A preview of features for Flightgear 3.6

Flightgear is constantly under development and as the feature freeze for the next 3.6 release approaches, it is becoming increasingly clear what the next version will have to offer to users:

(to avoid misunderstandings – this is a selection of features currently under development, not a release note, i.e. there is no guarantee that all items will appear in 3.6, nor is are the features of 3.6 limited to what is listed here)

A complete makeover for the default aircraft

The C-172p has always been Flightgear’s default plane, as it is easy to fly and great to learn the basics of aviation. Thanks to a joint effort of several gifted developers, it just got a lot better. The revised version offers improved flight dynamics with the ability to bring the plane into spins. It makes good use of the latest state of the art of Flightgear’s rendering frameworks, including hires textures, the new internal shadow effect for ALS, environment dependent fogging of the windshield and of course support for the Rembrandt rendering engine.

And it comes with a damage model, creating a very visual impression of what happens if you land too hard:

A new user interface / instructor station

Using Flightgear’s inbuilt web-server, Phi is a new way to access Flightgear from an external device. You can run a web browser on your pad, connect to a running FG instance on your PC and access everything you need from there. This makes for a great training setup in which the instructor can select challenging conditions for the student, monitor the flight or cause failures which need to be responded to. Phi supports pre-flight checklists, environment settings, a moving map widget and many features more.

‘Houston, the Atlantis has reached orbit.’

Launching vertically like a rocket, capable of limited maneuvering in orbit and entering the atmosphere again to land like a plane, the Space Shuttle is a truly unique flying experience. Based on a large body of public domain wind tunnel data by NASA, Flightgear now offers the possibility to take the Shuttle into low orbit and back in a highly realistic simulation.

Experience the strength of the aerodynamical forces during launch as thrust vectoring keeps the Shuttle on its ascent path, learn about the inherent yaw instability of the Shuttle during the hypersonic entry phase and the crucial role of the RCS jets and the body flap, explore how elevon deflection changes the airstream at the aft fuselage and alters roll and yaw stability, or simply start in orbit, enjoy the view or do a spacewalk.

The simulation includes all mission phases with many different digital autopilot settings to control thrust vectoring, RCS jets or airfoils, checks on aerodynamical and structural limits as well as damage and failure simulation in case of limit violations – basically the Shuttle can be flown by the Crew Operations Manual. A 3d cockit is already in place, and work is underway to provide the original avionics.

Rain on the windshield

The Atmospheric Light Scattering rendering framework is rolling out a new suite of effects to render the cockpit interior in more detail. These include a glass shader which renders interior reflection, damage and dirt, glare, raindrop splashes, frost and temperature-dependent fogging and an interior effect capable of drawing shadows, light filtering through colored glass or caustics as well as panel backlight illumination. Enjoy the enhanced immersion into the simulation these features provide!

Regional textures for Latin America

Thanks to local users, the whole of Latin America is receiving more realistic local textures. Look forward to the typical red roofs or urban terrain, to seeing dramatic changes in the water color where the dark Rio Negro meets the muddy Rio Solimoes close to Manaus and to many other nice touches in the area. If you haven’t done it yet, schedule a flight in South America after the next release, there’s lots to explore!

New and improved aircraft

The Citation II provides a new cockpit, making use of plenty of the new effects. Enjoy Flightgear in this nice business jet!

The new F-15 comes with a detailed JSBSim flight dynamics model with lots of wind tunnel data worked in as well as a detailed 3d cockpit with tons of functionality.

And many improvements more

* work on an integrated launcher, specifically making life easier on newer Mac OS distributions
* the aircraft center, a tool to download and manage aircraft in-sim
* expanded functionality of the Canvas 2d rendering framework
* …

Stay tuned as we fly towards our next release!

59 Replies to “A preview of features for Flightgear 3.6”

  1. I am looking forward to FlightGear 3.6.0!!!!
    It will be great!
    But how about putting the All-in-One FlightGear Disk (which is currently 1 Flash Drive or 5 BD’s) on one big BD-R QL (or BD-XL)? A BD-R QL also has place for all older versions of FlightGear, so it has EVERYTHING in ONE. I love all-in-one things!

    Skype: Captain.Techlord
    Smartphone: SM-N9005 and SM-N910
    Computer: NP700G7A-S02 (40 GB RAM|512 GB SSD|Windows 7 Ultimate|Intel OctaCore i7)
    Flight Simulator (Currently) FlightGear 3.4.0
    Favourite Aircraft: Boeing 777!

  2. The C172P is not “always” been the default airplane of FG. The first aircraft to have had that title was the Ryan Navion! It is unfair to forget the history of the simulator and forget where it came from.

  3. Hello,

    Do you have a release date for this version? I know it was delayed, and I know that RC is already out, but do you know when the stable version will be released?

    Thanks 🙂

      1. Hello again,
        Although I am following the mailing list, I have no indication of why the stable version is still not getting released. Any updated on that?


  4. Hi,

    Any ETA on this release? Will help me decide if i should postpone downloading & installing the current version of FG.

    If its a few weeks ago, i can wait 🙂


    1. I am flying 3.6-RC in Win 10 right now and have had fewer problems than I did with 3.4 in Win 7. I would say the future is rosy for FlightGear in Win 10. I am getting ready to install the RC in Linux Mint 17. Hope it goes as smoothly.

  5. Please add the option to integrate with with Google Earth with the 3D buildings and trees. With the features of Flightgear and the visuals of Google Earth would be an excellent combination!

  6. does anybody have an idea as to when v3.6 will be released? I have downloaded the a350XWB from FGBR, but it doesn’t load. any help?

    1. It seems the SourceForge hardware outage delayed the release long enough to see most of the release team into Summer holiday…

      For airplanes obtained from a hangar other than the official FG aircraft download /repository, please get in touch with the hangar maintainers for support – external planes may match a different FG version or require special installations – we have no way of knowing.

  7. Ok, new features ‘, but version 3.6 will work’ without problems with MacOSX 10.7.5, without clogging the HD disc?. FG 3.4 of MACOSX 10.7.5 NOT work !!!

    1. There are several Mac users in the devel team, so I don’t think a blanket statement that 3.4 would not work is true – several people have used the version. If it didn’t work for you, I would in general suggest testing the release candidate before the release and giving feedback *before* a release – as experience shows, problems after the release will most likely be addressed for the next release.

      Though currently most of the Mac people seem to enjoy a holiday.

    2. ok. I think that the version 3.6 to install it on my Windows 8 PC performance, I will do shortly. memory and powerful graphics card. I hope FG 3.6 functions well on this.

  8. Damn ! No smoking inside the C172 now ? I stay with the 3.4 :o) Thanks, great work.

  9. Con fecha 21 de julio, hice un comentario
    tema OESEarth,me gustaria fuera Moderado.y publicado a su entera disposicion Miguel

  10. hi Flight gear team
    when 3.6 will release

    please a gentle reminder we really need and Runway camera specially to record the descending and touch down and crosswind landing.

    also the announcement on B777 300-ER

    landing light on B777 300-ER

    thank you very much

    1. Please note that the webpage comment section is a very bad place for feature requests – not many developers read this at all. If you have suggestions with regard to an airplane, it’s best to get in touch with the maintainer – the forum is a good place for this. As far as camera views are concerned, this is completely xml-configurable and every view can be runtime customized – within an hour or so, your should be able to add any view you like, there’s no need to wait for someone else to do it.

  11. Why is FlightGear not integrated to OSGEarth by default?FlightGear distribution with OSGEarth integration will be good.

    1. Quoting myself:

      “Then, most people in the devel community aren’t convinced that photo scenery is the way to go (myself included) – it has a lot of pitfalls, so there’s really not much interest in investing manpower.”

      Meaning someone has to invest the work to work through the fine print.

      1. I suggested this because other flight simulators are using photo scenery and some random buildings(3d models) near the airports.

  12. I think FGFS should be integrated with OSGEarth by default. With an option to enable it in the launcher.

  13. I have a big idea for a future update ,create the possibility to use an aircraft of fsx or x-plane or prepar3d with an utilitary .
    It will permit to accelerate the development of flightgear whitout private the users of many planes

    1. This isn’t reasonably possible, as the way other Flightsims describe aerodynamics is rather different (license issues aside, you’d have to run X-plane to extract the aerodynamics, then feed it over).

      Someone in the forum has made the analogy of asking that your DVD-player should now also be able to display celluloid movies – same content (movies), very different technology to store it.

  14. If you are going to, please don’t remove the Boeing 777 from the default aircraft. It is one of my favourite flightgear planes. Keep it please…..

  15. For sceneries, why can’t flightgear we download the ground textures from google map server?

    1. It’s not clear to me that google maps permits that use in the first place.

      Then, most people in the devel community aren’t convinced that photo scenery is the way to go (myself included) – it has a lot of pitfalls, so there’s really not much interest in investing manpower. There is an OSGEarth project using FG to render photo scenery though, you can find it in the forum – perhaps that would be what you’re looking for?

  16. respuesta para ANDRES GARCIA.
    el mismo directorio pero con el programa que hayas descargado,ese es el error.Espero que te sirva mas informacion en Mumble soy Miguel

  17. Ok, nuove funzionalitĂ ’, ma la versione 3.6 funzionerĂ ’ senza problemi con macosx 10.7.5, senza intasare l’hd disco ?

    1. There will be a release candidate a month before the planned release date announced in the forum (scheduled in about six weeks from now) – you’re very welcome to test this and submit feedback.

    1. Yes! FlightGear is made by a world-wide group of volunteers, bringing you the joy of flight for free. It’s released under GPL, so you can also download the source code and easily contribute.

  18. He instalado FlightGear v3.4.0 pero no me funciona. Cuando hago click en el icono de inicio se abre una ventana
    FlightGear Launch Control for FlightGear v3.4.0
    en el recuadro de EXECUTABLE aparece C:\Program Files\FlightGear\bin\Win64\fgfs.exe y por fuera hay un triangulo amarillo que dice Executable path not set or invalid.
    Que debo hacer para que el simulador corra normalmente?
    Lo he instalado en windows 8.
    Anteriormente el simulador corria normalmente.

    Gracia por la ayuda que me puedan dar

    1. Busca el Wiki de FG. Ahí te podrán ayudar. Y si, ayuda saber algo de inglés.

    2. Hay que cambiar eso a donde instalasted flighgear entonces bin/win64/fgfs.exe
      Por ejemplo
      D:/Usarios/X/mis Juegos/FlightGear 3.4.0/bin/Win64/fgfs.exe

      o C:/Programas y Juegos/flightgear 3.4.0/ etc

  19. hi guys

    we need a flight gear Facebook fans and support page,
    we will be all around world practicing flight gear will be can to communicate easily and exchange the experiences

    Flight gear team please please please add camera on the runway.

    I experience auto pilot failure on american airlines livery during KSFO final approach and i continue manually from 2000ft to the touch down

    thank you

  20. Hope, that the issue with the missing RWY/TWY Lights will be resolved with this new version.

  21. Looks great! Will the damage model be based on impact data, or is it simply a model activated on crash without being shaped by the crash?
    Also, will the f-15 have scripted missiles?

    1. @Adam:

      The crash model of the C172P is very well done. For example, if you scrape your wing on the ground, it breaks. Scrape your prop, it brakes. Bust your tires, busted tires. Also, the game doesn’t freeze when you crash, which is nice. :p

      Also, I don’t know about the F-15, but it is made by the same person who did the F-14 JSBsim, and that has missiles, so…yeah.

      Feel free to ask any more questions on the forums!!



  22. I like FlightGear 3.0.4 I’m running it on OS X 10.10
    I’m anxious to give a try to new 3.6.
    Thank you!

    1. Moises Pinto if you have mac os x 10.10 then why don’t you run flightgear 3.4 on it?

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