Portland International Airport (KPDX) by iBlueYonder and FlightBeam Review
Portland, Oregon; United States of America (U.S.A.), the City of Roses, Rain, Cold (R.R.C.) and long-time home of the National Basketball Association (N.B.A.) Portland Trailblazers, Intel, Oregon Health Science University (O.H.S.U.), Providence Health and Services and Nike. The Major League Soccer (M.L.S.) team the Portland Timbers has also recently developed a sustainable niche in Portland, OR. Portland had a population of 647,805 in 2017, according the U.S. Census Bureau (2018). The total gross domestic product (G.D.P.) for the Portland, Vancouver and surrounding area was 171,122 Million United States Dollars (U.S.D.) for 2017 (Federal Reserve Economic Data, 2019).
The Portland International Airport (KPDX) airport was developed, crafted, designed and directed by the Legendary flight simulator airport designer Bill Womack, a former long-time resident of the Portland, OR area.
“KPDXHD was lovingly crafted by former Portlander Bill Womack, who took a great many of the source photos himself and spent many months hand-crafting this lovely, modern facility, which in real life was voted best in the United States several years running by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. This version, targeted for Prepar3D v4, is designed for maximum immersion. It takes advantage of the advanced capabilities of the 64-bit simulator, and should offer you many hours of enjoyment,” according to Flightbeam (2019).
Setup (Purchase, Download, Install):
The airport is available for purchase from iBlueYonder, the preferred purchase portal, for $29.99 United States Dollars (U.S.D.) by clicking here. iBlueYonder generously provided a press-copy for this review. After purchase a download link is provided. I shut-down all anti-virus and anti-malware for download and installation, followed by an immediate scan for viruses and malware. Download and installation were completed in a few (less than five) minutes.
Hardware: Dell Alienware Area 51–R5: Intel Core i9 7980XE (18-Core Central Processing Unit [C.P.U.]), 64 Gigabytes (GB) of Dual Channel HyperX DDR4 at 2,904MHZ, 2X Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080Ti (11GB GDDR5X, each) in Scalable Link Interface (S.L.I.) or parallel configuration, 1,500 Watt power supply, 3x Solid State Drives (S.S.D.), Track Infrared (I.R.) 5 head tracking head gear and receiver (Natural Point, Corvallis, OR. United States of America [U.S.A.]) and a Dell 4K Ultrasharp 32 inch monitor.
Software: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional (64-bit), Lockheed Martin‘s Prepar 3D version 4.4 (P3Dv4.4), Active Sky for P3Dv4, Active Sky Cloud Art, REX Sky Force 3D, Pilot’s! FS Global Ultimate Next Generation FTX Mesh (Global land elevation points generated from orbiting satellite reconnaissance mapping in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [N.A.S.A.]), Flight1 Ultimate Traffic Live, and Chaseplane (Head tracking software by OLDPROP).
Notes: 1) Purchase of Lockheed Martin’s Prepare 3D version 4 is required for this aircraft add-on to work and can be purchased here. 2) All testing herein was conducted at 4K (4190 x 2160) resolution. 3) All flight testing was conducted in the contiguous (lower 48) states of United States of America (U.S.A.). 4) All screenshots in this review were taken at 4K resolution.
The six page manual is very concise, very well illustrated, and explained very clearly with step by step installation instructions.
Scenery Coverage Area:
The KPDX airport, immediate peripheral area and nearby shopping areas are included in this scenery package.
The fluidly dynamic and animated windsocks are accurate in their depiction of the current wind conditions and are super well received!!!!!!!
Modeling and Textures:
The replica and life like modeling details and texturing of KPDX at 4K resolutions are outstandingly fantastic!!!!!!!
The only problem I have with the textures is that there is no snow. Occasionally, there is snow in the Portland, OR metro area. While snow is not abundant, frequent or routine, it is sorely missed. The areas outside the coverage area of KPDX have snow, yet the KPDX coverage area does not have a snow texture. In a post-review email consultation with the Chief developer Bill Womack, he stated the Lockheed Martin P3D version 4.4 flight simulator does not allow for snow accumulation on photo scenery. Therefore, it is not implemented in KPDX for P3D.
The dynamic lighting of KPDX is very defined, contrasting, soft, soothing and immersive!!! The frame rates do take a noticeable decrease with dynamic lighting, as expected.
I rigorously tested the performance in terms of frames per second (f.p.s.) with a wide variety of demanding high-fidelity aircraft add-on’s, always in full 4K (4190 x 2160) resolution. Initial testing included both the Precision Manuals Development Group (PMDG) Boeing 747–8, Majestic Q400 PRO Edition, Quality Wings Boeing 787. I have essentially every setting at full maximum. Traffic and autogen scenery were decreased to get smooth frame rates. Extensive testing with the high fidelity A2A Accu-sim Bonanza was conducted. Interestingly, maximal traffic and maximal autogen scenery were nearly paralyzing (down to approximately 5 f.p.s.), even with my system. I find it very interesting that a top of the line nearly $10,000 U.S.D. system fully loaded personal computer (P.C.) with heavy add-on’s can’t achieve above 15 f.p.s. with all settings maxed out with numerous add-on’s in active play. I have airborne and road traffic set at 5% and Active Sky live weather download, Active Sky Cloud Art, running. REX Game Studios SkyForce 3D textures are loaded, which add quite a bump in cloud designs and textures. Under these conditions and at 4K resolution the overall performance was very smooth and fluid, similar to that of an elite level airport add-on such as flyTampa Boston Rebooted. There were no lags or blurred textures under heavy thunderstorm conditions with cockpit windshield rain effects in the PMDG Boeing 747–8 with OLDPROP Boeing 747 Visual Immersion package installed. After some optimization and reining in the traffic and autogen scenery, I was very pleased with the overall performance of the product. The product delivers performance expected of and typical to a very top tier airport scenery add-on.
The performance of the Precision Manuals Development Group (PMDG) Boeing 747–8 with the recently released Physics Based Rendering (P.B.R.) modifications (below) is very good at KPDX!!!!!!!
The new P.B.R. Effects in the PMDG Boeing 747-400 below appear fantastically lifelike!!!!!!!
Below you can see the new Boeing 747-8 AirForce One has been delivered ahead of schedule and way below budget. Great job President Trump!!!!!!!
The addition of Lockheed Martin‘s Physics Based Rendering (P.B.R.) would be a welcomed addition to the product. In a post-review email consultation with the Chief developer Bill Womack, he stated P.B.R. may be added in the future to KPDX for P3D and that P.B.R. will be added to KPDX for X–Plane 11 (In Development). The addition of snow textures would also help. Lastly, frame rates could also use some more optimization as always, and as expected. I would think a $9.99 to $19.99 U.S.D. upgrade price for these additional features would be very marketable. The following local airports would be great separate products: KTTD (Troutdale, OR), KHIO (Hillsboro, OR), KONP (Newport, OR), KAST (Astoria, OR), KOTH (Southwest Oregon Regional Airport: North Bend, OR).
Breadth of features, Innovation and Functionality: 8/10
Overall: 27.5 out of 30 (91.6%)
Final Grade: A-
Overall, there could be some improvements in features and enhanced frame rate optimizations. The product is of outstanding quality and performance, to be placed among the very top tier of elite add-on airports. The product is an excellent value. Thank you so very much and Great job Bill Womack, iBlueYonder and FlightBeam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Federal Reserve Economic Data. (2019). Total Gross Domestic Product for Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA (MSA) (NGMP38900). FRED.
Flightbeam. (2019). KPDX HD (Portland International Airport). Flightbeam Studios.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2018). Quick Facts Portland city, Oregon. U.S. Census.