Flightgear is constantly under development, and the current development version (2.11) contains already a number of interesting features beyond what 2.10 could do – so here is some (incomplete) list of what to expect from the next release:
Novel water effects
As part of the Atmospheric Light Scattering rendering scheme, some novel features have been added to the water shader:
Subtle variations in sea color and surface reflectivity are rendered at high quality, which together with slighly patchy fog improves the visual impression significantly. In addition, an experimental effect generating surf at some coastlines is under active development (coast of Lanai, Hawaii from the EC-135 cockpit).
The environment control allows to a drift ice overlay effect to render winter scenes in cold climate (coastline near Juneau, Alaska).
Flightgear becomes better accessible for the novel user:
A new tooltip system has been added, identifying knobs, gauges and levers for the new user and also indicating their value, thus eliminating the need to zoom to read badly visible instruments. On-screen messages are rendered in a new gnome-like semi-transparent window style. These changes are part of a larger restructuring of the user interface, which standardizes the interaction with cockpit clickspots and adds a more intuitive view mode by right-click/drag as option.
The Rembrandt rendering does shadows best, but this does not mean other frameworks can do nothing:
The balance of direct and indirect light has been re-adjusted to simulate the self-shading of terrain better. In clear weather, shaded surface are now rendered much darker, leading to much improved visuals in low morning or afternoon light (the B-1900D over the French Alps near Grenoble).
Fans of realistic air-air refueling will be happy:
The air to air refueling system has been much improved. It now contains a menu to select tanker type, speed and contact radius. Two new tanker planes have been added, and the contact points are now correctly specified, allowing for a much more realistic aerial refueling experience.
Ground texture resolution
Landing somewhere off an airport was never before this nice:
A high resolution shader effect has been added to the procedural terrain rendering of the Atmospheric Light Scattering framework, which renders cm-scale detail resolution. This allows for a much improved low level flight experience and more interesting helicopter operations in the terrain, as there are now visual markers available to gauge distance to the terrain (the EC-135 landing on Lanai shrubland).
The weather system has received a major upgrade. The grouping of sparse clouds into patterns is now much more realistic, replacing simple clusters by visually more interesting undulatus or wavy patterns.
As part of these changes, the rendering of low visibility scenes in Atmospheric Light Scattering has also been made more consistent.
The next version of a well-known aircraft arrives:
The Eurocopter EC-135 is currently undergoing a major overhaul. The FDM is completely revised, leading to a more stable experience in level flight, and the cockpit is done in high-resolution photorealistic texturing (over the French Alps, close to Grenoble).
A large selection of different models is provided, all with different liveries, equipment and slightly altered FDM (over the French Alps, close to Grenoble).
The environment becomes more interactive:
Canvas is a technology to render 2-d information into the scene – it can be used for complicated instruments or a HUD. However, it has now been extended to be applicable to scenery objects as well – this allows for novel features such as airliner docking guidance systems as shown here.
Now you don’t only have to fly in summer or winter:
As part of a restructured tree shader, deciduous trees now shed their foliage if they are above the snowline, thus they adapt to the shader-drawn snow effects better. In addition, Atmospheric Light Scattering includes now an experimental season effect (mostly tested for Europe) which allows to simulate the autumn coloring of deciduous forests and pastures.
And many improvements more…
And that’s not all:
* regional textures for Middle East, the UK, Greenland, Indonesia, the arctic sea and Madagascar have been added
* improved aircraft checklists
* better interface between Basic Weather and Atmospheric Light Scattering rendering
* tree movement in the wind
* novel animations, allowing e.g. for more realistic rendering of complex gear motion
Stay tuned as we fly towards the next release!
The FlightGear development team is happy to announce the v2.10 release of FlightGear, the free, open-source flight simulator. This new version contains many exciting new features, enhancements and bugfixes. Highlights in this release include improved usability, better terrain rendering and a fully scriptable 2D rendering system.
A list of major changes can be found at: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Changelog_2.10.
Oscar B., one of our developers made a movie to highlight some of the new features in v2.10
LukeaFG has also made an excellent promo video showing some of the new v2.10 features.
Founded in 1997, FlightGear is developed by a worldwide group of volunteers, brought together by a shared ambition to create the most realistic flight simulator possible that is free to use, modify and distribute. FlightGear is used all over the world by desktop flight simulator enthusiasts, for research in universities and for interactive exhibits in museums.
FlightGear features more than 400 aircraft, a worldwide scenery database, a multi-player environment, detailed sky modelling, a flexible and open aircraft modelling system, varied networking options, multiple display support, a powerful scripting language and an open architecture. Best of all, being open-source, the simulator is owned by the community and everyone is encouraged to contribute.
Download FlightGear v2.10 for free from FlightGear.org.
FlightGear – Fly Free!
February, 17, 2013: FlightGear v2.10 is official released. Please proceed to the download page and download the full official release! All the files shown here are old news. Please move along, nothing more to see here.
This is the place to find the v2.10.0 release candidates as they become available. We would really love for everyone to download these “test” releases and give them a try. The target date for the official FlightGear v2.10.0 release is February 17.Download FlightGear v2.10 Release Candidates:
(Release candidates can be updated frequently and the mirror system can take some time to update, so if a download link doesn’t work, please try another mirror. If none of the mirrors work, try refreshing this page to get a new set of mirror suggestions. Or try again in an hour or two.)
- Windows (updated Feb 13, 2013): Download FlightGear v2.10 RC3 here: [Mirror 1] [Mirror 2] [Mirror 3]
- MacOSX (updated Feb 1, 2013): Download FlightGear v2.10 RC2 here: [Mirror 1] [Mirror 2] [Mirror 3]
- Download the newest versions of all the aircraft at the v2.10 Aircraft Download Page. These are also have “release candidate” status and could be subject to changes before the official release.
- The FlightGear scenery is continuously being improved. The newest available scenery works with both v2.8 and v2.10. We update the scenery packages with any new models or changes every few weeks. Get the latest scenery through the usual means from the Scenery Download Page.
- FlightGear Program Source Code: [Mirror 1] [Mirror 2] [Mirror 3]
- SimGear Library Source Code: (Make sure version matches FlightGear source)
- FlightGear data (models, textures, nav data, etc.): [Mirror 1] [Mirror 2] [Mirror 3]: (Make sure version numbers match source code.)
- We have started a page on the wiki documenting what is new in FlightGear v2.10.0.
- If you have comments or questions regarding the release candidates, please go to the FlightGear forum.
- Please report bugs or issues relating to these release candidates at the FlightGear bug tracker.