Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D® is a training software for aviation, maritime and ground domains. Users can train anywhere in the virtual world, from underwater to sub orbital space. Prepar3D furthers the development of Microsoft® ESP™ while maintaining compatibility with Microsoft Flight Simulator X, allowing many thousands of add-ons to be used within Prepar3D®. Licenses are available for developer, academic and professional purposes.

Standstill is always a step backwards. Even though version 1.1 of FSSymphony is slightly delayed I'm planing already the next steps of development. One item on the development log will certainly be the compatibility to Prepar3D®. In the following blog I will talk about my experiences with Prepar3D® and the integration in an existing B737-800W flight simulator installation.

16. April 2012
Today I bought a 6 month prepaid Prepar3D® developer license. This will bring me into the Prepar3D® Developer Network Program and I will get two copies of the Prepar3D client software and the SDK (Software Development Kit) from Lockheed Martin.

17. April 2012
After downloading the latest Prepar3D® client software I performed the software installation on the FSServer of my fixed-base B737-800 simulator. On the same computer a FS9 and a FSX installation already exist. Together with Project Magenta the FS9 builds up the heart of the installation. The FSX was installed for test purposes, but never really used for flight deck operation. With Prepar3D® I want to jump into a new world of simulation, with a stable basis, continuous development, and the opportunity for further own software developments.
The installation of the Prepar3D® client software was easy, each single step is described very well in the manual supplied with the software. For some of the installation steps administrator rights are required. But this is clearly pointed out in the Download and Installation Directions. After the installation is completed a directory structure similar to the FSX structure can be found on the hard drive, which makes clear the origin of Prepar3D®.
The first positive impression I got with the start of the program, it looks professional and not like an arcade game as the FSX almost looks like. The overall menu structure looks familiar, but in detail the menus and content got significantly improved, compared to it's origin, the FSX.
The online trainings material gives a very comprehensive overview of the configuration items and on how to get the best performance out of the system. Especially the part with the scenery settings is very well explained and contains some sample pictures with different settings and their effect on the scenery presentation.
Looking into the aircraft folder I found that it does not include a B737 aircraft. Now the FSX installation on the same computer became an advantage. I copied the standard B737-800 form the FSX into the simobject folder of P3D. Certainly not the aircraft model I would like to fly with forever, but at least a good start. The P3D package includes the following aircrafts / helicopters:

- Maule Orion
- Piper J3 Cub
- Mooney Bravo
- Robinson R22
- Beechcraft Baron 58
- Beechcraft King Air 350
- P-38 Lightening
- Lockheed Constellation

Next step was the visual setup for the 3 projector 135 degree FOV system. Again it was an advantage to have a running FSX installation on the same computer. The structure and content of the *.flt file is almost the same as with the FSX. All what I did was to save a flight in P3D and copied the window and camera settings form the FSX into this *.flt file. Done...
For more information on a 3 projector setup for flight simulation click here: Visual Setup for FSX

18. April 2012
For a integration of P3D in the existing flight simulator environment installed FSUIPC. The tool is compatible to P3D from version 4.7 and onwards. The current FSUIPC version installs a new DLL ("SimConnectP3D.dll") which allows FSUIPC4 to use the up-to-date Prepar3D SimConnect interface. The FSUIPC setup program recognized the P3D installation and no further interaction was necessary to complete the process. Finally I copied some sections (JoystickCalibration, Buttons, Axis, Keys, and Programs) from the FSX fsuipc.ini file into the P3D fsuipc.ini file. With this step I could avoid a complete new configuration and joystick calibration for P3D. Done...

19. April 2012
Today I installed 2 sceneries for P3D. The freeware LIRN Napoli Capodichino LIRN-X v0.3 airport for PREPAR3D and LFMN (Nice) from Aerosoft. The LFMN airport was already installed for the FSX on the computer, therefore only are reference to this installation was necessary. The P3D menu to add sceneries is similar to the FSX and does not require to learn something new.
With the installation of P3D almost all sliders for the scenery settings on it's right position for best possible presentation of the scenery. This
clearly exceeded the available performance of my overclocked 4.0 GHz i7-2600K FSComputer, which has to manage the graphics for a 135 degree field of view with 3 undocked windows. As a result the frame rate dropped down into a range below 10 frames / sec. In order to get a better frame rate I put most of the sliders into it's center position and did some tweaking as described in the online tutorial. The result was not as what I had hoped for, but acceptable for the time being. The main focus at the moment is on system integration and not so much on how to get the best frame rate.

03. May 2012
System integration continuous. Currently I have an issue with the bleed for engine 2 which prevents me from starting this engine. The problem seems to be caused by an add-on software from TSR (System B737). The same problem I found with the FSX installation. With stopping this software the bleed is as it should be.

Continued on next page >


*Prepar3D is a registered trademark of the Lockheed Martin Corporation

Last Change: May 03, 2012