Secret flight sim found in Google Earth

Hidden Google Earth feature allows users to fly an F16 over London. Find out how to start flying here

Barry Collins
3 Sep 2007

Bloggers have discovered a secret flight simulator in the latest version of Google Earth.

Whilst lacking the sophistication of Microsoft Flight Simulator, the hidden feature allows users to fly over the Google Earth landscape, complete with in-depth satellite photography of the ground below.

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The feature is officially unlocked by pressing Crtl+Alt+A from within Google Earth, although in our test, we had to substitute Alt for the Windows key to get the simulation to start.

Full controls for the flight simulator can be found here, and it's well worth consulting these before blundering into a test flight, if our haphazard experience is anything to go by. We found ourselves stalling and plummeting into the city below before you could shout "increase thrust". You can also opt for joystick control if you're a hardened flight-sim fan.

Players have a choice of two aircraft: a nippy F16 or the more cumbersome, SR22 propeller airplane. Both take a little getting used to, although the F16 is the obvious choice for those looking to fly over their hometown in a hurry.

Users can choose to start their flight from a selection of airports, including London Heathrow and, perhaps surprisingly, New York.

Tell us how you get on with Google's flight sim on comments below.

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