FlightGear 3.0, an open source flight simulator that supports a variety of popular platforms and is developed by skilled volunteers from around the world, is available for download.
FlightGear aims to create a sophisticated and open flight simulator framework for use in research or academic environments, pilot training, or as an industry engineering tool. This is probably the only simulation of its kind on the Linux platform, especially in terms of complexity.
“This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bugfixes. Highlights in this release include integration of the FGCom voice communications client within the simulator, improved terrain rendering, faster scenery loading, and improved usability.”
“This release also coincides with the release of FlightGear World Scenery 2.0 - massively improved scenery data covering the entirety of the planet and incorporating OpenStreetMap roads and detailed terrain information from a variety of sources,” reads the official announcement.
FlightGear 3.0 is the biggest release in the series and users should really notice thid from the wealth of features. For example, the Rembrandt rendering system now provides real-time shadows and lighting, the sky modelling has been improved and it now includes fog, low level haze, and terminator lines, the terrain rendering is now done much better and comes with region-specific terrain, random buildings, shader effects, and more realistic object and tree placement.
Also, the weather simulation is now much more advanced and features frontal systems, thermals, lift, and cloud formation based on mountain ridges, the terrain loading is now done in flight and the levels should load much more quickly, the multiplayer client and voice communications have been integrated by default, the sim's joystick configuration UI has been improved, and a scripted 2D rendering system that allows the easy creation of complex Uis has been implemented.
FlightGear has been around for a long time, since 1997, but the simulator has gone through some major overhauls over the years. It now supports more than 400 aircraft, a worldwide scenery database, a multi-player environment, detailed sky modeling, and much more than it was originally intended.
The program is actually made up of several parts. Users have to download FlightGear itself, the Aircraft, and the Scenery packages.
If you are using an Ubuntu system you can add the PPA by opening a terminal and entering the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:saiarcot895/flightgear
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install flightgear
sudo apt-get install flightgear-data