FlightGear Newsletter December 2023

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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

Gyro based instruments enhancements

Alot of work is currently ongoing by Benedikt and James regarding the gyro driven instruments implementations.

Limits and gyro characteristics where hard coded, and this will be exposed to be configurable in instrumentation.xml as well as at runtime using properties in the instruments tree.

Also, the heading_indicator_dg will get support to be either electric or vacuum driven by configuration in instrumentation.xml. It also got more realistic erorr simulation, like transport wander and precession erros (the latter can be countered by a latitude nut), but also gyro tumbling by over-g (resulting in spinning of the DG). That DG now also can be caged.

For details, see: https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/codetickets/2839/

Idea to integrate FGCom-mumble into the core using libmumble

Recently, live came into the idea to integrate the mumble based VoIP solution into the core. Over the years, there were from time to time such toughts, and maybe, with the dawn of libmumble, it could be made real this time.

This would surely need help of someone capabable in c++ as well as the build chain of flightgearand cmake.

Details: FGCom-mumble#Idea_to_integrate_into_FGFS

In the hangar

NEW MODEL Dassault Mirage G8

NEW AIRCRAFT: Dassault Mirage G8

Dassault Mirage G8 (by helijah) DOWNLOAD

Experimental heavy fighter aircraft with variable geometry wings, two-seat, twin-engine, long-range.

The basic version of the Mirage G evolved into a larger and heavier two-engine, two-seat version for attack missions: the Mirage G4. The G4-01 would later be converted into the G8-01 and the second aircraft (G4-02) converted into the G8-02. The G8 variant was equipped with a Thomson-CSF radar based on that used on the SEPECAT Jaguar and Dassault Milan.

The Mirage G8 was equipped with two SNECMA Atar 9K50 engines, which allowed it to reach Mach 2.2, climb up to 18,500 m and cover a maximum distance of 3,850 km. This superb device turned out to be too expensive and complex, so it was not mass-produced, in favor of the successful and simpler Mirage F-1.

NEW MODEL: Northrop YB-49

NEW AIRCRAFT: Northrop YB-49

Northrop YB-49 (by helijah) DOWNLOAD (FGAddon)

Strategic bomber prototype in "flying wing" configuration. A plane ahead of its time:

"...The Northrop YB-49 was an American prototype jet-powered heavy bomber developed by Northrop Corporation shortly after World War II for service with the United States Air Force. The YB-49 featured a flying wing design and was a turbojet-powered development of the earlier, piston-engined Northrop XB-35 and YB-35. The two YB-49s actually built were both converted YB-35 test aircraft. The YB-49 never entered production, being passed over in favor of the more conventional Convair B-36 piston-driven design. Design work performed in the development of the YB-35 and YB-49 nonetheless proved to be valuable to Northrop decades later in the eventual development of the B-2 stealth bomber, which entered service in the early 1990s..." Wikipedia

Towbar attached

Aircraft updates in FGAddon (all december):

  • Yak-52
  • Mirage III
  • F-15
  • MD-11 (Updated to version 1324)
  • KC-135
  • pa28-161
  • Northrop P 61 "Black Widow"
  • f-14b
  • B-25
  • 747-400
  • SF25C
  • QSeries
  • DHC8 Family
  • Cessna 140
  • Song 120
  • Breguet Bre 482
  • De Havilland DH.91 Albatross

C172p / C182s/t: Towbar for ground handling

The C172p and C182 development versions got a new Towbar feature.

Basicly, when attached, you can click on it and by moving the mouse you can pull/push the plane around on the ground:

  • Most fun with the walker! Stay in front of the pane, oriented towards it
  • Click the bar and hold the button.
  • Moving the mouse left/right adjusts direction.
  • Moving the mouse upwards (away from you) pushes the bar, downwards pulls.
  • Releasing the button will release the forces.

Especially when pulling/pushing, give the plane time to react. It is heavy and this is simulated.

If it wont move, check that securing like chocks and tiedowns are removed and make sure the parking brake is not set. Also, when on rough surface, you might not be strong enough to move the plane by hand.

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.
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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.
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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 December 2023!