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TechnologyWe are the Prepar3D® team at Lockheed Martin AMA!

Sep 26th 2017 by LockheedMartin • 11 Questions • 2529 Points

EDIT: That's all the time we have for today. Thank you for all the great questions!

Hey Reddit! We are part of the Lockheed Martin Prepar3D® team. Prepar3D (pronounced "prepared") is a visual simulation platform that allows users to create training scenarios across aviation, maritime and ground domains. Prepar3D engages users in immersive training through realistic environments. Prepar3D can be used to quickly create learning scenarios anywhere in the virtual world, from under water to sub orbital space.

The enhancements we have made in our Prepar3D v4 platform completely changes the simulation landscape with improved virtual reality features, unbelievable realism, and improved performance for commercial, educational, military use and aviation enthusiasts.

It’s been really exciting to see pictures and videos of Prepar3D v4 shared and discussed by the Reddit community since our launch in May!

PC Pilot Magazine just published an in-depth user review and we just released v4, so we thought this would be a great time to answer any questions you all might have.

Answering your questions here today are:

Adam Breed, Prepar3D Engineering Project Manager

Howell “Beau” Hollis, Prepar3D Rendering Lead and Architect

Robert McCarthy, Prepar3D Commercial Product Lead

For more information and to download your own copy of Prepar3D check out these links:

Visit our website: Prepar3D.com

Check out videos and tutorials: https://www.prepar3d.com/videos-and-tutorials

Go Around the World in Prepar3D: https://www.prepar3d.com/experience

If you're interested in Software Engineer jobs, check out this link: http://jobs.lmt.co/3sFnE

Proof: Twitter

Q:

From my understanding, the flight modeling is similar to that of FSX. Just how similar is it, and do you plan on creating your own flight model system in the future(if you haven't already)?

A:

Beau: We have made improvements over the years and will continue to do so. Since every aircraft is unique and flight modeling specifics are often proprietary, our primary focus has been on extensibility via the Prepar3D SDK. Using the SDK, developers can create completely custom flight modeling from scratch. Check out the ISimObject samples in the SDK for more details.


Q:

Are there any plans to add Navigraph functionality, so we could easily keep the P3D database up to date with the current AIRAC?

A:

Adam: Navigraph is listed on our Featured Developers page, and we definitely recommend reaching out to them for any development and future Prepar3D compatibility questions. 


Q:

Voice recognition would be a dream come true to improve immersion of the sim.

A:

Adam: Thanks for the feedback. We agree, that would be awesome.


Q:

Well, first things first: v4 is a real advantage in comparison to v3 and really made me feel like flying. Question is: how's development progress going on, speaking about 4.1, dynamic lightning updates and all the AddOns that might come with it's release, like FSLabs A320 and Majestics Dash 8? Edit: typos

A:

Adam: Thanks! We are extremely happy to see how well received Prepar3D v4 is – it has been huge! The dynamic lightning system in v4.0 is definitely a starting point, and add-on developers are doing amazing things with it, and in future releases we will continue to refine the capability. As for add-ons, we work extremely close with developers, and we are aware that there will be a few big product releases on or very close to the v4.1 release. We’d have to let them address their plans!


Q:

How does L-M view the non-military, non-governmental user community? Are we a testbed for finding/working out bugs for the primary target clientele, a cottage industry for sim environment/scenario development, or something else? How does our patronage and third-party development fit in to L-M's strategic goals for microsimulation?

A:

Adam: Hi w6kd, the user community is the lifeblood of Prepar3D and is critical to our success. In fact, we collaborate with the community as a partner and often work with specific developers when fielding training solutions. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. The user community is a major focus and many improvements to the platform are a direct result of forum input and feedback.  


Q:

What is the best way to get a job with you guys straight out of college? Any projects or hobbies we should have that would look good on resumes?

A:

Robert: The core team is primarily software focused. A degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering is a major requirement along with c++ experience and game engine knowledge. Additionally, a passion for gaming technology and familiarity with flight simulation definitely helps. Lockheed Martin regularly hosts events on campuses nationwide. We were just at Penn State last week and talked to students interested in working for Lockheed Martin. We are actively looking for new team members, so I encourage you to apply online at LM Careers: https://search.lockheedmartinjobs.com/ 


Q:

What are the prospects for further utilization of multi core cpus such that more cores generate better performance even if the cpu clock rate is lower?

A:

Beau: Every release features more multicore threading to improve performance. Overall, Prepar3D is already threaded in some of the most important areas. Still, we continue to improve on this as we progress with optimizing the baseline. For example, in Prepar3D v4, the functions that draw maps for gauges were threaded out. So, while we continue to look for ways to improve, Prepar3D has already made some significant progress compared to previous releases.


Q:

Hi P3D Team,

nice to get a chance to ask you things directly! My question: Is there anything planned to sync the P3D time live with the PC-time? Maybe a function to choose if you want to fly real-time.

2: Are you going to work on the night-environment? P3D v4 looks good, but during night its just loosing against X-Plane. As well as the World-Terrain/Mesh. This could be get a huge change in the future.

Thanks a lot for your work!! Timm

A:

Adam: Thanks for your questions. Good news, Prepar3D already supports following the real-world time with the PC – it should be under the “Time and Season” menu with “Reset to System Time”.

As for the Night Environment, I’d recommend reaching out to them directly about future compatibility plans. Our new dynamic lighting capability really opens the doors for immersive night capabilities and we are encouraged by what developers have already done.


Q:

How, in your opinion, will such applications shape the future of military training?

A:

Robert: A big differentiator Prepar3D offers is affordability. In the past full simulation platforms were built from scratch for each specific situation with little reuse between efforts. Prepar3D offers a flexible platform that has most of the common capabilities already fully functional that these programs require. We also offer a robust SDK and open development environment enabling specific capabilities to be built much quicker without having to worry about additional development overhead for the features already included in the core simulation.


Q:

Hey P3D team,

Really love what you've done with v4, its taking my learning to the next level. My question is, I've recently picked up an Oculus Rift, so VR is something I'm very excited for, however now, the native support is flaky at best, over the next few years in your road map, what can I, a VR user expect to see?

A:

Adam: Thanks for the v4 comment! Flight simulations are definitely an ideal situation for VR and Prepar3D is focused on being the best flight simulation VR platform available. You will continue to see updates as part of v4 that further differentiate the Prepar3D VR experience.


Q:

Do you still use this software for the real millitary sims? And what's the difference between the consumer version?

A:

Adam: Absolutely, Prepar3D is used by various militaries worldwide for flight training. The commercial version is often enhanced with add-ons or custom modifications specific to their training goals.