Review: Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane

Good scenery is something we all look forward to and flying in big cities with a helicopter is a great experience. Most of the times we get a nice airport and parts of the city. Virtual Design 3D's SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City adds that and a lot more for the helicopter pilots.

Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane

Santiago is Chile’s capital. Situated in the middle of the country, it’s one of the largest cities of South America and only 80Km away from Argentina.

Chile’s unique shape spreads all the way from Peru and the country has borders with both these countries as well as Bolivia. Wherever you are in Chile, you’re always only a few kilometers away from either the Pacific Ocean or one of these 3 countries.

The mountain areas of this region, along with some big, amazing national parks and reserves also makes it very interesting for anyone wanting to do some scenic flights.

The scenery

Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane

As you can see from the official features list, the folks at Virtual Design went the extra mile to populate this region and they included several animated features such as helicopters and cable cars, which adds to the immersion of the area.

  • Extremely detailed and realistic recreation the real Airport
  • Over 100 Hangars, Highly detailed
  • Modeling of the Control Tower interior
  • Custom runways and Taxiways (Reflex normal map)
  • Custom taxilines, borderlines and many custom signs
  • Custom Textures based inphotographic and Ambient occlusion
  • HDR lighting with custom night textures
  • Animated helicopters (Chilean police)
  • Walking people
  • Customized forest and vegetation 3D(Grass,Palms,plants)
  • Custom surrounding areas
  • Customized modelsfor traffic vehicles to region
  • Static objects, vehicles and aircraft
  • Night texture and HDR lighting
  • Santiago City Over 50 surrounding landmarks. For example
    • Costanera Center (Highest building in South America)
    • Goverment palace La Moneda
    • CTC Tower,Titanium Tower,Entel Towwer, National Estadium etc
    • More than 20 heliports (tower,hospital,clinic and more)
    • Located in the same city of SCEL (our other scenery)
    • Animated cable car (San Cristobal)
    • Animated Cableway (San Cristobal)

     

The airport

Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane

The Eulogio Sánchez (SCTB) – also known as Tobalaba Airport – is a civilian airport located east of the city of Santiago.

The runway is only 965 meters (3,166 feet) long which doesn’t exactly make it optimal for very big aircraft. The scenery is very complete with lots of buildings and quite a few helicopters around.

Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane

You can find a small portion of the airport dedicated exclusively to the Chilean police with helicopters and a few helipads.

Unfortunately, it was in one of the helicopters that are around that I found a texture error. It’s not something you are expecting to find in a payware product and, let alone, in one that seems to be as exhaustive as this one. It’s not a deal breaker but it’s something that it may leave a sour taste in your mouth.

Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane

Nevertheless, the airport is very nicely created. Despite the small runway, the whole area is packed with buildings, cars and other aircraft, so there’s a lot to see.

Worried about framerate? Well, don’t. Despite having so much stuff around it, I could barely notice my framerate dropping.

The city

Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane

Over 45 buildings are included with their respective heliports. Among them: you can find the Great Tower of Santiago, the Goverment palace, CTC Tower, Titanium Tower and others. In a very small area you will find a lot to see and, most important, a lot of places to land at.

Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane Virtual Design 3D SCTB Tobalaba and Santiago City for X-Plane

The place is crowded with helipads with most of them being placed on top of buildings. Considering the position of the city in the country, it makes Santiago a perfect location to act as a hub between the neighbor country of Argentina and the rest of the country as well as the coastal areas or the mountain regions and national parks.

Our rating

Positives

  • It looks a bit more alive than most scenery, with people, other aircraft and vehicles.
  • Lots of helipads and heliports, most of them in buildings.

Negatives

  • Some issues with mirrored textures.

Bottomline

    A very nice scenery for everyone that's into flying in this region of the world with tons of great locations to takeoff and land for helicopters.

Installation 10
Textures 8
Buildings 9
Visual impact and quality 9
Frame rate impact 9
Total score
8.9
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More about this scenery

Location

Characteristics

Terrain type Urban
Altitude 649m / 2,129ft
Helipads Yes
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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