Fly Away Simulation

Prepar3D v5 Review

Last updated Thu, 23 Jul 2020 21:32:01 GMT
Originally posted on Thu, 23 Jul 2020 21:17:26 GMT

You could perhaps be forgiven for missing the release of Prepar3D v5 given it was released right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and with around a week’s notice to the general public. On the other hand, those who did grab the latest release from the Lockheed Martin team have perhaps used a portion of the lockdown to hone their flight simulation skills all the more.

Regardless of what has, and will, happen in the real world, through Prepar3D v5, you can, temporarily at least, escape to the virtual skies where, according to Lockheed Martin’s video trailer, “simulation and training is redefined”. And we should perhaps note that Lockheed Martin’s programs are often used for professional aviation training, so we might expect the new release to be dripping in realism.

P3Dv5 cover intro image.

So, is it worth your hard-earned money? Let’s take a look.

You may find the jump links below helpful to navigate to relevant sections of the review (as it's quite lengthy);

Trailer Video

Before we dive into the depths of our review, we're sure you're interested in watching the official trailer released by Lockheed Martin.  This trailer (below) was originally released in 4K @ 30FPS.  We took the video they provided to media partners and then upscaled the video using special AI software to 8K @ 60FPS.  This is not a simple resolution changes, our AI number crunchers worked several days on this to provide an amazing and smooth trailer video that looks stunning at 8K (if your system and Internet connection can handle it).

Watch the trailer here:

The “First Step” To An “All-New Platform” Of Flight Simulation

OK, first of all, just what are Lockheed Martin promising? Well, according to their trailer, not only are they "redefining simulation and training" with this latest release, they are taking “the first step in the development of an all-new platform built for the next generation” of flight simulation and training, which will be “the cornerstone for continuous development and evolution”. And they claim to achieve this using a new threaded DirectX-12 Rendering Engine.

Aircraft over Cape Canaveral in v5.

The release promises “unparalleled performance” using the most up to date graphic technology and an “array of new vehicles” (we will examine these vehicles shortly). On top of this, the user can expect “groundbreaking weather visuals” leading to the skies, clouds, and general atmosphere boasting an overall more realistic appearance. Furthermore, the program uses a brand-new water system that presents authentic-looking waves and movement of the water and so “brings the seas to life”.

The entire globe has also been brought completely up to date, something the airports and general geography below will attest to. Indeed, the land, shorelines, and coastal areas are all authentic and accurate, which very much brings the simulation to life all the more. As will the sloped runways which you can create, land, and take off from, with full AI support.

Flying into a storm.

There are also over 20,000 updated airfields that are accurate in the extreme to the same airfields in the real world. And whichever one of these airfields or airports you decide to land or take off from, you will experience “real-world airport conditions with terrain-conforming airfield capabilities”.

So, then, we might ask, does the promise live up the real thing?

A Significant Improvement All-Around?

Well, first of all, installing the new version of P3D perhaps presents the first indicators that a significant overhaul has indeed taken place. The installation itself should run smoothly and be self-explanatory but will soon serve up a brand-new logo and splash page, each of which gives P3D v5 a completely new and exciting look.

Once installed, this overhaul continues with a brand-new, new-look interface. Not only does the new-look interface screen have a new color scheme, but its cleaner appearance makes it a little more user friendly. This overhaul approach continues on the setting screen and maintains the refreshing and easy-use look.   

Flying in and around Aspen.

Upon entering your chosen aircraft, you will be immediately in awe at the intense detail that awaits you, as well as how sharp that detail is. What’s more, you can easily pan around the cockpit simply by moving your mouse left to right, while moving the wheel of the mouse allows you to zoom into the dashboard.

As you begin down the runway in preparation for take-off, which themselves have had a texture overhaul adding more realism, you will also notice how smooth the simulation is, with whatever details around the runway remaining sharp and focused. Indeed, as you leave the runway, not only do the details on the ground appear life-like but the textures of the skies are also authentic and bordering on serene. It is to the virtual skies we will turn our attention to next.

Realism In Abundance Right From The Off

Once you take to the skies, either in any of the default aircraft or in one of the eventual optional add-ons, you are very likely to be impressed with the detail expressed. Most virtual pilots are surely bound to agree that the details in the scenery, landscapes, and weather conditions all contribute to an overall more realistic view from your respective cockpit. You are likely to notice, for example, how much sharper the resolution is, which really succeeds in bringing the outside environment to life. Even the clouds appear more textured and realistic.

Flying around NSW, AU in a fighter aircraft.

In general, the atmospheric improvements really are quite stunning. From accurate shadow placement depending on the time of day to the way cities light up below like sparkling metropolises when flying at night, to the awe-inspiring look of the skies at sunset, the realism is highly detailed. Indeed, taking in the scenery on your way through the virtual skies is as much a part of the enjoyment of Prepar3D v5 as the actual flying itself.   

There is also, of course, the option to view your plane from the outside, or the external view. And while overall the smoothness remains, there are hints at stuttering and a slight decline in clarity and sharpness when doing so. You may also experience a decrease in frame right – approximately from around 50 to around 20-25. Again, this may depend on the power of your machine itself.

Weather and clouds demonstrated in v5.

Overall, though, the intricate detail of both the vehicle and the terrain below maintains its highly realistic look. Indeed, as you navigate around your chosen vehicle to view it from the front, side, or back, the breakup of the fields below and the roads that intersect remain true and undisturbed. Even the shadows from the clouds are accurately displayed below.

Better But Room For Further Improvements

There have also been significant improvements to the buildings themselves, with several iconic landmarks across the planet now included. What’s more, the lighting and signs of the many airports on offer are also much improved in detail and sharpness which, in turn, drastically improves visibility.

In fact, perhaps the only textures of the surrounding environment that might come in for a little criticism is the water, but even then, this slight drop in detail is only minor and limited.

Alaska Airlines 737 over mountains in v5.

For example, there might be some “fuzziness” to parts of the water graphics when viewed from the air or when approaching a coastline. However, when close-up, you will notice immediately how the water acts in differing weather conditions and times of the day. This perhaps makes up for the small glitch. For example, if you choose to touch down on the water (with an appropriate plane, of course) during a storm, you will notice that your plane moves up and down in sympathy with the waves and movement of the water. Even some of the waves appear so realistic that you might expect them to crash into the cockpit.

Overall General Performance Is Good – But There Are A Few Drawbacks

If there is one thing that previous versions of P3D has been criticized for, it is the stuck, “lagging” nature, on occasion, of its performance. This appears to be something that has been addressed leading to a much smoother and uninterrupted experience. There is also an in-built prompt to notify you if the GPU memory has run out, offering the option to revert graphic settings. Generally speaking, the program runs very well, with solid frame rates and an extremely sharp overall picture.

Users may find, though, depending on the machine they are using as well as their own personal preferences, that they may wish to play around with the settings when becoming familiar with the new setup.

Of course, the better performance of your PC, in general, the better experience you will have once in the P3D virtual skies.

Flying out of Elstree, UK.

One thing that stands out as a slight drawback is the VR options – or possible lack thereof. Although Lockheed Martin state that VR will be fully supported in version 5, elaborating that there have been improvements made to VR performance “due to the performance improvements made in the DX12 rendering engine overhaul” many users are finding that the issues they had in v4.5 are still very much the same. Patches have been released but it appears this might be one area of the simulator that leaves a little to be desired.

Perhaps one issue users might want to keep in mind is that further updates, add-ons, and fixes will become available over the coming weeks which will enquire downloads and updating, however, even these will be only a minor inconvenience. And given the statement made from Lockheed Martin on the VR potential of the simulation, it is perhaps a safe bet that any issues will be addressed sooner rather than later.

Several “Player” Improvements

There have also been a lot of improvements and attention paid to the player and multiplayer options.

For example, the map screen is now available during flights, which is a big plus. Furthermore, the updated default controls for joysticks, controllers, and the mouse also make flight and navigation a little easier and user-friendly. There is even a controllable flashlight for use in the cockpit.

Also, both clients and hosts in the multiplayer format can choose any starting location they desire to set off on their missions from, and can even switch vehicles in multiplayer (although this is something that host would have to enable).

AI aircraft traffic in v5.

Furthermore, if it is training that is your main reason for taking to the virtual skies, then you can create a virtual instructor that will aid in making this training more comprehensive and, in theory, much faster.

You can also, should you choose, create unique rehearsal exercises so that you can hone your skills even further adding yet another dynamic to the latest Lockheed Martin flight simulation package.

Default Vehicles – Just What Is On Offer?

As promised above, Prepard3D v5 comes with quite a proud boasting of default vehicles in which to take to the skies – or in the case of the submarines on offer – delve below the surface of the planet’s oceans. Each of these is authentic and accurate in their design and serve as realistic replications of their respective versions in the real world.

So, what do you get right out of the box?

Default Vehicles included in Prepar3D v5

  • AC11 Commander 114
  • Civilian Utility Aircraft Single Engine
  • Deep-Sea Submarine
  • Extra 300s
  • Lockheed C-69 Constellation
  • Lockheed Electra 10A
  • Lockheed L049 Constellation
  • Lockheed P-38 Lightning
  • Lockheed Martin AC-130H
  • Lockheed Martin C-130H
  • Lockheed Martin C-130J
  • Lockheed Martin C-130J-30
  • Lockheed Martin F-16A
  • Lockheed Martin F-16AM
  • Lockheed Martin F-16C
  • Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor
  • Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II
  • Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II
  • Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II
  • Lockheed Martin Fury 1500
  • Lockheed Martin HC-130H
  • Lockheed Martin Indago UAS
  • Lockheed Martin KC-130H
  • Maule Orion
  • Maule Orion on Skis
  • Mooney Acclaim
  • Mooney Bravo
  • Piper J-3 Cub
  • Pusher Drone
  • Robinson R-22
  • Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion
  • Sikorsky MH-60K Black Hawk
  • Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk
  • Sikorsky MH-605 Seahawk
  • Sikorsky S-70A Black Hawk
  • Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk
  • Sikorsky UH-60L Black Hawk
  • Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk
  • Sikorsky UH-60Q Black Hawk
  • Submarine Ohio Class
  • Turboprop Trainer Aircraft

As we can see, then, there is a whole range of new default vehicles to become familiar with the latest release from Lockheed Martin in. Whether you wish to jump in a small single-engine plane or speed through the skies in some of the most technological aviation marvels of recent times, there is plenty to choose from. And all will offer a unique view of the virtual world.

Many Significant Fixes Have Been Actioned And Issues Addressed

Perhaps at this point, it is worth noting some of the fixes and general improvements to Prepar3D v5 from previous versions. We have mentioned the improvements in VR (although many users are not fully convinced). There, however, many other discreet enhancements that have been undertaken.

For example, simple but effective things such as improved vehicle list caching, which dramatically speeds up vehicle selection times, as well as multiplayer loading. There are also new keyboard shortcuts allowing you to open the settings UI screens.

Over Australia.

Other improvements include the ability to drag items from the Scenery Library to different locations, as well as the option to group vehicles by category in the Vehicle Select screen. You can also now launch SimDirector straight from the Startup screen. Sound is now the default setting in slew mode, although the user can disable this if they wish simply by going into the Sound Setting UI. You will also now find the Time and Season and the Time Preview screens have been combined for further ease of use.

In older versions, if the user was to cancel out of the Failures screen, it would revert the values back to 0 – this will no longer happen. And what’s more, opening the Failures screen will no longer pause the simulation automatically.

There are further fixes to some of the graphic issues of previous versions. The visible borderlines in the water between the United States and Mexico, for example, no longer appear. The issue that would cause longer bridges to intersect the water has also been remedied, as has the issue of bridge segments “clipping” into each other.

Furthermore, some of the hangar buildings that appeared much too large in previous versions of Prepar3D have also been addressed. And even the boat terminals have been dealt with, no longer allowing large boats to dock too close to the coast. Users should also no longer see traffic disappearing on the roads below them, as happened from time to time previously, and will also notice much-improved bridge and overpass handling for traffic below.

Fixes And Improvement To The Software Development Kit (SDK)

It is further worth our time examining in a little more detail the new features, fixes, and improvements to the Software Development Kit (SDK). Perhaps one of the best new features is the ability for airports to be created with sloping runways, with Distance Remaining signs can also now be generated for all runways.

Lightning tail strike.

There are enhanced engine extensibility features for SimObjects, as well as new intensity values in lumens to PBR light effects. Furthermore, there is also now the option to flatten backgrounds at airports in order to control altitude transition with the surrounding terrain.

Previous versions would, on occasion, exclude scenery when using the excludeAllObjects setting – this has also been addressed and will not occur on Prepar3D v5. The ImageTool should also now upload all DDS textures, while the issue of other tools in SDK writing out generated data to the incorrect location has now been looked at and fixed.

There was also the issue in previous editions of tail numbers for helicopters created with the SimConnect_AICreateNonATCAircraft function not being set as they should – this should also no longer be a problem. Perhaps one of the most frustrating issues of previous versions was 3dsMax freezing – sometimes for several minutes – while autosaving. Again, users of Prepar3D v5 should not experience this.

So, Should You Buy It? A Few Things To Consider...

So, with all of those improvements and fixes, and with the highly detailed and accurate improvements to scenery, atmospheric conditions, and aircraft, should you go and purchase Prepar3D v5?

Well, before we address that we might wish to turn our attention back to the time of release. And while we are not here to make comparisons to the upcoming, and eagerly anticipated Microsoft Flight Simulation 2020, it is perhaps that anticipated release that just might make some virtual flyers hold off, at least for now.

Buffalo Cargo over mountains

As glowing as the promises sound, and indeed are upon sampling Prepar3D v5, there is perhaps a view among the flight simulation community that FS2020 will simply offer more – both in content and realism. Whether that proves to be the case or whether such things are simply down to perspective remains to be seen.

If we take FS2020 out of the equation for just a moment, Prepar3D v5 is most definitely an improvement on previous versions. And it certainly can boast a real sense of realism which is crucial to all virtual pilots.

It is also possible, though, as we will turn our attention to next, the reason for the sudden, out-of-the-blue release of the latest Lockheed Martin flight simulation package was the looming release of the competition.

Has Competition Forced A Rushed Release?

One other thing to consider when deciding whether to purchase Prepar3D v5 is whether or not it might be worth waiting just a little longer until the release of FS2020. If you are already happy with Microsoft Flight Simulator, then the chances are you will not be disappointed come mid-August when the long-awaiting new version is unleashed into the public domain. Indeed, while this is a review of Prepar3D v5, it is hard not to mention FS2020 in relation to it as to whether holding off until that impending release or not appears to be one of the main considerations of potential buyers.

Official Microsoft Flight Simulator Release Artwork.

With that said, though, there will be plenty of virtual flyers out there that like to test their skills across a variety of platforms. And for them, the purchase of P3D v5 will be a no-brainer - and most definitely worth it.

There is perhaps one drawback that should be noted, though.

Indeed, as several online users have stated, at least in their opinion, the release of P3D appears to be a little bit “rushed”, perhaps in an attempt to have it available before the release of FS2020. And that insinuation is perhaps backed up further by the sheer number of fixes within the weeks of the release. And while it might be expected that issues require a certain amount of ironing out upon first going live, fixes were still be issued by late June.

We should also note, in the interests of fairness, that many who have sampled the recent release have stated their belief that all that is being offered is simply more of the same, with the “same old” textures and assets. While this perhaps will come down to personal perspective and taste, it is something that potential buyers may wish to consider.  

If you're interested in reading more about Microsoft's new Flight Simulator set for release in 2020, check out our article (long read) here.

Still A Gamechanger For Flight Simulation?

At the end of the day, it will be a personal choice as to whether or not the issue of fixes would be a problem or if it is something that you are more than prepared to tolerate. And while some users feel the look and realism is not up to the standard of Microsoft Flight Simulator, the Prepard3D v5 package still more than holds its own.

Overall, the upgrades and improvements will almost certainly make your purchase worth it, especially if you are seeking realism in flight simulation – which almost all virtual pilots are. Whether it is a simulator that people will stick with for the long haul or whether many of those people will make the jump back to Microsoft once FS2020 is released perhaps remains to be seen. Prepar3D v5, however, is very much worth checking out.

Cruising in the West USA in Prepar3D v5.

If there is one area that Prepar3D v5 appears to stand out, it is the significant improvements, as we have documented above, to the weather and atmospheric conditions – something which perhaps adds more to the overall realism than we might think. In this respect, an argument could be made that this aspect of the latest Lockheed Martin release is slightly ahead of its competitors. 

As many who have already taken the plunge and taken to the skies in Prepar3D v5 have stated, the improvements, generally speaking, outweigh some of the issues – so much so that its release is no bad thing for the flight simulation community overall, with some user even labeling the latest release from Lockheed Martin as a “game-changer”. It will certainly keep P3D in the top echelons of flight simulation for the foreseeable future, of that there is little doubt.

Of course, any upgrades, fixes, or add-ons that become available for the recent release will be displayed here.

Freeware & Payware Add-ons

From the tests we have done so far, if the add-ons work in P3Dv4 then it's most likely (almost certain) to work in the latest P3Dv5 as covered in this review.  Not much has changed in terms of SDK compatibility when it comes to aircraft and scenery.

We also note that if it's an aircraft compatible with FSX SP2 then it's also likely to be compatible with P3Dv5.  This is providing it's a native FSX model and not a port-over from FS9 (FS2004).

If you're after payware and have a wallet handy, you can check out our payware Prepar3D v5 releases over at SimShack - aircraft here, the scenery here.

Cessna over Hawaii Island in P3Dv5.

Payware developers are fixing and upgrading their installers for the new v5 format as there are subtle changes to be made.  But less development time required as the bases are essentially the same.

Video example of the freeware AI Boats/Ships add-on for P3Dv5

Below is a video of the freeware AI Boats/Ships add-on we list which is compatible with the latest v5.  If you are interested you can download the add-on here.

We have an entire section dedicated to Prepar3D v5 (and v4) freeware add-ons here (and it's growing week by week).

Let us know your thoughts!

Please, please, please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.  Have you moved to Prepar3D v5?  Are you staying true with FSX/ESP?  Or have you halted your flight sim purchases and are waiting for the release of the new Microsoft Flight Simulator (FS2020)?

Are you a user of P3D - especially P3Dv5?  If so, let us know your thoughts on this latest version in the comments section below.

5 out of 5 stars

We give the v5 release of this flight simulator by Lockheed Martin a full 5 out of 5 stars.

Download iconDon't forget... We have a huge selection (over 24,000 files) of free mods and add-ons for FSX, P3D & X-Plane in the file library.  Files include aircraft, scenery, and utilities  All are free-to-download and use - you don't even need to register.  Browse on down to the file library here.

Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens is a flight simulation industry expert with over 20 years of experience and also has a keen interest in aviation and technology.  Ian spends a lot of his time experimenting with various simulator packages but has a love for Microsoft Flight Simulator X because of the huge selection of add-ons available.  However, Ian also has copies of Prepar3D and X-Plane installed. 

Ian has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years.  Should you wish, you can contact Ian via email at ian.stephens@flyawaysimulation.com.

71 comments

Leave a Response

The content of the comments below are entirely the opinions of the individual posting the comment and do not always reflect the views of Fly Away Simulation. We moderate all comments manually before they are approved.

len brettWed, 27 Jun 2012 11:38:56 GMT

Will it be available for sale on disc? And how much?

AlbertWed, 27 Jun 2012 12:54:04 GMT

It looks great! Where can I purchase it and how much does it cost? Can it be downloaded as an add-on?

Ian StephensWed, 27 Jun 2012 13:51:12 GMT

Thanks for the comments guys, I have updated the article above with pricing information and where to get it.

David murphyWed, 27 Jun 2012 14:09:08 GMT

I am amazed! Thank God for Lockheed; saving the FS code (and some of the staff).

I've been an avid flight simmer for more than a decade, I fly for more than 10 VAs. This is good news for the future of flight sim.

ijWed, 27 Jun 2012 14:54:43 GMT

... but not everything is gold, just because it shines. Try to select a new aircraft on the Prepar3d menu, and compare it with FSX... In this case someone clearly lowered usability and quality on the Prepare3d team.

Ben ClarkWed, 27 Jun 2012 15:20:14 GMT

The only problem you have here is stating "Can Prepar3D help them crack the consumer market? Only time will tell. If early reaction is any indication of the future, Lockheed has a hit on its hand." simply put that cannot currently happen, Lockheed do not have the rights to offer a consumer application, indeed Microsoft specifically prohibited it so unless Lockheed are able to renegotiate their contract it will never become the next mass market flightsim.

Fred DeiterWed, 27 Jun 2012 15:24:23 GMT

I think it would be nice if they had a 30 day trial, I am an avid flight simulator person with all copies that Microsoft made. I can't see spending $200.00 for a program that doesn't have all the things built into it that Flight Simulator X has in it.

Jay D LevineWed, 27 Jun 2012 15:38:50 GMT

I hope it will be compatible with ATC on line, ie Vatsim, FSMP, Pilot Edge.net and any other online ATC website. I am hoping that this will be the mega Flight sim of all time, with all the realism they can muster. J.Levine Comm Pilot, A&P Mech

JimWed, 27 Jun 2012 16:40:21 GMT

The license agreement prohibits use for individual entertainment. Is this scheduled to change anytime soon?

MarkWed, 27 Jun 2012 18:27:17 GMT

I didn't see anything about a release date or a product link to Lockheed's web presence...do you have any of that info?

TomWed, 27 Jun 2012 20:38:24 GMT

Can't we utilize the Acedemic license as we are not going to utilize this for business purposes (not for profit)?

TomWed, 27 Jun 2012 20:42:35 GMT

I think we can use the Educational Licesnse if not for profit. It actually states for use at "home." If you have a student in the home you certainly would qualify... or if you offered its use to a student...

The Educational License States:

Uses • Classroom • Home • Educational programs, such as summer camps and after school programs

Danny HicksWed, 27 Jun 2012 22:01:01 GMT

The pricing plans are fairly relaxed - meaning you can try out Prepar3d using the $10 a month plan to evaluate whether you like it, but even the academic plan has a money back guarantee if it doesn't work they way you want. The plans they share indicate some 1.x versions that will continue to refine the platform, with V2 moving to DirectX 11. Backward compatibility might become an issue, but it seems the Lockheed Martin guys are focussed on developing a simulator that gives developers an engine to create some excellent add-ons. I recently purchased the Academic version and have been most impressed? Still needs a bit of tweaking, but smooth frame-rates and better shaders already means all my FSX add-ons have got a new life. Coupled with the fact they're continuing development means I have to echo the comments that they have a hit on their hands.

Colin WareWed, 27 Jun 2012 22:16:51 GMT

Jim - head over to the Avsim forums where the Prepare3d forum lives. There is a clear explanation about how the "entertainment clause" does not apply to private flight sim enthusiats, and it comes directly from Lockheed Martin.

Fred - sign up for the monthly and see if you like it. You can always cancel.

Simmo WThu, 28 Jun 2012 02:50:55 GMT

Hi, can you please REMOVE THE REFERENCE TO MY SAYING P3D IS THE FUTURE, as I don't believe it is, without significant improvement. My post at http://xplane10.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/we-were-wrong-prepar3d-is-the-best-sim-for-the-future/

Was a very sarcastic post, saying that because ASN said it was good, xp10 might as well give up...NOT.

IMHO, xp10 and MS Flight and DCS are the future. FSX performance does not take advantage of recent pc tech. If it can, then maybe it does, but I am not hearing that V2 will have a magic bullet in it.

Simon W www.xplane10.wordpress.com

Ian StephensThu, 28 Jun 2012 09:30:24 GMT

No problem Simmo, I've removed the reference - apologies for the confusion!

AlbertThu, 12 Jul 2012 00:25:08 GMT

Can Prepar3D be downloaded?

Ian StephensThu, 12 Jul 2012 11:10:35 GMT

Albert,

Yes, you can download Prepar3D directly from the Lockheed Martin website once you purchase a licence - there is no shipping/boxed edition that I'm aware of at present.

IanMon, 30 Jul 2012 23:42:07 GMT

I have moved completely to P3D and love it, even with the bugs in v1.3. Like most users I am eagerly waiting v1.4 and LM has said it is not far off.

For those thinking of purchasing I suggest you wait for v1.4, and read the forums, as there are plenty of migrators available to shift your FSX addons; sceneries, aircraft and utilities to P3D. While at the same time many developers particularly Orbx and Carenado are now building P3 installers.

CecilSat, 22 Sep 2012 23:56:33 GMT

Is there a way to remove unwanted aircraft? Every time I delete a particular aircraft, Prepar3D initiates a recovery and re-installs them again.

Ken WebsterSat, 22 Dec 2012 23:24:49 GMT

I have FS2004 in my PC, how can I purchase Prepar 3D and will it be like FS2004 where I can fly the aeroplanes? I live in Sheffield in the U.K.

Tom HankserSun, 30 Dec 2012 22:54:34 GMT

Prepar3d is nothing more than a crippled modification of Microsoft Flight Simulator X.

ArthurMon, 07 Jan 2013 21:14:20 GMT

Okay I paid 200 bucks and got it thinking I am getting what shows in the video but instead I got FSX on steroids lol. Which is fine I was getting tired of FSX crashing anyway but flying the fighter to the army jeep is what caught my attention. I thought you can acually switch from flying to driving and so on but all I want to know is how and what software is being used in the video to control the views? Overall its a good software.

Rob EngviksonFri, 11 Jan 2013 19:32:15 GMT

So is this Prepare3d ONLY for Students or Govenment organisations? I am simply a massive Flight Sim fan, and want the most realistic flight sim available, I love Xplane 10 but the ATC is abysmal, FSX is great but the physics are not brilliant although with addons its not too bad. I see a lot of addons being made now that are Prepar3D compatible, so am interested in upgrading...hence my question, is it available to General gamers like me that want to fly planes in a realistic simulator, or do i have to be a student pilot...etc...

Hope that all makes sense...

stevaeThu, 13 Jun 2013 12:52:43 GMT

well i hate to be the wet blanket at the party, but that price is ridiculous. i have had fsx since it first came out, and i think i paid 40-50 dollars for it. why pay four times that for essentially the same thing, with a few tweaks? i was very happy to hear that LM decided to continue this excellent piece of software, until i saw the price. at the very least, you should offer a low price upgrade price for those of us who have kept this software in the mainstream, which i'm sure is what gave LM the incentive to invest in it. there should always be some reward for loyalty.

Dr. MabuseSun, 13 Apr 2014 17:44:16 GMT

Excellent flight-SIM, I concur!

My son just got it (from some Swedish provider; The Pirate e-bay, or what they call it..) I think a demo or promotional of sorts, but it has an amazing amout of content.

Anycase: Cudos to the developers. I especially like the inclusion of the Submarine and similar alternative scenarios. Adds a lot of depth to the experience. And seen from a professional standpoint I am stunned by the amount of realism they manage to offer, given that it on some points could go neck-and-neck w. a training-sim.

With best wishes,

/Dr. Mabuse

Dr. MabuseThu, 17 Apr 2014 23:22:32 GMT

Excellent flight-SIM, I concour!

My son just got it (from some Swedish provider; The Pirate e-bay, or what they call it..) I think a demo or promotional of sorts, but it has an amazing amoutn of content.

Anycase: Cudos to the developers. I especially like the inclusion of the Submarine and similar alternative scenarios. Adds a lot of deapt to the experience. And seen from a professional standpoint I am stunned by the amount of realism they maneage to offer, given that it on some points could go neck-and-nect w. a training-sim.

With best wishes,

/Dr. Mabuse

jackSun, 10 Aug 2014 08:19:53 GMT

The income from this product isn't going to cover their F-35 program disaster.

Thomas DickersonTue, 09 Sep 2014 12:29:42 GMT

I am a student pilot (Cessna 172) who ran out of flying lessons $$$, but plan to get my private pilot certificate when the funds needed to complete my training are available. I am also a long-time flight-simmer (started with FS98). I continue to practice my limited flying skills on FSX, but am seriously considering buying Prepar3D, because Froogle thinks the program is a big improvement over FSX. I agree based on what I have seen. My question is will the Academic version satisfy my needs?

Mark WSat, 13 Dec 2014 23:09:06 GMT

I have been a long time FS flyer, since DOS. FSX, with an addon and FSX Flight, will run with ForeFlight. Outstanding! Is this possible with Prepar3D. The FF plugin redefines flight planning and execution. Without this capability, Prepar3D doesn't have much appeal.

Harvett BradfordMon, 07 Mar 2016 08:37:41 GMT

Prepar3D is ,a bit pricey but well worth it, It has always been hard for me to make changes , I can recall my Boxed version of MSFX just before I went completely over to the steam platform, you should have seem me having a fit. Now I only want to use Prepar3D purchase it and you well see why , I am quite use to FSX graphic, the OOMS,ECT. But when I purchased Prepare3D all I can tell you is Wow I thought I had brought a new computer. Take my word you too well love it.

Stanford KenyonMon, 21 Aug 2017 12:46:47 GMT

I've been using MSFS for over 15yr's. What I'd like is the 64-bit platform, and be able to use my PMDG, Carenado, planes and my Pay ware airport scenery. If I buy Academic, are there things left out that you get in Professional. Is it purely training levels? Thanks, Stanford

Marc DrouinSun, 05 Nov 2017 01:12:32 GMT

With FSX I have to use 2D to make manual radio frequency change (ex: ILS approach). Can we do likewise with Prepare 3D in that version? Is it complicated to download most of FSX aircrafts on Lockheed flights sim?

Mike CulverFri, 24 Jul 2020 00:04:15 GMT

I'll be waiting a year or so before looking at FS 2020. Too often MS has pulled the plug with their flight sims. Have had P3D v5 for several months and recently installed Hotfix 2.

Although I run P3D V5 on an older system (Core I7 2600K, 16GB RAM, GeForce GTX 1050TI G1 4GB) with Win 10 64bit, I get good frame rates and graphics at medium-high settings with no stutter. CPU is OC to 4.3. Also have installed Orbx Scenery and airports for all of Australia and quite a few for NA.

Highly recommend P3D v5.

Ego Jose MeurerFri, 24 Jul 2020 00:36:39 GMT

I already bought the FS2020 (pre-order). I think the FS2020 is far superior to Prepar 3D. I think version 5 could be a 4.6.

Bob MulderFri, 24 Jul 2020 01:05:52 GMT

I have so far resisted to go over to P3Dv5 due to quite a few of my fellow simmer friend having numerous problems and have gone back to P3Dv4.5, I for the next 6 months will certainly keep using P3Dv4.5

GeoffFri, 24 Jul 2020 01:19:33 GMT

I have stopped all further purchases of P3D (at v4.5). Preordered MS 2020. Depending on how that goes, I may resume P3D purchases. In any case, it will still be on my PC as an active sim and until I can replace all my hangar, will definitely get used!

Robert J. McManusFri, 24 Jul 2020 01:41:39 GMT

I am content with P3Dv.4.5. Maybe v.5 is marginally better, but I suspect that it was rushed out to capture sales before FS2020 hits the market and gets its inevitable bugs worked out.

I've been simming since FS2 on an Apple IIG in the early 1990s. With P3Dv.4.5, it's never been better. I say: Leave the well enough alone.

fireshieldbrownFri, 24 Jul 2020 01:42:40 GMT

Staying as is and waiting for MSFS 2020.

JL MaderFri, 24 Jul 2020 02:17:54 GMT

Already preordered MSFS2020. I am beginning a whole new chapter of the FlightSim money pit.

RjmurrenFri, 24 Jul 2020 02:34:33 GMT

I kinda like X-Plane 11 especially the 11.5+ new fast rendering engine, good add on graphics. They still have a couple of bugs. That being said, will still buy FS2020 the18th.

DavidFri, 24 Jul 2020 02:39:22 GMT

I would like to try P3dv5. Where do I get it and how much does it cost?

I am a pilot and would like to try the sim version.

Jerry MichelsFri, 24 Jul 2020 04:55:56 GMT

I haven't purchased P3Dv5 yet. I still need information on its compatibility with P3Dv4. I have a lot invested in P3Dv4 and am not interested in losing it. Probably will purchase Microsoft FS 2000 a bit later on, and it will be a secondary simulator.

Wilbur E. NelsonFri, 24 Jul 2020 05:00:31 GMT

I have used P3D v5 for about a month+. I have PMDG 747-400, 737 NGXu, and Flysimware Learjet 35A. They all fly great with no problems. The F-35 that comes with P3D v5 does not have correct flight dynamics. One problem with v5 is flying a 19 ILS approach into KVPS. At 500 feet you lose the localizer and glideslope and the aircraft makes a bank either left or right. This happens with the PMDG aircraft and the LJ 35A. Frame rates can be a bit slow but it is probably because I am asking too much from my computer. Navigraph updates still have to be uploaded manually the same as with V4.

I am currently running FSX Steam, P3D v3 Pro, v4 Acad, and v5 Acad.

Ferreri GiancarloFri, 24 Jul 2020 05:55:26 GMT

MSFS2020 is a game-changer. Whort to try it and give it a chance. I have not bought any addon in the last months waiting for it. I am coming from FSX and P3D. Old and avid simmer. Giancarlo

D YorkFri, 24 Jul 2020 06:34:23 GMT

Is it still not the case that in the terms and conditions of Prepar3D that it is NOT to be used for home entertainment?

Bruce DeanFri, 24 Jul 2020 06:43:30 GMT

I'm getting giddy about FX2020 can't wait. But will still play x plane.

John LiemFri, 24 Jul 2020 06:44:28 GMT

I move to P3D 5 will still use it, and I pre-order MSFS 2020.

MadinFri, 24 Jul 2020 07:06:53 GMT

I have known MFS since V4 (1993). Prepar3d took over (2010). 4 versions without real weather engine, modern liner, bizjet, map photos, airport animation, improved weather, etc ... Here is MFS2020 with all that. 10 years. Thanks, Microsft, Asobo. Long live the simulation.

Manfred KlemmFri, 24 Jul 2020 07:35:37 GMT

I'm eagerly waiting for the new FS2020 and will keep the FSX for the time being to compare the two. Then I will see further.

Ljubomir SavicFri, 24 Jul 2020 09:31:27 GMT

I'm waiting for the release of the new FS 2020

Vítor MarquesFri, 24 Jul 2020 10:51:28 GMT

At this moment I don't buy any addon anymore, because I'm waiting for the new FS 2020 to come out, to see and compare.

Dan SilvermanFri, 24 Jul 2020 11:22:41 GMT

So with all of this talk, talk, talk, what are the minimum requirements to run these programs? This has thus far been withheld! How does one obtain these programs? I've been seeing a lot of videos and certainly a lot of "pep-talk" but not any real information about what is needed to run both programs or how to get them, the new FSX and the Lockheed-Martin program!

Simon FallaFri, 24 Jul 2020 11:29:02 GMT

Cannot see the point of wasting money on an old sim like P3D... There's a new generation coming.

Jerry JakesFri, 24 Jul 2020 11:36:47 GMT

Both will reside on my PC.

Bill SheridanFri, 24 Jul 2020 12:53:49 GMT

Sticking with a nicely tuned FSX with a vast amount of addons for the moment. Had planned to go to P3D when I buy a new rig but with the somewhat unexpected advent of MS Flight Simulator, I think I will hold fire and see how the two platforms compare.

Ken CarpenterFri, 24 Jul 2020 13:05:56 GMT

Fly X-Plane 11.50 everyday. 2 different Scenery platforms (Ortho-Orbx) Looking for realism.

Rob MenkeFri, 24 Jul 2020 13:33:10 GMT

Looking for a new computer first. Trying to figure out what kind of system I need.

Ivan PatoFri, 24 Jul 2020 14:21:05 GMT

I still feel more comfortable with P3D V4+, not quite able to get really clear graphics in V5, in order to get a sharp view of instruments I need to zoom in close otherwise somewhat blurry.

Roger MathezFri, 24 Jul 2020 15:37:23 GMT

I follow all discussions about the new FS2020. As in the past, I operated all simulators since the Sublogic Sim (all MS versions and XP) and to each, I had to invest a lot of money for add-ons. If 2020 will require payable add-ons for high detailed airports and for good airliner I will probably stop to make a further huge investment for addons. Currently, I fly and I like the P3Dv5 but I also fly the P3Dv4 parallel. I have the best sim we had forever and 2020 must first really show what he can do compared to the P3Dv5.

paquito32Fri, 24 Jul 2020 15:50:00 GMT

I switched to P3DV5 on April 15th. I was expecting more new features compared to V4.5 with this V5 version. Realistic weather is a gimmick, the visual result is not great (especially for clouds), so I don't use it. Hotfix 1 and 2 have improved the game a little and above all improved the stability of the game There remains one black point: very long loading times during launch. No worries on the other hand with the addons, everything that runs on P3D V4.5 works on P3D V5.

Dennis1943Fri, 24 Jul 2020 18:10:56 GMT

I'm staying with X-Plane. I don't care for P3D at all. MSFS 2020 looks great but so did FSX before its release.

I researched the specs for MSFS 2020 and I would need a more powerful rig. I also don't really care for the way Microsoft is going to sell the sim. Three levels are not necessary.

Remember the pictures and videos were seeing are shown from a Microsoft supercomputer.

My opinion!

schoonerFri, 24 Jul 2020 19:30:28 GMT

I had both X-plane and P3D on my computer. I use 4 drives but still one had to go for lack of scenery space (ortho scenery takes an incredible amount of space). Here I found ORBX scenery for Xplane far superior to P3D. P3D got the axe. P3D has a far too complicated file structure to handle. After all, P3D has been re-worked far too many times from its humble FS9 roots. FS2020 Deluxe has been pre-ordered and perhaps XPlane may be trembling in its little boots.

JB.

Robert MartinFri, 24 Jul 2020 22:07:32 GMT

I haven't bought the Prepar3d because I don't think it would work on my computer. I'm saving up to get a new computer.

William GilbertFri, 24 Jul 2020 23:55:23 GMT

P3D is too expensive when there are simulators just as good for a lot less money. P3D should offer a version for the general flight simulator community that is cost-competitive. There are other simulators just as good, if not better, eg, XPlane, for a lot less money. And with Microsoft releasing a new simulator soon that appears to be reasonably priced, I don't understand why anyone would pay the outrageous price for P3D.

kevin RedmanSat, 25 Jul 2020 04:56:59 GMT

I have P3D version 4 and I am very happy now that I have got the hang of it. Maybe there will be an update for version 4 in the future. Anyway, I have only had P3D 4 since last October. I need to get my money's worth.

Kevin.

Richard JohnsonSat, 25 Jul 2020 10:52:41 GMT

I've had FSX-SE for several years and very happy with it. Took a look at P3D V4 two years ago and decided the expense was not worth it for me because I have a modest spec PC that probably would not perform well but gives me 20fps most of the time with FSX-SE.

For me, P3D V5 seems to be a possible alternative to MFS2020 because my broadband download speeds are 7Mb/sec at best yet 4.5 on bad days (rural Devon). MFS2020 min spec is 5Mbp/sec. Also, I like to change aircraft frequently, often flying airliners rather than a single prop, so P3D scores much better than MFS2020 because I could probably use most of my freeware aircraft in P3D.

I will probably try the Game Pass option for MFS2020 so that if my broadband can not cope I've not spent much to find out, then I would look at P3D V5 having upgraded my PC anyway for MFS2020.

Finally, all this seems irrelevant as the P3D licenses are not for private consumer use. Is this really the case or just a legal requirement set by Microsoft which is just ignored?

Cliff HargraveSat, 25 Jul 2020 13:47:12 GMT

I am going to stay with P3D v4 and FSX-SE but may consider MS2020 of P3D v5 when things have settled down and any bugs get fixed.

Max ScottMon, 27 Jul 2020 10:33:18 GMT

At this stage, I have held off any additional X-plane 11 addons both in scenery and aircraft pending MS2020 being downloaded from my pre-order of the Premium version. As an Aussie, it is a little disappointing to note that only Kingsford Smith Airport has been included in the highly rendered airports so it will be interesting to see if additional developers take up the challenge to rectify that. My thinking is with my computer, it will run the MS2020 quite well.

In X-Plane on a flight up to Hamilton Island today it was at 60FPS. That is an I5-9600, GeForce 1660super, and Samsung EVO SSD dedicated to Xplane on a 32inch monitor... There was an individual sneak upload from a user on a forum today and his graphics were the same as the MS2020 previews so yes I am excited at the prospect.

g s chatleyWed, 29 Jul 2020 10:08:28 GMT

After what they did in stealing your files to make it impossible to use fs2004 I don't want to know them & certainly, they won't be on my shopping list in the future...

DanWheelerThu, 06 Aug 2020 02:58:52 GMT

Mostly using P3Dv4 and very little P3Dv3, FSX: SE, or X-Plane 11 as of Aug. 5, 2020. I felt that P3Dv5 had little extra to offer in scenery or weather as I have many add-on products from ORBX and REX. P3D Academic Edition seems to be getting "dated".

I have purchased the most expensive Deluxe version of MS_FS2020 from STEAM for $159.99 CAD. That pretty well blows my Flight Sim budget for 2020. I will be watching for 3rd party add-ons to put on my 2021 wish list. I am not sure if STEAM will honor their standard return policy for this product if my PC performance is unsatisfactory.

My PC is Win10, MSI B360M Gaming Plus, Intel i7-8700, 16GB TeamGroup DDR4 2666 RAM, MSI GTX1660Ti 6GB. With medium to high graphics settings with a complex add-on aircraft and active add-on airport, my Frame Rate can drop to 20 FPS... not excellent. Aug. 18th I will find out if my expectations are met.

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