Reported by Doug Horton. In March 2012, version 1.3 and academic licensing were launched. According to Lockheed Martin:
“Version 1.3 focuses on enhancements to the user interface, multi-player functionality and performance. Lockheed Martin released an academic version of Prepar3D to immerse students in hands-on learning and problem solving. In Prepar3D, students can see the effects of their decisions in real time, experiment with challenges at varied levels, and collaborate with other students from around the globe to solve real-life problems.”
Also new with version 1.3 was updated pricing, as of March 26, 2012:
- Prepar3D for professional use price was reduced from $499 to $199 U.S, and at the time, price adjustments were available to anyone who purchased Prepar3D since the beginning of 2012.
- An academic license for Prepar3D is offered to immerse students in learning. Prepar3D for academic efforts at and below the undergraduate level is offered at $49.95 US.
- The Lockheed Martin Prepar3D Developer Network Program remains the same. For a subscription fee of $9.95 US per month, developers receive two copies of Prepar3D to develop and integrate new applications into the Prepar3D ecosystem.
Prepar3D’s licensing alternatives and prices, beginning in March 2012
In reviewing the academic version, it appears to be the same as the professional version, except for the “Academic License” watermark on the right hand side of the menu bar, or if the menu bar is hidden, the upper right-hand corner of the screen. The typeface is quite light and barely noticeable when you’re flying.
High Detail Cities and Bases
Not mentioned in two-part review of Prepar3D are the highly detail cities, bases, and airfields that have been added, including:
- Eglin AFB KVPS and three adjacent facilities
- Fort Rucker – Home of Army Aviation – Cairns Army Airfield KOZR and Hanchey Army Heliport KHEY
- Langley AFB KLFI
- Orlando Executive Airport KORL
- Greater Norfolk, Virginia area
Prepar3D’s highly detailed scenery for downtown Norfolk, Virginia
Here is the complete list of enhancements and fixes in version 1.3, from Lockheed Martin.
New Simulator Enhancements
- ExternalSim based SimObjects can now participate in Air Traffic Control distributed simulation/multi-player sessions.
The simulation can now play sound when it does not have focus in Windows:
- Accessible via a checkbox in the ‘Options – Settings – Sound’ menu
- Or as the ‘MUTE_ON_LOST_FOCUS’ entry in the Prepar3D.CFG file
- The Prepar3D Learning Center sound article has been updated with details on this change.
Used distributed simulation/multi-player mission roles will now be recycled.
- If a player leaves the distributed simulation session, their role will be recycled back to available so that the player can re-join or a new player can take their role.
- Ground Vehicles can now support left and right wheel animations.
Custom weather themes are now supported and will be loaded into the simulation:
- The Prepar3D Learning Center weather themes article has been updated with details on this new feature.
- Default performance configurations have been updated to reflect new updates to the user interface and performance profiles.
User Interface Updates
Two additional levels of detail (LOD) are now available for the Terrain LOD Radius slider in Display Settings:
- Very Large (5.5) and Extremely Large (6.5) are now available options.
- The existing ‘WideViewAspect’ configuration setting in the Prepar3D.cfg file, for wide screen monitors, is now accessible via a checkbox in the ‘Options-Settings-Display user interface. Previously, it was necessary to make this setting by editing the Prepar3D.cfg file.
- Simple and advanced control settings sections have been redesigned and simplified in the ‘Options-Settings-Controls user interface.
Redesigned and simplified Settings – Controls interface
- The Air Traffic Control (ATC) window is now resizable – up to full screen size.
- Minimum sizes are enforced when resizing the multi-player chat, ATC and Learning Center windows.
- Modeless windows now return the focus back to the main application when closed.
- The “minutes until session starts” notice in multi-player exercises can be expanded up to 100 minutes.
- Tooltips have been added to the multi-player user interface to provide more details on available settings.
Updated airport geometry, taxiways, and aprons for
- Langley Air Force Base (KLFI)
View of Langley AFB, with static display of F-16’s in foreground
- Orlando Executive Airport (KORL)
North Ramp at Orlando Executive Airport, in front of Showalter Flying Service, with taxiing King Air 350 as AI traffic
- Eglin Air Force Base (KVPS)
Prepar3D version 1.3 scenery on southeast side of Eglin Air Force Base
SimConnect and Software Development Kit (SDK) Enhancements for Developers
The first pass of a Content Error Reporting System is complete:
- More details are available in the updated SDK about to how enable with the ContentErrorLogging flag in your Prepar3D.CFG file.
- Asserts caused by content in the simulation will now be logged for developers to reference and fix.
- SimStart and SimStop now function correctly.
Known Issues Resolved
- Autogen and new season textures are now fully loaded after a change during runtime.
- Time of day, season, and weather information are now set, saved and loaded from *.FLT files.
- Fixed an issue with the menu system not properly shutting down on exit with additional third party menu add-ons installed.
- Several controls settings that were not being saved, are now being saved.
- Two controllers of the same type and name are now supported and can now be used in Prepar3D (including XBOX 360 controllers).
- Pressing “CTRL+SHIFT+?” now loads the Prepar3D Learning Center into the sim window, as an alternative to using the Main Menu and clicking Help, Learning Center.
The Prepar3D Learning Center can be opened inside the sim by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+?
- Fixed several errors that would prevent multi-player client missions from being loaded.
- Fixed a program crash on exit if a user deletes their AppData and ProgramData directories.
Additionally, the Prepar3D team and developer community continue to enhance Prepar3D’s capabilities and features. Additional information can be found at the Prepar3D website.
Original Release Notes, revision 1.3, Copyright © 2012 Lockheed Martin Corporation.
All Rights Reserved.
Reformatted and supplemented with images for AVSIM Online – used with permission.