If we didn’t had Orbx the only australian airport would be Flytampa’s Sydney, yes it’s a huge international airport but only 1 airport for such a huge country is just sad. Orbx has released many smaller airports in the past for the australia region and on top of that Orbx has a complete landclass makeover for the whole Australia regon, named Australia SP4. Combine any of the 22 Orbx airports with the Australia SP4 will change your flying experience down under i can guarantee you that. Melbourne was Orbx’s debut dating 2008 as the new one is already V3. lot’s of people that use Prepar3D are very happy that they finally released a new version for the airport , one that has hopefully no issues in Prepar3D v3.
A little more about the facts about the Melbourne airport , after all this is what the review is all about. The airport is located 23 Km from the city and has the ICAO code: YMML and IATA code: MEL.
The airport is equiped with 2 intersecting runways RW34/16 which is 3657m long or 11.998ft and RW 27/09 which is 2.286m long or 7.500ft. Both runways have an asphalt surface.
Melbourne airport is the second busiest airport in Australia, right after Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport ofcourse. Melbourne airport is also known as Tullamarine airport and is the Primary airport serving the city of Melbourne. The airport even has it’s own zipcode (3045) . According to Wikipedia the air route Melbourne – Sydney is the fourth most flown route in the world.
Melbourne airport offeres 33 domestic flights and plenty of destinations to Asia, North America , Pacific region and ofcourse London. The airport is also equiped to handle the Airbus A380 which Emirates is the only airline sending the big aicraft. The airport serves as a hub for Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar Airways and Tiger Airways International.
Purchase and installation
As since short Orbx products are no longer available via The Flightsimstore and any Orbx products are now immediately avialable for puchase via FTX central V3. Very innovative as everything is handled by only 1 program. Products bought via The flightsimstore can be easily transfered to your Orbx account.
Orbx Melbourne can be bought for 39,95 AUD or € 27.93 or around 30 USD for my american friends . Don’t forget this add on requires the FTX Australia region without this region installed you’ll miss out on quite a lot of features and the scenery wont come to it’s full potential.
The download is 519 MB in size and take about 1,68 GB of your flightsim installation. Installation has never been this easy just buy , download and install all via FTX central . No need to activate the region anymore as the new FTX central V3 automatically does everything for you while flying.
The manual can be found and opened via FTX central v3 the userguide still says v1.1 as nothing much as changed to the old one. The manual contains everything needed for your virtual flights from charts to recommended settings and much more. Excellent as always and we expected nothing less from them.
- New High-Def groundpoly!
- Buildings textured from 3,000 onsite photos
- Over 60 km sq of crisp 60 cm/px resolution imagery
- Full support for AI traffic docking with gates
- Control panel allows user scenery tuning
- Ground staff airside and passengers landside
- New airport gates layout and markings
- New T4 & PierG expansions as well as new control tower
- Fully blended into FTX AU region
- and much more
If you bought v3 from day one you probably encountered the same issue as I , when 3D grass was activated no matter what payware aicraft you started you ran out of VAS very shortly. There seemed to be a bug in it and they resolved it shortly after by removing the option of 3D grass completely.
Melbourne Airport has 56 gates, 40 of them are domestic and 16 international and has 5 dedicated freighter parking positions lets have a closer look at them.
terminal 1 host domistic & regional flighs for Qantas group, Qantas & Qantas Link. From the outside you can clearly see the resembles with the real terminal. The buildig modeling is very good and so are the texturing. The terminal buildig is aslo equiped with the correct signage. The textures for the windows give the impression they are slighty seethough although they really are not. On the other side of the terminal you’ll find static people and taxi’s and busses to give a busy impression.
As you can see from the screenshots, terminal 1 exists out of 2 piers the second pier was build not so long ago in 1999. All the gates are animated by pressing the key combo ctrl +J , I was hoping to see SODE integration but this will have todo for now. The connecting of the gates doesn’t work flawless as they are always abit off from the aircraft door. At the gates you’ll find the usual groundcrew along with the usual ground equipment. The groundtextures are very good with the additional weathering effects and has the wears the correct markings.
Terminal 2 is the International terminal here’s where all the heavies park, usual visitors are Cathy pacific, Malaysian Airlines, United Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qantas , Emirates and Air New Zealand. The terminal is specially equiped with a gate to handle the large Airbus A380, so far only being used by Emirates Airlines.
Terminal 2 is opened in 1970 and has 20 gates with aerobridges. The same quality of textures and modeling can be found here as on terminal 1. The only difference i could find is that the groundcrew at gates are actually animated, using the all known peopleflow. Abit strange they only used this at the international terminal maybe to keep the performance high.
Terminal 3 was by opening owned by Ansett Australia , now by Melbourne airport and is home to Virgin Australia. Terminal 3 has 19 parking bays eleven of them are equiped with single aerobridges.
Terminal 4 is only used by budget airlines, originally called the Domestic Express or South Terminal. Originally T4 was built for Virgin Blue (Virgin Australia) & Impusle arlines. T4 is currently used by TigerAir Australia, Regional Express Airlines , Jetstar & Airnorth.
Runways & taxiways
Thanks to my collegue Carsten Gurk I was able to get some shots of the V2 version of Melbourne. I think this is where we see the biggest difference and improvment. The old V2 was far less detailed when it came to the taxiways and runways. The V2 version also had some several issues with Prepar3D V3 such as; no aircraft shadows on the taxiways and the lights didn’t work at night as well.
Well as mentioned earlier the nightlighting at the runways and taxiways is now fixed for Prepar3d V3 users. I’m not really sure if i’m 100% happy with it. Especially at the cargo ramp i have more the feeling the textures on the ground are just yellowish instead of actually being lit. That being said it’s nice to actually have night lighting at the airport but an update on this would be nice.
Around the aiport you can vind several different facilities from Parking lots to huge garages and even several different hotels such as the Holiday inn or the Formula 1 hotel. All buildings are excellent remodeled and have some very nice details like billboards.
well I can be rather short in this, and not in bad way cause it looks marvelous. When you depart you can already see the skylines in the distance of the city of Melbourne. The surrounding area blends perfectly with FTX australia and this creates some excellen screenshots as can be seen below.
Ofcourse a big airport with lots of details as this one always has it’s toll, not so much on FPS as these are quite good and hovering around 40 FPS with the PMDG 737. The memory use on the other hand can be another thing departing the airport should be no issue as i usually left the airport with around 800MB VAS left. Arriving after a long haul on the other hand can be doubtfull especially if you fly a highly detailed aircraft as the PMDG 777 and Ifly 747v2. I did a long haul from San Francisco with the Ifly 747V2 and landed at Melbourne with around 350 MB of VAS left. As the massive winds during landing didn’t made me sweat enough I always had to keep 1 eye on the VAS usage. That being said i must say never once i run in the OOM although i came close a few times. Ofcourse not everyone uses the same settings as I or the same add ons so this was just an example of what you can expect.
Intel I7 6700K “SKYLAKE” overclocked to 5 Ghz
Asus Z170 Pro Gamer
16 GB DDR4 memory
Nvidia GTX 1080
windows 10 pro x64
Final Thoughts and should you upgrade if you already got Melbourne V2
So we’ve come again to the conclusion and maybe the question many Prepar3D users are wondering. Should you upgrade your Melbourne V2 to V3.
Well I can honestly say it’s a nice update from the outdated V2 and if you are a frequent flyer down below like me than yes, you should. For the other occasional pilots who would only use the scenery once maybe they can wait for when Orbx has their sales. I just want to end this review with the words Thanks to Orbx for granting us a review copy !