FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport
For FSX/Prepar3D Published by Orbx
Reviewed by Brian Buckley
FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport is a special triple pack
which consists of three general aviation airports: Blue Canyon-Nyack
(KBLU); general aviation Gansner Field (2O1); and Limberlost Ranch
(CA21). These three general aviation airports are spread across a
coverage area of approximately 8,000 square miles at the northern
end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This triple pack is the work of
the Turbulent Designs 3D modelling gurus, Greg Jones and Russell
Linn, who have combined with Orbx to bring us this impressive
package. From the grass roots upwards, these guys have put in a
great deal of time researching these three airports. Now, finally we
have a triple pack of beautifully rendered 3D models, animated
people, airport clutter, and more. There are even different ground
textures for Blue Canyon-Nyack for a 'hard winter'. Check out more
details further down in this review. Custom mesh included in the
package is 8,000 square miles of 10m terrain mesh covering all three
locations and the area between them to enhance your flying
Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport (KBLU).
Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport lies in
the Tahoe National Forest area near Emigrant Gap on the I80. At an
elevation 5,284ft AMSL, the area is remote and sparsely populated,
making it ideal for star gazing trips and it even has several
permanent observatories within the airport boundary. The airport has
a single 3,300ft asphalt runway. During major bush fires, the
airport is used as a helipad base for emergency response teams.
Gansner Field (2O1).
Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport (KBLU) Charts
Gansner Field is located 41nm north of Blue
Canyon-Nyack Airport, near the town of Quincy. Situated in a wide
valley, the airport sits at 3,419ft AMSL and covers an area of 88
acres. It has one 4,105ft asphalt runway. A number of FBOs operate
from the airport and these are included in the representation of the
airport. A number of custom modelled buildings lie around the area
including the Feather River College campus, Quincy High School,
shopping centres, churches, and gas stations. As a bonus, also
included is the Plumas District Hospital and helipad (CL94), which
you will find about half a mile to the west of the airport.
Limberlost Ranch (CA21).
Ganser Field (2O1) Charts
Limberlost Ranch is a small ranch airstrip
located near Lake Wildwood. The single grass/dirt runway lies along
a small uphill ridge. The entire airstrip has been accurately
modelled to match the actual terrain and provide a realistic
experience of landing in such difficult geography. Just 23nm east of
Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport, the airport sits at 1,650ft AMSL and has
an undulating and laterally uneven 1,700ft runway. A single hangar
stands very close to the runway/taxi area.
Availability and Installation
Limberlost (CA21) Charts
FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport is available from the
(FSS) and is priced at £16.99 at the time of writing
this review. As the usual method of purchasing Orbx products is from
the FlightSim Store, FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack is a 'download
only' product with the option of a DVD backup available for an
additional nominal fee.
At 1.23GB, FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport is a decent sized
download file and this took me approximately 42 minutes to download
and approximately four minutes to install. As I don't have the
fastest internet connection available, it might be less time for
others to download.
Having downloaded and unzipped the file you will find the FSS
Installer application OrbxFTXBLU100.exe. Run this file and you are
then presented with the product validation panel and this is where you
enter the details sent to you by email from the FlightSim Store.
Once completed, you are free to fly around the
airfields included. I'm sure this procedure is not unfamiliar to
most of you.
Scenery Coverage and Detail
The following features are included:
• three highly detailed airports, Blue Canyon-Nyack (KBLU), Gansner
Field (2O1), and Limberlost Ranch (CA21);
• custom 10m mesh covering approximately 8,000 square miles;
• highly detailed custom ground polygons;
• high resolution buildings;
• unique static aircraft models;
• custom modelled surrounding POIs, such as, gas stations, hotels,
schools, and churches;
• includes Plumas District Hospital and helipad (CL94);
• challenging hilltop landing on a fully modelled runway at Limberlost Ranch;
• fully seasoned to match FTX: NA Northern California;
• hand placed autogen vegetation and buildings; and
• developed by Greg Jones and Russell Linn (Turbulent Designs).
Encompassing an area of approximately 8,000 square miles, the three
airports included in the scenery add-on will give you plenty of
opportunity to explore this region of California. The area covered
by each specific airport is detailed in the pictures below, but the
connecting areas between each airport have also been covered with a
10m mesh, giving you uninterrupted scenery between airports.
The maps below show the counties in California where each airfield
is situated, illustrating their proximity to each other.
Airport Buildings and Objects
Greg Jones and Russell Linn (Turbulent Designs) have produced some
stunning scenery for the flight simulation world in the past and
FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack is, by far, no exception. Once again,
the attention to detail is the mantra from these guys. There is
plenty to feast your eyes on, with each of the three airport regions
full of eye candy. Not only have they rendered the individual
airports (if you can call Limberlost Ranch an airport), they have
included a good sized area of the respective surrounding
countryside. There are some beautifully rendered bespoke buildings
both in and around the airports/airfields and plenty of the usual
clutter and Orbx Object 'Flow' people going about their daily
business. I have included just a taste of these below, showing what
you can expect to see at each airport.
|Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport (KBLU)
Blue Canyon-Nyack Signage
Blue Canyon-Nyack Buildings
Blue Canyon-Nyack - No Trespassing
Blue Canyon-Nyack - Fire Station
|Gansner Field (2O1)|
Gansner Rusty Tank
Gansner Apron Details
Gansner Airport is the largest of the three airports included in
this triple pack, and also includes the Plumas District Hospital
(and associated helipad) and Snake Lake. Snake Lake is covered in
lilies and appears almost totally green due to this vegetation
cover. An anomaly that I found with the lake is that it is possible
to land on the lake with wheels. This is due to the limitations with
water masking in FSX and not an oversight on the part of Greg and
Russell. Another observation, but one which more than likely relates
to dated Google Earth imagery, is the runway data and alignment is
consistent with current FAA data, but images from Google Earth show
the runway marked as 06/24.
Landing at Plumas Hospital (CL94)
Plumas Hospital and Helipad
Lilly covered Snake Lake
Snake Lake - Winter
|Limberlost Ranch (CA21)|
Limberlost - Behind Runway 10
The Lonely Hangar
Deteriorating Runway Edge
An Undulating Descent
Limberlost Ranch may be the smallest airfield in this triple pack
but it is far from the easiest to operate from. With approximately
97m of asphalt, you then find yourself racing down a steeply
grassed, undulating field to complete your take-off. It is possible,
however, to take off within the distance of the asphalt section,
albeit in a microlight. Limberlost Ranch is sparsely populated with
buildings, but the sheer thrill of take off, landing, and making a
full stop in time, makes up for this. The nearby communities of Lake
Wildwood and Rough and Ready (yes, there is a town named that) are
both represented very well. Lake Wildwood gives you a very good
marker for where to find the runway. With no fuel at Limberlost
Ranch, you had better come prepared!
There are some awesome seasonal changes at Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport
and Gansner Field, but not at Limberlost Ranch. The lack of seasonal
variation at Limberlost Ranch is due to the fact that in this
particular region of California they do not get such extremes of
weather as the other areas. There are three User Control Panels that
accompany this package, which will allow the user to alter the
seasonal variations as they wish. Blue Canyon-Nyack and Gansner both
have the 'Hard Winter' settings, and to make this appear you should
make sure you have changed the grass and shrub settings prior to
Here is a representation of the User Control Panels you will have,
this one being the KBLU Control Panel.
I have omitted any seasonal screenshots for Limberlost Ranch for the
reasons given above. They look the same no matter what time of year
Blue Canyon-Nyack Summer
Blue Canyon-Nyack Winter
It appears that not a great deal goes on at these three airports
after dark, but considering this, what lighting is needed has been
covered pretty convincingly. Blue Canyon-Nyack and Gansner both have
runway lighting and some of the buildings have realistic down
lighting on them. As for Limberlost Ranch, well, you must be either
extremely desperate or stupid to want to use this airfield after
lights out because there is no lighting to speak of. There is a
rotating beacon on the roof of the hangar, but that's it. You could
always coax some of the local youths to hold up their torches for
you in a desperate attempt at landing in an emergency, but that's it
Night Lights at Blue Canyon-Nyack
Lights at Dusk at Blue Canyon-Nyack
Night Lights at Gansner
Gansner Runway 25 at Dusk
Night Lights at Limberlost Ranch
Lost Lights at Limberlost
As you can see, landing at Limberlost Ranch after dark would be an
A 21 page PDF document is included and this guides you through the
setup and subsequent refinement of the FSX sliders so that you will
get the very best out of the scenery. Basically, 'it does what it
says on the tin'.
Since installing Steve's DX10 Fixer, I have been able to run my
system almost at full potential. With almost all the sliders to the
right, I am still getting in excess of 40 fps. By adhering to the
settings advice in the manual, and with judicious use of the User
Control Panels supplied for each airport, there should be no
problems in achieving reasonable frame rates for your individual
Value for Money
Overall, FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport is considered
exceptional value for money. With three airports and scenery
covering a vast area, you certainly get your money's worth.
Review Computer Specifications
With the exception of requiring FTX: NA Northern California
installed, there are no other stated, specific system technical
requirements, other than a system capable of running FSX / P3D. The
FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport User Manual provides some
excellent advice on the various scenery slider settings and Control
Panel settings which will maximise the performance of the software
and FSX / P3D for a range of hardware specifications.
FTX: NA KBLU can be installed without the FTX NA Northern California
product, full functionality of the software will not be realised.
The specifications of the computer on which the review was conducted
are as follows:
• Asus P8Z77-V motherboard, Intel i7 3.4Ghz 'Sandybridge';
• Asus Strix Geforce GTX970 OC 4GB, graphics card;
• 16GB, DDR3, Corsair Vengeance, 2400Mhz RAM;
• 128GB, Corsair Force 3 SSD - OS Windows 7 64 bit;
• 500GB, WD Velociraptor – FSX; and
• additional major add-ons include: Orbx FTX Global BASE; Orbx FTX
Global VECTOR; Orbx FTX Global openLC EU; Orbx FTX Trees HD;
FTX region series; Orbx FTX airport series; and Steve's DX10 Fixer.
This product is compatible with the following simulators:
• Lockheed Martin Prepar3D V1,
• Lockheed Martin Prepar3D V2, and
•*Microsoft Flight Simulator X.
My special thanks goes to John Allard for producing (at very short
notice) the airport diagrams used in this review.
In my mind, when Turbulent Designs joined forces with Orbx, it was a
marriage of design excellence in the flight simulation world. Long
may it last, in my opinion. What the team has done with FTX: NA KBLU
Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport is a beautiful work of art and
imagination. Not only do you get one very good airport, you get
three and a bonus helipad to boot. There are not enough hours in the
day to explore everything this package has to offer, so it's longer
days and sleepless nights for me for quite a while I think. Enjoy! I
Considering that FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport is a triple
airport pack, it is surely an absolute no brainer to purchase and
add this add-on to your scenery library. It blends perfectly with
FTX: NA Northern California, which gives you thousands of square
miles of flying heaven to explore. There is so much more than I
could fit in to this review, so purchase it and find out for
yourself just what a great work this is.
Excellent area of coverage.
Exceptional level of accuracy and attention to detail.
Exceptional value for money.
Runway lighting anomaly at Gansner Airport.
Minor issue with misaligned traffic with roads.
Having spoken to the developers of FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack
Airport about the noted anomalies, they are looking into creating a
patch to rectify them. 'Watch this space.', as they say. Neither of
these anomalies detracted from my enjoyment of this add-on.
● Scenery Coverage:
Level of Detail:
Quality of Buildings:
● Value for Money:
Orbx FTX: NA KBLU Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport is awarded a Mutley’s Hangar score of 9.8/10,
with an "Outstanding" and a Mutley's Hangar Gold Award.