• Review: Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airport Vol.1 XP

    Taxiways And Runway

    Taxiways and runways at each airport are up to date and look great. Textures are done in full 4k resolution and in P3D make full use of tarmac Physical Based Rendering (PBR).

    Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airports Vol. 1     Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airports Vol. 1

    A great level of care has been put into the airport ground detail too. Katowice for example, you can still see the remains of a former runway that runs parallel to the current active one, while at Lublin you can see where the former PZL Factory with its helipads is and the surrounding warehouses around that. Most Polish airports are former military base converts and still take from their former Soviet origins, hence the recent funding to upgrade and modernise facilities.

    Runways too are up to date and accurate. Two years ago Rzeszow extended their runway eastward, using the former threshold connecting the flight school to the main runway as the base of the extension. Accurate to real life, you can see what's left of the arrows that separated this section of runway from the rest and the slightly thinner width too, adding to the level of detail this add-on provides.

    Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airports Vol. 1     Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airports Vol. 1

    Night Effects

    Being on the X-Plane platform, this is where the add-on shines. The airport environment lights up at night with the terminal and other lamps shining down onto the airfield. This is greatly improved on with new PBR definitions which determine the material of different panels and how light reflects off of it.

    The taxiway and runway lights also glow in an array of colors, accurate and complete. This makes navigating a dark Polish field rather simple and Drzewiecki Design have certainly pushed X-Plane to the limit, which has certainly worked.

    As the airport surrounding has also been improved with VFR scenery and new overlays, these also light up at night and from high altitude gives you a rather fantastic light show. From the ground too, these lights group up towards the city to produce a rather fantastic lightshow.

    Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airports Vol. 1     Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airports Vol. 1

    Terminal buildings also have a separate set of night textures. These light up the scenery at night and show off more of the terminal interior. This works well in showcasing the new modern glass terminals that are being built in Poland, and by using images from the terminals directly at night, it adds extra life to the simulator. These look really good and is something Drzewiecki Design have done a number of times in the past, looking better with each scenery package they release!

    Other Structures And The Surrounding Area

    Each of the airports included with Polish Airports Vol 1 comes with VFR photoreal scenery and in the case of Rzeszow, includes the city too. While the VFR imagery may be a little low resolution up close, when in the air these look absolutely fine. Buildings are also placed in their real-world locations and do look rather good, really adding to the Polish theme of this add-on.

    Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airports Vol. 1     Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airports Vol. 1

    Looking closer at the city of Rzeszow, I do recognise a number of the buildings that are there, namely the train station in the city center and the power plant visible from the airport terminal. This is all highly accurate and looks really good on the eye. It also fits the X-Plane world well and really upgrades your flight when in and out of the southern Polish airport.

    Unfortunately however (and this is more of an issue with how speedy development is in Poland at the moment!) there are a number of roads that plough through fields and other places that looking at the VFR scenery, it doesn't quite match. With a recent influx of EU funding, Poland has been constructing a number of new motorways and roads cross-country to improve connections. Inaccurate data in some rural areas do also cause roads to sway away from their supposed paths. As X-Plane takes road data from an always-updating OpenStreetMap and overlayed scenery is used, this has caused a number of roads to be dropped on top of everything else. I feel that older satellite imagery has been used and updating it would fix this, but that mainly comes down to how readily available this new data is.

    Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airports Vol. 1     Drzewiecki Design - Polish Airports Vol. 1

    We do however miss out on ground meshwork, something that was done in the FSX and P3D release of Polish Airports. Lublin Airport is perched almost on a small hill with ground services parked underneath the terminal under a tunnel. Runways too are flat and do not use terrain contours which in the case of airports like Lublin, does affect it. Lublin's runway is also on a hill with the approach into 07 being a rather steep uphill climb before suddenly dropping onto a shallow slope downhill. While on the ESP-Platform the mesh had been moulded to showcase this (albeit the flat runways of course), we do not get it in X-Plane which I do find a shame. Knowing that Drzewiecki Design scenery packages do see regular updates, it's something I certainly hope to see added in the future.

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