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LinuxDevCenter.com: Flying the Open Skies with FlightGear

Dec 17, 2003, 21:00 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Howard Wen)

[Editor's Note: As a private pilot, I am happy to provide this link that provides Linux users a chance to taste the adventures of flight on this, the 100th anniversary of powered flight. -BKP]

"Flying has never been so impressive--or free. FlightGear is a flight simulator that boasts surprising technical realism, supported by an equally sophisticated pedigree--several of its active developers work in the aeronautics industry. 'What keeps the project going is a wide range of people who care deeply. This is not a typical open source project--many of our contributors are closer to middle age,' says David Megginson, a 39-year-old programmer from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, who has contributed his time and skills to FlightGear's development. 'We have the benefit of contributors who know a lot about their domains, including pilots and aeronautical engineers.'

"Thus, with FlightGear, the emphasis is on simulation. Its developers are proud of the fact that their flight simulator replicates the real kinks and quirks of airplane flying, even if the end result might not always necessarily be 'fun.' One of their primary development goals is for FlightGear to be used for serious aeronautic research and academic purposes. This doesn't mean there's no room for entertainment, though--you can still fly around idly and see some beautiful landscapes based on actual locations that are generated by real-world mapping technology..."

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