Howto:Install aircraft

From FlightGear wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The latest official aircraft can be downloaded at Aircraft, which then usually require unzipping software to extract from a compressed file format. Then these must be manually installed in a FlightGear software installation to use. The details depend on the method of download, operating system, and user setup.

An open source file archiver is 7-Zip, although be aware of user setup.

You may also want to take a look at:


(Ubuntu 12.04)

  1. Download the aircraft
  2. Open Terminal and log in as root
 sudo -i
  1. Navigate to /usr/share/games/flightgear/Aircraft
 cd /usr/share/games/flightgear/Aircraft
  1. Extract your aircraft file into the folder
  1. Start up flight gear. Your aircraft should show up in the launcher

(Ubuntu 7.10)

  1. Download the aircraft
  2. Open Terminal and log in as root
  3. Navigate to /usr/share/Games/FlightGear/Aircraft
  4. Extract your aircraft file into the folder
  5. Start up flight gear. Your aircraft should show up in the launcher

Macintosh OS X

  1. Open GUI Launcher for FlightGear Mac
  2. Click on "Others" tab at middle right of launcher
  3. Click "Install Add-On Data" link at bottom of launcher
  4. Select aircraft folder from menu, and click "Open"
  5. Click OK on pop-up box.

Please note: For Mac users, the above will not work if you have not installed FG to the applications folder. If you do not want to put your version of FG in your applications folder, you can place it in a separate folder of your own creation. That will allow the above aircraft (& scenery) installation method to work correctly/


  1. Download an aircraft and save it on your desktop.
  2. Unzip the file, using a file archiver like 7-Zip.
  3. Move the unzipped folder (usually the aircraft's name) to your FlightGear/data/Aircraft directory.


"Modern" Windows Versions (e.g. XP, Vista, Win7) tinkering a lot with user rights on access level. Therefore it's a bad idea to install and run FlightGear to and from "C:\Program Files" (German: C:\Programme). Find another drive / folder where you as logged in user have all neccesary right to read, write and execute the files you installed. Additionally there's a space / blank in folder's name which could cause weird behaviour. Use something like "C:\FlightGear".

Choosing aircraft

If you are looking for information to decide what aircraft to download, try Table of models or Aircraft. External links to third party aircraft can be found at FlightGear hangars. Remember that the latest aircraft may not load with previous versions, so look for older aircraft in the links section.

Invisible model

If you start FlightGear with the new plane you installed and there is no cockpit or exterior, this may be because the XML files are in the wrong encoding.

To fix this on linux try this:

$ cd path/to/aircraft/directory/
$ find . -name "*.xml" -print | xargs sed -i 's/<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>/<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>/g'

For developers

Help develop the FlightGear Package Manager which is intended to support automatic aircraft and scenery installation, currently in alpha development and in need of testing.

Related content