It seems more and more people are trying to get the AI thing happening. So I have decided to try and help with a little step by step guide to how its done manually (no PAI installers etc.)
Step 1, Must have files,
To begin you need to have these programs;
1. Afcad (So you can add parking to your airports) http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004afcd&DLID=46238
2. Ttools (Adds the Aircraft and Flightplans)
3. Editvoicepak (This is optional but is well worth it to bring your AI alive)
For Ttools and Afcad add a new folder to your FS9 folder called AI Utilities and save them in there.
1. Afcad- There are two ways of adding Afcad files, you can do them yourself based on airport charts, info off airport websites etc. or you can download them off avsim.com or flightsim.com. If you are saving from the web they need to be saved in the scenery folder in the addon scenery section of FS9. Its fairly easy to navigate and learn how to use. We will come back to Afcad later in the tutorial.
2. Ttools- This little program is the heart of your AI, upon unzipping go to collect the purple collect airports logo. Once this is complete there are really only 4 files you will be using, the red Ttools program, and 3 notepad files named aircraft, flightplans and airports.
3. Editvoicepak- This will add to the ATC experience by allowing extra ATC aircraft callsigns, airports etc.
Adding the Aircraft.
Stick mainly with AI-Aardvark, EvolveAi and FS Painter where you can. As I live in Sydney we are going to use a Virgin Blue 737-800 winglet version as an example.
#1 - Go to http://www.ai-aardvark.com/ and in the aircraft repaints section click on the 737-800 http://www.ai-aardvark.com/aiaircraft/repaints/737_800/737_800.html, there are two models available for the B738 each download repaint must match the download model, so we want the 737-800 Base Model Winglet version. Save this to your fs9 aircraft folder. Once its done you have the base for all 737-800 Ai-Aardvark, with winglets repaints. Next you need the Virgin Blue textures, save these into your unzipped base model. Unzip when downloaded then copy the file marked texture.xxx (the xxx could be called anything from virgin to DJ) into the 737-800 folder and you have your first plane ready to be added to AI schedules. ***Don't be alarmed that the AI-Aardvarks don't appear in the Select Aircraft drop down menus in FS9 they are not meant to be flown *****
#2- Making the aircraft ready for AI flying. In your FS9 aircraft folder go and find you AI-Aardvark 737-800 Base Pack make sure that the files (model, sound, aircraft.cfg files are directly inside the folder that appears inside the aircraft folder or they will not work). Remember what the Virgin Blue texture folder is called e.g texture.virgin. Open the aircraft.cfg file and it will look something like this,
title= Boeing 737-800 Virgin Blue Winglets
ui_variation=Virgin Blue (Winglets)
description=AI Aardvark 737-800
You must make sure that the texture file is named exactly the same as the texture file you have in the aircraft folder otherwise you are going to have lots of pretty white planes flying around. You can change the title line if you wish (don't touch title= though) I did change the one above from the default to Boeing 737-800 Virgin Blue Winglets. And make sure the atc_airline= is the correct callsign.
Next scroll further down the aircraft.cfg file until you find this,
flaps_up_stall_speed=122.0 //Knots True (KTAS)
full_flaps_stall_speed=103.0 //Knots True (KTAS)
cruise_speed=200.0 //Knots True (KTAS)
max_mach = 0.86
max_indicated_speed = 340 //Red line (KIAS)
Change only the cruise speed to 200.0 if its a jet aircraft and to 160.0 or 170.0 if its a prop. Once this has been done you have the changes ready to add it to TTools.
#3 Open your red Ttools icon, on the right hand side you will see a column FS2004 Traffic files, click on the traffic030528.bgl until it highlights it grey and press decompile. Now open the file in AI Utilites folder that downloaded with Ttools called Aircraft030538 this will open in notepad and list all of the default aircraft that comes with FS9. Now you need to add your Virgin Blue aircraft, the last aircraft listed on that file should be,
AC#59,62,"Vickers Vimy Transatlantic"
You simply add the next number in the sequence so it will be
then the airspeed that you changed in the aircraft.cfg to 200 knots, if you didn't change it, or whatever you changed the cruise speed to it must exactly match in this file, so in our example it was
and finally the aircraft name itself, simply copy the title line (excluding title=) like so
"Boeing 737-800 Virgin Blue Winglets" -> you MUST add the apostrophes around the this part. So when you are done this is how it will read,
AC#60,200,"Boeing 737-800 Virgin Blue Winglets"
Repeat this step with each plane you add by just adding the next number in the sequence. Now go back to Ttools and press compile. Make a note of what the aircraft number was in this case AC#60.
#4- Its flightplan time, this does take some getting used to. Go back to Ttools and again decompile, this time open the flightplan030528 file these are the flightplans used by Orbit, Landmark and Global Freightways etc. As I like flying with real world airlines I simply copied these to a file in my documents in case I wanted to use them later. Once that was done I deleted all of the out of flightplans030528 file. To write the flightplan you must convert all local times to GMT.
Below is a daily flight for Virgin Blue,
AC#60 - This is the aircraft number you assigned in Aircraft030528 file.
VH-VBF - The aircrafts registration
10%- This is used in connection with the traffic density slider, I always use 10% as my default when typing the flightplans.
24Hr- There are several different times to add to this it can be 2Hr, 4Hr, 8Hr, 12Hr, 24Hr, Week. If you add anything under 24Hr you will get the same flight every 2,4,8, or 12 hours if you want it to look like real world stick with 24Hr or WEEK (which we will get to later).
IFR- You can have your flights either IFR or VFR
Then comes the flight times this one departs Sydney at 20:29 GMT 10:29AM Local and arrives in Brisbane at 21:54 GMT 11:54AM Local, you will notice a @ symbol being used this will force the plane to arrive at that time and if you lowered the cruise speed to 200 knots earlier you MUST use this symbol.
310- This is the flight level that it will climb to
F- This means ATC will call the plane by Airline and flight number e.g. "Virgin 203" adding and R instead of F will have ATC calling it "VBF"
YBBN- This is the airport code, you must start the days flying at the airport you are going to end the days flying at if you are using 2,4,8,12, or 24 hour flight plans. So in the case above we depart Sydney for Brisbane and the last flight on the plan is 276 to YSSY.
You must write the plan as complete with commas, above using GMT to show departure and arrival times, the airline websites all have timetables which makes planning easy just convert the times shown to GMT and you should have no problems.
For International flights its largely the same principle, but you add WEEK instead of 2,4,8,12 or 24Hrs. And they are a longer flight plan as it goes on a 7 day week instead of 24 Hours, below is a QF744 weekly flight plan,
Again all times are GMT at each local airport and the day/time must be added as above, these take some time to get used to and will cause many headaches along the way, but if you want to 5 or 6 QF 744 parked at LAX just as in real life its worth the effort. The only worry about arrivals and departures is that the last leg must arrive at the departure airport used in the start of the flight plan.
Go back to Ttools and hit compile, if you get a 'Red' Message there is something wrong with the flightplan a lot of times you may have added a . instead of , they must be written perfectly or it will not compile.
#5- Finally to make your airlines park in there correct spots go into AFCAD again and find Aircraft editor in the tools section, highlight the desired aircraft in the list then match it to a the name in the parking code selector, that don't have to be identical, for instance I use Qatar Air Cargo for my Qantas domestic so they don't park at the International Terminal. I suggest reading the tutorial in Afcad on how to assign gates, parking codes etc.
This hopefully may help someone out there looking to give AI a go, I accept no responsibilty for lost files but if a novice like me can work it out it can't be that hard, if you require any further help please drop me a line.