Xbox Series X review: Verticalsim Provo Municipal KPVU

Aircraft used: LVFR 320
Live weather: on

This is my first Verticalsim product. I always resisted buying their KTPA, despite it frequently being discounted, because it never looked that good in the promo images. Provo, on the other hand, looks somehow different — and I’m a sucker for mountain approaches — so I decided to give it whirl…

DETAIL

Wow. Just wow. This is up there with the very best and I’ll say right off the bat that I don’t think I’ve ever seen such consistency with texturing. Absolutely everything is done in very high-res, and I have only so far managed to find ONE lower-res example, inside a shop in the terminal.

It has a very Flightbeam feel to it, as in, it’s really authentic. I always like to fly the approach in the default sim before I purchase an airport, just to get a feel for the place. Having now bought KPVU, I can see they’ve done quite a bit with the ortho — some of it is lower-res than I’d perhaps like but it’s a darn sight better than the sometimes hideous ground textures left in by the likes of FlyTampa and Drzewiecki. It all somehow works here, and actually looks pretty good once you get a few feet in the air.

The airport covers a surprisingly large area and each part of it is beautifully modelled. The detail is consistent, meaning all areas are done to the same standard. The various FBOs are all here, including Duncan and Signature (whose building has a custom interior), plus Utah’s aviation school. It’s in these areas that we see a number of custom animations (mostly flags flapping in the wind but there’s a spinning radar too). Ground textures are first-class, despite not being the very best I’ve seen. There’s a good variety of apron, taxiway and runway detail and therefore no two areas really look the same.

The terminal looks absolutely fantastic; one of the best I’ve seen, inside and out. We even get animated passengers! The landside looks almost as impressive as the airside, with tons and tons of detail and a huge variety of vehicles, all done in high resolution. The airport road network is custom modelled, although the texturing isn’t quite the same quality as that we see on the ground airside.

The only disappointing part is the tower, which is in an isolated corner of the airfield. perhaps it’s a case of the real thing looking a touch bland but the texturing seems to be of an inferior quality to everywhere else on the airfield.

PERFORMANCE

It’s not 100% stable but I would describe the stability as excellent when factoring in just how much detail we have. My first landing went without a hitch and I taxied practically the entire length of the runway to the terminal (which is right at the southern extremity of the field, adjacent to the RWY31 threshold) using a variety of exterior views. Arriving on stand I still had active screens and it was only after 55 minutes of constant drone use that they blacked out (and it did CTD shortly thereafter).

I tried another landing and taxied exactly the same route to stand but this time I was a little less liberal with the drone, zooming around for only 5-10 minutes. No black screens this time.

As for general performance, framerates are good. I experienced no stutters.

VERDICT

While such an insignificant airport in the back end of Utah might not be for everyone, the RNAV approach to runway 13 is impressive and has you going around the mountains, affording great views of the airport and its surroundings on the way down. Once on the deck those mountains look absolutely fantastic — Asobo really did do a great job with US photogrammetry!

Despite stability not quite being flawless, Verticalsim’s Provo is an excellent airport. It’s about on a par with Pyreegue’s EGNX for stability, and a much better general performer. How it is with the PMDG 737 is largely irrelevant because the place only sees service by E90s and 319s/320s.

If Verticalsim can slightly optimise and make KPVU totally stable on Xbox, this will be one of the top five airports currently available for the sim. As it is it’s certainly top ten for me! Fine, consistent detail, remarkable performance (considering the level of complexity) and default scenery that really does enhance the overall experience. If you have an Allegiant 319 or 320 in your virtual fleet, it’s well worth checking out…

IMAGES

I make no apology for the number I’ve included here!

Some absolutely crazy detail going on in places!

5 Likes

Really putting KPVU through the grinder and I’d say it blackscreens more easily than Pyreegue’s EGNX but, without resorting to the drone, it’s pretty resistant to crashes. Black screens seem to quickly correct themselves. Only recorded one CTD so far, while initially out with the drone collecting the screenshots above…

Been doing regular flying today, in and out - with very little drone use but plenty of external viewing. It’s absolutely fine, putting in a near-flawless performance (just one black screen incident following drone use, which corrected itself in less than a minute).

For those wanting to fly the PMDG 737 here, stability seems identical to the LVFR 320. I even tried the drone for five minutes, after which everything was still in order on the flightdeck.

Tiny bit of stuttering today at times, which I wasn’t getting yesterday. Nothing serious, though.

Superb airport for Xbox, can’t recommend it enough!

1 Like

You’re doing the lords work with these reviews :grinning: Thanks for your efforts!