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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Come Fly With Google Earth!

The latest version of Google Earth (4.2) now has a cool Easter Egg - a flight simulator!

Just press CTRL-ALT-A and an option screen will pop up. You can choose from two aircraft: a jet fighter or a single-engined prop plane.

A simple head-up display gives you the instrument readings.

Now you can fly anywhere in the real world!

OK not quite real, but decked out with real satellite photos and some pretty 3D buildings.

For superb terrain effects, check out the Himalayas around Mount Everest, or the Grand Canyon in the USA.

For incredible 3D buildings, check out Las Vegas.

My only minor quibble is that many airport runways are not flat enough. Makes for rather bumpy take-offs and landings.

Otherwise it is a treat.

You can even try the 45-degree turn at Checkboard Hill into the now defunct Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong.

Or land just metres from the pristine beach at Princess Juliana's in St. Maarten.

Which is usually occupied by naked beach goers.




I must be stupid said...

Hi leng hiong,

Thanks for the invitation to join clearthought singapore. Out of curiousity, which other bloggers are in this thing as well? :)

Jay Cam said...

wow thats awesome!
i have to try it out!

Anonymous said...

wah...just what you'd wanna give the terrorists - a flight simulator! :S - jo

Lim Leng Hiong said...

To I Must Be Stupid:

There are four of us now, Angry Doc and Teh Si are in it too. I'm checking other Singaporean rational blogs to see if more people are interested.

To Jay Cam:

Indeed, flying around rough terrain like canyons and mountain ranges is a visual treat!

The flight simulator doesn't have any navigational aids, so I suggest using the Ruler tool to "draw" a flight path first so that you can fly from airport to airport.


To Jo:

Funny, that's what Cap'n S said too when Google Earth itself was first released.

Sad that aircraft will now always be associated with terrorism. It used to be a cool boy's toy!

I haven't met any one who considers online street directories and GPS city maps as tools of terrorism, because obviously terrorists won't use cars or trains as bombs :|