Do you remember the SGI flight simulator that was bundled with SGI machines running IRIX operating systems? In 1997, flight was ported to Windows by Michael Gold. Originally intended for Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0, the sgiflight installer only ran on those platforms and would likely not work on modern operating systems.

Fortunately, the executable is a Win32 executable which runs on Windows XP, Windows 7 all the way up to Windows 10. The link below is to a zip file containing the program files. Recommend running the program with the -f option; otherwise the program changes your screen resolution. The program uses CosmoGL - SGI's software only implementation of OpenGL. The program will run easily on modern day computers regardless of 3d acceleration video card. The CosmoGL DLLs are included with the zip bundle below.

It is rumored that Michael Gold now works for Nvidia. The source code for the Windows version was never released. Source code for an earlier version running on the IRIX platform can be found on the internet. Ultimately, SGI was acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in 2016. In addition, certain intellectual assets were transferred to Graphics Properties Holdings Inc (GPHI) - it is unclear what the status of that entity is today.

Below is a significant excerpt of the original web page from announcing the launch of SGI flight for Microsoft Windows. The links have been updated where possible.
This page claims no rights to the content held within. All content is the property of respective copyright holders.
Here are some screenshots of flight running on modern systems.

Silicon Graphics Flight Simulator

I remember the days when we hunched around an old IRIS 2400 Turbo playing this amazing flight simulator game from Silicon Graphics, Inc. I thought, "I'd like to work for that company!" And so I did, for eight wonderful years.

Time passes and computers just keep getting faster. Modern personal computers in the 90's are now as powerful as graphics workstations of the 80's. That old Flight demo now runs on a PC with no hardware acceleration!

I am pleased to announce the availability of the classic IRIS GL demo, Flight, for IBM PC's running Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0. I recently ported it to the industry standard 3D graphics API, OpenGL(tm). From there it seemed simple enough to port it to Windows, and so I did, using the beta version of Cosmo OpenGL from Silicon Graphics.

Original page last updated February 25, 1998


As mentioned above, the Windows version of SGI flight uses CosmoGL. CosmoGL was SGI's attempt at making an optimized software-only OpenGL implementation that was faster than the implementation that was included in Windows. This was important at the time because many personal computers did not have dedicated 3D graphics hardware. In fact, there appeared to be a fair amount of back and forth between employees of Microsoft and SGI as demonstrated in this newsgroup post. What was ironic about these disputes was they would become completely irrelevant over the next few years as the proliferation of consumer 3D graphics cards that added significant performance advantages to software implementations like CosmoGL.

Is it possible to utilize hardware acceleration in SGI flight without recompiling SGI flight? In a quick indirect way, yes. One of the key benefits of CosmoGL is that it used the exact same function calls as defined in OpenGL. In other words, flight would load cosmogl.dll and make calls that were exactly the same as the calls in opengl32.dll. If a library were created called cosmogl.dll that exposed the same functions and redirected calls to opengl32.dll then the flight program would effectively be using the same hardware that is utilized by opengl32.dll. However, it should be noted that with modern CPU processing power, using the dedicated 3D hardware over the CosmoGL software implementation offers almost negligible performance gains.

Having said that, Visual C++ 2015 code and DLLs are included below for that purpose. To use, simply replace the cosmogl.dll and cosmoglu.dll files in the flight directory with the same DLLs from the file or from your own recompilation.

Download CosmoGL stub source code and DLLs. Either the included DLLs can be used directly or compiled through Visual C++ command line tools.


There is a desire to either work on modernizing and finishing the Windows port or redoing a port from the original SGI flight program. If you have access to the latest original flight source code or this Windows port then please reach out to me at