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» Prepar3D® Product Overview

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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 v3 Platform Features

Lockheed Martin continuously evolves Prepar3D to maintain its place as a front runner in the modeling and simulation marketplace. Some of the latest features and functions 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 modern day graphics cards
    • Increased performance, increased realism, and offers the full control over what is displayed
    • Dynamic shadow system, including internal virtual cockpit shadows, terrain, and cloud shadows.
    • HDR lighting system brings increased immersion when training in all times of day.
    • Volumetric fog and increased fidelity of clouds and weather.
    • High quality graphics support texture limits as high as 4096 x 4096.
  • Different times of the year or different times of the day will change how you simulate with our real-time weather system, continuous time of day, seasons, and a variety of lighting effects.
  • Visit 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.).
  • While moving across different regions, users will notice accurate topography with regional specific scenery textures to make it feel like you’re actually there.
  • Modern user interface – faster and easier to customize your learning, training, and simulation experience.
    • Extensive configuration options to give users additional control on what and how Prepar3D performs and simulates.
  • Easy system configuration across laptops, desktops, and multi-monitor environments.
    • Multiple view support allows a single machine to output multiple views on multiple devices and create an immersive experience that engages the senses
    • Quickly save and load panel and scenery window locations across multiple monitors.
  • Multiplayer allows up to 64 users across the globe to train and collaborate with others in real-time.
  • Sensor Cameras – Users can experience night vision and infrared sensor camera options to enhance training.
  • Realistic Scenery – Millions of square kilometers of the earth have been checked and upgraded to accurately represent the urban environment. High resolution (12cm) content added for specific locations.
  • Using real data from the U.S. Geological Survey, users can simulate an underwater experience using our submarines with our up-to-date bathymetry.
  • Expanded Hardware Controls – Users, especially fighter pilots, can train with realistic hands on throttle and stick (HOTAS). Prepar3D is fully compatible with almost any Windows supported controller or device.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) controlled non-user entities include highway vehicles, air and maritime vehicles and traffic, as well as livestock and wild animals.
  • Air Traffic Control (ATC) capabilities – New pilots can learn the basics, and veteran pilots can practice their skills. Communicating with ATC in Prepar3D mimics the way pilots and controllers communicate in the real world.
  • Flight Planner feature allows users to create a realistic scenario of flying from one airport to another, choosing different types of routes and flight plan types.
  • Fully expandable vehicle library with outstanding default vehicles:
    • Lockheed Martin F-35A from Dino Cattaneo and the India India Alpha Foxtrot Echo team
    • Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor from IRIS Flight Simulation Software
    • H-60 Black Hawk from Virtavia
    • Beechcraft Bonanza A-36 from Carenado
    • Extra 300s from Alabeo
    • See the Vehicles page for a complete listing
  • A 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 on multiple systems
    • A fully-configurable, dynamic weapons system allows the ability to perform weapons-based training. Support for targeting, bombs, missiles, guns, and countermeasures are included, as are examples to show you how to implement features 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.
    • Use Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) capabilities 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.

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

Prepar3D v3 Developer Features
  • SimDirector is the cutting-edge training and simulation scenario generation tool
    • Rapid creation of training scenarios – Drag-and-drop scenario creation 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) allows developers the ability to create and integrate their own content
    • SimConnect SDK can be used by programmers to write add-on components and access complete 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
  • Highly configurable air-to-ground radar simulation and visualization that is controlled by C++ plug-ins and XML gauges.

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

What’s New

Prepar3D v3

Prepar3D v2

Prepar3D v1

Release History

In November 2010, Lockheed Martin debuted Prepar3D 1.0, 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 continues to release updates to the v3 platform. Major additions include 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.