F-16 Cockpit Add-on For Google Earth Flight Sim

Here is a quick and easy add-on to make the flight simulator in Google Earth a lot more fun! My friend Gerardo Paz of Buenos Aires, came up with the idea to add an F-16 cockpit image overlay to Google Earth so you can get a more realistic feel to flying the simulator. If you haven’t used the Google Earth flight simulator yet, make sure to read these handy GE Flight Simulator tips.

F16 cockpit for Google Earth Flight Simulator

Want to try this out? Simply load this F-16 Cockpit Add-on . Make sure you make the Google Earth window as large as possible for the best effect (if your screen is low-res, you’ll have to wait for Gerardo to make a smaller one). Follow the tips above, or if you are already a GE flight sim expert, move to a location where you want to fly and just hit “CTRL-A” or “Tools->Enter Flight Simulator” (if you don’t see this option, read the tips). Make sure you are using the F-16 and not the SR-22 aircraft. I just love the way this feels…I’m a pilot and flight simulator fan, but it’s still amazing to me to see it in Google Earth. 🙂
Gerardo added some transparency to the HUD and the computer display screen below. This helps add more realism and also helps when you try to land with the overlay turned on. Great ideas! If I have time later today, I’ll make a video of this. Gerardo and I have already talked about some other things that could be done with this. See the post thread to make comments directly to Gerardo.
By the way, part of the inspiration for this came from the astronaut mode I wrote about in December. Check it out too.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Thanks for this tip, and be careful, the Matterhorn is just in front of you!

  2. hello,
    sorry for my poor english.
    on HUD of simulator google earth i ave not cap indicator
    is it an addon & where found it because flight with sun on F16 it’s not top

  3. I can’t seem to make the flight sim on google earth happen. I tried the ctrl-alt-A but to no avail. Any suggestions anyone?

  4. You may need to upgrade google earth (i cant remember what version)

  5. it is version 4.3 beta

  6. The image is not working.. Got 404 error… Please upload a new one!

  7. my scroll up and down keys only control the gears and not the throttle (I’m on a laptop)

  8. How do you take screen shots while in the flight simulator? I see other do it like the one above. How?

  9. I can only see HUD, want to see the actual plane. What sould I do?

  10. The response I made to Tomtom last month seems to have been lost in the transfer to the new server. Here is an updated version in light of what I have learned since that time.
    It’s not possible to see the actual aircraft as the only viewpoint is from the cockpit. It is possible however to show an aircraft in the field of view to the front(and possibly the side) so I set about finding out how to do that.
    Once I found a suitable image of an aircraft flying toward the vanishing point ahead it was fairly easy to create a kml file to display the image, in this case the observer becomes wingman to the F16 to the left.
    Ideally the image would be edited to retract the wheels and make the background around the aircraft transparent. I guess that would be done with an alpha mask so that would be the next phase of the project.
    After that the image would need to be uploaded to a suitable server where it could be accessed. Phase three as I’ve never got around to that before(Picassa ?).
    The following example calls on an existing file on the afterburner.nl website and can be pasted into a KML file to demonstrate the basics. I use it in conjunction with Gerardo’s F16 Cockpit or a HUD version of the same that I discussed in the Tips – HUD thread you can access from Franks article at the top of this thread.
    F-16 Wingman.kml

  11. Sorry, the text of the kml file seems to get mashed on upload.
    I’ll see what I can do about that.

  12. how do i get rid of it???

  13. Open the sidebar and either uncheck it or right click and delete it.

  14. omg i was just wondering if it was possible to make a space schuttle download or make a space mode to just fly around in space?

  15. If you get an image if the shuttle(try NASA)you can do it yourself in about 10 minutes.
    First you need to give the image a transparent background. This is how using freeware The Gimp. Other graphic editors should be fine too but I don’t know their commands.
    Menu Command/Action
    Tools Scissor Select. Click points around the outside of the object joining back to the first point. You can add additional points along the outline or drag into position. Click anywhere in the object to select.
    Edit Copy Visible.
    Edit Paste As – New Image.
    File Save. Enter filename with .png extension. De-select Save Background when the dialogue appears and save.
    Next use KML ScreenOverlay Maker to create a KML file that will display your image in GE. Just select the image file, give the overlay a name as it will appear in the GE sidebar menu, the image size, where you want it positioned, it’s size or fraction of the original, and save.
    That’s it.

  16. I have the latest free version of google earth… after trying to download the f-16 cockpit, the image doesn’t show up. I actually did manage to get the cockpit image yesterday (I am clueless as to how that happened) but when I logged in today and tried to turn on the cockpit, it wouldn’t show again. Can I have some advice or tips?

  17. It should show if you are connected to the internet and the kml is enabled, otherwise you need an offline copy of the image to link to to fly when you are offline.

  18. So basically the next step is to make an airliner cockpit (the 737 http://www.aviafilms.com/737-cockpit-simulator.php for example) and we will end up with something more advanced than Microsoft Flight Sim X. Just need to make it more interactive and add some aerodynamics 🙂

  19. You should be able to play with the aerodynamics in Program Files/Google Earth/Client/Res/Flightsim/Aircraft by editing one of the existing aircraft cfg files.
    Might even be able to add additional aircraft to the aircraft selection by editing the menu screen in the Flightscreen folder but I got the feeling there must have been embedded stuff elsewhere. Couldn’t see how I could access an image of the new aircraft in the menu for example.
    Something I found a bit of fun was to get an image of one of the Redbull aircraft in flight from behind from a HDTV recording I had so that I could fly it. Probably should figure out how to display some pylon sets for the various courses and give that a go.

  20. Hi! I download the F-16 HUD but nothing appears on the screen. I have it listed on my sidebar – I check the box but nothing happens. I was able to download the SR 22 successfully, but that F-16 HUD – that’s the bomb! Any help here? Thanx!

  21. G.Meals.Lewis says:

    hi. i uploaded the plug in, which was one of the planes so i could use the flight simulator in the 3rd person. how do i now get rid of the plane on my screen? please help anyone!?

  22. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    you need google earth 5 to use the flight simulator

  23. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    If you are not using v4.2 you need to update to it or higher.

  24. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    Now another project should be an interactive cockpit. By interactive, I mean like moving lights and a yoke that moves when you steer, like in FSX.

  25. If you open up the kml file in a text editor you quickly realize the problem; it’s loading this image here:
    which has been removed from imageshack. I haven’t tried this but I think all you need to do is create a new cockpit image, or whatever image you’d like, upload it somewhere on the internet and copy the URL. Copy the F15 kml file, open it up and substitute the broken imageshack URL with your new one. Save it and load it into Google Earth.

  26. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    @Pilot John – They’ve come out with the Boeing 737 cockpit already. Here is the link for it: http://www.gearthhacks.com/dlfile31273/Boeing-737-Cockpit—Flight-Sim-Overlay.htm

  27. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    @Pilot John – Also, right now I am working on making a 727 cockpit in Paint. I am making it from this: http://www.surclaro.com/modules/Media_Gallery/gallery/Screenshots/FS2004/cockpit-b727-200_cargo.JPG I am working on making the windshield transparent for use in Google Earth. Once I complete this, I’ll post it to GEarthHacks.

  28. Tor Olav says:

    ACSbehmothHellcat, if you want, i can make the windshield transparent for you. and il just give u a link, ok?

  29. Tor Olav says:

    Here’s the 727(i think) cockpit. its png, and i cant seem to be able to make it KML, somone pleas do this for me? 😀

  30. Tor Olav says:

    Here’s the 727(i think) cockpit. its png, and i cant seem to be able to make it KML, somone pleas do this for me? 😀

  31. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    Ugh, mine didnt work anyway. Instead of making it transparent (which I had checked “Transparent selection”), it just covered it in white :(. Although I did it in Paint. Should I have used GIMP2?

  32. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    @Tor Olav – Hey, I know how to do that. I have the right program to do it. Ill put it through the program and test it in Google Earth to see if it works. If it does, Ill tell you

  33. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    @Tor Olav – Hey, I know how to do that. I have the right program to do it. Ill put it through the program and test it in Google Earth to see if it works. If it does, Ill tell you

  34. ACSBehemothHellcat says:


  35. Tor Olav says:

    yea, use gimp! paint kinda sucks.
    il try to save the cockpit as a different format, cuz i saved it as png.
    il give u the link in a few minutes!
    what program do u use? i wanna try it myself 😉

  36. Tor Olav says:

    Here, try this! http://myfreefilehosting.com/f/bf9e7f66ca_0.95MB
    add me on msn, and maybe we can make some more cockpits if this works 😀

  37. Tor Olav says:

    idk if my last one worked…
    but here’s a f-18 😀
    if the transparent shows like a blue color, idk wha to do… what format should i save it as?

  38. Tor Olav says:

    im gonna build a fligh-simulator cockpit, friday 😀
    here’s a really simple drawing…
    i didnt have time to make it look good 😉
    could have done it in pixel-art but takes way to long time!

  39. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    Ok, my adress is allenjames107@msn.com. Also, Ill try these files on Google Earth and see if it works. I have the file converter

  40. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    Ok, my adress is allenjames107@msn.com. Also, Ill try these files on Google Earth and see if it works. I have the file converter

  41. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    Ok, my adress is allenjames107@msn.com. Also, Ill try these files on Google Earth and see if it works. I have the file converter

  42. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    The F-18 worked…and the 727 worked! 🙂

  43. ACSBehemothHellcat says:

    @Tor Olav – You have email 😀

  44. Tor Olav says:

    Everyone, visit http://www.wix.com/toro1504/gearthflightsim
    (im gonna fix a domian soon!)
    sonn there will be some planes there 😀
    or, i mean cockpits… but yea 😀

  45. Adam Kitchen says:

    HELP I cant get it 2 work

  46. john michael piencenaves says:

    not working, looks like a golden frog in a block of ice than a cockpit.

  47. Yeah, our cockpit pics have been having some difficulties lately

  48. why does that instead of the cockpit, the golden frog appears on my google earth?

  49. The F-18 works!!

  50. matterhorn!!! says:


  51. João Paulo says:

    I didnt get to fly winthin the cockpit claimed here: F-16 Cockpit Add-on
    After donwloading this, the flight simulator keep on the tradicional one of the google earth.
    Why is this happening?

  52. Hello,I downloaded the cock pit view and it just showed the regular hud.No cockpit view.It is checked on the side bar,but it don’t show.My email is Kjkirk76@yahoo.com.Please email me how to make it work.Thank you

  53. Like someone said before in this comment section, the image file that this add-on tries to load doesn’t exist. It took me a whlie to notice that.

  54. Shenden Cromwell says:

    I can’t get the F-16 HUD overlay to show up. I check the box in GE, but nothing shows up.

  55. i cannot get the F-16 cockpit to appear what should i do

Leave a Reply