Philadelphia is located in southeastern Pennsylvania about midway between New York City and Baltimore or Washington DC. The airport served as a hub for USAir years ago and remained so for the airlines’ transition to US Airways and eventual merger with American Airlines. The airport is currently a focus city for Frontier and Spirit Airlines to various destinations throughout the US and Caribbean. Philadelphia International is special to me as I’ve visited the airport many times. I’ve flown in and out of here several times and have taken a number of trips over the years to plane spot.
Historically, Philadelphia has seen relatively limited coverage in flight simulators mostly dominated by freeware. On the Microsoft side, a freeware scenery by SunSkyJet has been available since FS2004 and has since seen a few updates and community tweaks to make it available in FSX and P3D. The SunSkyJet version also served as a base for some freeware community ports into X-Plane. In May of 2023, the developer StarSim has released a payware version of Philadelphia for X-Plane 11 and 12.
We’ll be focusing purely on the 3 recent payware offerings of Philadelphia International for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The developers include MK-Studios, Dominic Design Team, and FlightSim Studio AG. Yes, that last group is the same developer behind the controversial E-Jets series available for early access at the moment and the well-received Tecnam P2006T. Their team has a history with creating sceneries as well with some being featured in some of the MSFS World Updates. MK Studios is the oldest name of the bunch, having primarily been focusing on airports for P3D v4 and 5 before MSFS came on the scene. Dominic Design Team is a relatively newer developer that only has products for MSFS. The range of airports they cover extends from Vietnam, Japan, Korea, England, a number of smaller-to-mid sized US international airports, and more.
For this video, the same scene with each developer will be played from the same location and in the same order. Each clip will be labeled with the respective developer being shown. Terminal interior shots will not include FlightSim Studio as their version of PHL does not have an interior. Their version of PHL is 0.0.4, MK-Studios is version 1.0.1, and Dominic Design Team is version 1.2.
Video produced by: Tom’s Planes
The history of sparce coverage of PHL has come to an end with MSFS. The three developers have each given a fair rendition of PHL each with their own pros and cons. In this case, I’d have to give MK-Studios the crown for the most accurate version of the three considering all aspects. Second place will certainly be a divider between people as the FlightSim Studio’s version doesn’t have interior modeling while Dominic Design Team does.
Some users’ preference of store and price may also be a factor. FlightSim Studio’s version is only available on the MSFS Marketplace, while MK-Studios’ is available there, on Orbx, Contrail, and Simmarket. Dominic Design Team’s is available on Simmarket, the MSFS Marketplace, and iniBuilds’ store. While all of these stores can have different prices and sales, I’ll state the MSFS Marketplace price for commonality. MK-Studios’ PHL is available for $19.99, Dominic Design Team’s is $18.99, and FlightSim Studio’s is $14.99. There is also a fourth Philadelphia available that was not covered in this video by Redwing. This version wasn’t included because it depicts the airport as it was in 1935, so it is a far cry from the modern airport we know today.