A small add-on program which may interest some is TaxiSigns HD. Essentially this software replaces all the default taxiway signs in flight simulator (FS) with a selection of several higher resolution 3D images with enhanced lighting effects. For those that spend considerable time taxiing the aircraft this program is sure to please.
LEFT: Example of the high definition sign showing night lighting which creates a pleasing illumination in front of sign. This feature is missing in the default textures (click to enlarge).
Installation and Features
Installation is via a wizard installer which will ask where you wish to install the program and also ask which directory flight simulator is installed.
Once installed, a sub menu (TaxiSigns HD) will be placed within the flight simulator Add-Ons menu.
TaxiSigns HD works be adding its own scenery area, called TaxiSigns HD layer, to the FS scenery library. The default textures are not overwritten or deleted and outside of its own scenery area, the program does not modify any flight simulator files. To uninstall the product, and restore the default signs, use the Windows Control Panel to uninstall the program.
The program has a user interface screen accessible from the FS Add-Ons menu. The interface enables the user to easily alter the 3D model, daytime and night textures, and whether the signs illuminate the ground at night.
One of the main advantages, other than appearance (the signs actually look like signs), is the night lighting effects. Each sign can be front lit to allow the ground in front of the sign to be illuminated.
The following outlines the features of the program:
• 3D taxiway signs instead of default rectangles
• Crystal clear text and FAA mandated font (high resolution textures)
• Choice of several 3D taxiway sign textures and shading effects (day and night)
• Illumination of the ground in front of each taxiway sign
If you spend considerable time taxiing or take photographs and video within flight simulator then this program is well worthwhile.
LEFT: The user interface in which various options can be selected. Note the posts that hold the sign (click to enlarge).
The textures are very sharp and the signs are much easier to read than the default textures. They are also much more attractive to look at in comparison to the default signage.
A problem observed in flight simulator (FSX) is the slight blurring of the signs as the aircraft taxis past the sign. The replacement textures remain sharp and do not blur as do the default signs. Furthermore, I could not discern any appreciable drop in frame rates.
Compatibility an Support
TaxiSigns HD is fully compatible with both DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 modes of FSX, and also with FS9 and Prepar3D (versions 1.0-2.2).
A succinct manual is provided with the program and although the program is very simplistic, a support forum is available.
The program can be downloaded from the developers website and tested for a period of 10 minutes.
Note I do not have any affiliation with the software developer.