Preview: Ko Poda Island for X-Plane

If you are searching for a nice tropical area to try and land some contracts as a virtual helicopter pilot, look no futher and apply at the Ko Poda island.

Ko Poda Island for X-Plane

Ko Poda is an island off the west coast of Thailand, about 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Ao Nang, in Thailand. It’s a piece of heaven on Earth with its gorgeous landscape, tropical green and blue waters and a lot for us, helicopter pilots, to do.

Stefan Schroen (monoblau on the .org forums) developed yet another great scenery (the first one being Bamboo Island) In this scenery you will find no less than 5 helipads (along with a sealane), each one with its own “theme”.

Lots to do

Ko Poda Island for X-Plane

You’ll find a helicopter flight school (where the folks seem to have heard about HeliSimmer.com or perhaps we got a filial there?), our friend Bel Geode seems to have his own radio station (and private island) with some gorgeous ladies sunbathing, you can also find a scuba diving center along with some other amenities on the region.

That being said, don’t expect this to be a fully realistic rendering of the island. Stefan used it as a base to add a lot of his own imagination on it and make it a fun place for pilots (helicopters in particular).

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And he did just that. The island is not only beautiful, but you feel like it’s filled with life (with lots of people around) and quite busy. All the stuff I mentioned above create a small ecosystem in the island that makes it vibrant. The geography is challenging and the group of helipads around the area make it so that you have all sorts of different approaches you can practice.

A bit of history behind the scenery

Ko Poda Island for X-Plane

You’ll have to excuse me, but I feel like I have to tell you this story.

Stefan has begun his adventures as a livery designer and he is known to be a “cookie jar designer” since he always came up with made-up (“what if”) liveries.

Stefan is a huge fan of Thailand. He loves it and has some friends there. When the tsunami hit, he lost quite a few of them and he decided to recreate the place that he loves from his memory. Bamboo and Mosquito islands were his first iteration.

Ko Poda is his second serious attempt. And what an attempt!

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Be amazed and save the dude!

Flying around, you’ll find some little gems like some dolphins, but you’ll also find a more upsetting scenery: a poor dude in the water with a shark swimming around!

Ko Poda Island for X-Plane

Framerates

Ko Poda Island for X-Plane

Framerates are always a concern, especially on environments surrounded by water where your computer will need to work harder to render everything. This scenery is particular heavy on the models as there are a lot of details, but I didn’t find any major issues with it and my nVidia GTX1060 handled it nicely at 60+FPS.

Even with VR, I didn’t have any major issues (although the GTX1060 is not exactly the best card for VR). Yes, I did have some pauses but that’s normal on this nVidia model on any scenery that’s slightly more intense.

Conclusion

Ko Poda Island for X-Plane

I have to say that I am not a big fan of fictious scenery. I’m not. But both Bamboo island and Ko Poda are absolutely stunning, and they make me go back for some great flights around these areas.

And the best of all? It will be free. No kidding!

When is it coming out?

Soon. Really soon. It’s really a matter of days, so stay tuned! It's out! Grab it here.

Our rating

Installation 9
Mesh 10
Textures 10
Visual impact and quality 10
Frame rate impact 9
Total score
9.5
Sérgio Costa

About Sérgio Costa

Sérgio has been a flight simulation enthusiast for nearly 25 years. His passion with helicopters developed during MSFS 2000 when he discovered the complexity of these aircraft and the challenge it was to control them. Since then he has been primarily a helicopter flight simmer, trying his best not to crash and kill all his virtual passengers. Sérgio is HeliSimmer's editor and writer and one of the Three Grumpy Simmers, a YouTube series and Podcast produced together with YouTubers Bel Geode and NovaWing24, obviously dedicated to flight simulation.

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