• Review: Orbx Leeds Bradford Airport Prepar3D

    Review: Orbx Leeds Bradford Airport Prepar3D

    By Alex Dickinson

    Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D     Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D

    Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D     Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D


    "Ah up lad" is a popular Yorkshire greeting term to compliment the next airport I shall be reviewing; the aptly named "Yorkshire's Airport" of Leeds Bradford. This is an airport I know incredibly well, as I worked and studied there for almost 5 years. Due to this, I would regard Leeds Bradford Airport as a second home.


    Leeds Bradford is well known to UK flight simmers, but due it to being quite a lot smaller than say Gatwick, Stanstead, Birmingham, etc., it tends not to get the publicity, which is a shame as it has quite a lot going for it.

    Leeds Bradford Airport is located in Yeadon, in the City of Leeds Metropolitan District in West Yorkshire, England, about 7 miles northwest of Leeds city center, and about 9 miles from Bradford city center. It is the highest airport in England at an elevation of 681 feet (208 m). Not only this, but Leeds Bradford's runway is orientated north/south, unlike the traditional west/east setup at most other UK airports. The consequences of this, is that the airport is susceptible to nasty crosswinds, as well as wind shear. This notoriety could potentially be the reason as to why it appears to be popular amongst flight simulation enthusiasts.

    Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D     Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D

    Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D     Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D

    Terminal Area

    The terminal building at Leeds Bradford has been standing for some time now, and over the decades it has been extended numerous times to include passenger walkways, large seating areas, and airbridges. It lacks the newer modular type design of modern airports and many critics argue that the airport needs a revamp, as currently it is very dilapidated.


    Due to its design, the terminal building can be very tricky to model, but I have to say that I am impressed with how well the developers at Orbx have managed to get it to look. The 3D model features extensive use of PBR, and the attention to detail overall is good. North of the terminal are the warehouses, offices, and catering facilities which I felt were also accurately modelled. An area I liked very much was the terminal landside area, as it included vast amounts of detail, such as vehicles, signage and 3D objects. There is also a Travelodge hotel, as well as numerous car parking facilities. Overall I would say this is a highly accurate rendition of the landside area, bar one or two minor omissions.


    Unfortunately I cannot say the same for the airside area as I noticed a fair number of discrepancies. Firstly, on stand 3 there used to be two rectangular buildings of the same length, both located north and south of this stand. If my memory serves me correctly, these buildings were both used by Jet2 for their baggage processing. This has since been edited to only have a small portion of the southern building remaining, despite the north building remaining as is (Google maps can give a clearer visual explanation to this). On the Orbx P3D version of the scenery, this small protrusion is missing, as well as a large sheltered passenger area adjacent to stand 14. Also, on stand 6 there is a bus which is off placed, which means that it would not be possible to park on this stand without colliding with this object.

    Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D     Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D

    Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D     Orbx - Leeds Bradford Airport for Prepar3D

    Another issue I encountered was where taxiway "D" meets the runway, as just adjacent to this is a holding point marked with the letter "J". This area has what looks to be a large turning circle, but in reality, it is no longer used by neither air traffic or ground vehicles. Due to this fact, I would argue that having ground vehicles located here in the Orbx version is actually rather unrealistic. The area in real life is very run-down, and includes an abandoned building, which unfortunately has not been modelled. Overall I found this area to look far too fresh and nothing like how it is in real life.

    1. Rupert's Avatar
      Rupert -
      Sorry Alex,

      I already found some, possibly most, of the airports I flew in and out of weren't portrayed as accuratly as I had hoped!

      To get every little thing as close to RW as we both wish were the case for our favorites would probably make the model too expensive to sell.

      And no matter how well done, Leeds will never have as high a sell-through as say Gatwick or KLAX!

    1. Alex Dickinson's Avatar
      Alex Dickinson -
      Thanks for your comment, I do have to agree with you in some part there, I mean places like Gatwick and stuff yeah the are popular, but still there was some parts of the scenery which were lacking.
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