The FlightGear flight simulator project is an open-source, multi-platform, cooperative flight simulator development project. Source code for the entire project is available and licensed under the GNU General Public License.
The goal of the FlightGear project is to create a sophisticated flight simulator framework for use in research or academic environments, for the development and pursuit of other interesting flight simulation ideas, and as an end-user application. We are developing a sophisticated, open simulation framework that can be expanded and improved upon by anyone interested in contributintor out old airplane parts, to university research and instructional use, to simply having a viable alternative to commercial PC simulators.
Flight Gear and its source code have intentionally been kept open, available, and free. In doing so, we are able to take advantage of the efforts of tremendously talented people from around the world. Contrast this with the traditional approach of commercial software vendors, who are limited by the collective ability of the people they can hire and pay. Our approach brings its own unique challenges and difficulties, but we are confident (and other similarly structured projects have demonstrated) that in the long run we can outclass the commercial “competition.”
Contributing to Flight Gear can be educational and a lot of fun. A long time developer, Curtis Olson, had this to say about working on Flight Gear:
“Personally, Flight Gear has been a great learning experience for me. I have been exposed to many new ideas and have learned a tremendous amount of “good stuff” in the process of discussing and implementing various Flight Gear subsystems. If for no other reason, this alone makes it all worth while.”