smartCARS 3

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What is smartCARS 3 and Why Do I Need It?

smartCARS 3 is a flight tracking and management system for Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Prepar3D, X-Plane, and Microsoft Flight Simulator. Virtual flying communities need a flight tracking system (known as an ACARS) to help its pilots plan, track, and report flights.

Many tools exist for this purpose, but smartCARS 3 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 3?

  • Manage flight schedules, effortlessly track flights, and instantly submit pilot reports (PIREPS)
  • View and review past PIREPS
  • Chat with a huge community of fellow simulation enthusiasts via the integrated chat
  • Listen to music and live entertainment via the integrated JetStream Radio player
  • Plan flights on SimBrief without leaving smartCARS
  • Create a one-of-a-kind experience by installing (or creating) plugins
  • Integrate with industry leading software1


Advantages for the Community

smartCARS streamlines operations at both brand-new and veteran communities.

  • Most services are cloud-hosted by TFDi Design for free2
  • Advanced flight tracking customization allows for community-specific tuning
  • smartCARS 3 is developed by an experienced, established company with award-winning customer support3
  • Web management system allows easily community-wide customization
  • News and welcome messages can be displayed to pilots
  • All major desktop flight simulation platforms are supported
  • Developers have nearly limitless customization ability via plugin creation

Your Pilots Will Love It

smartCARS isn't just designed to benefit the community administrators; it is also designed to be thoroughly enjoyed by pilots.

  • Modern, easy-to-use user interface
  • In-app flight searching and booking
  • Multi-bid support
  • Charter flight creation support
  • Smart flight event recording
  • Easily continue tracking a flight after a simulator crash
  • Integrated map of online simulation flight and air traffic control (VATSIM, ICAO, and smartCARS)


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)

Client desktop requirements:
  • Windows 8.1 or later, x86_64 Linux, MacOS 12 or later
  • 1GB or more of RAM
  • 250MB of hard drive space
  • FSUIPC. Native X-Plane integration.

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

2TFDi Design provides cloud storage for client-related assets (installer, logos, etc.), plugins, and feature-specific data storage included in the price of a license.

3TFDi Design was awarded 'Best Support from a Developer' by FSElite in 2017.