Lockheed Martin Releases Prepar3D v6

Lockheed Martin’s brand new simulator, Prepar3D v6 is now available to buy.

Posted: 03-Jul-2023 @ 20:08z
Updated: 04-Jul-2023 @ 22:41z
Lockheed Martin Releases Prepar3D v6

Lockheed Martin has released Prepar3D v6. Following the announcement made during FlightSimExpo 2023, the latest in the long-line of flight simulators from the company has now been made available for all to buy. Prepar3D is Lockheed Martin’s flagship simulation and training platform. Version 6 of the beloved simulator expands on previous versions before it by adding an impressive list of new features.

Lighting has seen an overhaul with the new version, making environments come across more realistic than ever before. In addition to the lighting, the atmospheric effects have been vastly improved, along with adding all-new reactive environments, too. Airports have also seen a renewed focus from the development team, with higher detail models, surfaces and objects – all in response to feedback. Cities and other landscapes have also been improved over past versions.

“The transformation of our Prepar3D software highlights continued development and evolution,” said Jonathon Wells, vice president of Lockheed Martin Air and Commercial Solutions. “Prepar3D furthers Lockheed Martin’s commitment to bring upgraded capabilities and features for next-generation training solutions.”

In an effort to ensure that the langauge is as accessible as possible, the licensing defintion has been altered slightly. With Prepar3D v6, the Academic license has been replaced with the the introduction of a new Personal license. The Personal license will be available to anyone who wants to use Prepar3D for personal use, regardless of whether they are a student or not.

You can buy Prepar3D v6 directly from their website. The Personal license costs $59.95, with the professional version costing $350. There are also other options available, depending on the required license your use case needs.

The full list of new features and changes between the versions is down below.

FSElite will have an exclusive interview with the Lockheed Martin very soon.

New Features

  • Updated volumetric clouds and atmospherics system improving visuals, performance, and support for multiple weather stations.
  • Updated physically based and HDR lighting system supporting greater dynamic range, bounce lighting, and improved lighting visuals.
  • Overhauled update process including automatic update notifications and installation as well as update patch support. Updating Prepar3D v6 will no longer require any components to be uninstalled before updating.
  • New graphics features including:
    • Improved edge blending with temporal antialiasing (TAA).
    • Improved shadow detail with screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO).
    • Support for planar reflections on wet surfaces.
  • Cameras now support physical properties including aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings.
  • Enhanced Flight Planner screen supporting the addition of SIDS and STARS to flight plans.
  • Precipitation accumulation and evaporation is now supported.
  • Custom weather themes can now be saved and loaded in the Weather Settings UI.
  • Improved layout of cloud settings in Weather Settings UI.
  • ISimObjects now support loadout changes made in the Payload UI.
  • SimDirector camera can now rotate around selected objects.
  • Replaced SpeedTree with custom solution supporting wind effects.
  • Improved primitive drawing object visuals including material support. Added pyramid and cone objects.
  • Updated SimDirector UI theme.
  • Added DebriefAction to add debrief messages to scenarios.
  • Added debrief and goals display to Flight Analysis screen. Scenario debrief information can also be saved to a file.
  • Added precipitation pooling and ripple effects.
  • Clouds support dynamic lighting including light from lightning strikes.
  • Added custom tone mapping option to fine tune light and dark areas of scene.
  • Added views menu option to manually position camera. Previously referred to as Cinematographer mode.
  • New and updated default content including:
    • Updated global airport data and airport backgrounds.
    • Improved land class terrain texture detail.
    • Added precipitation effects to airport surfaces, airport objects, autogen buildings, bridges, and fences.
    • Buildings now support attached rooftop objects.
    • Improved hangar texture layout.
    • Updated parking space textures.
    • Improved runway and taxiway textures and reflectance.
    • Added geometry and lights to hangar models.
    • Added hazard lights to corners of tall generic buildings.
    • Walled roofs are now generated on tall generic buildings.
    • Fixed visual issue with F-16 landing gear texture.
    • Updated various airport vehicle models and textures.
    • Updated default weather themes.
    • Added light fixture models to airport lights.
    • Added wingtip pylons to interior F-16 models.
    • Improved landing and taxi lights for C-130 and F-16 models.
    • Updated global buildings to PBR textures.
    • Updated additional vehicles to PBR textures including Mooney Bravo, Maule, Piper Cub, CRJ 700, and various AI objects.
    • Updated weapon and pylon models to PBR textures.
    • Improved global building layout and density.
    • Updated windsock models and animations.
    • Updated land class textures.
    • Updated global water data.
    • Updated global park data.
    • Updated global bridge data and bridge lighting.
    • Updated global helipad data.
    • Fixed various model issues in the Washington DC area.
    • Updated star and galaxy visuals.

Fixes and Improvements

  • Improved overall rendering system performance.
  • Improved terrain rendering performance.
  • Improved threading performance and CPU core usage.
  • Improved network traffic handling and multiplayer performance.
  • Improved terrain height resolution and lighting detail.
  • Improved layout and usability for multiple user interface screens.
  • Legacy models now more closely match lighting of PBR models.
  • Updated core and shader compilers.
  • Added support for shader model 6.
  • Improved post process effects including IR, sensor modes, and signal noise.
  • Improved airport lighting visuals and loading performance.
  • Improved auto exposure lighting values.
  • Improved fog visuals and lighting.
  • Fixed crash that could occur when using the map UI.
  • Windshield effects are now always enabled if supported on the vehicle.
  • Fixed issue where changing precipitation type or rate would not trigger windshield effects to reload.
  • Improved taxiway line resolution.
  • Improved handling of ambient and directional lighting on materials.
  • Fixed issues with airport incorrectly loading season changes in some cases.
  • Cloud density and scatter can now be set per layer.
  • Fixed issue preventing surface wind blend from working after saving and loading a scenario.
  • Changing location will no longer trigger terrain reloading in some cases.
  • Improved building elevation handling.
  • Improved airport system handling of weather changes.
  • Improved performance of panel only views.
  • Texture streaming setting is now always enabled by default.
  • Improved texture streaming performance and memory usage.
  • Fixed bug where dead-end taxiways would have incorrect corner ratios.
  • Fixed issue where route calculation could occur multiple times when loading flight plans or changing destination airports.
  • Fixed issue causing white borders around tail number text in some cases.
  • Fixed issue that could cause startup screen to lag when changing time in some cases.
  • Improved roof variation with autogen buildings.
  • ActivateWaypointAction can now reference player objects.
  • Engine is no longer stopped when deactivating waypoint list actions.
  • Improved hazard light implementation.
  • Added RECORDABLE flag to effects created from SimConnect so they’ll play in flight recordings.
  • Improved message window position in VR.
  • DialogActions can now have separate text displayed on screen vs. what is read to user.
  • Added VR setting for auto-restore tracked origin.
  • ATC panel now ignores numeric input if modifier keys are held down.
  • SimDirector camera can now zoom further out.
  • Improved terrain to apron transitions at sloped airports.
  • Fixed visual issues that could occur when turning volumetric clouds on and off.
  • SimProperty UIs now sort based on order defined in xml.
  • Fixed various cases where certain buildings would be placed slightly above the ground.
  • Discontinuities are now generated on manual sequence waypoints.
  • Modified various panel placements in VR.
  • Editable text fields in SimDirector now have borders.
  • SimDirector visualization graph nodes can now be manually positioned.
  • Fixed bug in SimDirector causing context menu to immediately close when right clicking logic nodes.
  • Scenario changes are now preserved when restarting after crashing vehicle.
  • Improved depth precision reducing z-fighting in distant objects.
  • Improved bloom effect.
  • Fixed bug causing track and position to not be updated in GPS gauge when initially loaded.
  • Ground speed can now be viewed in info text.
  • Fixed bug causing objects attached to aircraft carriers to cull too early.
  • Clicking facility in map view will no longer pause simulation.
  • All gated aircraft that have ground vehicles servicing them now have white safety and vehicle restriction/clearance lines.
  • Fixed issue preventing material scripts from executing if scenario started paused.
  • Fixed issue causing elevator directions to be reversed in TTA aircraft as well as other minor visual bugs.

Fixes and Improvements (Professional Plus Only)

  • Improved DIS dead reckoning behavior.
  • Fixed ground reaction and friction for countermeasure simulation.
  • Updated Varjo SDK including setting to use previous version.
  • Added support for up to 8 GPUs.

Prepar3D SDK

New Features

  • Added custom event support and control mappings for PDK plugins.
  • Added ColorWriteDisable RenderFlag for alpha only masks that can fade over time.
  • Helipads now support SceneryObject elements for model placements at airports.
  • Added EmissiveColor to SimProp PBR material.
  • Adding premultiply final alpha support to camera system and PDK.
  • PDK plugins can now create their own materials.
  • PBR materials are now supported in 3ds Max preview views.

Fixes and Improvements

  • Updated SDK to Visual Studio 2022.
  • PBR metallic and smoothness variables can now be used concurrently.
  • Updated emissive color alpha as day intensity controller.
  • Emissive values are now used even if a texture is not provided.
  • Added EVENTTYPE to custom PDK input events. This allows for keyboard, axis, and POV assignments.
  • Custom PDK input events can load mappings from controls XML.
  • Updated Custom PDK Objects sample to demonstrate how to register custom message events and control input events.
  • Missed approach segments can now have their own color set in map gauges.
  • Discontinuities can now be set in GPS gauges.
  • Additional functionality added to VR Service.
  • Custom packets can now be flagged guaranteed/not guaranteed in PDK.
  • Texture axis flipping is now supported for RTT texture elements in xml.
  • Renamed suneffect.cfg to sky.cfg and added various atmospherics configuration values.
  • Fixed issue where Visual FX Tool would load cached effect data instead of actual file data and improved UI layout.
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