This is the latest airport by acclaimed developer Jarrad Marshall, whose many previous works include the highly popular Eagle County, Palm Springs, Sedona, Monterey Regional, Broome Intl, Jackson Hole and Cairns Intl airports, amongst many others.
Designed to blend seamlessly with FTX Global Base, Telluride follows on from the recent Eagle County Airport package, and provides the perfect location to explore the dramatic scenery of the Rockies and southern Colorado.
This product not only includes a highly detailed rendition of Telluride Airport, but also an enormous 1250km2 coverage area, encompassing not only the airport vicinity, but also the townsites of Telluride, Ouray and Silverton, the world-famous Telluride ski fields at Mountain Village, and large sections of the San Juan Mountain Range, famous for its many 14,000ft peaks.
Telluride Regional Airport is a public airport six miles west of Telluride, in San Miguel County, Colorado.
KTEX itself is generally considered the highest commercial airport in the United States, with an elevation of 9078ft above sea level. Whilst this title still retains common use, airline services to the airport have been inconsistent over recent years, with the most recent regular public transport flights operated by Great Lakes Airlines in 2014. Nevertheless, the airport is a highly popular destination with business jet and high-performance general aviation aircraft, particularly during peak ski season - with many affluent and famous residents flying into the airport taking advantage of the local FBO facilities.
Aside from providing a jaw-dropping backdrop, the imposing terrain surrounding Telluride combines with volatile and unpredictable weather conditions, as well as strict noise abatement procedures, to ensure that the airport is one of the most challenging in the world. Winds and safety permitting, all landings will be on Runway 09 and all takeoffs will be from Runway 27. This dictat probably explains the positioning of the terminal being very near the east end of Runway 09.
When looking for somewhere to fly to or from, the nearest major airfields (in order of distance) would be Aspen (KASE) 90nm, Eagle County (KEGE) 111nm, Denver Intl (KDEN) 190nm, Sedona (KSEZ) 255nm, and Jackson Hole (KJAC) 370nm. If you are a regular user of Orbx products I am sure you will recognise a few of those names.
FTX: NA KTEX Telluride 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 AU$34.95, or the equivalent on currency cross rates. The download file size is 3.45GB 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 of the Global Region in the FTX Central 2 application.
As part of the installation, a control panel is included which you access via FTX Central 2, or from a dedicated shortcut from your desktop. Here you can select the complexity settings specific to this airport which are the most suitable for your computer performance. This scenery is the first I have seen which comes with terrain harden options and terrain colour match options. These various options are explained in the User Guide and the Control Panel also has setings for static and animated objects along with terrain, FTX Vector and airport APX configuration. So a very comprehensive set of overrides to help get the best from the product.
As mentioned earlier, the airport sits within a modelled area totalling around 1250km2. The immediate area around the airport is modelled at 30cm per pixel and the outlying areas at 1m per pixel. The image below illustrates the boundaries of this scenery, thereafter you revert to Global Base and Vectors where already installed.
Essentially, Telluride is an alpine resort with many gondola routes linking the main town to the station at St Sophia then back down to the Mountain Village. In order to help you explore this high resolution section another map is provided.
I think nowadays Orbx Simulations are considered by many to be the de facto developer of quality flight simulation scenery. Added to this, we have the expertise of their award winning lead developer Jarrad Marshall at the helm. Hopefully, as in the past, this will be a recipe for success.
In every corner of the airfield you will find interesting objects which are finely detailed, and situations involving aircraft, vehicles and animated people acting out an event. Even small details like grilles and drain covers are given the treatment.
Airport Environs. Airside - the apron is packed with static aircraft, mostly business jets but also an assortment of prop driven GA aircraft. There is an impressive list of aircraft displayed, I counted 20 and for the plane spotters, they are Baron 58, Beechjet 400, Cessna C-172, C-208, Falcon 50, Gulfstream G450 & G550, Kingair, Learjet and finally, Piper PA-28. These models are fairly low poly but perfectly acceptable in this situation. If you need to claw back some sim performance these static aircraft can be removed using the Control Panel.
All ground service vehicles are modelled too, the fuel tankers having a smart livery and their own blister hangar. We also have a deice truck, snow plough, Jeeps, John Deere quad, pickup trucks, generators and baggage carts as well. This airport is certainly not short of interesting objects.
The many hangars and sheds are occupied with vehicles of one sort or another, and generally they have associated clutter around the sides or back of the building. There is plenty of clutter to explore on foot if you have Orbx's freeware Bob and it is worth the time taking a close look at all the objects. It's clear to see how much time and attention to detail has been paid to accuracy and quality, this is classic Jarrad!
The terminal building is just an extension of the main hangar, smart green canopies adorn the building giving shade to windows and doors. Atop the building are various antennae which look accurate for their use and the ubiquitous mobile phone mast with an array of aerials. On the front of the building a huge "Welcome to Telluride" message introduces us to the distinctive logo for the first time.
Moving away from the apron area, the two taxiways are well drawn and nicely bordered with grass. They have clear markings and signage with the correct night lighting. The east west runway looks well scuffed by heavy landings, and the centre line and TDZ markings are very clear and bright. At night, the hi-intensity lights either side of the runway are visible from quite a distance. Interestingly, both ends of the runway have 292ft long EMAS installed (engineered materials arresting systems) which in the real world provide overrun protection.
The other side of the runway looks quite desolate with a lot of ground works going on. When looking at Google Earth the construction traffic is clearly visible and could have created some extra interest in the scenery. Joining this space to the north side of the runway is a 660ft long maintenance vehicle underpass which is made out of galvanised steel sheets, such is the attention to detail, if you go and investigate you will see the corrugated steel sheets at either end included in this scenery. There is no traffic using the underpass but that's hardly surprising given the lack of other vehicles here.
A segmented circle shows the circuit direction and has a (lit) windsock in the middle. Running nearby is the southern airport service road very close to a huge drop into the valley below!
Wrapping this section up I have to note some anomalies when viewing from a high altitude. At around 17,100 - 17,200ft there are two triangular beacons floating in the sky above the airfield and they must be plugged in because they light up at night, white, amber and green. Another time, I was overflying the airfield in heavy rain and cloud and some of the ground textures were showing through the thick cloud although some others on the same level were not.
The passenger entrance to the terminal is accessed down via some steps, everything seems to be on a slope here. There are a couple of large picnic tables with people waiting and some large boulders heading to a small tropical looking garden offering some much needed vibrancy to this area.
Other Airports and the Surrounding Area. Still within the 30cm resolution area is the town of Mountain Village. This is a typical European-styled alpine resort area with plazas, chalets, cabins, swish hotels, a golf course and ski runs. The "feature" buildings are very well modelled and the area is abundant with trees and smaller buildings which are relevant to the area.
One of the key features of this scenery are the gondolas. The main resort area is connected from the Village Parking Station up to the Mountain Village Center and then even higher on to the Station St Sophia. Once there (now at a breathless 10,500ft) the views are tremendous. From the same complex, on the other side of the peak, there is another station overlooking the town of Telluride. The detail of the gondolas, cable, pylons and stations is superb. The only thing to let it down is the Station at Village Parking is a clone of the model at in the town so the station is incorrectly signed Station Telluride.
Towns & Airports - Just under 7nm away on a bearing of 319° there have been two small airfields added. Wilson Ranch Airport CO95 and Wilson Ranch Sawpit CO68, right next door. CO95 has a distinctive cross runway but no detail except for a fuel pump. Both airports are just green flattens with grass runways but couple prove useful in an emergency!
Downtown Telluride - East of the airport and Mountain Village is the main town of Telluride. It sits within the 1m scenery area which seems to be an adequate resolution given there is not much in the way of unusual buildings there except for the gondola station. Again, as we have seen many times in this scenery, the views in and around the glacial valley are breathtaking.
From the coverage map we can see a couple of named towns of Ouray and Silverton. Both locations are fairly typical featureless ex mining townships around the same size as Telluride but lacking the local attractions. The Victorian town of Ouray is set in a very pretty location with views out towards the flat pains of Ridgway and the Ridgway Reservoir beyond. Ouray is linked to Silverton by the Million Dollar Highway and forms part of the San Juan Skyway. It's worth following the route to see the canyon clinging stretch of road linking the two locations.
Terrain - There are many so peaks above 10,000ft to view. The San Juan Mountains are the largest mountain range in Colorado by area so there is plenty to explore in within the custome scenery. With the supplied 10m mesh the detail of the mountain textures are very good as are the colours and vegetation.
In the supplied map above we can see some mountain ranges and specific peaks singled out. It's really quite difficult to find them unless you have the exact coordinates or the brilliant Plan-G which can take you there with a mouse click, see below for some rocky stuff I found.
FTX: NA KTEX Telluride Regional Airport offers full seasonal support. Every season has something unique to offer from chocolate box Christmas views to spring and autumn splendour as the trees change colour. Often the valleys and hollows fill with mist or fog and can change the whole feel of the place and provide a challenging flying experience.
As you can see from the numerous screen shots above, FTX: NA Telluride Regional Airport delivers a very high level of quality in the main buildings, and around the airport environs with the modelling and representation of these objects being very realistic. A comparative review of images from FTX: NA KETX and images researched on the internet clearly demonstrated this high level of quality.
As part of the installation, a 44 page User Guide is provided in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf) and is accessible from the FTX Central 2 application. Other than providing a detailed overview of FTX: NA Telluride Regional Airport it also provides comprehensive information on the following:
Background to Telluride Airport;
Airport information and charts;
manual scenery library configuration;
KTEX Control Panel; and
Quick reference for simulator settings.
With my frame rate locked at 31 frames per second and most of my settings set high to very high, I enabled all features in the KTEX Control Panel. I then flew a broad range of general aviation aircraft in and out of Telluride and the simulator performed excellently within the existing settings I have installed P3Dv3 and I did not need to make any adjustments to compensate for performance issues and there was no discernible impact on frame rate performance against what I typically get. Of course, this is also system dependent and paying heed to the relevant sections in the User Guide should avoid any disappointment and provide optimum performance for your particular system.
With a huge scenery area, full customisation of level of detail, high quality objects and a stunning location I can only judge this product as excellent value for money
Having spent a few weeks exploring this airport and the extended scenery area I think this rates as one of Jarrad's best. Plenty of thought has gone into the location and the attention to detail is superb. There are a few minor anomalies such as the floating lights and incorrect signage of one of the gondola stations but they are not major defects and did not affect my enjoyment. It's definitely a location I will explore a lot more and I will make it a must visit location in any cross country flights in Colorado.