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18 August 2011, 12:12

FlightGear 2.4.0 overhauls weather module

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Zoom FlightGear 2.4.0 offers a number of improvements to weather generation
Source: FlightGear
The FlightGear project has announced the release of version 2.4.0 of its free open source flight simulator. According to the developers, FlightGear 2.4.0 is the result of more than one and a half years of work, and it incorporates a number of new features.

This latest version of FlightGear offers a "completely overhauled" weather module that "takes weather generation an order of a magnitude further by applying the laws of physics to the reported conditions and by determining how the atmosphere interacts with the terrain." Now, in addition to customisable weather, users are able to experience phenomena such as thermals, cloud formations in updraft winds along mountains and various fog layers that occur at the boundaries between weather systems.

The flight simulator also introduces several graphical enhancements, for example, to better render water and sunlight reflections. New cockpit systems, such as TCAS and EICAS systems, have been added, and there are new and extended autopilot controllers. Other changes include updated AI Traffic, improved flight dynamics and new visual effects, as well as numerous bug fixes.

Zoom New instruments have been added to a select number of aircraft
Source: FlightGear
Aircraft changes include the addition of a new Piper Club and a IAR-80 (a Romanian-produced WW2 fighter), plus updates to Airbus, Boeing, Bombarder and Douglas aircraft. A new built-in option to download new scenery areas on the fly, as well as keep existing scenery up to date, has also been added.

Further information about the update, including a full list of new features, can be found in the official release announcement; at the time of writing, the change log has yet to be updated. FlightGear 2.4.0 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the project's FlightGear Download Portal. Source code for FlightGear is licensed under the GPL.

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