FlightGear Newsletter April 2024

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Enjoy reading the latest edition!
Please help us write the coming edition!
April 2024

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

The new Visual Editor makes editing the wiki as simple as using a Word-processor, and even easier than using the forum as you don't even need to know the syntax for a url. Just hit the 'edit' link and start.

Development news

I wanted to test chatGPT in creating a flight plan for FGFS, from its planning to the generation of the file in skyvector format (gpx extension). The result was excellent and allowed me to get a full flight in just a few minutes. I also used the file produced by chatGPT as a template for producing the scenery via Julia Photoscenery Generator.

The first phase was to declare in a chatGPT prompt what you want to do, in my example the flight starts from LOWI (Innsbruck - Austria) and arrives at LIME (Orio - Italy) crossing the Alps, using a series of assistance navigation systems such as NDB and VOR. I did the test trying to avoid the use of a map, but based myself only on vague memories of that flight.

Prompt generation:

Head of the gpx format file produced by chatGPT 4 in the flight plan creation test between LOWI and LIME
File produced by ChatGPT in Skyvector format uploaded to the FGFS route manager

Hi, I want to build a flight plan in Skyvector format for an aerial simulation based on an Italian Air Force G91 aircraft. The departure airport is LOWI and the arrival airport LIME. I want to use both the NDB and VOR radio aids present along the route as reference points. The flight altitude is 18000 feet, the speed 0.75 M. The flight plan must fly over the first NDB east of LOWI airport, then aim for the VOR of Bolzano and subsequently Trento, from there go to the VOR of Verona and then on the VOR of Orio (Bergamo) and then land at the Orio airport on the runway pointing EAST.

At this point chatGPT begins to generate a series of points that describe the flight and the related radio assistance.

I verify that the system is actually giving me the right route and then I ask it to produce the xml file to use in FGFS for entering the route.

My prompt now is to get the file in gpx and rte format:

You can convert the flight plan to a Skyvector XML gpx format and rte section

At this point you copy the file and save it locally so you can then use it with the autopilot route management function.

I noticed that chatGPT can omit the rte section in the produced file, this section is essential for recognition by the route manager, so it must always be specified.

The file produced by chatGPT with the rte section is also readable by the program Julia Photoscenery Generator and therefore you can preload the photoscenary images via the Julia application using the --route option, as seen in this command line:

julia -t 10 photoscenary.jl -s 5 -r 40 --sdwn 1 --over 1 --route "LOWI-LIME.gpx"

The "LOWI-LIME.gpx" file is the file copied directly from the charGPT output, with this command it will download a hundred very detailed files that will reproduce the territory flown over along the plane's route.

In the hangar

NEW MODEL Handley-Page O by Emmanuel Baranger


Thanks to helijah, gijsrooy, deltaecho, wlbragg, jam007
  • Major work has been done on the MD-11's FMS. These new changes allow more realistic MCDU behavior and interactions with other systems. These changes should hopefully be ready for use soon.
  • [r8243] 14 bis by Santos DUMONT (1906): HDR/pbr compati...
  • [r8278] 717: add fallback model index
  • [r8279] 727-230: correct fallback model index
  • [r8280] 747: add fallback model index
  • [r8281] 747-200: add fallback model index
  • [r8316] 747-400: update
  • [r8283] A-10: add fallback model index
  • [r8257] Douglas A26 Invader: HDR/pbr compatibility. Rev...
  • [r8291] A300-600: add fallback model index
  • [r8290] A340-600: add fallback model index
  • [r8305] A6M2: add fallback model index
  • [r8239] Aero Commander 500: HDR/pbr compatible.
  • [r8261] Airco D.H.2: Minor fixes. HDR/pbr compatibility.
  • [r8326] Albatros B.II: HDR/pbr compatibility. BI versio...
  • [r8250] Antonov Year 12: Compatibility with HDR/pbr.
  • [r8253] North American B 25 "Mitchell": HDR/pbr compati...
  • [r8331] Blohm and Voss Bv 141 : Compatibility HDR/pbr.
  • [r8318] Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing: FDM Overhaul. ...
  • [r8284] Buccaneer: add fallback model index
  • [r8329] Caudron G.IV: HDR/pbr compatibility.
  • [r8302] Citation Bravo: add fallback model index
  • [r8315] DR 400: pilot animation
  • [r8293] Dragonfly: Name Change
  • [r8312] Dromader: add fallback model index
  • [r8235] Fokker Eindecker E.III: HDR/pbr compatibility. ...
  • [r8246] G103: Add Files
  • [r8335] Gloster Meteor: HDR/pbr compatibility. FDM Review
  • [r8270] Handley Page Type O NEW MODEL
  • [r8324] Horten Ho IX: HDR/pbr compatibility
  • [r8285] Hunter: add fallback model index
  • [r8306] Hurricane: add fallback model index
  • [r8277] J3Cub:Add fallback model index
  • [r8286] Lightning: add fallback model index
  • [r8240] MC-15: Small interior texture improvements
  • [r8276] Messerschmitt Me 209 V1: FDM revision. HDR/pbr ...
  • [r8282] MiG-21bis: add fallback model index
  • [r8309] Mirage 2000: correct path of fallback model ind...
  • [r8231] SIAI-Marchetti S.205R: HDR/pbr. compatibility. ...
  • [r8310] SR71 Blackbird: add fallback model index
  • [r8327] Ambient occlusion
  • [r8295] Sikorsky S58: HDR/pbr compatibility. Add sleeve...
  • [r8320] Stampe SV 4: HDR/pbr compatibility
  • [r8308] T38: add fallback model index
  • [r8272] Vickers Vimy: HDR/pbr compatibility. FDM Review
  • [r8301] Yakovlev Yak 18T : Compatibilté HDR/pbr.
  • [r8299] Yakovlev Yak 23: HDR/pbr compatibility. Revisio...
  • [r8289] US Navy free balloon: add fallback model index
  • [r8307] b29: add fallback model index
  • [r8311] Bocian: add fallback model index
  • [r8337] De Havilland DHC 3: HDR/pbr compatibility. Auto...
  • [r8303] Fokker 70/100: add fallback model index
  • [r8287] Seahawk: add fallback model index
  • [r8304] tu154b: add fallback model index
  • [r8288] Vulcan B.2: add fallback model index
More daily info about aircraft updates:

Scenery corner

Help wanted

Post LTS work

After the 2020.2 release, some work lies ahead to improve the LTS and to help us pave the way for migrating to the OpenGL Core profile - any help would be greatly appreciated.

This may for example include:

Please get in touch via the developers mailing list to learn more. See Post FlightGear 2020.2 LTS changes and 2022.X Release Plan for more details.

World Scenery 3.0

The FlightGear project is in the process of exploring how Virtual Planet Builder can be adopted. For details, see: World Scenery 3.0 roadmap

Aerial (drone) photos for Terrain textures

Wanted: good top-down aerial photos to create textures from to use with the procedural Regional Texturing system. Drones This is a link to a Wikipedia article with cameras are ideal. People with access to drones are in a good position to take high-quality photographs.

A particular need as of 2020 is photos of agriculture (farm lands) from different parts of the world.

Good GPLv2 compatible photos suitable for textures are hard to find, and an easy way is for people to take photos of their region. Flightgear's procedural systems can do a lot with less art content, so photo contributions can strongly improve visuals.

See: How to: take photos of terrain for textures. For examples of final textures: see /data/Textures/Terrain. e.g. UK countryside.

You can get in touch via the Scenery forum or the flightgear-devel mailing list

Photos of trees for textures

Wanted: good quality photos of different trees and vegetation from various parts of the world. Flightgear's vegetation system can handle multiple layers of trees and bushes.

Strong shadows should be avoided. Each tree should be against a background of a different colour: sky (preferably) , clouds , or buildings. This allows the tree to be separated from the background in a photo-editor like GIMP.

See: How to: take photos of vegetation. For examples of final textures: see /data/Textures/Trees. e.g. Coniferous.

You can get in touch via the Scenery forum or the flightgear-devel mailing list.

Submissions of labels for craft

Wanted: Submissions of labels (tags) giving a rough description of aircraft - Metadata tags. A quick read of a craft's Wikipedia page will normally be enough to set labels. This info will be searchable from the launcher GUI. For example, filtering craft by propulsion like single-propeller or 4-engine jet craft, or by a manufacturer like Airbus or Grumman, or by speed like supersonic craft, or craft by era like WW2. A list of tags is here - more can be added if needed. To add tags to craft yourself, the tags are stored in the set-xml file.

A list of FGAddon craft needing tags is here. See this forum thread to submit tags. The flightgear-devel mailing list or the craft's maintainer can also be contacted.

Windows Package Maintainer

The core team needs help from Windows users able to maintain a good working Windows build. This process already exists to support our Nightly and Release builds, but we are seeking additional help to keep it in good working order. The ability to compile FG from source and some Windows batch scripting is a required skill. If you are willing and able to take up this role, please reach out to James Turner (mailing list), or get in touch via the forum [1]


The AI team makes FlightGear more realistic, colorful and lively every month. You can support the development of Interactive Traffic and contribute at the FlightGear AI subforum This is a link to the FlightGear forum..

Community news

FlightGear on Facebook

Since early December 2010, FlightGear has an official Facebook page. If you have a Facebook account please feel free to join the page.

FlightGear on Instagram

In January 2018 the @flightgear_sim Instagram account was brought back to life. If you've got nice screenshots to be featured, feel free to contact the maintainer This is a link to the FlightGear forum..

FlightGear on FlightSim.com

FlightGear has also a sub-forum on flightsim.com - just like the commercial flight sims. It is an opportunity to showcase what FG can do, get people curious and answer any questions they may have with regard to the software or the project.

Multiplayer events


Translators needed

En.gif The FlightGear Wiki still needs help for translating it into various languages. If you are interested in making the FlightGear Wiki multilingual, you can start by looking at Help:Translate.
Fr.gif Le wiki de FlightGear a toujours besoin d'aide pour être traduit en différentes langues. Si vous êtes intéressé par le rendre multilingue, commencez par lire Help:Traduire.
De.gif Das FlightGear Wiki benötigt immer noch Hilfe bei der Übersetzung in verschiedene Sprachen. Wenn Du Interesse daran hast, das FlightGear Wiki mehrsprachig zu machen, dann fang mit dem Help:Übersetzen an.
Nl.gif De FlightGear Wiki kan nog steed hulp gebruiken bij het vertalen van artikelen. Als je interesse hebt om de wiki meertalig te maken, raden we je aan om een kijkje te nemen bij Help:Vertalen.
Es.gif La wiki de FlightGear todavía necesita ayuda para traducirla a varios lenguajes. Si estás interesado en hacer la FlightGear wiki multilingüe, entonces comienza en Help:Traducir.
Cat.gif La wiki de FlightGear encara necessita ajuda per traduir-la a diverses llengües. Si esteu interessat en fer la wiki de FlightGear multilingüe, llavors comenceu a Help:Traduir.
Pt.gif A wiki de FlightGear ainda necessita de ajuda para traduzi-la em vários idiomas. Se estás interessado em tornar a wiki de FlightGear multi-lingual, por favor começa em Help:Traduzir.
Zh.gif FlightGear 百科仍然需要志愿者将其翻译为各种语言。如果你有兴趣让FlightGear百科支持更多语言, 你可以查看 Help:Translate.

FlightGear logos

If you want some graphic elements for your FlightGear-related site (such as a hangar or YouTube channel), please feel free to visit FlightGear logos for a repository of logos. And if you have some art skills, please don't hesitate to contribute with your own design creations.


The FlightGear project always needs screenshots, which show features that were added since the last release. These should be of good quality, especially in content and technical image properties. It is therefore recommended to use the best viable filter settings (anti-aliasing, texture sharpening, etc.). More info at Howto:Make nice screenshots.

Screenshot of the Month

If you want to participate in the screenshot contest, you can submit your candidate to the this subforum This is a link to the FlightGear forum.. Be sure to see the first post for participation rules. For purposes of convenience and organization, at the end of the month or after 20 entries have been submitted, a new forum topic will be started containing all shots in an easy-to-view layout. The voting will then take place there.

Thanks for reading FlightGear Newsletter April 2024!