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When an engineering or scientific requirement is identified, the developers try to find an existing project that meets the need, to avoid writing and maintaining redundant code.
FlightGear aims to be portable across many different processors and operating systems, as well as scale upwards from commodity computers. The source has to be clean with respect to address width and endianness, two issues which inconvenience most open source projects, in order to to run on Intel x86, AMD64, PowerPC and Sparc processors.
In addition to running the simulation of the aircraft in real time, the application must also use whatever peripherals are available to deliver an immersive cockpit environment to the aircraft pilot.