Prepar3D Product Overview

Release Notes

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

Virtual world with 40 high-detail cities and more than 24,900 airportsEnvironment includes highway, air and maritime traffic, as well as livestock and wild animals
Customizable, data driven graphics and models
Whole earth WGS-84 model with accurate topography and regionally appropriate texturesTime of day lightingEnhanced Atmospherics brings the sky to life with volumetric clouds & localized precipitationSeasons with relevant weather, lighting and foliage
Realistic air traffic control

Expandable library of vehicle models
Native Varjo XR-1 headset support


  • Virtual cockpit capabilities allow exact replications of 3D cockpits with fully interactive displays and representative physical switches.
  • Microsoft© DirectX 12 rendering engine takes full advantage of the increased performance, realism, and control that modern day graphics cards provide.
    • Enhanced Atmospherics System brings the sky to life with volumetric clouds and localized precipitation.
    • 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 XR-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.
    • Mixed Reality pass-through camera support for blending of physical and digital worlds
    • 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 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.