Aircraft Tutorial

(Aircraft Not Showing Up)

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IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU DOWNLOAD FILES FROM THIS WEB SITE AND SAVE IT TO A TEMPORARY DIRECTORY (EXAMPLE: C:\DOWNLOADS), AND THEN RUN THE FILE FROM THAT DIRECTORY. OPENING THE FILE AND RUNNING IT FROM THE INTERNET IS NOT ADVISED, AS THE FILE CAN BE DAMAGED OR CORRUPTED DURING THE DOWNLOAD/RUN PROCESS.

 

NOTE: The installation program used here assumes that Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator and Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2 are located in their "default" directory:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Combat Flight Simulator

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Combat Flight Simulator 2

If they are not located in these directories, extract the files to a temporary directory, and then move the files to the "aircraft" sub-folder in the correct CFS1 or CFS2 directory on your hard drive. Most files (from other Web sites) are in "zip" format.

The BIGGEST difference that you will find between this Web site and others that offer downloads for the various flight simulations is that whenever possible I have attempted to create an "installation" program for the downloads...No more having to create folders, and then copying and/or moving files. The installation program does all of this for you AUTOMATICALLY. So, where possible, all you have to do is to simply double-click on the installation program and enjoy! I strongly encourage you to visit the Installation page to see how this program works before downloading any of the wonderful add-ons from this site.

 

 

Recently I have received several e-mails concerning aircraft not showing up in either CFS1 or CFS2 (fortunately, most of these have to deal with downloads that come from other Web sites, and not the ABSquad Web site). But I thought it would be a good idea to show everybody how to "troubleshoot" for themselves when a particular plane doesn't show up after being installed. Typically when you install a new plane and it doesn't "show up" for you, it will usually be one of four things:

  1. Combat Flight Simulator and\or Combat Flight Simulator 2 is not installed in their "default" location on your computer (this is specifically for the add-ons available from the ABSquad Web site).
  2. The panel is being "aliased" to another plane that is not on your system.
  3. The sound files are being "aliased" to another plane that is not on your system.
  4. Incorrect model file structure (especially if you are using Windows XP).

Below you will find instructions on how to check and correct these typical kinds of problems yourself:

 

PROBLEM #1: DIRECTORY STRUCTURE

This is typical if you have CFS1/CFS2 installed to a different directory other than the "default" directory that Microsoft uses to install the flight simulations. Below you will see the default directory that the installation program uses to install the games:

Combat Flight Simulator:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Combat Flight Simulator

Combat Flight Simulator 2:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Combat Flight Simulator 2

If you have installed CFS1 and/or CFS2 to a directory other than those mentioned here, you will need to use WinZip or PKUnzip to first "extract" the files to a temporary directory (Example: C:\Downloads), and then move all of the files and folders to the correct "aircraft" sub-folder where CFS1/CFS2 is installed (Example: C:\CFS2\Aircraft).

 

PROBLEM #2: PANEL IS ALIASED

This usually happens when the plane was designed originally for use in FS98 or FS2000. These two simulations will typically have aircraft that are not in CFS1/CFS2. Here's how to check:

Using Windows Explorer, go to the aircraft's panel folder, and open the panel.cfg file with Notepad. When you open it, you will have lines similar to this (if the panel is being "aliased" to another plane):

[fltsim]
alias=Bf290\panel

The problem in here is the fact that CFS1/CFS2 do not have a plane that is called "Bf290". So what you have to do is to change the reference from the "Bf290" plane to one that is actually installed on your system. In this example, I'm going to use the "stock" Hawker Hurricane Mk I as the referenced panel. The panel.cfg file should look like this after you make the changes:

[fltsim]
alias=Hurricane_I\panel

Save the file to keep the changes, and that should do it.

Another problem with regards to the panel that can cause the plane not to show up is when the plane actually shows a panel in the panel folder, but the panel.cfg has gauges for the panel that aren't installed on your system. Again, you can use Notepad to open the panel.cfg file and look at the gauges that the panel uses. A typical panel will have lines in it that refer to the gauges it is using, and would look similar to this (depending on the panel):

[Window]
file=Panel_Background_640.BMP
file_1024=Panel_Background_1024.BMP
position=7
size_mm=640,480
window_pos=0.0,0.0
window_size=1.000,1.000
render_3d_window=1
pixel_size=0,0
sizeable=1
visible=1
ident=MAIN_PANEL

gauge00=P51d!Airspeed,181,343
gauge01=P51d!Altimeter,181,413
gauge02=P51d!Attitude,323,343
gauge03=P51d!Boost_Pressure,395,351
gauge04=P51d!Clock,209,293
gauge05=P51d!Engine_Temperature,379,292
gauge06=P51d!Flaps,134,358
gauge07=P51d!Fuel,467,375
gauge08=P51d!Fuel_Selector,523,441
gauge09=P51d!Gear,75,458
gauge10=P51d!Heading_Indicator,253,329
gauge11=P51d!Magneto,88,411
gauge12=P51d!Oil_Pressure,467,426
gauge13=P51d!Starter,147,436
gauge14=P51d!Tachometer,395,413
gauge15=P51d!Turn_Indicator,253,413
gauge16=P51d!Vertical_Speed,323,413
gauge17=F4U1A_Corsair!Compass,288,329

In this example, you'll notice that the very last gauge is actually a CFS2 gauge. Because of this, the panel wouldn't work in CFS1, and the plane might not show up in the aircraft drop down menu. You would need to either use a CFS1 gauge in its place, or delete this particular gauge from the panel.cfg file. Simply delete the line referencing the particular gauge, and then save the file.

I HIGHLY recommend using a FREE program called CfgEdit to edit panels. It is available at www.cfgedit.com. It is by far the easiest and best panel editing program that I have used. And it will work with all versions of Flight Simulator.

 

PROBLEM #3: SOUNDS ARE ALIASED

Problems with the sound files being "aliased" work exactly the same as they do for the panel, but the sound folder will be referenced instead of the panel folder for a particular plane. If the sound.cfg file references a plane that you know isn't on your system, do the same thing that you did for the panel --- simply have the file point to a plane that you know is installed on your system.

 

PROBLEM #4 BAD MODEL FILE

If you have ever received a message in CFS1 or CFS2 stating that it "can not load model (visual) file for xxxx plane", you know how frustrating it can be. This happens when the model file for the aircraft is either corrupted or not in the correct format. This can be especially true if you are using Windows XP. In this case, you can try and use the WindowsXP MDL Repair program located on this site. It will scan the aircraft model (.mdl) files in CFS1 and CFS2 for errors. If it discovers one that is incompatible with Windows XP it will allow you to try and fix it. If, on the other hand, the model (.mdl) file is corrupted or the Windows XP MDL Utility is unable to fix it, there is really not much you can do, as the model file is created by the author of the plane, and it holds key information on the aircraft. All you can do is delete the plane from your system, and contact the author to inform them of the problem.

 

I hope that this little tutorial helps everybody. I think that knowing how the planes work and are used in CFS1 and CFS2 helps everybody to be able to "troubleshoot" things. And it's always more gratifying when you can figure it out for yourself.

If the plane still doesn't show up after doing the things mentioned here, feel free to e-mail me, and I'll be more than happy to try and help. Make sure and give me some basic information in your e-mail, like where CFS1/CFS2 is installed, and in particular the specific plane or planes that are not showing up.

 

Michael Priester

AB_Lt_Cmd_Riker

Commanding Officer

ABSquad

 

 

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"The only thing necessary for the triumph of Evil is for good men to do nothing."

Edmund Burke

NOTE: All files available for download from this site are FREEWARE, and do not, to our knowledge, infringe on any copyrighted material. If there are items on this site that you suspect do have copyright, or are credited to the wrong person, or to "Unknown", and either you are the owner or you know who the owner is, please email the Webmaster so that he/she can be given full credit for their work.

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator and Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2 are a copyrighted trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

Date last modified: September 24, 2010

 

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