Do it yourself: AI AIRCRAFT Walkthrough

FS2002 and FS2004 AI features, doubts, setups, experiences exchange, etc...

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Do it yourself: AI AIRCRAFT Walkthrough

Post by ricktobin » Fri Mar 19, 2004 7:37 pm

NOTE: ALL LINKS CHECKED AND WORKING AS OF 09/25/2006

After several request and suggestions that I post this as a thread of it's own, here you go. Thanks to Rhythmosaur for thinking it was worthy enough.

Not having any knowledge about AI A/C or what difference it made what A/C was sitting next to you at the gate or flying 5,000 feet above you, the subject of AI A/C was of very little interest to me. I figured I'd do a little looking around and see just how much work was involved in adding AI A/C to your hanger.

I found a few sites suggested by Skipperdan (which will be listed below). I went with Project AI. I first read all the tutorials about AI A/C and found out what programs I could use, where to put the files I download, how to install, what things I should be really concerned about and what things didn't really matter when taking on this project.

The first page I visited was: http://afcad.projectai.com/general/afcad_help.php

GO THERE, READ IT...It's the AFCAD Intro (What are AFCADs?) page and it does a good job explaining what's what. what goes where, and how to get it there.

2nd: http://afcad.projectai.com/general/afcad_help2.php

GO HERE next, READ IT...this page tells you how to edit the aircraft.cfg files so your AI A/C park where they should park and you don't have a 777 sitting on the GA ramp among the Cessnas. It also explains how to edit the .mdl files to change the A/C radius so you don't have A/C hitting each other at the gate. If you want to get that involved and detailed, otherwise, skip that part.

3rd: http://afcad.projectai.com/general/afcad_help3.php

GO HERE next, READ IT...this page tells you how to install AFCADS.

This took me about 2 hours to do...once I was finished I went to my local airports website, found out what all the commercial airlines were that flew into it. Then I went to http://www.projectai.com/packages/ and went to the commercial A/C section and downloaded all the airlines that use my airport.

Once I edited all the aircraft.cfg files and removed all the default AI A/C and their flight plans, I started up my FS2004 and I had commercial A/C sitting at all my gates, coming in on approach, and departing. I went to other airports just to make sure everything was working right and so far, all is well. The airlines hub locations even show a significantly greater amount of their A/C at the gates versus the other airlines at that airport.

All total I spent about 3.5 hours working on this. I can say now that I understand what all the fuss was about, it is more realistic having the actual airlines operating instead of the default.

One of the most important things I can offer is this: MAKE COPIES OF EVERYTHING, before you allow a program to edit, delete or replace anything on your system!! Create a folder on your desktop, call it ORIGINALS, or whatever you want, and save anything that may get changed (ie, your default traffic.bgl file will get changed) in this folder. After completeing this project, if something isn't working right you can replace the changes with the original files. It adds time to the project but that's a small price to pay versus having to reinstall the whole FS program if things go really bad.

Websites as suggested by Skipperdan:

http://afcad.projectai.com/

http://users.skynet.be/robflsim/RFWAI2en.html

http://www.ai-aardvark.com/

http://www.mostrealisticai.com/

I can recommend the following having used them:

http://afcad.projectai.com/
For this link above, make sure you check out the FAQ page, very good resource!

http://users.skynet.be/robflsim/RFWAI2en.html
This is also a great site that explains everything in detail. It should leave you with no doubts as to how you start and complete this project.

FINALLY: Thanks to the following for their help, either directly or through these forums, I certainly do appreciate it.
Rhythmosaur, Insured Disaster, Skipperdan, Pillead
Last edited by ricktobin on Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:57 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Post by Rhythmosaur » Sun Mar 21, 2004 12:51 am

This guide was Rhythmosaur tested and approved.

Take some time for it, follow step by step, and - important - read every single line when you followed the link to projectAi. Most important links are kind of "hidden" in the text so you would not get them by skipping.

I followed these - respectively ricktobin's - instructions and have now:
- All default packages wich restructurize the default traffic
- Realistic GA callsigns depending on the county - a dream came true for me!
- Full german and argentinian traffic, more will be installed soon
- New default afcads and some of airports wich I highly frequent (CYYT, EDDM, EHAM, LIRA, LEBL...)
- I learned how to modify wich aircraft are used and managed to build in all MY aircraft
- I learned how to make AI flightplans
- Framerate IMPROVED instead of getting worse - despite from very busy airports. That was a big surprise for me.

These were my steps:
(this is intended as an example for what ricktobin wrote, it DOES NOT replace reading his contribution!!!)

1. Loaded down the projectAI installer and TTools
2. Loaded down and installed all default packages (despite the removers)
3. Loaded down and installed Airliners and Cargos from German and Argentinian companies.
4. Renamed and therefore deactivated the default traffic...bgl. If you do not, both will work and this could cause trouble.
5. Filled in some of my planes in the Aircraft_pai.txt (after decompiling the traffic_pai.bgl
6. Replaced some of the default traffic with these planes where they suited in the flightplans_pai.txt, and also deleted a few,
7. Recompiled the bgl.

What I skipped:
I just skipped - this was expressively allowed! - the part telling you how to make planes use a particular gate. It is not mandatory, but I will do this later.

Conclusion:

1. Don't be affraid to do this. I made it, so everybody can.
2. I highly recommend to read carefully.
3. TTools has some safety tests running before compiling, anyway, back up what ever you change.
4. It is not hard to do it, but it needs time, silence and patience. Don't expect to set all up within 5 minutes. Do it when you really got the time and no disturbing parents, little sisters or other pets :D around.
Concentrate!
5. After work is done, take a flight. Some changes in callsigns take a few minutes when you launch FS for the first time after installation of the respective package.
I paused the game right after runup and runned through all AI via CTR+W, but all had american registrations. Same as I changed location. Then frustratedly I started my flight to test another aircraft, and suddenly the first canadian callsign appeared...Jesus, since I first launched FS02 I dreamed of this!

and finally:

Tribute those who litterally spent tenthousands of hours in working this out, but give it away for free!

The Rhythmosaur

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Post by ricktobin » Sun Mar 21, 2004 1:57 am

I'm working on a few projects right now also...

At several of the airports the A/C are parked half inside the terminal, one example of many: Heathrow (EGLL), any A/C that parks at Gate T-12 parks with it's nose inside the terminal. Some of the A/C park to far back from the terminal buildings also.

It's a slow and monotonous process but it's coming along. I also finally completed all the editing work for all my aircraft.cfg files so all the cargo planes park on the cargo ramps and airlines park at their respective gates.

IF YOU WANT TO CHOOSE WHICH A/C TO REMOVE GO TO MY NEXT POST BELOW, if you want to remove all default A/C keep reading...

As Rhythmosaur stated above, you may run into a few problems along the way but they shouldn't be anything to difficult to fix. His example I believe was about the Trafficxxx.BGL file (xxx representing a #). TTools will add a Traffic_PAI.BGL file to your FS9/SCENERY/WORLD/SCENERY file in addition to your original file and it will create a copy of your file and call it Traffic_ORIGINAL.BGL, so you end up with 3 traffic.bgl files (Trafficxxx.bgl, Traffic_ORIGINAL.bgl, and Traffic_PAI.bgl). If you only want the new AI A/C flying around your airports, leave the Traffic_PAI.BGL file and remove the other two. Don't delete them just yet, cut and paste them somewhere you won't loose them or do as the instructions state and change the file extension to .LGB just in case you need them again later. I found this out when I had too many A/C and there wasn't anywhere for some to park because the default A/C were taking up the gates, and I think I had some flight plan problems also because of the default A/C.

I'll add more details and the results as I complete each project.
Last edited by ricktobin on Thu Apr 08, 2004 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by ricktobin » Thu Apr 08, 2004 9:12 pm

If you followed the instructions in my post above you will remove ALL default A/C. If you want to pick and choose which A/C to remove (I removed ALL default A/C with fake airline names (Soar, Pacifica, World...) and left a couple general aviation A/C) follow these instructions:

I'm assuming you've installed and are using TTools.

This is how I removed my default A/C, not sure if it's the easiest way but it worked for me.

Open up TTools and you should see in the TRAFFIC FILES column on the right, two files. Mine are Traffic030528.bgl and TrafficPAI.bgl. Decompile Traffic030528.bgl (or whatever your's is numbered).

Before you do anything else, make a new folder on your desktop, name it original traffic (or whatever you want) make a copy of each file that opened (Airport030528.txt Aircraft030528.txt and FlightPlans030528.txt) and save them in the folder you just created in case you need to undo what you're about to do.

Open up the Aircraft030528.txt file (should open with Notepad), these are the default A/C I deleted from my Aircraft030528.txt file. I left some general aviation A/C in there so I'd have some G.A. A/C flying around but removed every A/C that had a default airline name.

AC#4,477,"Boeing 737-400 Paint1"
AC#5,477,"Boeing 737-400 Paint2"
AC#6,477,"Boeing 737-400 Paint3"
AC#7,477,"Boeing 737-400 Paint4"
AC#8,505,"Boeing 747-400"
AC#9,505,"Boeing 747-400 Paint1"
AC#10,505,"Boeing 747-400 Paint2"
AC#11,505,"Boeing 747-400 Paint3"
AC#12,482,"Boeing 777-300"
AC#13,482,"Boeing 777-300 Paint1"
AC#14,482,"Boeing 777-300 Paint2"
AC#15,482,"Boeing 777-300 Paint3"
AC#16,143,"Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian"
AC#17,143,"Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian Paint1"
AC#18,143,"Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian Paint2"
AC#19,175,"Cessna Grand Caravan"
AC#20,175,"Cessna Grand Caravan Paint1"
AC#21,175,"Cessna Grand Caravan Paint2"
AC#29,55,"Curtiss Jenny"
AC#30,55,"Curtiss Jenny Barnstormer"
AC#31,55,"Curtiss Jenny Military"
AC#32,265,"de Havilland Dash 8-100"
AC#33,265,"de Havilland Dash 8-100 Paint1"
AC#34,265,"de Havilland Dash 8-100 Paint2"
AC#35,191,"de Havilland Comet Grosvenor House"
AC#36,191,"de Havilland Comet Black Magic"
AC#37,120,"Douglas DC-3"
AC#38,120,"Douglas DC-3 Paint1"
AC#39,120,"Douglas DC-3 Paint2"
AC#40,120,"Douglas DC-3 Paint3"
AC#41,95,"Ford 4-AT-E Tri-Motor"
AC#42,95,"World Travel Airlines Tri-Motor"
AC#43,95,"Emerald Harbor Air Tri-Motor"

Once you've deleted the A/C (it only deletes them from this text file not your FS) save the file. Now open up your FlightPlans030528.txt file and delete the flight plan for every A/C # you just deleted on the A/C .txt file.

EXAMPLE: If you deleted AC#1 through AC#10, delete the flight plans for AC#1 through AC#10 in the flight plans also.
BE CAREFUL that when you highlight the flightplans you want to delete, that you don't extend the highlight into a flightplan of an A/C you want to keep, this will cause problems when you attempt to re-compile the files.

Once you've deleted the flight plans, save the FlightPlans030528.txt file.
Deleting them in the flight plan is necessary because when you compile the files again using TTools, it would see the flight plans for the deleted AC and give an error message when it didn't find the A/C for those flights.

Now with TTools still open and the three ...030528.txt files highlighted click the COMPILE button, close TTools and go fly. You should have removed all default A/C and only have whatever A/C you left on the files appearing at your airports.

Exxman

Post by Exxman » Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:40 pm

Good stuff guyz!!

Yeah, it takes a lot of patience but it's worth it.

Now I have an airport full of fleets and planes from all over the world!!!

8)

Only problem is...takes me forever to get in line to taxi...thereby blowing more fuel...adding up costs...hehehe.

It's all good!

Exxman

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Post by golfracer5 » Thu Nov 11, 2004 6:54 am

ok now im reading all this and i dont understand any of it it is all forign to me is there any other easy i can set this up?

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Post by groundsquirrel » Thu Nov 11, 2004 12:40 pm

What has been described above is the easy way. There are a couple of payware traffic programs that will busy up your flight sim, but ultimately manual editing is far better. As to the aircraft parking into the buildings and such (there are a couple where the buildings are across the runway or out in the field), that has to do with the AFCAD files from some of the sites. Be careful of third party AFCAD files. They dont hurt the sim, but can be visually unappealing.

Thanks Rick for taking the time to put it all together.
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Post by golfracer5 » Thu Nov 11, 2004 6:13 pm

WELL I AM HAVING ONE PROBLEM WHEN DOWNLOADING AIRLINE PACKAGES ON PROJECTAI.COM WHEN IT IS FINISHED IT SAYS THAT THE FILE IS CORRUPT.

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Post by ricktobin » Thu Nov 11, 2004 7:01 pm

Would you post which packages you tried to download and I'll check them out.

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Post by golfracer5 » Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:33 pm

http://www.projectai.com/packages/downl ... fileid=182


Also is there anyone who live on the west ocast that would be willing to guide throung like on Im or on the phone i will pay for the long distance charges

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Post by ricktobin » Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:45 pm

Golfracer...I checked that file and had no problem with it here. I also downloaded a few of the new packages since I last visited their site and all downloaded and installed fine.

Did you try (and were you able) to download any other packages?

Do you have the PAI installer installed?

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Post by golfracer5 » Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:53 pm

i am currently installing the installer but dont know how it works or anything

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Post by ricktobin » Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:54 pm

I sent an email to PAI requesting info concerning your problem. Let me know the answers to the questions I asked in my post above...if all else fails, I'll try to e-mail you the file you're trying to download.


EDIT: Just saw your last post...your installing the installer, but you don't know how it works. Read the "READ-ME" file and any other documentation that comes with it. It's pretty simple and doesn't take long to do. Let me know if you need more help.

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Post by golfracer5 » Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:59 pm

ok i installed it and went to open it and it said fatal erroe during instalation

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Post by ricktobin » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:05 am

Are all 7 of these .dll files located in the same file as the installer?

WD70IMG.DLL, WD70MAT.DLL, WD70OBJ.DLL, WD70STD.DLL, WD70VM.DLL, WD75HF.DLL, WD75SQL.DLL

Did you click on the PAI installer icon and then you got the "fatal error" message?

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Post by golfracer5 » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:10 am

yes i got the message when i clicked the icon and how do i put those 7 files in its folder

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Post by golfracer5 » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:20 am

ok i think i got it. when i go to download the planes i save them into the pav25 file?

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Post by ricktobin » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:22 am

When you downloaded the PAI installer, the 7 .dll files were included and shoud be in the same folder as the installer icon, or one of the folders in the whole package you downloaded. If not, copy and paste to the same folder the PAI installer is in.

When you download a PAI official package, open it and find the file that has the PAI logo on it (PAI Install - "AIRLINE NAME"), copy and paste it into the folder that the installer is in, and then click on the installer. If you arranged all the previous files correctly, the installer will start and you'll have to answer a couple of questions along the way to installing the package.

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Post by golfracer5 » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:24 am

well when i download them and unzipp them an adobe photoshop logo appears.

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Post by ricktobin » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:24 am

Save them in the FS9/Aircraft folder...check the box for "make invisible" when that option comes up in the install process if you don't want to see them in the FS Aircraft Select Menu. You can't fly them, so there's no need to really see them in this menu.

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Post by ricktobin » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:29 am

Ok, you need to associate that file with the PAI installer...right click the file and select "open with"...click the browse button and browse to the location of the PAI installer...when you get to it, click the PAI installer icon in the "open with" window and that should change the Adobe icon to a PAI icon...then go back and do what I said...put the file into the same folder as the PAI installer and then click the installer button.

If you have only one PAI file in the installer folder, the installer will start automatically. If you have more than one PAI file in there, it'll open a window and you must select which file (package) you want to install.

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Post by golfracer5 » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:37 am

man i just might as well forget it cause im never going to figure this out unless i can have someone guide me through it on the phone or soemthing

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Post by ricktobin » Fri Nov 12, 2004 12:38 am

Oh, I forgot...you got the "fatal error" message when you clicked the PAI installer icon because the installer looked for a package to install and it didn't find one. Follow the info above and it should work ok.

Let me know how it goes.

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