In a post on their website, the team from Lockheed Martin working on the Prepar3D simulator has announced a new major version release. Updates for Prepar3D are not as common as they are for other platforms, the new Microsoft Flight Simulator included.

The new update to version 5.3 brings many improvements to the performance, visuals, and usability of the simulator. The developers have further worked on weather systems and related cloud and terrain blending to achieve the best immersion. This will enhance the experience especially in mountainous regions in various weather and lighting conditions.

Further, the team from Prepar3D has improved a vast number of new buildings, landmarks, and airport vehicles to feature PBR textures. The autogen also nows supports better PBR textures. Thus, the default imagery should look notably more appealing.

Unfortunately, there is also a significant downside to these changes. Based on the post, the whole package has to be updated in order for the v5.3 to fully work as intended. Including the content, scenery, and client.

Some improvements have also been done to the Development menu adding new features and tools for the developers to use. This includes access to the Visual FX and Traffic Toolbox tools within the application and real-time HTML5 content debugging with webkit inspector views.

The changelog is, generally speaking, very extensive. If you’re interested in specific changes and features, you can view the complete changelog below by clicking on the accordion title.

If you want, you can purchase Prepar3D through the official website of the simulator for $59.95, for the Academic license.

Changelog

Prepar3D Client

New Features

  • Added motion blur option.
  • Added option to adjust font size.
  • Road traffic can now be applied to all roads.
  • Added support for clear coat PBR textures.
  • Precipitation now supports dynamic lighting.
  • Program threads including the main and rendering thread can now be specified to run on a different logical processor.
  • Added webkit inspector support for HTML5 panels.

Fixes and Improvements

  • Improved rendering and program performance.
  • Improved cloud appearance when intersecting terrain.
  • Improved application load times and load times with add-on scenery content.
  • Improved fog appearance.
  • Fog layers now account for earth curvature.
  • Fixed issue preventing bathymetry from rendering correctly when Enhanced Atmospherics is disabled.
  • Fixed issue where COM TRANSMIT state would not be serialized for remote multiplayer objects.
  • Added “Enable Independent Radio Control” multiplayer option allowing pilot and copilot to communicate on separate frequencies.
  • Fixed issue where radios would not correctly update when switching vehicles with the avatar.
  • Fixed issue where externally set radio frequencies would not be clear and not displayed correctly in multiplayer chat window.
  • Fixed issues when changing multiplayer roles in structured scenarios.
  • Improved multiplayer voice latency and improved voice transmission performance.
  • Multiplayer voice playback buffers can now be configured.
  • Improved road traffic performance.
  • Updated Enhanced Atmospheric celestial object rendering.
  • Material scripting units are no longer required to match the property’s documented units.
  • LLA and wind/direction information are now displayed on separate lines in the information text overlay. Slew information text is now defaulted to LLA.
  • Improved road traffic handling of overpasses and lane count changes.
  • Fixed issue where moving the host on the map while in multiplayer would change the time of day.
  • Adjusted Enhanced Atmospherics storm radius and lightning frequency.
  • Fixed issue where information text would still open in position below menu bar when menu bar was hidden.
  • Fixed issue where multiplayer menu options would not always update when entering a multiplayer session.
  • Improved depth handling of volumetric clouds.
  • Fixed issue with model-based portals preventing them from drawing in sync with user aircraft position updates.
  • Fixed issue causing number of taxiway signs to be limited.
  • Runway demarcation lines are now yellow.
  • Improved weather rendering performance.
  • Improved platform hit detection and loading performance.
  • Fixed issue where mobile scenery objects could float over platforms.
  • Fixed issue causing errors in mixture control when loading scenarios in some cases.
  • Updated procedure transitions to connect last arrival waypoint to initial approach waypoint in GPS when applicable.
  • Added support for visual runway extension approaches.
  • Panel system now supports the setting of string variables for SimObjects.
  • Fixed multiplayer issue where views would reset when changing positions on the map.
  • Reduced waypoint hit distance for approaches on final.
  • Fixed issue where particles would not display on multiple video cards.
  • Fixed various issues with the Weather UI preventing specific weather station setting from applying correctly.
  • Fixed crash that could occur when having the map open while changing locations.
  • GPS broadcasting state is now shown in Information text.
  • Fixed issue preventing arrivals and departures from drawing in the GPS when selected.
  • Fixed issue preventing GPS operations from syncing correctly in shared cockpit.
  • Fixed issue where lightning could spawn above the cloud layer in some cases.
  • Fixed crash that could occur when assigning an attached world object to a waypoint list in SimDirector.
  • Updated sun size and brightness.
  • Virtual Cockpit translucency effect now support PBR aircraft.
  • Fixed cases where saving a new flight plan would not cause it to activate.
  • Improved waypoint hit behavior for points on final.
  • Fixed issues preventing all panels from being accessible in SimDirector through panel window actions.
  • The Visual FX Tool and Traffic Toolbox are now available through the Tools->Development menu.
  • Fixed issue preventing VR help text setting from respecting user settings.
  • Improved SimDirector catalog load times when add-on content is installed. Removed load friendly name setting, this is now always enabled.
  • Added VR settings to disable floating VR UI panels.
  • Improved vsync handling.
  • Vehicle state is now preserved by default when joining multiplayer.
  • Added developer menu option to clear the container configuration cache.
  • Improved lens flare visibility.
  • Added current time to information text.
  • Road lights now turn on during dawn/dusk instead of only at night.
  • PBR combiner glass material can now be used as a HUD stencil.
  • Fixed cases where the crash dialog would stay open after scenario reset.
  • Fixed issue preventing GPS approach loaded state from syncing in shared cockpit.
  • Improved middle mouse drag camera movement behavior.
  • Fixed issue preventing vehicle custom cameras from showing in the menu on initial load.
  • Fixed issue causing objects to be thrown offscreen when using the translation gizmo in SimDirector near window bounds.
  • Fixed issue where right clicking would sometimes snap cursor to a different position.
  • Fixed issue where taxiway intersections would render the wrong surface type in some cases.
  • Fixed issue where sun and moon reflections would be misaligned in some cases.
  • Fixed issue where weather visibility would be invalid in observer views with Enhanced Atmospherics disabled.
  • Fixed issue where graphics settings menu option would be disabled after a recording playback finished.
  • Fixed issue causing distorted sounds when loading scenarios in some cases.
  • Fixed crash that could occur in map view when changing locations or airports with map open.
  • Fixed issue preventing generic buildings from correctly positioning on the ground in some cases.
  • Added depth support to orthographic views.
  • Added Simvars and gps support for querying approach procedure Final Approach Fix and Missed Approach Point waypoint index, as well as queries to get LLAs of approach waypoints.
  • Added cfg option that will regenerate display list at startup.
  • Fixed issue preventing missed approach segments from rendering as dashed lines in flight plan map.

Fixes and Improvements (Professional Plus Only)

  • DIS voice playback buffers can now be configured.
  • Fixed issue where DIS entities could not use TriggerProperty.
  • Fixed issue where velocities would not be set on DIS entities when dead reckoning was disabled.
  • Fixed issue where DIS entity angular velocity would clamp while moving.

Prepar3D Content

Fixes and Improvements

  • Updated additional content to PBR textures including:
    • Generic and auto generated buildings
    • Airport hangars and parking spaces
    • Animals and landmarks
    • Ground, water, and airport vehicles
    • Mission objects
    • City textures
  • Contrail and vapor effects are now correctly shaded at night.
  • Updated runway and taxiway marking textures.
  • Scrolling text now displays in the HTML5 information text overlay.
  • Information text now displays in VR when using HTML5.
  • Updated lightning effects.
  • Updated milky way texture.
  • Updated panel instance names in missionpanels.cfg.
  • Added default weapon loadouts to the F-35 and F-22.
  • Texture improvements to the CUASE.

Prepar3D Scenery

Fixes and Improvements

  • Updated additional content to PBR textures including:
    • Generic and auto generated buildings
    • Airport hangars and parking spaces
    • Animals and landmarks
    • Ground, water, and airport vehicles
    • Mission objects
    • City textures
  • Updated milky way texture.
  • Fixed water issues near Unalakleet, AK.
  • Various airport updates including EGGD, KAFF, KIND, LNFB, NZMF, and UUEE.
  • Fixed typos in dialog text in the Introduction to Mountain Flying scenario.

Prepar3D SDK

New Features

  • Improvements to sloped airport creation including exportable shape files from 3dsMax files allowing for terrain modification, projection polygons for sloped aprons, and improved taxiway and apron intersections.
  • Added support for clear coat PBR materials.
  • Adding alpha to coverage support for PDK quad draws.
  • Updated Annotator tool to allow for PBR material support for autogen placement files. This requires corresponding object textures to be PBR.
  • Added HUD stencil rendering support via PDK.
  • 3ds Max 2022 is now supported.
  • Added additive render mode to 3ds Max and material scripts.
  • Added multiplayer custom packet support to the PDK and sample.

Fixes and Improvements

  • Fixed texture paths and filenames in Oil Rig sample.
  • Thickness of rope visual effect can now be adjusted.
  • Flight plan approaches, arrivals, and departures can now be unloaded.
  • Font and font size can now be set for GPS map gauges.
  • Added camera frustum getter to PDK.


Author: George

I've been a flight sim enthusiast for some time now, and I've always enjoyed flying to various destinations all over the world. My favourite airport is by far Corfu with its scenic and challenging approach. I founded FSNews in May 2019.

Comment Policy

In order to ensure friendly environment for everyone, we outlined a few simple rules that need to be followed when participating in discussions in the comment section under each post. It's nothing complicated: avoid vulgarisms, offensive language, abusive behaviour, creating or participating in arguments, trolling, or self-promotion.