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Playing Around With Google Earth's 'Hidden' Flight Simulator

Version 4.2 of Google Earth (download for free) has a hidden flight simulator in it that you allows you to virtually enjoy a RV flight - not as fun as the real thing but so doable on a rainy day (or like me, re-living some memorable trips I've taken).

I gotta dig that old joystick out of the closet <g>.

Possible uses:

Johnson Creek, ID

Telluride, CO

Sedona, AZ

Visit Van's Aircraft (Aurora, OR)

NW Regional Airport (Roanoke, TX)  Home of 'Flash' and VansAirForce.net

Mt. Everest (in the F-16)

Hudson River tour, NY

The controls (and how to launch it) are listed below (text copied from THIS PAGE on the Google Earth website).

First Tips:  Pause the simulation with the SPACEBAR.  Click left mouse button on/off to enter/exit flight with mouse mode.  Thrust is PgUp/PgDn.   Flaps are 'F' and 'Shift-F'



Flight Simulator Keyboard Controls

This document describes the various keyboard combinations that you can use with the flight simulator features of Google Earth. To enter the flight simulator mode, press Ctrl + Alt + A (Command/Open Apple Key + Option + A on the Mac). Once you have entered flight simulator mode for the first time, you can re-enter the mode by choosing Tools > Enter Flight Simulator. To leave flight simulator mode, click Exit Flight Simulator in the top right corner or press Ctrl + Alt + A (Command/Open Apple Key+ Option + A on the Mac).

The following keystrokes control navigation and other aspects of the flight simulator. You can also control the aircraft with a mouse or joystick. To disable or enable mouse controls, left click (single click on a Mac). Once mouse controls are active, the pointer shape changes to a cross on your screen.

Note - Note that until you enter flight simulator mode, the following commands do not work.

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Result or Comment

  Exit flight simulator Ctrl + Alt + A, Escape Command/Open Apple Key+ Option + A, Escape Exits flight simulator mode.
  Open flight simulator options Ctrl + Alt + A Command/Open Apple Key + Option + A Opens the flight simulator dialog box.
  Rotate pilot viewpoint Arrow keys + Alt (slow) or Ctrl (fast) Arrow keys + Alt (slow) or Ctrl (fast) Moves the viewpoint in the direction of the arrow.
  Display flight simulator help Ctrl + H - Opens this flight simulator keyboard commands page.
  Increase thrust Page Up Page Up -
  Reduce thrust Page Down Page Down -
  Aileron left Left arrow Left arrow -
  Aileron right Right arrow Right arrow -
  Elevator push Up arrow Up arrow -
  Elevator pull Down arrow Down arrow down -
  Rudder left Insert Shift + left arrow -
  Rudder right Enter (numeric keypad) Enter (numeric keypad) -
  Rudder left Shift + left arrow Shift + left arrow -
  Rudder right Shift + right arrow Shift + right arrow -
  Elevator trim nose down Home Home -
  Elevator trim nose up End End -
  Elevator trim nose down Shift + up arrow Shift + up arrow -
  Elevator trim nose up Shift + down arrow Shift + down arrow -
  Reduce flap setting Left bracket Left bracket -
  Increase flap setting Right bracket Right bracket -
  Reduce flap setting Shift + F Shift + F -
  Increase flap setting F F -
  Center aileron and rudder 5 5 -
  Center aileron and rudder C C -
  Extend/retract landing gear G G Only works if landing gear is retractable on current aircraft
  Left wheel brake , (comma) , (comma) -
  Right wheel brake . (period) . (period) -
  Pause simulation Space Space -
  Toggle HUD H H -