FlightGear Newsletter June 2021

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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.

Development news

2020.3.9 LTS released

FlightGear 2020.3.9 LTS has been released and includes a web-installer for Windows that can update old 2020.3.x versions faster by downloading only changed files.

See 2020.3.9 LTS change log - included are improved regional definitions for Mediterranean Africa, improvements to shallow ocean water and inland water in certain areas, improvements to ATC dialog etc.

Web installer for Windows with 2020.3.9

This Windows web-installer (Sourceforge download) can update any old 2020.3.x install by downloading a small ~200 MB package containing all content files changed since the first release. If you are on Windows you should use the web-installer for faster download and install - be sure to back up any changes due to tinkering you may have done to the /data folder.

  • The Windows web-installer is called FlightGear-2020.3.x-web.exe. It contains the contents of the /bin folder - like executable (.exe) files and library files (.dll). FlightGear-2020.3.9-web.exe is 59 MB.
  • If an old 2020.3.x install is present according to the Windows registry, and the folders have not been deleted or renamed, the web-installer will download FlightGear-2020.3.x-update-data.txz.from the Sourceforge 2020.3 release folder. This contains files in the /data folder that have changed since the first 2020.3 release. It's around ~200 MB compressed. The current compressed file format is TXZ - XZ This is a link to a Wikipedia article compression after combining all files into an uncompressed tar archive. TXZ archives can be opened with a tool like 7zip.
  • If no 2020.3 install is present according to the registry, or the folders have been deleted, the web installer will download FlightGear-2020.3.x-data.txz - which contains the full contents of the /data folder and is 1.7 GB currently.

Slawek and James have been working on a new FlightGear Windows installer that will download most of the content from the web in compressed form - e.g. from Sourceforge servers. This installer has the ability to download more than 2GB of compressed content, and avoids the 2GB limit of the current innosetup installer configuration.

The plan is to also eventually allow in-place updating without needing to download a new installer when a new point release is published of the LTS - the idea is to download only the changed files (incremental updates). Downloading only changed files is faster, and hugely reduces bandwidth demands placed on Sourceforge. Recent installers (e.g. 2020.3.8 LTS) will also look for updates and notify users. This means that a lot of people will get bug fixes very quickly, and in-future, it should be convenient to have frequent releases with one or a few fixes as they become available. With the auto update feature there's not much reason to panic if a bug or issue has been found in your work - the fix can be distributed very quickly to the large majority of users (with the regular point release format it was pretty quick compared to previous times anyway).

Web installers for release candidate are automatically generated from 2020.3.9 onwards, and will be available from download.flightgear.org along with the normal installer.

Related Software tools and projects


FGCom-Mumble aims to provide a mumble based FGCom implementation. This will simulate radio communications in a seamless frequency spectrum. The project aims to be easy to use: Pilots just install the plugin, open mumble, join a specially named channel on a mumble server and start using their radio stack in Flightgear.

The development is discussed in the FGCom-mumble topic on the forum This is a link to the FlightGear forum.. Releases can be downloaded from GitHub. The project also has a flightgear wikipage: FGCom-mumble

Release 0.14.1 fixes the broken updater issue

The release 0.14.1 makes the project compatible to the latest changes in the mumble plugin API. There, the updater logic changed and introduces a new mumble_plugin bundle. This will fix the problem when mumble cannot find several compatible plugins for the operating system.

It also enables us to just update things that changed in the future, ie. decoupling the bundle release version from the mumble plugin version.

The radioGUI fixed a bug with UHF radio frequencies not usable and the Flightgear addon now has an update-check that will inform pilots via a canvas window when an updated addon version was tagged.

Please read the release notes for details and install instructions.

In the hangar

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

Upcoming events

  • The wednesday GA flight group is still going striong :) Everyone is welcome, we coordinate in the forums This is a link to the FlightGear forum..


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 June 2021!