Aircraft - Format and Conversion, Uploading
I downloaded an aircraft and X-Plane won't
Usually, it's because the plane is an older version. There have
been many aircraft version upgrades over the years; older
aircraft versions require upgrades involving varying amounts of work.
you don't want to get involved with upgrading aircraft, download them
through one of the registries and look for versions compatible with the
current version of X-Plane.
On the other hand, if you're running a version of X-Plane other than
the most recent, chances are good the plane is built for a later
version of X-Plane. (X-Plane's error message isn't very explicit and
will usually tell you it's an old aircraft, even if it's newer.)
There's no way to fix this other than to update
your version of X-Plane. Newer aircraft are not generally readable by
older versions of either X-Plane or PlaneMaker.
When I try to load an aircraft, X-Plane
complains about a missing airfoil.
Airfoil definitions are in separate files. X-Plane has a library
of "standard" airfoils in the Resources\Airfoils folder. Custom
go in the Airfoils folder under the main ACF folder. It doesn't matter
which folder has any particular airfoil; X-Plane looks in both.
X-Plane's error message tells you the name of the missing airfoil.
However, it's worth it to open the plane in PlaneMaker and check the
Expert -> Foils menu for the airfoils the plane uses. Since you get
dumped out of X-Plane for every missing airfoil, and where one airfoil
is missing there will probably also be others, this will save you a lot
Check the standard Airfoils folder for a similar name. The standard
airfoil names sometimes change. If this what happened, just make a copy
of the standard airfoil and change the name of the copy to what you
need. Note: "flatplate.afl" and "Flat Plate (very thin).afl" are
names; "NACA 2412.afl" and "NACA 2415.afl" are not! When in doubt, ask
the Tech list.
How do I convert an aircraft for
Microsoft Flight Simulator to use with X-Plane?
Sorry, you can't. The flight models are
conceptually different, so no automated conversion is possible. The
MSFS flight model is behavioral - that is, a large table of numbers
deterines how the aircraft will behave under a certain set of
conditions. The X-Plane flight model is structural - that is, X-Plane
computes how the plane flies based on a model of its structure and
other engineering parameters. MSFS also has a 3D model of the aircraft
for external display use, but converting this to the X-Plane aircraft
model would leave a lot of missing data. In addition, many of the more
serious MSFS aircraft use plugin features that have no counterpart in
What are the different aircraft versions?
There have been several major aircraft version groups in recent
history. Within each version group, aircraft are upwards compatible,
meaning that a later version of X-Plane will correctly handle an
aircraft built by an earlier version of PlaneMaker. (After 6.00 X-Plane
also accepts the previous major version.) New features were sometimes
within a group, so it's not safe to go the other way, and in most cases
simply won't work.
- 3.5 thru 4.5
- 4.6 thru 5.12 (except custom panel bitmaps, which went
through several changes)
- 5.20 thru 5.31
- 5.32 thru 5.66 (Some new features were added during this run
that require fixup of older aircraft. See description
- 6.00 thru 6.25
- 6.30 thru 6.70
- 7.00 thru 7.30
- 7.41 thru 7.63
- 8.01 thru 8.64
- 9.00 thru the present
How do I tell what version an aircraft is?
The 3.5 format is a text file, and is typically 27KB in size. All
later versions are binary files; 4.6 throuth 5.66 are about 160KB in
size; 6.00-6.70 are about 424KB; 7.00-763 are about 632KB; 8.01 through
8.50 are about 1.4MB; 8.60 is about 1.6MB; 9.x is about 2.5MB. Without
climbing in with a hex file patcher, it's
hard to tell them apart.
How do I convert an aircraft to work in the
Since a lot of folks are still using older versions of X-Plane,
the following material covers conversion to the V5 - V8 formats.
Use the parts of the description that apply to your situation. I'll
admit the V5 data is mainly of historical interest. If you want, skip
to the V8 data here.
While there are conversion aids, almost all format conversions
involve a certain amount of hand conversion. See the X-World page for links
information on using PlaneMaker.
Regardless of what version you're converting from, you have to set
up the correct folder structure. Each aircraft folder may have the
Bitmaps exterior (versions 5.32 thru 5.66 only)
Bitmaps interior (versions 5.32 thru 5.66 only)
Cockpit (versions 7.41 and up)
It should be pretty obvious what goes in each. In version 6 aircraft
the interior and exterior texture bitmaps are back in the main aircraft
folder. The folders and their contents are optional just as all the
bitmap files and sounds have been optional all along. However, to be
found, all custom files must be in the right folder. The convention for
airfoils is that standard airfoils go in the main Resources/Airfoils
folder. Custom airfoils specific to the aircraft go in the Airfoils
folder in the aircraft folder.
What you have to do otherwise depends on the version you're
Version 3.5 thru 4.5
There was a conversion utility that takes you from the 3.5 format
to the 4.6 format. Once you've done that, treat it as any other version
4.6 aircraft. The utility used to be available for download, but those
copies are long gone. Given all that's happened to the aircraft format
since then, it's not clear how interesting models this old are anyway.
If you really want to turn up a copy of the utility, ask in the tech
Versions 4.6 thru 5.31
PlaneMaker 5.54 automatically converts all released formats from
4.6 through 5.31 to the 5.32-5.66 format. (There's a couple of V5.x
formats that it doesn't handle. If you hit one of these, all your
instruments will be wrong.) Later versions of PlaneMaker 5.x only
support version 5.32 and later aircraft. If you're looking to convert
old aircraft, keep a copy of 5.54 around!
Simply open the plane in PlaneMaker 5.54 and save it. Then you can
open the plane with PlaneMaker 5.66 or 6.xx. Beyond that, there is a
certain amount of manual conversion you'll have to do, depending on
version you started out with·
Versions 5.12 and earlier
You need to start over with the panel - the instrument
representation in pre-5.20 aircraft is incompatible with current
and there is no automatic conversion. In PlaneMaker, open the Standard
-> Panel menu, click the Reset to Default button, and take it from
there. If the plane has a custom panel bitmap, discard it. (You might
able to use it as the basis for a new custom panel, but it will involve
a lot of work.) Read the rest of this section; then move on to the Converting to Version 6 section below.
You'll have to fix up the landing gear to set tire sizes and strut
angles in the Standard -> Landing Gear menu. If the plane has
retractable gear you must also specify the retracted positions of the
If the plane is a jet capable of supersonic flight, open the
Standard -> Engines menu and set an engine intake mach limit.
Typically this needs to be about .5 Mach less than the plane's maximum
speed, but you'll have to experiment. Also, if the plane has an
afterburner, set its maximum throttle setting to 105%; this makes it
easier to engage the afterburner with the throttle.
Make sure the plane's tail number (in Standard -> Viewpoint) has
a non-blank first character.
The following material applies to features that were added in 5.20
or later, so it doesn't apply to the 4.6 aircraft format. This
discussion also applies only if you're converting to 5.66. If you're
converting to V6 or later, skip this and go to Converting
to Version 6 below.
The main thing that's incompatible in the ACF format is that all
the instruments have been renumbered. For the basic conversion, just
open the ACF in PlaneMaker and re-save it. Make sure the plane's tail
number (in Standard -> Viewpoint) has a non-blank first character.
For planes without glass cockpits or custom bitmaps, you're done!
The following work is mandatory, depending on ACF design:
The EFIS map has changed significantly.
If you have a custom panel bitmap and an EFIS map, you'll have to
make a couple of changes:
- The old ARR mode is gone and has been replaced with a glass
- So what was the ARR button is now the HSI button.
- There are two new buttons, to select NAV1 and NAV2 for the
- The mode buttons are no longer part of the map instrument,
but are a separate instrument you must add.
- You may also want to add another new instrument, the HSI OBS
and heading select knobs.
The handles bitmap has been doubled in size and some of the old
buttons have moved. Many new items have been added - almost all the
moving parts and indicators on the panel are now there. You'll have to
convert your old custom handles. The best way to do this is to open in
your favorite paint program:
- Add and relabel the map mode buttons as described above.
- Remove any custom overlays you had on the map screen.
now displays the flight track and a moving compass rose, along with a
bunch of new data.
- The panel boundaries on instrument placement appear to have
shrunk a pixel or two. If you have instruments at the very edge of the
panel you may need to move their panel backgrounds a tad.
the new standard handles.bmp,
the old standard handles.bmp, and
your old custom handles.bmp.
Compare the old and new standard bitmaps to see what's moved where,
and then cut and paste your custom handles into the new one. Remember
do a Save As on the new bitmap under the new name!
The new EFIS map has pointers slaved to NAV1, NAV2, and the ADF. If
your plane lacks any of those, you can remove it from the map by
painting it over with the transparent purple color in handles.bmp.
This file replaces the old letters.bmp. There's a new group of
letters for the GPS readout and the various numerical displays (radios,
etc.) Again, if you have a custom letters.bmp it's best to start with
the new one. The tire texture is no longer part of paneltext.bmp.
New exterior texture file. Very few people have custom tires -
just go steal it from the Cessna to avoid the "pimpmobile" look.
New bitmap: compass.bmp. This is used for the compass rose in the
EFIS map. There are a lot of new instruments; I'm not going to try to
list them all here. Rummage the instrument list in PlaneMaker's panel
menu to see what's going on. There are also a several new ACF features,
like multiple landing lights with settable angles.
Version 5.32 - 5.66
X-Plane 5.62-5.66 will accept aircraft written by PlaneMaker 5.32 and
later. However, there are a couple of changes and new features that may
affect how the plane flies in 5.66. Depending on what features the
has, you may need to modify it with PlaneMaker 5.66.
- Reverse thrust percentage
New aircraft parameter that you must set in the Engine Specs 1 menu if
the plane has reverse thrust. X-Plane will reject the ACF if it has the
default zero value. This is the only ACF change that is mandatory.
- Aileron 2 cutout speed
New aircraft parameter you can set in the Special Controls menu. You
need this if the aircraft has a second set of ailerons. With a default
value of zero, the second ailerons won't function at any speed. To keep
the second aileron set permanently engaged, set the cutout speed to
- Increased fuselage lift
The fuselage aerodynamic calculations have been redone. Unmodified
aircraft will show a lower stall speed and better climb rate than
before. You'll have to tweak the ACF to bring it back to its prior
- Stiffer landing gear
Landing gear is a bit stiffer than it used to be. To get the change,
simply open the plane in PlaneMaker and resave.
(This discussion applies only if you're converting to 5.66.) If the
plane uses linear tape EFIS displays and has a custom
Paneltext.bmp, the bitmap needs to be modified. A color patch for the
tape has been added. Have a look at the standard Paneltext.bmp in
Resources\Textures; the color patch is prominently labeled. If your
custom Paneltext.bmp doesn't have the color patch, the tape won't
Converting to Version 6
PlaneMaker 6.00-6.25 accepts aircraft written by PlaneMaker 5.32 thru
5.66 and converts them to the current V6 format. PlaneMaker versions
after 6.25 no longer accept the 5.x ACF format, so hang onto a copy of
After the conversion, there is potentially a lot of manual work to
- New aircraft features
There are a number of new aircraft features that you may want to take
advantage of. Explore the PlaneMaker menus. Depending on the aircraft,
there are a few that require mandatory attention; these are the same as
in 5.66 - see preceding description, except the
- Landing gear
There have been a couple of complaints about bogus landing gear strut
lengths after the automatic conversion. Check yours and fix as needed.
- Exterior textures
The format for the exterior aircraft textures has changed completely.
Instead of a separate texture file for each aircraft component, there
a single bitmap file named <ACF-name>_paint.bmp. It must be
located in the same folder as the main ACF file, not in a subfolder.
Different areas of the bitmap are used as textures for different parts
of the plane. The template file Instructions\paint reference.bmp has
areas labeled to show you what's what. You'll have to use a paint or
image editor program to resize your existing texture bitmaps and paste
them onto the appropriate areas of the bitmap.
There is also an optional <ACF-name>_paint_LIT.bmp for
lighted night time textures.
To convert the exterior paint bitmaps Ben Supnik has written XPaintConverter,
available for both Mac and Windows. It converts both the exterior
textures and custom panel bitmap.
- Interior cockpit view bitmaps
Version 6 supports the same set of cockpit view bitmaps as version 5,
but their size has changed to go along with the change in natural
resolution in V6. Also, the names have changed slightly. Instead of
<ACF-name> panl.bmp, for example, the name is now
<ACF-name>_panel.bmp. Lighted panels -
<ACF-name>_panel_LIT.bmp and side view bitmaps -
<ACF-name>_panelRF.bmp, etc. - are also supported.
Your existing V5 bitmaps must be resized from 800x582 to 1024x750.
This is a straightforward job with most paint programs. However, you
will probably end up with a purple fringe around each window. This is
caused by the unavoidable interpolation you get with resizing - the
edges of the window will be an off shade of purple. To avoid this, use
the following procedure:
- For each window, pick a color from the edge of the window
frame. Use the lightest part of the window frame edge and then make it
about 10 units lighter (out of a lightness scale of 255). Use this
to flood the entire window.
- Now resize the bitmap.
- Repaint the window area purple (255, 0, 255 RGB). Use a 5-10
unit tolerance on your area selection/paint tool so that it stops at
window edge. You will probably still have to do some manual cleanup to
straighten out rough edges.
See also XPaintConverter
Note: Because of the radical differences in panel design between V5 and
later versions, you might want to consider not converting your 5.x
custom panel and going with a default panel instead. See next
Panels and instruments have changed radically from V5. The default
panel and instrument bitmaps are much much better looking than before,
and you might seriously consider discarding the custom panel entirely.
Note that there are 6 different default panel backgrounds for different
aircraft types. You select one in the PlaneMaker Viewpoint menu. If
you're going to press ahead and convert your V5 custom panel, here's
what you need to look out for:
- You'll have to start from scratch with instrument placement in
PlaneMaker, since the conversion resets you to a default instrument
- Many instruments have changed shape - knobs are in different
places relative to the instrument display, etc. You'll have to adjust
your panel graphics accordingly.
- The autopilot controls have been broken up into their
- Knobs, needles, buttons, and indicators are also all new. The
old handles.bmp, etc., files are replaced with panel_test_linear.bmp,
panel_test_nearest.bmp, and panel_blend_linear.bmp, all located in the
Resources\Bitmaps folder. These bitmaps are a lot larger than the old
ones, but are pretty well labeled. If you want to make custom versions
of these, they should be named <ACF-name>_test_linear.bmp, etc.
Night light versions are also supported -
<ACF-name>_test_linear_LIT.bmp, etc. So far there aren't a lot of
worked examples. The F-105 in the Aircraft\Fighters folder is one.
- The way buttons and indicators are drawn has changed. In V5,
handles.bmp contained separate images for the "on" and "off" states of
buttons and indicators. In V6, the "off" state is contained in the
default bitmap for the instrument. So if you're using a custom panel
bitmap, it must show all buttons and indicators in their "off" state.
Panel_test_linear.bmp and panel_test_nearest.bmp contain only the "on"
state of all buttons and indicators. There are now some rotary knobs as
well; all positions of the knobs are separate images in
- Some of the EFIS features, such as the rotating compass rose
and switchable HSI mode, are no longer available.
- There are a lot of new features and instruments you might
Converting to Version 7
Although there's a new ACF format for V7, actual differences from
V6 up through V7.30 are fairly minor. A V7.x PlaneMaker reads V6
aircraft and automatically converts to V7 format when you save. So far
X-Plane also is willing to load V6 aircraft. However, this may end in
the near future, so be ready to convert.
There are a couple of minor gotchas in moving aircraft from V6 to
- Landing light #3 has become a taxi light. If your V6 plane has a
#3 landing light, you'll have to add a taxilight switch to the panel to
avoid a loading error.
- For planes with retractable landing gear, you need to specify a
gear cycle time if they're from an earlier V6 version.
- The front panel view is now the full screen. (The menu bar only
pops up if you move the cursor onto it.) Custom panel bitmaps should
be 1024x768. The V6 1024x750 panel bitmaps will be accepted, but you'll
have a gap at the top of your panel view.
Additional changes in 7.10:
- The AP1/AP2/GPS autopilot buttons have disappeared. The HSI
source selector switch (but_HSI_12 or but_HSI_12GPS) now selects the
autopilot source. You'll probably need to add one of these if you
have one already.
Additional changes in 7.21:
- The naming structure for custom sound files has changed. Engine
sounds are now individually named and are in an Engines subfolder. See
the Beech King Air for an example.
Additional changes in 7.30:
- Panel bitmaps may be taller than the the previous height of 768,
with a panel of up to 1024x1024 supported. The up and down arrows
between the upper and lower panel views.
And, of course, there are always new features and controls worth
Converting to V7.41+
V7.41 introduces another overhaul of
the panel and instrument graphics. There are a number of new
and controls, but the functions of existing instruments are largely
unchanged. However, there are significant changes in how the instrument
graphics are handled:
- The graphic elements for each instrument are now contained in
separate PNG files. There are up to 5 separate PNGs for each, for
instrument bezel, shadow mask, moving instrument elements, and text.
Exactly how instrument elements are assigned to the PNGs depends on the
- The graphics for individual instruments may be customized by
adding the appropriate folders under the main aircraft folder.
- You can now create a custom panel background (i.e., blank panel)
in the same way, by adding the path Cockpit\-PANELS-\panel.png to the
main aircraft folder. X-Plane draws either standard or customized
instruments on the blank panel.
To see how to use this, have a look at the SAMPLE CUSTOM PLANES folder.
This is the preferred way of creating custom panels for the future.
Compatibility and conversion implications:
- V7.41 continues to accept the 6.30+ aircraft format, so
conversion is not necessary in many cases.
- The Heavy Metal and Fighter panel backgrounds have been redone
and their proportions are different. Old aircraft using these default
panels will load OK, but the instruments won't fit properly on the
image. You'll have to open the plane with PlaneMaker and do some
rearranging of the instruments.
- Because of additional breakup of the EFIS/ECAM glass instruments
into separate elements, some of these may need some manual fixup.
- If the plane has a HUD you will have to redo it. There are now
multiple configurable HUD elements that you must set up.
- The old custom panel format, where the instrument backgrounds are
drawn as part of the custom panel background, will continue to be
supported through V7.99. For X-Plane to recognize this format, though,
you must have either or both of the <acf-name>test_linear.bmp or
<acf-name>test_nearest.bmp files present in the folder. If you
didn't have one (because you were using the default instrument
elements), create one by copying the standard one from the
Resources\Bitmaps\Cockpit\Legacy Custom Panels folder.
Note well! There are some
bugs in 7.41's rendering of instruments in the old panel format,
especially in areas where the design of the instruments has changed.
These bugs are in all probability not going to get fixed. So if you're
having problems with an old style custom panel, you're going to have to
convert to the new format to get them fixed.
Other important new features:
- In addition to the "look down" mode in the main cockpit view,
there is also an optional "look up" view. This is especially suitable
for the overhead portion of the Heavy Metal panel. You set this up with
the "Panel Scroll Up" item in the Standard->Viewpoint menu.
- Autopilot response constants are now settable - see the new
Autopilot tab in the Expert->Artificial Stability menu. You can tune
the autopilot to match the response characteristics of the aircraft.
default constants have changed from previous versions, so aircraft that
flew OK in previous versions may need to be tuned.
- Shift-click and drag-select allow you to select groups of
instruments and move them together. Also check out
Resources\Keys\Plane-Maker.txt for a whole new set of keyboard commands.
New instruments and features and refinements continue to show up in
releases after 7.41. Check the Detailed
pages and the Planemaker menus for details.
Converting to V8
As you might expect, V8 introduces
another rev in the aircraft format. Mostly, the changes are internal
conversions are reasonably transparent, with a couple of exceptions.
a detailed description of the changes in the V8 aircraft format, see
the 8.01 detailed
Significant things to watch for:
- A lot more systems (vacuum, electrical, fuel, etc.) have been
added, giving you the opportunity to add a lot more switches to the
panel that actually do stuff (and make it ever harder to get the plane
started!) There's also the opportunity for a lot more failures. For the
details, see the V8
detailed history pages.
- New parameters are added to the aircraft format with each X-Plane
release, even within the same ACF format version. Values for these
parameters are not always properly defaulted when PlaneMaker of X-Plane
load up a slightly older aircraft. A classic case recently reported is
some older aircraft coming up with a tire friction coefficient of zero,
which makes for entertaining ground handling. To fix this, open the
plane in PlaneMaker and select Standard->Landing Gear, Gear 2 tab.
Enter reasonable tire friction coeficients in the boxes at the bottom.
The default values are 0.025 for rolling resistance and 0.75 for
maximum friction. (Thanks to Dan Freeman for this gem.)
- V8 supports true 3D cockpits. In brief, you create an X-Plane
object in the usual OBJ7 or OBJ8 format, with textures visible from the
inside. For the side views,
sections of a texture bitmap as usual. The panel (with all its
instruments, knobs, etc.) is assigned as a texture to one or more quads
of the cockpit object through the quad_cockpit
directive. In the PlaneMaker Viewpoint menu you assign the location of
the cockpit object. (Placing it so that it surrounds the viewpoint is
recommended.) The old side view bitmaps are also still supported. You
choose between the 3D cockpit and the old side view bitmaps in X-Plane
with the control-O key. For a worked example, see the -EXAMPLE PLANE-
folder. For a details, see the 3D Cockpit
- V8 no longer supports the legacy custom panel format, as
previously announced. However, experience so far indicates that they
still work, at least to some extent.
The old panel background file <ACF-name>_panel.bmp still loads
and displays. There is no guarantee, however, of how much longer it
will continue to work. You should convert the plane to use the new
format custom panel (or just give
up and go with a default panel).
An easy way to go with the new custom panel format is to take the
existing custom panel bitmap and just move it to where the new one is
supposed to be: Create the subfolder Cockpit\-PANELS- and move the
bitmap in there, named Panel.bmp. Note: If the panel bitmap is one of
the older 1024x750 bitmaps, you'd better extend it to at least 768
Then, using the panel editor in PlaneMaker, adjust the locations of the
instruments so they line up with their existing images on the panel. If
you want to keep your custom dial faces, switches, handles, etc.,
in for a lot more work. You'll have to take the image elements from
old custom bitmaps, cut them up, and build up the whole set of custom
instrument folders called for by the new format. One short-cut approach
I've seen is to make the fixed dial and bezel elements of the
individual PNGs completely transparent, so that the bezels you have
painted on the panel show through.
- As of 8.15, X-Plane checks the Reynolds
numbers when you've specified different high and low Reynolds numbers
for the airfoils. There are two rows of airfoil assignments for each
wing surface; the top row is the low RN airfoil and the bottom row is
the high RN airfoil. If they are assigned backwards X-Plane will
complain. A considerable number of third-party planes have backwards
Reynolds Number assignments.
To fix this:
Open the plane in PlaneMaker. Select Expert->Airfoils and then
select the Wings tab. You'll see a 2x2 table of airfoils for each wing
section. The left column is for the root (inboard end) of the wing and
the right is for the tip (outboard) end. The top row is for the low
Reynolds number airfoil and the bottom row is for the high Reynolds
number airfoil. What you need to do is to swap the airfoil assignments
of the two rows. Click the button to the left of the name to pop up a
file selection menu and select the right airfoil. If a plane has
separate high and low RN airfoils, you should expect to find them in a
custom Airfoils folder alongside the ACF.
A couple of gotchas...
X-Plane only reports the first error it sees. If a plane has the RNs
backwards for one wing section, it probably has them backwards for
others as well. Sometimes the airfoil files have obvious names (like
containing the phrase "high RN" or "low RN"). Other times you'll have
open the .AFL files with AirfoilMaker and find out. You should find the
Reynolds number near the top of the screen to the left of the chart.
Also, some aircraft designers play games with the high and low RN
airfoils to tune the aircraft's performance. It may be that the
are assigned as they intended, and swapping them will change the ACF's
performance. The only way out of this is to ask the aircraft designer.
- In versions 8.32 and 8.40, there were
significant changes in control surface effectiveness (i.e., the amount
of force greated by deflecting a control surface like an elevator or
aileron). 8.32 almost doubled control surface effectiveness from
previous versions; 8.40 reduced it substantially but it is still
greater than earlier versions.
As a result, older planes with custom autopilot constants or artificial
stability settings may need to have the constants adjusted to fly
stably in these and later releases. (The default constants built into
X-Plane were modified to account for the change, so most planes that
use the default AP constants are not affected.) The most common symptom
is pitch oscillation in any of the vertical autopilot modes (ALT, VS,
GS, etc.) Higher airspeeds and low frame rates make the problem worse.
For a detailed description of how to fix these problems, see the Autopilot Tuning Page.
Converting to V9
There are a couple of significant new
features in V9 aircraft:
- Larger texture bitmaps. Both panel and external textures can now
be as large as 2048x2048. If the panel bitmap is wider than 1024 and
your X-Plane resolution is smaller than the panel bitmap width, the 2D
panel view lets you pan horizontally to see the entire panel.
- Generic instruments. You can buld your own instruments with your
own graphic elements and objects, tied to any available X-Plane dataref.
Conversion from V8.x to V9 as always involves re-saving the aircraft in
PlaneMaker. Specific conversion gotchas:
- There is a known problem in opening aircraft from early 8.x
versions, such as 8.10. All instruments may be missing. To work around
this problem, open and resave the aircraft in PlaneMaker 8.64 first.
- In V9, multiple fuel tanks with the same lateral location are
treated as a single fuel tank. To avoid this and have multiple tanks
inline, give them slightly different lateral offsets.
- There are many new systems features again. Check the PlaneMaker
menus for things that may apply.
How do I upload an aircraft I've built or
OK... hold on a minute. Where did you get this aircraft
from? All the aircraft for X-Plane are available free of charge. But
that does not mean they become your property. Most are under copyright
and are made available to you under some sort of license. The license
terms should be in a Read Me file included with the aircraft you
downloaded. Often the terms prohibit redistribution without permission.
Please check the license terms and ask for permission before you
redistribute a derivative of someone's work.
Make a compressed archive
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The first thing you need to do is to pack up your files
and folders into a compressed archive. Zip format is preferred, simply
because that's what the majority of users are set up for. Current
versions of Windows and Mac OSX have the ability to create Zip archives
The other compression format, seen mostly on Macintosh, is the
archive. Feel free to use it, but be prepared for complaints from PC
users that don't know about Stuffit Expander
Find an FTP site
You need to upload your archive to some
internet-accessible FTP server. Most ISP accounts include some FTP file
space. Check the documentation for your ISP about how to use it.
X-Plane.org provides several
classes of web hosting, ranging from a free service to several
classes of paid service. The X-Plane.org download manager provides
combined aircraft registration and storage space.
Alternatively, you can upload your archive to Avsim.com. At
Avsim.com, you upload and register your plane
in one operation.
Register your plane
There are two registries for X-Plane aircraft. Both
require you to establish an account (no charge). The Avsim X-Plane
registry is relatively stale and doesn't get a lot of use these days.
X-Plane.org is the preferred site.