Thursday, March 10, 2011

Use the Google Earth Flight Simulator

The Google Earth Flight Simulator is a fun tool you can use to explore Google Earth from the air. When you use the Flight Simulator, you will appear to fly over the planet in an aircraft. You can use a mouse, keyboard or joystick to control the Google Earth Flight Simulator. 
The Google Earth Flight Simulator has a heads-up display (HUD) which reports your speed, heading, bank angle, throttle and more. The Google Earth Flight Simulator can seem difficult to use when you first get started. It doesn't take much practice to get the hang of the controls.

  1. Download and install Google Earth, if you haven't already done so. Start Google Earth. Select "Tools," then "Enter Flight Simulator."
  2. Select the aircraft you'd like to use to explore Google Earth. Select the F16 Viper if you'd like to accelerate while moving upward and achieve high flying speeds up to Mach 2 (about 1,522 miles per hour). Choose the SR22 if you'd prefer to explore Google Earth at lower speeds up to 185 knots (approximately 213 miles per hour.)
  3. Select your starting position in Google Earth. Choose "Current View" if you'd like to start flying at your current position. If you'd prefer to take off using a runway, select an airport from the Google Earth Flight Simulator drop-down list. If you'd like to use a joystick, select "Joystick Enabled." Click "Start Flight."
  4. If you're using a mouse, click within the Google Earth Flight Simulator screen until the cursor becomes a "+" sign. Press the "Page Up" key on your keyboard to start accelerating. Then move your mouse or joystick downward slightly to lift off of the ground. To move your aircraft to the right, move the mouse or joystick slightly to the left. To move to the left, move your mouse or joystick to the right. Use very small motions to move around in the Google Earth Flight Simulator. Large movements will cause your aircraft to lose control and crash.
  5. Use the display on the left of the Google Earth screen to check your speed. Check the display on the right to see your altitude. Use the center display to determine your pitch angle. Look at the top of the screen to determine your compass heading. Look in the lower left hand corner to check your throttle, rudder, aileron and elevator trim.
  6. Find a landing strip or flat region when you're ready to land. Press "Page Down" to slow down your aircraft. Press "G" to let down the landing gear. Press "F" repeatedly to increase the flaps and slow your aircraft down even more. Press the comma key and the period key on your keyboard simultaneously to put on the brakes.