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22 February 2012, 15:45

FlightGear 2.6.0 brings AI improvements

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Zoom A Boeing 747 in FlightGear 2.6.0
The FlightGear development team has published version 2.6.0 of its free open source flight simulator. The update brings, its developers say, major improvements over the previous release. These changes include "more sophisticated" AI (artificial intelligence) aircraft and reduced load times, as well as easier graphics tuning and better stability.

At some airports, FlightGear 2.6.0 will now automatically load different parking places based on the size and type of aircraft selected and, at supported airports, a taxi route will be displayed to guide users to the current active runway. New AI aircraft and liveries have been added bringing the total to more than 80 and, like the primary aircraft, multiplayer and AI aircraft now produce sounds.

Other changes include a "major overhaul" of the open source JSBSim flight dynamics model, new rendering techniques that provide more detailed and realistic clouds, a new replay system for watching previously recorded flights and upgrades to several visual effects. The Rendering Settings dialogue has been updated to provide more options for users to fine-tune performance.

FlightGear in action

The A-26 Invader and Polikarpov I16 (a Soviet fighter aircraft) cockpits have been improved, and the Douglas DC-3-C47 has been added. The Boeing 777-200 has also received a number of updates to autopilot, instrument displays and animations.

Further information about this major update can be found in the official release announcement; the gallery has also been updated with images from the new version. Documentation and an online manual are provided. FlightGear 2.6.0 is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the project's Download Portal. Source code for FlightGear is licensed under the GPL.

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