Wonderful Saturday Morning News

We all woke up to some wonderful and exciting news this morning from PMDG and the soon to be released Boeing 777 for P3Dv5.  You can read the press release from FSElite here

Since making the move to P3Dv5, the Boeing 777 has been missed from my virtual hangar.  While I don’t have a lot of time for long-haul flights, there are plenty of US domestic routes being handled via the T7 such as DFW – ORD, DFW – MIA, DFW – LAX, MIA – LAX (as examples) for American Airlines to certainly keep me busy.

The Boeing 777 is truly a wonderful aircraft to fly and I’m looking forward to the release which hopefully will be sometime towards the end of January or early February. 

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend.

Jerry

P3Dv5.1 HF1 Enhanced Atmospherics

One of the major benefits of P3Dv5 was the integration of Enhanced Atmospherics (EA) and TrueSky.  From the very early days of my experiences with P3Dv5, I had issues (both performance and visual quality) with EA enabled.  Of course, in the early stages EA was very much beta.  But with each P3D update, I optimistically tried EA only to find myself disappointed in the outcome.

Today I’m running the very latest version of Prepar3D v5.1 (with hotfix 1) and while I’m glad to say that performance is no longer an issue with EA, the over visual quality is still absolutely terrible.  I’ve read as much as I possible can, watched countless videos and the look with EA enabled is an over exposed, blurry sky with no defined cloud textures. 

While I’m running a few extra texture add-ons such as TOGA Projects EnvTex and EnvShade along with ASCA, Reshade, and the Lucas Cavatoni preset, these don’t have any impact (good or bad) to the overall experience with EA enabled in P3D. 

I’ve even followed a few steps to ensure my monitor is correctly color balanced (it was already), but double-checked.  I’ve also read (can’t remember where) that EA just will not work with a non-4K monitor. However, I believe I’ve debunked this theory when speaking with a few others who have the exact same experience I’m having on 4K setups. 

The bottom line (at least for me) is an assumption that Enhanced Atmospherics still just isn’t ready for prime time.  Hopefully Lockheed Martin will continue to work through these issues.  But for now, I’m enjoying a very stable, well performing P3Dv5.1 HF1 without Enhanced Atmospherics.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

An Update on Prepar3d v5

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted to this blog.  My life has been rather busy and hectic the past few weeks.  As some of the DIY projects were wrapping up a few other household problems began to surface.  The largest was a plumbing issue with a portion of my sewer mainline.  This resulted in having a portion of my basement floor jackhammered up and about 15 feet of pipe replaced.  As a result of all this activity, I haven’t really had much time to spend gaming.  In addition, I also have spent time in my garage woodshop turning pens and other small wood items.  If you are interested in taking a look, here’s a link to my Etsy store.  With colder weather moving in, the amount of time I have to work in the woodshop has been reduced considerably.  But I digress….

The last time I wrote about P3Dv5 I had mentioned that I managed to finally get it dialed in and running smooth.  As many will know, this is not always an easy feat.  Nothing in flight sim is plug and play.  Especially if you choose to run various add-ons which all need to be carefully and painstakingly configured.  Everything we install into the sim fights for resources and in some instances one must choose to sacrifice some settings and FPS in order to achieve what we want to experience visually.

P3Dv5.1

The Prepar3D v5.1 update was released by Lockheed Martin a few weeks ago.  I initially held off on updating as I almost always do.  But around that same time I had been experiencing a few little glitches which I had hoped the update might resolve.  As is the case many times, little things will often become bigger things which I would find out soon after updating. 

Two Steps Forward, Three Backwards

The little glitches I just mentioned became slightly larger ones after updating to 5.1.  My frustration level was high and I was truly beginning to second guess my decision of moving away from P3Dv4.5.  I went to bed one night with the plan of uninstalling P3Dv5.1 and going back to P3Dv4.5.  But with a BIG cup of coffee and a bit of hope, I decided to try to resolve the issues one last time. 

Success At Last

After a few hours of going through some of the basic P3D troubleshooting steps which in this case led to a complete uninstall of my GPU drivers via DDU, updating to the latest Nvidia drivers and clearing shader cache in P3Dv5.1 all was once again stable.   I ran in this configuration for a few days just to make sure all was truly fixed. 

Enhanced Atmospherics

One of the big changes with the P3Dv5.1 update was Enhanced Atmospherics (EA) going from beta to full production.  Honestly, on my system with EA enabled the view out of the cockpit windows appears as if I have a really bad case of cataracts.  I didn’t like EA before v5.1 and still didn’t like it after the update.  Apparently I’m not the only one.  So Lockheed Martin has much more work to do on this.

Lack of Eye Candy

In my P3Dv5.1 setup, I was missing the level of eye candy which I had in v4.5.  The sky and cloud textures were boring and just too plain for my liking.  Of course I knew this would be the case as it takes time for developers of 3rd party add-ons to make the move from one version to the next.  When I heard the TOGA Projects Envtex and Envshade along with ASCA were all compatible with P3Dv5.1 I decided to invest the time to install and configure them.  I had used this combination with much success in my P3Dv4.5 setup and had hopes it would work equally as well in v5.1.  I did make one small change with the addition of using the popular Reshade add-on to further enhance the visuals. 

Nearing Success

As you can see from the images below, the sky/cloud textures with using Envtex, Envshade, ASCA and Reshade look a lot more natural and vibrant.  The images below were taken during a early morning departure out of KRDU (Raleigh-Durham) in the PMDG Boeing 738. 

2020-11-14_5-46-46-456

2020-11-14_5-49-21-998

2020-11-14_5-49-29-429

I still have a bit of tweaking to do, but all-in-all I believe it’s looking much better. I’ll try to get all my settings documented and available for Envtex, Envshade, ASCA etc. etc.  in the very near future. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Microsoft Flight Simulator Patch 1.7.14.0

Microsoft Flight Simulator logo (2020).png

The highly anticipated, brand new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS2020) was released on 17 August 2020 with much fanfare.  The release wasn’t without a few small hurdles and within days of the release, Microsoft had already announced a patch would soon be made available.  I discussed this first planned patch earlier this week.

Before I get into my experience with MSFS2020 after the patch, allow me to say this.  To the best of my memory, and at no other point in the history of flight simulation related to Microsoft or even Prepar3D have we experienced a shorter timeframe between initial release and the first patch.  While some will say that MSFS2020 was rushed and should have been delayed a few weeks which may or may not have avoided the need for an update patch, we’ll never really know.  But I believe when Microsoft released FSX back in 2006 it too was not without issues and required two service packs to fully resolve all issues.  It took Microsoft about 6 months to release SP1 and another 5-6 months to push out SP2.  It really wasn’t until SP2 was made available that FSX was truly stable. 

With Prepar3D v5 (the latest P3D release), it was released on 14 April and the first hotfix (HF1) was released on 30 April.  But many still experienced issues(myself included) which made the sim unusable until HF2 was released on 23 June.  It should also be mentioned that unlike Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, Prepar3D v5 was not a complete rewrite of P3Dv4.5.  MSFS2020 is a completely brand new simulator from the ground up. 

FlightSimulator_HjCIs9oCOs

My Experience Post Update Patch

The past few weeks I’ve been heavily prepping for a series of job interviews which have taken priority to my gaming time.  As of this writing, I’m still awaiting the official news as to whether I’m still in the running for the position and exactly what the next steps are.  But….what time I have spent with flight simulation has mostly been in P3Dv5.  P3Dv5 provides me more immersion based on the type of flying I mostly enjoy (jetliner), but this doesn’t mean I’m ignoring MSFS2020. 

As I’ve discussed in previous articles, I believe MSFS2020 will become the next generation flight simulator and in time, it will completely blow away what we have today with P3Dv5 and XP11.  However, with exception to VFR/GA flight, there are several obstacles preventing me from flying any of the jetliners in MSFS2020 and especially flying on the VATSIM network.

Lack of Immersion

This is key to me.  While the visuals are absolutely stunning and better than I can possible achieve in P3Dv5, the lack of payware/study-level aircraft is only one of the deal breakers for me at this time. I know I probably sound like a payware snob and I certainly don’t mean to.  In all honesty, I believe the work that is being done on the default A320 via the MS2020 A32NX Project will eventually have me flying the Airbus A320 in MSFS2020 on the VATSIM network.  But even then, until there is a model matching program that allows me to see other aircraft in the liveries those pilots are flying, the immersion is very much blown for me.  While I realize this is just a slight niggle, it’s big enough for me to stick with P3D.

FlightSimulator_Srpk0rZN3l

Fine Job

In all honesty, the recent Microsoft patch resolved two major issues I had been experiencing.   First, the load time seems to have been reduced.  However, even in P3Dv5 the load time generally takes 2-3 minutes from the time I launch the .exe until I can actually begin prepping my aircraft for flight.  But in reference to MSFS2020, the load up time seems to be much improved.

The really big issue for me was related to the performance hit when connecting MSFS2020 to the VATSIM network and of course I wasn’t the only one.  VATSIM stated all would be ready to go on day 1 and to their defense,  the issues which caused the performance hit wasn’t their fault.  There was a major bug with the Microsoft Simconnect which was the culprit.  Simconnect is what allows 3rd party applications (like VATSIM’s vPilot) to connect to the simulator.  This middleware connection is responsible for sending/receiving data elements to these third party add-on apps. 

On Wednesday evening (with the MSFS2020 patch installed) I fired up MSFS2020 and loaded up the Cessna 172 and then connected to VATSIM via vPilot and had my first successful VFR/GA flight around the Denver area.  It was a lot of fun and I’m sure there will be many more flights just like that in the near future. 

Not Fully Baked

Rest assured, this first patch for MSFS2020 is only the beginning.  Very soon we’ll learn what’s on Microsoft’s radar for the next patch.  I would suspect we’ll see multiple patches over the next several months as Microsoft/Asobo gently fine tunes the sim. 

Interested in Flight Sim?

If you are interested in getting started in the flight simulation hobby, there’s no better time and in my opinion, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is your best option.  While flight sim can be looked at as just another game, for those of us truly passionate about it…flight sim is much, much more.  For those who are new to flight sim, MSFS2020 will be your best investment option and will allow you to grow in your experiences.  While I’ve discussed limitations which I view as showstoppers for my own enjoyment, these shouldn’t prevent anyone coming into flight sim from experiencing an “As Real As It Gets” experience. 

In time all the bugs will be gone.  In time there will be more add-on aircraft (both payware and freeware) available to the new sim.  There’s hours and hours of fun which can be experienced in the new sim with the available aircraft on and off the multiplayer services like VATSIM, IVAO and PilotEdge.  Get started today and earn your wings.  I’m looking forward to seeing you in the friendly skies very soon. 

Thanks again for reading.  Until next time…

Happy Flying!

Jerry

Farewell Prepar3d v4

In preparation for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS2020), it is time to bid farewell to P3Dv4.5 and all the associated add-ons.  While my P3Dv5 instance is still awaiting the availability of the PMDG Boeing 777, I have enough add-ons in v5 to keep me fully entertained until such time as the Triple Seven can be installed.

P3Dv4.5 Was Amazing

I joined the P3D bandwagon when P3Dv2 arrived on the scene and in my opinion, while v5 is finally proving to be stable….P3Dv4.5 was just simply rock solid.  Almost from day one, the much anticipated 64 bit release showed us exactly what a flight simulator should be and remained almost trouble free for just over three years.  However, between the P3Dv4.5 install and all the associated add-ons adding up to over 275GB of SSD space, I need to remove it to make room for the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 which is planned to release in just a few days from now (18 August). 

A Bit of a Three Ring Circus

My current gaming machine was designed and built with the future in mind.  At just over two years old now, at the time of the build I installed a 1 TB M.2 SSD as the main drive.  I moved over a few older 500GB SSD drives along with a 500 GB SATA drive for video work.  To maximize the performance of P3Dv4, it was installed on the 1 TB M.2 SSD along side the Windows OS.  I have one 500 GB SSD dedicated to Steam content such as Farming Simulator, Truck Simulators etc. and use the remaining SSD’s for backup and non-gaming content. 

When I installed P3Dv5, I installed it onto one of the SSD drives and it’s performing just fine.  But I believe I’ll want MSFS2020 to go onto the 1 TB M.2 SSD for maximum performance.  So to make this happen, unfortunately I must sunset P3Dv4.5. 

It really isn’t that big of a deal as I’ve been using P3Dv5 exclusively now for over a month.  Now that I have P3Dv5 dialed in, the performance is better than what I had been experiencing with 4.5 so now is just a good time to say goodbye.

MSFS2020 Requirements

According to the published minimum requirements of MSFS2020 as it relates to available disk space, I will need a minimum of 150GB.  Clearing out P3Dv4.5 and all its associated add-ons along with doing some additional cleanup, I will easily have over 500GB of free space on my main 1 TB M.2 drive.  Certainly more than enough.  At least for now. 

Looking Forward, Never Backward

While a lot of flight simmers may plan to ditch Prepar3D and X-Plane on day one of the MSFS2020 release, as I’ve stated before…Prepar3D v5 will remain my main simulator for simulating jetliner flights.  However, between home DIY projects and other responsibilities I do anticipate flying in MSFS2020 with any of the default GA aircraft as I explore the world flying low and slow.  My first flights most likely will be as follows.  Depart KAPA and fly over my house and the greater Denver area.  Flight number two will probably have me depart EBAW (Antwerp, Belgium) and fly over the area where my in-laws lived along with the Antwerp area.  Then who knows?  Most likely I’ll hop around between Alaska, perhaps fly around Innsbruk Austria…really the complete world is my option. 

Until next time…

Happy Uninstalling and Flying!

Jerry

GoFlight Hardware and Prepar3D v5

There are a few key areas which is causing me to take a slow approach to moving full-time over to the new Prepar3D version 5.  Of course, reason number 1 is because I have such a smooth running P3Dv4.5 setup that there really isn’t any need to get in a hurry to make the move.  Also as I’ve mentioned before, the PMDG 737NGXu is my favorite aircraft and one I fly most often and it most likely is still a few weeks from making it over to P3Dv5.  Finally I’m also dragging my feet a bit in anticipation of the next P3Dv5 hotfix.

While all those things are certainly important to me.  There is another area which also takes center stage and that is supportability of my GoFlight Hardware.  I own several different external hardware components which I enjoy using when flying.  As of the posting of this article, there has been no mention from GoFlight on when they plan to release an updated version of their software to support Prepar3D version 5.  I’ve emailed them and received no response as of yet. 

Did Some Digging

Normally I’m pretty reluctant to try to make something work in a new version of P3D until a new installer has been released.  There are some who are flying around in the PMDG 737NGXu and I guess they are having fun with a few minor quirks.  I don’t like minor quirks and try to avoid them at all cost.  My philosophy is minor quirks now could lead to serious issues later.  I just don’t have time for that. 

Having said all that, I proceeded to research if any others have had success in getting it all to work and I found the answers I was looking for. 

It Does Work

Oddly enough, the GoFlight Software does work fine in P3Dv5.  All I needed to do was copy my .exe.xml file from my P3Dv4 instance over to P3Dv5.  Of course, I made sure to first backup my P3Dv5 .exe.xml file first.  Then I proceeded to copy/paste and overwrite the file.  I rebooted my PC and tested. 

Just FYI, the purpose of the exe.xml file serves as a set of instructions for launching various P3D addons.  When I view my exe.xml file in my P3Dv4 setup, I see entries for GoFlight and also for Chaseplane.  Comparing that to the v5 instance, it only showed Chaseplane.  So since both GoFlight and Chaseplane are working great in v4 and I’ll use both in v5, I just simply copied the file from v4 to v5.  But once again, please make a backup of the exe.xml file located in your v5 just in case.

File Location

Just copy .exe.xml located C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4

to C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v5

This should get most GF hardware working in P3Dv5.  If you own the GF MCP Pro and EFIS panels, then you’ll need to pickup the updated GFIT (GoFlight Interface Tool) from Pollypot Software.  A new version has been released for P3Dv5 which does work great on the PMDG 747 QoTSII. 

With this working, once the PMDG 737NGXu is officially made available for P3Dv5 I then just need to proceed with finalizing getting my yoke, pedals and throttles programmed in FSUIPC 6 and I’ll be off to the races.  But until then….I’m happily flying along with my trusty P3Dv4.5 setup and she’s looking marvelous.

Until next time….

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Prepar3D v5 More Progress

I spent several hours over the weekend downloading new installers for most of my major airport sceneries.  I learned a long time ago that it was worth the effort to keep an Excel spreadsheet of all my add-ons.  This way I know what I have and when it comes time to redownload or even update, I won’t go stir crazy in the process. 

At the present time, sceneries from Drzewiecki Design, FSDreamTeam, FlightBeam, FlyTampa, LatinVFR, ImaginSim, Orbx and UK2000 all have new and updated P3Dv5 installers.  This represents about 85+% of my add-on collection.  Once these approx. 100 items have been downloaded and installed I will be that much closer to making the move to P3Dv5 full-time. 

Just Need Aircraft

As mentioned in a previous update, the delay to truly making P3Dv5 my full-time sim will be aircraft.  While PMDG released their B747 QOTSII (see this post), I don’t fly it very much.  The PMDG 737NGxu is not only my favorite add-on airplane, it’s also my favorite and gets the most work.  I’m truly in no hurry to make the move.  Prepar3Dv4 is working like a champ and I’ve recently been flying out of Miami into the eastern and western Caribbean. 

A2A To The Rescue

This week A2A released their Cessna 172 with a P3Dv5 installer.  This has been a welcome addition for me.  As I mentioned in an earlier update, I do enjoy spending time in the near vanilla simulator just flying around low and slow.  The A2A Cessna 172 is the perfect study level GA aircraft for this task.  I’ve spent a few hours flying around the Orbx regions of the Pacific Northwest, Southern Alaska and even nearer to my own backyard the Central Rockies.  Prepar3D version 5 is showing excellent progress.

Continue as Filed

The next several days will be much the same.  Install sceneries, test, install sceneries and test some more.  I’m still heavily using P3Dv4 for my everyday flying.  But generally take 30-60 minutes each day to load up the A2A C172 for some fun. 

That’s it for now.  It’s time to begin my descent into Bozeman, Montana on a American flight out of KDFW on VATSIM.  Life is good!

Jerry

Bad News from REX

As many are awaiting news regarding whether their favorite add-ons will be compatible with Prepar3D version 5, the development team over at REX posted a status update on their Discord.  I’ve included the announcement below, but will first share my own thoughts with their decision.

My Use of REX

Since P3Dv4 first arrived on the scene, I had experimented with various shader applications.  The first I tried was PTA.  While I liked what I saw, I wanted more.  I moved to ENVTEX/ENVSHADE by TOGA Projects and was pretty happy with the eye candy it provided.  Then pretty much everything changed when REX released their SkyForce 3D and Environment Force products.  From many in the community REX had developed and sold to the community the “holy grail” of all things environment producing eye candy.  What I fell in love with was the simplicity of its use.  While I did some tweaking, I found the fully automated settings gave me exactly what I wanted.  I was happy.

While the two products combined can offer the flight simmer a complete weather and environment system, I deactivated the weather component within SkyForce and chose to use ActiveSky.  But bottom line, I was very happy with this setup and was looking forward to the continued use in Prepar3D v5.

Reasons?

I can only guess the reason REX has decided not to bring their Environment Force application to P3Dv5 is due to the enhanced shaders and cloud textures within the sim.  Yes, the sky and cloud textures in P3Dv5 are better than we’ve had in previous versions.  But at this stage, I’m not entirely sure

Other Shader Choices

As I began writing this posting, I decided to do a little digging to see what other shader choices were available or what news I could learn regarding P3Dv5 Compatibility.  It appears Tomato Shade (which I have no experience with) won’t be coming to P3Dv5 anytime soon.  Also, PTA (at the present time) is of unknown status.  As previously mentioned, REX will not be bringing their Environment Force to P3Dv5 so that leaves ENVTEX/ENVSHADE as the only one currently ready to go with P3Dv5. 

Final Thoughts

Many may ask why these shader add-ons are as popular as they are in the flight sim community.  Immersion is the answer.  For me, the eye candy is an important element in my flight simulation experience.  I’d even say it’s just as important as the level of immersion I get from flying a study level aircraft such as those from PMDG or FSLabs. The flight simulation hobby has come a very long way since my early days on the Commodore 64 and I truly love every minute I can spend in the sim.

As I do own ENVTEX/ENVSHADE from TOGA Projects, I will most likely use this product in my P3Dv5 setup.  I’ve read many improvements were made to the product over the last year.  But I think I’ll first experience P3Dv5 in its native state and see for myself the improvements Lockheed Martin made to the sim. 

Thanks for reading.  The REX announcement is below. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

REX Announcement

SUBJECT:
REX Product Compatibility with Prepar3D v4.5 HF3 and Prepar3D v5+

TYPE:
NEWS

LEVEL:
HIGH

DATE ISSUED:
Monday, May 11, 2020

EFFECTIVE DATE/TIME:
Monday, May 11, 2020
END DATE/TIME:
Monday, June 1, 2020

NEWS TOPIC:
*
Over the past few weeks Lockheed Martin released Prepar3D v4.5 Hotfix 3, Prepar3D v5, and Prepar3D v5.0 Hotfix 1. We wanted to take time to inform you of the status of our product line compatibility with each simulator.

Prepar3D v4.5 Hotfix 3:
The following REX products are 100% compatible with Prepar3D v4.5 Hotfix 3:
•    REX 5 – Environment Force
•    REX 5 – Sky Force 3D
•    REX 5 – Worldwide Airports HD
•    REX 4 – Texture Direct with Soft Clouds
•    WX Advantage Radar

Prepar3D v5 or Prepar3D v5 + Hotfix 1
Currently none of our products are “officially” compatible with Prepar3D v5+. However, since we are part of the beta team for Prepar3D, we have been actively testing and evaluating each product. Here is the current status of each:
In Development:
•    REX 5 – Sky Force
•    REX 5 – Weather Force (Add-on to Sky Force)
In Process:
•    REX 5 – Worldwide Airports HD
Under Review:
•    REX 5 – Environment Force
Will not be made compatible for Prepar3D v5+
•    WX Advantage Radar

We will keep you updated with the status of each product as we progress. Thank you for your patience during this time.

PMDG Is First

The development team at PMDG was the first to ready one of their payware, add-on aircraft for P3Dv5.  The majestic Boeing 747-400 Queen of the Skies II is now 100% 99% compatible with P3Dv5.  Unfortunately, she isn’t 100% as there was a last minute change with the way the new ActiveSky P3D handles weather.  Specifically the way aircraft needs to be coded to interpret weather from ActiveSky P3D so the weather radar functions correctly.  Unfortunately, PMDG were not aware of this change and only learned about it after releasing the QOTSII.  While the PMDG Dev team have moved onto the next aircraft (hopefully the 737NGXu), they will circle back and make the necessary corrections to the Queen.  Most likely I will wait and install the 747-400 after PMDG has provided the new updated installer. 

Speaking of the Queen

While not flight sim related, Friday 8 May marked the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.  VE Day also known as Victory in Europe Day was the day in which the Allies of World War II accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.  Queen Elizabeth II spoke on Friday and was quoted as saying, “Never Give Up, Never Despair”.  In these trying times we’re now finding ourselves living, those words could never be more important.

The Work Continues

As I mentioned in my post on Saturday, I have successfully installed P3Dv5, ActiveSky P3D and FSUIPC.  I’ve now moved on to installing all my Orbx sceneries and airports.  I’ve always had the best luck in doing this in a particular order. 

First and obviously you need to install P3Dv5.  Next install Orbx FTX Base and Libraries.  It appears Orbx will not be making their FTX Vector for P3Dv5, so for now skip that. Then I begin installing the Orbx regions and finally all Orbx airports.  Once this is done (and it will take some time) I generally spend some time in a GA aircraft and go out and enjoy the beautiful Orbx regions.  My all time favorite is Southern Alaska and Pacific Northwest.  The very first add-on Orbx airport I purchased was 7S3 Stark’s Twin Oaks Airpark which is a Bill Womack classic.  I just love flying around this area. 

Still Not Ready for Prime Time

P3Dv5 still isn’t ready to go for me.  While it’s coming together for GA, VFR, low and slow flying…it’s not yet ready to take the place of P3Dv4.  Most likely it will still be a few weeks away from that timeframe.  To me this is a very methodical process and as I’ve stated before, I DO NOT install anything into the new sim that hasn’t been made compatible.  So my favorite aircraft, the PMDG 737NGXu will have to wait for the PMDG team to provide a new installer.  Whether that is a few days or a few weeks, the wait will be worth it. 

For now, I’ll continue installing the rest of the Orbx airports and then begin downloading other “ready to go” payware airports.  I have a lot of add-ons so stay tuned.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!

Jerry

Prepar3D v5 Update

Yesterday I discussed the latest version of Prepar3D.  Within about 15 minutes of publishing that article, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on P3Dv5 along with FSUIPC 6.  If you’re not familiar with FSUIPC (and many flight simmers are not), well FSUIPC is a little utility which allows many add-ons to connect to P3D and also allows for better external flight control support in the sim.  Most users can get by with the freeware version of FSUIPC.  However, if you are like me and want to customize your 3rd party add-on hardware (throttles, joysticks, yokes etc.) then you need FSUIPC.  But I digress…

It Is EVERYTHING and a box of chocolates

Of course, at this very instance the only thing installed into my new P3Dv5 setup is of course P3Dv5, FSUIPC and ActiveSky.  As a matter of fact, ActiveSky is the main reason I went ahead and pulled the trigger on P3Dv5 now.  Currently, ActiveSky for Prepar3D v5 is available as a beta at zero upgrade cost.  The new version of ActiveSky is called ActiveSky P3D and if you owned the previous version for P3Dv4 (ASP4) then for the next 2-3 weeks you can upgrade to ActiveSky P3D at no cost.  ActiveSky P3D will work for both P3Dv4 and P3Dv5. Once installed, it will prompt you to choose which simulator you want to use.  Pretty slick.

But back to my statement,  “It Is EVERYTHING and a box of chocolates”, the new Prepar3D v5 is truly amazing.  While even in its vanilla state, I can see the benefits of the upgrade and I’m very pleased to have made the purchase. 

One Step at a time

As I’ve mentioned before in other blog postings.  If you truly want the best out of your sim experience, only install 3rd party add-ons which have been ported over by the developers.  Don’t try to hack something into P3Dv5 which hasn’t been updated as you’ll likely only cause yourself issues and a lot of headaches. 

All major developers are working as quickly as they can to get their add-ons available for P3Dv5.  Spend some time just enjoying the vanilla sim and as add-ons are made available, install them.  Until that time…continue flying in P3Dv4.  This is my plan. 

If I were to guess (and a lot of this is based on my move from P3Dv3 to v4) it could be several more weeks before we have everything available from the devs.  Just be patient. 

If you yourself are currently making the move to P3Dv5 or planning to, FSElite has a really good P3Dv5 Compatibility Database.  They are documenting everything from add-on aircraft, airports, scenery and utilities.  

More to Come

I’ll provide updates as more add-ons have been made available to P3Dv5.  I’ll also share my settings as well.  Currently, I have my P3Dv5 settings adjusted to mirror what I have set in P3Dv4.  I figure this was a good starting point.  I’ll tweak to get the very best performance and will share them. 

Of course, at this very moment my FPS is phenomenal.  But this is expected in a vanilla sim.  As more add-ons are installed including scenery, airports and aircraft…the FPS will drop.  As I’ve always said….don’t drive yourself crazy chasing 60FPS.  I’ll be happy if DX12 and the enhancements made to v5 will give me a solid, smooth experience.  This is what I have with v4 and it’s all I need in v5.  Once I have made my tweaks, I’ll not pay much attention to FPS. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog postings. 

Until next time….

Happy Flying!

Jerry

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