Pin Me

How to Use the Google Earth Flight Simulator

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: Brian Nelson•updated: 4/15/2011

The Google Earth Flight Simulator is a utility that you can use to fly over any place on the planet. Learn how to take off, fly and land in Google Earth using this versatile tool.

  • slide 1 of 3

    Facts About Google Earth's Flight Simulator

    The Flight Simulator is a free tool within Google Earth that you can use to fly over any part of the Earth that you like. The controls are touchy and difficult to use. However, they are somewhat intuitive. When you get the hang of the Google Earth Flight Simulator interface, the experience can be very fulfilling. Once you're in the air, a green "heads-up display" (HUD) gives you information about how you're flying. On the upper left, you can see your speed in knots. The lower left of the screen shows your throttle, rudder, aileron and elevator position, as well as indicators showing the settings of your flaps and landing gear. At the top of the screen, you can see your heading. On the right is your vertical speed in feet per minute and your attitude. At the center of the screen you can see your bank angle.

  • slide 2 of 3

    Taking Off and Flying in Google Earth Flight Simulator

    Open Google Earth, then click Tools and Enter Flight Simulator. Select your aircraft. The F16 "Viper" is a jet fighter capable of accelerating while climbing upward into the sky. The SR22 is a 4-seat propeller airplane which can cruise at 185 knots. Select your start position. The default position is your current position, but you can also select from a number of airports in various places across the planet. When you're ready click Start Flight.

    If your Flight Simulator aircraft is on the ground, press and hold the Page Up key to take off and pick up speed. Click with your mouse in the center of the screen until you see a white "plus" sign. Move the mouse down to make the aircraft climb upward. Move it up to point the nose of the airplane down again. Move your mouse to the left to bank right, and to the right to bank left. You can also use the left arrow key to bank right and the right arrow key to bank left. Press the up arrow to move down and the down arrow to move up. To increase your speed, reduce your flap setting by pressing the left bracket key. Press the space bar to pause the flight simulator.

  • slide 3 of 3

    Landing in Google Earth Flight Simulator

    Landing in Google Earth Flight Simulator is very tricky. Before you begin the landing sequence, you must get over the runway at an airport or find an appropriate area of flat terrain. Landing takes a lot of practice, so don't get upset if you crash many times before you succeed. Just click Resume flight to try again.

    Press Alt and the arrow keys to rotate your view in Google Earth. Press Ctrl and the arrow keys to rotate it a little faster. Toggle the head-up display (HUD) on and off by pressing the H key. To decrease your speed, increase the flap setting by pressing the right bracket key. Press "Page Down" to reduce your thrust. Press the G key to bring down the landing gear. Press the comma key to apply the wheel brake on the left and the period key to apply the wheel brake on the right.

    You can also use a joystick with Google Earth's Flight Simulator. To get additional instructions and help with the Google Earth Flight Simulator, visit the Google Earth help site.

    Sources:

    Google Earth Help: "Flight Simulator." http://earth.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&guide=22385