• Review: Sim720 - Catalina Airport

    Catalina Airport

    Publisher: Sim702

    Review Author:
    Dominic Smith

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here

    Sim720 Catalina     Sim720 Catalina     Sim720 Catalina

    KAVX Catalina Airport is situated on Santa Catalina Island and is known as the 'Airport in the Sky' due to its elevation at 1,602 feet (488 m). The airport is located 6 miles (10 km or 5 nm) northwest of Avalon, or to position it in relation to the mainland of the USA, it is off Long Beach, Los Angeles, California. Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, Catalina Airport is assigned AVX by the FAA and CIB by the IATA. The airport originally opened as "Buffalo Springs Airport" in the late 1930s. Prior to this time the island was accessible only to amphibious aircraft.

    The runway was built by blasting away the tops of two mountains and using the 200,000 truckloads of rock to fill the gap between them. A scheduled passenger service was briefly provided by United Airlines in DC-3s but this was discontinued; it is however used for airfreight from the mainland, with supplies being delivered via a Douglas DC-3 aircraft daily. Don't be fooled by the long-disused refueling equipment which is located in the pavement in front of the terminal building, no fuel is actually available. It does however sell buffalo burgers.

    Sim720 Catalina     Sim720 Catalina     Sim720 Catalina


    Catalina Airport uses Sim720's tried and test formula for installation and it's one that works well. Once unzipped, all that is required to complete the installation is to run the setup program and insert your serial number. The installer even adds the airport to the FSX/P3D scenery library.

    Control Panel

    With the airport now installed, there is just one more task left to do, and that is to run the Sim720 Control Panel (found on the desktop). This helpful little program enables you to configure the scenery's complexity and tailor the airport to your liking. As well as being able to select what static elements are enabled, it also allows you to choose what base scenery Catalina Airport is installed onto. The three option here are: Default, Orbx Global and MegaScenery California. For this review, I selected Orbx Global.

    Sim720 Catalina     Sim720 Catalina     Sim720 Catalina


    As usual with Sim720 products, a highly detailed and informative 18 page PDF manual is included with the package. This covers things such as the airport history, installation, configuration and aeronautical charts. It's well worth reading, especially if you're planning to get the most out of the scenery.


    As mentioned in the introduction, the airport is situated on Catalina Island, an island some 22 miles long and 8 miles wide (at its greatest width).

    Rather than having photographic coverage of the whole island, Sim720 have chosen instead to include a smaller area but at a much higher resolution (30cm resolution within airport boundaries and 60cm resolution outside the boundaries). This has numerous benefits, one being, it keeps the download size relatively small.

    Sim720's photographic overlay is crisp and clear (even down low) and blends in nicely to your chosen default texture...in my case, Orbx Global. When viewed from above, I actually found it difficult to spot where one finished and the other started.

    The photographic overlay includes seasonal variations, and whilst subtle, make a noticeable difference when viewed from above.

    Tags: catalina, kavx, sim720

    1 Comment
    1. dbauder's Avatar
      dbauder -
      The runway isn't quite level and I wonder if that's been modeled. Landing on runway 22 (the norm) it slopes up until about half way, giving you the impression you are high on approach. After that, it either levels off or slopes down, I forget. With that 'hump', there is the illusion after touchdown that you are about to run out of runway. And yes, the Buffalo Burgers are excellent!
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