Google Earth Flight Simulator

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 7, 2007
Updated • Dec 20, 2012

I never played around with Google Earth for lonwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwg and did not follow the news that closely. Maybe that is why I never heard about the flight simulator that is build into Google Earth. I read about it today in a computer magazine and thought it would be cool enough to post it along to all those other unknowing ones.

If you have not done so download Google Earth (link here) and install it on your system. Press CTRL + ALT + A after starting Google Earth for the first time to enter the flight simulator. You get to chose between two planes, the F-16 and the SR22 and several airports as your start position.

Joysticks are supported as well and it is easier to fly and more fun if you use one. After that Google Earth loads the airport and you can fly the plane using a mixture of keyboard shortcuts and the joystick or keyboard and mouse.

It takes a while until you get all keyboard shortcuts right. The most important ones are Page Up and Down to increase and decrease thrust, G for the landing gear and Space to pause the flight sim.

Note that it's quite difficulty to fly the plane using the keyboard alone as you need to be very careful with adjustments that you may. You also need a fairly powerful machine as it takes quite some processing power to display the world underneath the plane. While you can still try to fly around if you have a slow PC or Internet connection, you may notice that the program can't keep up with the rendering of the land that you see from the plane. While you still see land underneath, it is not highlighting all the landmarks and places it would if you had a more powerful machine at your disposal.


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  1. siddharth said on March 31, 2010 at 8:33 am

    my flight simulater was working properly till 2010 march but in april when i started it it crashed

  2. Tom said on July 30, 2009 at 7:38 am

    July 29, 2009: What joystick is/are compatible for Google Earth flight simulator?

  3. MD said on November 24, 2007 at 7:30 am

    I have installed google earth on my system, but there is no Flight simulator. I tried these CTRL+ALT+A, but nothing happened!

    can u help?

    1. Tom said on October 31, 2010 at 12:17 am

      To open GE ALT+CTRL+A

  4. gnome said on October 8, 2007 at 7:59 am

    Ah, yes, lovely though a bit too realistic for my arcade leanings :)

  5. Tobey said on October 7, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    o.O didn’t know about that either.

    Still, I think I’ll stick with MSFS :)

  6. WizzKid said on October 7, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    I loved it, but old news :) :P ,

    Just joking!

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