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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>.
- Re-visit the visual queues going into Johnson Creek (after you've received proper mountain flying instruction, of course)
- Flying to a strange airport in the future? Familiarize yourself with the lay of the land.
- Fly around Mt. St. Helens
- Fly down in the Grand Canyon.
- Drop in from space to simulate the Shuttle approach into Florida.
- Some more using screen shots:
Johnson Creek, ID
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'
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 ( + 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 (+ 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.
|Result or Comment
|Exit flight simulator||Ctrl + Alt + A, Escape||+ Option + A, Escape||Exits flight simulator mode.|
|Open flight simulator options||Ctrl + Alt + A||+ 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)||-|