ADX FirstLook: Orbx Gustavus!
FSX/P3D. Another Alaskan destination has been added to the brilliant Orbx SAK region by the talented Russ White. Gustavus, Alaska (PAGS) is a good compliment for his fantastic Juneau scenery and brings us closer to completing the surrounding airports of the area (just need Hoonah and Haines). A quick 15 minute hop from Juneau, Gustavus is served by several smaller airlines and by Alaska Airlines in the summer months. With only around 450 permanent residents, the majority of passengers passing through the airport are tourists heading up to Glacier Bay Park for some outdoor adventure.
Russ White has put together an accurate rendition of the airport and surrounds, including beaches and mud flats and even the community of Gustavus, giving us a good place to stop for fuel on the way up the coastal route towards Kenai or Anchorage from down south. Or, if your interests are more local, PAGS could be part of a passenger and mail run from Juneau, with stops in Hoonah, Haines, and Skagway........which seems to me as a good way to check it out.
Wings of Alaska uses Caravans on this route so I'm going to load up my Carenado 208B and prepare for the morning run to PAGS, with continuing service to Haines and Skagway. The weather looks good with a 5000' overcast that looks to be breaking up in places, light wind out of the east and temp about 50 degrees F. I'll have a full load today, mostly mail and freight for all stops and 3 passengers for Gustavus.
[Note: For format purposes, images are cropped. Click each image for full size resolution preview.]
Run-up was completed on the re-position from the hangar, so with a taxi clearance to hold short for an intersection departure from runway 8 and no inbound traffic, I'm quickly switched to tower and cleared for takeoff with a right downwind for a west departure.
As we depart Juneau, take a quick look at the attention to detail and accuracy Russ has put into PAJN. If you are into simming in Alaska, you must have Orbx SAK, and if you have SAK, you really must have Juneau......one of my favorite places to fly into.
Gastineau Channel and the city of Juneau in the distance.
Mendenhall Glacier in the background as we climb out over Auke Bay.
Cruising just under the overcast.
Pleasant Island peeking out from behind the ridge.
The beaches of Gustavus and Pleasant Island on the descent into the traffic pattern.
Planning a left downwind for runway 11.
I don't know how it could look any better, I feel like I'm there.
Russ has captured the essence of Alaska's swampy terrain....I was blown away by the realism of the area around Kenai.....it was exactly like the wetlands surrounding the airport. Gustavus doesn't have as much squishy tundra, but it looks just as good. Oh, yeah, the airport is fantastic from the air, too.
Frame rates are very good.......a smooth 30+.
Another buttery smooth arrival.
I've seen those planes before......Orbx hasn't exactly nailed the static airplane situation here in the Great Land. Not many Barons and such up here. They need more Piper Chieftains and taildraggers......and some dirty, ratty looking planes of questionable airworthiness. And Cessna 207's. But we do have quite a few Caravans about, so they got that right.
Uh, oh. Red light. Not good.
Fail. Now I have 2 red lights. Time to call maintenance.
Well, the bad news is that they have to get a starter-generator from Anchorage and it won't be here until tomorrow. The good news is I get to explore Gustavus until I can hitch a ride on the evening company flight back to Juneau. I know a guy here who will let me borrow his Super Cub, too. Might as well take a bimble around to his hangar and get a closer look at what Russ has done here.
Not a overwhelming amount of detail.....because there really isn't much here in real life.
Ah, the facilities....just what I need.
Hey, that looks familiar. Where have I seen that hangar before?
Hey, it looks like it's all ready to go.
Now this is how one should see Alaska.
Good fencing around the entire airport.....That ought to make D'Andre happy.
Golf course, and boat launch.
I can't resist....gotta make a beach landing.
Beach combing Alaska style.
Back where I found it. Thanks, buddy.
Let's go take a quick look around from the ground on this questionable looking ATV.
Better get back to the terminal to catch my flight back.
There's my ride home....
I think I'd rather be driving.
Here we go, I feel an Alaskan Amber in my near future.
Amazing. Goodbye for now, Gustavus.
Overall, this is a great scenery with great depth of realism and a huge amount of accuracy. If I had to nitpick, I would bring up the static aircraft, which are perfect for the lower 48, but not quite what you find up here. And I figure this was a rather quickly produced airport, which might explain the recycled hangars.....not too big of a deal, really....most will probably not even notice them, but there is some Kenai hangars placed around and used multiple times. Again, I am nitpicking here. Other than that, I can say PAGS is worth every penny and for those with an Alaska fetish, a must have.
Winter textures are just as good as the other seasons.
Although not included in the PAGS scenery, Bartlett Cove Seaplane Base is modeled in SAK to satisfy the floaters out there. Something for everybody.
Not much to see at night.
Russ White has produced some fantastic airports for Orbx, and his Alaskan products are simply brilliant. Now that he has announced he is starting his own development company and moving out on his own I have some mixed feelings. I'm happy that he is taking this leap of independence and I wish him the best, but I am worried that us Alaska simmers may not get to see his talent showcased here anymore. Maybe Orbx has another talented developer to fill his impressive shoes.......perhaps Misha? At any rate, Russ has given us another outstanding scenery to continue our Alaskan adventures with, and I hope Orbx will continue to expand its Alaskan airport library with many more airports of the same great quality.