AI Traffic Tutorial for FS2004 - by Leanne Boulton|
There are easy ways to have your FS world filled with AI traffic, programmes such as MyTraffic or the PAI Installer system will soon fill the skies around you. There is a price to pay however, both systems have poorly rendered and painted aircraft models which will not only look poor, but will eat away at your frame rates like there is a famine on the horizon.
One of the new automatic AI installer series to come out, which is freeware, is the World of AI series. This uses the latest freeware models from some of the leading AI modellers in the FS world and will be frame-rate friendly. Personally, I prefer to install my AI traffic manually so that I have greater control over which repaints I use and I can easily assign special paint schemes to their proper flight numbers. This is not as difficult as it would appear though it can be time consuming. For those interested in the manual approach here is a simple guide to get you started.
First of all you will need the AI models and repaints, most of which can be found at AVSIM or Flightsim.com. Others can also be found at fsrepaints.de and several of the russian AI sites (which will require some searching and translation).
The models I use are:AI Aardvark - for B717, B727, B737, B747, B757, B767, DC9, EMB120, EMB170, MD80, TU204 & TU214
EvolveAI - for A319, A320, A321, DC10 & ERJ135/140/145
CDAI (Charles Dayhuff) - for CRJ200, CRJ700 & L1011
DWAI (Dee Waldron) - for DC8, HS748 & F27
FMAI (Fernando Martinez) - for BAE146
HTAI (Henry Tomkiewicz) - for Beech1900C, B1900D, A100, C99, Kingair200, C90, Cessna208, 402, 404, 421 etc
DJC AI (Craig Ritchie) - for BAE JS41, Metroliner III
FSP (FSPainter) - for Widebody Airbuses, B777, MD11
PAI (Project AI) - for ATR42/72, and all other oddments I can't find better models for
You install the AI models into FS like any other aircraft, dragging and dropping the (for example) "AIA 737-800" folder into the "Aircraft" folder of FS2004.
Once installed you will need some repaints - these are installed as textures. You will need to drag and drop the "texture.britishairways" or whatever it is called into the aircraft folder that it needs and then open up the aircraft cfg in a text editor. Here you will need to add the entry into the cfg file. It will look something like this:
You MUST change the number in brackets so that they are sequentially increasing. [fltsim.0], [fltsim.1] etc for each texture. This particular one needs to be installed in the EvolveAI A320-200CFM folder - once you get into doing this it becomes second nature.
I then make sure that the title is clearly described (for my reference) and that the parking codes are assigned (more on this later) and that the ui_manufacturer is called something like AIA, FSP, AI or whatever - this is so that I can hide them from the aircraft selection menu and reduce loading times.
Once you have your textures installed you then need to download TTools2 (CLICK HERE!) and the desired flightplans - many of which can be found at AVSIM too. Install TTools2 and unzip your flightplans into a spare folder - you will notice that there are three main files. Aircraft, Airports and Flightplans - these need to be dragged into your main TTools2 folder. I rename mine so that I can find them easier later when I wish to update them. For example, Aircraft_British Airways_Su06, Airports_British Airways_Su06 and Flightplans_British Airways_Su06, it doesn't matter what you call them as long as the suffix (after Airports etc) is identical.
Then you need to open up the Aircraft file in a text editor - you will find aircraft are labelled something like this: AC#1,250,"AIA 737-400 British Airways". The AC#1 refers to the flightplan reference number, the 250 referes to the aircraft cruise speed in IAS and the title in brackets MUST match the title of the texture you wish to use. Simply open up the aircraft folder, cut the text after "title=" and paste it between these quote marks.
Then open up the flightplans file in a text editor and ensure that the aircraft designated, in this example a 737-400 is designated to match AC#1, it will look something like this:
Once done, save these and open up TTools2. In the left window you will see the three files - simply highlight these and click "Compile" - this will compile and store a traffic file called (based on my example) traffic_British Airways_Su06 into your Scenery/World/Scenery folder in FS2004.
There you have it - it really is not that difficult but, as I said, can be time consuming. The results are worth it and my screenshots will speak for that. You can run into problems with some poorly produced flightplans and these can be overcome with some editing - though I would recommend searching for a better flightplan until you become more conversant with the way they work with TTools2.Links:
Dee Waldron AI
Schiphol Hub Manager
Atlantic Sun Airways. Expect More.