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Google Hides Flight Simulator In Earth

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Google hid an Easter egg so well it wasn’t found until nearly Labor Day, in South Africa, where I’m not even sure if they have Labor Day. Doesn’t matter, it’s not really an Easter egg, either, it’s a flight simulator tucked inside of the most recent release of Google Earth.

Google Hides Flight Simulator In Earth
Google Hides Flight Simulator In Earth

The Internet (the anonymous collective) has given credit to University of Cape Town student Marco Gallotta, a computer science major, with discovering that by pressing the right keys while checking out Google Sky (they’re totally different keys for OS X, mind you) users are given a choice of flying an F-16 Viper, for those that like to boogie, or a Cirrus SR22 prop plane, for those that prefer the scenic route.

(Editor’s note – Now I’m not one to perpetuate a stereotype or anything, but um, Marco, a computer science major, was tinkering with Google Earth and blogging about it on a Friday night, and not tinkering with, well, other, prettier things on campus. Just sayin’. Come to college in the States, Marco…with a name like that and a funky accent, you won’t have time to tinker. Just sayin’. — Jason)

It’s unclear why Google sneaked a gem like this in there, but seeing as it has a bunch of apocryphal commands to find it, the flight simulator was intended for guys just like Marco. Not exactly the mile-high club they were talking about.

Google hasn’t totally disowned it. At least since the discovery, they’ve put up a Google Earth Flight Simulator keyboard control guide. Unsurprisingly, there are no instructions on how to unhook a brassiere.

There are flight demonstrations on YouTube, however, if you’d like to view them. From the videos, it looks a bit videogame-ish, and reports say the keyboard and mouse controls are a little difficult. So better buy a joystick. 

I’ll give it six weeks before somebody complains that terrorists are using it for training exercises. Until then, cheers.

Google Hides Flight Simulator In Earth
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  • http://marco-za.blogspot.com/ Marco Gallotta

    It was rather interesting reading your “editor’s note”. I say so because I am indeed moving to the states next year. Funky accent though? It’s american’s who have the funky accents. ;)

    The terrorist comments have already sprung up all over unfortunately. Oh, and we don’t have a Labour Day in SA.

    • Jason Lee Miller

      until you get here, but you’ll find the accent works to your advantage….you’ll see…good luck to you