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Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004:

A Century of Flight
Software Development Kit
Aircraft Container System
February 2004

Aircraft Container SDK Overview ............................................................................................................. 1


File hierarchy................................................................................................................................................ 2
The aircraft.cfg file....................................................................................................................................... 3
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................ 3
Testing Changes to aircraft.cfg .................................................................................................................. 3
Configuration sets and their [fltsim. ] sections ......................................................................................... 4
[General] section ....................................................................................................................................... 7
[forcefeedback] section .............................................................................................................................. 8
Stick shaker parameters .......................................................................................................................... 8
Gear bump parameters............................................................................................................................ 9
Ground bumps parameters...................................................................................................................... 9
Crash parameters .................................................................................................................................. 10
[Reference_Speeds] section...................................................................................................................... 10
[flight_tuning] section .............................................................................................................................. 11
Flight control effectiveness parameters ................................................................................................ 11
Stability parameters .............................................................................................................................. 11
Lift parameter ....................................................................................................................................... 12
High Angle of Attack parameters ......................................................................................................... 12
Propeller-induced turning effect parameters......................................................................................... 12
Drag parameters.................................................................................................................................... 13
[weight_and_balance] section ................................................................................................................. 13
Moments of Inertia ............................................................................................................................... 16
[fuel] section............................................................................................................................................. 17
[GeneralEngineData] section .................................................................................................................. 17
[piston_engine] section ............................................................................................................................ 18
[propeller] section.................................................................................................................................... 20
[TurbineEngineData] section................................................................................................................... 22
[jet_engine] section .................................................................................................................................. 23
[turboprop_engine] section...................................................................................................................... 23
[contact_points] section ........................................................................................................................... 23
[gear_warning_system] section ............................................................................................................... 26
[brakes] section ........................................................................................................................................ 27
[airplane_geometry] section .................................................................................................................... 27
[flaps.n] section........................................................................................................................................ 30
[electrical] section.................................................................................................................................... 31
[pitot_static] section................................................................................................................................. 34
[exits] section ........................................................................................................................................... 35
[views] section.......................................................................................................................................... 35

[lights] section.......................................................................................................................................... 35
[keyboard] section.................................................................................................................................... 36
[radios] section ........................................................................................................................................ 37
[smokesystem] section .............................................................................................................................. 37
[effects] section ........................................................................................................................................ 37
[hydraulic_system] section....................................................................................................................... 38
[stall_warning] section ............................................................................................................................ 39
[direction_indicators] section .................................................................................................................. 39
[attitude_indicators] section .................................................................................................................... 39
[turn_indicators] section.......................................................................................................................... 39
[airspeed_indicators] section................................................................................................................... 40
[autopilot] section .................................................................................................................................... 40
Helicopter specific sections ........................................................................................................................ 45
[helicopter] section .................................................................................................................................. 45
[fuselage_aerodynamics] section ............................................................................................................. 48
[MainRotor] section ................................................................................................................................. 48
[SecondaryRotor] section......................................................................................................................... 49
The kneeboard content files....................................................................................................................... 50
Creating or modifying the Checklist and Reference pages....................................................................... 51
The panel.cfg file......................................................................................................................................... 51
The model.cfg file ....................................................................................................................................... 51
Introduction .............................................................................................................................................. 51
[models] section ....................................................................................................................................... 51
The sound.cfg file........................................................................................................................................ 52
Introduction .............................................................................................................................................. 52
[fltsim] section.......................................................................................................................................... 52
[sound_engine] section ............................................................................................................................ 53
[sound_engine] parameters for jet aircraft............................................................................................ 53
[sound_engine] parameters for turboprop aircraft ................................................................................ 54
[sound_engine] parameters for piston aircraft ...................................................................................... 55
Specific engine sound sections (sound lists) ............................................................................................. 56
[wind_sound] section ............................................................................................................................... 57
Ground sound sections ............................................................................................................................. 59
Other sound sections ................................................................................................................................ 61

ii

The Texture folder...................................................................................................................................... 63


Using aliasing .............................................................................................................................................. 64
An example ............................................................................................................................................... 64

iii

Aircraft Container SDK Overview


The Aircraft Container system organizes Flight Simulator aircraft files and attributes so that most
aircraft-related files are located close together. This logical and consistent organization makes
the files easy to customize. This document includes the following sections:

File hierarchy
Provides an overview of the aircraft container systems organizational structure.

The aircraft.cfg file


Explains the structure of and parameters in an aircrafts aircraft.cfg file, including the use
of configuration sets that enable components to be shared among several aircraft.

The kneeboard content files


Explains the structure of the files that populate the tabs of the kneeboard, and how to
customize them.

The panel.cfg file


Provides a brief description of an aircrafts panel.cfg file.

The model.cfg file


Explains the structure of and parameters in an aircrafts model.cfg file

The sound.cfg file


Explains the structure of and parameters in an aircrafts sound.cfg file

The Texture folder


Describes the contents of an aircrafts Texture folder.

Using Aliasing
Explains how to use aliasing to avoid file duplication by sharing components among
several aircraft.

Important Notes:

This SDK documents the aircraft container system and related files as implemented in
Flight Simulator 2004. Not all of the features and functionality described here are
backward-compatible with aircraft from earlier versions of Flight Simulator and Combat
Flight Simulator.

This document contains information on how to modify and share components among
existing aircraft. It does not explain how to create new aircraft.

The .cfg files referenced in this document are simple text files (configuration files with
a .cfg extension) and can be viewed and edited using any text editor, such as Microsoft
Notepad. They can be found in the appropriate aircraft subfolders of the FS9\Aircraft
folder. To become more familiar with the structure and syntax used in .cfg files, you
should view actual files as you read this document. These files should be modified only
and with caution--by experienced developers, as changes could render aircraft
inoperable.

The information included in this SDK is not supported by Microsoft Product Support.

File hierarchy
The aircraft container system organizes aircraft-related files and folders in a hierarchical and
consistent way and mirrors the way the files interact with one another. An aircraft container is
simply an aircraft folder within the FS9\Aircraft folder. Each aircraft folder (e.g., B737_400,
Lear45, C182) contains:

aircraft.cfg Specifies which model, panel, sound, texture, and kneeboard components to
use, as well as certain aircraft-specific parameters.

aircraftname.air Contains the aircrafts flight model.

aircraftname_check.htm Provides aircraft-specific text for the Checklists tab of the


kneeboard.

aircraftname_ref.htm Provides aircraft-specific text for the Reference tab of the


kneeboard.

Model folder Contains the model.cfg file that specifies the visual models to render
during normal flight and during a crash, as well as the visual model color scheme. Also
contains the .mdl visual model files.

Panel folder Contains the panel.cfg file that defines the layout of an aircrafts
instrument panels and view parameters. Also contains associated .bmp files. (For detailed
information about panels, see the Panels SDK.)

Sound folder Contains the sound.cfg file that describes the aircrafts sounds and the
initial, minimum, and maximum volume associated with each sound. Also contains
associated .wav files.

Texture folder Contains textures (.bmp files) used in the presentation of the aircrafts
visual model.

Note that through aliasing, more than one aircraft can access and use the same panel, model, and
sound .cfg files (and hence the same panel, model, and sound component files) without copying
the files to all the aircraft containers. For more information, see Using Aliasing later in this
document.

The aircraft.cfg file


Introduction
The aircraft.cfg file represents the highest level of organization within an aircraft container. Each
aircraft has its own aircraft.cfg file located in its container (aircraft folder). For example, the
Cessna 182S aircraft.cfg can be found at
drive:\..\FS9\Aircraft\C182\aircraft.cfg
The aircraft.cfg file specifies the versions of the aircraft included in the aircraft container, as well
as the attributes (name, color, sound, panels, gauges, and so on) for each aircraft and where to
find the files that define those attributes.
Within the aircraft.cfg file there are a number of sections. Brackets enclosing the section name
identify the various sections. In order for Flight Simulator to make proper use of any variable, it
is important that the variable be located in the correct section. While exact spelling is important,
none of the terms is case-sensitive.

Testing Changes to aircraft.cfg


To see the effects of a change, the aircraft must be reloaded. Aircraft are loaded into the memory
cache from disk, so you have to flush the cache to enable your changes to be reflected in-game.
This involves a couple steps:
1. Configure a key command to Reload User Aircraft. Set up a key command to reload
your aircraft from within the simulation. Go to Settings, Controls Assignments, and
scroll down to the Reload User Aircraft event. By default, its unassigned. Use
Change Assignment to configure a keystroke combination for this event. Once
assigned, you can use this key command to reload the aircraft within the simulation.
2. Turn off AI Traffic in the game. AI traffic aircraft are maintained in the cache and even if
you update the aircraft youre currently piloting, if the same aircraft is being used by AI
traffic, then your cache wont get updated automatically by simply reloading the plane.
So to ensure your aircraft is reloaded from disk, you must also go to the Settings Screen,
choose Traffic, and set the Air Traffic Density slider all the way to the left to 0%.
Now you can test changes made to aircraft.cfg within the game by using the Reload User
Aircraft key command.

Any errors made in creating or editing the aircraft.cfg file will show up, along with the following
error messages, while an aircraft is being loaded. The error messages are listed in order; that is,
the first error message represents an error early in the aircraft-loading process.
Error Message
Aircraft initialization
failure.
Failed to start up the
flight model.
This is not a Flight
Simulator aircraft model.
Visual model could not be
displayed.

Description
Indicates that some essential files are missing from the aircraft
container. If the files are missing, the aircraft wouldn't usually be
displayed in the Select Aircraft dialog box; as a result, this error is
rare.
The .air file was not loaded successfully.
The visual model (.mdl) file for this aircraft is not compatible with
Flight Simulator
An error occurred while loading the visual model (.mdl) file.

The following sections detail each bracketed aircraft.cfg section and its associated parameters. As
you read, you should look at actual aircraft.cfg files to become more familiar with the structure
and syntax of them. They can be found in the individual aircraft containers, and viewed using
any text editor.

Configuration sets and their [fltsim. ] sections


Each [fltsim. ] section of an aircraft.cfg file represents a different version (configuration) of
the aircraft, and is known as a configuration set. Configuration sets allow a single aircraft
container to represent several aircraft, and allow those aircraft to share components.
If there is only one section (labeled [fltsim.0]), it is because there is only one configuration set
in that aircraft container. If there is more than one configuration set (labeled [fltsim.0],
[fltsim.1], [fltsim.2], and so on), each one refers to a different version of the aircraft.
For instance, there are five versions of the Cessna 182, all housed in the same C182 aircraft
container (folder). Each version has its own [fltsim. ] section. The various versions must
vary by their title, and may also vary other items such as the panel, description, or sounds.
While these configuration sets share many components, they can each use different panels. The
panel lines in the respective [fltsim. ] sections thus refer to the respective panel folder for
each aircraft: For example, the panel= parameter in the [fltsim.1] section is panel=ifr
means that this version of the C182 uses the panel files in the panel.ifr subfolder.
When creating and referencing multiple model, panel, sound, and texture directories, use the
naming convention foldername.extension, where the extension is a unique identifier for that
configuration set (e.g., .ifr). To refer to the folder from the relevant parameter in the aircraft.cfg
file, just specify extension (e.g., panel=ifr). If a parameter isn't explicitly set (as in the
[fltsim.1] section in the example above), it automatically refers to the default (extension-less)
folder.

The parameters in each configuration set can refer to the same files, to different files, or to a mix
of files. While using different panels, all Cessna configurations use the same sounds, and thus the
sound parameters in all three [fltsim. ] sections point to the single sound folder in the C182
folder.
Each aircraft defined by a configuration set will appear as a separate listing in the Select Aircraft
dialog box. The fact that multiple aircraft share some components is hidden from the user.
From a users perspective, they are distinct aircraft (just as if all the common files were
duplicated and included in three distinct aircraft containers). From a developers perspective, the
aircraft are really just different configuration sets of the same aircraft. Because they share some
files, they make much more efficient use of disk space.
Within each [fltsim. ] section are parameters that define the details of that particular
configuration set:
Parameter
title

Example
title= Cessna Skylane 182S

sim

sim= Cessna182S

model
panel
sound
texture
kb_checklists

model=
panel=
sound=
Texture=
kb_checklists=
Cessna182S_check

kb_reference

kb_reference= Cessna182S_ref

atc_id

atc_id= N700MS

atc_id_color

atc_id_color=0xc6eff7ff

Description
The title of the aircraft that will appear in the
Select Aircraft dialog.
Specifies which .air (flight model) file
(located in the aircraft folder) to use.
Specifies which model folder to reference.
Specifies which panel folder to reference.
Specifies which sound folder to reference.
Specifies which texture folder to reference.
Specifies which _check.txt file (located in
the aircraft folder) to use on the Checklists
tab of the kneeboard.
Specifies which _ref.txt file (located in the
aircraft folder) to use on the Reference tab
of the kneeboard.
The tail number displayed on the exterior of
the aircraft. This parameter can also be
edited from the Select Aircraft dialog (if the
atc_id_enable parameter is set to 1). Not
applicable to imported Flight Simulator 98
or Combat Flight Simulator aircraft. .
(Note: custom tail numbers burned into
textures will not be modified by this).
Specifies, in RGB hexadecimal, the color of
the tail number. The first two characters
following the 0x specify the red value in
hex, the second two characters the green,
and the third set the blue. The final two
characters are unused. Each value can be
between 0 ff hex, which is 0 to 255
decimal. (Note: custom tail numbers
burned into textures will not be modified by
this).

atc_id_font

atc_id_font =
Verdana,-11,1,600,0

atc_parking_types

atc_parking_types=CARGO,RAMP

atc_parking_codes

atc_parking_codes=AAL

atc_heavy

atc_heavy=1

atc_airline

atc_airline=Global
Freightways

atc_flight_number

atc_flight_number=1123

ui_manufacturer

ui_manufacturer = Cessna

ui_type

ui_type = C182S Skylane

ui_variation

ui_variation = White with


blue and purple

Specifies how the tail number is displayed


on the aircraft. The first field specifies the
font. The second is the relative height of
the tail number characters. The third field
should be 1, indicating to use your systems
default character set. The fourth field
represents the relative heaviness of the
characters. The final field is a flag that
specifies the characters to be italicized.
The example shown is the default used in
FS. (Note: custom tail numbers burned into
textures will not be modified by this).
Specifies the preferred parking for this
aircraft, used by ATC. If this line is omitted,
ATC will determine parking according to the
type of aircraft and parking available. If
multiple values are listed, preference will be
given in the order in which they are listed.
The valid values may be one or more of the
following: RAMP, CARGO, GATE, DOCK,
MIL_CARGO, MIL_COMBAT.
Specifies an ICAO airline designation so
that ATC can direct the aircraft to a gate
that has also been designated specifically
for that same airline (e.g. AAL for American
Airlines). Documentation on specifying
parking spaces can be found in the
Scenery Facilities Database document.
Setting this flag to 1 will result in the ATC
system appending the phrase heavy to
the aircrafts callsign.
The ATC system will use the specified
airline name with this aircraft. This is
dependant on ATC recognizing the name.
ATC will treat this aircraft as an airliner
when this is used in conjunction with
atc_flight_number. Refer to the ATC
Voicepack SDK for more information.
The ATC system will use this number as
part of the aircrafts callsign. ATC will treat
this aircraft as an airliner when this is used
in conjunction with atc_airline. Refer to the
ATC Voicepack SDK for more information.
This value identifies the manufacturer subcategory used to group aircraft in the
select aircraft dialog inside FS.
This value identifies the type sub-category
used to group aircraft in the select aircraft
dialog inside FS.
This value identifies the variation subcategory used to group aircraft in the
select aircraft dialog inside FS.

description

visual_damage

description=When Cessna saw


how well their Model 180 was
selling, they looked for a
way to make it an even
bigger success\s the answer
was the Model 182. The
Cessna 182 Skylane feels and
acts like a heavier, more
powerful version of its
sibling, the 172 Skyhawk.
The airplane is a workhorse
and a stable platform for
flying on instruments. Even
with a full tank, the 182
carries a family-size useful
load and performs admirably
as an aerial sport utility
vehicle.
visual_damage=0

The aircraft description can be modified to


say whatever you like about the aircraft.
This information will be displayed in the
description box inside FS when the
aircraft is selected. (The \s is used to
produce a semicolon ( ; ) punctuation mark
within the in-game description.)

Setting this flag to 1 enables visual


damage (e.g. parts breaking off) to be seen
when crashing the aircraft into the scenery.
Note: visual damage will only work if it is
built into the aircrafts .mdl file.

[General] section
In addition to the [fltsim. ] sections, the [General] section contains information related to ALL
variations of the aircraft. For example, the Cessna 182RG, 182S, and 182S IFR are all the same
TYPE of aircraft, and in actuality, all contain the same flight model. As such, there are some
things that are NOT variable across variations:
Parameter
atc_type

Example
atc_type = Cessna

atc_model

atc_model = C182

editable

editable = 0

Description
This is the specific aircraft type that the ATC
system recognizes for this type of aircraft.
This is the specific aircraft model that the ATC
system recognizes for this type of aircraft.
Determines whether the aircraft can be edited
using the Flight Simulator Aircraft Editor
application. When set to 0, the aircraft will be
read-only in the editor and a copy will have to be
made for editing. When set to 1, the aircraft will
be editable.

performance

performance=Maximum
Speed\t\n145 kts
167 mph\t269
km\/h\n\nCruise
Speed\t\n140 kts
161 mph \t259
km\/h\n\nEngine\t\nTextron
Lycoming IO-540-AB1A5
230
hp\n\nPropeller\t\nThreebladed McCauley constant
speed\n\nMaximum
Range\t\n968 nm
1,114 sm \t1,793
km\n\nService
Ceiling\t\n18,100 ft \t
5,517 m\n\nFuel
Capacity\t\n92 U.S. gal
348 L \n\nEmpty
Weight\t\n1,910 lb \t
866 kg\n\nMaximum Gross
Weight\t\n3,110 lb \t
1,411 kg\n\nLength\t\n29
ft\t
8.84
m\n\nWingspan\t\n36 ft\t
11 m\n\nHeight\t\n9 ft\t
2.77 m\n\nSeating\t\nUp to
4 \n\nUseful Load\t\n1,200
lb \t
544 kg

The performance description for the aircraft can


now be edited. The \t is a tab character, and
the \n is a new-line character. As the flight
model for all variations is the same, the
performance of each variation should also be
identical.

[forcefeedback] section
As detailed in the tables below, the parameters in the [forcefeedback] section of an aircraft.cfg
file define the forces generated by that aircraft in the users Force Feedback Joystick, so that
different aircraft can have different force effects (a different "feel" in the stick).

Stick shaker parameters


These parameters define the simulated stick shaker force felt in the stick or yoke when flying an
aircraft equipped with a stick shaker (such as the Learjet 45).
Parameter
stick_shaker_magnitude
stick_shaker_direction

Example (from Lear45


aircraft.cfg)
stick_shaker_magnitude=5000
stick_shaker_direction=0

Data
type
Integer
Integer

stick_shaker_period

stick_shaker_period=111111

Integer

Range
010000
035999
degrees
02^32-1
microseconds

Gear bump parameters


These parameters define the simulated forces transferred from the airframe and gear drag to the
stick or yoke when the aircrafts nose and main landing gear is raised or lowered (cycled). In
fixed-gear aircraft this effect won't be felt because, by definition, the landing gear doesn't move.
Different aircraft have different gear geometries that result in each of the gear mechanisms
starting and ending its cycle at a different time. The timing deltas are brief, typically less than a
second between the time that each gear starts and ends its cycle.
Parameter

Example (from Lear45 aircraft.cfg)

gear_bump_nose_magnitude
gear_bump_nose_direction

gear_bump_nose_magnitude=3000
gear_bump_nose_direction=18000

Data
type
Integer
Integer

gear_bump_nose_duration

gear_bump_nose_duration=250000

Integer

gear_bump_left_magnitude
gear_bump_left_direction

gear_bump_left_magnitude=2700
gear_bump_left_direction=9000

Integer
Integer

gear_bump_left_duration

gear_bump_left_duration=250000

Integer

gear_bump_right_magnitude
gear_bump_right_direction

gear_bump_right_magnitude=2700
gear_bump_right_direction=27000

Integer
Integer

gear_bump_right_duration

gear_bump_right_duration=250000

Integer

Range
010000
035999
degrees
02^32-1
microseconds
010000
035999
degrees
02^32-1
microseconds
010000
035999
degrees
02^32-1
microseconds

Ground bumps parameters


These parameters collectively define a composite force that simulates the forces felt through an
aircraft's ground steering controls as the aircraft travels over an uneven surface. The parameters
are divided into two subgroups (numbered 1 and 2), and define the behavior of two distinct
forces. The combination of the two forces (1 and 2), define a composite force that is transferred
to the stick or yoke. The two forces are both sinusoidal periodic forces, with frequencies
determined by the following linear equation:
frequency = (ground_bumps_slope * aircraft_ground_speed) + ground_bumps_intercept
The ground_bumps_magnitude parameters set the magnitude of the force. The
ground_bumps_angle parameters set the direction from which the force is felt.
Parameter

Example (from Lear45 aircraft.cfg)

ground_bumps_magnitude1
ground_bumps_angle1

ground_bumps_magnitude1=1300
ground_bumps_angle1=08900

ground_bumps_intercept1

ground_bumps_intercept1=3.0

Data
type
Integer
Integer
Floatingpoint

Range
010000
035999
degrees
01000000.0
cycles per
second

ground_bumps_slope1

ground_bumps_slope1=0.20

Floatingpoint

ground_bumps_magnitude2
ground_bumps_angle2

ground_bumps_magnitude2=200
ground_bumps_angle2=09100

Integer
Integer

ground_bumps_intercept2

ground_bumps_intercept2=1.075

Floatingpoint

ground_bumps_slope2

ground_bumps_slope2=0.035

Floatingpoint

01000000.0
cycles per
second
010000
035999
degrees
01000000.0
cycles per
second
01000000.0
cycles per
second

Crash parameters
These parameters define the simulated forces felt in the stick or yoke when the aircraft crashes.
The parameters are divided into two subgroups (numbered 1 and 2), and define the behavior of
two distinct crash-induced forces. The first force is a constant force that lasts for 0.5 seconds.
After 0.5 seconds, it stops and the second force starts. The second force is a periodic square wave
force; its amplitude declines linearly to 0.
Parameter
crash_magnitude1

Example (from Lear45


aircraft.cfg)
crash_magnitude1=10000

crash_direction1

crash_direction1=01000

crash_magnitude2

crash_magnitude2=10000

crash_direction2

crash_direction2=9000

crash_period2

crash_period2=75000

crash_duration2

crash_duration2=2500000

Description
Sets the magnitude of
the first force.
Sets the direction from
which first force is felt.
Sets the initial
magnitude of the
second force.
Sets the direction from
which the second
force is felt.
Determines the
frequency (frequency
= 1/period) of the
second crash force.
Sets the amount of
time that the second
crash force is felt.

Data
type
Integer

Range

Integer

035999
degrees
010000

Integer

010000

Integer

035999
degrees

Integer

02^32-1
microseconds

Integer

02^32-1
microseconds

[Reference_Speeds] section
The values given in this section are also included mainly for use in FSEDIT. However, you may
modify these values by hand, but you are unlikely to see any affects on the aircraft behavior
without running FSEDIT.

10

Parameter
flaps_up_stall_speed

Example
flaps_up_stall_speed = 54.0

full_flaps_stall_speed

full_flaps_stall_speed = 43.2

cruise_speed

cruise_speed = 140.0

max_indicated_speed

max_indicated_speed=175

max_mach

max_mach=0.9

Description
Stall speed of the aircraft in a clean
(flaps up) configuration at standard
sea level conditions, (Knots True
Airspeed, KTAS).
Stall speed of the aircraft in a dirty
(flaps full down) configuration at
standard sea level conditions,
(Knots True Airspeed, KTAS).
Typical cruise speed of the aircraft
in a clean (flaps up) configuration at
a typical cruise altitude, (Knots True
Airspeed, KTAS).
Maximum design indicated
airspeed. Also referred to as Never
Exceed Speed or Red Line of the
aircraft, (Knots Indicated Airspeed)
Maximum design mach of the
aircraft. This generally only applies
to turbine airplanes.

[flight_tuning] section
Flight control effectiveness parameters
The following parameters are multipliers on the default "power" of the control surfaces. For
example, a value of 1.1 increases the effectiveness by 10 percent. Likewise, a value of 0.9
decreases the effectiveness by 10 percent. A negative number reverses the normal effect of the
control. Omission of a parameter results in Flight Simulator defaulting to a value of 1.0.
Note: elevator_effectiveness, aileron_effectiveness, and rudder_effectiveness are
adjustable using the Flight Simulator Aircraft Editor.
Parameter
elevator_effectiveness
aileron_effectiveness
rudder_effectiveness
elevator_trim_effectiveness
aileron_trim_effectiveness
rudder_trim_effectiveness

Example (from C182 aircraft.cfg)


elevator_effectiveness=1.0
aileron_effectiveness=1.0
rudder_effectiveness=1.0
elevator_trim_effectiveness=1.0
aileron_trim_effectiveness=1.0
rudder_trim_effectiveness=1.0

Aerodynamic term
Cmde
Clda
Cndr
Cmdetr
Cldatr
Cndrtr

Stability parameters
The following parameters are multipliers on the default stability (damping effect) about the
corresponding axis of the airplane. For example, a value of 1.1 increases the damping by 10%.
Likewise, a value of 0.9 decreases the damping by 10%. A negative number results in an
unstable characteristic about the axis. A positive damping effect is simply a moment in the

11

direction opposite of the rotational velocity. Omission of a parameter will result in Flight
Simulator defaulting to a value of 1.0.
Note: These three parameters are adjustable using the Flight Simulator Aircraft Editor
Application.
Parameter
pitch_stability
roll_stability
yaw_stability

Example
pitch_stability=1.0
roll_stability=1.0
yaw_stability=1.0

Aerodynamic term
Cmq
Clp
Cnr

Lift parameter
The following parameter is a multiplier on the coefficient of lift at zero angle of attack ("cruise
lift" in this context refers to the lift at relatively small angles of attack, which is typical for an
airplane in a cruise condition). This scaling is decreased linearly as angle of attack moves toward
the critical (stall) angle of attack, which prevents destabilizing low speed and stall characteristics
at high angles of attack. Modify this value to set the angle of attack (and thus pitch) for a cruise
condition. A negative value is not advised, as this will result in extremely unnatural flight
characteristics. Omission of this parameter will result in Flight Simulator defaulting to a value of
1.0.
Note: This parameter is adjustable using the Flight Simulator Aircraft Editor Application.
Parameter

Example

cruise_lift_scalar

cruise_lift_scalar=1.0

Aerodynamic term for


parameter
CL0

High Angle of Attack parameters


The following parameters are multipliers on the effects on roll and yaw at high angles of attack.
The default values are 1.0.
Parameter
hi_alpha_on_roll
hi_alpha_on_yaw

Example
hi_alpha_on_roll=1.0
hi_alpha_on_yaw=1.0

Propeller-induced turning effect parameters


The following parameters are multipliers on the effects induced by rotating propellers These are
often called left turning tendencies for clockwise rotating propellers, although MSFS
automatically handles counter-clockwise rotating propellers. The default values are 1.0.
Parameter
p_factor_on_yaw
torque_on_roll

Example
p_factor_on_yaw=1.0
torque_on_roll=1.0

12

gyro_precession_on_roll
gyro_precession_on_yaw

gyro_precession_on_roll=1.0
gyro_precession_on_yaw=1.0

Drag parameters
Drag is the aerodynamic force that determines the aircraft speed and acceleration. There are two
basic types of drag that the user can adjust here. Parasitic drag is composed of two basic
elements: form drag, which results from the interference of streamlined airflow, and skin friction.
Parasite drag increases as airspeed increases. Induced drag results from the production of lift.
Induced drag increases as angle of attack increases.
The following parameters are multipliers on the two respective drag coefficients. For example, a
value of 1.1 increases the respective drag component by 10 percent. A value of 0.9 decreases the
drag by 10 Percent. Negative values are not advised, as extremely unnatural flight characteristics
will result. Omission of a parameter results in Flight Simulator defaulting to a value of 1.0.
Note: These two parameters are adjustable using the Flight Simulator Aircraft Editor
Application.
Parameter
parasite_drag_scalar
induced_drag_scalar

Example (from C182


aircraft.cfg)
parasite_drag_scalar=1.0
induced_drag_scalar=1.0

Aerodynamic term for


parameter
Cd0
Cdi

[weight_and_balance] section
The weight and center of gravity of the aircraft can be affected through the following parameters.
The sign convention for positions is positive equals longitudinally forward, laterally to the right,
and vertically upward.
Note: In the stock aircraft, the station_load.0, 1, etc. parameters are enclosed in quotation marks.
These are used by internal language translation tools, and are not necessary for in-game use.
Parameter
max_gross_weight

Example
max_gross_weight =
3110

13

Units / format
pounds

Description
Maximum design gross
weight of the aircraft.
This parameter is used
solely in FSEDIT to help
determine the
aerodynamic
coefficients.

empty_weight

empty_weight=1810

pounds

reference_datum_position

reference_datum_posi
tion= 3.6, 0, 0

feet,feet,feet

empty_weight_CG_position

empty_weight_CG_posi
tion= -3.0, 0, 0

feet,feet,feet

14

Total weight (in pounds)


of the aircraft minus
usable fuel, passengers,
cargo, and expendable
armament (Combat
Flight Simulator aircraft).
If not specified, the value
previously set in the .air
file will be used.
Offset (in feet) of the
aircraft's reference
datum from the standard
Flight Simulator center
point, which is on the
centerline chord aft of
the leading edge. By
setting the Reference
Datum Position, actual
aircraft loading data can
be used directly
according to the
aircraft's manufacturer. If
not specified, the default
is 0,0,0 (Flight
Simulator's default
center).
Offset (in feet) of the
center of gravity of the
basic empty aircraft (no
fuel, passengers, or
baggage) from the
Reference Datum
Position.

station_load.0

station_load.0=170,
-3.0, -1.5,
0.0,Pilot

pounds,feet,
feet,feet

station_load.1

station_load.1=170,
-3.0, 1.5, 0.0,
Front Passenger
station_load.2=160,
-6.2, -1.5, 0.0,Rear
Passenger
max_number_of_statio
ns=50

pounds,feet,fee
t,feet

station_load.2
max_number_of_stations

15

Specifies the weight and


position of passengers
or payload at a station
specified with a unique
number, station_load.N.
The first parameter
number on each line
specifies the weight (in
pounds), followed by the
offset (in feet) of the
station (longitudinal,
lateral, and vertical) from
the Reference Datum
Position. The addition of
stations results in a
corresponding change in
aircraft flight dynamics
due to the change of the
total weight and
moments of inertia. The
final field is the string
name that is used in the
Payload dialog (15
character limit).
Omission of this will
result in a generic
station name being
used.
Same as above

pounds,feet,fee
t,feet

Same as above

number

Max Number of Stations


specifies the maximum
number of stations Flight
Simulator will calculate
when the aircraft is
loaded. This allows an
unlimited number of
stations to be specified.
Note that an excessively
large number here
results in a longer load
time for the aircraft when
selected, although there
is no effect on real-time
performance.

Moments of Inertia
A moment of inertia (MOI) defines the mass distribution about an axis of an aircraft. A moment
of inertia for a particular axis is increased as mass is increased and/or as the given mass is
distributed farther from the axis. This is largely what determines the inertial characteristics of the
aircraft.
The following weight and balance parameters define the MOIs of the empty aircraft, meaning
that the value should not reflect fuel, passengers, baggage, or expendable armament (Combat
Flight Simulator aircraft). Flight Simulator determines the total MOIs with these influences
within the simulation. The units are slug - ft^2. Omission of a parameter will result in Flight
Simulator defaulting to the value set in the .air file, if one exists.
Parameter
empty_weight_pitch_MOI

Example
empty_weight_pitch_MOI=1400.0

empty_weight_roll_MOI

empty_weight_roll_MOI=1137.0

empty_weight_yaw_MOI

empty_weight_yaw_MOI=2360.0

empty_weight_coupled_MOI

empty_weight_coupled_MOI = 0.0

Description
The moment of inertia
(MOI) about the lateral
axis.
The moment of inertia
(MOI) about the
longitudinal axis.
The moment of inertia
(MOI) about the vertical
axis.
The moment of inertia
(MOI) about the roll and
yaw axis (usually zero).

These values can be estimated with the following formula:


MOI = EmptyWeight * (D^2 / K)
Where:
D=
K=

Pitch
Length (feet)
810

Roll
Wingspan (feet)
1870

Yaw
0.5* (Length+Wingspan)
770

This formula yields only rough estimates. Actual values vary based on aircraft material, installed
equipment, and number of engines and their positions.

16

[fuel] section
This section defines the characteristics of the fuel system, including the tanks, fuel type, and the number
of fuel selectors. The maximum number of selectors supported is 2. This value is intended to match the
number of visual selectors on the instrument panel.
Parameter
Center1
Center2
Center3
LeftMain
LeftAux
LeftTip
RightMain
RightAux
RightTip
External1
External2

Example (from C182


aircraft.cfg)
LeftMain = -3.85, -2.10, 2.50,
46.0, 0.00
RightMain= -3.85, 2.10, 2.50,
46.0, 0.00

fuel_type

fuel_type=1

number_of_tank_selectors

number_of_tank_selectors=1

electric_pump

electric_pump = 1

Units

Description

Feet,
Gallons

The
longitudinal,
lateral, and
vertical position
of the tank.
Next are the
usable and
unusable
capacities of
the tanks.

1 Avgas, 2
JetA
Number of fuel
tank selectors
(max 4
should be less
than or equal to
number of
engines).
Boolean that
sets whether
an electric
boost pump is
available, 0 =
FALSE, 1 =
TRUE.

[GeneralEngineData] section
Every type of aircraft, even a glider, should have this section in the aircraft.cfg file. Basically, this section
describes the type of engine, the number of engines, where the engines are located, and a fuel flow
scalar to modify how much fuel the engine requires to produce the calculated power.
Parameter
engine_type

Example
engine_type = 0

engine.0
engine.1
engine.2
engine.3

engine.0 = 2.4, 0..0, 0.0

17

Description
Integer that identifies what type of
engine is on the aircraft. 0 = piston,
1 = Jet, 2 = None, 3 = Helo-turbine,
4 = Rocket.
Offset (in feet) of the engine from the
Reference Datum Position
(longitudinal, lateral and vertical).
Each engine location specified
increases the engine count
(maximum of four engines allowed).

fuel_flow_scalar

fuel_flow_scalar = 1.0

min_throttle_limit

min_throttle_limit=0

max_contrail_temperature

max_contrail_temperature=
-39.0

master_ignition_switch

master_ignition_switch=0

Scalar for modifying the fuel flow


required by the engine(s). A value of
less than 1.0 causes a slower fuel
consumption for a given power
setting, a value greater than 1.0
causes the aircraft to burn more fuel
for a given power setting.
Defines the minimum throttle position
(percent of max). Normally 0 for
piston aircraft and -0.25 for turbine
airplane engines with reverse thrust.
Ambient temperature, in Celsius, in
which engine vapor contrails will turn
on. The default value is about -39
degrees Celsius for turbine engines.
For piston engines, the contrail effect
is turned off unless a temperature
value is set here.
1=Available, 0=Not Available
(default). If available, this switch
must be on for the ignition circuit,
and thus the engines, to be
operable. Turning it off will kill all
engines.

[piston_engine] section
A piston engines power can be determined through a series of equations that represent the
Otto cycle of a four-stroke piston engine, multiplied by the number of pistons available. This
section contains all the information Flight Simulator needs to be able to determine how much
power your engine is capable of producing. (Power can also be scaled from the calculated values
generated for piston engines with the power_scalar value.)
Parameter
power_scalar

Example
power_scalar = 1.0

cylinder_displacement

cylinder_displacement = 90.3

compression_ratio

compression_ratio = 8.5

number_of_cylinders

number_of_cylinders = 6

number_of_magnetos

number_of_magnetos=2

max_rated_rpm

max_rated_rpm = 2400

max_rated_hp

max_rated_hp = 230

18

Description
Changing this value affects the
amount of power delivered by
th engine to the propellor
shaft.
Cubic inches per cylinder
displacement.
Compression ratio of each
cylinder.
Integer value; number of
cylinders in the engine.
Number of magnetos on the
piston engine. Only values of
1 and 2 are supported.
Maximum rated revolutions per
minute (RPM) of the engine
(red line).
Maximum rated brake
horsepower output of the
engine.

fuel_metering_type

fuel_metering_type = 0

cooling_type

cooling_type = 0

normalized_starter_torque

normalized_starter_torque = 0.3

turbocharged

turbocharged = 0

max_design_mp

max_design_mp = 0

min_design_mp

min_design_mp = 0

critical_altitude

critical_altitude = 0

emergency_boost_type

emergency_boost_type = 0

emergency_boost_mp_offset

emergency_boost_mp_offset = 0

emergency_boost_gain_offset
fuel_air_auto_mixture

emergency_boost_gain_offset =
0
fuel_air_auto_mixture = 0

auto_ignition

auto_ignition = 0

19

Integer value indicating the


fuel metering type; 0 = Fuel
Injected, 1 = Gravity
Carburetor, 2 = Aerobatic
Carburetor.
Integer value indicating the
method of engine cooling; 0 =
air cooled, 1 = liquid cooled.
This value can be modified to
increase/decrease the torque
supplied by the starter to get
the prop turning. Increase
this value for a greater torque
effect, decrease it for a lower
torque setting.
Boolean to indicate if the
engine is turbocharged; 0 =
FALSE, 1 = TRUE.
If a turbocharger is present,
this value indicates the
maximum design manifold
pressure supplied by the
turbocharger (inHg).
If a turbocharger is present,
this value indicates the
minimum design manifold
pressure of the turbocharger
(inHg).
Altitude to which the
turbocharger, if present, will
provide the maximum design
manifold pressure (feet).
Integer value indicating the
emergency boost type
available; 0 = None, 1 =
Water Injection, 2 =
Methanol/Water Injection, 3 =
War Emergency Power,
(typically used in WWII combat
aircraft).
Additional manifold pressure
supplied by emergency boost,
if available.
Multiplier on manifold pressure
due to emergency boost.
Boolean to indicate if
automatic fuel-to-air mixture is
available; 0 = FALSE, 1 =
TRUE.
Boolean to indicate if
automatic ignition is available;
0 = FALSE, 1 = TRUE.

max_rpm_mechanical_efficiency_
scalar

max_rpm_mechanical_efficiency
_scalar = 1.0

idle_rpm_mechanical_efficiency_
scalar

idle_rpm_mechanical_efficiency
_scalar = 1.0

max_rpm_friction_scalar

max_rpm_friction_scalar = 1.0

idle_rpm_friction_scalar

idle_rpm_friction_scalar = 1.0

Scalar value that can be


modified to tune the
mechanical efficiency of the
engine at maximum rpm.
Increase this value to increase
the mechanical efficiency,
decrease it to decrease the
mechanical efficiency.
Scalar value that can be
modified to tune the
mechanical efficiency of the
engine at idle rpm. Increase
this value to increase the
mechanical efficiency,
decrease it to decrease the
mechanical efficiency.
Scalar value that can be
modified to tune the internal
friction of the engine at
maximum rpm. Increase this
value to increase the friction,
decrease it to decrease the
friction.
Scalar value that can be
modified to tune the internal
friction of the engine at idle
rpm. Increase this value to
increase the friction, decrease
it to decrease the friction, (can
be used to tune the rpm at
which the engine idles).

[propeller] section
The thrust generated by a given propeller is a function of the power delivered through the
propeller shaft, RPM, blade angle, airplane speed, and ambient density. Note: This parameter is
adjustable using the Flight Simulator Flight Dynamics Editor portion of the FSEDIT tool.
Parameter
thrust_scalar

Example
thrust_scalar = 1.0

propeller_type

propeller_type = 0

propeller_diameter

propeller_diameter = 6.8

propeller_blades

propeller_blades = 2

propeller_moi
beta_max

propeller_moi = 5.7
beta_max = 31.8

20

Description
Parameter that scales the calculated
thrust provided by the propeller.
Integer that identifies what type of
propeller is on the aircraft. 0 = Constant
Speed, 1 = Fixed Pitch.
Diameter of propeller blades, tip to tip, in
feet.
Integer value indicating the number of
blades on the propeller (2, 3 or 4).
Propeller moment of inertia, (slug ft2).
Maximum blade pitch angle for constant
speed prop (degrees). (Not used if fixed
pitch.)

beta_min

beta_min = 17.0

min_gov_rpm

min_gov_rpm = 1400

prop_tc
gear_reduction_ratio

prop_tc = 0.1
gear_reduction_ratio = 1.0

fixed_pitch_beta

fixed_pitch_beta = 20

low_speed_theory_limit

low_speed_theory_limit = 80

prop_sync_available

prop_sync_available = 0

prop_deice_available

prop_deice_available = 0

prop_feathering_available

prop_feathering_available =
0

prop_auto_feathering_avail
able

prop_auto_feathering_availa
ble = 0

min_rpm_for_feather

min_rpm_for_feather = 0

beta_feather

beta_feather = 0

power_absorbed_cf

power_absorbed_cf = 0

defeathering_accumulators
_available

defeathering_accumulators_
available = 0

feathering_switches

feathering_switches=0

prop_reverse_available

prop_reverse_available = 0

minimum_on_ground_beta

minimum_on_ground_beta =
0
minimum_reverse_beta = 0

minimum_reverse_beta

21

Minimum blade pitch angle for constant


speed prop (degrees). (Not used if fixed
pitch.)
The minimum RPM controlled by the
governor for a constant speed prop.
Time constant for prop
The reduction ratio from the engine
output RPM to prop RPM.
Blade pitch angle for fixed pitch prop
(degrees). (Not used if constant speed.)
The speed at which low-speed propeller
theory gets blended into the high speed
propeller theory, (feet/second).
Boolean to indicate if propeller-sync is
available (twin engine aircraft); 0 =
FALSE, 1 = TRUE.
Boolean to indicate if propeller de-icing is
available; 0 = FALSE, 1 = TRUE.
Boolean to indicate if prop feathering is
available (constant speed prop only); 0 =
FALSE, 1 = TRUE.
Boolean to indicate if prop autofeathering is available (constant speed
prop only); 0 = FALSE, 1 = TRUE.
Minimum RPM at which the prop will
feather (if feathering is available).
Propeller pitch angle when feathered
(degrees).
Coefficient of friction power absorbed by
propeller.
Boolean to indicate if de-feathering
accumulators are available; 0 = FALSE,
1 = TRUE.
Boolean indicating if feathering switches
are available. 0 = FALSE, 1 = TRUE.
Feathering switches (as found on the
Douglas DC3), allow the pilot to
automatically feather the propeller via a
switch, regardless of the propeller lever
position.
Specifies the scalar on the calculated
propeller reverser effect. A value of 0
will cause no reverse thrust to be
available. A value of 1.0 will cause the
theoretical normal thrust to be available.
Other values will scale the normal
calculated value accordingly.
Minimum blade pitch angle when the
aircraft is on the ground (degrees).
Minimum blade pitch angle when the
propeller is in reverse (degrees).

number_of_propellers

number_of_propellers=2

engine_map

engine_map = 0,0

propeller.0,1,n

propeller.0 = -6.9,-6.2,3.1

By default, the number of propellers will


be set to the number of engines. The
Wright Flyer is an example of where
there are a different number of propellers
than engines. The number of propellers
must not be less than the number of
engines.
By default, propeller 1 is driven by
engine 1, propeller 2 by engine 2, and so
on. This parameter allows the propellers
to be driven by other than the
corresponding engine. The series of
numbers, separated by commas,
represent the engine index which drives
the propeller. In the example (from the
Wright Flyer), both propellers are driven
by the first engine (engine.0). The
corresponding torque from the props will
also affect the driving engines
appropriately.
By default, the propeller thrust is located
at the position specified for the
corresponding engine in the
[GeneralEngineData] section. This
parameter allows for the propeller to be
located at the specified offset
(longitudinal, lateral, vertical) in feet from
the engine that is driving it. Example is
from the Wright Flyer, which has two
propellers offset from the engine. The
propeller position is where the thrust is
applied to the aircraft.

[TurbineEngineData] section
A turbine engine ignites fuel and compressed air to create thrust. These parameters define the
power (thrust) output of a given jet engine.
Parameter
fuel_flow_gain
inlet_area
rated_N2_rpm

Example (from lear45 aircraft.cfg)


fuel_flow_gain = 0.0025
inlet_area = 4.2895
rated_N2_rpm = 29920

static_thrust

static_thrust = 3500

afterburner_available

afterburner_available = 0

22

Description
Fuel flow gain constant.
Engine nacelle inlet area, (ft2)
Second stage compressor rated
RPM.
Maximum rated static thrust at sea
level (lbs).
Boolean value to indicate if an
afterburner is available; 0 =
FALSE, 1 = TRUE.

reverser_available

Specifies the scalar on the


calculated reverse thrust effect. A
value of 0 will cause no reverse
thrust to be available. A value of
1.0 will cause the theoretical
normal reverse thrust to be
available. Other values will scale
the normal calculated value
accordingly.

reverser_available = 1

[jet_engine] section
The thrust_scalar parameter scales the calculated thrust for jet engines (from the
[TurbineEngineData] section).
Note: his parameter is adjustable using the Flight Simulator Flight Dynamics Editor.
Parameter
thrust_scalar

Example (from lear45 aircraft.cfg)


thrust_scalar = 1.0

[turboprop_engine] section
The amount of power generated by an engine and the power required for a propeller to turn
through the air determine the increase and decrease of the RPM. A turboprop engine is really a
combination of a turbine engine and a propeller. The values in the [turboprop_engine] section
are included to modify values specific to the turboprop.
Note: These parameter is adjustable using the Flight Simulator Flight Dynamics Editor.
Parameter
power_scalar

Example (from beech_king_air_350


aircraft.cfg)
power_scalar = 1.0

maximum_torque

maximum_torque = 3270

Description
Changing this value affects the
amount of power delivered by the
engine to the propeller shaft.
Maximum shaft-torque available
from the engine (ft-lbs).

[contact_points] section
You can configure and adjust the way aircraft reacts to different kinds of contact, including
landing gear contact and articulation, braking, steering, and damage accrued through excessive
speed.
You can also configure each contact point independently for each aircraft, and there is no limit to
the number of points you can add. The data for configuring the points are placed in the
[contact_points] section of the aircraft.cfg. When importing an aircraft that does not contain this
set of data, the program will generate the data from the .air file the first time the aircraft is
loaded, and then write it to the aircraft.cfg.

23

It may be useful to first look at the .cfg file of an existing aircraft; you can learn a lot from the
many developer comments, which are followed by two slashes (//).
Each contact point contains a series of values that define the characteristics of the point,
separated by commas. Each point's data set takes the form point.n=, where n is the index to
the particular point, followed by the data.
Example:
[contact_points]
point.0= 1, -18.0, 0, -3.35, 3200, 0, 0.50,180, 0.25, 2.5, 0.90, 1.0, 4.0, 0, 0, 200

Below is a description of each element of the example contact point data set:
Parameter
1 (1)

Element
Class

2 (-18.0)

Longitudinal Position

3 (0)

Lateral Position

4 (-3.35)

Vertical Position

5 (3200)

Impact Damage Threshold

6 (0)

Brake Map

7 (0.50)
8 (180)

Wheel Radius
Steering Angle

9 (0.25)

Static Compression

10 (2.5)

Ratio of Maximum
Compression to Static
Compression

24

Description
Integer defining the type of contact
point: 0 = None, 1 = Wheel, 2 =
Scrape, 3 = Skid, 4 = Float, 5 =
Water Rudder
The longitudinal distance of the point
from the defined reference datum
(feet). Positive is forward (out the
nose).
The lateral distance of the point from
the defined reference datum (feet).
Positive is starboard (right, as
viewed from the top with the airplane
pointing up).
The vertical distance of the point
from the defined reference datum
(feet). Positive is up.
The speed at which an impact with
the ground can cause damage
(feet/min).
Defines which brake input drives the
brake (wheels only). 0 = None, 1 =
Left Brake, 2 = Right Brake.1
Radius of the wheel (feet).
The maximum angle (positive and
negative) that a wheel can pivot
(degrees).
This is the distance a landing gear is
compressed when the empty aircraft
is at rest on the ground (feet). This
term defines the strength of the
strut, where a smaller number will
increase the stiffness of the strut.
Ratio of the max dynamic
compression available in the strut to
the static value. Can be useful in
coordinating the compression of
the strut when landing.

11 (0.90)

Damping Ratio

12 (1.0)

Extension Time

13 (4.0)

Retraction Time

14 (0)

Sound Type

15 (0)

Airspeed Limit

16 (200)

Damage from Airspeed

This ratio describes how well the


ground reaction oscillations are
damped. A value of 1.0 is
considered critically damped,
meaning there will be little or no
osciallation. A damping ratio of 0.0
is considered undamped, meaning
that the oscillations will continue with
a constant magnitude. Negative
values result in an unstable ground
handling situation, and values
greater than 1.0 might also cause
instabilities by being over damped.
Typical values range from 0.6 to
0.95.
The amount of time it takes the
landing gear to fully extend under
normal conditions (seconds). A
value of zero indicates a fixed gear.
The amount of time it takes the
landing gear to fully retract under
normal conditions (seconds). A
value of zero indicates a fixed gear.
This integer value will map a point to
a type of sound:
0 = Center Gear,
1 = Auxiliary Gear,
2 = Left Gear,
3 = Right Gear,
4 = Fuselage Scrape,
5 = Left Wing Scrape,
6 = Right Wing Scrape,
7 = Aux1 Scrape,
8 = Aux2 Scrape,
9 = Tail Scrape.
This is the speed at which landing
gear extension becomes inhibited
(knots). Not used for scrape points
or non-retractable gear.
The speed above which the landing
gear accrues damage (knots). Not
used for scrape points or nonretractable gear.

In addition to the specific data for each contact point, there are global [contact_point]
parameters that are also used:
Parameter
max_number_of_points

Example
max_number_of_points = 21

25

Description
Integer value indicating the
maximum number of points the
program will look for in the
[contact_points] section.

static_pitch

static_pitch = 3.82

static_cg_height

static_cg_height = 3.015

gear_system_type

gear_system_type=1

The static pitch of the aircraft when


at rest on the ground (degrees).
The program uses this value to
position the aircraft at startup, in
slew, and at any other time when
the simulation is not actively
running.
The static height of the aircraft
when at rest on the ground (feet).
The program uses this value to
position the aircraft at startup, in
slew, and at any other time when
the simulation is not actively
running.
This parameter defines the system
type which drives the gear
extension and retraction.
0 = electrical,
1 = hydraulic,
2 = pneumatic,
3 = manual,
4 = none.

[gear_warning_system] section
The following parameters define the functionality of the aircrafts gear warning system. This is
generally a function of the throttle lever position and the flap deflection.
Parameter
gear_warning_available

Example
gear_warning_availiable =
1

pct_throttle_limit

pct_throttle_limit = 0.1

26

Description
Sets the type of gear warning
system available on the aircraft. 0 =
None, 1 = Normal, 2 = Amphibian
(audible alert for water vs. land
setting).
The throttle limit, below which the
gear warning will activate if the gear
is not down and locked while the
flaps are deflected to at least the
setting for flap_limit_idle below.
This flap limit can be 0 so that the
warning effectively is a function of
the throttle. 0 = idle, 1.0 = Max
throttle.

flap_limit_idle

flap_limit_idle = 0

flap_limit_power

flap_limit_power = 30

In conjunction with the throttle limit


specified above, this limit is the flap
deflection, above which the warning
will activate if the gear is not down
and locked while the throttle is
below the limit specified above. By
setting this limit to a value greater
than zero, the pilot can reduce the
throttle to idle without activating the
warning. This is often utilized in jets
to decelerate/descend the aircraft.
The flap limit, above which the
warning will activate (regardless of
throttle position).

[brakes] section
The following parameters define the
Parameter
parking_brake

Example
=1

toe_brakes_scale

= 1.0

differential_braking_scale

= 0

Description
Boolean setting if a parking brake is
available on the aircraft.
0 = FALSE, 1 = TRUE.
Sets the scaling of the braking
effectiveness. 1.0 is the default.
0.0 scales the brakes to no
effectiveness.
Differential braking is a function of
the normal both brakes on and the
rudder pedal input. The amount of
difference between the left and right
brake is scaled by this value. 1.0 is
the normal setting if differential
braking is desired (particularly on
tailwheel airplanes). 0.0 is the
setting if no differential braking is
desired.

[airplane_geometry] section
The airplane [airplane_geometry] section has been added mainly for use with the FSEDIT
application and the ability to create a flight model from aircraft geometrical input. Although you
can edit these values by hand here in the aircraft.cfg file, modification of SOME of these
variables will have little to no effect on airplane performance, as the flight model aerodynamic
coefficients are all still located in the [aircraft_title].air file. The FSEDIT program will change
the aerodynamic coefficients in the .air file based on the values in this section (and others), but
changing the values in the aircraft.cfg file WITHOUT running the FSEDIT application will
result in little, if any, noticeable changes in aircraft behavior. Nonetheless, these values have
been exposed for your convenience.

27

Parameter
wing_area

Example (from C182


aircraft.cfg)
wing_area = 176.0

Description

wing_span

wing_span = 36.0

wing_root_chord

wing_root_chord = 4.9

wing_dihedral

wing_dihedral = 1.7

wing_incidence

wing_incidence = 1.5

wing_twist

wing_twist

oswald_efficiency_factor

oswald_efficiency_factor
= 0.7

wing_winglets_flag

wing_winglets_flag = 0

wing_sweep

wing_sweep = 0.0

wing_pos_apex_lon

wing_pos_apex_lon = 2.4

wing_pos_apex_vert

wing_pos_apex_vert =
0.0

htail_area

htail_area = 39.0

htail_span

htail_span = 11.7

Area of the top surface of the entire wing


tip-to-tip (ft2).
Wing span is the horizontal distance from
wing-tip to wing-tip (feet).

28

Length of the wing chord (leading edge to


trailing edge) at the intersection of the
wing and the fuselage (feet).
When looking at the front of an aircraft,
this is the angle between the wing leading
edge and a horizontal line parallel to the
ground (degrees).
When looking at the side of an aircraft
from the wing tip, this is the angle the
mean wing chord makes with a horizontal
line parallel to the ground, (degrees).
Note: this parameter is not used in the
real-time aerodynamic calculations, as it
is already factored into the lift and drag
parameters. It will however influence the
calculation of the lift and drag constants
and tables generated through Fsedit.
This is the difference in wing incidence
from the root chord and the tip chord of
the wing, (degrees). Also known as
wash-out.
This is a measure of the aerodynamic
efficiency of the wing. A theoretically
perfect wing will have an OEF of 1.0.
Boolean to indicate if the aircraft
incorporates the use of winglets; 0 =
FALSE, 1 = TRUE.
When looking down on top of an aircraft,
this is the angle the wing leading edge
makes with a horizontal line perpendicular
to the fuselage, (degrees).
Longitudinal distance of the wing apex
(measured at centerline of aircraft) from
defined reference point (feet). This
distance is measured POSITIVE in the
forward (out the aircraft nose) direction.
Vertical distance of the wing apex
(measured at centerline of aircraft) from
defined reference point (feet). This
distance is measured POSITIVE in the
UP direction.
Area of the top surface of the entire
horizontal tail (tip-to-tip) (ft2).
Horizontal tail span is the horizontal
distance from horizontal tail-tip to
horizontal tail -tip (feet).

htail_pos_lon

htail_pos_lon = -18.3

htail_pos_vert

htail_pos_vert = 0.0

htail_incidence

htail_incidence = 3.2

htail_sweep

htail_sweep = 10.0

vtail_area

vtail_area = 18.0

vtail_span

vtail_span = 4.8

vtail_sweep

vtail_sweep = 40.0

vtail_pos_lon

vtail_pos_lon = -16.2

vtail_pos_vert

vtail_pos_vert = 1.5

elevator_area

elevator_area = 16.6

aileron_area

aileron_area = 18.3

rudder_area

rudder_area = 6.7

elevator_up_limit

elevator_up_limit = 28.0

elevator_down_limit
aileron_up_limit

elevator_down_limit =
21.0
aileron_up_limit = 20.0

aileron_down_limit

aileron_down_limit = 15.0

29

Longitudinal distance of the horizontal tail


apex (measured at centerline of aircraft)
from defined reference point (feet). This
distance is measured POSITIVE in the
forward (out the aircraft nose) direction.
Vertical distance of the horizontal tail
apex (measured at centerline of aircraft)
from defined reference point, (feet). This
distance is measured POSITIVE in the
UP direction.
When looking at the side of an aircraft
from the horizontal tail tip, this is the angle
the mean horizontal tail chord makes with
a horizontal line parallel to the ground
(degrees).
When looking down on top of an aircraft,
this is the angle the horizontal tail leading
edge makes with a horizontal line
perpendicular to the fuselage (degrees).
Area of the surface of one side of the
vertical tail (fuselage-to-tip) (ft2).
Vertical tail span is the vertical distance
from the vertical tail-fuselage intersection
to the tip of the vertical tail (feet).
When looking at the side of the vertical
tail, this is the angle the vertical tail
leading edge makes with a vertical line
perpendicular to the fuselage (degrees).
Longitudinal distance of the vertical tail
apex (measured at centerline of aircraft)
from defined reference point, (feet). This
distance is measured POSITIVE in the
forward (out the aircraft nose) direction.
Vertical distance of the vertical tail apex
(measured at centerline of aircraft) from
defined reference point (feet). This
distance is measured POSITIVE in the
UP direction.
Area of the top surface of the entire
elevator (tip-to-tip) (ft2).
Area of the top surface of all the ailerons
on the wing (ft2).
Area of the side surface of the entire
rudder (ft2).
Angular limit of the elevator when
deflected up (degrees).
Angular limit of the elevator when
deflected down (degrees).
Angular limit of the aileron when deflected
up (degrees).
Angular limit of the aileron when deflected
down (degrees).

rudder_limit

rudder_limit = 24.0

elevator_trim_limit

elevator_trim_limit = 19.5

spoiler_limit

spoiler_limit = 0.0

spoilerons_available

spoilerons_available = 0

aileron_to_spoileron_gain

aileron_to_spoileron_gain
=0

spoiler_handle_available

spoiler_handle_available
=0

min_ailerons_for_spoilero
ns

min_ailerons_for_spoilero
ns = 0

min_flaps_for_spoilerons

min_flaps_for_spoilerons
=0

aileron_to_rudder_scale

aileron_to_rudder_scale=
0

Angular limit of the rudder deflection


(degrees).
Angular limit of the elevator trim tab
(degrees).
Angular limit of the wing spoilers on an
aircraft, (degrees). If this limit is zero, no
spoilers exist for the aircraft.
Boolean to indicate if the spoilers also
behave as spoilerons for roll control (if
spoilers are available): 0 = FALSE, 1 =
TRUE.
If spoilerons are available, this value is
the constant used in determining the
amount of spoiler deflection per aileron
deflection.
Boolean that configures the airplane with
manual control of the spoiler deflections.
0 = FALSE, 1 = TRUE.
This value indicates at what aileron
deflection the spoilers are become active
for roll control, (degrees).
This value indicates at what minimum flap
handle position the spoilerons become
active.
This value sets the ratio of rudder to
aileron input. For example, a value of 0.4
would result in 40% rudder deflection for
100% aileron control input.

[flaps.n] section
For each flap set that is on the aircraft, a corresponding [flaps.set] section should exist. Most general
aviation aircraft and smaller jets only have one set of flaps (trailing edge), but it is typical for the larger
commercial aircraft to have a set of leading edge flaps in addition to the trailing edge flaps. The number
of flap sets are determined by the number of [flaps.n] sections contained in the aircraft.cfg file.
The following table provides a description of each term in the [flaps.0] section for the Cessna 182S:
Parameter
type

Example
type = 1

span-outboard

span-outboard = 0.5

extending-time

extending-time = 5

Description
Integer value that indicates if this is
a leading edge or trailing edge flap
set; 1 = trailing edge, 2 = leading
edge.
The percentage of half-wing span
the flap extends to (from the wingfuselage intersection).
Time it takes for the flap set to
extend to the fullest deflection angle
specified (seconds).

30

flaps-position.0
flaps-position.1
flaps-position.2
flaps-position.3

flaps-position.0 = 0
flaps-position.1 = 10
flaps-position.2 = 20
flaps-position.3 = 30

damaging-speed

damaging-speed = 250

blowout-speed

blowout-speed = 300

lift_scalar

lift_scalar = 1.0

drag_scalar

drag_scalar = 1.0

pitch_scalar

pitch_scalar = 1.0

system_type

system_type = 0

tailwheel_lock

tailwheel_lock=0

Each element of the flaps-position


array indicates the deflection angle
to which the flaps will deflect
(degrees). The largest deflection
angle will be the one used for full
flap deflection.
Speed at which the flaps begin to
accrue damage (Knots Indicated
Airspeed, KIAS).
Speed at which the flaps depart the
aircraft (Knots Indicated Airspeed,
KIAS).
The percentage of total lift due to
flap deflection that this flap set is
responsible for at full deflection.
The percentage of total drag due to
flap deflection that this flap set is
responsible for at full deflection.
The percentage of total pitch due to
flap deflection that this flap set is
responsible for at full deflection.
Integer value that indicates what
type of system drives the flaps to
deflect:
0 = Electric,
1 = Hydraulic,
2 = Pneumatic,
3 = Manual,
4 = None.
Boolean defining if a tailwheel lock
is available (applicable only on
tailwheel airplanes).
0 = FALSE, 1 = TRUE.

[electrical] section
These parameters configure the characteristics of the aircraft's electrical system and its
components. Each aircraft has a battery as well as an alternator or generator for each engine.
Below is a table of [electrical] section parameters shown with typical default values (the
values Flight Simulator uses if the parameters are omitted). The default Min Voltage equals
0.7*Max Battery Voltage. The list of components also reflects all of the systems currently linked
to the electrical system. If a component is included in the list but the aircraft does not actually
have that system, the component is simply ignored.

31

Parameter

Example (with default


values that the simulation
uses if the line is omitted)
max_battery_voltage =
24.0

Units/format* (see
note below)

Description

volts

generator_alternator
_voltage

generator_alternator_
voltage = 28.0

volts

max_generator
_alternator_amps

max_generator_alterna
tor_amps = 60.0

amps

electric_always
_available

electric_always_avail
able = 0

flap_motor

flap_motor = 0, 5 ,
17.0
gear_motor = 0, 5 ,
17.0
autopilot = 0, 5 ,
17.0
avionics_bus = 0, 10,
17.0
avionics = 1, 5 ,
17.0
pitot_heat = 0, 15 ,
17.0
additional_system =
0, 20, 17.0
marker_beacon = 1, 2
, 17.0
gear_warning = 0, 2 ,
17.0
fuel_pump = 0, 5 ,
17.0
starter1 = 0, 20,
17.0
starter2 = 0, 20,
17.0

The maximum voltage


to which the battery can
be charged. It is also
the voltage available
from the battery when
the aircraft is initialized.
The battery voltage will
decrease from this if
the generators or
alternators are not
supplying enough
current to meet the
demand of the active
components.
The voltage provided
by a fully functioning
alternator or generator.
The maximum current
(amperage) provided by
a fully functioning
alternator or generator.
This flag enables
electrical power
regardless of the state
of the battery or circuit.
See notes below.

max_battery_voltage

gear_motor
autopilot
avionics_bus
avionics
pitot_heat
additional_system
marker_beacon
gear_warning
fuel_pump
starter1
starter2

32

Bus type, max amp


load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage

See notes below.


See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.

starter3
starter4
light_nav
light_beacon
light_landing
light_taxi
light_strobe
light_panel
light_cabin
prop_sync
auto_feather
auto_brakes
standby_vacuum
hydraulic_pump
fuel_transfer_pump
propeller_deice
light_recognition
light_wing
light_logo
directional_gyro
directional_gyro
_slaving

starter3 = 0, 20,
17.0
starter4 = 0, 20,
17.0
light_nav = 0, 5 ,
17.0
light_beacon = 0, 5 ,
17.0
light_landing = 0, 5
, 17.0
light_taxi = 0, 5 ,
17.0
light_strobe = 0, 5 ,
17.0
light_panel = 0, 5 ,
17.0
light_cabin = 0, 5 ,
17.0
prop_sync = 0, 15 ,
17.0
auto_feather = 0, 15
, 17.0
auto_brakes = 0, 15 ,
17.0
standby_vacuum = 0,
15 , 17.0
hydraulic_pump = 0, 2
, 17.0
fuel_transfer_pump =
0, 5 , 17.0
propeller_deice = 0,
5 , 17.0
light_recognition =
0, 5 , 17.0
light_wing = 0, 5 ,
17.0
light_logo = 0, 5 ,
17.0
directional_gyro
= 0, 5 , 17.0
directional_gyro_slav
ing
= 0, 5 , 17.0

33

Bus type, max amp


load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage
Bus type, max amp
load, min voltage

See notes below.


See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.
See notes below.

Notes:

Bus Type specifies which bus in the electrical system the component is connected to,
according to the following bus type codes:
Bus
Type
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Bus
Main Bus (most components connected here)
Avionics Bus
Battery Bus
Hot Battery Bus (bypasses Master switch)
Generator/Alternator Bus 1 (function of engine 1)
Generator/Alternator Bus 2 (function of engine 2)
Generator/Alternator Bus 3 (function of engine 3)
Generator/Alternator Bus 4 (function of engine 4)

Max Amp Load is the current required to power the component, and of course becomes
the additional load on the electrical system.

Min Voltage is the minimum voltage required from the specified bus for the component
to function.

With the following parameter, an aircraft can be configured to have a generator or alternator on
any, or all, of the engines.
Parameter
engine_generator_map

Example
engine_generator_map =
0,1,0

Description
This map of Boolean flags
corresponds to the engines of the
aircraft, and defines which engines
drive individual
alternator/generators. By default,
all engines have an
alternator/generator. In the
example, only the second engine
of a 3 engine aircraft has a
generator.

[pitot_static] section
The vertical_speed_time_constant parameter can be used to tune the lag of the Vertical
Speed Indicator for the aircraft:

Increasing the time constant decreases the lag, making the gauge react more quickly.

Decreasing the time constant increases the lag, making the gauge react more slowly.

34

A value of 0 effectively causes the indication to freeze. If an instantaneous indication is


desired, use an excessively large value, such as 99.

If the line is omitted, the default value is 2.0.

Parameter
vertical_speed_time_constant

Example (from Bell206b


aircraft.cfg)
vertical_speed_time_constant
= 2.0

Description
Increases or decreases
the lag of the vertical
speed indicator.

[exits] section
Parameter
number_of_exits

Example (from C182


aircraft.cfg)
number_of_exits = 1

exit_rate.n

exit_rate.0 = 0.4

Description
This value defines the number of
simulated exits, or doors, on the
aircraft.
This value defines the rate, in percent
per second, at which the exit
articulates. It is equal to 1/time,
where time is time in seconds at
which the exit moves from fully closed
to fully open or vice versa.

[views] section
Parameter

eyepoint

Example (from C182


aircraft.cfg)
eyepoint= -3.95, -0.85, 2.1

Units

Description

Feet

This value specifies, in feet,


the longitudinal, lateral, and
vertical position of the pilots
eyepoint from the aircrafts
datum point.

[lights] section
Each special effect light has a line like the one above, where n is the index number of the light, 0,1,
The first entry of the line defines which circuit, or switch, the light is connected to. See the codes below.
Multiple lights may be connected to a single switch. The next three entries are the longitudinal, lateral,
and vertical positions of the light in feet. The final entry is the special effect file name that is triggered
(e.g., fx_navred). These files have .fx extensions and should be placed in the Effects folder in Flight
Simulators root directory.

35

Switches (first element of each line):


1 Beacon
2 Strobe
3 Navigation or Position
4 Cockpit
5 Landing
6 Taxi
7 Recognition
8 Wing
9 Logo
10 Cabin
Parameter
light.n

Examples (from C182 aircraft.cfg)


light.0 = 3, -3.03, -18.11, 3.58,
fx_navred

Units
Feet

Description
The switch (or circuit)
code, longitudinal, lateral,
and vertical position, and
effect file.

[keyboard] section
The aircraft flight controls can be manipulated by the keyboard. Because flight controls naturally become
more sensitive as airspeed increases, it can become quite difficult to control the aircraft via the keyboard
at high speeds. To solve this problem, the amount a single keypress increments a flight control is
decreased by a factor of 1/2 at the first airspeed (in knots) listed on the line for the control, and by 1/8 at
the second airspeed. The scale is interpolated between.
Heres an example using the sample lines above: if the elevator increments by one degree when the
airspeed is zero, it will increment by of one degree at 50 knots, of one degree at 100 knots, 5/16 of
one degree at 140 knots, and 1/8 of one degree at 180 knots and above.
% Effect of keypress
|
1|*
|
*
|
*
|
*
1/2|
*
|
*
|
*
1/8|
* *
|________________________________
0
100
180
Parameter
elevator
aileron
rudder

Example (from C182


aircraft.cfg)
elevator = 100, 180
aileron = 200, 1000
rudder
= 200, 1000

knots
Units

Description

Knots

Breakpoint speeds for keypress


increments being reduced by 1/2 and 1/8
respectively.

36

[radios] section
There is (or should be) a radio section in each aircraft.cfg. This section configures the radios for each
individual aircraft. Each of the following keywords has a flag or set of flags, define the particular radio
element is available in the aircraft. A 1 is used for true (or available), and 0 for false (or not available).
Parameter
Audio.1
Com.1

Example (from C182


aircraft.cfg)
Audio.1 = 1
Com.1 = 1, 1

Com.2

Com.2 = 1, 1

Nav.1

Nav.1 = 1, 1, 1

Nav.2

Nav.2 = 1, 1, 0

Adf.1
Adf.2
Transponder.1
Marker.1

Adf.1 = 1
Adf.2 = 1
Transponder.1 = 1
Marker.1 = 1

Description
Is there an audio panel?
Is there a Com 1 radio, does it support a
standby frequency?
Is there a Com 2 radio, does it support a
standby frequency? Note: You cannot have
COM 2 without COM 1.
Is there a Nav 1 receiver, does is support a
standby frequency, and does it support a
glideslope indication?
Is there a Nav 2 receiver, does is support a
standby frequency, and does it support a
glideslope indication? Note: You cannot have
NAV 2 without NAV 1.
Is there an ADF receiver?
Is there an ADF 2 receiver?
Is there a transponder?
Is there a marker beacon receiver?

Special Note: Incorrectly setting the standby parameters may cause inability to tune the radios.

[smokesystem] section
The section describes how to configure a smoke system found on aircraft, e.g., the Extra 300S. You can
set multiple smoke points on an aircraft, each denoted by an integer value followed by the keyword
smoke. The points should be in sequential order (e.g., smoke.0, smoke.1, etc.).
Parameter
smoke.n

Example (from Extra 300


aircraft.cfg)
smoke.0=0.00, -0.70, 1.40,
fx_smoke_w

Units

Description

Feet

The longitudinal, lateral,


and vertical position of the
smoke emitter, and the
effect file name.

[effects] section
The effects section of the aircraft.cfg file pertains to the visual effects that result from various systems or
reactions of the aircraft.
An effect file associated with a keyword in this section will be used when the corresponding action is
triggered. In lieu of an entry here, a default effect file will be used.
Each effect line is in the form:
effect = Effect name, [One Shot]
where Effect name is any effect in the effects folder, and One Shot determines if the effect will end
after one iteration or not.

37

Set this equal to one for a single iteration, and zero or blank (default) for the effect to continue as long as
the respective action is active. The table below outlines the aircraft effects currently supported (note: not
all effects are supported on all aircraft).
Example: touchdown=fx_tchdwn, 1
Effect
Wake
Water
waterspeed
Dirt
concrete
touchdown
Contrail
landrotorwash
waterrotorwash
startup

Description
The wake effect triggered behind float planes
Water splashes triggered at low speeds on float plane
Water splashes triggered at high speeds on float plane
Dirt area touchdown/scrape
Concrete area touchdown/scrape
Touchdown smoke
Contrail effect triggered above 30000 ft for jets
Helicopter rotor wash triggered over land
Helicopter rotor wash triggered over water
Engine startup smoke.

Parameter
windshield_rain_effect_available

Example
windshield_rain_effect_available=0

Description
Setting this flag to 0
will turn off the
effect of rain on the
windshield. The
effect is on by
default.

[hydraulic_system] section
Parameter
engine_map

Example
Engine_map = 1,0,0,1

normal_pressure

Normal_pressure = 750

electric_pumps

electric_pumps = 1

38

Description
This series of flags sets whether the
corresponding engines of the aircraft
are configured with hydraulic pumps.
The flags correspond in order of the
engines, starting with the left-most
engine first and moving right. The
example shows an aircraft in which
engines 1 and 4 have pumps and 2
and 3 do not. By default, all engines
are equipped to drive a hydraulic
pump.
The normal operating pressure of the
hydraulic system, in pounds per
square inch.
The number of electric hydraulic
pumps the aircraft is configured with.

[stall_warning] section
Parameter
type

Example
type=1

Description
This flag determines the type of stall warning
system utilized on the aircraft. 0 = None, 1 =
Suction, 2 = Electric.

[direction_indicators] section
This section is used to define the characteristics of the direction indicators on the instrument
panels (note: this does not include the magnetic compass). The list of indicators should be listed
in order: 0,1,2,n. The various types of indicators are defined by the following codes:
0 - None
1 - Vacuum Gyro
2 - Electric Gyro
3 - Electro-Mag Slaved Compass
4 - Slaved to another indicator
Parameter
Direction_indicator.n

Example
direction_indicator.0=1,0

Description
Indicator type, and indicator to which
this indicator is slaved (if Type 4).
Note: The second parameter can be
left blank if not Type 4.

[attitude_indicators] section
This section is used to define the characteristics of the attitude indicators on the instrument
panels. The list of indicators should be listed in order: 0,1,2,n. The various types of indicators
are defined by the following codes which indicate the system in which it is dependant:
0 None
1 Vacuum driven gyro
2 Electrically driven gyro
Parameter
attitude_indicator.n

Example
attitude_indicator.0=1

Description
Defines the system which drives the
attitude indicator.

[turn_indicators] section
This section is used to define the characteristics of the turn indicators on the instrument panels.
The list of indicators should be listed in order: 0,1,2,n. The various types of indicators are
defined by the following codes which indicate the system in which it is dependant:
0 None
1 Electrically driven gyro
2 Vacuum driven gyro

39

Parameter
turn_indicator.n

Example
turn_indicator.0=1

Description
Defines the system which drives the
turn indicator.

[airspeed_indicators] section
This section is used to define the characteristics of the airspeed indicators on the instrument
panels. The list of indicators should be listed in order: 0,1,2,n. These characteristics define
the calibration between calibrated airspeed and indicated airspeed. The first parameter is a scalar
on the calibrated airspeed, and the second is an offset in knots. The offset is applied first, then
the scalar. The default value for the scalar is 1.0 and the default for the offset is 0.0, thus by
default indicated airspeed is equal to calibrated airspeed.
Parameter
airspeed_indicator.n

Example
airspeed_indicator.0=1,0

Description
Defines the scalar and offset,
respectively, to convert from
Calibrated Airspeed to Indicated
Airspeed.

[autopilot] section
The following parameters determine the functionality of the aircrafts autopilot system, including
the flight director:
General:
Parameter
autopilot_available

Example
autopilot_available= 1

flight_director_available

flight_director_available= 0

Attitude_indicator

attitude_indicator=0

Direction_indicator

direction_indicator=0

40

Description
Setting this flag to a non-zero
value makes available an
autopilot system on the
aircraft.
Setting this flag to a non-zero
value makes available a flight
director on the aircraft.
Indicates which attitude
indicator system on the
aircraft is being referenced by
the autopilot. 0 = the first,
and is the default.
Indicates which direction
indicator system on the
aircraft is being referenced by
the autopilot. 0 = the first,
and is the default.

Vertical Modes:
Parameter
default_pitch_mode

Example
default_bank_mode = 1

pitch_takeoff_ga

pitch_takeoff_ga=8.000000

max_pitch

max_pitch=10.0

max_pitch_acceleration

max_pitch_acceleration=1.0

max_pitch_velocity_lo_alt

max_pitch_velocity_lo_alt=2.0

max_pitch_velocity_hi_alt

max_pitch_velocity_hi_alt=1.5

max_pitch_velocity_lo_alt
_breakpoint

max_pitch_velocity_lo_alt_brea
kpoint=20000.0

41

Description
This determines the default
pitch mode when the autopilot
logic is turned on.
0 = None, 1 = Pitch Hold
(current pitch angle),
2 = Altitude Hold (current
altitude). If no value is set,
Pitch Hold will be the default.
Note: Setting the variable
use_no_default_pitch=1 will
set default_pitch_mode = 0.
The default pitch that the
Takeoff/Go-Around mode
references.
The maximum pitch angle in
degrees that the autopilot will
command either up or down.
The maximum angular pitch
acceleration, in degrees per
second squared, that the
autopilot will command up or
down.
The maximum angular pitch
velocity, in degrees per
second, which the autopilot
will command when at an
altitude below that specified
by the variable
max_pitch_velocity_lo_alt_br
eakpoint.
The maximum angular pitch
velocity, in degrees per
second, which the autopilot
will command when at an
altitude above the altitude
specified by the variable
max_pitch_velocity_hi_alt_br
eakpoint. The maximum
velocity is interpolated
between the hi and lo altitude
velocities when between the
hi and lo altitude breakpoints.
The altitude below which the
autopilot maximum pitch
velocity is limited by the
variable
max_pitch_velocity_lo_alt.

max_pitch_velocity_hi_alt
_breakpoint

max_pitch_velocity_hi_alt
_breakpoint=28000.0

The altitude above which the


autopilot maximum pitch
velocity is limited by the
variable
max_pitch_velocity_hi_alt.
The maximum velocity is
interpolated between the hi
and lo altitude velocities when
between the hi and lo altitude
breakpoints.

Default_vertical_speed

default_vertical_speed=1800

The default vertical speed, in


feet per second, that the
autopilot will command when
selecting a large altitude
change.

Lateral Modes:
Parameter
default_bank_mode

Example
default_bank_mode = 1

max_bank

max_bank=25.0

max_bank_acceleration

max_bank_acceleration=1.8

max_bank_velocity

max_bank_velocity=3.0

yaw_damper_gain

yaw_damper_gain = 1.0

Description
This determines the default
bank mode when the
autopilot logic is turned on. 0
= None, 1 = Wing Level Hold,
2 = Heading Hold (current
heading). If no value is set,
Wing Level Hold will be the
default. Note: Setting the
variable
use_no_default_bank=1 will
set default_bank_mode = 0.
The maximum bank angle in
degrees that the autopilot will
command either left or right.
The maximum angular bank
acceleration, in degrees per
second squared, that the
autopilot will command left or
right.
The maximum angular bank
velocity, in degrees per
second, which the autopilot
will command left or right.
The proportional gain on the
yaw dampers yaw rate error.

Speed Modes:
Parameter
Autothrottle_available

Example
autothrottle_available= 0

42

Description
Setting this flag to a non-zero
value makes available an
autothrottle system on the
aircraft.

Autothrottle_arming_required

autothrottle_arming_required
=1

Autothrottle_max_rpm

autothrottle_max_rpm = 90

Autothrottle_takeoff_ga

autothrottle_takeoff_ga=1

max_throttle_rate

max_throttle_rate=0.10

Setting this flag to 1 will


require that the autothrottle
be armed prior to it being
engaged (e.g., Boeing 737).
Setting to zero allows the
autothrottle to be engaged
directly (e.g., Lear 45).
This sets the maximum
engine speed, in percent, that
the autothrottle will attempt to
maintain.
Setting this flag to 1 enables
takeoff / go-around
operations with the
autothrottle.
This value sets the maximum
rate at which the autothrottle
will move the throttle position.
In the example, the maximum
rate is set to 10% of the total
throttle range per second.

Navigation Modes:

The navigation and glideslope controllers utilize standard proportional/integral /derivative


feedback controllers (PID). The integrator and derivative controllers have boundaries, which are
the maximum error from the controlled parameter in which these are active. It is not necessary
to have all three components active. Setting the respective control constant to 0 effectively
disables that component, allowing PI or PD controllers to be utilized.

43

Parameter
nav_proportional_control

Example
nav_proportional_control=12.0

nav_integrator_control

nav_integrator_control=0.25

nav_derivative_control

nav_derivative_control=0.00

nav_integrator_boundary

nav_integrator_boundary=2.50

nav_derivative_boundary

nav_derivative_boundary=0.00

gs_proportional_control

gs_proportional_control=25.0

gs_integrator_control

gs_integrator_control=0.53

gs_derivative_control

gs_derivative_control=0.00

gs_integrator_boundary

gs_integrator_boundary=0.70

gs_derivative_boundary

gs_derivative_boundary=0.00

44

Description
Proportional controller
constant in lateral navigation
modes.
lntegral controller constant in
lateral navigation modes.
Derivative controller constant
in lateral navigation modes.
The boundary, or maximum
signal error, in degrees in
which the integrator function
is active. In the example, the
integrator is active when the
error is between -2.5 and
+2.5 degrees from the
centerline of the navigation
signal.
The boundary, or maximum
signal error, in degrees in
which the derivative function
is active. In the example, the
derivative controller is not
active because the maximum
error is set to 0.
Proportional controller
constant in glideslope mode.
lntegral controller constant in
glideslope mode.
Derivative controller constant
in glideslope mode.
The boundary, or maximum
signal error, in degrees in
which the glideslope
integrator function is active.
In the example, the integrator
is active when the error is
between -0.7 and +0.7
degrees from the centerline of
the glideslope signal.
The boundary, or maximum
signal error, in degrees in
which the derivative function
is active. In the example, the
derivative controller is not
active because the maximum
error is set to 0.

Miscellaneous default AP modes:

Note: In FS2002, the following flags were enabled to allow aircraft to be configured with no
pitch and/or bank modes. While these are still supported in FS2004, the preferred flags are
included above in the respective vertical and lateral sections.
Parameter
use_no_default_pitch

Example
use_no_default_pitch=0

use_no_default_bank

use_no_default_bank=0

Description
Setting this flag to 1 will
cause the default pitch mode
to be None. It will actually
set the variable
default_pitch_mode = 0, so
that there is no default pitch
mode when the AP logic is
activated. The preferred
method is to set the
default_pitch_mode directly.
Setting this flag to 1 will
cause the default bank mode
to be None. It will actually
set the variable
default_bank_mode = 0, so
that there is no default bank
mode when the AP logic is
activated. The preferred
method is to set the
default_bank_mode directly.

Helicopter specific sections


NOTE: The following sections are specific to helicopters only. FS2004 supports two different
types of helicopters. The first are helicopters that are based on the Bell 206 model. Flight
Simulator looks for the relevant air file tokens to make this determination. The second type is
based on the new Robinson R22 model. The R22s aerodynamics is based on the data found in
the aircraft.cfg. The [helicopter] section is the only helicopter-specific section that is used by the
Bell 206 method. The R22 utilizes all of the helicopter-specific sections.

[helicopter] section
Note: The following parameter is only used by models based on the Bell 206 method.
The low_realism_stability_scale parameter scales the stability of the Bell 206B helicopter
in low realism settings to make the aircraft easier to fly. The stability factor is broken down into
three components: pitch, roll, and yaw damping.
Heres how the simulation uses this parameter:

45

1. The stability factor is scaled according to the pitch, roll, and yaw values set in the
[helicopter] section of the aircraft.cfg. For example, increasing the first value (pitch)
to 1.1 increases the pitch-damping factor by 10 percent.
2. Then, the stability factor is scaled by the General Flight Model Realism slider in the
Realism Settings dialog box. At the highest realism setting, it is scaled to 0% (no
additional damping); at the minimum setting, it is scaled to 100 percent.
Changes to the stability factor in the .cfg have their largest effect when the Realism Setting is set
to minimum, and have no effect when Realism Setting is set to maximum.
Note: Increasing these values excessively will result in excessive damping, making it hard to
control the helicopter.
Parameter
low_realism_stability_scale

Example (from Bell206b aircraft.cfg)


low_realism_stability_scale =
1.0, 1.0, 1.0

Format
pitch, roll,
yaw

Description
Scales
helicopter
stablility in
low realism
settings.

Note: The following parameters are utilized only by models that are based on the R22 method:
Parameter
reference_length

Example (from Robinson R22


aircraft.cfg)
reference_length = 21.58

reference_frontal_area

reference_frontal_area=17
.7

reference_side_area

Reference_side_area=44.5

side_aero_center

side_aero_center=-12.5

right_trim_scalar

right_trim_scalar=1.0

46

Description
The length of the
helicopter, in feet.
The cross section area of
the fuselage, in feet
squared, as viewed from
head on to the helicopter.
Total side area of the
fuselage, in feet squared,
as viewed from directly
abeam of the helicopter.
The longitudinal position,
in feet, from the datum of
the helicopter that
represents the lateral
aerodynamic center.
Scalar on the effect of the
trim that counters
dissymmetry of lift. The
trim normally induces a roll
moment to the right, but a
negative value will create
a left moment.

correlator_available

correlator_available=1

governed_pct_rpm_ref

governed_pct_rpm_ref=1.04

governor_pid

governor_pid=0.4,0,0.1,0,
0.2

rotor_brake_scalar

rotor_brake_scalar=1.0

torque_scalar

torque_scalar=1.0

cyclic_roll_control_scalar

cyclic_roll_control_scala
r=1.0

cyclic_pitch_control_scalar

cyclic_pitch_control_scal
ar=1.0

pedal_control_scalar

pedal_control_scalar=1.0

47

This flag determines if a


collective/throttle correlator
is configured on the
helicopter.
Defines the percent rpm
that the governor attempts
to maintain. 1.0 = 100% of
rated rpm, although a
few percent above that is
normal.
Proportional Integral
Derivative (PID) feedback
controller that works to
maintain the reference
rpm. The series of
numbers are:
- proportional
controller constant
- integral controller
constant
- derivative
controller constant
- max rpm error
(where 1.0 =
100%) in which
the integrator
portion is active
- max rpm error
(where 1.0 =
100%) in which
the derivative
portion is active
Scalar on the effect of the
rotor brake.
Scalar on the effect that
the rotor has on the
yawing moment of the
helicopter.
Scalar on the amount of
roll control authority from
lateral movement of the
cyclic.
Scalar on the amount of
pitch control authority from
fore/aft movement of the
cyclic.
Scalar on the amount of
yaw control authority from
movement of the antitorque pedals.

collective_on_rotor_torque_scalar

collective_on_rotor_torqu
e_scalar=1.0

Scalar on the amount of


torque exerted on the rotor
system due to the
collective pitch of the rotor
blades. Increasing this
constant will result in the
rotor rpm tending to
decelerate more
dramatically as collective
is increased.

[fuselage_aerodynamics] section
The following parameters are associated with the aerodynamic effects of the fuselage of the
helicopter.
Parameter
drag_force_cf

Example (from Robinson R22


aircraft.cfg)
drag_force_cf=0.55

side_drag_force_cf

side_drag_force_cf=10.0

pitch_damp_cf

pitch_damp_cf=-2.0

roll_damp_cf

roll_damp_cf=-2.0

yaw_damp_cf

yaw_damp_cf=-0.1

yaw_stability_cf

yaw_stability_cf=0.27

Description
Coefficient of
longitudinal drag
Coefficient of lateral
drag
Pitch damping
coefficient (resistance to
pitch velocity)
Roll damping coefficient
(resistance to roll
velocity)
Yaw damping coefficient
(resistance to yaw
velocity)
Yaw stability coefficient.
This is the weathervane
effect.

[MainRotor] section
Parameter
Position

Example (from Robinson R22


aircraft.cfg)
Position = -8.5, 0, 4.91

Radius

Radius

= 12.583

48

Description
The longitudinal, lateral,
and vertical distance
vector, in feet, from the
datum position of the
helicopter. This position
should be the center of
the main rotor.
The radius, in feet, of the
main rotor.

max_disc_angle

max_disc_angle = 5.0

RatedRpm

RatedRpm = 510

Number_of_blades

Number_of_blades = 2

Weight_per_blade

Weight_per_blade = 26.0

Weight_to_moi_factor

Weight_to_moi_factor =
0.58

inflow_vel_reference

inflow_vel_reference =
34.0

The maximum absolute


deflection angle up or
down, in degrees, that
the rotor disc can move
with the cyclic.
The rated rpm value for
the main rotor.
The number of blades in
the rotor.
Approximate weight, in
pounds, of each rotor
blade.
The constant used in
calculating the moment
of inertia of the rotor
disc. The MOI algorithm
is a function of the
number of blades, their
weight, and this
constant. Increasing this
constant will increase
the inertia of the disc.
The reference inflow
velocity of the air mass
moving through the rotor
disc. Increasing this
value will result in more
thrust being generated.

[SecondaryRotor] section
Parameter
TailRotor

Example (from Robinson R22


aircraft.cfg)
TailRotor = 1

Position

Position = -8.5, 0, 4.91

Radius

Radius

= 12.583

49

Description
This flag, if set to 1,
configures the
secondary rotor as a tail
rotor, or anti-torque.
The longitudinal, lateral,
and vertical distance
vector, in feet, from the
datum position of the
helicopter. This position
should be the center of
the secondary rotor.
The radius, in feet, of the
secondary rotor.

The kneeboard content files


In Flight Simulator 2004, all of the kneeboard content is presented via HTML (.htm) files. The
kneeboard includes six pages:
Briefing
Displays the briefing for the flight, if there is one. The text displayed on the Briefing page of the
kneeboard is flight-specific, and is located in the corresponding subdirectory of the Flights
directory. To learn more about creating briefings for flights you create, see the All About
Flights article in the Learning Center.
Radio
Logs the last 10 Air Traffic Control radio transmissions to your aircraft. The text displayed on
the Radio page of the kneeboard is automatically generated as you use the Air Traffic Control
feature. The text cannot be modified.
Navigation Log
Provides a list of waypoints, headings, and other information for a flight plan created using the
Flight Planner. The text displayed on the Navigation Log page of the kneeboard is automatically
generated from an active flight plan. The text cannot be modified.
Key Commands
Provides a complete list of keyboard commands. The text displayed on the Key Commands tab
of the kneeboard is located in the main Aircraft folder, and is named kneeboard_keys.htm.
Checklists
Lists step-by-step procedures for the aircraft you're flying that (when used in conjunction with
the speeds on the Reference page) make for a more realistic Flight Simulator experience. The
text displayed on the Checklists page is aircraft-specific, and saved in an .htm file in the aircraft
container (aircraft folder) associated with each aircraft. The file for the Checklists page is named
aircraftname_check.htm where aircraftname is the name of the aircraft (e.g.,
extra300s_check.htm).
Reference
Lists recommended speeds for the aircraft you're flying: how fast to fly during each phase of
flight, and what the limits are. The text displayed on the Reference page is aircraft-specific, and
saved in an .htm file in the aircraft container (aircraft folder) associated with each aircraft. The
file for the Reference page is named aircraftndame_ref.htm where aircraftname is the name of
the aircraft (e.g., extra300s_ref.htm).
In order for the the Checklist and Reference pages to display, two lines must be present in the
aircraft.cfg file, in the [fltsim.0] section at the top:

kb_checklists=aircraftname_check

kb_reference=aircraftname_ref

50

where aircraftname is the name of the aircraft (e.g., extra300s_check and extra_300s_ref). Note
that no .htm extension is needed here.

Creating or modifying the Checklist and Reference pages


You can create or open kneeboard .htm files with NotePad or any other text editing program that
can read and save files in ASCII or text format, and edit them using HTML 4.0 conventions.
After you've made changes to any kneeboard .htm files, be sure to reload the page on the
kneeboard: select a different page on the kneeboard, then return to the page you modified.

The panel.cfg file


The panel.cfg file is located in an aircrafts Panel folder, and defines the characteristics of the
aircrafts cockpit, including window settings, view settings, and gauges. For a full explanation of
the structure of a panel.cfg file and instructions for editing it, look for the Panels SDK.

The model.cfg file


Introduction
The model.cfg file is located in an aircrafts Model folder, and specifies which visual models
(.mdl files) to render during normal flight and during a crash, as well as the visual model color
scheme. A model.cfg file has [models] and [colors] parameters. You should look at actual
model.cfg files to become more familiar with the structure and syntax of them. They can be
found in the individual aircraft containers, and viewed using any text editor.

[models] section
These parameters specify which visual model to render during normal flight, and during a crash.
Parameter
Normal

Example (from C182S model.cfg)


normal=Cessna182S_n

Crash

crash=Cessna182S_c

51

Description
Determines which visual
model (.mdl file) to render
during normal flight.
Determines which visual
model (.mdl file) to render
during a crash.

The sound.cfg file


Introduction
The sound.cfg file is located in an aircrafts Sound folder, and defines the sounds to use for that
aircraft (such as the sound of the engine at various RPMs, the sound of the landing gear going
down, and so on). This file also specifies attributes for each sound that determine exactly how
the sound is played.
Many aircraft sounds in Flight Simulator are composed of multiple .wav files (called a sound
list) that are linked to one another, processed in sequence, and then played as a group. These
sounds are updated by the simulators sound engine every time the Flight Simulator screen
refreshes (once every frame).
As you read this section, you should look at actual sound.cfg files to become more familiar with
the structure and syntax of them. They can be found in the Sound subfolders of the aircraft
containers, and viewed using any text editor.
To hear any particular component of a sound in its pure form (unaffected by the attributes in
the sound.cfg file), just play the .wav file referenced in the sound.cfg (.wav files are located in
either the Sound folder in an aircrafts container, or in the FS9\Sound folder).
Notes:

For clarity, the naming convention used for the default Flight Simulator aircraft engine
sounds described in the following sections was to put an x at the beginning of all
external sound (heard in Spot and Tower views) headers, and to number consecutive
sound headers (e.g., [SHUTDOWN], [SHUTDOWN.1]). The specific header names used
does not matter, as long as they are consistent in the [SOUND_ENGINE] section and
across link parameters. Additionally, the order of the sections within the sound.cfg file
does not matter, nor does the order of the parameters within a section.

Flight Simulator can load most PCM .wav formats, as well as compressed formats. When
a compressed format is used, Flight Simulator uses Audio Compression Manager (ACM),
an audio compression module included in Windows to load the file. If you include
compressed files, make sure that they are in a format supported (by default) by Windows
such as ADPCM. Following is a description of each section of a sound.cfg file.

[fltsim] section
This parameter distinguishes Flight Simulator 2004 sound.cfg files from previous version files.
All sound.cfg files created for Flight Simulator 2004 should have this section, and a parameter
that reads:
product_code=FSIM

52

Note: The Bell 206B helicopter included with Flight Simulator 2004 does not have startup or
shutdown sounds. Thus, as far as sound is concerned, it is modeled like a Flight Simulator 98
aircraft, and its sound.cfg file has no [FLTSIM] section. Note too that for this aircraft, instead of
multiple engine-related sounds, there are only [JET_ENGINE] and [ENGINE_EXT] sounds (for the
sound of the engine from the cockpit and from outside, respectively).

[sound_engine] section
These parameters concern the engine sounds of an aircraft. They specify the number of engines
the aircraft has, and the sound lists the simulation should use to create the aircrafts engine
sounds. Each sound list is referenced by the header of the first sound in the list (additional
sounds are linked to in sequence from that first sound). The individual sounds in a list are
defined in their own sections within the sound.cfg file (see the Specific engine sound parameters
(sound lists) section below).

[sound_engine] parameters for jet aircraft


The following table describes the parameters used to define the sounds of a jet engine in the
[sound_engine] section of a sound.cfg file:
Parameter
number_of_engines

Example
number_of_engines=2

eng1_combustion

eng1_combustion=COMBUSTION.1.00

eng2_combustion

eng2_combustion=COMBUSTION.2.00

eng1_jet_whine

eng1_jet_whine=JET_WHINE.1.00

eng2_jet_whine

eng2_jet_whine=JET_WHINE.2.00

eng1_starter

eng1_starter=starterA

eng2_starter

eng2_starter=starterB

eng1_shutdown

eng1_shutdown=shutdownA

eng2_shutdown

eng2_shutdown=shutdownB

53

Description
How many engines the
aircraft has.
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 1
combustion sounds.
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 2
combustion sounds.
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 1 jet
whine sounds.
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 2 jet
whine sounds.
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 1
starter sounds.
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 2
starter sounds.
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 1
shutdown sounds.
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 2
shutdown sounds.

eng1_combustion_start

eng1_combustion_start=
combstartA

eng2_combustion_start

eng2_combustion_start=
combstartB

eng1_non_combustion

eng1_non_combustion=
NON_COMBUSTION.1.00

eng2_non_combustion

eng1_non_combustion=
NON_COMBUSTION.1.00

Points to the first sound in a


sound list of engine 1
combustion start sounds.
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 2
combustion start sounds.
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 1 noncombustion sounds (the
isolated sounds of the
engines moving parts).
Points to the first sound in a
sound list of engine 2 noncombustion sounds (the
isolated sounds of the
engines moving parts).

[sound_engine] parameters for turboprop aircraft


The following table describes the parameters used to define the sounds of a turboprop engine in
the [sound_engine] section of a sound.cfg file:
Parameter
number_of_engines

Example
number_of_engines=2

eng1_combustion

eng1_combustion=
COMBUSTION.1.00

eng2_combustion

eng2_combustion=
COMBUSTION.2.00

eng1_jet_whine

eng1_jet_whine=JET_WHINE.1.00

eng2_jet_whine

eng2_jet_whine=JET_WHINE.2.00

eng1_prop

eng1_prop=PROP.1.00

eng2_prop

eng2_prop=PROP.2.00

eng1_starter

eng1_starter=starterA

eng2_starter

eng2_starter=starterB

eng1_shutdown

eng1_shutdown=shutdownA

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Description
How many engines the
aircraft has.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
combustion sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 2
combustion sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1 jet
whine sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 2 jet
whine sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
prop sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 2
prop sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
starter sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 2
starter sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
shutdown sounds.

eng2_shutdown

eng2_shutdown=shutdownB

eng1_combustion_start

eng1_combustion_start=combstartA

eng2_combustion_start

eng2_combustion_start=combstartB

eng1_non_combustion

eng1_non_combustion=
NON_COMBUSTION.1.00

eng2_non_combustion

eng1_non_combustion=
NON_COMBUSTION.1.00

Points to the first sound in


a sound list of engine 2
shutdown sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
combustion start sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 2
combustion start sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
non-combustion sounds
(the isolated sounds of the
engines moving parts).
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 2
non-combustion sounds
(the isolated sounds of the
engines moving parts).

[sound_engine] parameters for piston aircraft


The following table describes the parameters used to define the sounds of a piston engine in the
[sound_engine] section of a sound.cfg file:
Parameter
number_of_engines

Example
number_of_engines=1

eng1_combustion

eng1_combustion=COMBUSTION.1.00

eng1_starter

eng1_starter=starter

eng1_combustion_start

eng1_combustion_start=combstart

eng1_shutdown

eng1_shutdown=shutdown

eng1_prop

eng1_prop=PROP.1.00

eng1_non_combustion

eng1_non_combustion=NON_COMBUSTI
ON.1.00

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Description
How many engines the
aircraft has.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
combustion sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
starter sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
combustion start sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
shutdown sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
prop sounds.
Points to the first sound in
a sound list of engine 1
non-combustion sounds
(the isolated sounds of the
engines moving parts).

Specific engine sound sections (sound lists)


The parameters in these sections (e.g., [STARTER], [XSTARTER], [SHUTDOWN], [SHUTDOWN.1],
[COMBSTART], etc.) are used to define the specific aircraft engine sounds referenced by the
parameters in the [SOUND_ENGINE] section. Each sound has its own section in the sound.cfg with
a bracketed header, and is linked to the next sound in the sound list with the link= parameter.
The following table describes parameters used in the engine sound sections of an aircrafts
sound.cfg file:
Parameter
filename

Example
filename=ce1a

flags

flags=0

Description
The name of the .wav file to play. The .wav
extension should not be specified. Flight
Simulator searches the Sound folder in the
specific aircraft container first, and then (if
the file isn't found) searches the Flight
Simulator Sound folder.
Flags have different functions when
associated with different sounds.
For all sounds
0 = no flag
1 = disable sound
For [Combustion] sounds:
2 = damaged
4 = boost (Imported Combat
Flight Simulator aircraft only)
8 = jet engine rumble sound
For [Prop] sounds
2 = max prop pitch
4 = min prop pitch
8 = min reverse prop pitch

viewpoint

viewpoint=1

vparams

vparams=0.000000,53.600000,
0.174000,55.200000,
0.289000,12.000000,
0.530000,0.000000,
0.530000,0.000000,
0.530000,0.000000,
0.530000,0.000000

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Determines whether the sound is audible in


internal cockpit views (specified by the value
1), or in external spot and tower views
(specified by the value 2).
Defines the sounds amplitude envelope.
Represents the sound's volume as a
function. Each pair of values specified in
vparams represents a single point; you can
use up to 8 points to describe the amplitude
envelope. The first number in the pair is a
generic value that can range from 0.0 to 1.0,
the second number specifies volume. (The
units for volume are linear, with a value of 50
meaning 3dB of attenuation, and 0 meaning
silence.)

rparams

panning

link

rparams=0.000000,1.000000,
0.264000,1.110000

Defines the sounds pitch envelope.


Represents the sound's relative pitch (and,
invariably, the playback speed) as a function
of a generic value that can range from 0.0 to
1.0. Each pair of values specified in rparams
represents a single point; you can use up to
2 points to describe the pitch envelope.
The format and behavior of rparams is
similar to vparams, except that the second
value of each point represents a pitch scaler.
A value of 1.0 specifies that the sound file is
played at unity pitch. A value of 2.0 specifies
that the file is played an octave higher and
twice as fast.
Determines where the sound is placed in the
stereo field:

panning=0

0 = center
-10,000 = full left
10,000 = full right
References the next sound in a sound list (by
section heading name). Most engine sounds
are made up of several .wav files, and each
.wav file has its own section in the .cfg file.
The last sound in a sound list has no link
parameter. The order of sounds in a list is
not important.

link=COMBUSTION.1.01

[wind_sound] section
Wind sounds are used to add realism to the sounds of aircraft. Wind sound is also the
predominant sound used for sailplanes. Each wind sound can be volume- and pitch-modulated
with airspeed.
The following table describes the parameters used in the wind section of an aircrafts sound.cfg
file:
Parameter
filename

Example (from Schweizer


sound.cfg)
filename=snwind5

Description
The name of the .wav file to play. The .wav
extension should not be specified. Flight
Simulator searches the Sound folder in the
specific aircraft container first, and then (if
the file isn't found) searches the Flight
Simulator Sound folder.

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flags

Flags have different functions when


associated with different sounds.

flags=0

For all sounds


0 = no flag
1 = disable sound
minimum_speed

minimum_speed=0.1

maximum_speed

maximum_speed=160.0

minimum_volume

minimum_volume=7000

maximum_volume

maximum_volume=10000

minimum_rate

minimum_rate=0.50

maximum_rate

maximum_rate=1.25

There are no wind sound-specific flags.


The minimum speed (in KTAS) used by the
_volume and _rate parameters.
The speed (in KTAS) above which the
sound has constant volume and pitch.
Specified in KTAS units.
The lowest possible volume--if the sound
drops below the minimum volume specified,
it will not be heard. If the aircraft's speed is
between minimum_speed and
maximum_speed, playback volume is
interpolated. (Volume is specified in
1/100dB units, with a value of 10,000 being
the maximum possible volume.)
Specifies the highest possible volume--the
sound never exceeds the volume specified.
If the aircraft's speed is between
minimum_speed and maximum_speed,
playback volume is interpolated. (Volume is
specified in 1/100dB units, with a value of
10,000 being the maximum possible
volume.)
Specifies the minimum rate at which the
sound is played. If the aircrafts speed is
between minimum_speed and
maximum_speed, the playback rate is
interpolated between the minimum_rate
and maximum_rate values.
Specifies the maximum rate at which the
sound is played. If the aircrafts speed is
between minimum_speed and
maximum_speed, the playback rate is
interpolated between the minimum_rate
and maximum_rate values.

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Ground sound sections


Ground sounds include:
[CENTER_TOUCHDOWN]
[AUX_TOUCHDOWN]
[LEFT_TOUCHDOWN]
[RIGHT_TOUCHDOWN]
[FUSELAGE_SCRAPE]
[LEFT_WING_SCRAPE]
[RIGHT_WING_SCRAPE]
[AUX1_SCRAPE]
[AUX2_SCRAPE]
[XTAIL_SCRAPE]
[GROUND_ROLL]

Some ground sounds consist of multiple sets of .wav files (sound lists), and each set corresponds
to a unique combination of surface types. Each ground sound can be volume- and pitchmodulated with airspeed.
The following table describes the additional parameters used in the ground sound sections of an
aircrafts sound.cfg file:
Parameter
filename

Example (from Extra300


sound.cfg)
filename=cnroll2

Description
Specifies the name of the .wav file to play.
The .wav extension should not be specified.
Flight Simulator searches the Sound folder in
the specific aircraft container first, and then (if
the file isn't found) searches the Flight
Simulator Sound folder.
Note: If ground sound filename parameters
have comma separated filenames (e.g.
filename=cmtouch1, cmtouch2,
cmtouch3), the simulator code will randomly
choose to play one of the listed .wav files.

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flags

Flags have different functions when


associated with different sounds.

flags=125218

For all sounds


0 = no flag
1 = disable sound
For ground sounds
By flagging a sound for a particular ground
surface type, you tell the simulation to play
that sound when the aircraft comes into
contact with that surfaces type or types.
Ground sound flags include:
2 = concrete
4 = soft, bumpy ground (landable)
8 = water
16 = very bumpy grass & mud (crashable)
32 = asphalt
64 = short grass
128 = long grass
256 = hard turf
512 = snow
1024 = ice
2048 = urban
4096 = forest
8192 = dirt runway
16384 = coral runway
32768 = gravel runway
65536 = oil treated (tar&chip) runway
131072 = steel mats (steel mesh) temporary
runway
Note that these values are powers of 2 so that
they represent bits. For instance, the
[GROUND_ROLL] section of the 182S
sound.cfg file has the line
flags=125218

minimum_speed

minimum_speed=3

maximum_speed

maximum_speed=55

minimum_volume

minimum_volume=6000

This is 11110100100100010 in binary, and


maps to concrete+asphalt+hard turf, etc.
Specifies the minimum speed (in KTAS) used
by the _volume and _rate parameters.
Specifies the speed (in KTAS) above which
the sound has constant volume and pitch.
Specified in KTAS units.
Specifies the lowest possible volume--if the
sound drops below the minimum volume
specified, it will not be heard. If the aircraft's
speed is between minimum_speed and
maximum_speed, playback volume is
interpolated. (Volume is specified in 1/100dB
units, with a value of 10,000 being the
maximum possible volume.)

60

maximum_volume

maximum_volume=10000

minimum_rate

minimum_rate=0.80

maximum_rate

maximum_rate=1.60

link

link=GROUND_ROLL2

Specifies the highest possible volume--the


sound never exceeds the volume specified. If
the aircraft's speed is between
minimum_speed and maximum_speed,
playback volume is interpolated. (Volume is
specified in 1/100dB units, with a value of
10,000 being the maximum possible volume.)
Specifies the minimum rate at which the
sound is played. If the aircrafts speed is
between minimum_speed and
maximum_speed, the playback rate is
interpolated between the minimum_rate and
maximum_rate values.
Specifies the maximum rate at which the
sound is played. If the aircrafts speed is
between minimum_speed and
maximum_speed, the playback rate is
interpolated between the minimum_rate and
maximum_rate values.
References the next sound in a sound list (by
section heading name). Some ground sounds
are made up of several .wav files, and each
.wav file has its own section in the .cfg file.

Other sound sections


Other sounds used by Flight Simulator aircraft include:
[GEAR_UP_WARNING_SOUND]
[STALL_WARNING]
[OVERSPEED_WARNING_SOUND]
[GLIDESLOPE_WARNING_SOUND]
[AP_DISENGAGE_SOUND]
[GEAR_DOWN]
[GEAR_UP]
[FLAPS]
[CRASH_SOUND]
[SPLASH_SOUND]

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The following table describes the parameters used in other sound sections of an aircrafts
sound.cfg file:
Parameter
filename

flags

Example (from Extra300 sound.cfg)


filename=snwind5

Note: [CRASH_SOUND]and
[SPLASH_SOUND]filename parameters have
comma separated filenames (e.g.
filename=encrash1,encrash2). In these
instances, the simulator code will randomly
choose to play one of the listed .wav files.
Flags have different functions when associated
with different sounds.

flags=0

initial_volume

initial_volume=9000

minimum_volume

minimum_volume=7800

maximum_volume

maximum_volume=9000

Description
Specifies the name of the .wav file to play. The
.wav extension should not be specified. Flight
Simulator searches the Sound folder in the
specific aircraft container first, and then (if the
file isn't found) searches the Flight Simulator
Sound folder.

For all sounds


0 = no flag
1 = disable sound
Specifies the volume at which the sound starts.
(Volume is specified in 1/100dB units, with a
value of 10,000 being the maximum possible
volume.)
Specifies the lowest possible volume--if the
sound drops below the minimum volume
specified, it will not be heard. (Volume is
specified in 1/100dB units, with a value of
10,000 being the maximum possible volume.)
Specifies the highest possible volume--the
sound never exceeds the volume specified.
(Volume is specified in 1/100dB units, with a
value of 10,000 being the maximum possible
volume.)

62

The Texture folder


An aircrafts textures are defined by the .bmp files in the aircrafts Texture folder, and are
projected onto the aircrafts parts as specified in the aircrafts visual model (.mdl) file, located
in the Model folder. Texture file names must correspond to the texture files that are referenced in
the .mdl file. If the file names don't correspond, the textures won't be visible.
Flight Simulator texture files are "mipmapped". A mipmapped texture consists of a sequence of
images, each of which is a progressively lower resolution, prefiltered representation of the same
image. Mipmapping is a computationally low-cost way of improving the quality of rendered
textures. Each prefiltered image, or level, in the mipmap is a power of two smaller than the
previous level. A high-resolution level is used for objects that are close to the viewer. Lowerresolution levels are used as the object moves farther away.
To edit a mipmapped texture, youll need to use Image Tool, an image editing application
included with the Flight Simulator Terrain SDK. Be sure to save a copy of the original file before
attempting to modify it.
A texture can also be edited using a simple graphics application such as Microsoft Paint, though
it will be saved as a standard .bmp file instead of a mipmapped .bmp. Flight Simulator will
automatically generate the mipmaps for the texture, although these mipmaps will not be of as
high a quality as mipmaps created using Image Tool.

63

Using aliasing
Aliasing allows multiple aircraft containers to use the same files (panels, flight models, sounds
etc.). This saves disk space and makes file organization more efficient. You can alias an
aircrafts panel.cfg, model.cfg, and sound.cfg files from any other aircrafts. Whereas
configuration sets allow aircraft within a single aircraft container to share components, aliasing
allows aircraft in different aircraft containers to share components.
To alias an aircrafts panel.cfg, model.cfg, or sound.cfg file from another aircrafts, simply
change the aliasing .cfg file to read:
[fltsim]
alias=aircraftname\panel

or
[fltsim]
alias=aircraftname\model

or
[fltsim]
alias=aircraftname\sound

Flight Simulator searches for aliased files in the following order:


1. Relative path from the Aircraft folder
2. Relative path from the Flight Simulator folder

An example
Lets say youve imported a Boeing 757 aircraft from the Web into Flight Simulator, but want to
use the 737-400 panel when flying it. Instead of duplicating all the 737-400 panel files (Panel.cfg
and .bmps) and putting them in the new 757 aircraft container, you can alias to them in their
existing location from the 757 panel.cfg file. Just change the 757 panel.cfg file to read:
[fltsim]
alias=\B737_400\panel

The 757 aircraft would then use the 737-400 panel.cfg file (and hence the associated .bmps).
The syntax for aliasing model.cfg and sound.cfg files is identical.

64