smartCARS 3

Subscribe to Pro as a Pilot
$3.99 per month
Subscribe as a Community
$6.99 per month


What is smartCARS and Why Do I Need It?

smartCARS is a flight tracking and management system for Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Prepar3D, X-Plane, and Microsoft Flight Simulator. A flight tracking system (known as an ACARS) to help pilots plan, track, and report flights to either their own logbooks or their virtual flying community.

Many tools exist for this purpose, but smartCARS packs in a host of additional features to make online flight simulation more fun and more reliable. It is used by hundreds of virtual airlines, loved by thousands of pilots, and is the most advanced flight tracking system available for desktop flight simulators.

Why Choose smartCARS?

  • Incredibly detailed flight tracking
  • Plan flights on SimBrief without leaving smartCARS
  • View and review past PIREPS
  • Integrated map showing online network traffic, ATC, and smartCARS traffic
  • Chat with a huge community of fellow simulation enthusiasts via the integrated chat
  • Create a one-of-a-kind experience by installing (or creating) plugins
  • Listen to music and live entertainment via integrated Sky Blue Radio players
  • Integrate with industry leading software1
  • All major desktop operating systems and simulators are supported


Going Pro

smartCARS Pro is pilot-side subscription that brings all the helpful smartCARS features to every flight without the need to join a community. Whether you are flying for a community or not, smartCARS Pro adds a host of enhanced features that make smartCARS even more powerful.

Keeping your flights safe

smartCARS Pro backs up your PIREP at the end of the flight. If you're flying for a virtual airline, your PIREP will be backed up there too. This means that you can never lose a PIREP again.

Simply backing up your PIREP is not always enough. If at any time your flight is interrupted, whether that be through a simulator crash, power outtage or similar, smartCARS Pro has got your back. smartCARS Pro backs up your flight in real time simply by clicking "Restore" to continue right where you left off, including your previous flight progress.

Know exactly what happened and when

Every smartCARS Pro PIREP includes an unparalleled level of detail. After the flight, you can see a live, moving PFD and map that show your speed, altitude, pitch, bank, and location. In addition to that, a vertical profile chart and fuel burn graph allow you to get a better understanding of the flight.

Use smartCARS Pro to evaluate your own flight performance and improve, like having a personal instructor in the cockpit. Or, use it to show off your flying skills to your friends and fellow pilots.

Abnormal flight prevention

smartCARS Pro monitors your flight and will pause your simulator immediately if it detects something off. This includes:

  • Off-schedule descent
  • Unexpected engine shutdown
  • Unexpected holds
  • Excessive pitch or bank events
If, for some reason, you have to step away (it is a simulator, after all - life happens), you can be confident that you will return to your flight either exactly as you expect or paused, waiting for you.

For Your Community

A smartCARS Community subscription allows a virtual flying community to distribute a light version of smartCARS to its pilots at no additional cost.

smartCARS community administrators gain access to smartCARS Central, a web-based management system that allows for easy customization of the smartCARS client.

Your community, your way

Pilots in a smartCARS community get access to optional flight schedule searching to allow in-app bookings. Optional charter flight support also allows charter flight creation by the pilot.

Extensive options allow for fine tuning of application colors, logos, and even specifics of how pilots flights are tracked.

Keep pilots up to date

An customizable welcome message and your latest news are displayed to pilots when they log in. This lets you communicate events, changes in community policy, and provide guidance to incoming pilots.

Work with a team that gets it

smartCARS 3 is developed by an experienced, established company with award-winning customer support2.

We understand the needs of virtual airlines and communities and have designed smartCARS to be easy to use, expandable, and reliable. Most services are cloud-hosted by TFDi Design for free3 and developers have nearly limitless customization ability via plugin creation.


For Pilots

  • Windows 10 or later, x86_64 Linux, MacOS 12 or later
  • 1GB or more of RAM
  • 250MB of hard drive space
  • FSUIPC. Native X-Plane integration.
smartCARS Pro is expected to receive a mobile companion app in 2024 that will bring real-time flight data, remote sim control, and more to your pocket. If you were a smartCARS 2 Premium subscriber, your PIREPS are automatically imported to smartCARS Pro.

For Communities
smartCARS is natively compatible with phpVMS v2.X/phpVMS v5.5, and phpVMS v7.

smartCARS can support other web systems (including custom solutions) via editing of the web files.

Virtual airline server requirements:
  • PHP 5.6 or later
  • FTP (or similar file management) access
  • MySQL
  • PHP Database Objects (PDO)

1Limited integration is provided by default but further integration depends on support from third-party developers.

2TFDi Design was awarded 'Best Support from a Developer' by FSElite in 2017.

3TFDi Design provides cloud storage for client-related assets (installer, logos, etc.), plugins, and feature-specific data storage included in the price of a license.