FlightGear
Serial Communications with Arduino

Started by Roberto Inzerillo, February 2012


Introduction

FlightGear is an OpenSource flight simulator. It's free and its code is provided under the GNU General Public License.

It has a flexible IO subsystem that allows it to "speak" over several medium. One of the simplest is the good old serial connection. What a bless to Arduino users :-) This is what I'm going to cover in this article.

Flightgear can be downloaded at http://www.flightgear.org

Making Arduino talk to FlightGear is straightforward, making it listen to FlightGear can be quite tricky at first, but it will end up being easy to everybody after having mastered the basics.

I'll try and cover the basics first, so that anybody with minimal Arduino/Flightgear skills may start playing around with it.

The basic idea is to let Arduino talk to Flightgear through the Virtual Serial Connection established over the USB link.

You can attach any kind of sensor/display (input/output) to Arduino, make Arduino deal with the electrical/mechanical details and let Flightgear know about that through a well defined communication protocol.

A huge side befit of using a serial communication is that you will not need to compile any USB HID device driver at all.

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