Changelog 3.0

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Available in: English, Català, Español, Français, Italiano. Please help us translate in other languages!

The FlightGear development team is delighted to announce the v3.0 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 integration of the FGCom voice communications client within the simulator, improved terrain rendering, faster scenery loading, and improved usability. This release also coincides with the release of FlightGear World Scenery 2.0 - massively improved scenery data covering the entirety of the planet and incorporating OpenStreetMap roads and detailed terrain information from a variety of sources.

In the 4 years since FlightGear V2.0.0 was released in February 2010, FlightGear has developed enormously:

  • The Rembrandt rendering system provides real-time shadows and lighting
  • Improved sky modelling including fog and low level haze, terminator lines.
  • Massively improved terrain rendering, with region-specific terrain, random buildings, shader effects and more realistic object and tree placement.
  • Advanced weather simulation, including frontal systems, thermals, lift and cloud formation based on mountain ridges.
  • Built-in on-the-fly terrain loading - no need to load terrain before your flight.
  • Built in multiplayer client and voice communications allowing users to join and leave multiplayer sessions in-sim.
  • Usability improvements including in-sim joystick configuration UI, map.
  • A fully scripted 2D rendering system allowing easy creation of complex UIs, glass cockpit instruments and more.

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 multi-player 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 v3.0 for free from

FlightGear - Fly Free!

Major enhancements in this release

Aircraft Modeling

  • All glider models have now Total Energy compensated variometers.

Environment Rendering

  • Sea color is more realistic, using a a global sea map is used to render shallow ocean a different color.
  • Improved random building textures
  • Atmospheric Light Scattering (ALS) improvements including
    • significant work on a more natural appearance of a low haze or fog layer which includes now altitude variations
    • atmosphere rendering beyond the lowest fog layer takes now actual aloft visibility into account, leading to a blurred horizon
    • the horizon line is now rendered with angular variations, simulating different vertical extent of air layers far away in the atmosphere
    • the wake shader rendering the waves generated by a ship has been ported to ALS


  • Terrain loading times improved by deferring loading of objects within scenery.


  • Tab key is used to cycle mouse modes: aircraft control, view control, idle
  • TerraSync is pre-configured and works as is without user configuration required
  • FGCom, the multiplayer voice communications client is now integrated within FlightGear


  • Italian translation of the FlightGear Manual.


  • Scenery 2.0 is now available, using improved elevation, road and terrain data.
  • Updated navigation data
  • Regional texture definitions have been added for Scandinavia, Corsica and Ascension Island.

Canvas System

FlightGear's fully scriptable 2D rendering system now includes improved APIs for creating maps and navigation displays amongst many other improvements. People no longer need to have programming experience to add a working ND to their aircraft, it can now be all done by copying and pasting 30 lines of text and customizing a few properties. The so called MapStructure back-end handles efficient updating of all ND layers transparently.

Nasal Scripting

  • Faster complex spacial searches
  • HTTP bindings
  • A new Nasal library has been added for implementing specialised soaring instruments. The library currently supports Total Energy compensated varios as well as Netto, Super Netto (aka Relative) and Speed Command variometers.


  • PDF/LaTeX docs of the internals of the Nasal engine (C code) have been added to $FG_ROOT/Docs.
  • An Italian translation of the FlightGear Manual is now available.

Highlighted new and improved aircraft


  • Additional joysticks and rudder pedals are supported out-of-the-box:
    • Logitech Flight System G940 (joystick, pedals and throttle)

Bug fixes

  • See our bugtracker for an extensive, yet incomplete, list of the bugs fixed in this release.