Changelog 2.4.0

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The FlightGear development team is happy to announce the release of FlightGear 2.4.0. This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements, bug fixes, and other improvements.

After adopting the newly available shader technology in 2.0.0, FlightGear’s graphical quality has been substantially improved. Besides that, assorted highlights of this version include: a configurable local weather system, many new and improved aircraft, and numerous scenery additions.

Some of the major changes include:

Aircraft operations:

  • A new head-up display (HUD) system
  • An in-sim moving map
  • ATC/ATIS improvements
  • EICAS instruments are available on a selected number of aircraft
  • Improved autopilots
  • TCAS works with AI and multiplayer aircraft provides aural warnings for conflicting traffic and is also capable of driving a realistic traffic display. AI aircraft also respond to TCAS alerts and take evasive action
  • Updates to the KLN89 GPS.
  • tanker now refuels with any callsign and can enable/disable refueling in flight.

AI system

  • A standalone AI flight plan generator program
  • Approaching aircraft now follow realistic approach trajectories
  • Ballistic objects can slave to any AI object
  • Improved AI ballistics behavior
  • More communication/interaction between AI aircraft and ground. Support for multiple frequencies for AI/ATC interaction.
  • Speed-up for AI traffic initialization by means of an aircraft usage statistics collection mechanism

AI Traffic

  • General and commercial aviation traffic at LOWI airport
  • Malaysian Airways / Kuala Lumpur based traffic
  • Traffic for Adria (Croatia)

Flight dynamics

  • A new MIL-STD Turbulence model has been added to the JSBSim flight dynamics simulation engine

Environment

  • A local weather system to simulate physically correct local weather phenomena
  • Discard of outdated METAR weather information sources and improved METAR parsing
  • New Fog layers with limited elevation
  • Scenery can be downloaded and installed on-the-fly via an in-sim TerraSync interface
  • Specific multiplayer pilots can be selectively ignored

Interface

  • Complete overhaul of the autopilot system
    • New digital controllers
    • Flexible use of input and output values
    • Support for mathematical expressions
    • Usable for generic numeric data processing as a "property rule" system
  • Better integration of separate weather systems
  • New support of draggable 3d objects like throttle-levers
  • Support for textures generated from VNC clients
  • Unified runway selection code that is shared between user-controlled and AI-controlled aircraft
  • New HLA interface for distributed simulations
  • New on-demand loading of Nasal modules
  • New support for external (aka real) Garmin 400/500 WAAS Units
  • Optional automatic selection of nearest tower for external 'tower view'

Highlighted new and improved aircraft

  • A new and highly detailed IAR-80 (a Romanian-produced WW2 fighter)
  • A new highly detailed Piper Cub
  • Airbus A320 Family (318/319/320/321)
  • An improved P-51D, completely remodeled and containing improved flight dynamics
  • Boeing 717
  • Boeing 757-200
  • Bombardier CRJ700 Series (700/900/1000)
  • Bombardier CRJ200
  • Douglas A-4F Skyhawk
  • Improvements to the Boeing 787
  • MiG-15bis
  • PZL-Mielec M18B "Dromader"
  • Short S.23 Empire flying boat
  • The Boeing 737NG Series
  • The Boeing 747-400 and 777-200 have received lots of improvements
  • The Douglas DC-8 Series
  • The Eurocopter EC130 B4 Helicopter
  • Tyre smoke effects on many aircraft
  • Zeppelin LZ 121 Nordstern

Navigation

  • A new route manager
  • Autopilots can be driven by NAV or GPS instruments

Project infrastructure

  • Change to Git as a revision control system
  • Moved to make based build system
  • Set up a bug tracker
  • Support for automatic nightly snapshot releases
  • Support for placing add-on aircraft in a separate aircraft directory, separate from the main data directory

Scenery improvements

  • Animated jetways
  • (Are all of the following in scene models?)--T3r 16:59, 3 August 2011 (EDT)
  • Improvements to the Innsbruck area, Austria
  • Las Vegas McCarran Intl. Airport
  • London Gatwick Airport
  • Many buildings for small airports in the Italian Alps
  • Many contributions to the Switzerland area, including building models and shapefiles for future terrain improvements
  • Many historic and current launch sites have been added to the Kennedy Space Center Area, including some AI-controlled rocket launches
  • The city of Dubai (terrain, city buildings, and AI traffic)
  • Time dependent placement of buildings. What is this? --T3r 16:59, 3 August 2011 (EDT)

Visual effects

  • Various graphics improvements using shaders, including 3D urban effects, reflections, water, rock textures, lightmaps, skydome scattering
  • Easy GUI-based access to a host of stereoscopic 3D rendering effects
  • Panoramic distortion (Is this really implemented?)--T3r 16:59, 3 August 2011 (EDT)
  • Persistent contrails
  • New standalone 2D-Panel rendering utility

Bug fixes

  • Fixed METAR live weather (http requests from NOAA)
  • Fixed many sources of the infamous NaN errors
  • Improved stability by fixing many segmentation faults, deadlocks and memory leaks
  • Improved placement of random objects
  • Fixed inconsistencies with scenery tile scheduling
  • The replay system now works again as advertised
  • The ground proximity warning system (GPWS) works reliably now
  • Runway lights also working with ATI graphics cards now (rendering option to disable point-sprites)
  • Many, many more. See our bugtracker for an extensive list