Prepar3D is Microsoft’s FSX under a new owner, Lockheed Martin. Continuing on with the flight simulation tradition, Lockheed Martin has put its own twist on this new version of FSX. While it is missing some of the more mainstream aircraft like the Boeing 737, just the fact that Lockheed Martin is continuing development of the platform is a huge win for the flight sim community.
This latest release shows their continued development, improvements include:
- fixes for stutters or performance issues
- Dialogs now remember their previous position
- Various UI enhancements including the removal of the “apply” button
- Added two new aircraft: Mooney Acclaim by Lionheart Creations, and the T-6 Texan II by IRIS
- Fort Rucker area scenery expansion
- Dozens of legacy scenery and database issues
Upgrading from a previous version (like 1.3) requires the user to download nearly 10G of data, conduct a full uninstall and then reinstall the program. With this being 2012, such an upgrade procedure is cumbersome, but then Lockheed Martin is new to the consumer flight simulator market. There is saying, “good things come to those who wait”, so patience is the key.
I took both the Mooney and the Texan out for a spin around the Fort Rucker area to check out the new scenery. I have to compliment Lockheed Martin on these additions. The Mooney feels true to its brand, fast, sleek and forgiving. While I am not a huge fan Texan II in the real world, I did enjoy flying this model. It has gobs or power and is super fun to toss around. I even managed to crash on landing as I came in a bit too fast and lost control. Way cool!
Flying around Fort Rucker, I learned to appreciate the subtleties of the scenery. I landed at the Hanchey Auxiliary on the north end of the base and was surprised to see a tank hiding in the trees and a well placed Humvee next to the control tower. I felt like I landed at the real base and was about to get annihilated by a tank. There are three other areas to check out, the Hanchey Army Heliport, Knox Army Heliport, and the Cairns Army Field. All of which are nicely done with a great level of detail.
I really like the direction Lockheed Martin is going with Prepar3D. By leveraging the flight sim community for “default” add-ons and adding some scenery, the future of Prepar3D is bright. I can’t wait to see what future releases bring. In the meantime, its time to start porting over my favorite MSFS aircraft!