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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, militaries and academia 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. Users can train anywhere in the virtual world, from under water to sub orbital space.

Prepar3D offers students and professionals a platform to:

  • Experience a mission 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® 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

Lockheed Martin continuously evolves Prepar3D to maintain its place as a front runner in the modeling and simulation marketplace. The latest features and functions available in Prepar3D include:

Prepar3D v2.0 brings many exciting updates to the Prepar3D simulation platform

  • An all-new, modern DirectX 11 rendering engine that can take advantage of modern day graphics cards
    • The core rendering system in Prepar3D has been completely overhauled and updated from DirectX9 to DirectX 11.
    • Prepar3D is now able to better take advantage of modern graphics hardware. This has two main benefits to the user:
      • Increased performance and control over what is displayed
      • The further ability to have modern rendering features added to the rendering engine, including:
        • A fully dynamic shadow system, including internal virtual cockpit shadows and terrain shadows.
        • A new HDR lighting system featuring tone-mapping that brings increased immersion when training in all times of day.
        • Volumetric fog and increased fidelity of clouds and weather.
  • SimDirector – a brand new, modern training scenario generation tool suite
    • A new set of tools was required for the rapid creation of training scenarios. SimDirector eclipses the legacy Object Placement Tool and adds drag-and-drop support and a new virtual instructor for more dynamic delivery of training feedback to trainees using Prepar3D.
  • The introduction of a new Professional Plus version of Prepar3D for military training
    • In addition to the academic and professional licenses of Prepar3D, a new Professional Plus license has been released to support military training. Professional Plus brings an extensible military weapons training capability, as well as Learning Management System interfaces.
    • A fully-configurable, dynamic weapons system has been added to Prepar3D to allow our military-focused customers the ability to perform weapons-based training using Prepar3D. Support for targeting, bombs, missiles, guns, and countermeasures are included, as are examples to show you how to implement features in your training.
  • User interface updates, as well as many other exciting updates to the core platform.
    • Prepar3D v2 features an entirely redesigned user interface which makes it faster and easier to customize your learning, training and simulation experience in Prepar3D.
    • Many additional configuration options have been added to give users additional control on what and how Prepar3D performs it’s rendering and simulation.
  • An updated SDK including many requested features and a new iSimObject API that allows developers full control over their SimObjects.
    • An all new SimObject API allowing developers to implement their own flight, aerodynamics and physics models in their simulations.
    • A new custom post-process system which allows developers to write custom effects to be applied to the rendered image to further customize how Prepar3D’s image is generated.
    • A whole host of other additions to SimConnect, the gauges and panels systems, and the modeling SDK. Please see the SDK for additional details.
  • Four brand new air vehicles:

  • New user interface – Users now have a Windows 7 compatible drag n’ drop interface with customizable settings. Quickly create and save your favorite missions.
  • Multiple monitor settings saved – Users can quickly save panel and scenery window locations across multiple monitors with flight files. Prepar3D remembers the settings upon restarting a flight and restarting Prepar3D.
  • Internet multi-player capability – Users across the globe can collaborate with others within the Prepar3D environment to train for their missions or tasks.
  • Multi-channel capability – Users can harness the power of this new feature to operate Prepar3D with multiple computers creating a more expansive viewing capability all the way up to 360 degrees field of view.
  • Sensor camera options – Users can experience night vision and infrared sensor camera options to enhance military mission or night flying training.
  • Realistic scenery – Millions of square kilometers of the earth have been checked and upgraded to accurately represent the urban environment. High resolution 12 cm content added for specific locations.
  • Higher quality graphics – Users will experience higher quality graphics such as more realistic rainy or snowy weather with the modernized shader model 3.0. Also offered for higher quality graphics are increased texture limits which can be set as high as 4096 x 4096.
  • Underwater environments – Users can take their simulation experience underwater with submarines and the U.S. Geological Survey’s coastal bathymetry.
  • Enhanced developer toolset – Developers can use the Prepar3D environment to create new training solutions for the most modern platforms. To aid in rapid development, Prepar3D is now compatible with Windows 7 and Visual Studio 2010; it offers a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) user interface, an external simulator capability that provides enhanced control of the simulation code, new code samples updated in the Software Development Kit (SDK) documentation and support for the latest 3DStudio Max tools. Developers can also create a richer user experience with higher resolution terrain by taking advantage of the increased texture limits.
  • Expanded Hardware Controls – Users, especially fighter pilots, can now train with realistic hands on throttle and stick (HOTAS).

In November 2013, Lockheed Martin released Prepar3D v2. An all new release that fully revolutionizes the rendering engine, the mission creation process, as well as the software development kit. Prepar3D v2 also introduces a Professional Plus license of Prepar3D for serious military 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 adds 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.

In August 2012, Lockheed Martin released version 1.4. This release adds 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 provides 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 March 2012, version 1.3 and academic licensing were launched. Version 1.3 focuses on enhancements to the user interface, multi-player 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 September 2011, version 1.2 was launched. The software release offers users full Windows 7 support in addition to several enhancements and new features. In this iteration, the multi-player experience is redesigned and improved, the multi-channel capability is extended and rendering performance has been improved. Developers also have access to new resources, making training scenarios even easier to customize or create from scratch.

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

In February 2011, the Prepar3D team launched additional tools including the Prepar3D Model Converter and Prepar3D Model Placer to help developers by making it easier to create scenery and missions.

In November 2010, Lockheed Martin debuted Prepar3D 1.0, based on Microsoft® ESP™ technology, as a training application for military, educational, civil and aviation professionals.

Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 (32-bit) Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)
Computer Processor
2.0 GHz Quad Core 3.0 GHz (Per Core) +
Computer Memory
2 GB 4 GB +
Hard Drive Space
30 GB (3 GB for the SDK)
Graphics Card Video Memory
1 GB 2 GB + (GDDR5 or better)
Graphics Card Other
Full DirectX 11 Support (currently, DirectX 10 is not supported)
Administrator Rights (for installation)
DirectX 11
1024×720 minimum screen resolution

Operating System
Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, or 7 (32-bit) Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)
Computer Processor
2.0 GHz Quad Core 2.0 GHz (Per Core) +
Computer Memory
2 GB 4 GB +
Hard Drive Space
20 GB (2 GB for the SDK)
Graphics Card Video Memory
256 MB 1 GB + (GDDR5 or better)
Graphics Card Other
Vertex/Pixel Shader Model 3.0 or newer
DirectX9 or newer compatibility
Administrator Rights
1024×720 minimum screen resolution