From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
FlightGear's icon
Airbus A320 FlightGear 3.7.png
Cockpit View of A320neo in FlightGear 3.7
Original author(s) David Murr, Curt Olson, Michael Basler, Eric Korpela[1]
Developer(s) FlightGear Developers & Contributors
Initial release July 17, 1997; 19 years ago (1997-07-17)
Stable release
2017.1.2 / March 1, 2017; 22 days ago (2017-03-01)
Repository git.code.sf.net/p/flightgear/flightgear
Development status Active (1996–)
Written in C++, C[2]
Operating system 32-bit & 64-bit Windows
Mac OS X
Solaris or IRIX
Platform Cross-platform
Size 1.54 GB (Main files)
Available in English (Translations Available)
Type Flight simulator
License GNU General Public License
Website flightgear.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.[3]

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 code is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License and is free 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.[4]


FlightGear started as an online proposal in 1996 by David Murr. 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.[5]


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.

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

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.[6] 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.[7]

Applications and usages[edit]

FlightGear has been used in a range of projects in academia and industry (including NASA) and even home-built cockpits.[8]

ATC Flight Simulator Company builds FAA approved flight simulators, that use FlightGear for the visuals.

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, Virtual Pilot 3D.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FlightGear – Flight Simulator". 
  2. ^ "FlightGear source anylases". Ohloh. 
  3. ^ Barr, Joe (December 4, 2006). "FlightGear takes off". Retrieved June 25, 2007. 
  4. ^ Flight Pro Sim, Flight Gear 
  5. ^ Ernesto (June 3, 2014). "Honda Takes Down "Infringing" Jet From FlightGear". TorrentFreak. Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Review". Flight Sim. Archived from the original on February 28, 2010. 
  7. ^ Smith, Tim (September 1, 2006). "FlightGear 0.9.10". PC Magazine (UK). Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Applications for the Simulator". Retrieved September 3, 2007. 
  9. ^ "FlightProSim statement". FlightGear. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 

External links[edit]