FlightGear

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FlightGear
FlightGear Logo.png
Bo105 over Sint Marteen
Bo105 over Sint Marteen
Original author(s)David Murr, Curt Olson, Michael Basler, Eric Korpela[1]
Developer(s)FlightGear Developers & Contributors
Initial releaseJuly 17, 1997; 22 years ago (1997-07-17)
Stable release
2018.3.2[2] / January 29, 2019; 6 months ago (2019-01-29)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC++, C[3]
Operating system32-bit & 64-bit Windows
Linux
Mac OS X
FreeBSD
Solaris or IRIX
PlatformCross-platform
Size1.54 GB (Main files)
Available inEnglish (Translations Available)
TypeFlight simulator
LicenseGNU General Public License
Websiteflightgear.org

FlightGear Flight Simulator (often shortened to FlightGear or FGFS) is a free, open source multi-platform flight simulator developed by the FlightGear project since 1997.[4]

David Murr started the project on April 8, 1996. The project had its first release in 1997 and continued in development. It has specific builds for a variety of operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, IRIX, and Solaris.

FlightGear source code is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License and is free and open-source software.

Some commercial products—Earth Flight Sim, Flight Pro Sim, Flight Simulator Plus, Pro Flight Simulator, Real Flight Simulator, Virtual Pilot 3D, and others—are copies of old versions of FlightGear, see Commercial redistribution. They are not endorsed by the FlightGear project.[5]

History[edit]

FlightGear started as an online proposal in 1996 by David Murr, in Canada. He proposed a new flight simulator developed by volunteers over the Internet as alternative to proprietary, available simulators like the Microsoft Flight Simulator. The flight simulator was created using custom 3D graphics code. Development of an OpenGL based version was spearheaded by Curtis Olson starting in 1997. FlightGear incorporated other open-source resources, including the LaRCsim flight model from NASA, and freely available elevation data. The first working binaries using OpenGL came out in 1997.

In June 2014 Honda lawyers issued a takedown request in which it was claimed that the HondaJet model in the simulator infringes on Honda's trademarks. Subsequently, HondaJet became the first model removed from the simulator due to legal reasons.[6]

Design and Key Features[edit]

The FlightGear wiki organizes tutorials, documentation for the game, and the development status of available models.[7][8]

Runway lights.

Flight Model[edit]

Mass balance, ground reactions, propulsion, aerodynamics, buoyant forces, external forces, atmospheric forces, and gravitational forces can be utilized by JSBSim, the current default flight model supported by FlightGear, to determine flight characteristics.[9] FlightGear also supports LaRCsim, UIUC, YASim, the use of an external source like MATLAB, and custom flight models for hot air balloons and spacecraft.[10]

Multiplayer[edit]

Several networking options allow FlightGear to communicate with other instances of FlightGear. A multiplayer protocol is available for using FlightGear on a local network in a multi aircraft environment. This can be used for formation flight or air traffic control simulation. Soon after the original Multiplayer Protocol became available, it was expanded to allow playing over the internet. It is possible to see other players in game if they have the same aircraft models and viewing their flight path is possible with the game's online multiplayer map.[11]

Several instances of FlightGear can be synchronized to allow for a multi-monitor environment.

Weather[edit]

FlightGear uses metar data to produce live weather patterns in real time.[12] Detailed weather settings allow for 3d clouds, a variety of cloud types, and precipitation. Precipitation and terrain affect turbulence and cloud formations.[13] Aloft waypoint settings allow high altitude behaviors of wind to be modeled from live weather information, and thermals can also be modeled.[14]

Rain in Brazil near Medellin in FlightGear.
Snow in Innsbruck in FlightGear.

Critical reception[edit]

Wright Flyer in 0.9.9, which uses the UIUC FDM

Although not developed or typically analyzed solely as a game in the traditional sense, FlightGear has nevertheless undergone reviews in a number of online and offline publications, and received positive reviews as a flight simulator game.[15] FlightGear 1.0.0 was noted as being impressive for a game over a decade in the making, with a wide variety of aircraft and features.

PC Magazine noted how it is designed to be easy to add new aircraft and scenery.[16] Linux Format reviewed version 2.0 and rated it 8/10.[17]

Applications and usages[edit]

FlightGear has been used in a range of projects in academia and industry (including NASA) and even home-built cockpits.[18]

Commercial redistribution[edit]

FlightGear Flight Simulator version 1.9.1 has been actively marketed over the Internet by third parties under several aliases and product names, such as Earth Flight Sim, Flight Pro Sim, Flight Simulator Plus, Pro Flight Simulator, Real Flight Simulator, and Virtual Pilot 3D.[19]

Companies[edit]

Endless Runway Project[edit]

Endless Runway Project, consortium of several European aerospace institutes.[33][34]

Universities[edit]

Africa[edit]

Asia[edit]

Australia[edit]

Europe[edit]

North-America[edit]

South-America[edit]

Home built applications[edit]

  • Team Viper[72]
  • John Wojnaroski's 747 cockpit[73]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]