FlightGear Launch Control

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Revision as of 08:54, 25 January 2009 by Gijs (talk | contribs) (→‎Dubugging)
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Fgrun is a graphical front end for FlightGear, distributed and developed separately at http://sourceforge.net/projects/fgrun. However, it was included in officially distributed binaries for FlightGear, even though it is not technically a part the FlightGear program, like several other frontends (see also FlightGear related projects). Fgrun allows one to choose options more easily than with the command line. (see also FlightGear 1.0 aircraft names for command line)

The application has two main parts : a wizard to choose common options, and an advanced section where all options are available for advanced users.

Options choosen are automatically saved in a file and are reused the next time fgrun is restarted.

For information on compiling this software see Building FlightGear Launch Control.

The Wizard

The wizard appears to the user when fgrun is started. The first time, when no path are set, the first page is shown, otherwise, it jumps directly to the second page, but the first one is still accessible by hitting the "Prev" button.


Page One - Paths

In the first page, the paths needed by fgrun are recalled and can be set. If fgrun was installed with a binary package, either under Windows or Linux, these paths are normally initialized by the installation procedure.

The 'Executable' box is the full path to the FlightGear program. One can choose it directly using the file selection dialog that pops up when the folder button is hit.

The 'FG_ROOT' field is the full path to the FlightGear Base Package. It isn't the value of the $FG_ROOT ( or %FG_ROOT% under Windows ) environment variable. If this path is wrong, no Aircraft would be displayed and FlightGear won't run.

The 'FG_SCENERY' list is the path list to scenery folders. These folders usually have a 'Terrain', and optionally a 'Objects' , subfolders. One add a new path with the 'Add...' button. Priorities among folders are managed with the up and down arrows.

The 'Airports Cache' field shows the location of the file that stores the airport ids found in the scenery. It is faster to access that file than to scan scenery directories to build the airport list. It is possible to delete that file if things go wrong. That will force a new scan when the third page will be shown.

If things goes wrong and FlightGear can't start anymore, and you want to start over with a bare installation, remove or rename the file named 'fgrun.prefs' located in the parent directory of the airport cache file. You will have to reenter path by hand, but the silly options you could have entered will be deleted.

Page Two - Aircraft Selection

The second page, usually the first page seen by users when starting fgrun, is the aircraft selection page. It shows the list of aircrafts found in FG_ROOT/Aircraft and the model of the selected aircraft, spinning.


Page Three - Airport Selection

The third page is the Airport and Runway selection box. It only shows the content of the Airport Cache file, that should be the reflect of the content of the scenery folders. If a new scenery has been installed and doesn't show up, or an old scenery has been deleted and airport are still there, click on the 'Refresh' button to rescan the scenery directories. The scan occurs the first time or when the Airport Cache has been deleted.


Page Four - Options and Run

The last page shows common options without the need to go to the Advanced section.

Usually, people new to FlightGear should stick there and experience a simple flight before going to the advanced section. This way, it will be easier to diagnose problem if, by accident, FlightGear would not start or run. Often problems come from incoherent options choosen, and there is no fool guard beyond this limit. If FG doen't run anyway, it will be time to look at the hardware setup.

The command line is helpful to people wanting to diagnose a problem. Last released fgrun for Windows doesn't allow copy / paste due to a problem in fltk. The next one will allow that.

The 'Run' button starts FlightGear with the options shown in the command line box.

Advanced Options



  • FG_SCENERY: Where's your scenery saved on your computer?
  • Control: Wich controller do you use?
  • Airport: Your start airport.
  • Runway: Start runway of your airport (see above).
  • Aircraft: Your flying vehicle/aircraft.
  • Language: The language of FlightGear.


  • Game Mode: The full screen game mode.
  • Random Objects: Enable random scenery objects.
  • Sound: Enable sound effects like engine sounds.
  • HUD: Enable Heads Up Display (HUD).
  • AI Traffic: Enable AI traffic.

Flight Model



  • Freeze: Start paused'.

Initial Posititon

  • Longitude: What's your longitude?
  • Latitude: What's your latitude?
  • Altitude: What's your altitude?
  • Heading: The aircraft heading (yaw) angle.
  • Airspeed: Your airspeed in knots.


  • Clouds: Are there any clouds up in the air?
  • 3D Clouds: Are the clouds 3D?
  • Full Screen: Want to play on full screen?
  • Wireframe: Do you wanna see only the wires of the scenery and the aircrafts?
  • Visibility: Visibility distance in meters or miles.
  • Bpp: Color depth in Bits per pixel.
  • FOV: Field of View angle.


  • Time match local: Synchronisize simulation time with local time.
  • Time of day: What's the time of the day?


  • Callsign: your callsign for the network. This is used to recognize other pilots and for tracking your flights.

See: Multiplayer Howto







This is where you could edit or add new parameters. It's same as configuring the Command Line.

See: Command Line Parameters



  • Log Level: The lower the log level, the less errors you'll see. A higher log level can increase the loading time extremely.
  • Trace Read Properties:
  • Trace Write Properties:




  • Wind Direction: Direction of the wind.
  • Heading: Directon wind is coming from.
  • Speed: Wind speed in knots (kts).


  • Elevation: How high (in feet) are the clouds?
  • Thickness: How thick (in feet) are the clouds?