are

commercial forums and that reviews of such products, however vague that they may be, are

not only inappropriate but in breach  of the forum rules.

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Hello TomL,

in fact, it seems that the surfaces in this airport product react to differing weather conditions very well indeed.

I have tried numerous ways of setting the weather and here are some of the results: 

 

1.jpg

 

2.jpg

 

3.jpg

 

4.jpg

 

5.jpg

 

6.jpg

 

7.jpg

 

8.jpg

 

 

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Hello Tom,

 

thank you for your feedback. As John's and Nick’s testing situations show, snow on surfaces in MSFS varies to a couple of variables you can choose (live weather, weather themes, presetting snow heights etc.).  I hope you find one which suits most your needs.

 

Regards

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55 minutes ago, Nick Cooper said:

breach  of the forum rules.

Didn't intend to, sorry!

 

4 minutes ago, Andreas Hegi said:

snow on surfaces in MSFS varies to a couple of variables you can choose

Alright, so it seems there's variables for the surface coverage that make it quite random, as I noticed in Nick's screenshot a blizzard with 1m snow depth and 100 mm/h precipitation leads to a cleared runway whereas the live weather setting with no actual precipitation visible makes for a solid cover in the middle section of the runway, as I noticed with severe CAVOK conditions for the whole day in live weather. Maybe there's a way to implement a more congruent appearance especially for live weather - like a control panel setting in the lines of "set always cleared runway" or the like. Just a thought...

Anyway - thanks for listening.

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Hello,

considering the many variables and the fluid state of the simulator, which is clearly still in development,

I think that the depiction of the various amounts of snow on the runways and taxiways is remarkable, as

indeed is the depiction of snow in general.

So far, I have never seen an airport that does this as well as this one does.

My own view is that I would rather have the variety than a runway that was always clear, regardless of

the weather. It is after all a flight simulator and may well have limits that inhibit the representation of

every nuance of the possible weather conditions.

 

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8 hours ago, TomL said:

While I find the freeware extraordinary well done I like the Orbx version a bit better, but I have to admit that I didn't test the freeware beyond the boundaries of the airport perimeter. What I like about the Orbx version is the modeling of buildings in St. Moritz as it adds a lot to the immersion on approach. I mainly focused on the snow coverage of the surfaces where the freeware excels but to me the modeling of the airport in the Orbx version felt a tad more realistic, but it is good in both versions. However, I would recommend to install the freeware first an go by your own impressions - maybe you feel it's right for you. And the developer has improved the product regularly as it seems, so I'll surely recheck my assessment should new versions appear.

All in all I'd like to emphasize that I like the Orbx scenery and find it worth the money, but I'd for sure like a more cleared runway.

 

Thanks for the feedback. Although the freeware is incredible, I do agree it was lacking in building out the town of St. Moritz and some surrounding buildings - which is where I was hoping Orbx would excel, and looks like it did. I'm sure that developer will continue to build things out, he's doing some amazing stuff. Either way, much appreciated on sharing your thoughts, I had plans to buy the Orbx scenery anyways and will compare.

 

Thanks!

Brandon

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Obviously snow coverage is manageable as long as weather presets are used and the snow depth is set to a fixed value. Then the snow coverage seems to be dependent on the surface: the darker, the less the coverage . However, live weather seems to set values that - at least for the short time of my testing - leads to a solid coverage regardless of the actual snow height. The Meteoblue data used for the live weather show a coverage of only around 5-10 cm for the valley at LSZS but a much higher coverage for the surrounding summits. Maybe it's a large resolution of the grid meteoblue is providing for live weather and therefore the sim is using the higher coverage from the surrounding area instead of the valley. However, in ENAT there's a coverage of around 5 cm for the area according to Meteoblue data, and the airport surface is covered in solid snow too, using live weather.

The developer of the freeware LSZS mentions changes to some shaders in his release notes, however as far as I can tell it's only .bgl and texture files provided with that package, so the difference in coverage may be caused only by the usage of different materials for the surfaces. So maybe it's waiting for progress from ASOBO's side with the SDK to give developers more control, enjoy the coming summer and in the meantime finding out which live weather conditions provide the best result for me and planning the flights to LSZS accordingly.

 

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On 4/12/2021 at 9:31 AM, Nick Cooper said:

 

1.jpg

 

Thanks for the clarification and pictures Nick. Interesting study of the runway surface behavior.

 

Where is the DC-3 sitting on the runway coming from if I may ask? :)

 

Thanks!

Milan

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Hello,

It's a "home made" conversion of the Digital Dakota Works C 47 using the freeware converter.

I use it because it looks excellent and is very easy to fly.

The main gauges are all usable but none of its very many special features work at all.

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