Turbulent Designs have very quickly built a solid reputation for incredibly good looking and well modeled airports, in the form of Agwin Parrett field and L35. With the experience they garnered from the two airports beforehand, the team at Turbulent decided to take on KMBS International Airport, in Freeland Michigan. This airport is one of the largest airports they have done to date, taking all of their experience from past products and putting it to the test. Did they succeed, did they fail? Let’s take a look and find out.
The installation process comes in the form of a single EXE file that takes your account info and key in exchange for an installation. Once it’s done plopping your newly purchased 1.3GB of airport onto your hard drive, you are left with KMBS and the Turbulent Terminal (a hub for all of your settings in regards to your airport, of which there are a ton.) Overall, the process was simple, intuitive, pretty, and smart. The installer forces the scenery to be installed outside of your main P3D directory as to avoid any potential conflicts with the main file structure, something I found very convenient and responsible to do. The provided Turbulent Terminal gives you a host of option, ranging from disabling objects for increased FPS, all the way up to terrain blending with FTX Global and Mega Scenery Earth.
Turbulent have built up a fantastic reputation for the stunning level of quality found in their airports, and luckily KMBS does not disappoint. We’ll start with the ground textures, which are sharp and detailed, including wear and tear, non repeating patterns, and convincing groove textures to give the ground a feeling of texture, something that turns out very well in the sim. There’s also 3D grass lining most of the taxiways/runways, which looks very nice as you taxi past (the only exception being when a shadow is cast upon the airport by a cloud, at which point the grass becomes a much brighter color than the ground it sits on.) The ground textures for the rest of the airport (including parking lot, abandoned runway, and GA ramp) all match this same level of upmost quality at no expense. I’d also be quite remiss to only discuss the airport ground textures itself, because with the airport package, you also receive 20 square kilometers of terrain textures, all of which match the same quality that could be found in an ORBX region like PNW.
We can now move on to the 3D objects provided with the scenery, including the terminal building, and GA hangars. We’ll start by covering the Terminal, which is by far and away one of the best things I have ever seen in a simulator in terms of detail. Yes it is small, but the entire terminal, both inside and out, would be passable as it’s own seperate object all together. Inside the terminal we find expertly done textures (albeit at a slightly lower resolution) crisp 3D modeling (like in the pathway dividing the TSA checkpoint from the bag check line) signs for premium lanes for airport check-in (of which the text on them is perfectly readable) and even multiple eating areas, equipped with cash registers and stores for food. The walls have signs poking out of them denoting what part of the airport you’re in, and there are even fully modeled car rental desks. It has to be the most detailed interior of a terminal I have ever seen modeled in flightsim, and thankfully that doesn’t impact the outside of the terminal either. Big windows let you see into the magnificent interior, the architecture of the multi-stage roof blends perfectly, the texture work remains sharp as ever (much sharper than the inside) and was consistent throughout the terminal. The SODE jetways looked pretty (although that’s more of a testament to SODE) and the detail goes on and on. The cars sitting in the parking lot are plentiful, and much sharper than the 3D cars found at most modeled airports. The cars also have a ton of variety, including different body styles, colors, and positions.
We can now move on to the GA side of the field, which doesn’t disappoint either. The GA hangars maintain the same mentality of keeping both the outside and inside pretty, and I’d say look on par with the hangars at most medium-sized ORBX regional airports. The static planes on the tarmac are a nice touch (although the Delta CRJ at the main terminal could use a little TLC,) and can be disabled at your will. The GA ramp also comes complete with its own parking lot, trees, and nifty little details that you only find after extensive flying (don’t worry, I won’t spoil them for you :))
Night lighting also scores high marks for me, although P3D v4 will probably change that, so I won’t go into too much detail in that regard. As of right now though, the night lighting looks great.
I’m not going to dilly-dally here. The verdict is simple. This airport is simply one of the best and most detailed regional airports I have ever tested, and easily has the best interior terminal modeling of any airport on the ESP platform. Period. They keep an insane level of detail going for so long, and in so many areas, even the area around the airport is superb quality. At the low price of £19.99 that they’re asking for, this is one of those true no-brainer purchases. While the scenery occasionally has a few odd faults (the grass issue, the CRJ at the main terminal, etc) the overall package is a step above the rest, and absolutely worth your money. Once the Aerosoft CRJ comes out, I see this being a very frequent regional destination for me and many others.