After Vostok-1 and the X-15, Flightgear now adds the third craft capable of reaching space – the Space Shuttle.
Thanks to the fact that virtually all material NASA has on the Shuttle is in public domain, the simulated flight dynamics and the resulting capabilities of the Shuttle are based on a large body of NASA wind-tunnel and actual mission data and hence highly realistic. For instance, the response to aerosurfaces is not only simulates as a function of surface deflection and dynamical pressure, but also as function of Mach number, AoA and the deflection … Read the rest... >>
FlightGear’s default aircraft, the Cessna 172P, went through a major makeover. This post will show some of these improvements.
The aircraft exterior is now much more detailed, with new higher resolution liveries (as well as several cockpit and interior themes).
The cockpit is now fully textured and fully functional. All switches, buttons and levers are operable (try pulling out some circuit breakers!). When using ALS, the new interior shadow effect is very immersive.
There are six variants avilable now (default, two bush tire variants, amphibian, pontoon and skis) as well as two types of engine (160 HP … Read the rest... >>
If you look at aerial imagery of a region every day for a year, it never changes. Yet if you would fly over the same region in reality every day, it would almost never look the same twice. In reality, nature is a dynamically changing environment, and what you see from a cockpit reflects this.
Some of these changes have to do with weather – on a cloudy day, the light is different from bright sun, the shadows are muted, the amount of haze may change so that faraway terrain looks fainter… and these … Read the rest... >>
The ‘Atmospheric Light Scattering’ (ALS) rendering framework
Have you ever admired the beautiful colors of a sunset? Have you maybe wondered why sometimes sunsets show a fantastic palette of glowing red and golden colors in the sky and sometimes a rather muted blue-grey? Have you observed distant hills fade into blue haze while the glittering reflection of the sun on water shifts color to a yellow-orange and asked yourself where the difference comes from? Have you wondered why there’s sometimes a halo visible around the moon?
All these phenomena and more are related to light scattering in the atmosphere. Actually, … Read the rest... >>
Thanks to Alexis Bory and Enrique Laso, the F-14b has been for a long time one of Flightgear’s most impressive 3d models, with a highly detailed cockpit and a large number of modeled systems.
But it just got even better – are you ready for a ride?
New flight dynamics
Richard Harrison has added a detailed JSBSim model for the flight dynamics based on a number of aerodynamical data sources which makes especially the behaviour at low airspeed very close to the real airplane. This also includes an accurate modeling of stall and departure into spin or … Read the rest... >>
The North American X-15 was a rocket-powered, hypersonic research aircraft operated from 1959 to 1968 by the US Airforce and NASA. During that time, it set a number of records and greatly expanded the knowledge about conditions in the upper atmosphere and in hypersonic flight, thus ultimately laying the foundations upon which the Space Shuttle was built.
The X-15 reached Mach 6.72 on October 3, 1967, which is still today the official world record for the highest speed ever reached by a … Read the rest... >>
Together with the release of Flightgear 3.0, a new world-wide scenery is now made available!
Flightgear’s world scenery is based on large-scale processing of publicly available and GPL compatible geodata. There is practically no manual intervention involved, which means that the scenery team can’t decide what quality the scenery will have at a certain location, that is only determined by the quality of the available data.
Thanks to the efforts of developers in bringing the processing toolchain up to date, the new official scenery with much better resolution than the previous scenery has now been possible. The new scenery is … Read the rest... >>
Advanced Weather is one of Flightgear’s two weather-generating systems. It operates based on a (limited) understanding of atmosphere physics – the user selects a weather situation, either from the menu or via specifying a METAR string, and the system simulates the weather from there. For instance, once the system knows how unstable the lowest layer of air is against convection, it automatically decides on the presence of thermals, turbulence, convective cloud number and visual appearance. In this way, generated weather matches cloud types in the different layers based on what would typically also occur in … Read the rest... >>
One of the first places available as hires scenery in Flightgear, and also among the first places to receive a dedicated regional texture scheme, the island chain of Hawaii is a very spectacular destination in the Flightgear world. It offers a compelling variety of terrain from dry and barren lava plains to lush tropical rainforest, from the gentle fertile plains to rugged mountains and steep cliffs towering over the sea and from the densely populated island of Oahu to uninhabited Kaho’olawe.
Flying Hawaii can be easy or challenging – there are busy international airports and … Read the rest... >>
Last year, Oscar (youtube user: osjcag) created a series of short “howto” movies called the 12 Days of FlightGear Tips. This year he is producing Season #2! Each day he releases a new tip in honor of the twelve days of Christmas. Make sure you check back each day for the new tip! Even “seasoned” FlightGear pilots may pick up a new trick or two. Enjoy!