FlightGear Flight Simulator

FlightGear Flight Simulator 2016.1.1

Open source and easy to play flight simulator

There are various flight sims out there but there are very few that are totally free. FlightGear bucks this trend to offer a user-friendly but realistic introduction to the skies, all built on open source programming. View full description

PROS

  • Free – No registration or license fees
  • Great tutorials to get you going,
  • Clean and easy to use flight deck
  • Lots of planes to choose from

CONS

  • Very heavy on resources
  • No missions to take part in
  • Lacks the realism of X-Plane and Microsoft Simulator X
  • No Windows 7 support yet

Very good
8

There are various flight sims out there but there are very few that are totally free. FlightGear bucks this trend to offer a user-friendly but realistic introduction to the skies, all built on open source programming.

FlightGear might not be as realistic or polished as Microsoft Flight Simulator X or X-Plane but it's still an impressive package, especially considering its free. Like most flight sims however, the installation and startup takes a good 5-10 minutes to install the various backdrops and 3D graphics. Once started, you're presented with around 20 planes to select ranging from Messerschmitts to Cessnas. Next up, you're asked to select somewhere to fly around from choice of 30 locations. You can download a whole lot more – enough to fill 3 DVDs, apparently – from the developer's website.

FlightGear can be controlled in two ways - through the command line and through a graphical wizard called 'fgrun'. Both do exactly the same thing but the wizard is recommended for ease of use. Once you're done with this, you hit the runway and off you go! There are no missions to complete or battles to win – it's simply a case of taking off, landing and enjoying the scenery.

The 3D graphics are surprisingly detailed and for those with programming know-how, the fact that it's open source means that the sky is literally the limit in terms of what you can create and do with FlightGear. Fancy flying a rocket from Washington to London or putting an ejector seat in a 747? Just make them yourself!

The major drawback of this FlightGear, however, is that it is very heavy on resources. Users of older machines may find loading times painful and the graphics sluggish, so it's recommended that you shut down all other applications or expand your RAM before trying FlightGear. Also, while some people have reported in runs fine in Windows 7, others have had major problems running it and as yet there is no official support for it.

What makes FlightGear standout though is the fact that even taking control of the most complicated aircraft is possible due to the excellent tutorials on the developer site which take you step by step through take-off. Whilst most flight simulators are aimed at experienced flyers, FlightGear is designed for those who've never sat in a cockpit before but want to learn the essentials. The general interface is very clean and user friendly – there aren't too many unnecessary dials to confuse you. The game options in FlightGear are clearly presented at all times, as are the customization options. From here, you can specify everything from the time of day to the type of navigation panel and even the weather.

Another great feature of FlightGear is the ability to team-up with a friend and take to the skies over a network. Many users report that the lag time is incredibly short when playing over a network on FlightGear compared to professional sims such as Flight Simulator X. However, don't expect to log on being able to have dogfights and shoot passenger planes out of the sky – there's no arcade or action mode available as yet, although you could always program one yourself.

FlightGear is a fantastic flight sim that will appeal more to novices who just want to get flying than experts looking for hardcore realism and is a great way to experience a semi-realistic flying experience without being a pro.

Changes

  • Major update, full details here.

FlightGear is an open-source flight simulator.

FlightGear is an open-source flight simulator. It supports a variety of popular platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) and is developed by skilled volunteers from around the world. Source code for the entire project is available and licensed under the GNU General Public License.

With FlightGear it is possible to choose between three primary Flight Dynamics Models. It is possible to add new dynamics models or even interface to external “proprietary” flight dynamics model-

FlightGear is an open-source project. This means as long as you abide by the terms of the GPL license you may freely download and copy FlightGear. Anyway can have easy and open access to the latest development source code. Being an open-source project, we have made our file formats open and easily accessible. We are developing a sophisticated, open simulation framework that can be expanded and improved upon by anyone interested in contributing.

We hope that this project will be interesting and useful to many people in many areas.

FlightGear Flight Simulator

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FlightGear Flight Simulator 2016.1.1

— User reviews — about FlightGear Flight Simulator

  • StavrosV

    by StavrosV

    "AWESOME"

    This is the best flight simulator i tried flight simulator x it takes ages to download and then it doesn't even open! t... More.

    reviewed on May 14, 2013

  • jspargo4

    by jspargo4

    "It is not free if it inteferes with my IE or Firefox"

    It is not free if it inteferes with my IE or Firefox. Is annoying forcing me to write a long review when I told you the... More.

    reviewed on June 9, 2012

  • jolo22

    by jolo22

    "Nice"

    Flightgear is so nice on my netbook with intel ATOM inside it but my only problem is lags,freeze,not responding!. More.

    reviewed on January 29, 2012

  • koolaidman141

    by koolaidman141

    "Great"

    Flight Gear is as good as many other flight simulator. My only problem was that its free. Yes, we all love free, but be... More.

    reviewed on January 11, 2012

  • paco121197

    by paco121197

    "Game"

    I cannot use it can somebody tell me the instructions ? I installed it but the program tell that the system cannot find ... More.

    reviewed on August 23, 2011