» Prepar3D Product Overview

Training meets reality with Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D® simulation software. Private pilots, commercial organizations, academia, and militaries rely on Prepar3D for immersive, experiential learning.

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. Ideal for commercial, academic, professional, or military instruction. Prepar3D can be used to quickly create learning scenarios anywhere in the virtual world, from under water to sub orbital space.

Prepar3D offers students and professionals a platform to:

  • Experience a scenario before it happens to increase effectiveness and reduce response time
  • Learn and test their knowledge in the same environment in which they will operate
  • Re-create scenarios with operational data and experiment with different variables
  • Experience a learning lab where science, technology, engineering and math principles are taught in an immersive environment
  • Train for scenarios in aviation, air traffic control, ground vehicle operation and disaster response
  • Prepar3D furthers the development of Microsoft® ESP™ while maintaining compatibility with Microsoft Flight Simulator X, allowing many thousands of add-ons to be used within Prepar3D.

Prepar3D can be used for a wide range of learning scenarios including vehicle procedures training, cockpit familiarization, flight planning, air traffic controller training and emergency response preparation. As a commercial-off-the-shelf product, Prepar3D provides a cost effective training platform that evolves with technology. Take your training to the next level with Prepar3D!

Prepar3D® Features
Virutal Worlds Image Virtual world with 40 high-detail cities and more than 24,900 airports
Environments Image Environment includes highway, air and maritime vehicles and traffic, as well as livestock and wild animals
Graphics and Models Image Customizable, data driven graphics and models
Earth WGS-84 model Image Whole earth WGS-84 model
Accurate and culturally appropriate textures Image Accurate topography with regionally and culturally appropriate textures
Variety of lighting effects Image Modifiable real-time weather system, continuous time of day, seasons and a variety of lighting effects
Realistic air traffic control Image Realistic air traffic control
Expandable library of vehicle models Image Expandable library of vehicle models
Prepar3D v4 Platform Features

Lockheed Martin continuously evolves Prepar3D to maintain its place as a front runner in the modeling and simulation marketplace.

High-level features available in Prepar3D include:

  • Virtual cockpit capabilities allow exact replications of 3D cockpits with fully interactive displays and representative physical switches.
  • Microsoft© DirectX 11 rendering engine takes full advantage of the increased performance, realism, and control that modern day graphics cards provide.

    • HDR Lighting System brings increased immersion when training in all times of day.
    • Dynamic lighting makes night more realistic than ever and brings immersive training in night scenarios to the next level.
    • Dynamic shadow system provides a visually appropriate scene based on the time of day. Shadows supported on the virtual cockpit, terrain, clouds, and more.
    • Volumetric fog and high fidelity visuals of clouds and weather. Create scenarios with multiple layers of realistic looking visibility conditions.
    • 3D rain and snow particle system strengthens immersion of scenarios where weather conditions are a factor.
    • High quality realistic graphics with support for texture limits as high as 4096 x 4096.
  • Whole earth WGS-84 training environment so you can train anywhere around the globe with ease.
  • Customizable atmosphere giving the user control of real-time weather, time of day, seasons, and a variety of lighting effects.
  • 64-bit architecture enables higher resolution visuals, more objects, larger scenarios, and improved performance.
  • 40 high-detail cities and almost 25,000 airports with 3-D buildings specific to the city (e.g. The White House is in Washington D.C.).
  • Accurate topography with regional specific scenery textures all around the world to make it feel like you’re actually there.
  • Worldwide vector data that includes coastlines, lakes, rivers, roads, rails, parks, streams and utility lines.
  • Realistic scenery includes millions of square kilometers of the earth accurately represent the urban environment. High resolution (12cm) content is included for specific locations.
  • 3D dynamic trees and general vegetation sways in the wind and is influenced by forces like rotorwash.
  • Modern user interface makes it faster and easier to customize your learning, training, and simulation experience.
  • Extensive configuration, settings, and options gives additional control on what and how Prepar3D performs and simulates to ensure optimized environments for varied uses.
  • Easy configuration of hardware across laptops, desktops, and multi-monitor environments. A single software baseline can be deployed across various hardware devices from a tablet to a dome.
  • Multiple view support allows a single machine to output multiple views on multiple devices that can be quickly saved and loaded.
  • Multiplayer allows up to 64 users across the globe to train and collaborate with others in real-time.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) support for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Varjo VR-1, and other headsets compatible with SteamVR.
  • Sensor cameras and views provide night vision and infrared sensor camera colorizer options to enhance training scenarios.
  • Underwater simulation using real data from the U.S. Geological Survey and bathymetry data is provided for coastal areas.
  • Expanded hardware control interfaces enable easy and realistic hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) integration. Prepar3D is fully compatible with almost any Windows supported controller or device.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities for non-user entities includes highway vehicles, air and maritime vehicles and associated traffic, as well as roaming livestock and wild animals.
  • Air Traffic Control (ATC) capabilities included so new pilots can learn the basics and veteran pilots to practice their skills. Communicating with ATC in Prepar3D mimics the way pilots and controllers communicate in the real world.
  • Flight Planner allows users to create a realistic scenario of flying from one airport to another by choosing different types of routes and flight plan types.
  • Fully expandable vehicle library including the default vehicles listed on the Vehicles page.
  • Professional Plus license enables a suite of additional capabilities for advanced training use cases:

    • Multichannel capability increases performance on multi-screen and dome setups by enabling the ability to run Prepar3D concurrently distributed across multiple systems.
    • Dynamic Weapons System allows the ability to perform weapons-based training. Fully-configurable to support training procedures related to the employment of bombs, missiles, guns, and countermeasures are included, as are examples to show you how to implement them in your training.
    • Customizable AI Behaviors enable the creation of scenarios that provide artificial entity interaction with the user. Behaviors include Attacker, Combat Air Patrol, Close Air Support, Pursue, Search, and Wingman.
    • Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) capabilities can be used to connect to a DIS network session and integrate with other simulators.
    • SimOperator networked Instructor Operating Station (IOS). Instructors can control multiplayer scenarios and modify role-players in real-time.
    • Common Image Generator Interface (CIGI) support providing communication between a Host simulation and an Image Generator (IG). Using this simulation interoperability standard Prepar3D can function as either a Host or IG.

For detailed platform capabilities, please see the Learning Center documentation.

Prepar3D v4 Developer Features
  • SimDirector is the cutting-edge training and simulation scenario generation tool.

    • Rapid creation of training scenarios with drag-and-drop scenario creation that requires no programing experience.
    • Virtual Instructor allows dynamic delivery of training feedback to trainees.
    • Flight Instructor Mode allows for instructors and trainees to create, grade, and debrief flight segments and flying maneuvers in real-time.
  • Software Development Kit (SDK) provides an open development architecture that enables the most robust and flexible development environment for any commercial simulation product. The SDK allows developers the ability to create and integrate their own content and develop their own training solutions.

    • SimConnect SDK can be used by programmers to write add-on components and access simulation data.
    • SimObject API allows developers to implement their own flight, aerodynamics, and physics models in their simulations.
    • Modeling SDK consists of a set of tools that help in the building of 3D models, panels, and gauges.
    • Environment SDK supports integration of scenery, terrain, and airport data.
  • Custom post-process system allows developers to write custom effects and apply those to further customize how 3D image is generated.
  • Air-to-ground Radar Simulation and Visualization that is highly configurable and controlled by C++ plug-ins and XML gauges.

For complete developer and SDK details, please see the Learning Center documentation.

What’s New

Prepar3D v4

Prepar3D v3

Prepar3D v2

Prepar3D v1

Release History

In November 2010, Lockheed Martin debuted Prepar3D version 1, based on Microsoft® ESP™ technology, as a training application for educational, civil, military, and aviation professionals.

In April 2011, version 1.1 was launched. The iteration not only brought users increased functionality, but also included the addition of features that supported Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) Qualification, new platforms and several modernization upgrades and performance improvements. New features in version 1.1 included enhancements to the end user experience, as well as several additions to and enhancements to SimConnect for developers.

In September 2011, version 1.2 was launched. The software release offered users full Windows 7 support in addition to several enhancements and new features. In this iteration, the multi-player experience was redesigned and improved, the multichannel capability was extended and rendering performance was improved. Developers also had access to new resources, making training scenarios even easier to customize or create from scratch.

In March 2012, version 1.3 and academic licensing were launched. Version 1.3 focused on enhancements to the user interface, multiplayer functionality and performance. Lockheed Martin released an academic version of Prepar3D to immerse students in hands-on learning and problem solving. In Prepar3D, students can see the effects of their decisions in real time, experiment with challenges at varied levels and collaborate with other students from around the globe to solve real-life problems.

In August 2012, Lockheed Martin released version 1.4. This release added the Mooney Acclaim from Lionheart Creations and T-6 Texan from IRIS Flight Simulation Software to the aircraft models available out of the box. It also provided performance updates and software fixes. With this release, Prepar3D is now certified AMD Eyefinity Gold, supporting up to six simultaneous displays off a single graphics card for a panoramic training experience.

In November 2013, Lockheed Martin released Prepar3D v2. An all new release that fully revolutionized the rendering engine, the mission creation process, as well as the software development kit. Prepar3D v2 also introduced a Professional Plus license of Prepar3D for serious training. With this release Prepar3D is brought into the future and able to take advantage of modern day graphics cards to increase simulation performance and visual fidelity and immersion for learning and training. This release also added four new air vehicles to the Prepar3D library, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor from IRIS Flight Simulation Software, the Lockheed Martin F-35A from Dino Cattaneo and the India India Alpha Foxtrot Echo team, the Beechcraft Bonanza A-36 from Carenado, and the Extra 300s from Alabeo.

Throughout 2014 and 2015, Prepar3D released five version updates to the v2 license, adding countless features, while optimizing the software for the best performance. One of the features that was added is the Flight Instructor mode, an interactive tool that makes it easier than ever to rapidly create graded flight segments, so that instructors and trainees can create, grade, and debrief flight segments and flying maneuvers in real-time. There were many v2 improvements that helped stabilized the software, add new capabilities, and provide our users with the best possible experience.

On September 30, 2015, Prepar3D v3 was released. Prepar3D v3 further simplified training scenario creation with major updates to SimDirector, the industry leading simulation courseware creation tool. Prepar3D v3 also welcomes enriched training capabilities by incorporating Autodesk® Scaleform® support, which improves the user interface and expands gauge and panel training capabilities. The new release also features a new avatar mode that enables users to exit their vehicle and experience the simulated environment in first or third person for increased realism and situational awareness.

Continuing in 2015 and 2016, Lockheed Martin continued to release updates to the v3 platform. Major additions included a new instructor operator capability (SimOperator), the reintroduction of an improved multichannel capability, improved control processing, Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) integration, new touchscreen gesture support, and native Virtual Reality support for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

On May 30, 2017, Prepar3D v4 was released. Prepar3D v4 completely changed the simulation landscape with a comprehensive baseline update to a 64-bit architecture. Higher resolution visuals, more objects, increased data precision, larger scenarios, and improved performance were made possible at levels never seen before in the product’s history. Additionally, the release included a new dynamic lighting system, rain/snow particles, global 3D trees and vegetation, a fully reworked software development kit (SDK), new default vehicles, and countless core improvements.