Adding Aircraft to Microsoft Flight Simulator




This Instructable is there to provide a basic overview of how to import add-on aircraft into Microsoft Flight Simulator. I have FS2002, and yes, I plan to upgrade to FS2004, but the same basic steps apply to FS2004, FS2002, CFS, and I think FSX.

Step 1: Find Your Airplane

There are multiple sites dedicated to add-ons for all of Microsoft's Flight Simulator series. Though most aircraft are specifically designed for one version, they are often interchangeable. An excellent compatibility chart is available here. You can do this step two ways: if you have a specific airplane you want, you can search the internet or a specific site for it, or just browse a library and see what catches your eye. My personal favorite site is Simviation, as they have a vast library that is well organized and easy to search. There are other websites out there, such as Surclaro, that require a free account to be formed, and still others that require you to pay for membership. Most sites give you the file size before you download it, but be aware: as a general rule, the larger the file, the more detailed and accurate the model will be. On the other hand, I've downloaded 4 MB aircraft that looked and performed worse than 900 KB aircraft.

When you download the file, save it to your desktop. It will make things easier later on.

Step 2: Get the Files Out

The aircraft will almost always be in the form of a ZIP (compressed) folder. Extract all the files by right clicking, selecting "Extract All...", and following the extraction wizard. Occasionally there will be a ZIP folder for gauges or other files within the main ZIP folder--extract them too. The second image below shows the contents of a typical aircraft folder.

Step 3: Put Your Toys Away

Now you have to place everything in the proper location. Start off by finding your main Flight Simulator folder--this is typically under My Computer>C: Local Disk>Program Files>Microsoft Games. The first subfolder we are concerned with is the Gauges folder. If your aircraft came with any gauges, copy them into the Gauges folder of your flight simulator. The gauges folder in the downloaded folder can be deleted if you want, but leaving it in does no harm, and I find that it is nice to save so I can delete extraneous gauges if I don't like an airplane and delete it. Next, copy the aircraft folder into the Aircraft subfolder. This folder will probably contain a model folder, sound folder, a panel folder, and one or more texture folders, as well as an aircraft.cfg and .AIR file.

This is all that may be necessary, however you might need to change the aircraft.cfg file.

Step 4: Checking Things Over

You will want to check over the addon's aircraft.cfg file, which can be opened in Notepad. The aircraft.cfg is the file that tells Flight Simulator what the airplane is. See the notes on the image blow for details.

Step 5: Fly!

What more explanation do you need? Open Flight Simulator, find your new airplane, and take it for a test run!

Step 6: In Conclusion...

I know that this is for a limited crowd, but I hope someone out there can use it. If this gets a decent response, I'll post another one on how to fly the AI aircraft.



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    48 Discussions


    Reply 3 years ago

    Not just payware. The more addons you install you will eventually find one or more that will break your install. So it helps to weed out the lame ones and narrow it down to a few that really work then do a fresh install of FS and add those few favorites.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Er....since when? The FS series has come out costing about $70, quickly dropped to $50, and gone to $10-$20 after the next comes out. Flight Simulator X, the newest version, is $69 for Deluxe, $49 for Standard at Best Buy. FS2004 is about twenty. This version, FS2002, is no longer available in most stores (It is five years old, after all), but seems to be bringing, including shipping, $10-$15 on eBay.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    $70 + %14 tax = $78.7 = "Like $80"

    And PetervG, at least I think so, is Canadian. And in Canada, sales tax is %14, this holds true.


    sales tax? so when you buy somethings and it says like, for instance, $10 on the shelve and then you go to the counter and they are like, "that'll be $11.40"? is that how it is? that is so suckful. I mean, the price on the shelf is the price you pay, god damn man, that I said before...USD going down. here in the great land of Aus we have indicated on the shelves how much the item is, its whole price and all hidden taxes and other things, such as Duty and the Goods and Services Tax (thankyou very much John 'Australian-will-never-ever-have-a-GST' Howard) are shown in one price, like if I went to the store and saw something on the shelf for, say, $1 and I went to the checkout it would scan up for $1, and in the event that the shelf price differed from the price at the checkout, the scanning code of conduct says that the customer is entitled to that product for free, and if the price mismatch involves a number of the same product, then the customer is entitled to the first product free and the remaining number of same product for the reduced price. I mean, how can you trust a system that won't even tell you how much you are REALLY going to pay for something when you get to the checkout. That must really really suck. And the rip offs don't seem to end there...what with tipping. What the hell is up with tipping. If you have a job, then you are recieving a wage. You have already been paid for the service that you are providing me. I have paid for, for example, a hotel room, and the cost of the services, such as porters, reception, linen change and the like have all been calculated into the price of the hotel room, as well as a healthy slice of profit, so why should I feel the need to reach into my pocket and oblige you with more of my hard earned cash, when at the end of the week you will get a pay packet in your hand? Will I recieve extra or faster service if I tip, I think not. In fact it could turn quite the opposite, and the process of tipping could cause worse and tardy service, in so far as the persons providing this service will gravitate towards those whom they believe will hand over a larger tip, rather than providing the service they are being paid to provide by the company that they work for. So, I say, if you want tips, then either provide service that would make someone want to tip you, don't just stick your hand under someones nose and grunt "tip", or change the whole industry to run on tips, in so far as, for example, I return to the same hotel I mentioned before, the Hyatt Hypothetical, and I pay a nominal fee for the use of the room, say $10 - $20, but I am not provided with any services in that fee. That fee only covers the usage of the room. So, if I wanted someone to assist me with my bags, I would call over a porter and discuss with them a price upon which we could agree upon for the services they will provide. But, here's the kicker, they don't work for the hotel, they are just some random people, like mexicans in the movies, just hanging around until someone comes over and it like "hey, who wants some work?" and all the mexicans jump into the back of the van (...Born in East L.A....), and so you would go over to these porters, just sitting on the side of the road, and be like, "I've got $2 for someone to carry my bags to my room" and you give them the $2 and they would carry your bags to your room. So, I think the point I am trying to make here is DON'T ASK FOR TIPS IF YOU ARE ALREADY BEING PAID! and, as I have heard here and there, some people "really need those tips, to live, because they don't get paid enough" well, I've got three soloutions for you : 1: ask for a raise 2: get a new job 3: get over it Aiiiiiiiiight. So if you see me around, don't be expecting a tip, you're just as likely to get a taste of the back of my hand.


    Reply 3 years ago

    In the US every county and every state has its own level of sales tax... and the USD isnt going away soon, why do you think we invaded Iraq?


    you're welcome, and thankyou, economic policy is at the root of our lives today, and I do enjoy FSX, so by combining the two, one could assume that I could create some sort of 'flying hidden tax simulator', where you take the controls of the International Monetary Fund, and perform debt-defying (death-defying, debt-defying, get it, ah ha ha ha ha) aerial manouveres, taking the world economy on a wild ride, from ressescion to boomtown and back again, before crashing into the ocean, screaming "It's ok, I just need more investors!"


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    no, there is the FSX standard, and FSX deluxe, which are two seperate games, but the same game, just better, so they say...acceleration is a upgrade package for either FSX standard or FSX deluxe, it adds certain things to FSX, such as aircraft carriers, fighter jets, more missions and fixes several bugs that were prevalant in the original release of FSX, so, to answer your question, no, FSX deluxe and FSX accerleration are not the must have FSX (standard or deluxe) to run FSX acceleration