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Welcome to -the new and improved- FlightGear!

OK. so many of you know about me playing FlightGear. A lot.

Well, that little nerdy footnote in the Sourceforge forums is now the GREATEST free and open-source flight simulator of the century. It now rivals Flight Simulator X, X-plane, and other leading flight simulators, with a huge advantage – while the other guys make you pay from $30 to $60 (!), FlightGear costs absolutely nothing.

And now, to help all those helpless people who don’t know what FlightGear is, here is a tutorial.


TIP: Nobody likes reading, but that’s the only way to read this message.


  1. Download and install FlightGear. This is the easy part: FlightGear’s installation is pretty easy and simple. You can download FlightGear at . In fact, at the time of writing this, I am installing FlightGear 2016.4.3 🙂
  2. Now that FlightGear is installed, make a shortcut to the launcher if there isn’t already one. With the newer versions, it automatically puts a shortcut. However, this is the new Qt launcher and personally I prefer the old one, but the new update removed it from the core package. So here is the default file location on Windows, you can use this location to make a shortcut if you don’t have one on your desktop:

    “C:\Program Files\FlightGear 2016.4.3\bin\fgfs.exe” –launcher

  3. Open up your launcher. you should now see the main screen. The new Qt launcher doesn’t look as appealing as the old one(as i noticed), but later, after you have many aircraft, it is a lot more efficient in planning routes and managing aircraft.

                                           The launcher should look somewhat like this.

  4. Go to the aircraft tab. You should see a Cessna 172p, or some other aircraft in addition if you installed aircraft before starting . Uncheck the box “Hide aircraft based on completeness.”

                                                   Make sure to uncheck these boxes.

  5.  Before we get into adding more aircraft, we need to put a few more options. This makes sure that you are going to get the best possible FlightGear experience. Go to the tab called “Settings.”
  6. Set your preferred settings in the top half, then choose what to paste in the bottom part from this: 



ONLY keep “–enable -clouds3d” If your computer can handle it. otherwise, just do everything else.








     7. YAY! You now are finished with settings. But now it’s time to choose your aircraft.

     8. To get more aircraft, download them from online, or add the hangar to add-ons. Let’s do it by downloads.  Use these different websites to get aircraft:

The FG GoneABitBursar hangar:

The FG repository:

The FG Wiki, You’ll find a download link on any aircraft in the wiki. This is a nice way to find them.

Simply search up the desired aircraft:

FGUK Hangar, FGUK is a popular Flightgear group that you can schedule flights with or do events, and they also make aircraft:

Unzip any of these to either a folder you made, or to the aircraft program files of FlightGear (C:\Program Files\FlightGear X.X.X\data\Aircraft, replace X.X.X with your version number)

If you unzipped it to a folder, make sure to add in the folder in “Add-ons” under “Additional aircraft locations.”

A FlightGear ScreenShot by MdMax


Done with extra aircraft? Well, then I guess you want to fly!

  1. Get over to the Summary page, make sure everything is right, and then hit that Run button!
  2. Wait for Flightgear to load. The rest of this tutorial is for the basics of flying/takeoff, NOT ATC/ILS. You can learn that later. Oh yeah, and make sure to load up in Equipment>Fuel and Payload.
  3. Use the quickstart/autostart feature from the aircraft menu if it has a quickstart feature.
  4. If it doesn’t have one, set the magnetos on, (Press {}), do any other specific needs for the aircraft (like loading another cartridge in a sopwith camel), make sure to take off the parking brakes (usually Shift+B), turn up the throttle (9 Up and 3 Down), and then use the mouse to control.
  5. If you don’t have a joystick, it’s much easier (and realistic) to use the mouse as a yoke. Just press Tab to cycle through Regular, Mouse control, and Look.

    A diagram of buttons while in Mouse Control

  6. Now try out flying! make sure to pull up the landing gear with ‘g’ and close the canopy/doors if you haven’t already! Additional aircraft options are available under Help>Aircraft Help (?) or just press “?.”

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