Most of the material on this page
applies to X-Plane
versions 7.x and earlier. Version 8 has a complete redesign of the
scenery architecture. There will also be a complete new suite of
development tools in the future. These are not yet available, and at
present the ability to build custom scenery for X-Plane version
8 is very limited. You can edit taxiways at airports
add custom objects
and create custom object overlays
, but that's
about as far as it goes.
How do I build terrain, such as Howland
Island (in the mid Pacific)?
(This writeup is really old, but to a certain extent
the techniques are still relevant.)
Actually, the hardest part might be just finding a decent topo map
of Howland Island. Once you've got that, WorldMaker is pretty
if somewhat tedious, to use. Building terrain with the default textures
is not that hard.
Voila! You've created an island!
- Determine latitude and longitude of the island. For the sake
this discussion, assume it's 1 deg. north, 177 deg. west.
- Create a folder named +00-180 in Resources\Earth
- Fire up WorldMaker and position yourself to +001, -177. You'll
see all blue - an untouched expanse of ocean. What you have here is a
150x200 grid of elevation points. Zoom in until you can see grid lines.
Since a degree of latitude is 60 nautical miles, each grid square is
roughly 1550 square meters.
- Scroll around until you get the window over where the island
supposed to be. Note that in the lower right, you get an instantaneous
readout of your current cursor coordinates.
- Select the "Toggle land/water" button. Click on all the grid
squares that should be land to get the approximate shape of the island.
- Select the "Move nodes" button. You can now adjust the
locations of the grid points to make the coastline more accurate. Note
that with X-Plane's default textures, the water squares that are
immediately adjacent to a land square will get a shoreline transition
texture that effectively extends the land image about halfway into the
water square. Hit the spacebar to toggle texture display.
It's a good idea to tweak the nearby water grid points as well to keep
the squares more or less square. If you don't, the textures will look
stretched in the irregular squares.
Also move inland nodes around as needed to match terrain elevation
features, such as hilltops, transitions between slopes and level
- Select the "Adjust elevation" button. Select each
land node and set the elevation according to your topo map.
- Save the terrain as +01-177.env in the +00-180 folder.
OK - you probably want to create a runway so you have a place to
land if you ever succeed in finding the island. Select Edit ->
Airports. Click on Add a New Airport and fill in the data. Hint:
must be level in X-Plane. X-Plane will automatically flatten the
square(s) occupied by runways and set them to the runway's elevation.
you want hills near the runway they must be in other terrain squares.
The selection boxes on the right are for glideslope, runway, and
approach lighting. (Hmmm - Howland Island? Probably not a lot of
lighting.) Save the airport file and you're done.
WorldMaker also has screens for placing structures like houses, and
for radio navaids. Navaids on Howland? Get real! If Howland had a radio
beacon we wouldn't be wondering what happened to Amelia.
WorldMaker won't let me modify terrain
When I select the "Edit Terrain" mode,
none of the editing functions are present. (This applies to X-Plane
versions 6.51 and later.)
To edit terrain, you need a custom
scenery folder. In the Custom Scenery folder, create a folder with the
name of your custom scenery. In that new folder, create at least a
folder named Earth Nav Data. Also create folders named Custom Objects,
Custom Object Textures, and Custom Terrain Textures if you're going to
add your own objects and/or terrain textures.
Find the geographic coordinates of the
area you want to edit. In the Earth Nav Data folder, create the
appropriate ten-degree folder and copy into it the ENV files you want
modify. (For an explanation of the ENV and folder numbering, see the general scenery page.)
For an example, see the San Bernardino
folder in the standard X-Plane download. (Note the custom object
in this package have an extra subfolder named SoCal. You can do this,
but it's not necessary.)
How do I save just the airport I modified?
As of version 6.70, the Save Airports function saves the
entire airport database in the main apt.dat file. If you want to set up
a custom apt.dat file in your custom scenery folder, containing only
your custom airports, you'll have to extract it from the main apt.dat
file with an editor. Apt.dat and nav.dat are text files, so any editor
capable of handling large text files will do the job.
Can I use Fly's 3rd party Terrascene tool to
create scenery with X-Plane?
Terrascene, given the current format of the ENV (scenery) files of
X-Plane, is useful as a partial texture generator. Nothing more.
You can generate a large texture for an area using Terrascene. Then
you can start cutting pieces out of it and apply textures to individual
terrain polygons in X-Plane.
You can not use the image as is - X-Plane does not support draping a
single large texture over the scenery terrain grid.
You also cannot cut up and use the complete image - X-Plane has
30,000 polygons per scenery tile and limits you to the number of custom
textures that can be assigned. Even though this limit is pretty high
(500 textures per ENV), this is a theoretical limit as video memory
limitations come into effect around 100+ textures (depending on the
amount of RAM your video card has). Thus you can only cut a certain
amount of textures from the Terrascene image and use that..
The bottomline is that X-Plane does NOT support Terrascene. There
are simply too many limitations in the current X-Plane scenery format.
Terrascene can however be used as a first phase texture generator for
creating custom scenery textures for X-Plane.
How can I assign custom textures
(like satellite photos) to scenery?
The following writeup is thanks to
Cormac Shaw. These techniques aply to the generation 6 and 7 scenery
(and WorldMaker in X-Plane 6.x and 7.x).
CUSTOM SCENERY WAFFLE PART 1:
- Create a scenery folder system in 'Custom Scenery' , see the San
Bernadino Example to see how. Make sure you include a copy of the ENV
file covering the area you want to add your textures or you won't be
able to edit.
- Place your new textures in your new 'custom terrain textures
- Go into Worldmaker. Select 'Edit/Terrain'. By clicking on the
little green lights choose 'apply texture below to clicked poly'. Now
heres the bit it took me a while to figure out. Scroll down the list of
textures until you reach the numbered 'untitled' textures, ie.
'0.untitled, 1. untitled, etc'. Now click on '0.untitled', not the
little green light but the actual script this will allow you to
to your new terrain texture and nominate it for possible future use. Do
the same for '1.untitled','2untitled', etc., until you've allocated
allyour new textures.
- Now by clicking on the little green light next to your new
textures you can select them to be placed by clicking on the map. Use
the +/_ keys to zoom and arrow keys to help navigate.
- Make sure you save. Easy once you know how.
If you assign a bunch of custom
textures to the numbered list but then only actually place some of them
on the terrain and then save and/or quit, then the ones that weren't
placed on the terrain will disappear from the list and you'll have to
reassign them.Also, once you've assinged a texture to a list number and
placed it on the terrain, it becomes very troublesome to change that
textures placement on the list in order to keep track of what's where.
This is important if you are chopping up a large aerial photo into a
So plan out your project. Draw out on a grid of the area you are
covering (e.g., a modified screenshot of the area from the WorldMaker
screen) how you are going to place your textures, deciding where you
going to use 3x3 polygon coverage or 4x4 or 6x6 or whatever and come up
with a logical naming scheme for the individual textures based on your
superimposed grid. Then write out your texture list assigning the named
textures to numbers in a logical fashion - you can even use gaps in the
numbering to keep a repeating pattern, for example. You can do all this
before you've even created your first texture. In doing so, you can
make, assign and place textures in whatever order is most convenient as
long as you keep to your scheme.Clear as mud.
Well, as for angles, you need a straight-down shot of the area,
anything else will look wrong. Basic steps that I used were:
CUSTOM SCENERY WAFFLE PART 2:
- Straighten out the terrain grid, if necessary, of the area that
you wish to cover and zoom in on it in Worldmaker and take a screen
- Decide how you are going to divide up the area into seperate
bitmaps. Will it be 2x2 polygons per bitmap, 6x6, or whatever. you need
to take into account the resolution of your original photos, the final
res you want and the size the final package is going to be.
- Get a good map of the area and draw your decided bitmap grid
it. Determine the lat/long of the bitmap grid nodes (corners).
- Open your WM screenshot and your photo (or a section of the
photo) in a grpahics editor that supports layers/objects and determine
what scaling and rotational changes you are going to have to make to
aerial photo to get it to match the terrain. Use the runways of an
airport in the area if there is one as this is the best reference for
both distance and bearing in WM.
- Start chopping up the aerial photo using the grid references from
the map for the corners of each segment. Apply the scaling and
rotational corrections to the chopped out photo segment and then squish
the segment to the powers-of-2 dimensions required by X-plane,
1024x1024, 512x512 or whatever and save as a 32-bit .bmp file. Repeat
for each segment.
- Note that segments at the edge of the photo will require "filling
out". You can copy and paste in elements from the local default terrain
bitmaps and the scnery will blend nicely.
- Apply the custom terrain bitmaps in WM.
+ + + Aligning and placing aerial/satellite photos + + +
Use the 'straightening' function in WorldMaker to make the edges of the
polygons to be covered run exactly north/south and east/west. Next
determine the exact longitude and latitude of each corner of the
(or group of polygons*) that you want to place a texture over. Then go
to you main photo and select the area that has the same co-ordinates.
Your selected area will ahve the same shape as the polygon or group of
polygons that you are going to cover - i.e., it will be significantly
taller than wide. So now copy and paste the selected area into a new
graphic file. Change the height of this new picture to match the width
so that you have a square picture and then resize it so that its
dimensions are a power of two (this usually means decresign the size to
the nearest power of two, you should only increase it if you are very
near a power of two already, too big an increase and you'll get bad
artefacts in the picture). Your new texture is now ready to be applied
to the polygon( or group of polygons) in WM. Don't worry that its a
differnet shape now to the area its covering! X-Plane will correctly
stretch the texture again to cover the area when it renders the terrain.
* it is easier and much less work to cut up a picture and assign its
parts to groups of polygons rather than each polygon individually. To
this use the '2x2', '5x5', etc buttons in the bottom of the WM screen
and click on the bottom-left-most polygon of the group of polygons you
are covering when you go to apply the texture. Remember though that the
more polygons you cover with one texture the less detail you will see.
If you want to cover a lot of polygons in one group, use a high res
texture: 512x512 or 1024x1024 pixels. Which res/group size you pick
depends on the detail of teh original photo and the desired memory size
of the final scenery package.
How do I add static
aircraft or other objects
to an airport?
Basically static airplanes are treated
as custom objects. They are recorded in the scenery files - either .dsf
or .env, depending on whether you're working with gen 8 or gen 7
- You have to create a custom scenery package:
For a general description of how custom scenery packages are
structured, see the scenery
- Create a new folder in the Custom Scenery folder. (Pick a
name.) In the new folder, create the following folders:
- Custom Objects
- Custom Object Textures
- Earth Nav Data
- Put the .obj files for the static aircraft in the Custom Objects
folder. You can create subfolder structures if you like to organize
them. Put the textures for the static aircraft in the Custom Object
Textures folder. Note that the .obj files contain partial pathnames for
the textures, so the textures folder structure must match what's called
for by the .obj files.
- Work out the lat/long coordinates of the airport you're working
on. North and east are positive, south and west are negative.
- Find the standard .env or .dsf file containing the airport. The
.envs are in Resources/Earth Nav Data; the .dsfs are in
Resources/Default Scenery/US/Earth Nav Data. Refer to the above scenery
FAQ page for how the naming conventions work. As an example, Bob Hope
Airport in Burbank is located at roughly 34 deg 12' north latitude, 118
deg 22' west longitude. That means it's contained in Resources/Earth
Nav Data/+30-120/+34-119.env (or the corresponding .dsf).
- Create an appropriate folder in your Custom Scenery/Earth Nav
Data folder, and copy the appropriate scenery file into it. Now you're
ready to start editing scenery.
How you edit scenery depends on what version of the scenery you're
Tools for editing the generation 8 scenery are still rather limited.
For some preliminary tools, tutorials, and examples, see Jonathan
. You can also extract objects from a generation 7 scenery
file and insert them into a generation 8 scenery file, described below.
If you're working with gen 7 scenery, you use WorldMaker 7.63:
- Fire up WorldMaker, click the Obstacles tab, and toggle the
lat/long coordinates to select the right square degree of scenery. Now
use the arrow keys and the + key to pan and zoom to the airport you
want to work on. The airport name will show up when you zoom in close
enough, but it helps to know where in the square degree the airport is
located. When you get in close enough you'll see the aiport's taxiways
- Now click the Select Current Custom Object button in the lower
left. (If there isn't one, WorldMaker isn't seeing your custom scenery
package, so you've got something wrong with the folder structure.) In
the file selection window that pops up, select the static plane or
other object you want to add. Click the Add Custom Object radio button
and dial in the desired object heading, and you're ready to go. Every
time you click on the map you'll plant another copy of the selected
object. Once you have a bunch of objects placed, use the upper radio
buttons to move, modify, or delete them.
- When you're all done, use the File menu to Save Terrin and
Obstacles and exit. Note - if WorldMaker prompts you to save airports
or navaids, tell it "No". They shouldn't have been modified; WorldMaker
gets a little overenthusiastic at times. You should now have a scenery
file containing your new objects in the custom scenery package.
import objects from a custom scenery package into the generation 8
Yes, by creating a DSF overlay. Cormac
Shaw explains, using the NYEXPRO package as an example:
- Download DSF2Text from here: http://scenery.x-plane.com/tools.php.
- Unzip and run "DSF2Text.exe" (don't try to run the "DSFTool.exe"
application beside it). You will now see a small window open called
- Now, for each subfolder of the 'NYEXPRO/Earth nav data', drag
each ENV file (e.g., "-23-044.env") to the XGrinder window. The
conversion will take a few seconds and a new .dsf file will appear
along side the .env file (e.g., "-23-044.env.dsf").
- Now change the name of this new file by removing the ".env" part
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each env file in the package.
That's it. You do not need to move any files or delete the .env files
(X-Plane automatically chooses a .dsf in preference to a .env if both
are available). You do not need to touch the .obj files or textures.The
.dsf files created are 'Overlay DSFs', not full DSFs, so they require
v8.30 or higher to be used.
One problem that might come up is that the old .env file may
reference an object file that was left out of the NYEXPRO package. This
used to be just ignored by X-Plane, but the DSF system does not
tolerate missing objects. If you get an error message in X-Plane about
a missing obj file when loading at a particular NYEXPRO airport, you
will need to delete the .DSF file for that particular airport and so
revert to the ENV format display.
Also, the NYEXPRO package in DSF format may conflict with other more
specialised packages for individual airports. If this happens, you'll
need to delete the specific DSFs in NYEXPRO that conflict with the
Can I convert
scenery for Microsoft Flight Simulator to use with X-Plane?
You can convert the objects, but not
the base terrain files. This lets you build an object overlay for the
base X-Plane scenery files. Kezza provides us with the following
Here is a description I wrote up for a few friends on here the other
day describing the process I used, if you are happy with the
conversion, you don't need to go through the following process:
I used a conversion program listed
The conversion program is straightforward to use, the tricky bit is
working out what bits in the scenery need to be taken out in the dsf
text file. FS scenery includes the runways and taxi ways (in some of
the scenery packages), so you can't see the XP runway and you end up
half buried in the FS runway. I used objview and AC3D to look at all
the objects in the scenery package so I could work out what had to be
deleted. Photoshop was also handy for looking at textures and working
out what they might be attached to.
The conversion program does a great job of converting. Once you have
successfully converted a FS scenery package, you then load XP and have
a look at what needs to be taken out of the scenery so that it looks OK
in XP. The hard part is identifying the separate object files in the
dsf text file, deleting them, then you simply use the DSF2Text.app and
re-converting the text file back to a dsf.
Here is part of a dsf text file scenery description. The first part is
the object definition "OBJECT_DEF", it tells the dsf what folder the
object is in and it's name. The block of text below is the number given
to the list of objects above and it's 3D position in the world. In
other words, OBJECT 2 refers to the object definition on line 3
(numbering starts with 0).
As an example, say you want to take out the third object down the list,
to do so, you also have to take out the corresponding line in the
second block of text, then renumber them i.e. OBJECT 3 would become
OBJECT 2 and all of the objects below have to be renumbered -1. I use
BBEdit and Excel to renumber the object numbers.
Before an object is deleted, in this case, the third one down the list:
OBJECT 0 -71.014523 42.366042 0.00
OBJECT 1 -71.018667 42.365667 0.00
OBJECT 2 -71.018820 42.357347 0.00
OBJECT 3 -71.018820 42.357347 0.00
Here is what the new list would look like with the "OBJECT_DEF
objects/cargo_gdirt-gate_dirt.obj" taken out:
OBJECT 0 -71.014523 42.366042 0.00
OBJECT 1 -71.018667 42.365667 0.00
OBJECT 2 -71.018820 42.357347 0.00
Notice OBJECT 3 is now renumbered OBJECT 2 and all following objects
would need to be renumbered by minus 1.
I built a custom building and when I look at
from behind it disappears.
The polygons you define for custom objects are only visible from
one side. The side that's visible is the one for which the corners are
listed in clockwise order. For typical closed objects, make sure all
polygons list their corners in clockwise order. If you're making an
object with both an outside and a visible inside (such as a hangar you
can taxi into), you must define separate polygons for the inside and
ouside of each surface.
Is there a way to make buildings solid or put
landing pad on top of them?
Yes... It depends on which version of X-Plane you're running and
what kind of building you want to modify. Current versions of X-Plane
have two classes of buildings: custom and autogen. Custom objects are
stored in the Custom Scenery folder tree, and are placed one by one by
the scenery designer. Autogen objects are stored in the
Resources\Autogen ojects folder tree and are automatically associated
with selected terrain classes. Actually, there's a third class of
building - the old "standard" building you can place with WorldMaker.
Its object definition is coded into X-Plane, so you can't modify it.
The .OBJ file defines the shape of the object; it's a text file with
tables of numbers that define the coordinates of the object's corners,
and associates the object's surfaces with portions of the texture file.
(The textures are stored in the companion texture folders.)
The .OBJ file format has changed from version 6.x to version 7. For
a complete description of the format of the .OBJ file, see Object
Reference.html in the Instructions folder of your X-Plane download.
that X-Plane 7 supports both object file formats. Most of he objects
distributed with X-Plane V7 are still in the 6.x format.
First, find the building you want to modify. You can identify custom
buildings by opening the area with WorldMaker and going into the Edit
Obstacles mode. Custom objects are shown as a gray rectangle with a "C"
in it. Click the "select" button and then click on the object, and
WorldMaker will display the object name. Remember, this only works if
the custom object is part of a package in the Custom Scenery folder.
Autogen objects are harder to identify because their placement is semi-
random. You're best off guessing from the name of the .OBJ file.
Anyway... Open the .OBJ file with any text editor. You'll see tables
of numbers that define the object's corners and surfaces. Look for
tables identified as being roof sections. In version 6.x, they begin
with a line starting with the number 4. Change the 4 to a 5 to make the
roof a landable surface. (If the line already begins with a 5 then it's
already a hard surface.) In the version 7 object format, the first line
of a roof starts with the word "quad". Change it to "quad_hard".
look for a comment identifying it as a roof. If there are no comments,
you'll have to interpret the surface coordinates. Yuk...) There are
other types of surfaces, but they can't be made landable; you'd have to
lay a quad_hard surface on top of them.
For an example of a simple object with a landable surface, see
Custom Scenery\San Bernardino\custom objects\SoCal\heliplatform.obj.
One other caveat: Don't put hard surfaces on too many buildings.
X-Plane needs to do a collision check on every hard surface, so having
too many will impact your frame rate. Putting hard surfaces on a lot of
autogen structures could get you in trouble...
How are textures mapped onto the Object7
format in version 7?
Ben Supnik provides the following detailed explanation:
A quad strip is a set of quads that touch at an edge something
| | | |
Where the numbers are the numbers of the vertices. Note the
zigzagging pattern: 2N vertices makes N-1 quads. They are faster than
individual quads because you use less vertices (2N vertices makes N/2
quads with individual quads).
Witih a quad strip, each point has a location in the master
texture too. To figure out what one quad's texture is (for example, the
3-5-6-4 quad in the above ASCII drawing), you look at the four texture
points for 3-5-4-6 and the quad they make on the master texture is
stretched over that quad in 3-d space. Of course, the texture can be
distorted ifthe texture coordinates are in funny places.
Each coordinate of a polygon is in the form x y z s t, where x,
y, and z are coordinates in meters in the 3-d object of the vertex (+x
east, +z = south, +y = up, 1 unit = 1 meter). s and t are coordinates
into the master texture...
+s = right, +t = up, and they go from 0, 0 (lower left) to 1, 1 (upper
So each coordinate has a 3-d location for the vertex and 2-d
location that is the point on the master texture to associate. When we
draw the polygon, we then stretch the texture made by the s,t
coordinates over the 3-d polygon in x,y,z.
Airports, Runways, and Taxiways
What do the runway lighting codes mean?
Tim Flight points us to the FAA Lighting
and Visual Aids page, which provides material for a detailed
WorldMaker offers three sets of runway lighting specifications.
No glideslope lighting
The VASI is a system of lights so arranged to provide visual descent
guidance information during the approach to a runway. Two-bar VASI
installations provide one visual glide path which is normally set at 3
degrees. The basic principle of the VASI is that of color
differentiation between red and white. Each light unit projects a beam
of light having a white segment in the upper part of the beam and red
segment in the lower part of the beam.
The precision approach path indicator (PAPI) uses light units similar
to the VASI but are installed in a single row of either two or four
PAPI-20 is a PAPI system set up for a 20 degree glideslope. It is used
only for Space Shuttle approaches, such as at Edwards Air Force Base.
No lights on this runway/taxiway
Taxiway edge lights are used to outline the edges of taxiways during
periods of darkness or restricted visibility conditions. These fixtures
emit blue light.
Touchdown Zone Lights (TDZL)
Touchdown zone lights are installed on some precision approach runways
to indicate the touchdown zone when landing under adverse visibility
conditions. They consist of two rows of transverse light bars disposed
symmetrically about the runway centerline. The system consists of
steady-burning white lights which start 100 feet beyond the landing
threshold and extend to 3,000 feet beyond the landing threshold or to
the midpoint of the runway, whichever is less.
Runway Centerline Lighting System (RCLS)
Runway centerline lights are installed on some precision approach
runways to facilitate landing under adverse visibility conditions. They
are located along the runway centerline and are spaced at 50-foot
intervals. When viewed from the landing threshold, the runway
lights are white until the last 3,000 feet of the runway. The white
lights begin to alternate with red for the next 2,000 feet, and for the
last 1,000 feet of the runway, all centerline lights are red.
REIL - Runway End Identifier Lights
REIL's are installed at many airfields to provide rapid and positive
identification of the approach end of a particular runway. The system
consists of a pair of synchronized flashing lights located laterally on
each side of the runway threshold. REIL's may be either omnidirectional
or unidirectional facing the approach area. They are effective for:
a. Identification of a runway surrounded by a preponderance of other
b. Identification of a runway which lacks contrast with surrounding
c. Identification of a runway during reduced visibility.
Medium Intensity Runway Lights - MIRL
Runway edge lights are used to outline the edges of runways during
periods of darkness or restricted visibility conditions. These light
systems are classified according to the intensity or brightness they
capable of producing: they are the High Intensity Runway Lights (HIRL),
Medium Intensity Runway Lights (MIRL), and the Low Intensity Runway
Lights (LIRL). The HIRL and MIRL systems have variable intensity
controls, whereas the LIRL's normally have one intensity setting.
No approach lighting
SSALR short approach 1
SALS short approach 2
ALSF1 full approach 1
ALSF2 full approach 2
ODALS rabbit only
For illustrations, see the FAA approach
taxiways at my airport don't look at all right
The taxiways on many small airports are
arbitrary. The problem is that while the runways come from US
Government data (DAFIF), there is no data for taxiways in a usable
encoding that anyone is aware of (or at least, available at a
reasonable price for use in X-Plane). The major (and other) airports
that have accurate taxiways are that way because someone sat down and
entered them by hand.
If you're sufficiently motivated, you can modify the airport layout
with X-Plane's WorldMaker. WorldMaker is an older generation tool and
the user interface is kind of obtuse and little buggy, but with a bit
of persistence it'll get the job done.
Here's a quick outline for doing the job with WorldMaker:
- Make a copy of your airport database! (Resources/Earth nav
- Fire up WorldMaker and select the Airports tab.
- Select the airport either with the scrolling window (very
tedious) or by entering airport name or IACO code in the upper line
under the scrolling window.
- Find the airport on the map and zoom in with the "=" key. You can
pan around with the arrow keys.
- Select a taxiway in the runway list and it will highlight on the
- You can now move or resize the taxiway by changing its lat/long,
dimensions, and heading. Add more taxiways by clicking the Add Runway
button and then modifying to suit.
- Select File->Save Airports to save.
If you've taken the trouble to put in correct taxiways for an airport,
you can have your work immortalized by sending it to Robin Peel, who
maintains the airport and nav databases. See Robin's data home page at http://x-plane.org/home/robinp/
for details and contact info. What you need to do is open your modified
apt.dat file with a text, search for the airport, and then copy out the
data block for that airport. This way, you share your work with other
X-Plane users, and, even better, it doesn't get overwritten the next
time you update X-Plane.
Are there any other tools for
laying out airports and taxiways?
Robin Peel recommends David Luff's
TaxiDraw - it allows you to load background images directly from the
USGS (for the USA) that scale/orient perfectly with the airport data.
you can use your own images (eg. charts) as a background. Lots of nice
editing tools and (such as cut and paste of multiple taxiway segments,
etc) that we have all wished for in WorldMaker.
Taxidraw is here: http://taxidraw.sourceforge.net/.
Note that TaxiDraw was designed to help FlightGear users edit their
airports, which are sourced from Robin's master database. So much of
the documentation refers to FG, not X-Plane. However, it's fairly easy
to figure everything out. Note that it will load data from an X-Plane
apt.dat file, but the results are saved in individual files for each
edited airport (that include other data in addition to an apt.dat file
fragment for the airport). You will need to cut and paste the
appropriate chunk of these files back into your master apt.dat file
you have completed your editing, to test your results in X-Plane. You
can also send these files to Robin so that he can consolidate any
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