An open source,
flight dynamics & control software library in C++
JSBSim is an open source flight dynamics model (FDM) that compiles and runs under many operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, Linux, IRIX, Cygwin (Unix on Windows), etc. The FDM is essentially the physics/math model that defines the movement of an aircraft, rocket, etc., under the forces and moments applied to it using the various control mechanisms and from the forces of nature. JSBSim has no native graphics. It can be run by itself as a standalone program, taking input from a script file and various vehicle configuration files. It can also be incorporated into a larger flight simulator implementation that includes a visual system. The most notable examples of the use of JSBSim are currently seen in the FlightGear (open source), Outerra, BoozSimulator (open source), and OpenEaagles (open source) simulators. JSBSim is also used to drive the motion-base research simulators at the University of Naples, Italy, and in the Institute of Flight System Dynamics and Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at RWTH Aachen University in Germany.

Features include:

  • Fully configurable flight control system, aerodynamics, propulsion, landing gear arrangement, etc. through XML-based text file format.
  • Rotational earth effects on the equations of motion (coriolis and centrifugal acceleration modeled).
  • Configurable data output formats to screen, file, socket, or any combination of those.

The aircraft models included in this project and distribution do not include any proprietary, sensitive, or classified data. All data is derived from textbooks (such as Stevens and Lewis "Aircraft Control and Simulation" and Sutton's "Rocket Propulsion Elements"), freely available technical reports (see: and, or other public data (such as the FAA web site). Aircraft models included in the JSBSim distribution and with names corresponding to existing commercial or military aircraft are approximations crafted using publicly available information, and are for educational or entertainment uses only.

Likewise, no proprietary program code is included. All code included within JSBSim has been developed on a volunteer basis using publicly available information, and is often directly referenced to a particular textbook, for educational purposes. In some cases, code of a generic nature has been donated back to the project.

See our flyer for additional information.

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