Hi fellow wiki editors!

To help newly registered users get more familiar with the wiki (and maybe older users too) there is now a {{Welcome to the wiki}} template. Have a look at it and feel free to add it to new users discussion pages (and perhaps your own).

I have tried to keep the template short, but meaningful. /Johan G

FlightGear Newsletter April 2010

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Revision as of 04:45, 11 April 2010 by Erik (Talk | contribs) (Fokker 50)

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Welcome to the FlightGear Newsletter!
Please help us write the next edition!
Enjoy reading the latest edition!

(Feel free to contribute to next month's newsletter. Have a look at the archive and in the forum for ideas on what can be included.)

In the hangar


Fokker 50

The F50 hasn't got totally new functions, but Gijs spotted a problem with the .xml files in the plane, thus making it unable to fly on version 2.0. The .xml files have been patched and are available at the forum. In the mean time both Gijs and gooneybird have created a bunch of excellent new which can be found in the forum.


The IL96-400 was released on 06 Apr 2010, and is downloadable from UnitedFreeWorld.

Boeing 747SP

The Boeing 747SP, a special ultra-long-haul version of the B747, is being developed by shervin88 on the forum. It is still at an alpha stage.

VMX22 Osprey

The Osprey is being revamped by ot-666, with a totally new model and FDM.

Boeing 717

The 717 is still at a pre-alpha stage at the forum.

North American P-51D

The P-51D, a legendary fighter, was remodeled under JSBSim only by hvengel.


The C-5 is being modelled by jonbourg.


The IAR80 prop is near completion.


The Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental is being modeled by MOJO.


The A318 is being modeled from the A319. Read more about this project at the forum.


The awesome C-17 has been in work by jonbourg for a while now and it looks great. The model is fantastic and it includes a working cargo door, animation and now fully operating thrust reverse. Upcoming updates will include an airdrop feature and 3D cockpit instrumentation. Also in the works is DATCOM information for a realistic flying experience.


Jon Bourgeois (jonbourg) also is currently working on the P-47N from Dave Culp's hangar.

Quest Kodiak 100

The Quest Kodiak is a modern STOL turboprop single built to be a back-country aircraft to help in areas in which humanitaire help is needed. At the moment exists a basic FDM and an outside 3D model with animations of it. We are currently working on the cockpit. If you want to help developing please write a mail to not.everyone.lives [at] googlemail [dot] com. You can download the Kodiak from here. Also a forum thread represents the project.

B-29 Superfortress

The original author of the B-29 model is not active in FlightGear at the moment due to the presures of real-life work. So Vivian Meazza has been busy with bringing the B-29 model up-to-date. The ambient light levels have been brought into line with current practice and the YASim FDM has been lightly worked over. Some effects have been added: the reflective effect, exhaust staining, and contrails.


Just two months after its (re)launch, the livery database has been visited by more than a 1000 unique visitors, from 74 different countires. Together they have viewed over 22.000 pages. As of April, more than 200 liveries are available and the database is still expanding.

CVS news

New and improved shaders

New Reflection Shader applied to the B29. It shows a shiny, high-reflective blank metal, which can be achieved now with the new shader.
New Reflection Shader applied to the Ec135 for testing. It is here controlled by a greymap, but could be controlled by the materials setting as well

Frederic Bouvier improved the Urban Shader - it now supports nightlighting as well. He improved the landmass-shader as well, which gives us a more realistic 3d-look to the forest.

Vivian Meazza added a Reflection Shader. This now gives us shiny surfaces on any object. So you can now have shiny blank metals, or a glossy coating like we can see on cars and modern aircraft, or shiny windows, which even show a nice rainbow effect (like the Airbus shows). These effects are completely configurable and can be controlled in many ways.

It support Cubemaps as well, and as this influences the look of the shader effect a lot, people are invited to create as many and different as we could need.

Finally, there is a wiki article (Howto:_Use_The_Normal_Map_Effect_in_Aircraft) on using the normal mapping shader, which is very useful for adding bump maps to aircraft. The standard Cessna 172p already uses this effect to show the rivets on the wings and fuselage.

Weather development very active

In the end of March and start of April, lots of developers have released, in the forum, contributions to a local weather system.

The aim of a local weather system is to simulate weather phenomena tied to specific locations. Examples for this are a thunderstorm, a rainfront or thermal development. In the case of the thunderstorm, severe rain and turbulence occur in a location a few kilometers in scale, i.e. one can easily view it 'from outside' or fly in and out of this region. Similarly, the development of thermal convection clouds is strongly tied to features of the terrain - thermal development does not occur easily over open water or snow, but it is strong over rock or similar surfaces which heat in the sun. Finally, a rainfront is a phenomenon like a thunderstorm that divides the sky into two regions - one with essentially good visibility and clear sky, the other with severe clouds and rain, and both are visible at the same time.

This is in contrast to the current standard weather system of Flightgear where weather changes affect the weather everywhere in the simulated world and are (with few exceptions) not tied to specific locations. In such a system, it is impossible to observe e.g. the approach of a rainfront while flying in sunshine. In contrast, the local weather system allows for visual impressions such as the following:


The current release v0.51 is still limited to simulating weather in a 40x40 km tile, but supports placement of regions in which visibility, rain, snow and thermal lift are set, as well as interpolation of visibility, pressure, temperature and dewpoint between preset weather stations. The system also automatically creates thermals below convective clouds which can be utilized by gliders using a CVS patch, thus providing greatly enhanced soaring capability. More details in the forum or in the Wiki article A local weather system.

Help with texturing cloud models, developing and improving shader effects, testing, merging with the C++ code or increasing the library of availabe weather tiles is highly appreciated!

New dogfighting scenarios available!

Developers been interested in developing dogfighting scenarios over the month. Some AI balloon experiments have been released too.

Scenery Corner

Malpensa being developed

The Milan/Malpensa airport is being developed by brisa here.

Multiplayer news

Community news

And finally

Did you know, that the visibility of FlightGear's menubar can toggled by hitting the F10 key? Or start your FlightGear with --prop:/sim/menubar/autovisibility/enabled=1 once. The menubar automatically pops up when your mouse is near the top edge of the FlightGear window. A click with the left mouse button hides the menubar again. If you have autosave on (which is on by default), this feature will be enabled everytime you start FlightGear.