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The Google Flight Simulator
September 1, 2007 9:05 AM   Subscribe

The Google Flight Simulator -- an easter egg in Google Earth.
posted by empath (37 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is pretty neat, saw it on digg this morning. A bit hard to control though. And just this second I realized I got my wiimote working with my PC. BRB
posted by Mach5 at 9:15 AM on September 1, 2007


Why is it not working for me?
posted by knapah at 9:17 AM on September 1, 2007


Make sure you have the new version.

And, I just realized I can use my wiimote on my mac :)
posted by empath at 9:21 AM on September 1, 2007


knapah: Do you have the latest version? I just realized I'm still rocking the november, 2005 edition. I just noticed that google earth doesn't have a "New version available" dialog like most programs these days.
posted by delmoi at 9:21 AM on September 1, 2007


I had 4.1, not 4.2 apparently.

I've just installed it and am off to test it out.
posted by knapah at 9:23 AM on September 1, 2007


Goddamn it I can't crash into any skyscrapers. How can I practice with this?
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 9:27 AM on September 1, 2007 [6 favorites]


Thanks!
posted by Iridic at 9:36 AM on September 1, 2007


What I really want to be able to do in google earth is strafe-turn like in quake while navigating. I should be able to rotate while panning, and you can use the little nav wheel at the top while using the keyboard.

I still havn't even tried out the flight sim.
posted by delmoi at 9:41 AM on September 1, 2007


Great kid-distractor while my flight is delayed today.
posted by fungible at 9:45 AM on September 1, 2007


As one who flies real planes for fun, I'm sure glad that real planes aren't controlled with Kinesis keyboards. At least there's a mouse control option (click on the screen).
posted by tss at 9:57 AM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


There's an input device called the SpaceNavigator that I've been thinking about getting for my 3d work. The company has got some videos using it to navigate around Google Earth. Seems to work pretty well.
posted by GeekAnimator at 10:10 AM on September 1, 2007


This is so cool. I've never used a flight sim before, does anyone have some basic tips, especially about aileron usage?
posted by grouse at 10:22 AM on September 1, 2007


I nearly made myself sick with it. I found it almost impossible to control as it kept suddenly jumping into a massive spirally crash thing.

Then I realised I was catching the trackpad... Heh.

Arses. :)
posted by Brockles at 10:27 AM on September 1, 2007


Cool. As with most flight sims, I have no idea how to get my plane off the ground. Page up doesn't really seem to do the trick.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:29 AM on September 1, 2007


As with most flight sims, I have no idea how to get my plane off the ground.

Press page up a bunch of times to build up some speed, and press the down arrow to pull the plane up.
posted by cmonkey at 10:43 AM on September 1, 2007


or you can just start flying in the air.
posted by empath at 10:44 AM on September 1, 2007


Goddamn it I can't crash into any skyscrapers. How can I practice with this?
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 11:27 AM on September 1 [2 favorites +] [FlaggedNSA] [!]
posted by WCityMike at 10:50 AM on September 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, combine this with the metafilter.kml file and you can have some fun.

First one to crash into mathowie's house wins!
posted by WCityMike at 11:03 AM on September 1, 2007


Goddamn it I can't crash into any skyscrapers. How can I practice with this?

Press Ctrl-Alt-W to enter "Government Plot Mode" silly! Those skyscrapers will come right down with minimal fuss. /derail.

As if I need more reasons to love Google Earth.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:12 AM on September 1, 2007


Damn. I'm pressing Control+Alt+A and nothing is happening. And I've just updated to latest version. It says ver. 4.2.081. 2634 (beta).

Anyone have any ideas?
posted by gfrobe at 11:15 AM on September 1, 2007


There's a throttle display in the lower lefthand corner. Hold page-up for a second, and the throttle will open all the way, then after a while press the down key to take off.

But, you can also start in the air. Just get to a position where you're pretty high up in the air, and enter flight sim mode. Starting at 200k feet and crashing into the earth is pretty fun, but it doesn't seem to let you start anywhere. You can't start off in space, and I think you ought to be able too. Bleh.
posted by delmoi at 11:16 AM on September 1, 2007


Disregard my post above as I got it going. From another site in case anyone is having same problem:

Some people have reported that Ctrl+A or Ctrl+Windows+A work when the standard Ctrl+Alt+A does not

Control+A did it for me. I'm off to to fly the blue skies.
posted by gfrobe at 11:24 AM on September 1, 2007


I think everyone trying the flight simulator is clogging up the Google Earth tubes.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:41 AM on September 1, 2007


I'm guessing there won't be any commercial airliners available in the future
posted by empath at 11:52 AM on September 1, 2007


I think everyone trying the flight simulator is clogging up the Google Earth tubes.

So, they've got an accurate model of air traffic control, as well. Excellent.
posted by eriko at 11:52 AM on September 1, 2007


I can't get it to go into an unrecoverable spin, or any sort of spin at all in fact. Rather poor.

Integration with X-Plane however, now that'd be truly awesome.
posted by public at 12:04 PM on September 1, 2007


"I can't get it to go into an unrecoverable spin, or any sort of spin at all in fact. "

So you're saying I'm just crap?

It's a fair point, but you could have overlooked it. Heh.
posted by Brockles at 1:19 PM on September 1, 2007


Ctrl + Alt + A didn't work for me until I clicked in the main window. I think when you start Google Earth the focus is in the sidebar.

Neat little distraction, but I wish they had an autopilot button that would level your plane off when you pressed it. Just so you can fly in a straight line and sightsee.
posted by good in a vacuum at 1:26 PM on September 1, 2007


One neet trick is that you can pause with the space bar, but you can still use the controls. So if you pause while you are level, you can move the flaps to the center position, and then unpause, and you should stay level.
posted by delmoi at 1:37 PM on September 1, 2007


I've been having fun with it, but it has started to crash my laptop. It flies well until I make a mistake and crash. Then, if I click to exit the simulator, my machine locks up.
posted by mmahaffie at 1:42 PM on September 1, 2007


I think you have to hit Alt-F4 right before you do Ctrl + Alt + A.
posted by niles at 3:47 PM on September 1, 2007


Up is down, down is up, left is right, right is left and I keep spiraling and screaming to a fiery death. This is fun!
posted by hojoki at 4:27 PM on September 1, 2007


I know it's just a little easter egg, but would an inset with a map of the current location (call it a GPS unit?) be too much to ask? Or is there a way to get that which I missed?
posted by JMOZ at 4:50 PM on September 1, 2007


I'm pretty sure this is the same thing (if maybe updated in usability) that I mentioned in a comment here a year or two ago.

Because I'm awesome!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:28 PM on September 1, 2007


I did manage to crash "land" on the Golden Gate Bridge, so that's something. Now to divebomb my house.
posted by Brak at 12:57 AM on September 2, 2007


Up is down, down is up, left is right, right is left

...dogs and cats, living together...


Anyway, Mac users, be sure to note it's command-option-a for us.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:58 AM on September 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw this stuff a couple of years ago as a separate project having its own website.
posted by Rudy_Wurlitzer at 8:59 AM on September 5, 2007


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