The FlightGear development team is happy to announce the v2.6.0 release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator. This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bugfixes. Major improvements from v2.4.0 include reduced AI aircraft load times, easier graphics tuning, more sophisticated AI aircraft and improved usability.
Founded in 1997, FlightGear is developed by a worldwide group of volunteers, brought together by a shared ambition to create the most realistic flight simulator possible that is free to use, modify and distribute. FlightGear is used all over the world by desktop flight simulator enthusiasts, for research in Universities and for interactive exhibits in museums.
FlightGear features more than 400 aircraft, a worldwide scenery database, a worldwide multi-player environment, detailed sky modelling, a flexible and open aircraft modelling system, varied networking options, multiple display support, a powerful scripting language and an open architecture. Best of all, being open-source, the simulator is owned by the community and everyone is encouraged to contribute.
Start downloading FlightGear v2.6.0 for free from FlightGear.org
FlightGear – Fly Free!
Some of the major changes include:
- At selected airports, FlightGear can automatically start at an appropriate parking spot based on the size and type of your aircraft.
- At airports which support this feature, a visual display of the taxi route on the ground guides you to the active runway, while following the correct taxiways.
- To reduce stuttering during model loading and take further advantage of multi-core CPUs, MP and AI aircraft models are now loaded in a background thread.
- To reduce load times still further, only the parts of the aircraft currently visible are loaded from disk.
- AI and multiplayer aircraft are no longer silent objects, they can produce sounds just like the main aircraft.
- Many new and updated AI aircraft and liveries. Over 80 airlines now populate the virtual skies.
- The range at which AI aircraft are displayed is now configurable, allowing you to tune FlightGear for best performance.
- AI controlled pilots have received extensive landing training and now make a more realistic approach and vacate the runway when able.
- The simulator now assigns an available parking position on startup.
- The JSBSim flight dynamics model received a major overhaul.
- The Local Weather package has been further integrated with the FlightGear core, and has been renamed “Advanced Weather”. New rendering techniques allow more detailed clouds with no performance impact. High altitude clouds are rendered more realistically, and clouds move with the wind without impacting performance.
- New replay system. Video-player like controls, including slow motion and fast forward. Pilots can now take over the aircraft at any time during a replay. Great for training particular flight phases such as approach over and over again.
- Aircraft status ratings are displayed in the FlightGear launcher, allowing you to see at a glance the FDM, model, systems and cockpit quality for rated aircraft.
- Multiplayer settings can be accessed in-sim. You can now choose your callsign, select an MP server and connect within the simulator.
- Automatic scenery download is now even easier to use. Simply select the scenery directory to download to, and switch it on.
- Individual graphics effects can now be configured from within the Rendering Settings dialog, allowing you to fine-tune the performance of FlightGear within the sim.
- The simulation of radio signal propagation has started and will make the reception of ATC messages and navigation aids more realistic in the future.
- A new set of options makes it easier to create seamless and zoomable multi screen setups.
- A new performance monitor shows the time spent in each subsystem.
Highlighted new and improved aircraft
- A-26 Invader: cockpit improvements.
- Boeing 777-200ER: many additional and updated features, including autopilot, instrument displays and animations.
- Polikarpov I16: cockpit improvements.
- CMake is now the official build system on Linux, Mac and Windows.
- The sea now looks more realistic. Waves align with the wind, and foam appears at high wind speed.
- Steep slopes now appear rocky.
- Runways now appear wet during rain showers.
- To help aircraft developers, a single shader combining bump-map, specular, reflection and light mapping components is now available.
- Additional joysticks and rudder pedals are supported out-of-the-box, including the Logitech WingMan Interceptor, Saitek Pro Combat Rudder Pedals and Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog.
- FGPanel, lightweight software to render 2D instrument panels, is now included as part of the release.
- See our bugtracker for an extensive list of the bugs fixed in this release.
- 64bit version restored and its installation integrated in the main fgsetup installer