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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth Apps
I just read in a German online magazine that Google Earth contains a "hidden" yet complete flight simulator! Currently, two jets are available (F16 and SR22), and also the list of airports is not that long. Just open Google Earth (you'll need the newest version, 4.2), and then type Command-Option-A. A dialog will appear, asking you to pick your airplane, airport, and a few other things. (Once you've used this keyboard combo once, you can invoke the flight sim in the future via the Tools » Enter Flight Simulator menu item. This entry will be missing, however, until you invoke the simulator once via the keyboard.)

Flying is rather tricky, as the Google team seems to have invested lots of efforts into the UI (joysticks are supported, for instance) so that the flight instruments are rather "mimosa-like". A test flight using a normal keyboard and mouse ended shortly after takeoff. Here's a list of flight sim commands in English or German.

[robg adds: I've tried this, and it does work, though I'm not sure it's the most accurate "flight" simulation. Joystick support on the Mac works; it saw my Saitek flightstick, even recognizing and using the trottle slider for engine control. In-flight dynamics, however, need some tuning. It is quite fun to zip across the landscape in this manner, though.]
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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth
Authored by: lancermit on Sep 07, '07 08:22:50AM
The two planes that are available are NOT both jets. One is a Cirrus SR-22, single-engine turbo-prop 4-seater.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirrus_SR22

I agree on Rob's comment about the flight dynamics; and, it is almost a necessity to have joystick (yoke) imput to fly with any skill whatsoever. Still pretty cool, nonetheless.

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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth
Authored by: rmnelson on Sep 07, '07 11:51:25AM

Sorry to nit-pick, but while the Cirrus SR-22 is not a jet, it is not a turbo-prop either. It has a turbo-charged piston engine.



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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth
Authored by: hstaniloff on Sep 09, '07 02:18:59PM

The CR-22 is NOT a turbo-prop. It is a straight piston engine with a prop.



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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth
Authored by: brett_x on Sep 07, '07 08:49:46AM

This is the coolest "Easter Egg" I have ever seen. It's quite a lot of fun to fly around your own neighborhood and vecinity. You can start your flight at any point in the map, or at a selected few airports.

Of course, now the terrorists know how to get to my house.....



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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth
Authored by: PancakeMan on Sep 07, '07 01:37:09PM

So THAT'S why Google Earth takes so long to load! ;-)



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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth
Authored by: styrafome on Sep 08, '07 09:44:19AM

There's a whole lot more flight simulator documentation and tips on the Google Earth Blog, including links to Google's own flight sim help pages. If you subscribe to the blog's RSS feed, you'll know about features like this as soon as anybody knows.



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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth
Authored by: shled on Sep 09, '07 10:04:39AM

I quickly boot Google Earth (v4.2.0180.1134) and pressed Command-Option-A, oh maybe twenty times. Nothing. Even tried AppleKey-Option-A <grin>. Still nothing. And Check For Updates says I have the latest version already. Dual 2GHz PPC Tower on 10.4.10.
Keyboard seems fine otherwise so am not sure what I might be doing wrong. Anyone else running 4.2.0180.1134 beta) and have it working?



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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth
Authored by: Aman on Sep 09, '07 04:03:56PM

I'm running 4.2.0180.1134 as well and can't get it to work either. Darn, it sounds pretty cool.

Btw, MacBook Pro 2.0Ghz running 10.4.10.

-Aman



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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth
Authored by: ahbe on Sep 09, '07 07:04:18PM

I had the same problem at first. Make sure you are not in the search text box. Click out on the map somewhere, and then try the keyboard shortcut. It worked for me.



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Fly a flight simulator in Google Earth
Authored by: Raybird on Oct 28, '07 11:50:22PM

Google Earth
4.2.0198.2451 (beta)
I enter the simulator brilliantly. But nothing happens when I press the page-up key. With the pointer showing an arrow or a cross, the same
problem - the green speed pointer (SW) goes up to the top and then -
nothing... Perhaps I am doing or not doing something essentiel.
Help please.....




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