May 21, 2024

FLOSS game highlights: FlightGear, a flight simulator that storms the skies

Udo M. Reading time: 4 minutes

In the world of flight simulation there is an undisputed star in the sky: FlightGear. But what makes this program so special?>

A look at the history and features of this simulation reveals the magic of this project.

The birth of emotion

FlightGear The virtual world saw the light of day in 1997, but development began a year earlier. Open source flight simulation started as a hobby project, then evolved into something that should be taken seriously. What once started as a gimmick is now an impressive program, with an international community of enthusiasts, including NASA and several universities, who share their passion for aviation and technology.

Flight simulation with a claim to reality

What makes FlightGear so original? The answer lies in the detailed implementation of flight physics. From the controls to the atmospheric effects, flying is depicted as realistically as possible. But this is not enough. FlightGear offers a wide range of aircraft, from small private jets to large jets. This gives users a variety of unparalleled flying experiences.

A world full of possibilities

But what would a flight simulation be without a real environment? FlightGear features world-class landscapes designed to the smallest detail. Cities, roads, rivers – everything is there to ensure an immersive flying experience. The level of detail varies greatly, however, and while Barcelona (see image below) is fully modeled, other cities are only rudimentarily reflected in the simulated world. However, thanks to the possibility of editing, everything can be reworked. Users can expand their experience and create their own worlds by installing add-ons. For example, there are extensions to current weather data or flight movements. Flightgear may not be as advanced as the commercial competition not mentioned here at the moment, but if it doesn't improve for decades, Flightgear is sure to overtake it again.

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The community is taking off

The highlight of FlightGear is undoubtedly the vibrant community that supports the project. Developers, model makers, graphic designers and flight simulation enthusiasts from all over the world come together to share their knowledge and passion. Through forums, mailing lists and social media, they interact with each other, exchange ideas and move the project forward. The monthly post gives a good overview of what's going on the news. Another impressive feature is the wide range Wiki, which currently contains 3,486 articles, making it a rich information resource for all flight simulation enthusiasts. The technology in the background is now a bit outdated (sourceforgevandalism, etc.), but at the moment it still hinders continued further development.

A look to the future

The future of FlightGear promises further growth and development. With continued improvements and new functionality, this simulator will remain a staple of the flight simulation field for years to come.


FlightGear is more than just a flight simulator – it's a living community project that combines the magic of aviation with the power of open source culture. With its realistic environments, wide range of aircraft and engaged community, FlightGear offers a unique way to explore and experience the world of aviation.