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23 August 2012, 16:40

FlightGear 2.8.0 has a more realistic world

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Zoom The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird in FlightGear 2.8.0
Source: FlightGear
Version 2.8.0 of FlightGear is now available with changes that, its developers say, make the world in the open source flight simulator "more realistic than ever before". The latest major release supports region-specific ground textures to make towns in different areas look different, and gives users the option to switch between summer and winter textures. According to the developers, random 3D trees and buildings are now better placed in order to match underlying terrain texture and, in urban areas, buildings are now more densely placed to look more populated.

The developers have also integrated their experimental Project Rembrant renderer, which changes the way that FlightGear renders lights, shadows and shades. With it, FlightGear supports real-time shadows and multiple light sources such as those on landing lights. However, as the renderer is only being included for testing purposes, it is not enabled by default.

Zoom A Vought F4U Corsair on approach for a carrier landing
Source: FlightGear
The Cessna 337G Skymaster twin-engine aircraft has been added to FlightGear, and the Airwave Xtreme 150 hang glider has been upgraded with new flight dynamics, a new model and advanced pilot animations. Support for a number of new joysticks and rudder pedals, including Microsoft's Xbox 360 controller and the Saitek Cyborg X (F.L.Y. 5), has also been added.

An overview of all of the changes and new features can be found in the official release announcement; the project's screenshot gallery has been updated with images from the new version. FlightGear 2.8.0 is available from the Download Portal for Windows and Linux; due to technical difficulties with the packaging and shared library dependencies, the Mac OS X version is not yet available. Source code and binaries are distributed under the terms of the GPLv2.

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