Monthly Archives: September 2011

Aerosoft Release CorfuX Scenery with Prepar3D Support
September 28, 2011

Hi Everyone,

Very pleased to report that Aerosoft has released support for Prepar3D in their fantastic Corfu X scenery add-on. More information can be found here:

http://www.aerosoft.com/cgi-local/us/iboshop.cgi?showd,,D11447

Although it still shows FSX, version 1.10 of the scenery has installers for Prepar3D and has been tested on v1.2.

Regards,
John

Download and Web Server Issues
September 27, 2011

Hi Everyone,

Unfortunately our ISP is having some technical issues that is causing our download server to be unavailable. It also brought down our web server a couple of times over the past two days. It does not appear to be related to the number of downloads, but a wider issue with the ISP. As soon as we get more information from the ISP, we will pass it on. Sorry for the inconvenience, it is very frustrating at our end as well I assure you.

Regards,
John

Orbx Releases PNW Demo for Prepar3D
September 24, 2011

Hi Everyone,

Orbx have just announced the immediate availability of a free evaluation version of its FTX Pacific Northwest terrain. This is fantastic news!  Go to the following link to find out more.

http://www.orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/37305-ftx-pacific-northwest-demo-khqm-for-prepar3d-released/page__hl__prepar3d__fromsearch__1

Here are the early-release links for the PNW Demo installer for P3D:

Canada : http://ftxcanada.com/dl/orbx/P3D_FTX_NAPNWDEMO_200.zip
Australia 1 : http://ftx-cdn.asia/dl/orbx/P3D_FTX_NAPNWDEMO_200.zip
UK : http://flightsimstore-europe.co.uk/dl/orbx/P3D_FTX_NAPNWDEMO_200.zip
America : http://fss-cdn.com/dl/orbx/P3D_FTX_NAPNWDEMO_200.zip
Germany : http://euro-fss-cdn.com/dl/orbx/P3D_FTX_NAPNWDEMO_200.zip

I really recommend you try it out!

Regards,
John

Prepar3D® 1.2 Released!
September 23, 2011

The Lockheed Martin Prepar3D® team are pleased to announce the general availability of version 1.2 of Prepar3D®. The new version is available for immediate purchase and download from the Prepar3D® website.  Existing 1.1 users can download the latest version in their “Purchased Downloads” page on the website.  The list of new features and fixes can be found on the following page: http://www.prepar3d.com/2011/09/20/upcoming-prepar3d-1-2-release-notes/

Prepar3D 1.2® Now Available!

Taking training to the next level, Lockheed Martin has launched Prepar3D 1.2 to offer students and professionals the most immersive learning environment. The latest iteration of the visual simulation software includes new features and enhancements for aviation, maritime, ground-based and emergency response training scenarios.

Prepar3D can be used by private pilots, commercial organizations, the military and academia as an experiential training program for virtually any scenario imaginable. In Prepar3D, users can practice a mission or flight plan before it happens to increase effectiveness during real-world operations.

“The Lockheed Martin team is excited to offer enhanced training capabilities through the release of Prepar3D 1.2,” said Martile Allen, program manager for Prepar3D. “We’re committed to continuing to evolve the Prepar3D environment to provide the most effective simulation tool for training needs.”

The latest features and functions available in Prepar3D include:

  • New user interface – Users now have a Windows 7 compatible drag n’ drop interface with customizable settings. Quickly create and save your favorite missions.
  • Multiple monitor settings saved – Users can quickly save panel and scenery window locations across multiple monitors with flight files. Prepar3D remembers the settings upon restarting a flight and restarting Prepar3D.
  • Internet multi-player capability – Users across the globe can collaborate with others within the Prepar3D environment to train for their missions or tasks.
  • Multi-channel capability – Users can harness the power of this new feature to operate Prepar3D with multiple monitors creating a more expansive viewing capability all the way up to 360 degrees field of view .
  • Sensor camera options – Users can experience night vision and infrared sensor camera options to enhance military mission or night flying training.
  • Realistic scenery – Millions of square kilometers of the earth have been checked and upgraded to accurately represent the urban environment.
  • Higher quality graphics – Users will experience higher quality graphics such as more realistic rainy or snowy weather with the modernized shader model 3.0. Also offered for higher quality graphics are increased texture limits which can be set as high as 4096 x 4096.
  • Underwater environments – Users can take their simulation experience under water with submarines and the U.S. Geological Survey’s coastal bathymetry.
  • Enhanced developer toolset – Developers can use the Prepar3D environment to create new training solutions for the most modern platforms. To aid in rapid development, Prepar3D is now fully compatible with Windows 7 and Visual Studio 2010; it offers a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) user interface, an external simulator capability that provides enhanced control of the simulation code, new code samples updated in the Software Development Kit (SDK) documentation and support for the latest 3DStudio Max tools.

The release notes for Prepar3D 1.2 are available here.

Upcoming Prepar3D 1.2 Release Notes
September 20, 2011

Hi Everyone,

The upcoming release of 1.2 should be available for general download and distribution early next week as we wrap up testing and assuming we do not find any major issues.  If there are any changes, we will post updates to let everyone know.  The features and fixes in this release are:

Full Windows 7 Support

There was quite a lot of work that needed to be done here to update the product for full Windows 7 support and stability.  A lot of underlying code was modified and enhanced to allow solid stability for Windows 7 users.  The more visible user interface (UI) changes include:

  • New interface and extended multiplayer experience
  • Observer view camera management redesigned and expanded
  • Save flight user interface redesigned
  • Alert system and progress dialogs redesigned for continuity and to replace last remaining legacy UI elements
  • End flight interface redesigned and clarification added

Additional Aircraft Added to Standard Vehicle Set

We have been working hard behind the scenes to secure permission from various OEMs to allow us to use their aircraft in Prepar3D.  In this release we have added (re-added from ESP) two aircraft:

  • Beechcraft Baron 58 ( and with optional G1000 glass panel)

  • Beechcraft King Air 350

Multiplayer Experience Redesigned and Improved

The move from the legacy multiplayer system allowed us to fix a few things and to add in features that the developer and user community asked us for.

  • Redesigned, streamlined multiplayer user interface
    • All multiplayer screens have been redesigned including the mission resolution and racing results windows
  • Multiplayer simplified and streamlined for the end training user
  • “Connect to IP” now works on a global scale
  • Several improvements to the internal voice communication system
    • Removed local echo
    • No longer sends communication data packets when no one is talking (really helps with performance)
    • Able to select a sound device other than your default system sound device for multiplayer voice communication
  • Submersible and other SimObject categories are now supported by multiplayer
  • Multiplayer chat redesigned and able to be maximized and resized
  • Other miscellaneous multiplayer updates
    • When ending your multiplayer session you are no longer placed back to your simulator’s default flight
    • Add-on scenery is now an allowable option in multiplayer sessions
    • Tower controls now have access to the map feature
    • The ‘Join Aircraft’ button now swaps to ‘Leave Aircraft’ when joining a shared aircraft
    • If the map is chosen to be disabled, users can now not access it via the map button on certain aircraft panels

Other New Features/Enhancements

We continue to make improvements to the user experience with new features and enhancements to existing or legacy code in Prepar3D.

  • Users can specify where flight plans are saved and loaded from
  • Enhancements to the Submersible SimObject Class
    • Animations and lighting support added to submersibles
    • Proper lighting at depth
    • Submersibles are properly rendered on the ground
  • Observer view system enhancements
    • User interface redesigned for clarity and ease of use
    • Observer views can be easily configured with sensor and color views
  • Users are prompted when they attempt to load an incomplete or incorrect mission file that does not load correctly
  • Users can sort the columns of data in the Select Airport user interface
  • Tail number, call sign and flight number can be set on an aircraft’s ‘View details’ screen
  • Underwater scenery is now visible from above water if appropriate detail settings are selected
  • Menu system font has been changed for increased visibility and readability
  • The scenery library dialog now defaults to a user’s Prepar3D installation directory, not the desktop
    • The ‘Use Directly’ and ‘Cache Scenery’ radio buttons have been further explained with tooltip text

Performance Improvements

We always like to get performance gains and visual improvements!

  • Rendering pipeline performance improvements show a marked performance improvement in all cases over v1.1
  • Enhancements to water detail effects and rendering settings
    • Water effects settings are now divided into two sliders, Reflection Detail and Refraction Detail, which are clearly labeled

    • The Low, Med, High names have been replaced with text describing what scene elements are rendered at each setting
    • The water clarity slider controls the transparency of the water surface
    • Learning center article expanded upon to further explain details of each setting

Multichannel Capability Extended

We support 100 separate image channels within a single simulator!  This means a PC per channel to spread performance and improve the user experience.  (Note that you will need a license of Prepar3D per channel to take advantage of this feature.)  We also support multiple screens per PC, so if you have a PC with two, three, four (or more!) monitor or projector outputs, you can have up to 400 + channels !    Not too many people will need that, but we continue to develop this capability and amazing feature.   In this release we have the included the following:

  • Expanded field of views able to support up to a 360 degree field of view
  • Documentation and samples expanded in the Learning Center and further examples added to the Software Development Kit

Learning Center Documentation Enhanced

  • Additional examples for new multichannel 360 degree field of view support (see Multichannel Capability Extended above)
  • Additional articles added including navigation section and glossary
  • Multiplayer learning center article expanded for new features
  • Updated user interface screens

Software Development Kit Enhancements for Developers

We are committed to supporting third-party developers by providing an extensive software development kit (SDK).  This can be used to build solutions with Prepar3D and to enhance and extend the capabilities of the simulation platform and environment.  We have listened to the developers using the SDK and continue to improve it based on this valuable feedback.  Updates and improvements in version 1.2 are:

  • Modeling tools have been updated to support 3D Studio Max 2010, 2011 and 2012
  • Configurable ground clamping capability
    • Added ability for SimConnect to “tag” the SimObjects that it creates
    • Added new API, AISetGroundClamp, that allows turning on the ground clamping facility which will push objects that are underground back up to ground level
  • Additional ExternalSim capabilities
    • Additional SimVar support to External Sim
      • Added fallback support for any SimVar not natively supported by the current Category Sim Class, so all SimObjects inherit this ability.
  • New example and article documentation on leveraging the new ExternalSim APIs to run the user’s own aerodynamic model and simulation through SimConnect in Prepar3D

Known Issues Resolved

We received a lot of great feedback from the community on issues that are in the product from the legacy code we started with and since we began development on Prepar3D.    Here are the main fixes in this version:

  • Kneeboard and mission issues
    • HTML code is no longer improperly rendered in the missions tab on the kneeboard
    • The screen location of the kneeboard is saved and loaded from saved flight files
    • Prepar3D now recognizes and processes the ‘MissionBrief’ entry in a mission’s ScenarioMetadata
    • The kneeboard is rendered after a mission loads 100 percent, not before
  • Various crash issues resolved
    • Prepar3D no longer crashes upon exiting on Windows XP in certain cases
    • Prepar3D no longer crashes in certain cases if the user chooses to show the desktop as the splash screen is loading
    • Prepar3D no longer crashes when loading the Pilot Records on Windows XP
  • Other issues resolved
    • Prepar3D correctly restores from the task bar if another window has focus
    • The user is prompted when trying to save an observer view with the same name of a previously created observer view
    • The “Show/Hide Airports” and “Show/Hide ILS Feathers” are correctly de-coupled in the map user interface
    • Map mouse buttons now change state after clicking on them, not after the mouse leaves the button
    • The save flight dialog now correctly shows in full-screen mode on Windows XP systems
    • Check marks rendered in white in Windows XP are now rendered in black
Lockheed Martin Receives Industry Innovation Award From Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission
September 16, 2011

Lockheed Martin’s Central Florida operations have been named among the 2011 recipients of the William C. Schwartz Industry Innovation Award by the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission.

The award honors companies for creating, developing and successfully implementing products, ideas and processes. The award cited two Lockheed Martin programs that are meeting urgent customer needs through affordability and innovation initiatives: Prepar3D® simulation software and the HULC hydraulic-powered exoskeleton.

“We are incredibly proud of this award and to call Central Florida home to several of our most innovative programs,” said Chester Kennedy, vice president of engineering at Lockheed Martin’s Global Training and Logistics business. “At the heart of those efforts is a solid commitment to our customers and to the communities where we live and work.”

The purpose of the EDC’s award program is to inspire future entrepreneurs, scientists, business leaders and dreamers to harness the incredible power and promise of technology and creative thinking to solve challenges in the 21st century.

“Our employees are an endless source of innovation,” said Bob Gunning, vice president of fire control at Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control business. “They are role models for tomorrow’s engineers, scientists and leaders, generating solutions that ensure a bright future for the Central Florida community. I am proud to see their hard work recognized.”

With more than 50 years in Central Florida, Lockheed Martin’s operations are primarily located in the Orlando area with additional sites throughout the state. As the largest industrial employer in the state, Lockheed Martin continues a legacy of community support through longstanding volunteer programs and philanthropic initiatives.

Dream-Fly Bogota, Columbia
September 14, 2011

I was invited to speak at the “Dream-Fly Columbia” aviation training conference held recently from 5-11 September at the University of San Buenaventura in Bogotá, Columbia.  I gave a presentation on Prepar3D and showed it off to a large audience at the University.  I was graciously hosted by the CEO of VirtualCol, José Gonzales along with his son, Carlos.  I had a great time and met up with a few companies and military representatives that are keenly interested in using Prepar3D in various programs there.    A wonderful experience!

Here is a photo taken during the presentation: