This page introduces AddOns for FlightGear. AddOns are not only for Mac users but are for all platforms including linux and Windows.


Here comes the AirRacing for FlightGear (all platforms including Mac OS X, Windows and Linux). AirRacing enables you to play a simple race with your wing mates in the air with FlghtGear's multi-player mode. With an example race configuration, you will fly around Reno stead airport (4SD) through the gates for three laps. The rule is very simple - faster the better. However, there are some penalties and you need to avoid these. Otherwise, a few second will be added to the total time. What is good about this race is that you don't have to worry about time lag caused by network delay since the total time is calculated locally and sent to a multiplayer server.

It should be very fun to have such race in FlightGear.


Here is the latest version for FlightGear 1.0.0, 1.9.1 and CVS/OSG

  • AirRacing 2008-07-04
  • Scenery data around Reno (4SD) - W120-N30
  • Scenery data around Narita (RJAA) - E140-N30
  • Scenery data around Venezia (LIPZ) - E010-N40
  • Scenery data around Sydney (YSSY) - E150-S40
  • Scenery data around Machu Pichu (SPZO) - W080-S20


  1. untar AirRacing-*.tar.gz and cd to AirRacing folder.
  2. Copy Nasal/*.nas to ~/.fgfs/Nasal or $FG_ROOT/Nasal
  3. Copy Models/fgfsdb to $FG_ROOT/Models
  4. Copy Races/*.xml and Tutorials/*.xml to ~/.fgfs (C:/Documents and settings/<Your ID>/Application Data/ for Windows users, I guess)
  5. Copy gui/dialogs/attend.xml to $FG_ROOT/gui/dialogs
  6. Apply patch (preferences.xml.diff) to $FG_ROOT/preferences.xml or manually add the following lines in <sim><multiplay> tag of prefernces.xml.
      <string n="7" type="string"></string>
      <string n="8" type="string"></string>

Available Races

There are a few races available at this moment. You can see a racetrack using Google Earth before attending the race.


You will fly the oval racetrack at Reno Steed Airport (4SD). It looks very simple and easy, but be careful. You need to either slow down or try quick maneuver to pass gate 6 and 7 without penalty. Reno.png SIZE:641x410(?KB)


AirRacing track at Narita Airport has 17 gates that give you more challenge in flying without penalty. You need to use smooth controls on "S" turns like gate 4, 9, and 13. The most difficult turn, I guess, is gate 15. Be sure to make a quick turn to avoid penalty. You also should be careful when turning at gate 13. you will see gate 16 in front of you but need to make a left turn instead of going straightforward.

Narita.png SIZE:497x559(?KB)


AirRacing in Venezia Tessera lets you fly around the island of Venezia, Italy. You can enjoy passing 28 gates on the track seeing the beautiful scenery there. There seem no difficult gates except gate 6 and 11. Venezia.png SIZE:596x535(?KB)


AirRacing in Sydney is the first non closed-circuit race. You will fly from Kingsford Smith International Airport (YSSY) to Hoxton Park Airport (YHOX) via Bankstown Airport (YSBK). The difficult turns can be gate 1, 22, and 23. The distance between gates are a bit far compared to some other races, so you should use AirRacing version 2008-04-21 or later.

Sydney.png SIZE:907x283(?KB)

Machu Picchu

AirRacing in Machu Picchu is a very long and very tough race. You'll take off the Teniete Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cuzco, Peru and aim the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu via high mountains. It is rather Adventure or Gate hunting than just a race since it's easy to get lost. Very mysterious scenery around Machu Picchu gives you more winding, up-and-down, and some almost-impossible-to-find gates, so please be advised that you should practice the race using ufo for a few times before the first time attack. This race requires AirRacing version 2008-04-26 or later (otherwise you can't load all the gates since FlightGear cannot load all the scenery in the course at start time.)

MachuPicchu.png SIZE:780x529(?KB)

How to play


Once everything got installed, you just need to launch FlightGear with proper multi-player mode configuration. No special --prop options are required for AirRacing. If you are using FlightGear Mac OS X, use GUI launcher to enable Multi Player mode. Then launch FlightGear with your favorite aircraft. you don't have to choose an airport that a race will be held. AirRacing will do that for you later.

However, there is one thing you need to prepare before the race, which is to download and install the scenery data around the race area. You can either download it from the link above or use terrasync to download on the fly. Mac users can check 'Download scenery on the fly' from the GUI launcher and start from Reno Stead airport (4SD). waiting for a minute or two will download scenery data around the race field.

Now you're ready for the race.

General Usage and Rules

Start FlightGear with multiplayer related options. You can specify any aircraft as long as it can go through gates. I don't think helicopters and big commercial aircraft are good for the race, though.

Objective of the race is very simple - fly through all gates for three laps. When you finish the race, you'll see Total time including penalty. The penalty will be added to the total time when race is finished. A racer with shortest total time will win the race.

Call for Racers (Host)

When you're ready to call for racer, press Ctrl-Shift-C. You, then, select a race to advertise. Selecting a race will broadcast 'Call for Racers' event via mpserver to the users (clients) who also installed AirRacing. You'll become a host by pressing Ctrl-Shift-C. Then you'll see gates around you. There also shows up the 'race board' that shows racers' status, lap, gate, and latest gate-passing time. The race will start in 30 seconds. If you're sure all the attendees are ready (or you're the only attendee), press Ctrl-Shift-S to start the race immediately. Some users reported that sometimes AirRacing fails to load 3D gate models since jumping to the designated airport takes a bit longer than expected. So it is good to jump to the airport before calling racers or attending the race. (You don't have to jump to an airport before calling for racers with AirRacing-2008-04-22 or later)


If these keys don't work on your machine, you can try these commands from Nasal console.

  • Call for Racers:
  • Start the race:
  • Show the raceboard:;

Attend the race (Client)

Clients will see a confirmation dialog when the host advertises the race. Press 'Yes' button to attend the race.

attending.png SIZE:800x600(?KB)

Confirmation dialog; Host is calling for racers

Take off and start the race

When the message 'Start Race; Take off and fly to the first gate.' shows up, make a full throttle and take off and go passing the first gate with banner on the top. The race clock advances when you pass the first gate (start/finish gate). Then make a left turn to follow all the gates and come back to runway 26 (at Reno). When you pass a gate, lap, gate, and time will be updated. An arrow on a gate shows the direction to the following gate. This prevents you from getting lost especially in a difficult race like AirRacing in MachuPicchu. Every time you pass the gate with banner, lap time shows up.

attending2.png SIZE:800x600(?KB)

Attending the race; Race board shows up

takingoff.png SIZE:800x600(?KB)

Taking off: going to the first gate. Race time start ticking when you pass the first gate

Passing the gate

Passing the gate will update the status at the race board. you can see other racers' status as well. Every time you pass the start/finish gate, a lap time shows up as a screen log (like a chat message). One thing you need to know is that flying in front of all others doesn't mean you're the fastest. The race time is calculated from start gate to finish gate. Plus penalty time will be added to the total time. To know who is leading the race, you can check other racers' status on the race board.

AirRacingArrow.png SIZE:800x600(?KB)

Passing the gate; "An arrow over a gate shows the direction to the following gate"


Some penalty seconds will be added in the following conditions:

  • if you skips a gate
  • if you fly below minimum altitude (50m) when passing a gate
  • if you fly above maximum altitude (500m) when passing a gate
  • If you touch a gate You will see a screen log message when you get a penalty.


When you finish the race, All lap times and penalty time show up in the screen log. The race board also shows each racer's total time when he finishes the race. The race is over when all the racers' status are either 'finished' or 'retired'. A racer with the shortest time is the winner.

fin.png SIZE:800x600(?KB)

Finish the race; times show up

Restarting the race

You can restart the race when all attendees either finish or retire the race. When you crash, resetting FlightGear (Shift-ESC) will retire the race. The race status on the race board may get broken but don't worry. it will be reset when you pass the first gate.

Making a race by your own

You can create a new racetrack using Google Earth and a ruby script included in the AirRacing package. See How to create a race track for AirRacing for more detail.

Known Issue

Some weird things or runtime error may happen on reset or restarting the race. Disconnecting network may cause some weird behavior. Aircraft model names show up only on FlightGear 1.9.0 or later

Revision History

  • 2008-07-03
    • Fixed: Bug in calculating distance between aircraft and gate
    • Modified: More accuracy in both passing gate and touching penalty judgement.
    • Added: obtains accurate wing span for JSBSim models (Thanks goes to sambar)
    • Refactorerd: move wing span calculation from TouchingPenalty to Racer
  • 2008-05-16
    • Modified: Change arrow shape (now like a rocket)
  • 2008-05-13
    • Added: Showing an arrow that indicates the direction to the following gate. (You need to reinstall all race xml files)
    • Fixed: Sometimes AirRacing couldn't retire the race on resetting fgfs
    • Adjusted: More frequent gate check (more accurate/severe judgement)
    • Adjusted: More severe on touching penalty
    • Adjusted: Gate Height
  • 2008-05-10
    • Fixed: sometimes couldn't reset properly
    • Fixed: unexpected gate-skipping penalty at the finish gate.
    • Added: Circle gate (experimental)
    • Added: Tutorial Pattern flight at Hawaii (experimental)
  • 2008-04-26
    • Added: dynamic gate loader that enables to load 3D gates while racing. This is needed for a long race since FlightGear cannot load all the scenery at start time.
    • Added: New Race : AirRacing_in_MachuPichu.xml
  • 2008-04-22
    • Fixed: gates were not properly loaded on jumping to an airport
  • 2008-04-21
    • Added: aircraft model on the raceboard (sometimes model don't get shown)
    • Modified: mkrace.rb properly settle the heading for start and finish gate for one-way course. (You need to specify "Start" for the name of starting gate, and "Finish" for finishing gate on one-way course. For closed circuit, specify "Start/Finish" for the starting/finishing gates)
    • Modified: increased the range of visibility for 3D gate model (<max-m>5000</max-m>) Now you can easily find the farther gates
    • Added: New Race: AirRace_Sydney.xml
  • 2008-04-19
    • Modified: mkrace.rb to automatically calculate gate headings
    • Added: New Race: AirRace_Venezia.xml
  • 2008-04-17
    • Fixed: Start/Finish gate may be a "double-decker" after resets
    • Modified: Reuse RaceManager for the races that are already loaded
    • Added: Race selector at calling for racers
    • Added: New Race: AirRace_Narita.xml
    • Added: mkrace.rb that converts place markers in google earth's kml file to an xml file for a race
  • 2008-04-13
    • More accurate gate passing detection (by more frequent check)
    • KeyHandler clears key event when handled
  • 2008-04-12
    • Fixed: a bug (got nasal runtime error in finding attendees)
  • 2008-04-08
    • Added: Textures to Start/Finish gate
  • 2008-04-07
    • First Release


Copyright (C) 2008 Tatsuhiro Nishioka (tat dot fgmacosx at gmail dot com) The AirRacing for FlightGear is licensed under the GPL license version 2 or later.