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FlightGear 3.2 enhances graphics, flight dynamics, plane models

17 October 2014, Mike Williams

FlightGearThe free, open-source flight simulator FlightGear 3.2 has been updated to version 3.2 with a stack of new and enhanced features.

A more realistic JSBSim flight dynamics model now includes support for ground effects, including bumpiness, solid-ground detection and adjusting of friction factors. (The official release notes point out that you can’t ride on water any more, either.)

Orbital rendering has been enhanced with textures from NASA’s Visible Earth project, while smarter rendering brings new forest and agriculture effects, extended cloud layer visibility, cloud shadows on the ground, and sparkle and fog effects on runway lights.

FlightGear 3.2

A new, more accurate P-51D model is based on “factory blueprints”

Aircraft improvements include a new model of the P-51D Mustang based on factory blueprints, and significant updates for the Boeing 757-299, Cessna 337G and Mainair Flash 2 Alpha.

A Failure Management Framework simplifies failure simulation, and in the long term should deliver more consistent and realistic failure options. (Bring on the engine fires, we say.)

Usability improvements include an aircraft package manager for downloading new aircraft from within FlightGear, while the Windows build allows using the mouse scroll wheel in list boxes.

There’s also a new console for Nasal (FlightGear’s scripting language), Nasal documentation, a host of improvements to the Canvas rendering system, and a bug fix which should eliminate “large numbers of crashes”.

FlightGear 3.2 for Windows and Mac is available now.

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