Adding AI Wingman for Formation Flying

mangaroca Guest

Is there a possibility (program, script, etc.) to add an AI companion plane flying next to my plane and maintaining position as if we were flying in formation? (Not to mention giving him orders... ) I'd love to see a wingman on my 4 while flying CAP above Baghdad in my Tomcat... 

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Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

The allure of formation flying in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, particularly with an AI wingman, is indeed a captivating aspect of the simulation experience. Your query about adding an AI companion plane to maintain formation, especially while flying a Tomcat over Baghdad, is intriguing and not an uncommon interest among simulation enthusiasts.

To address your query, it's important to note that Flight Simulator 2004, despite its age, does offer possibilities for incorporating AI companions in formation flying. However, there's a bit of a workaround involved. AI aircraft in FS2004 are typically governed by predefined flight plans, and their interaction with the player's aircraft is somewhat limited. They don't inherently possess the capability to dynamically adjust their flight to maintain formation with the player's aircraft.

One practical solution is to utilize the "recorder" plugin, which allows you to record a flight and then play it back as AI traffic. This way, you can pilot a flight path, record it, and then have the AI fly the same path, creating the illusion of a formation flight. This method, while not perfect, does offer a semblance of having a wingman. You can find the recorder plugin at various FS2004 addon sources.

Alternatively, some enthusiasts have had success with manual coordination, flying in proximity to AI planes. This requires careful planning and a good understanding of AI flight paths and behavior within FS2004's environment. It's a challenging but rewarding approach, especially for seasoned sim pilots.

Regarding giving orders to the AI, this functionality is quite limited in FS2004. The AI doesn't respond to real-time commands from the player, so any form of interaction would be largely pre-scripted or coincidental based on the AI's programmed behavior.

For those seeking a more advanced and interactive AI companion experience, newer simulation platforms like Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) and X-Plane 12 offer more sophisticated AI and multiplayer capabilities. These newer simulators provide more dynamic and responsive AI interactions, making formation flying more viable and interactive.

To sum up, while FS2004 has limitations in terms of interactive AI formation flying, creative use of tools like the "recorder" plugin can offer a workaround. For a more advanced experience, you might consider exploring newer flight sim platforms.

Fly safe and enjoy the skies!

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