To all of my fellow cargo pilots, this one is for you!
Louisville International Airport (KSDF) is a medium to large size airport in America’s Midwest region. Although it does have a domestic and international terminal, it is a massive hub for some of the biggest cargo and parcel carriers like UPS and FedEx. The airport also has a military ramp area.
For years Louisville went untouched by a high-quality developer until the team over at FSDreamTeam came by and took this project on… and wow, did they do well! Their rendition of KSDF is compatible with FSX, FSX: Steam, and P3D V1.4 – V4.1 and is only $29.00 USD. When you buy the scenery from them you will receive the installer which will give you the option to choose which simulator you will be installing it to and it’s done!
As soon as you load into this scenery, the first thing you will notice the massive airport area dedicated to cargo operation. It’s a good 85-90% (hence where the UPS hub comes in) of the airport’s overall area, but of course there is a small terminal area to the west side of the airport for some domestic operators. Elsewhere on the airport, there is a small FBO area and other ramps for military operations. At the east side of the field near the tower, there is a large area filled with cargo container trucks and trains where cargo is delivered and received.
The domestic terminal does support SODE jetways, and pairing this with GSX makes the immersion even greater. There are some static as well as animated personnel and ground service vehicles all around the gates that add life to the airport, may you be flying a small route for Allegiant, or commuting to work with United Express. There are large windows that do allow you to look inside to a basic interior terminal with not too much detail, but it’s still super cool to look at!
At night the lamp posts do light up and illuminate the areas around each gate, and the inside terminal area does light up as well, but as soon as you leave the terminal area it does get pretty dark. On the taxiways the lamps have a nice 3D effect to them, they aren’ too bright and they do what they’re supposed to do – light up a small area around the lamp. Large airports like SDF don’t have stadium light all around, so make sure you have your taxi lights on!
As I said before, this is a massive cargo airport, so the majority of the airport is covered in cargo ramps with a basic ground crew ready to take on any shipment. Through the FSDT menu you can open up the cargo doors – but the thing is, it opens the doors for all cargo spots. That’s one thing I hope FSDT addresses – maybe it could open the door of the cargo ramp you are closest to.
Also in the cargo area are UPS’s massive maintenance hangars. FSDT went the extra step and modeled these beautifully to capture their sheer size. Also, there is a sea of cargo crates and containers over by the truck depot which emphasizes that this is a massive cargo operations airport. When you do pull up to a cargo spot, you can use the scenery menu to spawn cargo operation vehicles and unload/load the cargo to your plane on the massive rollers at each station.
All around the rest of the airport, there are more detailed ramps with a small FBO to the north. The ground, grass, and runway textures I would say are actually really good, but I have seen a little better. The airport taxiway and runway markings are clean and crisp and look quite nice. All of the buildings on the airport and in the surrounding area are modeled with very nice HD textures that add a lot of realism to this place. Over by the terminal, there is a parking garage full of cars which you can toggle on and off. Not too much of the immediate airport city is included in this package, but near the approach end of one of the runways, you can see the large train yard with all of the tracks coming in.
The performance at KSDF was rather FPS friendly. I run a rather high-end system and the performance is superb, but I have had lower end builds in the past and I can say this scenery would run well with most systems. The only heads up I give is if you are at the terminals at the far west end of the field and look east across all of the cargo areas and the rest of the airport, expect a slight frame rate drop. This review was also done using P3D V4, so VAS I cannot help too much with – but I wouldn’t expect it to be an issue.