This page was copied from Dan Buton's web site. Dan sadly died 19/6/2005. I mailed him a week before his death to say how much I enjoyed playing this game. I never received a reply.

Play Flight Club

to launch the applet or check out the instructions below. If you have any questions then here is the FAQ. The newer but not so playable sim 3.02 is here (function creep - doh!). [ 13 May 2005 ]

A glider over the flatlands


Welcome to Flight Club, an online gliding simulator. The gliders look a bit like hang gliders. However, imagine them to be paragliders or sailplanes if you prefer; the same rules apply.


Circling under a cloud


Cumulus clouds are fed by bubbles of warm rising air, called thermals. By using thermals, glider pilots are able to fly long distances. When you fly into a thermal you should circle to stay in the lift and climb upto cloud base.

Your vario will start beeping when you are in a thermal.


Gliders ridge soaring

Ridge Lift

Hills produce lift as the wind flows over them. A glider may ridge soar by flying back and forth in the rising air in front of the hill.

Glider pilots also like hills because they function as reliable thermal triggers.


A cloud street

Your mission

Race against the other gliders; the finish line is 100km away to the north.

A note on navigation: To find the finish line, simply follow the road that runs north. You have a compass at the bottom right of the applet.


Press <3> for the plan view

Points of View

Drag the mouse to rotate the camera position. You may switch between points of view using the number keys...

  • <1> focus on your glider
  • <2> watch the gaggle
  • <3> the view from 5,000 meters above
  • <4> the view from 8km away to the south east

Try pressing <p> to pause the action and then switch between the different points of view.

Dragging the mouse whilst the action is paused gives a cool 'bullet time' effect.


Here is some feedback from Flight Club users...

You couldn't have made a more perfect demostration of how cross country soaring works. As an animator and glider pilot myself, I appreciate what you've done, and I love the simplicity and stylization you have with the design. - John from California Nevada

I think your flight club game is absolutley amazing, as a glider pilot i always wanted an "arcade" type gliding simulator, not a flight simulator as they are too slow and boring. Top marks for the development. - Ian from Midland Gliding Club (UK)

I just wanted to drop a line to congratulate you on a fantastic little flight sim. - I love it! - Peter, a paraglider, ultralight and GA pilot from Australia.

I and many of my sailplane pilot friends have tried it and are hooked. It is much better at simulating the important aspects of soaring than any flashy super graphics simulator, and much more fun. - Jon

Send your feeback to


Have you reached goal ? If so, well done ! The task window has closed and all the goal marshalls have gone down the pub. I'm sorry if your time did not make it into these results:

Thank you to Kjell Keogh for helping to prepare the results.

Task #1: 100km race to goal (Mar 2002 ...)
PosNameTime (mins)
1Thomas Rold89
2Cyril Stewart91
3John Gilbert92
4John Fritz93
5Matt Michael94
5David Waller94
8Stefan Morocutti95
8Dan Beck95
8Maurice Bakermans95
8Uwe Mütterlein95
8Herwig Meyer95
8Miha Dereani95
14Herwig Mayer96
14Ejvind Nyberg96
14Luka Salehar96
14Bye Jeroen96
14Matt Carter96
19Pasi Pulkkinen97
22Lex Versteeg99
23John Gilbert100
25Sylvie Roche101
25Lep Pozdrav101
25Igor Erzen101
28Borut Hafner102
28Koen Vanderputten102
28Matteo Piccoli102
31Vincent Glloq103
32Bas Seijffert104
32Jasper Grannetia104
32Wolfert Voet104
32Tanner Patty104
32Daniel Sil104
32Jon Meis Wetter-Jetzt104
32Bruce 'OK' Usa104
39Alejandro Alfonzo105
39Albert te Boekhorst105
39Laurent Beauvisage105
42Todd Smith108
42Frederic Fuchs108
44Nikola Macedonia111
45Kasia Pelasia120
46Gordon White123
47Juan Manuel Jaramillo125
47Mark Morgan125
49Per Carlin128
50Pierre-Yves Schoepp132
51Manuel Eschenbrenner135
52Marc Breton139
53Nathan Cap141
54BlueS Batched142
55Robert Jan145
56Luka Salehar157
57Agence De St Leonard163
58Mr D Brunton184
59Peter Millenaar195


The Flight Club source code is under a GNU General Public License.

Download the java source (latest update 10 Aug 2003)...
Blurb to read...
The *old* source...

Running javadoc over the source generates lots of html.

If you come up with a change to Flight Club which improves it or adds a nice feature let me know about it and I will add it in to the next release with your name attached to it.

Flight Club has a small footprint; I think it will find its feet on PDA's and other little gadgety devices.

Dev News

  • I could use a little help finishing V3.02. Roll up your shirt sleeves, take a look at the to do list (see above) and cut some code. Let's get V3.02 out of the door. ( 20 Sep 2002 )
  • Well done to Artem Nikulchev, a paraglider pilot from Moscow, for creating a networked prototype of Flight Club. We expect to have the networked game ready for an online xc league this winter (northern hemisphere). Thank you Artem for the top quality work ! ( 28 July 2002 )
  • Well done to Lloyd Bailey, a paraglider pilot from the UK, for getting Flight Club running on his iPAQ. Lloyd is using the java runtime from ( 28 July 2002 )

The almighty Buck

 Hi Dan, Big fan of Flight Club (not a hang glider 
myself, but rather a r/c glider pilot), and saw on your site that someone bought 
a standalone copy. What sort of price are we talking about here, as I'd love one 
for my laptop when on the train / stuck in traffic. Cheers, Andy. -- Hi Andy, 
The price is £10 (ten pounds sterling) or 15 euros. I accept cash, 
UK cheque and international money orders. Please include your email address with 
your payment and post it to: Dan Burton, Flight Clubhouse, 10 Railway St, Brighton 
BN1 3PF England Thanks, Dan PS. All Flight Club owners get free support and upgrades. 


  • XCMag is the international magazine for hang-gliding and paragliding; it captures the spirit of our sport and features stunning photography. You may subscribe at XCShop, a secure online shop. Buy all you flying books and videos here (Hugh - please teach me to fly dual *grovel*).

  • Cloud Watching is an article about clouds, written by Tom Bradbury for Gliding Magazine. a gliding portal which includes a discussion forum.

  • The British Hang Gliding and Paraglider website contains a list of all UK registered hang gliding and paragliding schools.

  • Guia 4 Ventos and GOUP introduce you to the amazing flying in Brazil.

  • The XC Files is a growing portal of flying photos and stories from around the world.

  • Fly sky high is John Silvester's story about paragliding in Nepal. Anyone fancy climbing out to 6000m ?

  • Airwave, Gin Gliders, Icaro 2000 and Ozone are just a few of the manufacturers that build our magnificent flying machines. Thanks for all the hard work, fellas. (No one gets rich in this sport !)

  • Paragliding in Taiwan.

  • Artem Nikulchev's site about Moscow's paragliding scene (in Russian).

Change Log

  • V3.01 Added four beeps for vario. Detect key release event for improved glider handling. Fixed deprecation warnings (well, all but one). Finally made a jar file - doh! (27 May 2002)
  • V3.00 The task is now a 100km race to goal. Improved cloudscape. Normal/fast glide. Speedy simulation. Smooth lift profile around hills. Increased camera's lense angle. Weak/strong clouds. (01 Mar 2002)
  • V2.05 Indicate if paused or not. Un-pause on start. User starts at origin. Tighter plan view. (18 Dec 2001)
  • V2.04 Added sound - a vario beep. Smooth camera cuts. (18 Nov 2001)
  • V2.03 Add compass and vario. New glider shape. (28 Oct 2001)

Task Designer: You may now design your own tasks. Click here to launch the java web start application. The program allows you to save tasks locally on your machine as xml files. If you design a really cool task then email it to me and I'll run it by the Task Setting Committee for inclusion on this site. You will need the latest version of Java from Sun including Webstart to launch Task Designer.

Networked game play: The port is *not* open to the public yet. Can anone help with hosting ? Do you have a webserver with a custom port (eg. port 7777) on which to run the game server ? If you wish to run the net game on your LAN, all the bits, blobs and blurb are in the source tarball below. Thanks to Artem Nikulchev for writing much of the code for networking Flight Club.


'Remember, the best pilot is the one that is having the most fun' - Jocky Sanderson

'Simon Dykes, the artist, stood, rented glass in hand, and watched as a rowing eight emerged from the brown brick wall of one building, slid across a band of grey-green water, and then eased into the grey concrete of another building. Some people lose their sense of proportion, thought Simon, but what would it be like to lose your sense of perspective ?' - Will Self (from Great Apes)

'Emphasize everything and you emphasize nothing.' - Gill (the font designer)

'There's a difference between being permanently joyless and having found a passion in life for the realization of which one is also willing to take on less joyful but nonetheless necessary parts.' - Pekka Himanen

'Truth knows no borders. Information wants to be free. Technology is the key.' - Peter Gabriel

'It is better to light a candle than to complain about the darkness.' - Julian Cope

'Any philosopher, not just a Buddhist...but any philosopher worthy of the name knows that, in itself, desire - unlike pleasure - is a source of suffering, pain and hatred.' - Michel Houellebecq (from the novel Atomised)

'This is what an artist has to be: harassed to the point of insanity or stupefaction by first principles.' - Martin Amis (from the novel The Information)

'... two aeroplanes climbed towards their shared apex - like needles, with the twin strands of white thread trailing from their eyes. They passed: no contact. Briefly, though (for the sky hates straight lines and soon destroys their definition), the two white slipstreams formed a leaning cross: leaning backwards, away from the earth. Something was over, over on the other side.' - Martin Amis (from the novel The Information)

'Crossing frontiers is my profession. Those strips of no-man's land between the checkpoints always seem such zones of promise, rich with the possibilities of new lives, new scents and affections.' - J G Ballard (from the novel Cocaine Nights)
Life Insurance for Glider Pilots


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