Nestled away in Hillsville, Virginia lies the Twin County Airport (HLX). It isn’t much, a runway, a few hangars, and an FBO. It’s the kind of place you go to grab lunch, or to take in the breathtaking scenery. The Airport Guys have created this hidden gem as part of their Blue Ridge Series and they only charge you $5 for it.
The Blue Ridge Series is the latest series of airports being developed by The Airport Guys. It includes HLX -Twin County Airport, OVG – Lee County Airport, GDY – Grundy County Airport, MKJ – Mountain Empire Airport, JFZ – Tazewell County Airport, LNP – Lonesome Pine, VJI – Virginia Highlands, PSK – New River Valley, and MTV – Blue Ridge. All of the airports in the series will cost only $5 each and are made using high quality models and textures. While maybe not Orbx level quality, these are an incredible value for the VFR simmer. With more airports on the way, this could be an incredible lineup to buzz around with your favorite GA aircraft.
Overall, I thought the presentation of The Airport Guys Twin County Airport was pretty good. Installation is simple and it does come with a simplified configurator that allows you to select your simulator version and whether or not you are using FTX Global and/or OpenLC NA. That’s about it, and while simple in design it really does what it needs to do. This isn’t some huge airport with crazy features so there isn’t much that really needs to be in the configurator. There are links to email The Airport Guys, visit their Facebook, view the website, and other things of that nature.
From within the Twin County FBO configurator you can also open up a simple user manual for the scenery. In the manual they provide some overview and background on the airport. Additionally, there are some instructions for a ground texture to be used with Prepar3d, if you’re using that platform. I thought that this simple user manual was very well designed and laid out.
This is a very small airport but The Airport Guys did their due diligence. All of the buildings are custom made and look great, as well as the textures. They’ve added other details like cars around the airfield, and a cop car out front (somebody’s in trouble). Interestingly they’ve partially modeled the inside of the FBO. It’s not much more than a texture and a bench but sort of cool. They’ve also made custom edge lights around the airport, which is always a nice touch, however the actual light is a model with a texture that looks very FS9-ish. That’s probably the biggest gripe I have about this scenery, the taxiway and runway edge lights don’t look good at all. Additionally, I thought the runway and taxiway textures left a little to be desired. They’re not terrible, but I think improving them brings this scenery up a level.
Another feature this airport has is SODE. Now, I am not sure what exactly SODE is being used for, when I load up the scenery and open the SODE menu it says there are no triggerable events, but The Airport Guys do suggest installing SODE for use with this scenery. Perhaps the scenery just needs to be updated or something. I suspect that may be the case because I have seen The Airport Guys preview hangars and such with the doors open.
The last feature I want to mention is the custom landclass work they’ve done around the airport to shape the terrain properly. It’s a very immersive feature that really adds to this scenery. Think Flightbeam Denver with the different terrain elements around the airport, this is the same idea on a much smaller scale. That is pretty cool of them to do!
As far as performance goes this scenery does extremely well. It’s not in a densely populated urban area, it’s in the countryside, and thus there isn’t much around to begin with. They’ve really only modeled the airport grounds so you do not have to worry about taxing scenery 50 miles away from the airport like with some add-on sceneries.
I’m running this scenery in Prepar3d V4, so VAS isn’t an issue for me, however if you’re using any of the other VAS restricted platforms I believe this airport will be fine on VAS. There is only a few buildings and the textures are optimized well. I don’t see any reason this scenery would have a VAS issue.
The FPS with this scenery is fantastic. I think just about anybody should be able to get good performance out of this airport regardless of what platform you’re simming on. The surrounding town isn’t modeled, only the airfield, so it isn’t really heavy on FPS. This airport doesn’t seem to have Dynamic Lighting on P3D v4, so that isn’t an issue, but even if it did I think this airport is such a low impact it wouldn’t matter.
For this airport, or any of the other upcoming airports in the Blue Ridge Series, you pay only $5 for the scenery. That’s an incredible value for what you’re getting. Sure, this isn’t an ultra detailed Orbx airport, but it is a very well done and detailed airport, comes with a configurator, and is the first of many pieces in much larger series. If you like flying VFR, you can’t go wrong here.
I’ve seen much lower quality add-ons being sold for nearly triple the price of this. The Airport Guys truly set a fair price for these airports and make it easy for anybody to enjoy them. I don’t know of anybody else making scenery of the quality for this price. Kudos to The Airport Guys for selling their sceneries at such a reasonable price.
The Twin County Airport scenery by The Airport Guys is the first of nine airports in their Blue Ridge Series. It offers an immersive experience and an extremely affordable price. It comes with well modeled airport facilities, custom runway and taxiway edge lighting, a simple to use configurator, and the opportunity to fly to an airport surrounded by breathtaking scenery. I highly recommend this scenery to any avid VFR simmer out there.