ZF Navy free balloon

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ZF Navy free balloon
ZF Navy free balloon.jpg
Type Aerostat, Balloon
Author(s) Anders Gidenstam
--aircraft= ZF_Navy_free_balloon
Status Beta
 FDM Stars-3.png
 Systems Stars-2.png
 Cockpit Stars-3.png
 Model Stars-3.png
 Website The website for the ZF Navy free balloon developments.
 Repository The development repository of the ZF Navy free balloon.
Download Download the ZF Navy free balloon aircraft package for the current stable release (2020.3).
License GPLv2+

This is a US Navy free balloon as used for initial lighter-than-air training during the 1920s to 1940s. It is fairly representative for a type of aircraft that first flew in 1783 and soon afterwards found a shape and construction that it retained (almost) to this day.

Handling instructions

The ZF Navy free balloon with the envelope shader enabled.

172P 02.jpg

Important controls / keys

Flight controls

  • Gas valve
  • Ballast


  • W - Weigh-off to 10% of current weight by dropping ballast. Takes about 10 seconds and only works when on the ground.
  • w - Show current on-ground weight. Only works when on the ground.
  • D/d - Drop ballast in 1%/0.1% decrements.


  • F/f - Open/close the gas valve.
  • R - Rip the envelope. Use only close to the ground and when you really really want to stay there.


This aircraft depends on instruments from some other aircraft (for FlightGear 2.6.0 and above). Install these too.

Known problems

  • The balloon envelope shader doesn't show over MP unless the property /sim/rendering/shaders/aircraft/balloon-envelope/quality-level is manually set to 1. The property might no longer be visible in the shader settings dialog also when the ZF Navy free balloon is the user's aircraft.

External links