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FlightGear is an Open Source, cross-platform, flight simulator. The goal of the FlightGear project is to create a sophisticated flight-simulator framework for use in research or academic environments, for the development and pursuit of other interesting flight-simulation ideas, and as an end-user application.

The FlightGear base package includes only a few representative aircraft. Download more aircraft here.

What's New

Version 3.0.0:

Aircraft Modeling

  • All glider models have now Total Energy compensated variometers
Environment Rendering
  • Sea color is more realistic, using a a global sea map is used to render shallow ocean a different color
  • Improved random building textures
  • Atmospheric Light Scattering (ALS) improvements including:


  • OS X 10.6 or later

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FlightGear User Discussion

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SmasherPDX Member IconComment+1

I have an iMac G5 with OS 10.4. When I started to play this game, I noticed that it takes a while to load, and the response time is high. It also froze and program completely shut down right in the middle of it. I'm not a stupid guy either, but I can't even get my plane off the ground!

Reply1 reply
Version 0.9.9

I could,t get the plane to move either. On a MacBook Pro 2.16 Ghz

Anonymous Member IconReview

I'm not sure this should even be a beta release yet.

First the good news. Graphics: OK; close to MSFS (pretty good for freeware, in other words). Sound: Good, but then flight sims aren't the most complex soundtracks on the planet. Stability: takes a long time to load (about 2 minutes) and appears to be the pizza of death, but after the screen changes resolution and aspect ratio a few times it seems to work reasonably well (is the splash screen supposed to tear up like that?).

Now the bad.

User interface: horrid. Not just the "ported-from-UNIX-ugly-but-works" style, I mean pull-down menus that don't do anything except tell you to use an XML editor to edit the preference files (hacking is fun, but shouldn't be mandatory). Major settings like screen resolution and controller options seem to be inaccessable from inside the game.

Physics: I managed to roll through the terminal building on a take-off run, did an inverted loop (in a 707!) and flew straight through the ground, which then disappeared leaving only a black dot. For me, detecting collisions with ground objects is a major part of the "simulation" aspect of any flight sim. Its harder to make a comment on the flight models, since my machine (eMac 700MHz, 32MB nVidia, fine according to the limited system specs on the HTML manual pages) couldn't manage more than about 8 fps (guessing, the fps display didn't seem to work), and the poor UI design meant that changing the settings was too much of a chore*.

Installation: "Drag the FlightGear folder to Applications" say the (rather meagre) installation notes: this I tried, and got a permissions error. Fixed with "Get Info". The other problems I can forgive as development issues, but this is just plain carelessness. Found no other relevant documentation on the DMG, just some bible quotes, which were absolutely no use under the circumstances (praying DIDN'T help...).

Frankly, if this software is actually used by anyone in the groves of academe doing serious research, I'm never flying again! For now, I'd suggest sticking with Warbirds or X-Plane; they may not be open source, but they work...

*I'm one of those old-fasioned people who believe that computers are supposed to make life less complex and more enjoyable, not the other way around.

Reply2 replies
Version 0.9.8
Anonymous Member Icon

Addenum to previous review:

FPS counter does work, but is unlabelled and hard to find. Perhaps it shouldn't be on the instrument panel...

Necessary to exit game to change plane.

Mysterious crash (program, not the plane) after changing planes (opening dialog box, splash screen, sound, then nothing).

Does detect ground collisions, but only with landing gear down. Plane can get stuck at odd angles, only option is to reset the simulator.

Some menus do work, but many settings don't appear to do anything. Settings aren't retained (surely there has to be some GPL source code for XML editing out there...).

Default controller setting maps the throttle to the joystick "Z-axis". Impossible to change, because it STILL won't copy to my hard drive (argh!).

Still runs like a cow (and I don't mean with bells on).

And it was a 737, not a 707. It still flies underground, though, and it feels way too responsive (more like a Lear Jet).

Anonymous Member Icon

I've played this on FreeBSD on both a thinkpad
and a desktop machine. The last stable
version (from my experience) was 0.9.3.
After that, it has been very unstable
(memory leaks) and crashes regularly.
So it doesn't surprise me that the OS X
port gives people a bad taste in their
mouth. On a reasonably fast machine
(in PC terms, >2GHz) with a video card
that does direct-rendering, and back when
it worked well, it was one of the most
realistic flight simulators around. The
keyboard interface is hard to get used to
but it did work (at one point). Serious
flyers used a joystick. Hopefully, they'll
get the bugs worked out...soon.
Perhaps we can convince the Fink project
folks to try another port of this (although
I can't blame the person who ported it,
I think it's been unstable since 0.9.6).


Anonymous Member IconReview

Downloaded it and the darn thing wouldn't open.

My computer meets the requirements.

It now rests in the trash. Sad really because it looked like it would be a ton of fun.

Reply1 reply
Version 0.9.8

I too am unable to use this app while loading it quits

user icon+151
Version 2.12.0
> 3 3


Current Version (3.x)


Downloads 51,867
Version Downloads 1,344
Type Games / Simulation
License Free
Date 20 Feb 2014
Platform Intel 64 / OS X
Price Free
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