Aircraft testing checklist

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This is a set of basic checks to run on an aircraft, to validate compatibility with a FlightGear version

For aircraft in FGaddon which have been claimed for testing, see the tester list


  • does the aircraft have a clear name (not so long it overflows)
  • is the description appropriate? Long enough to be relevant but not an essay..
  • does it have new-style previews / splash screen in the launcher?

Basic experience

  • start on a runway, and start the engine manually
  • start via autostart (assuming the acft has one)
  • start in-air: eg use the 'on approach' feature of the launcher
  (note different aircraft may not work for an in-air start)
  • if the aircraft has terrain variants (eg, skis, floats) and you have time, check they work as expected (eg seaport takeoff and landing for floats).
  • if it's Naval aircraft, do the circuit mentioned below from a carrier
  • check throttle (and pitch and mixture) work as expected (Eg, does the engine cut out at full lean? Does it redline at full throttle on the ground?)
  • check brakes response and parking brake
  • check avionics power: do displays turn on/off, does audio turn on/off based on the power/volume switches.
  • tune COM1 and ensure ATIS is audible
    • check volume adjustment if there's a control for it
  • check altimeter setting (can you set it, can you select inHG vs HPA if the acft supports it)
  • tune NAV1 and check behavior, including from/to flag
  (might need to be done in air for reception)
  • check ground steering (especially if ground tiller mode is supported)
* if there's pushback support, does it work okay?
  • fly a circuit
  • check takeoff power handling (P-factor on takeoff roll, the sensitivity of rudder inputs, etc).
  • Check the rotation speed is plausible, if you can find some data on it.
  • check flaps/gear work as expected
  • check basic instruments update (use HUD to cross-check)
  • check radar altimeter if fitted (the HUD is good to cross-check this)
  • check stall performance in clean config (is it vaguely plausible, especially)
  • check level flight over-speed performance (time to hit the barber pole at full power).
  • check engine performance instruments are somewhat working, keeping in mind most aircraft have very simple fuel/oil/temperature modeling.
  • check pitch trim works: can you trim for level flight and leave the controls untouched for a few seconds without the aircraft departing straight and level flight?
  • fly a visual approach
  • check stall performance in approach config (is it vaguely plausible?..)
  • check ILS reception / deviation
  • check DME readings
  • check OM/MM/IM reception and lamps
  • check fuel consumption / fuel dialog if possible
  • execute a reposition, check nothing breaks
  • execute a reset, check nothing breaks :) (the sim might crash...)


  • frame-rate : do you see a large frame-rate drop compared to other aircraft / the UFO. Is it only when in an inside or outside view?
  • lighting states in the dark? (beacon, strobe, etc)?
  • animations work as expected (when implemented) : especially basic ones (control surfaces move is most important).
  • check all the views work, especially custom views, do they track okay using the joystick had and/or mouse look?
  • default livery, is it something or 'unpainted grey'?

Non-standard stuff

This is nice-to-haves, not mandatory

  • Check appearance under a compositor build
  • Check appearance under very high ALS settings?
  • failures: if the aircraft supports them, are they plausible. (eg overspeed with flaps extended). Especially, can they be reset back to working from a UI dialog, and does re-positioning cause them to trigger incorrectly.
  • GPWS: if it's fitted, check its callouts on landing are correct

Autopilot checks

  • If the aircraft has an autopilot implemented in the cockpit, check controls work for basic modes (ROLL, PITCH). If the aircraft does not have an autopilot implemented, there is /no/ requirement for the generic autopilot dialog to work successfully, but would be nice to note if it does or doesn't.
  • Intercept a VOR / leg : check the turning to intercept, and overshoot / roll out when reading the correct position
  • check the AP is stable at 2x time acceleration, and see if it is at 4x or 8x (lots aren't....)
  • Setup a basic route in the route-manager, and check interaction with the AP if supported: especially following waypoints and sequencing above them. This is more important for glass cockpits.