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What do you think about flightgear?

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What do you think about flightgear?

Postby Firoj » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:06 pm

Hello everyone,,

I've not used it in a while, but in my experience it's really good and really... I hate to say bad, but bad.

Good: As a programmer I love its open source and development-oriented nature. It provides a really easy to use scripting language for interfacing software/hardware with the sim. I have an RC controller and an interface to plug it into my computer via USB, but with the way it reports controls (everything is an axis, even the three switches) I needed some scripting to get it to work as I wanted. Because of the easy-to-use scripting language with good documentation (although IIRC I had to guess at a few things) this did not take long. I also like the fact that some of the instruments (the wet compass in particular on the default Skyhawk) look better than their counterparts in FSX and the controls are a bit more intuitive (for those without radio stack controllers, press a button and you get a menu into which you can type in frequencies). The 3D viewing options are pretty cool as well, but I've only used the red/blue mode and with moderate at best success.

Bad: I haven't used it in some time so these might have changed, but I found the flight dynamics to feel very simple and unrealistic. I believe I still have it installed on my laptop (albeit an old version) so I could get back to you on that with more, but I remember it not being all that fun to use because it didn't feel anything like flying a real airplane. The (graphics) models also seem incredibly simple, and I don't seem to recall a time when I was able to get it to load textures properly; something was always blank or fuzzy or had some texture it shouldn't. In short, it feels sloppy.

I would say it makes a fine procedure trainer - if you're looking to practice using VORs or practice flows in a Cessna 172, you don't need anything fancier. Beyond that, I wouldn't use it for all that much.
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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby wlbragg » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:38 am

I think you totally missed what FG offers. The issues you don't like are indeed opposite of what you claim them to be. To each their own I guess.

The (graphics) models also seem incredibly simple, and I don't seem to recall a time when I was able to get it to load textures properly; something was always blank or fuzzy or had some texture it shouldn't. In short, it feels sloppy.

There isn't any issue with textures such as you state, as far as I know.

flight dynamics to feel very simple and unrealistic

Totally opposite what FlightGear is know for, and that is its realistic flight dynamics when properly modeled.
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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby vnts » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:44 am

what FlightGear is know for, and that is its realistic flight dynamics when properly modeled.


As Wlbragg said. See this page for an extremely high-level overview with links to the source articles to read more, of the two parts/sides of physics experienced by the craft: 1) flight dynamics engine, and 2) atmospheric physics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Ssvv ... tGear_edit

1) the flight dynamics engine JSBSim has been tested by NASA and used as a measuring stick to judge future flight dynamics engines. See this thread (link) for points about the difference between flight dynamics approaches of some other sims that try to auto-create a flight model based on 3d art at runtime based on looking at elements of a wing using a fast approximation that breaks down completely at higher speeds, and disregarding the effect on airflow over other parts of the wing and downstream wings/lifting surfaces (this type of approach helps produce more DLC craft to get a share of revenue from). This approach doesn't allow for windtunnel data or offline CFD to be integrated. Similarly the new sim developed a flight dynamics engine which has an approach that looks at divided surface elements of a wing with the same conceptual problems [1] "Website: ..physics engine with over 1,000 control surfaces per plane.." . That new sim is made by a game studio and they will want to improve that approach future as it's the cheapest way to maximise DLC revenue - instead of spending money on a flight dynamics approach they can't re-use in a future 3rd game on their openworld engine (the last game using the technology, Fuel [2] , apparently had a setting in a fictional (i.e. unrealistic) post apocalyptic Earth).

2). Commercial sims have generally given up long before they model terrain driven atmospheric phenomena and corresponding 3d flows of air

You can filter aircraft by FDM quality in the launcher. Look for JSBSim craft

Flightgear looks like this at high settings in developed areas:

http://wiki.flightgear.org/Category:Scr ... h_settings

See the wiki page on screenshots to turning on rendering & weather/environment simulations: link

The C172P looks like this: image , image

Different aircraft have cockpits and exteriors developed to different extents - you can filter in the launcher for a very rough idea. Different areas of scenery have been updated to use the latest engine features, see the status of regional definitions at the end of the update at the top of this page: link. If you want airports to start at and explore with the C172p with FG 2020.1, try the suggested airports wiki page: link.

Kind regards
Last edited by vnts on Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby Thorsten » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:54 am

but I found the flight dynamics to feel very simple and unrealistic.


Which goes a long way to show that 'feel' isn't a relevant category to characterize flight dynamics. If you 'feel' that a very faithful and complicated bit of modeling is very simple, the fault is not with the model.
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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby bugman » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:31 am

This is a spam bot thread. The bot is banned, but I've kept the thread for reference. The text is copied from a 5 year old Reddit thread "What do you think about FlightGear?".

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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby wlbragg » Tue Sep 08, 2020 4:47 pm

I actually had that thought run through my mind as I was responding. In the future, should I flag something like this even though I am unsure?
Last edited by wlbragg on Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby Gijs » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:58 pm

Yes, please do flag in case of doubt. We can then take a closer look, also using some of our moderation tools to see if there are any suspicious activities from the account.
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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby bugman » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:56 pm

It is kept for educational purposes, as the moderators do not always catch these bot posts in time. There are a number of red flags to note. Firstly the post appears out of the blue - it has no context and is not linked to any other discussions. Secondly, the spam bot has only 1-3 posts (any more and it is guaranteed to not be a bot). Thirdly, the account creation time and post times are minutes apart (not enough time to compose even a short message).

After all these red flags, I perform a Google search. There are two bot types. The first trawls the web for anything mentioning FlightGear. It then strips the greeting and termination text and pastes the text as is. That is the case here. The second type is smarter and uses a dictionary to replace words and grammar. This is to hide the original text from web searches (to trick moderators). You can nevertheless find the original by searching for 4 or more non-substitutable keywords each in quotation marks in Google. That is what I spend a lot of my time here doing! If a web search shows the post is copied, the bot is nuked.

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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby montagdude » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:51 pm

What is the point of these spam bots? Just to annoy moderators? It's not like it is trying to generate traffic elsewhere or scam people, as far as I can tell. That's not to say they shouldn't be banned or anything like that, I'm just curious as to why anyone would even bother to create one.
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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby bugman » Tue Sep 08, 2020 9:15 pm

They are either testing if an IP address can post, and then use a different account from the same IP to post spam links. Or they come back in months time and insert a link into their text. Sometimes they have links hidden in plain sight that you only see if you quote (or as a moderator 'edit') a post. It's all about links to increase page rankings - some unscrupulous person behind the website is paying an organised crime group to use their bot net to increase their page rank (via luring web spiders that search engines use to index the web). A large part of the job of the moderators here is to eliminate these bots and their links as once the bot net knows it is in, it will hit the forum hard. Fortunately the wiki no longer suffers from bot net attacks.

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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby wkitty42 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:59 pm

montagdude wrote in Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:51 pm:What is the point of these spam bots?

to put it in a "bikini description": SEO (Search Engine Optimization)...

longer: they are posting links (at some point) which they hope will get spidered by search engines and help to raise their links to the top of the search results... they are sneaky, too... they can post innocuous messages to get past moderators and imposed limits... later they will return and edit those messages to add the links... no one will know they have done this, though, because the software does not list edited messages separately... so if you have 10 years of messages with say 10% having been done by bots, it is possible that 10% of the messages will have spammy links... it really depends on if the bot comes back or not... some do, some don't... some share accounts among multiple bots, too...






"bikini description": short and to the point
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby Gijs » Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:11 pm

Luckily we can filter messages that are edited after a suspiciously long period. I think the most determined bot I've seen so far returned 6 years (!) after his initial post to add some links to it :-)
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Re: What do you think about flightgear?

Postby wkitty42 » Fri Sep 11, 2020 2:05 pm

yup! that's exactly how they do it... wait until no one is watching, find a method to make edits/changes without alerting the mods, and then trigger a search engine scan/update of that specific URL and look! there's a rise in rankings...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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