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Old January 10th 04, 07:18 AM
mike popken
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Posts: n/a
Default AI Acft- A Gem Discovered

Hello everyone---

This isn't a question or a problem but a discovery I've made recently
and wanted to throw it out here so someone else might benefit rather
than just sitting on it. Put it in the public domain. If the length
doesn't suit you, just delete and move to the next message. Simple..
No need to have a stroke..

If you're an enthusiastic flt sim person (addict or otherwise), you
probably have observed how this "AI aircraft" craze has blossomed the
past several months. If you don't know what I mean, then just click
the CLOSE box and check another message. No time in this thread for
explaining what AI "IS". If you DO, then you realize there is a lot
of hoopla about PROJECT AI. And when you download the most important
programs that are needed to step up to the plate in the AI Ballpark,
you are directed repeatedly to PROJECT AI, PROJECT AI, PROJECT AI,
PROJECT AI. I'm referring here to the instruction files for Mr
Molitor's AI Traffic Manager, Mr. Swordy's T Tools, and AFCAD, and
Armando Di Francesco's Aircraft Parking Codes Manager.

Well, I guess that's all ok. When you produce something, you can put
in the instruction file (or glove compartment) whatever literature you
like, no? Sure. But these fellows producing the programs needed to
manipulate AI traffic, as noted above, are doing flight simmers (fs02
AND fs04) a disservice by only mentiioning PROJECT AI. There ARE other
players in the AI Ballpark, in case you didn't know, and I wanted to
share such info with other flt simmers, since this awareness will
certainly help you solve some pesky problems related to modifying AI
aircraft for your simming activities. IT SURE HAS WORKED FOR ME!!

Now, before getting to the good stuff, let's do the bad stuff first,
but that means we gotta talk about Project AI. I can't post this at
Project AI, nor the TWO BIG FORUMS (you know which I mean, don't you)
cuz they would either lock the threads or most likely, simply delete
them. TOO MUCH MONEY INVOLVED to allow opposing views.

Over at Project AI, they have a large collection of acft paint
schemes you can download to fill up your flt sim skies so you don't
have to continue putting up with those hokey make-believe default
Microsoft airlines. If you don't know how to get here, I'll spell it
out below, and it DOES require some explaining, as the Project AI
website, like their airplanes, is quite weird, as you will see from
the following directions.

First, go to the following website:

If you just go to the home page (, you'll
have lots of misery trying to find the link to the airline downloads.

Here's what you gotta do--- At the above page, scroll to the bottom
and click "I AGREE" line. One of those blackmail license thingies.
Then another page appears... You will see INSTALLER PACKAGES near or
at the top... Then two lines down, you should see AIRLINES. ***CLICK
ON THIS ***. On the next page, you will see the long side-by-side list
of airlines, any of which can be clicked on to download. You might
want to save this info, as I lost it and had a very difficult time
finding my way back. to this page.

Anyhoo, by the time you finish reading this, you may not want to go
back (but you will!!), but wait, there is more to that story. What I
thought at first was a mistake turned out to be the best medicine. I
downloaded the DELTA DELUXE package at PAI. Turns out this package
includes, among other things, a Boeing 757. And this was the first
aircraft I encountered after hours and hours of fiddling around and
finally getting things up and running in fs2004.

Before going further, there is a little undocumented trick (if it IS
documented, it's hidden somewhere in Microsoft's literature where I
still can't find it) you should know about relative to AI aircraft.
First, get flt sim running. Then change to your SPOT view, by pressing
the "S" key repeatedly, as necessary. If you're a rookie flt simmer,
and are not sure, watch the upper right corner of your screen-- in red
lettering, FS will tell you which view you are in as you press the "S"
key. When you get to SPOT view, stop.

It doesn't matter what YOUR aircraft is doing. It can be parked,
engines on or off, flipped upside down. Makes no difference. Now,
hold down the CTRL key and press keyboard "W". Now do it again, and
again, and again, and again. This will cycle you through and take you
up close to the AI aircraft that are in your immediate viscinity.
(BTW, after you thoroughly read the HTML HELP FILE that is included
with Lee Swordy's "TTools" program, why you see certain aircraft, but
not ALL aircraft, doing this "CTRL + W" maneuver will be understood,
but it's not important to know all that now).... If you happen to buzz
past a plane and want to go BACKWARDS to see it again, without having
to cycle all the way through, you can go BACKWARDS by holding CTRL +
SHIFT together, and then press keyboard "W".

The only problem "visiting" the AI aircraft in this way is it really
wrecks havoc on your system memory-- eats it all up. If you've done
this, I recommened you reboot (not just flight sim, but the computer)
before taking off on a flight, so you can reclaim all your memory. If
you have 1 gig of hard memory installed, then disregard. There is a
program from FreshSoftware (diagnose.exe) that does a fine job of
showing the extent to which flt sim 2004 eats up your memory. And it's
a free download, BTW. I think this is the URL:

Anyhoo, the CTRL + W routine allows you to snuggle up close to
your local AI traffic, regardless of what they are doing-- be it
parked at the ramp, taxiing, or in the air!! It was while doing this
I observed my first PROJECT AI aircraft IN ACTION; the 757, as noted
several paragraphs back in this diatribe.. And the "action" it
performed was quite amazing. It was porposing along like mad. What is
this??? Good grief... You can zoom in on AI aircraft, just as you
zoom with other situations, so I zoomed in and noticed the trailing
RETRACTION!!!! Good God in Heaven, I could hardly believe my eyes.
Here's this Boeing 757 zooming along at a curise altitude of 330,
doing mach .80 no doubt, and extending and retracting the flaps. It
just goes on and on and on. So this explained why the acft was doing
the porpoising routine. Now, the big question, WHY ARE THE FLAPS
EXTENDING AND RETRACTING. For that there is an explanation-- it is
called BUGS. Buggy FDE's. The only comment from the crew at PAI
website was to DOWNLOAD THE FDE UPDATES. The Big Guns over there, with
thousands of posts to their credit, were very quiet about my question
concerning the porpoising. No comment.

It turns out Project AI has an extensive set of patches for these
buggy aircraft. But what bothers me is there was not a peep of notice
on the download page that the aircraft on said page HAVE PROBLEMS; to
direct the downloader's attention to the patches. They just leave you
TO FIGURE IT OUT FOR YOURSELF. Maybe they think no one will notice, I
have no idea. I finally found the patch page, downloaded the patches,
and oh what a mess that is when you begin to unzip. Zillions of
embedded zip files within the main zip file. Good grief. So I drag out
the 757 patch for the Delta I had seen porpoising along at curise
altitude. I spend quite some time, feeling like the one-eyed cat
watching 3 mouseholes, comparing the original "aircraft.cfg" file with
the one contained in the patch. Lot of changes I noticed, no doubt
about that, but even with all these changes, this airplane still
doesn't behave properly. I was disgusted. I went back to the Project
AI Forum page, as I had done on many occasions, and it was amazing
that the only talk I could find about the patches were the poor
suckers describing how they were wasting away their lives patching all
the PAI aircraft, the progress they were making, etc etc etc, but NOT
A PEEP OF COMPALINT. Flight simmers, are, I'm sure, most agreeable to
abuse; I formed that impression a long time ago. How else could we
survive using a Microsoft product, eh??

Well, PAI fans seem quite content with this routine, with those
buggy, porpoising acft, but I thought to myself, there must be a
better way. No way I was going to patch dozens and dozens of aircraft
this way. Took me all night just fiddling with that *&^%$# 757. That
was enough for me!!

Investigating further (now we're coming to the GOOD STUFF, finally),
I discovered there IS another player in this AI ball game, but I still
can't figure out why the creators of the AI-manipulation programs (Mr
Molitor, Mr. Swordy, and Armando Di Francesco) never mention them.
I'm referring specifically to a group called " AI AARDVARK " Yes, the
flight sim ant eaters. Well, that's what an Aardvark does, right? Ok,
this Aardvark may not eat ants but is sure eats Project AI. So, where
are the Aardvarks? Here's the link: (home page) and (for download
files) and
(this link takes you away from the Aardvark site but is a fabulous
describing the RIGHT WAY to approach AI acft modeling. Excellent info)
From this tutorial, you'll soon discover why some models make good AI
acft, and some do not.

Are the Aardvark AI planes perfect? No, but unlike Project AI, the
Aardvark dowload page has the link for each acft, which will take you
to the update file so you can apply any patches before you fly, saving
the flt simmer the grief, as described above for Project AI.

Anyway, Project AI still has value. You can download their airline
packages, run the installer, and when finished, go fetch the FLIGHT
PLAN that is created as part of the install sequence and save it. You
have a nice flight plan you can re-configure later to do whatever you
like, including managing your Aardvark acft, or anyone elses. Then
go into your main flight sim directory \ Aircraft subdirectory and
just delete all the PAI aircraft. There is nothing that says you MUST
use them, eh? Installing them doesn't scramble your Registry or
anything. Just throw 'em out......

Simple. Hope this is of some value to someone out there. Aardvark
doesn't get much respect, as Rodney Dangerfield would say, but they

Hope this helps. If not, hit DELETE. And spare me the sermon about
this being too long. No one made you read it, did they????? Sorry,
there is no money involved here. Aardvark doesn't accept advertising,
is not a corporation with stock, so I have no financial interest in
them. I just found a better AI solution and thought someone else might
like hearing about it.