An excellent flight simulator for Google Earth

Back in 2006, Frank showed you how you could sort of use Google Earth as a flight simulator. It was crude, but effective. In late 2007, Google put a more realistic flight simulator into Google Earth, but kept it hidden as a secret mode.
More recently, this February we saw a demo of GEVision, which integrates Microsoft Flight Sim technology but uses Google Earth for the terrain and imagery.
Now we have our first look at Xavier Tassin’s Google Earth Flight Simulator, which might be the best one yet!

flight-sim.jpg

It uses the Google Earth Plug-in, and you can try it for yourself at gefs-online.com. If you need help with the controls, here are some instructions.
A few other notes about the project, from Xavier:

  • I have been playing around with Flight Sims since MS Flight Simulator 1.0 (I was 6 at that time :)
  • 6 years ago, I had a first try at making an Online Flight Simulator (www.keynoise.com) as a commercial for an Australian acquaintance of mine who is selling the Evektor Sportstar down under. This Sim was build with Shockwave and got more success than just being a commercial. Sadly, technical limitations and lack of time stopped my progress into making something better.
  • 6 month ago I tried “Ships” from PlanetAction, and realized that the GE plug-in would be a great platform for making my dream come true: make a worldwide scenery Flight Simulator.
  • The biggest challenge into making GE Flight Simulator was to work around the lack of a 3D physics engine in Javascript: it took me some time but I finally made my own. Also, as Google Earth is not really meant to be a game platform, it is difficult (and requires a lot of maths!) to animate complex objects. But all in all I was really surprised by the performances I could get out of the plug-in.
  • For the beta version, I tried to integrate as many of the features I though to be important to make it fun. It is not perfect yet but it gives a good idea of what can be achieve with a bit of Javascript and the GE plug-in. I am especially excited about the multi-player mode and I would like to get some feedback from users on that.
  • For the Future, I am planning to add more planes, improve the flight models, add an airport database and some aeronautical charting, improve the multi-player feature. I also would like (if enough interest is shown) to open an aircraft marketplace to everyone.

All in all, it’s a great flight sim. Try it for yourself, and tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.



Comments

  1. Getting an error, maybe a mirror would help.
    Over Quota
    This Google App Engine application is temporarily over its serving quota. Please try again later.

  2. Whoops!
    Sorry for that. My Google App Engine account has been delivering 1GB of data in less than 5 hours. Shall we call that the “Google Earth Blog Effect”?
    I setup a mirror so you can try the simulator.
    Have a nice flight.

  3. Paul van Dinther says:

    Wow, impressive effort. Building collision, custom clouds, surface normal calculation, great sounds and multiplayer.
    I just wish I had done it.
    I can only imagine in the future how this links up with ge based flight control applications. IFR procedures and a large community following.

  4. I’m trying to make a flight from Dubai to Mumbai however i can position my SR22 and turn the plane ? is there any way i can see my complete flight as in complete aeroplane after completing so i get an idea as how i flew and on which countries i flew ?
    Is there any advance version for google flight simulator?
    Regards
    Ashish

  5. I wish they had A Boeing 747-200 Phillipine

  6. How many types of aircraft do you get with this?

  7. Got this two days ago and got to say it’s keeping me occuppied

  8. Is this available for MAC? I can’t get it to load proparly.

  9. Whats the main difference between Microsoft’s Game and Google’s? By the way the graphics and terrain look amazing!

  10. I would love to try this. Looks great!

  11. This flight simulator is REALY good, but I think that you could make it better by adding the concorde because I think it was a very important airline in it’s day, and there will be nothing else like it for 10 years

  12. Nice Simulator

  13. bradley says:

    sometimes is does not work and i get on my nearves and i get fed up of this game when it does not work.
    WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THIS GAME IS THAT YOU GET TO FLY OTHER PLANES

  14. Flightsim is not working

  15. SuperCheese21 says:

    Does anyone know when GEFS v 1.0 will be released?

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