EDIT: I have edited this to reflect a more balanced look at John's departure and the role of the larger Prepar3D team after a discussion this morning with another member from the Prepare3D team. TA
John Nicol, the very public face behind Lockheed's Prepar3D flight simulator, is leaving Lockheed effective tomorrow. John informed us today that his two year contract with Lockheed concludes tomorrow and that he is off to take a short break before moving on to other projects, including his participation in the MAKERPLANE organization.
John tells us that Martile Allen will be taking over his responsibilities. For those that do not know, John was part of a larger team getting Prepar3D from a Lockheed internal product, available to large scale defense customers, to that of a more "commercial" offering. By "commercial" we mean academics, flight schools, etc. We do NOT mean off-the-shelf products found in Best Buy and similar. John was also a participant in altering the pricing strategy leading to that "commercial" product.
Questions will natually arise as to the future of Prepar3D within the flight simulation community. Does the loss of the evangelism and support for a more commercial product that John brought to the project mean a different Lockheed approach? Is there patience in the upper management of Lockheed to continue with a mainstream product? We'll be looking into those questions and more.
AVSIM will be providing an interview with Lockheed Prepar3D team management in the coming week or two, addressing the questions we have regarding the future of the product and their outlook for it's success.