WED 1.6 in combination with X-Plane 11.10 or newer now includes an integrated ‘Terminal Kit’, comprising facades and supporting objects that are dedicated to the creation of modern airport terminals. This can be found in the WED library hierarchy at “lib/airport/Modern_Airports/Terminal_kit“. The Terminal Kit is entirely modular, with all parts designed to work together.
The basic concept is for the artist to utilize specific facades for corresponding parts of the building. For example, the kit features one facade for ground floor structures, and another for floors above. This approach asks a little more of the artist, because the facade footprint may need to be replicated multiple times, for each individual floor. However, this method offers far greater possibilities for the design of the structure. Windows, doors or gates may be placed exactly where the artist chooses, without this being restricted by the nature of the adjacent structure.
Key components of the Terminal Kit are prefixed with “term_” so these can be easily filtered in the WED library hierarchy. These are further divided into three logical groups:
The first group (term_building_..) is dedicated to the construction of the main building.
The second group (term_bridge_..) is dedicated to the construction of connecting bridges.
The third group (term_roof_..) is dedicated to the construction of the various roofing options.
Diagram illustrating basic Terminal Kit facade usage:
Most facades will comprise several floors, and as you can see, each floor must have an absolute height in units of 5 – namely 5, 10, 15, 20, or 25 meters (one exception is described later).
Diagram illustrating height and elevation options for Terminal Kit facade modules:
Note that roof elements are compatible with height levels (5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 meters). Artists may place them on”_Ground“, “_Levels“, “_Slab” and “_BigHall” modules. However, roof components may not be placed on “_Tall” modules.
Terminal Kit Components
This is the first key component of a building. It has just one ground floor, and its purpose is to replicate the street level of a modern airport terminal. However it can also be used to create any single-floor building, and the artist may use it accordingly. This module has several wall-types–passenger windows, doors, service entrances and gates.
Sometimes three variants of passenger windows and entrances exist. This is a general principle which you will also find in other modules. The first variant (_windows) is designed for whole walls, meaning the facade comprises solid segments at both ends. However, sometimes the artist may require contiguous windows spanning the corners, and this is supported with the “_windows_continuous” variant. A third variant (_windows_XXm) is for long whole walls constructed in units of “XX” meters, with solid segments at either end. Any combination of these variants may be used together, to replicate the desired structure.
There are four stylistic variants in X-Plane 11.20 and newer:
This is the second key component of a building. It is designed for (up to) three levels above ground. This module forms the “main” body of the terminal, and also has several types of walls (most of which have windows).
This module also has one very specific usage: When the height is set at 5 meters above ground-level, this component is rendered as a ‘slab’ (no matter which wall type is selected). This can act as a flat roof, and may be used above the ground floor, or with columns (described later). However in this case it is technically higher than a normal floor (6 meters) so artists may not place roof elements on it. Here is an example:
This module has various purposes: volume extensions, stair-towers and other vertical parts. It is slightly higher (by units of 1 meter) than adjacent modules, and can be inserted into other basic modules, or used as a stand-alone module.
This is special module for the creation of large halls with glass walls. It is intended for simple shapes like rectangles, and can’t handle negative corners (concave angles).
This is another special module for the creation of simple slabs. It is available in three different roof colors, each with five edge-material options. It is also compatible with all roof elements, just like “_Ground” module.
This module is used to create bridges. Technically it is similar in construction to the “_Levels” module, but makes only a single floor. If the artist needs two bridges above each other, this is achieved by duplicating the structure at different heights above ground.
This module is similar to term_bridge_XX.fac, but with a more substantial appearance, supporting just two wall-types – solid, and (very simple) windows. The main usage will likely be situations where two bridge sections are joined together. However, this module may also be used as a second floor, above a ground floor structure.
This module provides for the creation of roof-superstructures. The module is 3 meters in height, and this is the exception mentioned earlier. The absolute height of this facade must therefore be 8, 13, 18, 23 or 28 meters (as opposed to 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 meters).
This is very special module. Technically it has invisible walls and roof, and therefore only the attached objects are visible. This module may be used to support various roof elements, like air conditioners, solar panels or small skylights. This module’s facade isn’t ‘closed’, so artists will see a chain of linear-segments in WED. Attached objects are placed at the center of these line-segments.
This is another specific module that forms various longitudinal skylights. This behaves like other WED linear-features, with the line (or chain of lines) itself representing the axis of the skylight.
The same principle applies here as to the skylights module, except this module is not limited by one segment. The artist may draw any number of segments in a chain. The basic facade wall generates horizontal pipes which can be connected to another module, such as “_roof_level“. However, there are also special walls with a “_start” prefix, and “_end” suffix. This is useful when pipes project vertically from a roof. The direction of the polygonal chain in WED is important here, and this is why the artist must define start and end segments for the facade.
There are other useful objects that can be placed manually:
Some facades already have walls called “_entrance” but sometimes it will be useful to place them manually. Moreover entrances are generic, and can be used with various facades as needed.
Additional important objects are columns, and separate ground-floor and upper-floor columns are available. Columns are placed manually where required, to form a plausible structure. Columns are available in two lengths – 4 and 9 meters. Shorter columns may be used under “term_building_Levels” facade and under “term_bridge” and “term_bridge_joint” modules (with a height of 10 meters at the lowest position). Higher columns can be used under bridges or joints (with a height of 15 meters at the lowest position).
-This Terminal Facade kit comprises basic modules of 2-meters in horizontal length. This means that a single metal panel is two meters long. There is no explicit reason to be aware of this, except that it may prove useful when positioning manually placed assets (eg entrances and columns) adjacent to the terminal modules themselves.
-All roof textures have some kind of directionality (appearing as ‘strips’). This is always perpendicular to the FIRST segment of the polygon (the white line in WED). You can rotate segments in WED by pressing Ctrl+R. This is important (especially with bridges) whereby the first segment should be oriented in the direction of the bridge axis.
-Large terminal buildings often have a very complex footprint. Don’t attempt to replicate this complex shape with just a single facade polygon. It’s much better to divide the structure into smaller logical shapes. This also helps when dealing with roof directionality, and where there are large differences in terrain elevation at the extreme ends of the building.
-At times, the terrain may have a significant gradient. This may cause roof elements to ‘float’ above the module below, or sink into it. This is because modules are rendered at the exact height of the center of the first polygon segment. To control for this, some roof modules have an “empty” wall. The artist may start the module chain with an “empty” segment, near the center of the first segment of the underlying module. The artist then draws the second empty segment in the desired location of the (visible) roof element, and this should render at the correct height.
-When an artist requires doors, gates or corridors at exact locations in a long module wall, this may be accomplished by the insertion of a node, and a change in wall-type (even in straight segments). Keep in mind that basic modules are 2 meters in length, so try to use segments that are approximately 2, 4, 6 or 8 meters long. This helps avoid unwanted stretching.
-The height of one metal panel isn’t technically one meter, but actually 96 centimeters. The reason for this is related to jetways, but not important to artists when constructing the terminal modules. Likewise, the exact height of floors are actually 4.6 m, 9.4 m, 14.2 m, 19 m and 23.8 m.