Changelog 2017.2

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The FlightGear development team is delighted to announce the v2017.2 "Boston" release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator. This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bugfixes. Highlights in this release include improvements to YASIM, a better launcher, and improvements to Earthview.

Founded in 1997, FlightGear is developed by a worldwide group of volunteers, brought together by a shared ambition to create the most realistic flight simulator possible that is free to use, modify and distribute. FlightGear is used all over the world by desktop flight simulator enthusiasts, for research in universities and for interactive exhibits in museums.

FlightGear features more than 400 aircraft, a worldwide scenery database, a multiplayer environment, detailed sky modelling, a flexible and open aircraft modelling system, varied networking options, multiple display support, a powerful scripting language and an open architecture. Best of all, being open-source, the simulator is owned by the community and everyone is encouraged to contribute.

Download FlightGear v2017.2 for free from

FlightGear - Fly Free!

Major enhancements in this release


Aircraft Modeling

  • Added support to allow a geometry object (a line segment with two vertices) that is used to define both the centre and the axis for an animation. This will work with rotate, translate and the knob animations.


  • The YASim code is under heavy development and will continue to get improvements in the future.


  • Optional new protocol that improves efficiency (35% reduction in bandwidth). Older clients (pre 2017.1) will only see basic aircraft motion when new protocol selected.
  • New debugging options; local loopback, transmitted packet size, packet dump.
  • Extra generic properties; float[20..39], short[0..79], bool[0..90].
  • Connect dialog will use configured ports rather than always using 5000,5000.

Atmospheric Light Scattering

  • G-force effect with greyout and tunnel vision.
  • HUD effect simulating more realistically the appearance of light projected onto glass.
  • Improved Aurora shader.

Environment Rendering

  • Added a normalmap to the Earthview clouds and landscape.
  • Added a lightmap to Earthview at night, including thunderstorm visuals.
  • Earthview atmosphere Rayleigh scattering added.



  • A new, modern splash screen together with start-up tips.
  • The launcher's design is reworked.


  • Improved aircraft discovery: Search tags and large screenshots in the launcher.
  • Boston is the default airport for this release.



  • Enhancements for the integration of osm2city generated sceneries:
    • Textures and effects are now part of FGData and therefore do not need to be distributed separately.
    • Traffic shader visualising cars on streets based on street type, time of day etc.
    • Shader for lit streets.
  • Custom sceneries can add and correct fixes and navaids.
    • This is the logical extension to what was already possible for airports using the NavData/apt folder inside a scenery folder.
    • FlightGear now looks for *.dat and *.dat.gz files in NavData/fix and NavData/nav in addition to NavData/apt (optional subfolders of each scenery folder).
    • See this message for details.

Canvas System

  • Additional APIs to update text elements more performance-friendly.
  • Stuart Buchanan has just added some new Nasal Canvas MapLayers to support Slippy Maps, as used by most web-based mapping services such as openstreetmap. This allows us to display sectional charts (for the US -, and airspace information (courtesy of, as well as a openstreetmap data. The canvas Map dialog has been updated to support these layers. Map data is retrieved over http and cached locally.[1]

Nasal Scripting

  • get_cart_ground_intersection() and aircraftToCart() added.


Highlighted new and improved aircraft


Parameter --log-file renamed to --log-dir (FlightGear commit dab685).

Bug fixes

  • See our bugtracker for a list, albeit incomplete, of the bugs fixed in this release.