FlightGear Newsletter November 2011

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

We would like to emphasize that the monthly newsletter can not live without the contributions of FlightGear users and developers. Everyone with a wiki account (free to register) can edit the newsletter and every contribution is welcome. So if you know about any FlightGear related projects such as for example updated scenery or aircraft, please do feel invited to add such news to the newsletter.

Development news

2.6.0 release preparations

On December 17, our Git repository will be declared "frozen". This means that no new features or major changes shall be pushed onto the development streams (neither source nor data). This period is for preparing the code for the release and make sure there are no major issues. It lasts for four weeks until creation of the release branches.

Keep in mind that the people that are able to commit your stuff are just as busy finishing their own work as you are! Therefore it is important that you create merge requests for everything that you'd like to see included in the upcoming release, as soon as possible. This includes new aircraft and large updates to existing aircraft.

Don't let it wait for tomorrow, do it today!


USS Vinson (CVN-70) and USS Lake Champlain (CG-57)

Emilian and Vivian have been very busy over the last months updating and improving our shaders. The plan is to rationalize some into one "aircraft" shader, to use just one method of computing fog, and to improve the appearance of the sea by adding foam and aligning the waves with the surface wind. Along the way the appearance of wakes was improved. There is still much to be done, but the work should start to be uploaded to git soon.

It's not without cost to the frame rate, so you will need a pretty powerful video card to run all the features at the same time with the slider set to high quality: nVidia GTX 260, or the ATI equivalent is probably the minimum. By selecting a lower quality vs performance slider setting the old shaders will still be available.

Interview with a contributor (NAME)

See FlightGear Newsletter: Interview questions for more questions.

  • How long have you been involved in FlightGear?
  • What are your major interests in FlightGear?
  • What project are you working on right now?
  • What do you plan on doing in the future?
  • Are you happy with the way the FlightGear project is going?
  • What do you enjoy most about developing for FlightGear?
  • Are there any "hidden features" you have worked on in FlightGear that new users may miss?
  • What advice can you give to new developers who want to get started on their first aircraft/new feature/Nasal script?

Snapshot releases

Nasal for newbies

New software tools and projects

FlightGear addons and mods

In the hangar

New aircraft

Updated aircraft


The FlightGear livery database is re-opened for contributions! Due to some problems in the uploadscript no submissions were accepted for several weeks. The uploadform has been redesigned, to allow quicker and easier processing of livery packages. Comments and ideas are highly appreciated. And so are liveries of course, at this link!

At the same time, the airlines page received a new "paging", based on first letter of the airlines. This allows you to find what you're looking for in an instant.

Scenery corner

Scenery buckets of FG mapserver.

As of November 20th, there are 1,122,603 objects positions known in FlightGear's scenery database. It is now possible to show on FG scenery map the scenery buckets. This may be useful for our fellow contributors. Thanks to Martin, Tuxklok and Elmaxo for this nice and useful update. Never seen FG's scenery mapserver? Click here to see how it looks like and play with the different layers to the upper right. Enjoy!


Aircraft of the month

Airport of the month

Screenshot of the month

Suggested flights

Ketchikan to Juneau

It's cold where we will go so dress up warm and if we are lucky we might see whales during our flight. Don't fly too high to enjoy the amazing views, and there is a small challenge at the end. The runways we will use are long enough for bigger aircraft (7000+). Total length of the trip will be around 245 NM. So, hop in the cockpit of your favourite airliner.

Alaska, here we come! Enjoy!

  1. Park your aircraft on PAKT, Ketchikan International, runway 11. The wind is coming from South, change the weather if needed (SE is ok too).
  2. Fly North towards NDB Fredericks Point on 372.0 for 94 NM.
  3. Fly towards NDB Five Fingers on 295.0 for 39 NM.
  4. Fly towards NDB Gustavus on 219.0 for 77 NM.
  5. Fly towards NDB Coghlan Island on 212.0 for 32 NM.
  6. Set the ILS on 109.9 and land your aircraft (after 4 NM) on PAJN, Juneau International, runway 08.

If you feel warm after this landing, you just crossed a NORAD microwave site, so that is why.

More amazing flights can be found at Suggested Flights.

Aircraft reviews

Wiki updates

Now that aircraft can be rated (on completeness/status), it made sense to put these aircraft into categories, based on their status. A small adjustment to the aircraft infobox made this process completely automated. All you, as wiki-aircraft-article author need to do is add the ratings to the infobox.

All status categories can be found under Category:Aircraft status.

New articles




New aircraft articles




Most popular newsletters


 categoryRoot=FlightGear Newsletter


Community news


Proudly presenting FlightGear, from left to right: Gijs, Lindsay, Jorg, Mathias, Durk, ThorstenB, TorstenD, Martin, and Hans.

FlightGear on YouTube

A video on draoi99's Youtube channel showing some scenes of various aircraft flying in coastal areas. The video has a "weather forecast" theme and a new feature in development - white wave tips in stormy weather - can be seen.

FlightGear on Google+

Since this month, FlightGear is also active on Google+! Another way to reach users and promote FlightGear.

New tutorials and screencasts

Forum news

Five years ago, on November 29 2006 the FlightGear forum was created.



Virtual airlines

FlightGear events

Useful links

FlightGear in the news

LINUX Format

FlightGear 2.4 is featured in the December issue of LINUX Format, published in the UK, the software is included on the cover disc and there is a 1-page review in the magazine. FlightGear got an overall rating of 8/10: 9/10 for Ease of use and Documentation and 6/10 and 7/10, respectively, for Performance and Features. See the review below:

LINUX Format Review


As promised in the previous edition, French magazine MicroSim published a tutorial for new Flightgear users.

MicroSim nov2011 1.png MicroSim nov2011 2.png

MicroSim nov2011 3.png MicroSim nov2011 4.png

And finally ...

A christmas present for you

World's (and thus FlightGear's) largest Christmas tree.

Do not forget to pay a visit to the Gerbrandytoren in the Netherlands. With a height of 366.8m and 120 lights, it is the world's largest Christmas tree between December 11 and January 6. The tower is located 21 nm South East (HDG 120h) of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (location on MPMap) and accurately modeled in FlightGear, including the Christmas decoration!

Sadly the tower won't be decorated in real life this year; due to construction work after a fire earlier this year. Luckily FlightGear is not affected :-)


One of the regular thoughts expressed on the FlightGear forums is "I'd like to contribute but I don't know how to program, and I don't have the time". Unfortunately, there is a common mis-conception that contributing requires programming and lots of free time. In fact, there are a huge range of ways to contribute to the project without needing to write code or spending days working on something.

For ideas on starting to contribute to FlightGear, you may want to check out: Volunteer.

Call for volunteers

  • The OpenRadar project is looking for a new maintainer.
  • The FGFSPM (FlightGear Package Manager) is looking for a new maintainer.

Did you know