FTX NA - KEGE Eagle County Regional Airport
For FSX/Prepar3D Published by Orbx
Reviewed by Brian Buckley
Eagle County Regional Airport, sometimes referred to as Vail/Eagle
Airport or the Eagle Vail Airport, is a public airport located
4mi (6km) west of Eagle, Colorado, USA. The airport
serves its namesake Eagle County, which includes visitors to the
nearby Vail and Beaver Creek ski resorts. It covers 632ac
(256ha) and is configured with a single runway. Eagle County
Regional Airport was rated 8th on a list of most extreme airports in
July, 2010 due to the elevation, weather variability, an approach
through mountainous terrain and challenging departure procedures. In
2008–2009, the airport completed a runway repaving and extension
project, increasing the runway length to 9,000ft. This enables
aircraft to take off with more passengers and fuel and the
capability to serve longer distances.
The airport is mostly seasonal, with the greatest number of
scheduled flights operating during the winter months. During the ski
season, KEGE is the second busiest airport in Colorado after
Denver International Airport. Eagle serves as a good alternative
to Denver for skiers in the Vail Valley because of its close
proximity to the major international ski resorts of Vail, Beaver
Creek, Copper Mountain, Keystone, and Breckenridge. Due to the
abundance of flights into KEGE and the ability to accept larger
aircraft than Aspen, during the ski season, a number of passengers
fly into KEGE rather than attempting to fly into Aspen. Operations
into the airport during the summer months have proven to be
increasingly popular with tourists, with United Express offering
service year-round and with American Airlines serving the Airport
during the summer months from June through to September. Eagle County
Airport is also extremely popular with private aircraft operators
and has one of the top rated Fixed Base Operators in the country,
based at the Vail Valley Jet Centre. Due to the wide variety of
private and commercial aircraft, CNN rated KEGE as one of the
world's top places to spot aircraft.
This is the 12th airport produced for Orbx by Jarrad Marshall, whose previous projects include popular airports such as, Palm Springs, Jackson Hole, and Sedona, to name a few. Eagle County has been designed to blend seamlessly into FTX Global
BASE. We've now travelled north from Jarrad's previous two airports and we are now in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Hosting five airlines which serve destinations throughout the US and Canada, Eagle County Regional is no slouch of an airport. Also included in KEGE is the designated military base of the 'Army National Guard High Altitude Aviation Training Site' or HAATS,
which is also fully rendered in this package.
Availability and Installation
FTX: NA KEGE Eagle County Regional Airport is available from The FlightSim Store as a 'download only' product (a master back-up DVD service is also available for a minor additional cost). It is priced at AUD$32.95, or the equivalent on currency cross rates. The download file size is 2.58GB and a key code is issued via email and required during installation.
The installation process is easy and intuitive and the scenery installs seamlessly as part the FTX Central 2 application. As with any Orbx product, it is highly recommended that after installing the product, you install or reinstall the latest version of the Orbx Scenery Libraries (ORBXLIBS).
Jarrad has produced another highly detailed airport with
extensive coverage through part of the most beautiful scenery in
Colorado, USA. Not only has he rendered the main Eagle County Regional
Airport but there are also three other locations to land your
aircraft, either fixed wing or rotary wing. There is Gypsum Creek
Ranch Airstrip (CO47), which is located SSW of KEGE and is just a dirt
strip, Avon STOLport (WHR) located east of KEGE, and a heli-pad
located at the Vail Medical Centre which, if you follow the I70
further east of Avon, you will find it next to the Interstate in Vail.
Although these three additional landing areas have been included, they
are only lightly rendered compared to KEGE. Also, Avon STOLport is of
particular note, as locals may recognise that this airstrip has been
shut for many years. This depiction shows it in mid 1980s
configuration, although for those seeking a truly authentic
experience, this can be disabled via the control panel in lieu of the
present day layout.
WHR - Avon STOL port
Vail Medical Centre
C047 - Gypsum Creek Ranch
KEGE - Eagle County Airport
huge 1500km² encompassing the towns of Vail, Eagle,
Gypsum, Avon, Beaver Creek, Eagle-Vail and Walcott, with
huge tracts of mountainous terrain, Orbx FTX KEGE gives us more than
enough scope for exploration of the towns, and varied landscapes of
this area. The Colorado Rockies boasts some of the most breathtaking
scenery in the world and there is plenty of eye candy included to have us
based here, for a while at least. The huge area included in this
scenery is shown below.
FTX - NA KEGE
The area covered in this rendition
puts you in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, just a
short flight west of Denver International to the
east and within easy reach of some of the other
airports from Orbx such as, Jackson Hole, Sedona, and
of course Palm Springs. You can expect to find a
great amount of lush farmland in the valleys leading
to some beautifully rendered high mountain regions
such as a very good portion of the Sawatch Mountain
Range, including Mount of the Holy Cross (14,011ft)
and Gold Dust Peak (13,380ft).
There are a
couple of unusual animations you may come across.
The first should be easy enough to spot being an
animated train running out of Gypsum and the other,
an AI helicopter operating near Beaver Creek.
• Massive 1500sq km coverage area at
30cm and 1m resolution covering five towns in Eagle County, Colorado,
as well as surrounding
mountain ranges and valleys;
• Ultra Detailed rendition of KEGE Eagle County Regional
• 25 New Static Aircraft Types and Variants, exclusively
designed for KEGE;
• Large new fleet of new GSE types specific to Eagle County
• Advanced rendering, ambient occlusion and unique
night-lighting methods used;
• Custom landclass, vector data, custom seasons file and 10m
• Plenty of VFR landmarks and POI to
explore including schools, shopping malls, custom bridges, factories,
quarries and many others,
all optimised for performance;
• "Lite" rendition of three landing
areas in the coverage zone: Gypsum Creek Ranch (CO47), Avon STOLport
(WHR) and Vail Medical Centre.
• Custom Animated AI Helicopter near Beaver Creek Ski Resort;
• Full suite of Object Flow, PeopleFlow2, Texture Flow and
• AI flight plans included for
general aviation traffic (freeware FTX NA AI package must be
installed from fullterrain.com
• Strongly optimised for good
performance with complex aircraft types.
AI Helicopter without Label
AI Helicopter with Label
With the usual Orbx/FTX Control Panel shown here, it is down to user preference as to whether you want to see the train or the AI helicopter but with the helicopter you are given the added option of finding it first with the label, then by turning the label off, you will see just the helicopter.
There is also the option to show (WHR) - Avon STOLport as it was in the 1980s or if you prefer, you can disable it and have it depicted as it is nowadays. As the saying goes......It's your choice!
Level of Detail
The level of detail in KEGE is extremely good, with the sizeable
area both in and around the main KEGE airport being rendered at 30cm
resolution and the remaining massive area rendered at 1m resolution.
Jarrad has crammed a host of goodies and points of interest into this
rendition such as, the custom designed aircraft made especially for
KEGE which you will find parked around the airport apron (provided you
have them activated in the Control Panel), static and animated people
and vehicles, schools, fuel stations, shopping malls not to mention
the mass of buildings in and around the various towns and villages. The 30cm resolution ground textures are superb and even the
1m resolution areas are of a high quality and a delight to fly around. Jarrad's attention to detail within the airport boundaries
something very special and you can't help but notice the little
nuances that he has included. Some of which are pointed out below but
you really need to book your flight in to Eagle County Regional and
check it out for yourself.
As for the mountain regions and the 1m resolution covered area, I
believe the pictures say it all. Crisp textures and seasonal
variations all add up to a realistic feeling whilst flying through the
myriad of canyons and gullies on your way up to the top of the ski
slopes. Not only has Jarrad modelled and coloured the seasonal
variations here but he has also gone to the extent of adding in the
subtle changes in seasonal snow melt periods. There are very distinct
changes happening to the way the snow coverage looks depending on the
time and month of the year. A very clever and I believe, unique
addition to Orbx scenery add-ons. This feature really gives the
scenery some added depth, which you will notice if you fly here
throughout the year. The water textures and vectors are also extremely
good viewing. All this with barely a twitch on my frame rates and with
most of my sliders set to the right for maximum enjoyment.
Turbo Prop Caribou
Lighting is also another area Jarrad has not skipped a beat with. His use of
turns the scenery into a whole different world. This is an area of
design which can easily be done incorrectly, but Jarrad is a master of this tool as is evident in the screenshots shown here.
Quality of Buildings and Objets d'Art
It is evident that Jarrad has spent literally months working on this
project, as can be seen in the attention to detail, not just in the
quality of most of the buildings, objects and clutter but also in the
research he has carried out in determining what to actually include.
For example, the basketball hoop at the HAATS base and the Turbo Prop
Caribou to name but two. There are loads more. In fact there are
hundreds, if not thousands more examples to find and feast your eyes
Jarrad's attention to the quality of the textures, the blending and
ambient occlusion is purely and simply outstanding. Although I did
manage to find a couple of mishaps that I can only imagine, must creep
in to a project of this enormity. As I have stated many times in
previous reviews I have done, it is the pedant in me that seeks out
these anomalies. Having said that, what I did find does not detract
from the overall enjoyment of flying around this marvellous region of
Ball and Hoop
Costco and Garage
National Guard Base
Hotels in Vail
Above are just a few of the items included which add great detail to this rendition of Eagle County, as I stated earlier there is a catalogue of objects both static and animated for you to find.
Below are some instances that I found, that makes me wonder how they escaped the
tester's keen eye for accurate detail.
After flying around this region of Colorado for some considerable
time, I feel almost guilty at pointing these anomalies out but they
stand out to me when everything else is so good. For instance, as I
was doing a walkabout in Vail, I looked up and saw the roof of the
main church just floating there. The church itself is beautiful I
might add. Then the buildings on the opposite side of the main road
where at first glance look great, but then I noticed the alignment of
the textures was way out on some of them which results in windows
chopped in half and overlapping the roof line.
Included in the download is a 22 page PDF file that is a fully comprehensive user manual. It is easy to follow and it takes the user through the usual set up options and has you flying as soon as possible. There is however a particular warning notice warning the user to follow the installation procedure carefully as detailed below.
It also contains all the airport diagrams and charts you need to be able to utilise any of the available runways at Eagle County Airport. Two of the charts are below to give you a flavour of the information covered.
Having locked my frame rates in FSX to 31fps, (which is half my
monitors refresh rate plus 1, as described in Steve's DX10 Fixer
) and with my system specifications I was able to
achieve well above 30fps constantly. Even over the immediate airport
environs, with 30cm resolution. All this and with my sliders set as
directed in the user manual.
Obviously this may not be the case for everyone, as it is dependent
solely on your individual system specifications. On my system I never
experienced any adverse effects whatsoever and flying was smooth and
free of any flickering, stuttering or OOM errors. KEGE has been
strongly optimised for good performance.
requires that the .Net 4.5 Framework is installed on your PC. This
means that the minimum Operating System required is Windows Vista SP2.
Orbx recommends using Windows 7, 8.1 or 10.
Value for Money
At AUD$32.95 and the fact that
there are a couple of 'lite' rendered additional airfields and a
helipad to use, it goes without saying, that this is terrific value
for money. Not to mention the months of dedicated work that Jarrad has
poured in to his rendition of Eagle County Regional Airport.
Review Computer Specifications
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.
Massive 1500km sq coverage area.
Two bonus airfields and one helipad.
Superb seasonal texturing.
Optimised for good performance.
Minor issues and anomalies.
If you wish to fly 'Rocky Mountain High' and experience one of the
toughest approaches that the USA has to offer, then you have
to experience Jarrad Marshall's rendition of Eagle County Regional
Airport. Thanks Jarrad for another stunner!
● Scenery Coverage:
Level of Detail:
Quality of Buildings:
● Value for Money:
Orbx FTX: NA KEGE Eagle County Airport is awarded a Mutley’s Hangar score of 9.8/10,
with an "Outstanding" and a Mutley's Hangar Gold Award.