Google Earth Flight Simulator a backhanded compliment to Microsoft?

A lot of us who use Google Earth do not know about Flight Simulator mode in Google Earth. I have been using Google Earth for over 3 years now and was still unaware of the Flight Simulator tool until a few days ago. With Flight Simulator in Google Earth allowing me to take off from Kathmandu Airport into the mountains, it brought back memories of an addictive video game I had played as a teen almost 10 years ago.

The similarities with Flight Simulator by Microsoft were too many to not think of this mode as a backhanded compliment by Google Earth developers to Microsoft.

Over Mount Everest with Google Earths Flight Simulator


Google Earth: Flight Simulator

  • To start Flight Simulator mode start Google Earth and click on the globe once and press Ctrl + Alt + A. This starts the flight simulator mode and the following screen appears.


  • It is not very complex except the controls seem to be a little too sensitive. The HUD screen resembles being inside a airplane cockpit.
  • The idea is pretty amazing, especially for kids being introduced to Google Earth. Imagine flying around in a airplane over your own neighborhood on your desktop. 🙂
  • The whole feel of it, with selecting Airports from around the world and different plane models is very similar to very early versions of Flight Simulator by Microsoft.
  • Playing around with it I immediately realized that this Easter Egg within Google Earth was like a homage being paid to Microsoft’s Flight Simulator video game.

Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X was less of a game and more of a virtual environment for flying enthusiasts with a virtual environment to simulate the whole world. Google Earth is probably paying homage to a very old and loved video game.

Interesting Factoid: Flight Simulator software from Microsoft is 2 years older than its Windows Licence. 😉

Link: Google Earth Flight Simulator