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Google Earth Flight Simulator Discovered

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Posted on Fri, 14 Sep 2007 23:54:51 GMT
Last updated Wed, 24 Jun 2015 14:32:13 GMT

Several people have written us about a little easter egg in the latest version of Google Earth: a little flight simulator. While certainly not comparible to MSFS it does allow you to explore Google Earth's photo terrain while flying actual aircraft.  Click on Read More for the full story.

If you ever spend much time using Google Earth, you will have no doubt come across some of the comical little Easter eggs and add-ons that they include in there. From jovial additions that obviously aren’t real to lots of hilarious pictures taken with the Google Car, you’ll find that getting used to Google Earth and all of its little quirks takes a bit of time!

However, one of the most interesting little additions in there is actually one that most people have likely never spotted before – it’s hidden away like a fine gem collection!

Google Earth comes with its own little flight simulator added in there, giving you a chance to throttle around the world using the planet using the images provided by Google Earth. To get to this little beauty, you simply need to make sure that you have already installed Google Earth, and then updated it to the latest version you can;

  • Now, start up the application
  • Set yourself to Earth Mode rather than Sky Mode
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + A at the same time, or Command + Option + A if you are using an Apple device
  • If this does not work on Windows try Ctrl + Windows + A
  • Ensure you have no ad-blocker software activated, and the little pop-up window shall appear with everything that you need on display!
  • You’ll have a choice of two aircraft – the F16 and the SR22. Choose from the one that you like the most
  • Then, choose your destination to start from – it uses Kathmandu Runway to start with
  • Do this once, and you can just log into the simulator directly each time!
  • This is as easy as it is to get this to work. However, learning the controls and the way that it flies is like learning a whole new flight simulator; and the controls are a little bit awkward to get used to!

If you prefer to use a joystick when playing a flight simulator you can do so here with relative ease – just plug it in and start flying, and you’ll notice a real and pretty big difference between variations. Using the keyboard controls – which can be found in-game and are quite expansive – will take a little while of getting used to so if you are used to using a joystick then we really do recommend that you go back to using one for this.

So there you have it; the next time you decide to hop onto Google Earth, you should almost certainly give this brilliant feature a try. It’s great fun, entirely free, and gives you a chance to effectively see anywhere in the world that you wish.

Sure, it’s a bit more limited than usual flight simulators and will challenge you at first with the rather difficult controls but once you get used to it this can be a great way to pass the time on your lunch breaks or when other simulators are tiring you out! 

Learn more about it here.

About Ian Stephens

is a Flight Simulation enthusiast with a keen interest in aviation and technology. He has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years.

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