FlightGear is an open source flight simulator that has been built to cater to the needs or rather to the curiosity of those who want to see what it takes to pilot a plane or a helicopter. The simulator contains a wide range of planes, from lightweight models to a large passenger aircraft such as the Boeing 777-200.
An open source simulator for everyone
FlightGear was designed and released to be freely used by anyone. It can serve educational purposes, assist with training and other scenarios where using a plane is required. Being a vast and elaborate open source project, it doesn’t benefit from high end graphics so from a visual point of view, FlightGear will not impress you.
On the other hand, a lot of thought has been put into creating the simulator so it’s as close as possible to depicting the cockpit of a real plane, as well as reproducing real life weather conditions. FlightGear provides three dynamic models from which you can choose and also supplies accurate data for world scenery.
A large number of planes and airports
FlightGear comes with over twenty airplane models to choose from, both commercial jets and one man fryers. In case you’re looking for an out of this world experience, you also get to pilot a UFO. The latter might prove a bit problematic when it comes to controls as it’s fairly complicated to pilot a small normal craft.
Nonetheless, the simulator comes with a built-in tutorial system that guides you through each step of the takeoff, flight and landing stages. FlightGear isn’t necessarily hard to use or explore, but it will take a couple of hours to get used to the plane controls and how you switch between them.
All-in-all, FlightGear might not be the best looking flight simulator out there, but it is open source so you have the freedom to enhance or customize it any way you see fit. It’s a good platform to get started on.