» Latest News


More than 45 flight simulation and aviation organizations, including Prepar3D, are participating in FlightSimExpo this June! As North America’s largest enthusiast flight simulation trade show and conference, FlightSimExpo expects to draw more than 1,500 pilots and simmers to Tropicana Las Vegas on June 12-14, 2020.   This is an all-ages event that welcomes simmers and pilots of all experience levels. A community-driven event, the venue, host city, and activities have all been determined by feedback from simmers and industry developers.  

Lockheed Martin is proud to be a Diamond Sponsor of the event and will be in attendance to represent Prepar3D, a visual simulation platform that allows users to create training scenarios across aviation, maritime, and ground domains. Prepar3D has become the go-to platform for serious flight simmers and developers creating top-tier simulation add-on products.

Event registration includes access to all seminars, a goodie bag, free drinks and appetizers during the attendee social, and a 6-month membership with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Attendees can find out more information and register to attend at www.flightsimexpo.com.

Seminars take place from 9:00 am on Saturday, June 13 to 3:00 pm on Sunday, June 14. Presentations from air traffic controllers, home cockpit builders, NTSB investigators, community leaders, and developers take place in two rooms during show hours. Meanwhile, a 24,000 square foot exhibit floor offers attendees the chance to try the latest in simulation technology, experience virtual reality, and win prizes in landing competitions and other contests.

The show is held at on the Strip at the Tropicana Las Vegas Conference Center. Through FlightSimExpo, attendees can book hotel rooms for $150/night, including all taxes and fees, averaged over a three-night stay. Airline discounts are available from Delta, Southwest, and WestJet. Attendees can save up to 30% on rental cars through Enterprise. And there are special show deals and discounts available at nearby attractions restaurants.

To attend the show, register online at www.flightsimexpo.com.

For pictures, more details, and to connect with the community, like FlightSimExpo on Facebook and follow on Twitter (@FlightSimExpo).


Prepar3D Professional Plus has many additional advanced capabilities. SimOperator is a key component of the Professional Plus package enabling native Instructor Operator Station (IOS) capabilities built into Prepar3D. This functionality enables a host, generally an instructor, to monitor a multiplayer session while also having the ability to add scenario objects and change scenario conditions in real time! These features allow for instructors to model many different realistic scenarios, including changing weather conditions and failure recovery, which enhances the training experience for students in real-time.

SimOperator is included in Prepar3D Professional Plus available here.

Procedure: Creating a Basic Multiplayer Structured Scenario

  1. Enter SimDirector by navigating to Tools -> SimDirector.
  2. Create a ScenarioMetatdata object, setting the “IsMultiplayer” property to True.
  3. Create a Player object, name it Player1 accordingly, and position it on a runway. Use the Heading parameter in the Orientation field to properly align the aircraft with the runway. Repeat for additional players, if desired.
  4. Rename the scenario under File -> Scenario -> Overview to anything desired.
  5. Save the .fxml in Documents\Prepar3D v4 Files.
  6. Now the scenario can be loaded, be it for a multiplayer structured session or a SimOperator session!

Procedure: Setting up a Session

  1. On the SimOperator host:
    1. Navigate to Tools -> SimOperator to begin hosting the session.
    2. Enter a user name and click Sign In.
    3. Fill in the Basic Options and Additional Options (optional) tab on the Create New Session screen.
    4. Choose to host as Structured, Standard, or Current Scenario. If hosting as a Structured Scenario, select the desired Multiplayer scenario to run, hit OK, and choose the Structured Scenario Options and hit OK If hosting as a Standard Scenario, choose the Scenario Options and hit OK.
    5. Once all players are ready, begin the session. While the SimOperator screen has many windows, this guide can help with navigating through them. For more information on setting up a session, refer to this as a reference, since SimOperator uses Prepar3D’s multiplayer system.
  2. From the perspective of a Player joining a SimOperator session, simply join the session as if it were a multiplayer structured session, navigating to Network -> Multiplayer to begin this process.

Staging Mode vs. Live Mode

SimOperator can be used in two different modes, each with their separate functionalities. Staging Mode, activated by using the Staging Mode button, enables the operator to add, remove, or modify objects within their initial state. Then, the Operator can commit these changes to all of the clients, which will see the updated changes live. Within Staging Mode, all world objects will have a staged version appear at the initial staged scenario object. Note: Before committing, it is recommended to Run Validation using the Validation Output panel to ensure that the objects will function as intended. Live Mode is more restrictive than Staging Mode, as the operator can only modify their live properties, including location. However, these changes in Live Mode are instantaneously updated on all clients without needing to commit changes.

On the left  is a screenshot of SimOperator in Live Mode, note that there are only icons for scenery objects and active players. On the right is a screenshot of SimOperator in Staging Mode, note the increase in icons and how the Player 1 icon moved to its default start position.

SimOperator in Live Mode (only scenery object and active player icons present)

SimOperator in Staging Mode (more icons present, Player 1 icon now at start position)


Procedure: Simulating Live Failures

SimOperator has the unique capability of allowing the operator to simulate aircraft failures in real-time. This is especially useful when modeling failure recovery scenarios. The following procedure creates an action object that can be executed live whenever the operator desires, requiring players to react immediately.

  1. Once the session is set up, enter Staging Mode using the toggle on the Editor tab.
  2. Use the Catalog to add a FailureAction object with the following non-default properties:
    • Health Count: 0
    • Object Name: FailureAction1
    • TargetPlayer: Player1, All Players, or a different specific player
    • System: Fire (Eng 1) Note: This can be anything in the list , like instrument failures, but the fire offers a clear visual.
  3. Commit the changes by navigating to Objects -> Commit All (1).
  4. Select FailureAction1 from the Objects panel on the left-hand side and execute it by navigating to Objects -> Execute (FailureAction1).
  5. At this instant, Player1’s aircraft will go from looking like the image on the left to the image on the right.

Player 1, functioning as normal

Player 1, now with an engine on fire

Note: To revert a failure, change the HealthPercent property to 100 and repeat steps 3 and 4.

Procedure: Weather Manipulation through Objects

SimOperator not only has the capability to host Multiplayer Scenarios, but objects can be created live during an active session. The following step-by-step procedure creates two areas a player can fly through to completely changing the weather from clear skies to thunderstorms and back.

  1. Once the session is set up, enter Staging Mode using the toggle on the Editor tab.
  2. Use the Catalog to add the following objects:
    • 2 SetWeatherStationAction objects with the following non-default properties:
      • Object Name: SetClearWeather, and SetThunderstormWeather, respectively
      • Metar Data: KRND 27007KT 15SM SKC and KRND 27007KT 7SM +TSRA BKN055CB, respectively
        For a breakthrough of Metar Data strings and more information on customizing weather through these strings, refer to this guide.
    • 2 SphereArea objects with the following non-default properties:
      • Object Name: Sphere_Clear and Sphere_Thunderstorm, respectively
      • Area Radius: 500 meters for both spheres
      • RGB Color: Green and Red, respectively
      • Draw Style: Outlined for both spheres
      • AttachedWorldPosition: Location of choice, but keep them close together for easier navigation
    • 2 ProximityTrigger objects with the following non-default properties:
      • Object Name: Trigger_Clear and Trigger_Thunderstorm, respectively
      • OnEnterFilter: Player 1 for both Note: If there are more than one player present, add “Player 2”, “Player 3”, etc.
      • OnEnterActions: SetClearWeather and SetThunderstormWeather, respectively
      • OneShot: No for both
      • Areas: Sphere_Clear and Sphere_Thunderstorm, respectively
    • (Optional) 1 Point of Interest object located very close to the 2 spheres (leave other parameters as the default). This will help with navigation, especially when flying through the thunderstorms.

    Partial screenshot of the SimOperator host, with the 7 additions highlighted

  3. Commit all the additions by navigating to Objects -> Commit All (#).
  4. Enjoy flying through and around these interactive objects that were created in real time, a small taste of what SimOperator has to offer!



Create a dynamic learning experience in Prepar3D utilizing the versatility of SimOperator today!

Try it now by purchasing Prepar3D Professional Plus at our online store.


The second hotfix to Prepar3D v4.5 ( is now available. It can be downloaded immediately from the Purchased Downloads section of the website.

Conquer the skies in the latest update to v4.5

The Prepar3D v4.5 Hotfix 2 contains numerous new features and improvements. Multiple changes have been made to improve the Virtual Reality (VR) experience including automatically hiding the VR mouse cursor when not in use, providing additional calibration options, and adding the ability to enable eye tracking by default. A new Eye Tracking Demonstration scenario is included that showcases VR eye tracking and guides a new pilot through a representative aircraft startup procedure. Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) ground clamping has been completely overhauled bringing enhanced realism to live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) events. Developers now have access to several new Prepar3D Development Kit (PDK) services including advanced VR interfaces that help streamline Mixed Reality (MR) integrations. Additionally, multiple bugs reported by users and developers were fixed, further improving the usability and stability of Prepar3D v4.5.

Only the Client installer is required for the majority of fixes present in Prepar3D v4.5 Hotfix 2. The Content, Scenery, and SDK installers are optional. Each fix listed below is categorized per installer. Please note, you must first have Prepar3D v4 installed to utilize any of the standalone installers (Client, Content, and Scenery).

To install the new Client, you must first uninstall your current Prepar3D v4 Client via Programs and Features in Windows Control Panel.

The Prepar3D v4.5 update may require you to reactivate your product, however if you have an internet connection or have not made any major hardware changes between installations this should not be an issue. For more information please view the Prepar3D v4 Download and Installation Directions.

The newly posted Prepar3D v4.5 ( Full Download on the Purchased Downloads page includes Hotfix 2.

Please be aware that some third party developers might have to update their add-ons to be compatible with this hotfix. Please contact the third party developers directly for any compatibility questions.

Prepar3D v4.5 Hotfix 2

    Client Fixes and Improvements

    • Fixed Startup Screen UI issue where the incorrect date would be displayed after loading a scenario.
    • Fixed bug preventing SSAA from being applied on PBR objects.
    • Fixed issue where AI cargo doors would not close before taxi/takeoff in some cases.
    • Fixed issue where AI baggage carts could get stuck in the TAXI state causing AI aircraft to remain in the PreFlight state.
    • Fixed issue preventing pylons without attached weapons from serializing in multiplayer.
    • Tracer rounds now render in multiplayer.
    • VR recalibration origin can now be configured including an option to calibrate with a custom origin without triggering calibration from OpenVR.
    • Fixed crash that could occur when DIS labels were active with high traffic settings.
    • Improved fallback logic when a container title is not found in the DISEntityTypes.xml.
    • Fixed bug where attach points would not animate in some cases.
    • Fixed several positioning bugs with mixed reality portals.
    • Improved portal editing including the ability to modify their PBH and name.
    • Added FOV edit mode for VR controllers.
    • Different shapes can now be used for portals including cylinders, spheres, and rectangles.
    • Gaze detection can now be enabled in VR settings.
    • Fixed crash that could occur when crashing the aircraft while using a Varjo VR-1 headset.
    • Fixed light and text sizing, g-effects, and inverted eye openness values in Varjo VR-1 headsets.
    • Fixed bug preventing 3D airport navigation visuals from drawing in some locations.
    • Fixed crash that could occur during scenario validation if VI sessions were empty.
    • VR mouse cursor is now hidden when not in use.
    • Tooltips are now stored in each pick request.
    • Fixed bug preventing VR tooltips from appearing if other external pick requests were active.
    • Added an AllowLoopback DIS option to allow processing of packets sent by the local machine.
    • Any VR interface can now be enabled on startup.
    • Fixed bug affecting the visibility of attached effects.
    • Added eye panel data to VR settings.
    • Fixed issue causing brightness in HDR to be too low in some cases.
    • Fixed issue where objects with PBR materials would have incorrect vertical positions in some cases.
    • Scaleform panels now serialize local variables (L:Vars) in multiplayer.
    • Added VR passthrough camera settings screen.
    • Fixed issues preventing weapon targets from recording and playing back correctly in some cases.
    • Simplified playback complete dialog text.
    • Entities will now maintain their current course when a PlayFlightRecordingAction completes.
    • Added CIGI auto-start capability.
    • Fixed issue where OnCompleteActions would not fire after AI completed a waypoint list.
    • Improved VR tracker calibration including the ability to use a tracker puck as the camera origin.
    • Fixed bug where add-on airport LLA would not be updated in some cases.
    • DIS pull to ground is now on by default.
    • DIS pull to ground now uses CG height instead of the bounding box for placement.
    • DIS pull to ground transition is now smoothed as well as clamping pitch and bank.
    • Added button to calibrate eye tracking for Varjo VR-1 headsets.
    • Fixed issue where add-on land class textures would not be loaded in some cases.
    • Stereo mode now supported for Vive Pro Eye passthrough camera.
    • Improved handling of alpha values in terrain vector textures.
    • Eye tracking in supported VR headsets is now automatically enabled.
    • Fixed issue where airport runway secondary landing attributes would be ignored and processed as primary landing attributes.
    • Added VR Tuning Guide to the Learning Center.

    Content Fixes and Improvements

    • Fixed incorrect fire weapon voice control binding and added default fire gun command.
    • Fixed DIS enumeration for wander boat.
    • Fixed text display, target distance, and target aspect angle issues in the F-16 HMD overlay.
    • Removed the momentum effect from the Virtual Cockpit Only camera.
    • Fixed visibility issues with the explosion flak effect.
    • Added Eye Tracking Demonstration Scenario.
    • Moved F-16 eyepoint forward slightly.
    • Fixed default DIS entity mappings for Lowboy Semi-Tractor Trailer and Tanker Truck Yellow to prevent collisions.

    Scenery Fixes and Improvements

    • Fixed incorrect transparency values in several autogen objects.

    SDK Fixes and Improvements

    • Fixed incorrect ordering of C-gauge tokens.
    • Fixed variable naming for ISimObject attachment units and updated documentation.
    • Fixed missing GetGeneralTimeOfDay function in the IGlobalDataV430 interface.
    • Custom SimObject properties that override native SimVars now work over SimConnect.
    • Added an OpenGL Panel sample.
    • Updated the picking sample with an example of using world ray interrogation.
    • Fixed a memory leak in the Custom Icon sample.
    • Fixed bug preventing columns from being customized in the Traffic Toolbox tool.
    • Added an Eye Tracking SDK sample.
    • Fixed UV channel optimization issue causing vertex count mismatches in some cases.
    • Added addition simulation categories to SimConnect_RequestDataOnSimObjectType.
    • Added additional VR SDK interfaces.
    • Added world object PDK service to create, place, and remove objects by GUID.
    • Added world object PDK service sample.
    • Added OpenCVStereoCamera PDK sample.
    • Fixed crash that would occur when using the panel system InitializeVarByName function.

Thanks again for your support!


Disclaimer: Links to third-party websites are provided for convenience only. The fact that LMC has provided a link to a third-party’s website does not constitute an implicit or explicit endorsement, authorization, sponsorship, or affiliation by LMC with respect to such website, its owners, content, products, or services. By clicking on a third-party link, you will leave the LMC website and will be subject to the privacy and security policies of the third-party website.

The Prepar3D Software Development Kit (SDK) has numerous functionalities enabling users to customize their Prepar3D experience. One of these features allows users to import imagery to create a more immersive flying experience with geo-specific data. Prepar3D’s terrain system utilizes geographic information system (GIS) data techniques enabling realistic flights over accurate terrain across the entire earth. However, it may be desired to use satellite imagery in specific scenarios. To address this, not only does Prepar3D have 40 (and counting) high-detail cities around the world, but also has SDK tools letting users choose which areas they want to replace with custom imagery.

Importing imagery into Prepar3D consists of the following steps: First, the satellite imagery itself must be downloaded and converted to the proper file format. Following this, a third-party tool will reproject and reformat the file into the proper coordinate system that Prepar3D uses. Then, using the SDK’s resample tool, a .bgl file will be created, enabling the user to replace default terrain data. Once this is finished, the new terrain data can be seen in Prepar3D and scenery objects can be autogenerated onto the existing terrain through other SDK and third-party tools.


First download and install FWTools, an open-source GIS tool made by Frank Warmerdam.
Using the USGS National Map (recommended for geospatial data within the US), requires downloading the following items. Using geospatial data from other sources may also require these items as they’re used for various file conversions.

Download and extract the USGS_Raster_Conversion_Scripts.zip file from here, which are geospatial file conversion scripts.
The above scripts require the use of GDAL (Note: the correct installer will be the gdal-[version]-core.msi).

ScenProc is a third-party tool that can speed up the process of adding large amounts of scenery objects (buildings, vegetation, etc.).

Procedure: Updating Terrain

    USGS National Map

  1. If using the USGS National Map, download a JP2 file(s) from here. To do this, select an area using the “Draw Rectangle” tool and then select “Imagery – NAIP Plus (1 meter to 1 foot)” option on the left before hitting “Find Products”. Multiple options may appear depending on how large of an area is selected so be sure to view the footprint of each .jp2 file before downloading to know what area of imagery is being downloaded.
  2. If using the USGS National Map or have other geospatial data that is not in a GeoTIFF format, use the USGS Raster Conversion Scripts to make this file change. Navigate in command line to the …\…\USGS_Raster_Conversion_Scripts\JP2_Source folder and run this command:
    GDAL_JP2_2_GeoTIFF.bat "Input JP2 file location & name" [Output TIFF file location & name]For more information on how to convert to GeoTIFF, refer to this guide.
  3. Reproject the GeoTIFF with FWTools by opening up “FWTools Shell” from the Start menu and running this command:
    gdalwarp -t_srs “+proj=longlat +ellps=wgs84 +datum=wgs84 +units=d” -s_srs EPSG:3857 "Input TIFF file location & name" "Output TIFF file location & name"
  4. Reformat the GeoTIFF file with FWTools by running this command in the FWTools shell:
    gdal_translate -b 1 -b 2 -b 3 -co “TFW=YES” "Input(Output file from prev. step) TIFF file location & name" "Output TIFF file location & name"
    Note: Skip this if your scenery is majority water.
  5. Create an INF file in any text editing program (i.e. Notepad or Notepad++) with the following content:

    Type = GeoTIFF
    SourceDir = <Input GeoTIFF File location>
    SourceFile = <GeoTIFF file name>
    Layer = Imagery
    Variation = Day
    NullValue = 0,0,0
    DestDir = <Export BGL file location>
    DestBaseFileName = <BGL file name>
    DestFileType = BGL
    LOD = Auto

    Note: If adding scenery objects, ensure the folder with the BGL files is titled “Scenery”.
  6. Run the resample tool by navigating to the folder containing resample.exe and dragging the .inf file on top of it. For more information on running the Resample tool refer to the Resample section of the Learning Center
  7. Once in Prepar3D, navigate to the Scenery Library (click on Scenery on the startup screen or go to World, then Scenery Library once in a scenario), click on “Add Area”, navigate to the folder with all the BGL output files and hit OK. For more information on adding new files to Prepar3D scenery, refer to this guide in the Learning Center.
  8. Enjoy the new terrain, where viewing a mountaintop went from looking like the image on the left to the right!

Default Scenery

Updated Scenery







Procedure: Adding Autogeneration Objects

Note: If generating a small amount of buildings or vegetation the Annotator tool can be used instead of the steps listed below. Refer to theautogeneration overview page in the Learning Center for an in-depth tutorial on the Annotator tool.

    OpenStreetMap Overpass

  1. Run a query on OpenStreetMap data using Overpass. For example, the query on the right is finding all the buildings and natural landscape (forests, ponds, wetlands, etc.) within an area bounded by the window of the map itself. The output is shown on the map with different areas colored accordingly. For more information on writing queries to access different types of data, consult the OpenStreetMap wiki.
    Note: OpenStreetMap is open-source so there is a chance to come across missing or erroneous data, however this is rare.
  2. Export raw OSM data once satisfied with the Overpass output.
  3. Using ScenProc, write a script (or utilize a template) to transform the raw OSM data into AGN files that Prepar3D can use. Documentation for ScenProc is in“ScenProc.pdf” which should be in the .zip file downloaded earlier. When configuring ScenProc upon startup, select the latest version of Prepar3D (currently v3 and v2) that’s supported by this tool. While ScenProc doesn’t officially support Prepar3D v4, the tool still works correctly. Below is an example script that uses building and natural landscape OSM data to generate houses and trees in a neighborhood. Important: Ensure that the EXPORTAGN command directs the AGN files to a folder labeled “texture” that is in the same folder as the “Scenery” folder from Step 5 of Terrain above.

    ImportOGR|C:\Users\test\Downloads\export (2).osm|*|landuse;building|NOREPROJ
    ImportOGR|C:\Users\test\Downloads\export (2).osm|*|landuse;natural|NOREPROJ
    # Add attribute to indicate the type of building
    # Remove complex buildings
    # Create buildings autogen
    #Create vegetation
    EXPORTAGN|P3D v2|C:\Users\test\Documents\Prepar3D v4 Add-ons\Addon Scenery\texture

    Note: Depending on what data is imported from OpenStreetMap, the GUIDs at the bottom may be different (e.g. larger buildings, different climactic zone, etc.). There are .xml files located in World\Autogeneration\Autogen source xml that have other GUIDs that can be copied over to the appropriate areas of the ScenProc script.
  4. Annotator Tool

  5. Run the script and navigate in File Explorer to the “texture” folder and ensure the AGN files are present.
  6. To confirm that the script worked, open the BGL file from Step 6 of Terrain through the Annotator tool, which is in …\SDK\World\Autogeneration. The file should look similar to this, although it depends on the exact query and script.
  7. Open Prepar3D again (if its open, close it before opening), navigate to the area with autogenerated objects, and increase the Autogen Vegetation/Building Density settings in Options->Graphics->World
  8. Enjoy the more realistic surrounding landscape by transforming the terrain and autogen as shown below!

Original Scenery

Updated Terrain

Updated Autogen






In just a few steps Prepar3D default scenery and terrain can be enhanced to improve and customize the Prepar3D flying experience! Try it now by purchasing Prepar3D and downloading the SDK.

For more information on the Prepar3D SDK and content creation refer to the Learning Center SDK Overview. Our online forum is also a great source for additional help from both Prepar3D developers and users.


The hotfix update to Prepar3D v4.5 ( is now available. It can be downloaded immediately from the Purchased Downloads section of the website.

Only the Client installer is required for the majority of fixes present in Prepar3D v4.5 Hotfix. The Content, Scenery, and SDK installers are optional. Each fix listed below is categorized per installer. Please note, you must first have Prepar3D v4 installed to utilize any of the standalone installers (Client, Content, and Scenery).

To install the new Client, you must first uninstall your current Prepar3D v4 Client via Programs and Features in Windows Control Panel.

The Prepar3D v4.5 update will require you to reactivate your product, however if you have an internet connection or have not made any major hardware changes between installations this should not be an issue. For more information please view the Prepar3D v4 Download and Installation Directions.

The newly posted Prepar3D v4.5 ( Full Download on the Purchased Downloads page includes the Hotfix.

Please be aware that some third party developers might have to update their add-ons to be compatible with the hotfix. Please contact the third party developers directly for any compatibility questions.

Prepar3D v4.5 Hotfix

    Client Fixes and Improvements

    • Fixed performance issues seen on some systems and configurations.
    • Fixed issue where the interpolated wind direction value would be invalid in some cases.
    • Added configuration option to toggle UI hardware acceleration mode (UIHardwareAcceleration).
    • Fixed crash when re-enabling Virtual Reality (VR) while using the Oculus headset.
    • Fixed crash that could occur in some cases after a plugin removed its textures from the system.
    • Varjo eye tracking is now supported.
    • Improved performance when using the Varjo headset.
    • Fixed issue where CreateEffect callbacks would not be issued unless both xyz and pbh offsets were present.
    • CIGI ownship ID now set to 0 for versions prior to CIGI 4.0.
    • Fixed error with empty EntityAffiliation tags being written out in saved scenarios.
    • Fixed issue where sound volume could be incorrect when switching between interior and exterior views.
    • Fixed issue where PBR textures could be black in interior views when first entering a vehicle.
    • Fixed incorrect unit conversions for camera eyepoint altitude P variables.

    Content Fixes and Improvements

    • Fixed missing PBR texture in F-16A.
    • Removed light scaling from beacon effects.

    Scenery Fixes and Improvements

    • Increased beacon light visibility distance.

    SDK Fixes and Improvements

    • Fixed an issue where the PBRMaterial’s effectFile property would not be updated during load.
    • Fixed an issue where 3ds Max exports would throw material mismatch errors when P3DMaterial and PBRMaterial were being used in the same scene.
    • Fixed issue with drawing and loading Annotator vegetation polygons.
    • Fixed several minor errors in documentation.

Thanks again for your support!