The popular FlightGear simulator has been in development since 1997 and in that time period it has become a truly remarkable piece of software, fit for anyone who enjoys an engaging aviation experience. For those who want a totally open source and free to use flight simulator, this is the best place to start with. It’s easy to work, friendly to use and even more accessible than many of the most professional systems. The latest update, released in February 2016, produces a whole new list of changes and improvements that really does improve the simulation experience massively.
Be sure to look out for the old versions of FlightGear which are now sold commercially such as Virtual Pilot 3D and Real Flight Simulator. These are not part of the FlightGear project and thus you should make sure you are 100% happy with the product that you have purchased.
The main attraction to FlightGear, though, is not the fact that it is free. It’s the fact it offers complete freedom of the skies in a realistic and enjoyable world that feels authentic and fair. With the aircraft that you get access to within the simulator it certainly makes it nice and easy to take control of your aviation experience for yourself. It also uses much of the same XML file styles that other simulators use, making it easy to utilize standard 3D models in this simulator as well.
It’s very compatible with major mods and changes and this does make it a lot easier to fly around and enjoy the world as you see fit. The major transformation of the FlightGear look and feel over the years has been an impressive distribution of detail for a fresh and engaging simulator. Sick of FSX and other similar flight simulators over the years? Then come and try this out. It might just offer you that intake back to freedom that many people want to have in their aviation experience once again.
The impressive flight dynamics is another major factor in the growth and development of this simulator as a primary aviation experience. It now adds new and engaging dynamics and models into the simulator, alongside the ability to add in your own FDM program. From JSBSim and UIUC, you can find plenty of choices to help majorly improve or edit the flight simulation experience that you are likely to get when you are using this mod.
With scenery packages that easily fit on DVDs and give you plenty of control and comfort moving forward, you should have no problems in buying into the FlightGear world. It’s made to look authentic down below whilst giving you a strong and fair level of performance throughout. This does make a big difference to the level of success that you will get when you are flying around, ensuring you can have high levels of realism without suffering drops in performance.
Either way, you’ll find that the world of FlightGear can be a healthy distraction from the “premium” simulators out there.
FlightGear is available for free download from:
Ready to run versions of FlightGear are available for Windows and MacOS. Packages for other platforms should be arriving in the upcoming days.
Please take a look at our web page to get an idea of the new features and aircraft that are available with this release.