Darwin is a small mining community, population 45 in 2010, that’s about eight miles from the west border of Death Valley National Park in California. It’s halfway (40 miles) between the highest point in the continental US (Mt. Whitney, 14,496 feet) and the lowest point (Badwater, Death Valley, 282 feet below sea level and the second hottest place on earth.) Darwin is at 4750 feet elevation, so it’s not as hot as Death Valley, but still reaches 117 in the summer. Thanks to the altitude, it can also see snow in the winter.
Darwin has a small, dirt-and-gravel strip on Bureau of Land Management property. It’s 2,500 feet long and 75 feet wide. There are no services – in fact, the nearest gas station for a car is over 40 miles away. Even the windsock isn’t working in real life – the pole and mount are still there, but the sock itself has deteriorated. I’ve taken the liberty of installing a new sock for visitors to our virtual Darwin. (You can find a couple of photos at shortfield.com)
Darwin airport wasn’t included in the default MSFS airports, but the dirt runway is clear as day in the game’s satellite imagery, and the poles on the approach in the video looked like a fun challenge for the landing pattern. I’ve placed the poles, windsock, barrels, etc. as accurately as possible using the few images I could find, but there’s some artistic liberty taken to flesh out the surroundings a bit.
The real Darwin airstrip has no ICAO code, so I’ve used the fictional code KDAR as it’s not used in the simulation nor in real life.
You’ll need the following libraries to see all of the additions:
Windy Things – animated windsock
Dave’s Crooked Library – barrels and other details
Also check out my other airport, WA17 Majerle STOLport. It’s a grass farm runway just outside of Duvall, Washington, a challenging runway for short takeoffs and landings, and a great base to explore the Snoqualmie Valley a half-hour east of Seattle.
This airport is being uploaded exclusively to Flightsim.to. Please do not repost it or include it in any collections without permission.
Hope you enjoy flying in this beautiful area!