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.
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 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.
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.
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.