Review: Turbulent Designs L35 Big Bear for FSX and P3D

Turbulent Designs is not a new kid on the block. They have released various scenery, including some for ORBX. One of their newest releases is the L35 Big Bear City Airport for FSX and P3D.

Turbulent Designs L35 Big Bear City airport

L35, or Big Bear City airport, is a large general aviation airport located in Big Bear City, San Bernardino County, Southern California, to the west of Los Angeles, and sits at the high altitude of a bit over 2,058 meters (6,752ft).

As you can guess, this is a trick airport to fly to/from. The region is a natural wonder and it was very well depicted in this release by Turbulent Designs.

Turbulent Designs L35 Big Bear City airport Turbulent Designs L35 Big Bear City airport


When you purchase this scenery, you'll have an hefty 4GB download ahead of you. That's right. It's really quite a huge download but you'll get over 1400 square kilometers of 60cm and 30cm resolution goodness for your slow and low flying. Which is marvelous.

Other than that, installation is easy with the Turbulent Designs installer. Pretty standard.

The scenery

Turbulent Designs L35 Big Bear City airport

The whole scenery is absolutely gorgeous and visually very rich. The airport is not a very big one but it's populated with a lot of different aircraft and a few cars and trucks, which adds to the immersion. I would like to see some people as well, which would be a plus but the field is quite good as it is.

There's tons of custom buildings and the surrounding area is beautifully loaded with tress. The grass is also stunning and really adds to the environment.

Turbulent Designs L35 Big Bear City airport Turbulent Designs L35 Big Bear City airport

There are a few lakes around the airport, one of them being just at the end of the runway, meaning you could get your feet wet on a failed takeoff or short landing if you are using a fixed-wing. Not to say it may not happen on an helicopter but we would probably crash against a building or tree, which would not be fun either.

I love the fact that the airport is in a valley, which adds a bit of a challenge and kinda forces you to plan your take off and landings a bit more if you are serious about your simming and try to keep it safe.

Turbulent Designs L35 Big Bear City airport Turbulent Designs L35 Big Bear City airport

If you are flying around in Californa -- especially South California -- this is a great spot for you to either use as your main hub. The surroundings make for some great scenic tours and the nearby lakes can be used for avid fishermen in need of transportation that allows them to land in tight spots.

Frame Rate impact

Here comes the bad news. Granted, my gaming rig is not the best out there -- not even close to it. My ASUS laptop comes with a GeForce 650M so I know I lack the power on the graphics part.

Having that in mind, I have to say the framerate dropped considerably. The impact was huge and it rendered FSX useless for helicopter flying as I couldn't even get 15 FPS. Again, I blame my computer for this, but I reckon this scenery will steal you some frames as well. I don't think it would be too bad on higher end systems, though, but I have no way of testing it on a better computer.

Like I said before, I found out the grass was the feature to blame the most on the FPS loss. Fortunately, you can turn it on or off (as well as other scenery features) using the handy Turbulent Console or Control Centre, which allows you to customize various settings -- including the texture season.

Turbulent Control Centre

Our rating

Installation 10
Mesh 10
Textures 10
Buildings 10
Visual impact and quality 9
Frame rate impact 7
Total score
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More about this scenery



Terrain type Forest
Altitude 2,058m / 6,752ft
Helipads No
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'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.