Flight Sim Problems in New Google Earth


Did you know Google Earth has a built-in flight simulator?  One of the coolest features Google added to Google Earth was the built-in Flight Simulator (a feature originally added as an easter egg in 2007, but later made a permanent feature). It is the single-most powerful visual demonstration of the capabilities of Google Earth. Many people just don’t realize how capable of rendering the 3D world Google Earth can be.  It can literally fly you around the planet at up to 60 frames per second.

The last several versions of Google Earth had a bug with the flight simulator. The controls that showed the position of throttle and stick in the lower left have been missing since Version 6. I reported the error to Google several times, but no one has seen fit to fix it. Now, with the latest version, GE 7.1 – the numbers for the other instruments are disappearing or blinking and are basically useless. See the screenshots below comparing the way they used to work before version 6 on the left, and now in version 7.1 showing the problems on the right.

GE Flight Sim Problems

I’ve reported the new problems to Google as well. Hopefully they will fix both bugs in the next release. The flight simulator is not only a wonderful way to demonstrate the power of Google Earth, but also is a great free flight simulator with the most powerful dataset of our current 3D world available on the Internet!   Here’s a link to my original Google Earth flight simulator demonstration video (from 2007) which gives you a feel for what its like to fly Google Earth:

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. archangelmichael2 says:

    This Google Flight Simulator is basically a dumb down version of FSX without all the cool aircraft and add ons you can put in it but for those who have never played Flight Simulator this would be mind blowing.

    Though for me I have never gotten add ons to work on MFS even after looking for solutions.

  2. having the same problem with the numbers.

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