Humberside International Airport, or RAF Kirmington as it was formerly known, is a small airport located near (you guessed it) Kirmington in North Lincolnshire, England. It began life in the early 1940’s as a RAF base up until the end of WWII in 1945, after which it remained unused for the better part of 30 years when the local council bought it and renamed it Kirmington airport – which would later become known as Humberside Airport. The main runway, 02/20, was extended to its current length in the early 90’s to accommodate larger aircraft. Fast forward to present day and Humberside airport only sees scheduled passenger service to Amsterdam and Aberdeen courtesy of KLM and Eastern Airways respectively. There are, however, several seasonal routes that include Palma de Mallorca, Alicante and Naples among other places from carriers such as jetXtra.com and Flybe.
Installation and Manuals
As with all of UK2000’s products, the installation process is relatively straight forward. The scenery itself presents itself to you by way of a small 40MB file. Keep in mind, if this is your first UK2000 product you will need to download the UK2000 library; which the installer conveniently facilitates for you should the need arise. From there it’s simply a matter of entering your license key, choose your FSX/P3D folder and voilà! After the installation is done, you will be greeted by UK2000’s all too familiar configuration manager which lets you add or remove certain elements of the scenery i.e. static aircraft, animated road traffic, extra vegetation, etc. etc.
As for the manual, it is very concise. It gives background information about the airport, installation instructions, and recommended performance settings along with a few screens of the airport. That’s about it really.
Humberside International Airport, EGNJ
Little has changed with UK2000 and the quality of their work. They’re among the most consistent developers around, however, that’s not always a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, the scenery is very well done. The textures are extremely well detailed, especially the ground textures on the taxiways which usually seem to be lacking in polys. I’m pretty sure they’ve refined the ground textures a little, adding subtle nuances to make it feel a bit truer to life. On your way to runway 20, you can see grass popping up through the cracks of what I assume to be concrete shoulders. Again, they’ve payed close attention to those little details I’m sure some of you can relate to as well. I tend to keep the static AI aircraft enabled since the models are very FPS friendly and also give the airport a little more life since airports of this size are hardly used on VATSIM or in real life apparently.
The one terminal at the airport is modeled fairly okay. The textures on certain areas appear stretched and deformed making it unsightly at times. The same can be said about the static ramp equipment placed around the airport. Don’t get me wrong, they add a nice touch making the place not seem more empty than it already is. Like I mentioned earlier there are numerous (pretty well modeled) static aircraft placed around the field; mostly helicopters as the airport houses three of the largest UK Helicopter operators.
There isn’t much to be said about the surrounding area of the airport, since it’s pretty much surrounded on all sides by farmland. Still, a few animated cows wouldn’t hurt. The numerous buildings and hangars located near the airport are modeled, along with several other notable parts of the airport.
Who Flies to Humberside?
Thanks to Wikipedia, here is a list of all the airlines that fly into Humberside, and where they fly to. These only include airliners, and exclude all GA aircraft and helicopters.
|BH Air||Seasonal charter: Burgas|
|Corendon Airlines||Seasonal charter: Antalya|
|Germania||Seasonal charter: Palma de Mallorca|
operated by BA CityFlyer
|Seasonal charter: Alicante, Palma de Mallorca|
operated by KLM Cityhopper
|Small Planet Airlines||Seasonal charter: Naples, Verona|
|Thomson Airways||Seasonal charter: Tenerife-South|
The night lighting in Humberside is nothing short of what I would expect from UK2000. The stalk, probe or whatever the bulb itself is perched on for the taxiway shoulder lights is modeled in 3D and isn’t just another texture. The light textures themselves are very well done, being neither too intense to blind us, or too dim to not serve their purpose. I’m not sure if it’s a texture or an actual reflection but they’ve made the runway and taxiway lights illuminate the immediate area around the light. Again, these come standard with UK2000 products but it’s pretty cool and worth mentioning.
As for the ramp, it is well lit and you should have no problems seeing where you’re going. I was parked at stand 3 and noticed the ground textures for parts of the ramp were made to look like brick. They didn’t skip out on the details either since certain spots showed obvious signs of wear and tear.
It wouldn’t be much of a review if I skipped out on the performance numbers would it? First and for most I run FSX:SE on a laptop with mid-high settings with ASN, REX PMDG 737 & 777 and all the other pretty things most of you have. The flight(s) I did were done in the PMDG 737NGX from Humberside to Amsterdam and back, then to Palma de Mallorca (because why not). The weather was pretty horrid, then again, it wouldn’t be the UK if the weather wasn’t bad. Average FPS in the cockpit ranged from around 23-28 FPS only really taking a modest dive as I flew into the thick overcast clouds. VAS wasn’t ever a concern since it stayed put at 56% during the entire takeoff process only climbing to 60% as I approached Amsterdam. It’s not a really big airport to start with so the relatively none existent performance hit is expected. Not to take away anything from the devs, since UK2000 is known to make very FPS friendly airports while still delivering a quality product.
We also ran tests on a PC with nearly max settings, (i7-4790K along side a GTX 980Ti.) The PC handled the airport so well, 40fps in the cockpit at all times, running near max settings. VAS was never an issue at this airport either. Aircraft used in these test we’re the PMDG 737, Aerosoft Airbus, and when using the A2A Aircraft frames would jump to high 60s in the cockpit.
Humberside airport would be more suited to those looking to venture outside the mainstream airports in the UK. There are several other airports in the region that they’ve made i.e. Leeds Bradford International and East Midlands, that offer a wider range of possible destinations. For those of you who fly on the VATSIM network, you’ll be more likely to find traffic departing out of those airports, and maybe a few ATC stations if you’re lucky.
Given the size of the airport and the £17 ($19) price tag that’s attached to it, I’d classify this airport more of a ‘niche’ buy, BUT it is a good buy if you’re looking for somewhere new to fly into and brush up on your short field procedures at the same time since the runway is a bit on the short side.
So while I do feel that some of their static ramp equipment models i.e. air stairs, tugs, trucks etc. need to be upgraded along with some of the building textures, it’s still a very good all-around product.
By Kaaron Gillett