Updating User-Made Aircraft for Aerofly FS 4

How to make user-made repaints from Aerofly FS 2 compatible?

Repaint using option.tmc file

If your repaint already uses the new option.tmc format from the latest Aerofly FS 2 versions then no changes have to be made.

  • You need to have the folder with the raw texture files inside it (.bmp, .png, .tif,…), there is no old to new texture converter
  • Make sure the repaint folder name is only lower case and using underscores, no dashes and no whitespaces (e.g. “blue_green”)
  • Delete your previous rendered preview images (preview_xyz.tif)
  • Execute the converter
  • Converted textures are installed to your user documents aircraft folder
  • A new preview and preview_small will be generated as well

Repaint using repaint.tmr file

Very old user repaints that still use the outdated repaint.tmr need to change to a new option.tmc file.

  • You need to have the folder with the raw texture files inside it (.bmp, .png, .tif,…), there is no old to new texture converter
  • Make sure the repaint folder name is only lower case and using underscores, no dashes and no whitespaces (e.g. “blue_green”)
  • Copy the option.tmc file from the DR400 aircraft from the SDK into your intermediate folder (with the textures inside)
  • Edit the option.tmc file with a texteditor and change the “Description” parameter to describe your repaint, as displayed in the aircraft selection menu.
  • Save the option.tmc file and delete your old repaint.tmr file
  • Delete your previous rendered preview images (preview_xyz.tif)
  • Execute the converter

How to make user-made aircraft from Aerofly FS 2 compatible?

No model change needed

Note if you’re still using the old repaint.tmr please replace it with an option.tmc as described in the repaints section above.

You can leave the following files unchanged:

  • Raw sound files (.wav)
  • Raw texture files (.bmp, .png, .tif, …)
  • Intermediate 3D model files (.tgi)
  • Aircraft options file (option.tmc)
  • Aircraft clickspots file (controls.tmd)

No new export of the 3D model or new export of the textures to the bmp, png or tif file formats should be required.

Convert Aircraft

You can now run the Aircraft Converter to convert your aircraft to the new Aerofly FS 4. Without the changes mentioned in the sections below the aircraft converter can only convert the files and might crash when attempting to render the preview.

  • Run the converter once.
  • Turn on the developer options in the Aerofly FS 4 main.mcf file
  • Run Aerofly FS 4 and load the aircraft
  • Check the tm.log file for ERRORS and WARNINGS

Perform the changes on the aircraft TMDs and TMCs mentioned below.

Update Description File

The aircraft description file (.tmc) has been overhauled and needs to be updated by you.

  • Copy an existing .tmc file from a similar aircraft, then insert your data and description texts. If you don’t plan on adding a certain translation text remove the entire entry in the file.

Required new parameters

  • ICAO - 3 or 4 digit ICAO code of the aircraft model, e.g. “F18” or “B735”
  • DisplayNameFull - Name including the manufacturer, e.g. “McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C”
  • EngineCount
  • CruiseSpeed (true airspeed value)
  • Tags - Boolean flags like “Airplane”, “Flaps” etc. are now listed as tags in a single line. Just copy from similar aircraft.

TMD File - Physics

In the aircraft TMD file: All input objects now use “Message” instead of “Input” to make it consistent to the controls.tmd file and to clearly distinguish a linked input from a received message input.

Rename the parameters, e.g. using Regex

  • Parameter for an input message have been renamed from “Input” to “Message”, affected are all “input_button”, “input_switch”, “input_lever”, “input_default”, “input_discrete”, etc.
  • Messages “Controls.Starter”, “Controls.Magnetos” and similar engine inputs have been renamed to “Controls.Starter1”, “Controls.Magnetos”, etc. (1 for engine 1, 2 for engine 2, …)
  • fuel_tank, fuel_line, fuel_valve, etc. are renamed to fuel_deprecated_… and should be avoided
  • telemetry object input parameters Airspeed, BrakePosition, etc. all need to be removed, only keep “Body” and “LookAtPosition” (if needed)
  • event_edge has been split into event_edge_rising and _falling and can be used to simplify things

TMD File - Graphics/Sound

In the aircraft TMD file: For consistency many strange parameter names have been unified.

Hint: These changes can be made with Regex

  • All graphics Axes parameters have been flipped to follow the same right hand rule as the rest of Aerofly (multiply the axis values by -1.0)
  • hingedbodygraphics AngleMax renamed to Scaling
  • hingedbodygraphics InputAngle renamed to Input
  • movinggraphics Pos0 and Pos1 replaced by Scaling and Offset,
  • movinggraphics AngleID renamed to InputID
  • graphics_mapping renamed to graphics_linear_interpolation
  • graphics_human GeometryList should be updated to contain PilotBody and PilotHead

No changes need to be made to the sound section of the aircraft TMD file.

Rendering Preview

When the aircraft loads in Aerofly FS 4 without any tm.log ERRORS then you can continue to render the preview

  • Copy the working TMDs and TMCs from the aircraft folder to the intermediate folder
  • Delete any preview.ttx file in the output folder
  • Delete your preview_….tif file in the intermediate folder
  • Run the converter again to render your final previews

You now have converted the Aircraft to Aerofly FS 4, congrats!

The following steps should also be completed now to make full use of the new Aerofly FS 4 features.

Making use of the new Aerofly FS 4 Features

Copilot Parameters

The copilot.tmc file is used to tune the copilot behavior.

Add these new parameters:

  • EngineCount
  • Piston/TurboFan/TurboJet/TurboPropeller (add only one)
  • GeneralAviation (leave away if not applicable)
  • StarterMaximumTime (duration starter is expected to be needed)

Cold And Dark & Before Start

If you already have your cold and dark preset and before engine start preset you are all set.

  • Copy your aircraft _takeoff.tmd file and rename it to _cold.tmd for the cold and dark preset
  • Copy it again and name it _start.tmd for the before start preset
  • Add or remove parameter values in the two files.

Each time when you select the cold and dark option or before start option and go into the simulator these files get reloaded, so you can easily check if your configuration is complete or not. Incremental change, save file, switch to Aerofly, select cold and dark, check result, repeat.

Flaps and Gear

When the aircraft gets teleported using the time-skip feature two new files are used to change the position of the landing gear and flaps.

  • If your aircraft has flaps: Copy the _flaps.tmd from another airplane, edit it and insert the parts of your _clean.tmd, _takeoff.tmd, _landing.tmd into the individual sections of the _flaps.tmd - then add the approach flap settings accordingly. All parameters set in the up, takeoff, approach or landing config should be the same, just with different values.
  • If your aircraft has retractable landing gear: Copy the _gear.tmd from another airplane, edit it and insert the parts of your _clean.tmd - then add the gear down settings accordingly. All parameters of the gear up configuration should be “undone” in the gear down config.

TMD File - Senders

Additional sender objects should be added to fully support all new features like detection of deadstick landing, logging flight time or displaying pitch trim. Leave away any senders that are not applicable.

  • Sender Aircraft.AngleOfAttack
  • Sender Aircraft.ParkingBrake (on/released)
  • Sender Aircraft.PitchTrimScaling - if sender trim is not discrete, this is used to normalize the displayed value in the flight info
  • Sender Aircraft.PitchTrimOffset - if sender trim value 0.0 does not equal a 0 degree stabilizer angle, this offset should be used
  • Sender Aircraft.RudderTrim
  • Sender Aircraft.EngineThrottle1,…
  • Sender Aircraft.EngineMaster1,… (run/cut-off)
  • Sender Aircraft.EngineRunning1,… (true/false)
  • Sender Aircraft.EngineRotationSpeed1,… (normalized)

TMD File - Aero-Wings (Optional)

The new aerodynamic wings in Aerofly FS 4 use multiple control surfaces and multiple control surface types (flaps, slats and spoilers).

To use the new aerowings you need to convert your old aerowing to the new structure for aerowing2. This is recommended only for aircraft that have also have slats and spoilers or more than two trailing edge control surfaces.

  • Change the syntax similar to our existing aircraft
  • Change the airfoil parameter names and add new parameters by copying from existing planes
  • Link up the new control surfaces

TMD File - Turbo-Engines (Optional)

Our new turbo-engine simulation can simulate turbofan, turbojet, turboprop and turboshaft engines with a modular component approach.

  • Copy an existing turbo-engine of a similar aircraft or similar bypass-ratio and scale all Area parameters by a constant factor.

Since thrust is proportional to the area this is a very good scaling factor. The factor that you need is your desired takeoff thrust divided by the rated thrust of the existing engine you are copying (a = thrust_me / thrust_other, and: Area_me = Area_other * a).

  • Copy the FADEC as well and multiply the FuelFlowConstant, FuelFlowMaximum and FuelFlowMinimum parameters with the same factor.
  • Make small changes to the Area and other parameters to adjust the engine behavior