Finding and Flying Google Earth's Flight Simulator

Google Earth 4.2 includes a hidden Flight Simulator. To activate the hidden Flight Simulator feature, enter "Lilienthal" in the "Fly To" box, or type Ctrl-Alt-A in Windows/Linux, or Command-Option-A on a Mac. Once you've found the simulator, "Enter Flight Simulator" will appear in the tools menu in Google Earth for future use.

The simulator is easy to fly, even for non-pilots. There are no complicated engine-start or takeoff procedures - simply add power (press the PAGE UP key) and off you go. Once you've found a nice vantage point, you can use the space bar to pause the simulator and enjoy the view for a moment. Then, keep your location constant while you look around using the CTRL and arrow keys. Flying is easiest with mouse controls (or a joystick if you have one), but the full set of keyboard controls gives you greater functionality.

Frank Taylor, author of the Google Earth Blog, has compiled a video with flying tips:

qv: Flying Tips

About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.