Aircraft used: LVFR 320
Live weather: on
Just to mention ahead of the review that this airport is currently on sale and will soon be updated to v2 (the update being free to current owners). Therefore you’ll likely need to take what’s written below with a grain of salt as much of it won’t be relevant to the updated version.
I’ve already reviewed three PES products and it’s been a very mixed bag, with Brest being excellent, Ajaccio very good and Montpellier being comparably very poor (although a new version of LFMT was released yesterday).
Being slightly more recent than LFMT it’s thankfully a big improvement, though not up to the standard of Ajaccio and Brest. The terminal looks great with some good external detail, weathering and a basic (but quite nice) interior. As usual with PES airports (even Brest) the airside windows look a little green but this is a minor moan. There’s a good amount of apron clutter, even if the vast majority of it is default Asobo stuff. Thus far the only custom objects I’ve noted are a Bordeaux Airport bus and a gendarmerie car.
The apron itself is very well textured, although these textures do lose their zing when viewed from quite low altitude. Weathering and ground markings are good and the red/white blast deflectors common at French airports are nicely modelled. Taxiway markings are just as good as those on the apron but I feel they could have done some parts of the runway a little better (it looks a bit generic, particularly the middle portion). There are some trees awfully close to the taxiway to runway 23, and the run-up area of the runway itself — not close enough to present problems to even the largest airliners but I suspect they’re probably not present in real life.
The terminal landside is much better modelled than we saw at LFMT but still pretty basic. The road that runs the length of the terminal frontage has been done, with elevated sections and an abundance of signage and a bit of clutter. The sprawling main car-park opposite the terminal has also had some customisation but it’s quite generic-looking. It does feature 3D cars, though… none of which overlay any satellite imagery, as we saw at LFMT! My one real complaint is clumps of grass right outside a section of the terminal (again something we saw with LFMT).
The Sabena and Dassault buildings look good but aren’t quite as nicely done as the main terminal. There are a couple of decent statics here: the Zero G A310 and an Airbus house livery A350-1000. The cargo centre is similarly modelled, however moving to the airfield’s western extremity the detail takes a real nosedive, with the buildings looking like little more than simple, single-colour boxes. This isn’t an issue, however, as most pilots will have little reason to scrutinise this area.
The texturing across the entire airfield is mostly pretty high-res.
Like other PES airports, stability and performance are flawless. No issues with extensive drone use and I’ve not experienced a single stutter.
As I said, my opinion of this airport is perhaps immaterial given the update coming this winter, however Pilot Experience Sim clearly honed their skills in just a few short months following the release of the pretty awful Montpellier (itself just having been updated to v2). Bordeaux is much better (than LFMT v1), although far from perfect. There is still work to be done in the area of the terminal landside, and the overly green tint to the terminal windows could do with toning down. It’s far more noticeable at night, when it actually looks like something from FS98! A shame as the night-lighting is generally very good, although the red aircraft warning lights atop taller structures are a bit bright/imposing when viewed from distance, even by daylight. I think this is a sim limitation, though, as we see the same effect with aircraft lights.
For the current sale price of just over £8, this airport is good value in its present state. I only bought it because of the free v2 upgrade due this winter but, if it turns out anything like Montpellier v2 and Brest, that £8-9 asking price will be one of MSFS’s greatest ever bargains!
I’d advise anyone to take a chance on this — if for any reason you are disappointed with what you get right now for your £8-odd… you certainly won’t be once the winter’s out!
A real plus is that the city of Bordeaux — done in decent photogrammetry — is very close to the airport, resulting in some superb visuals when approaching runway 23.
The majority of texturing is crisp and detailed, however we see quite a contrast here between the textures on the AC units and those on the blue door to the right!
The night-lighting is generally very good, however the glass window textures aren’t great and look appalling at night.