• Review: RD Studios - KHAF Half Moon Bay

    Half Moon Bay Airport

    Publisher: Rising Dawn Studios

    Review Author:
    Stuart McGregor

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here

    Half Moon Bay Airport or Eddie Andreini Field (ICAO code KHAF) is located on the Pacific Coast of the USA just south of San Francisco, so if you are looking for a base to head out from, or just a new place to visit next weekend, this may be the one for you. The airfield itself has a single asphalt/concrete runway approximately 5000 ft (1524m) in length and is virtually at sea level with an elevation of only 66 ft (20m). In real life the actual airfield is a busy wee place with typically more than a 100 or so flights per day, with users including several emergency response organisations such as the Coast Guard, law enforcement departments and the local Air Ambulance offering Medivac services.

    Half Moon Bay Airport

    I will be honest and admit that I don't often venture into the world of payware scenery, largely due to the fact there is so much high-quality freeware available these days, however when I was given the opportunity to try this offering from the poetically named Rising Dawn Studios I was intrigued. The thing that really made me sit up and take note was the authors' description of the features and in particular, the mention of animated objects such as trees and power lines. This really got my imaginative juices flowing. For me, it is those extra little details that have the ability to transform good scenery into fabulous scenery, so I was instantly hooked. If you are more interested in spending your time at 30,000 ft on some far-flung journey across our ever-shrinking globe, a few trees blowing back and forth in the wind probably won't interest you much, but for detail junkies like myself, this really floats my boat. As far as I was concerned so far so good...

    Purchase, Download & Installation

    I was fortunate enough to receive my copy directly from the author, however if you are considering purchasing KHAF, it is pretty reasonably priced at $19.90 and is available via the usual X-Plane outlets. It is designed to run on Windows, Linux and Mac and is intended for use on X-Plane versions 10.5 and 11. In my case, this review is very much based on my experiences in version 11 and in particular the recent 11.10 run of releases.

    The download is almost 270 MB in size, so it may take you a while to complete, however when you do, you will be presented with three folders and one pdf document, the manual.

    The basic installation is pretty simple, in as much that you just drag and drop two ("Airport & Ortho") of the three folders into your main X-Plane Custom Scenery folder. You are then essentially ready to go flying.

    What this scenery does offer though, are a number of customisation/optimisation options in the nature of a third "extras" folder. In here you will find a whole raft of alternatives to the supplied default version and this is a really nice feature. If however you are a beginner and not very familiar with the inner workings of X-Plane and its scenery macerations (although it is well explained in the manual), this could be a wee bit tricky at first. However, please don't be put off, as there is a whole section in the manual that explains how to make the most out of the customisation options. It is worth reading, and I would highly advise anyone, newbies and seasoned pros, to spend a little time with the well written manual as it is actually a feature itself. I should mention that on the eye candy side of things the customisation options allow you to change the hangar interior, such as the lighting, cleanliness, paint colors, and even the wall posters and surfboards.

    Half Moon Bay Airport     Half Moon Bay Airport

    On the optimisation side there are a number of options to tailor the scenery to get the best out of your hardware setup. You can adjust features like the trees (2D or 3D and their lighting effects), power lines (movement or no movement), static aircraft (on or off), etc. These novel features are all excellent and demonstrate that the designer really wants everyone to get the most enjoyment out of the scenery, no matter what level of hardware your pocket money can stretch to.

    So to that manual again...

    1 Comment
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      This impressive X-Plane scenery brings back happy memories of flying from Half Moon Bay in Flight Unlimited II.

      Great review Stuart, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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