Bookmark and Share

Orbx FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport
For FSX/P3D Published by Orbx
Reviewed by Andrew Godden
December 2013


When Orbx first started producing airports to complement their add-on terrain region series, such as FTX Australia, the logic in the choice of airports for development was, and still is in some circles, often a point of 'armchair discussions' complete with the odd raised eyebrow or two. Now, and after adding a range of them to my scenery collection, the logic is more than apparent. The focus is very much on producing a network of local, general aviation airports within a reasonable flight time to facilitate a pleasant day's flying, be that a quick half hour jaunt or a more serious VFR, or sometimes even IFR, cross-country flight. Add the odd major and regional airport to the mix and the opportunities for flying adventures expand exponentially.

Now, the latest airport to grace the FTX Australia terrain region is FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport. It beautifully complements the existing range of airports in the Orbx Australian airport series, particularly those in the Hunter and Illawarra regions to the north and south of Sydney, respectively. Tim Harris, a local veteran Orbx developer, has created FTX: AU YBTH and his local knowledge is evident throughout the design.


Bathurst is the oldest inland settlement in Australia, located in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, over the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney and it was the site of the first gold rush in Australia when gold was discovered there in May 1851. Today, Bathurst is a home to education, tourism, and manufacturing. A significant landmark of the city is Mount Panorama, a 3.9 mi (6.2 km), unique, 'street' motor racing circuit renowned for being one of the most fearsome circuits in the world. Mount Panorama is unique in that there is a 570 ft (174 m) vertical difference between the highest and lowest points of the circuit and a grade as steep as 1:6.13.

Bathurst Airport is a regional airport located approximately 95 mi (152 km) west of Sydney. With a history dating back to World War II, today it is serviced with regular flights by Regional Express Airlines (Rex) and is home to a range of general aviation, charter, and flight training operations.

Availability and Installation

FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport is available from The FlightSim Store as a 'download only' product (a master back-up DVD service is also available for a minor additional cost). It is priced at AUD$32.95, or the equivalent on currency cross rates. The file size of 924.17MB is reasonable considering the detail and quality of the scenery and a key code is issued and used during installation.

The installation process is easy and intuitive and the scenery installs seamlessly as part of the FTX: Australia or FTX: AU Blue products, either of which, you must have installed. As with any Orbx product, it is highly recommended that after installing the product, you install or reinstall the latest version of the Orbx Scenery Libraries (ORBXLIBS).


As part of the installation, an 18 page User Guide is provided in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf) and is accessible from the FTX Central application. Other than providing an overview of the FTX: AU YBTH, it also provides comprehensive information on the following:
    ● manual scenery library configuration; and
    ● quick reference FSX / P3D settings;
    ● recommended FSX / P3D slider scenery settings; and
    ● autogen density slider settings.

Scenery Coverage

The area of coverage provided by FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport measures approximately 54 sq mi (140 sq km), includes the township of Bathurst, the Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit, and surrounding areas, and is covered by 15 cm and 60 cm resolution photorealistic imagery. Most of the major features and buildings in the area are included and FTX: AU YBTH comes with the latest Textureflow, Creatureflow, Peopleflow and Objectflow technologies.

Google Earth - YBTH

Level of Detail

For level of detail, FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport is excellent. Orbx's approach to designing and developing their airport series is well renowned and this could not be more evident in FTX: AU YBTH. The detail includes highly detailed custom airport buildings with baked ambient occlusion, high definition ground polygons, and volumetric grass.

Airport Entrance

Terminal Building

Terminal & Parking Areas

Terminal Area

Airport. Around the airport precinct, it is resplendent with object detail in both animated and static scenery and you really have to 'walk around' the airport to fully appreciate the subtleties. There is the usual range of static aircraft, including some more interesting models, such as, a Cessna A188B 'AGtruck' (VH-ZAP), a Transavia PL-12 'Airtruk' (VH-TRH), and two MiG-15UTIs. Interestingly, the 'AGtruck' (VH-ZAP) was destroyed in a 'collision with terrain' incident on 01 January 2012 whilst undertaking aerial agricultural operations. Back to the scenery detail, however, there are areas of fine detail, such as, the air bp fuel storage tank enclosure, complete with 'spill station' bins, the concrete filled car tyre aircraft anchor points, and industrial garbage bins. Animated scenery includes an aircraft refuelling agent and truck, aircraft maintenance engineer, window cleaner, cockatoos and cows, just to highlight a few, and, for that special touch, even an animated 'plane spotter' with his two children. At the airport entrance, there is a brick fence with airport name signage, speed limit signage, and even letterboxes. As you follow the road into the airport, there is even road signage indicating the location of various airport operations and services.

Terminal Building & Signage

air bp Fuel Storage Facility

Static Aircraft

Hangar Area

Plane Spotters

Industrial Garbage Bins

City. Around the City of Bathurst, most of the major buildings are depicted with custom made models. The cathedral, court house, hospital, schools, prison, major shopping centres, and industrial areas are all represented to the same high level of detail as seen in the airport precinct. A review of these features using Google Earth and the 'Street View' feature confirmed the representation, placement, and alignment of these to be highly accurate.

Bathurst Court House

St Michael & St John's Cathedral

Sewage & Waste Water Treatment Facility

St Stanislaus' College

Surrounding Area. The surrounding area is predominantly farmland, but includes the famous Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit. This iconic racing circuit is represented with the same excellent level of detail. From the team workshop buildings and race control tower on the main straight, the race control tower at the 'top of the mountain', and the international hotel at the end of 'Conrod Straight', to the Mount Panorama sign painted on the hillside, all the major elements are represented. The only thing missing is the sound and feel of a 5.0 l (305 cu in), 650 bhp (485 kW), V8 Supercar coursing through your body as it does 186 mph (300 km/h) down 'Conrod Straight'.

Mount Panorama

Entrance to the Race Circuit

Pit Lane & the Main Straight

'The Chase' at the End of Conrod Straight & Hotel

Night Lighting. The night lighting effects, as with other Orbx products, are excellent and provide an amazing atmosphere for night flying.

There were a few issues I encountered. There is an extension to the taxiway and additional hangars to the extreme southern end of the hangar area which are not represented. The Transavia PL-12 'Airtruk' static aircraft model was not up to the same quality as other models and the animated cockatoos fly into and below ground level.

The above issues aside, after spending quite a few hours exploring this product, I can honestly say, the level of detail in FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport provides an incredible immersion factor. It gave me the sense of actually being at Bathurst. The 15 cm / 60 cm resolution of the photorealistic scenery meant I was able to physically identify individual geographical features, streets and houses and the 3-D autogen models for properties were oriented accurately. This level of accuracy and detail easily facilitates VFR navigation for those who enjoy that type of flying.

Quality of Buildings

Overall, the detail of individual buildings is incredibly accurate in their geographical positioning, physical size, and scale. A comparative review of images from FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport, Google Earth, and images researched on the internet clearly demonstrated the incredible level of accuracy and detail represented.

Air Navigation Facility Hut

Air Force Cadets Building

The buildings are not just simply a representation of the structure, there are also fine intricacies, particularly on the buildings in the airport precinct. Signage is the obvious of these intricacies and whilst you may never see some of these intricacies when flying in and out of Bathurst Airport, their mere incorporation in the product is a mark of superior quality and something that sets Orbx products above others. The use of baked ambient occlusion techniques also certainly adds an additional level of quality and realism to the buildings.

WardAir Building

Bathurst Base Hospital

Bathurst Correctional Complex

Bathurst Presbyterian Church

Again, there were some issues I found with the quality of the buildings. The representation of St Stanislaus' College and the Bathurst Correctional Complex, whilst good, did appear somewhat rudimentary and 'blocky' in appearance compared to other custom made buildings.

Technical Requirements

With the exception of requiring either FTX: Australia or FTX: AU Blue installed, there are no other stated, specific system technical requirements, other than a system capable of running FSX. The FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport User Manual provides some excellent advice on the various scenery slider settings for a range of hardware specifications that will maximise the performance of the software and FSX.


FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport performed excellently within the existing settings I have in FSX. I have my frame rate locked at 30 frames per second with most of my settings set high to very high and there was no need to make any adjustments to compensate for performance issues. There was only a marginal impact on frame rate performance. Having said that though, and as I have mentioned earlier in this review, paying heed to the relevant sections in the User Manual should avoid any disappointment and provide optimum performance for your particular system.

Value for Money

As far as a Value for Money assessment, FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport is considered very good. Whilst the cost could be considered slightly high, the coverage and it's geographical location to other airports in the Orbx Australian airport series is excellent. Overall, it provides a fantastic base for flights to and from this great regional airport and if this suits the type of flying you do, then FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport is a scenery add-on that you will want to have and you will not be disappointed.

Review Computer Specifications

The specifications of the computer on which the review was conducted are as follows:
    ● Intel i7 990X Extreme 3.46GHz;
    ● NVidia GTX580, 1536MB graphics;
    ● 12GB Kingston DDR3 2000MHz;
    ● Windows 7, (64bit);
    ● Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX Acceleration; and
    ● additional major add-ons include: Orbx FTX: Australia, Orbx FTX: Global BASE, FS Global 2010, REX Essential Plus Overdrive and
       Ultimate Traffic 2.


Orbx FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport is an excellent scenery add-on, rich in detail and quality. It beautifully complements existing airports in the Orbx Australian airport series and provides a fantastic focal point for flights. For anyone who flies in this region regularly or is simply a fan of Orbx products, FTX: AU YBTH will be an addition to your scenery you will enjoy having.

Verdict and Rating

Another solid product from Orbx, FTX: AU YBTH Bathurst Airport displays the usual high quality and attention to detail as other products in the Orbx offering.

         ● High quality.
         ● Excellent level and attention to detail.
         ● Excellent animations.
         ● Reasonable value for money.

     ● Minor issues of quality with a static aircraft and some buildings.

 Verdict:   silver
• Scenery Coverage: 10/10
• Level of Detail: 9.0/10
• Quality of Buildings: 9.0/10
• Performance: 9.5/10
• Value for Money: 9.0/10
An overall Mutley’s Hangar score of 9.3/10, "Outstanding" and a Mutley's Hangar Gold Award.