Changelog 2.8.0

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FlightGear 2.8.0 ChangeLog

The FlightGear development team is happy to announce the v2.8.0 release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator. This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bugfixes. Major improvements from v2.6.0 include improved AI aircraft, up to date with all the recent JSBSim flight dynamics model improvements, support for region specific textures, better random 3d buildings, better random object placement, 3d airport signage, in-sim toggling between summer and winter texture sets. The core FlightGear code now supports a flexible 2d rendering system which can be used to accurately model glass cockpit displays and other complex instrumentation. There are many new and improved aircraft to explore. A new automated system is now available for scenery submissions that automatically get rolled into the scenery distribution to be enjoyed by everyone. Version 2.8 has improved atmospheric light scatter modeling, better terrain haze, and improved 3d clouds.

A very exciting new addition is “Project Rembrandt”. This is still considered “experiemental” and not enabled by default. But when you turn it on you will get real-time shadows, support for multiple light sources (landing lights, instrument lights, directional ground spotlights, even the rotating beacons illuminate the surrounding correctly.) In addition, Project Rembrandt offers a variety of other visual effects such as night vision, film grain effects, depth of field effects, lens (i.e. fisheye) distortion — all in real time.

Founded in 1997, FlightGear celebrated the 15th anniversary of it’s first official release in July. 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 University research and education, for a variety of aerospace engineering and visualization work in industry, and even for interactive exhibits in museums.

FlightGear features more than 400 aircraft, a worldwide seamless 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.

Download FlightGear v2.8.0 for free from FlightGear.org

FlightGear - Fly Free!

Some of the major changes include:

AI Traffic

  • Improved aircraft models and textures.

Flight dynamics

  • FlightGear has been synced with the JSBSim project.

Environment

  • Region-specific terrain textures are used for Europe and Hawaii. Now towns in Europe look different from towns in the USA.
  • Cities and towns now look more populated due to random 3D buildings, complete with lighting at night.
  • Scenery looks more realistic due to improved placement of random objects, buildings and trees.
  • Airport signs are now rendered in 3D, with support for double-sided signs. Full apt.dat 850 syntax is supported.
  • You can now select between summer and winter scenery in-sim.

Instruments & HUDs

  • A new flexible, 2D rendering system designed for complex instruments such as CDUs, MFDs, EICAS, HUDs and other glass cockpit interfaces. Canvas allows aircraft designers to easily build complex instruments without needing specialized C++ code.

Interface

  • Support for translation of the main menu into languages other than English.
  • A Nasal API is available allowing access to Navigation and route-manager data.

Highlighted new and improved aircraft

Project infrastructure

  • Various improvements to our scenery database make it easier than ever to add, delete or update objects to the FlightGear world.
  • The new aircraft download page allows you to easily find quality aircraft, by filtering on status indications.

Visual effects

  • Improved simulation of atmospheric light scattering with terrain haze.
  • An experimental renderer, named after the famous painter Rembrandt, is included for testing purposes. The Project Rembrandt renderer supports multiple light sources (landing lights, instrument lights), real-time shadows and ambient occlusion across aircraft and scenery for a much more realistic visual experience.

Other

  • Additional joysticks and rudder pedals are supported out-of-the-box:
    • InterLink Elite
    • Micorosft Xbox 360 Controller
    • Qware USB
    • Saitek Cyborg X (F.L.Y. 5)
    • Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Yoke
    • Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Trim Wheel
    • Saitek Pro Flight Cessna Rudder Pedals
    • Speedlink Defender
  • A French partial translation of The FlightGear Manual is now available.

Bug fixes

  • See our bugtracker for an extensive list of the bugs fixed in this release.