AVSIM has been communicating with Lockheed for awhile regarding P3D. In fact, there is an upcoming interview with the P3D team and it's lead shortly. In the meantime, we asked LM to answer a few questions regarding the P3D and the recent developments with PMDG. Here is what Sharon Parsley, Communications & Public Affairs for Lockheed Martin Global Training and Logistics had to say;
Hi AVSIM community,
Developers at Lockheed Martin are working hard on performance enhancements and new features in Prepar3D® for learning and training applications. Here’s a short backgrounder about Prepar3D.
What is Prepar3D?
Prepar3D is a visual simulation platform that allows users to create training scenarios anywhere in the virtual world, from the ocean depths to sub orbital space. The virtual world includes 40 high-detail cities and almost 25,000 airports along with highway, air and maritime vehicles. With its open software development kit, simulation developers offer hardware and software add-ons that are compatible with the Prepar3D framework.
Prepar3D offers users the ability to:
- Experience a mission before it happens to increase effectiveness and reduce response time
- Learn and test their knowledge in the same environment in which they will operate
- Re-create scenarios with operational data and experiment with different variables
- Experience a learning lab where science, technology, engineering and math principles are taught in an immersive environment
- Train for scenarios in aviation, air traffic control, ground vehicle or maritime craft operation and disaster response
Who can use Prepar3D?
Prepar3D is offered for professionals, students and developers:
- Professionals – This license is intended for professional skills training. This group could include private pilots, commercial flight schools, military personnel, civil organizations such as firefighters/emergency response or students pursuing a technical degree or an advanced degree such as a masters or PhD.
- Students – We launched an academic license recently at a reduced price for educational purposes at the undergraduate college level and below (students in elementary, middle, high school or pursuing a bachelor’s degree). This is an extension of our philanthropic support for STEM education to engage the next generation of technologists and engineers.
- Developers – To provide the best experience for all companies and individuals working with Prepar3D, we provide a standardized interface and tools so that anyone can create Prepar3D-compatible products. Encouraging development is the driving force behind offering open access to an online SDK, tools and simconnect interface. For the individuals or companies who are interested in developing aircraft models, scenery, terrains and weather effects for Prepar3D, we offer a Prepar3D developer license.
Please be aware that the three license types have different end-user license agreements (EULAs) and usage restrictions. For more details, please visit the Prepar3D website.
Can Prepar3D be used for entertainment?
Our end-user license agreement explains that Prepar3D can be used for purposes other than personal/consumer entertainment. Lockheed Martin does not offer Prepar3D for entertainment, and we have no plans to enter the entertainment space. Our focus is on learning and training.
We are sometimes asked where Prepar3D can be used. Location is not a consideration in the end-user license agreement; it only matters how the software will be used.
What’s next for Prepar3D?
Our development work is now directed to further amping up performance and adding weapons training for our military customers.
- Performance – Feedback from developers and users in the community indicate that performance is a high priority. Prepar3D is well on a path to take advantage of modern day computing hardware, moving away from the tradition of being CPU bound. We are now updating our rendering system to support DirectX11 and development is progressing nicely. With DirectX11 support, Prepar3D can leverage features such as hardware instancing, shaders, GPU-based particle systems, tessellation and multi-threaded rendering. We’re excited about the future of Prepar3D’s new rendering capability and are eager to be able to release it to the community in 2013.
- Weapons training – Prepar3D will soon offer weapons training to allow our core customers a training capability of weapon selection and target acquisition. It will also enable developers’ weapons add-ons to integrate with their Prepar3D-ready models. Developers and end users will be able to attach weapons to existing and user-created aircraft through configuration files and in-game user interfaces. Users will be able experience and learn weapon processes from all angles, including loading the munitions, acquiring the target and then experiencing the weapon collision and detonation results in real-time.
AVSIM contributor William Reynolds recently interviewed Lockheed Martin about development plans for Prepar3D. Hear more about Prepar3D’s development team, work with third-party developers and more in the interview to be published at AVSIM soon.