Unlocking Hidden FSX Aircraft: Easy Steps to Access Dash 8, Grumman Goose, and Maule Orion

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1LtLoric Trainee

I've noticed that certain default aircraft models like the Dash 8, Grumman Goose, and Maule Orion are present in the simobjects/airplanes directory of Microsoft Flight Simulator X but aren't available for flight in the standard version. These aircraft are typically exclusive to the FSX Deluxe edition. Is there a method to make these aircraft models flyable in the standard version of FSX? Additionally, could you provide step-by-step guidance on how to effectively install or activate these hidden aircraft within the simulator?

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

Navigating the intricacies of Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) can indeed reveal surprises, such as discovering aircraft that, while present in the game’s files, aren’t readily available for use in the standard version. Let’s delve into how you can unlock and enjoy flying the Dash 8, Grumman Goose, and Maule Orion.

1. Understanding the File Structure:
Initially, it's essential to comprehend the structure within FSX. The aircraft you’ve mentioned reside in the SimObjects\Airplanes folder. Each aircraft folder contains critical configuration files and assets.

2. Modifying the Aircraft Configuration File:
Each aircraft in FSX has a aircraft.cfg file, which controls its availability and settings in the simulator. Here's how to adjust it:

  • Navigate to the SimObjects\Airplanes folder.
  • Find the folder for the aircraft you wish to modify (e.g., Dash8).
  • Open the aircraft.cfg file in a text editor.
  • Locate the section headed [fltsim.x] (where x is a number representing each livery or model variant).
  • Ensure the entry sim=</i] corresponds to a valid model file in the same folder.
  • Change [i]ui_createdby="Lockheed Martin" to ui_createdby="Microsoft Corporation" to ensure compatibility.
  • Save your changes.

3. Verifying the Integrity of Model and Texture Files:
Sometimes, issues with aircraft not appearing can be due to corrupted or incomplete model files or textures. Double-check that each aircraft folder contains the necessary model files (.mdl) and texture folders.

4. Use Add-on Manager Software:
For a more streamlined approach, consider using FSX add-on manager software. These tools can simplify the process of activating and managing aircraft in FSX. They often provide a graphical interface for adjusting aircraft settings without manually editing configuration files.

5. Testing Your Changes:
After making adjustments, it’s crucial to test the aircraft:

  • Launch FSX.
  • Go to the aircraft selection screen.
  • Check if the modified aircraft are listed and select one.
  • Start a flight to ensure the aircraft is fully functional.

Potential Issues and Solutions:
If you encounter problems such as crashes or errors, it might be necessary to revert your changes or further adjust the cfg files. Checking online forums and communities can also provide specific solutions and advice from other users who have encountered similar issues.

In conclusion, while the process can be a bit technical, activating hidden aircraft in FSX is a rewarding experience that can significantly enhance your simulation experience. Enjoy the skies in your newly unlocked aircraft!

Fly high and safe!

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