FlightGear Free Flight Simulator

PreviewFlightGear Flight Simulator is an open-source project. Users can download it anytime and copy it to as many machines as they like. It can run on Windows (7, 8, 10 and 11), macOS, Linux, Solaris, and IRIX platforms.

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Download hits
Windows 7/8/10/11, macOS & AppImage for Linux x86 systems
File size
3.86 GB
Virus Scan
Scanned 21 days ago (clean)
Access to file
Free (Freeware)
Content Rating
5 star rating.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars by 61 PRO members.

FlightGear Flight Simulator is an open-source project. Users can download it anytime and copy it to as many machines as they like. It can run on Windows (7, 8, 10 and 11), macOS, Linux, Solaris, and IRIX platforms.

Now version 2020.3.19 released on October 18th 2023This is the current, latest stable version released by the FlightGear DEV team.

This "Universal" pack includes installers for all versions of Windows (7/8/10/11), macOS and Linux distributions (AppImage binary).

A British Airways Airbus being flown in the latest version of the free FlightGear simulator.Frustrated by the lack of customization and extensibility available in commercial projects, FlightGear’s founders wanted to create a simulator where educators, researchers, pilots, and flight simulation enthusiasts could build their own aircraft.

FlightGear is bound by the open-source GPL license which allows anyone to contribute code, join development teams, and add aircraft and scenery.

None of that would matter much if the flight experience didn’t shine. FlightGear’s excellent flight dynamics models (FDM) are based on JSBSim, the main FDM since 2000, UIUC, or YAsim. The latter two were created solely for FlightGear.

FlightGear’s FDM’s are known for their realistic flying experience. For example, some users report that the FlightGear Cessna 172 tends to pull to the left, a common characteristic of single-engine planes in real life.

Information from the FlightGear Wiki Page:

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.

David Murr started the project on April 8, 1996. The project had its first release in 1997 and continued in development, the most recent release being version 2.4.0 in August 2011. 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, thus being free software.

The commercial products Flight Pro Sim, Pro Flight Simulator, and others, are direct copies of FlightGear.

FlightGear may be free, but it doesn’t skimp on features and rivals commercial packages with excellent airports, aircraft, and scenery.


Users can travel to over 20,000 airports worldwide. Each has accurate markings and lighting configurations. Bigger airports have taxiways complete with center lighting. FlightGear’s emphasis on realism is reflected in little details like sloping runways, airfield lights that change intensity as the view alters, and accurate runaway markings.


FlightGear uses the most accurate terrain graphics modeling in the world. SRTM, or Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, is a joint task force of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and NASA. Under the auspices of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, they have created a high-resolution database of Earth’s topography. Recent versions include updated Australian and South Sea island data.

As a result, FlightGear’s scenery is robust and vivid. Sparkling lakes and towering mountains fill the landscape. Buildings and infrastructure are accurate to the finest detail. At night, darkness is pierced by an expansive grid of brightly lit homes and streets. Pilots can even see the headlights of cars and trucks on the highways below.

Complete World HD Scenery


After installing this base pack, you may wish to expand on the default scenery.  The latest FlightGear version that includes TerraSync which essentially downloads scenery tiles on-demand as you fly over them.  However, you need a very fast, stable connection and it's useless with no Internet connection.  Some users also report it can be buggy if network conditions are less then ideal - essentially you are relying on the "cloud" for your flights.

If you wish to simply have all tiles already pre-compiled and installed on your machine or wish to use FlightGear offline, we have the complete world HD scenery pack for FlightGear available to download here.  This pack brings the entire global scenery in FlightGear to HD definition. 

It's a large pack but brings so much more realism and accuracy to the sim especially if you have a slower connection.

Time of Day Modeling

FlightGear uses “time of day modeling” which means that the scenery accurately reflects the actual time of day. The sun, moon, and stars appear and fade right on schedule as days turn into night and back again. Users can set FlightGear to their own computer clock so that it depicts the real-time of day in their zone. The system even tracks seasonal changes, with fewer daylight hours in winter and longer days in summer.

Loyal Fans

FlightGear is the kind of project that generates loyal fans. It has an amazing 93 percent approval rating at Sourceforge.net, one of the main download sites. At the FlightGear forums, one user explains, “Flight Gear is to flight simulation what Gran Tourismo is to driving simulations. It simply rocks. There are some Aircraft available that really behave very neatly like the real thing.”

Another user is more direct: “I choose FlightGear because it kicks Microsoft's FSX arse! Multiplayer AND free AND a flight sim? YES PLEASE!”

As can be seen, FlightGear fans love its potent mix of variety, power, flexibility, extensibility, and price- totally free.

Images & Screenshots

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The archive flightgear-universal.zip has 41 files and directories contained within it.

File Contents

This list displays the first 500 files in the package. If the package has more, you will need to download it to view them.

Filename/Directory File Date File Size
FlightGear-2020.3.19-x86_64.AppImage03.23.24182.00 MB
FlightGear-2020.3.19.dmg03.23.241950.77 MB
FlightGear-2020.3.19.exe03.23.241817.57 MB
Go to Fly Away Simulation.url08.22.1952 B
Screenshots11.16.200 B
screen-10ai-height-2160px.jpg11.16.201.51 MB
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screen-3ai-height-2160px.jpg11.16.20693.61 kB
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screen-5ai-height-2160px.jpg11.16.201.30 MB
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screen-8ai-height-2160px.jpg11.16.201.97 MB
screen-9ai-height-2160px.jpg11.16.20575.90 kB
flyawaysimulation.txt10.02.201.20 kB


Whilst the flight simulation market might seem rather closed off to some, due to the prominence of things like Microsoft Flight Simulator and Prepar3D, there are some truly epic options out there for users who want a bit more craft and guile from their simulator. Have you ever heard of FlightGear? If not, you’ll soon want to get it downloaded!

Preview screenshot

What is FlightGear?

This is a brilliant open source flight simulator that is built for the editors out there. People who love to customize and prepare their own aircraft will find that this is the perfect flight simulator for them. It might lag behind FSX and other contemporaries with graphical quality and choice, but since it’s a totally open-source project I’d be shocked if it matched a multi-billion dollar conglomerates product!

Customization Refined

However, what you do get with FlightGear is the ability to create. You can pretty much edit and generate your own aircraft and allows you to contribute to the actual project in any way that you feasibly can – it’s something that really takes the flight simulation community and gives them a real impetus and style to build upon. If you are growing a little tired of FSX and other traditional flight simulators, downloading this and getting your engineering head on might be a worthwhile venture for you.

A Realistic Simulation

Please don’t take anything said above to mean that the actual flying side of things is poor, though! The quality of the flight dynamics within FlightGear is absolutely tremendous. You’ll really feel like you are flying the real thing and getting that kick and thrill from an aircraft that is so common is going to be pretty simple – for a project that’s sourced completely by the time and expertize of fans, this is some really impressive stuff.

The simulator itself is loaded with features around the worked, too. Add in the 20,000 airports that you can pick from across the world, each built with as much accuracy as time will allow for, and you’ve got an incredibly realistic experience. The attention to detail in such an expansive world is hugely impressive, as you’ll find that the larger airports really create that feeling of “wow” when you start approaching them and see the lighting change and fade as you draw closer or further away.

One of the best features about the simulator, though, is the time of day modeling that has been included. Now you’ll be flying from one night to the next, and you’ll get to see the world below react accordingly. This adds another layer of satisfaction and quality to the whole thing.

It’s seen by many as the “real” simulator out there thanks to its fantastic blend of features and, well, just about everything else that you could possibly need to make a flight simulator more enjoyable. If you aren’t sure of what kind of experience you want, then this totally free option will give you all of the coolest features whilst ensuring that you have proper fun!

Adam McEnroe

Adam McEnroe

Adam McEnroe is a flight sim enthusiast who has been simming since the days of FS95. Adam writes all of the download section editorials after testing each of the files. Adam has extensive knowledge using various flight simulator packages and thoroughly tests the files before writing about them. Adam also like to fly real-world aircraft in his spare time and is training for his PPL.

Should you wish, you can contact Adam via email at adam@flyawaysimulation.com.

Installation icon.

Installation Instructions

Most of the freeware add-on aircraft and scenery packages in our file library come with easy installation instructions which you can read above in the file description. For further installation help, please see our Flight School for our full range of tutorials or view the README file contained within the download. If in doubt, you may also ask a question or view existing answers in our dedicated Q&A forum.


Leave a Response

The content of the comments below are entirely the opinions of the individual posting the comment and do not always reflect the views of Fly Away Simulation. We moderate all comments manually before they are approved.

John MearsFri, 15 Apr 2022 10:33:19 GMT

Hi, Will this run on the new MacBook Pro M1 chip with Monterey 12.3.1?



Mohamed FofanaFri, 07 Feb 2020 10:17:32 GMT

My first video just being downloaded. And it is great. I hope the Executable file will also work fine. And I wish to be a tie to time updated from your newsletter I have subscribed to. Thanks.

Mohamed NJ. Fofana.

AllenWed, 02 Oct 2019 17:58:16 GMT

I started the download for FlightGear and nothing indicated on my screen that download is in progress. I tried again and got notice too many downloads one is in progress... very confusing.

humptyks1946Thu, 09 May 2019 20:17:59 GMT

Trying to download a piper super cub float for FSX simulator. Where can I get one?

mig29pilotTue, 07 Jul 2015 16:45:04 GMT

Flightgear is a matter of knowing what buttons and sliders to push. Tweaking the setting, I have gotten effects that leave x-plane and fsx in the dust

tglhowieSun, 10 Mar 2013 23:18:42 GMT

Won't initialize or launch - telling me there isn't enough room? Why can't these so so smart computers take care of these annoying problems? The FAQ pages just make me want to abort the whole mess.

Albert OsaeMon, 04 Mar 2013 21:54:55 GMT

looks good, will try it.

MrLouTue, 19 Jul 2011 11:00:25 GMT
It sucks!
tonnytotWed, 18 Aug 2010 01:08:03 GMT
Come on guys, you can't be serious. Christ, this sucks! What a waste of time.
hamedxSat, 15 May 2010 20:52:31 GMT
angieThu, 25 Feb 2010 04:21:55 GMT
looks intense but sadly my com wont let me :(
Anchorman7nThu, 16 Jul 2009 19:25:23 GMT
looks good
daddy1968Fri, 03 Oct 2008 02:34:27 GMT
Gippy1993Thu, 02 Oct 2008 22:34:18 GMT
im downloading it now at the moment, it look's great and i hope it will be !
jlhughesWed, 01 Oct 2008 23:10:04 GMT
it dose take to long to download and it is a too bigger size to download but it is setup niceley for download and installation so i will have to rate 10
lentomikaelThu, 06 Mar 2008 16:38:33 GMT
This is quite good!
kenliviaFri, 15 Feb 2008 10:11:56 GMT
absolutly super freebie!!!! many thanks
friendshard2findWed, 26 Dec 2007 15:54:40 GMT
This is by far one of the best programs I have ever downloaded from this site. It's everything they claim it to be and then some. I would reccommend taking the time to download this program!

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