FlightGear Flight Pro Sim Statement

Version 1.4a

As many people will be aware, there is a (self described) “new” flight simulator product that is being widely and actively marketed at the moment under various names – Flight Pro Sim, Pro Flight Simulator, etc. These “new” simulators are simply a rebranding of the FlightGear open-source flight simulator. However, the marketing tactics of the Flight Pro Sim guys have caused more than a bit of confusion with end users. To help provide some clarity and answer some common questions, we (the core FlightGear development team) felt it was appropriate to make a statement, and provide a FAQ.

FlightGear is an open-source flight simulator that was created in 1996. It is released under the GNU General Public License v2, and as such, it is free to use, modify and distribute with few restrictions. It has been developed with the collaboration of a large number of individuals over the last 14+ years. The complete FlightGear application and source code can be always downloaded for free from http://www.flightgear.org.

Flight Pro Sim is a commercial product that simply rebrands FlightGear. Investigation by a number of the FlightGear developers has found no difference between this and the FlightGear v1.9.1 release other than a change of name. Flight Pro Sim is in no way endorsed or supported by the core FlightGear development team.

Given the similarities between Flight Pro Sim and FlightGear, we would recommend that prospective buyers download FlightGear for free and satisfy themselves that Flight Pro Sim provides worthwhile value for money before purchasing it.

FAQ:

Q: What is the difference between FlightGear and Flight Pro Sim?
A: As far as we have been able to make out, the only difference between FlightGear v1.9.1 and Flight Pro Sim is a change in name throughout the software, and the fact that you have to pay for it.

Q: Is it legal for the makers of Flight Pro Sim to simply re-brand FlightGear ?
A: Under the GNU GPL v2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html) this is legal, provided that they distribute the source code (or make it available). The main issue that FlightGear developers have is the misleading marketing tactics used by pro flight sim that target unsuspecting users who aren’t yet familiar with FlightGear. This is primarily an ethical, not a legal issue.

Q: Is it legal to sell a copy of FlightGear, whether re-branded or not?
A: Yes, provided the seller is in compliance with a number of conditions detailed in the GPL. In fact, those interested in receiving a DVD containing FlightGear may do so through the main FlightGear website, and directly contribute to the project (though they may want to wait for the upcoming release in the new year).

Q: Has Flight Pro Sim paid any money to FlightGear for the rights to the program ?
A: No. No such payment is required, as FlightGear is GPL software. No such payment has been offered, no such payment has been made. Any claims by Flight Pro Sim that they support the FlightGear project are entirely wishful thinking on their part.

Q: Why do the FlightGear developers allow this ?
A: The freedom to modify and enhance FlightGear is a core part of the project, and of open-source in general. Restricting the modifications that are allowed and what people can do with the software goes against that ethos.

Q: Is there any relationship between the makers of Flight Pro Sim and the FlightGear Project?
A: No.

Q: Has Flight Pro Sim contributed to the FlightGear project at all ?
A: No.

Q: I have purchased Flight Pro Sim. Can I get a refund ?
A: That is something you will have to take up with the distributors of Flight Pro Sim.

 

18 thoughts on “FlightGear Flight Pro Sim Statement”

  1. I got a refund!!!
    I put and immediate dispute into paypal and within a few days Citibank on behalf of Paypal has informed me that Im getting a refund.
    You have to start a dispute and choose from several options as to why. The one I choose was that it was “Radically different” from what I ordered.
    It was Flightgear and an old version which is free when I had actuallt ordered ProflightSim. I also stated it was a con

  2. I bought ProFlight Sim after reading a few positive reviews. As soon as I installed the software, I knew I had been ripped off because the downloaded product was named FlightGear. I filed a complaint with PayPal and also with the marketeer and received an email authorizing a refund with ClickBank. I will let you know my results. I am also going to file a complaint with the Fair Trade Commission and possibly the Texas Attorney General.

    What ProFlight is doing clearly violates many rules and I would like to put them out of business. This is clearly bait and switch to a product they do not even own.

    1. Update regarding refund from ProFlight Simulator.

      I received a notice from ClickBank that the money from my purchase of ProFlight Simulator has been refunded. However, it does not yet show in my PayPal account.

      1. To all who have been ripped off by ProFlight Simulator, I just received my refund from Clickbank, so it is possible to get one despite what they may tell you.

        Everyone should immediately file a complaint and obtain a refund citing fraud, misrepresentation, bait and switch, etc. There are laws in the US that deal specifically with those items. If you are in the US, mention filing a complaint with the FTC and the Attorney General in your state.

        Let’s collectively put these fraudulent merchants out of business.

  3. Hello,

    Where is the general help desk at this site? I had 2.40 installed, upgrading to 2.6.0.1 and I have operational questions. Please advise where these questions can be addressed.

  4. I have sadly had personal experience with “ProFlight Simulator,” and did my research a little too late. I didn’t even lose as much money as I could have, but it still makes me furious.

    A comment was made that the “distributor” can’t be held responsible for his affiliates. I have to contest that. From my experience, the primary distributor seems to be at the top of this sick little scheme. Once you’ve paid for the re-branded version of FlightGear, you can access the affiliates page from that very site. And the affiliates page offers a major incentive to keep the con alive. It also has some of the real facts and figures, which completely contradict the main sales page.

    The distributor in question promises a 60-day money back guarantee, no questions asked. This is beyond their shady marketing tactics, since as far as I know they have never issued a refund to anyone. For what it’s worth, three previous reports to the Better Business Bureau have been made, and I filed a new complaint. I expect nothing can be done, because the previous three times the company/individual-in-charge has refused to respond to the BBB. In my opinion, this is a very professional con. And since all of the affiliates have to link to the main sales page, not one of them is guiltless either.

    It should also be noted that ProFlightSim claims to offer free updates/upgrades for life. This would be easy enough to do, since they’re just re-packaging FlightGear (and not even every instance of that name was removed or changed). Nevertheless, I don’t believe there has been an update since the ProFlightSim sales page went live. Downloads of scenery areas are restricted to one request at a time, regardless of file size, under the pretense of not wanting to overload their servers. I believe this tactic is deliberate, along with slow server speeds, to effectively force anyone interested in the entire world scenery set to by the four DVD version. Yes, they offer a hard copy much like FlightGear does, but it is only available after you’ve paid for the privilege of downloading this free software. I didn’t order the DVD’s, having realized I had been taken by that point, but from the photos they showed, it looked like they had just copied and re-labeled the FlightGear DVDs.

    I realize this is getting long, but I want people to know what this is really about, and to not have to lose money to these people the way I did. Just a couple last points of interest: ProFlight Sim boasts giving you multiple licenses as part of its sales pitch – something they couldn’t actually restrict anyway, because the program in question is open source (something they fail to ever mention). They are also providing added bonus incentives, which they claim are worth over $530 retail, which is also largely composed of software free for legal download elsewhere.

    So in the spirit of getting the word out the only way I can – there you have it. I’m glad I found FlightGear, though, and am exited to try out the version 2.6 release. Keep up the good work!

  5. i’ve downloaded the flightgear and at the launch control screen i dont know what to do. can someone give me instructions on what to do?

  6. I’ve been flying MSFS since it first came out, but today was the first I’d ever heard of Flight Gear! I mean, it’s not like I live under a rock or anything — I’ve also got X-Plane and Falcon — what you’re doing is great, but what those counterfeiters are doing is criminal. If I were in your position, I wouldn’t take their incursion sitting down. Thanks again, and good luck. I hope you get more than even.

  7. I continue to see interesting examples of the way the “pro flight sim” affiliate network works. Essentially, any random bottom feeder from the internet can be an affiliate. There is a bottom feeder company called “clickbank” that sits between the affiliates and the proflightsim guy. Clickbank manages the individual affiliate information and also the money. So the proflightsim guy knows nothing about what the affiliates do (he just fullfills orders and then ignores the customers after that.) He can’t be held responsible for “a few” bad apples in the affiliate network. Clickbank doesn’t know the flight sim world so they can’t and are unwilling to police what’s going on.

    I am amused to see how many pro flight sim affiliates try to post “spam” comments to our website here with links that go back to bogus review sites and other ridiculous propaganda. I trash these comments of course, and if any bottom feeder affiliates are reading this, if you do ever sneak a comment through, this site is configured so that each comment must be approved, even if the poster has posted something before.

    1. I recently saw a vague reference from an upset pro-flight-sim affiliate that indicated google may be booting people off their adsense network when they discover they are pro-flight-sim affiliates. If you play in the dark regions of the internet, you might disqualify yourself from making money with legitimate adsense ads — interesting thing to be aware of.

      And as we know, once you are in google purgatory, it can be very hard to escape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


+ six = 10

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>