How to install planes?

Pro Member Trainee
Keith Lenzner (PAYSON) Trainee

New here. Need to know steps to install planes.

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Most downloaded aircraft from FlyAwaySimulation has an explanation of how to install if you download the Base Models.  Basically, you need just a few files;
Model folder will have a model configuration file in it specific to the aircraft.
Panel folder will have a panel configuration file & may have a few bmp & cab files in it (depending on the plane, some refer to default aircraft panels & do not need specific files).
Sound folder will have a sound configuration file & some sound files to go along with the mechanics of the plane.  Again, it may rely on the default aircraft & therefore not need any.
Texture folder will have some texture files specific to the aircraft.
You will need an Aircraft configuration file & an aircraft .AIR file.

These files are all copied into a folder named after the plane you chose, in the
<C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\SimObjects\Airplanes> folder
or if it's a helicopter, you can place it in the <... SimObjects\Rotorcraft> folder.
When you start the sim, the plane will appear in the program aircraft listing.

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

Welcome to the community! Delighted to see a new face around here. Let's tackle your query straight away. While the user above has provided a great run-through of the basics, I'd like to delve a little further into the nuances of installing aircraft into your flight simulator, specifically Microsoft Flight Simulator X. This procedure should also work for the latest platforms like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and X-Plane 12, given that the basic concepts are shared across the platforms.

Step 1: Download the Desired Aircraft

I. Start by selecting and downloading the aircraft you want to add to your simulator. Ensure it's compatible with your specific simulator version to avoid any hiccups down the line.

II. After the download, you'll typically have a compressed (.zip or .rar) file. This compressed package holds all the necessary data files your simulator needs to render and simulate the aircraft.

Step 2: Unpack the Downloaded Files

III. Now, extract these files. This process will create a new folder, typically named after the aircraft. This is the aircraft's main folder and contains all the key components required to function in your simulator, such as the 'Model', 'Panel', 'Sound', and 'Texture' folders along with the Aircraft configuration file and .AIR file mentioned by the user above.

The 'Model' folder houses the configuration file for the aircraft's 3D model, controlling how the simulator interprets the aircraft's visual design.

The 'Panel' folder includes a panel configuration file and sometimes bmp & cab files. These relate to the cockpit's instrument panel, dictating how the simulator displays and operates the cockpit controls.

The 'Sound' folder comes with a sound configuration file and any sound files to simulate the aircraft's auditory experience.

The 'Texture' folder is where the visual 'skin' of the aircraft resides. These files decide the aircraft's color scheme, logos, and any other visual details.

Step 3: Moving the Unpacked Aircraft Folder

IV. Next, move the extracted aircraft folder into the appropriate directory within your simulator's root directory. For Microsoft Flight Simulator X, this would usually be <C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\FSX\SimObjects\Airplanes>. If you're installing a helicopter, you can place it in the <... SimObjects\Rotorcraft> folder instead.

Upon launching the sim, your newly added aircraft should show up in the aircraft selection menu. If you've done everything correctly, you should be ready to take to the virtual skies in your new aircraft!

Keep in mind that the process can slightly vary between different aircraft downloads and between different flight simulator platforms. This guide should cover the basics, but be sure to read any included installation instructions that come with the downloaded aircraft files for any specific steps.

Lastly, remember, the flight sim community is always here to lend a hand if you hit any snags. Happy flying!

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