FSX Red Saratoga II TC

PreviewRed Saratoga II TC, 1965. A repaint of the FSD International Piper Saratoga II TC based on the original 1965 Piper Cherokee Six. The color is white over red with black trim. A flight plan from Tagbilaran, Philippines, to Sydney, Australia is included. Repaint by Ben Anderson.

Screenshot 1Screenshot 2
Repaint for Payware Model
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Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) including Steam Edition & Prepar3D (P3D)
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2.14 MB
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Red Saratoga II TC, 1965. A repaint of the FSD International Piper Saratoga II TC based on the original 1965 Piper Cherokee Six. The color is white over red with black trim. A flight plan from Tagbilaran, Philippines, to Sydney, Australia is included. Repaint by Ben Anderson.

Red Saratoga II TC in flight.

Red Saratoga II TC in flight.

1965 Retro Repaint of the FSD Piper Saratoga II TC
Ben Anderson
September 6, 2008


The Piper Saratoga II TC is the latest rendition of an airframe that was first introduced in 1965. Users wanted a six-seat aircraft and Piper responded with the 260 h.p. fixed gear Cherokee Six which could carry up to seven people. Since then, thousands of this fuselage style have been built and are in use around the world. Even the twin-engine Seneca uses this fuselage. The aircraft is a stable, dependable workhorse. Various modifications were added over the years including a 300 h.p. engine, retractable gear, a tapered wing and turbocharging.

My appreciation of the Cherokee Six began as a child. My father flew a 1966 model in the Philippines extensively as a missionary and pilot. It was painted the colors I have reproduced here. Later he flew a 1974 300 h.p. model. I spent many hours perched on a yellow life raft in the right front seat 'steering.' I flew from the Philippines to southern Australia and back in the 1966 Cherokee and from the U.S. to southern Brazil and back in the 1974 model. Some of the flights had us over water for hours and the Lycoming O-540 never missed a beat, definitely a tried and true engine.


ReadMe.txt (this file)
FILE_ID.DIZ (FlightSim.com header)
N1965W.gif (Flightsim.com picture)
N1965W.jpg (large picture of repainted airplane)
\texture.1965\ (folder)
\FSX Files\ (folder)
VFR Tagbilaran to Bankstown.PLN
Saratoga Tagbilaran Takeoff.FLT


1. Unzip the 'texture.1965' folder and its contents into the '\Simobjects\Airplanes\FSD Saratoga II TC Std' or '...Glass' folder as desired.

2. Run the Saratoga II TC Load Manager. The repaint will be listed. Save and then Exit the Load Manager.


I have included a flight plan for a real flight which took place in 1970. I flew in a 1966 Cherokee Six 260 to Sydney, Australia from the Philippines along this 4000nm route: Tagbilaran, RP - Davao - Manado, IN - Makassar (aka Ujung Pandang) - Kupang, Timor - Darwin, AU - Tennant Creek - Mt. Isa - Longreach - Rockhampton - Brisbane - Aeropelican (bad weather stop) - Sydney (Bankstown). The trip took six days. In those days there was no GPS or decent weather reporting, plus the rough tropical air and thunderstorms in the afternoons encouraged us to take off at the crack of dawn and fly only in reasonably good weather. Turning back or landing at the nearest airport was always an option except when far out over the ocean. Navaids, even if working properly, were few and far between, the most common being the ADF tuned to a commercial radio station in the destination city.

The 'Saratoga Tagbilaran Takeoff' flight starts on the active runway at Tagbilaran, Philippines, at dawn on November 1, 1970 with the 'VFR Tagbilaran to Bankstown' flight plan loaded.

The thumbnail shot is of N1965W flying over Sam Ratulangi airport in Manado, Indonesia, at dusk with Mt. Klabat in the background.


1. The wings and wingtips of the modern Saratoga are different from the original Cherokee. This, coupled with the fact that the FSD model stretches the wingtip texture, makes it impossible to exactly reproduce the thin red over black trim lines on the wingtips of the Cherokee. Instead I have painted the tips red with black trim, which seems to match the rest of the plane nicely.

2. A legacy Hartzell logo is used on the propeller blades which is more clear than the original by FSD. The Cherokee had a two-bladed prop.

3. I have included a texture file (propc.bmp) which makes the propeller circle less visible than FSD's. Prop textures vary widely in flight sims. Real airplanes at power settings above idle have an almost invisible prop. Videos and pictures of airplanes often show the prop either still or with short arcs. That is not how the human eye sees the prop, but is rather a function of the shutter speed of the camera. I prefer to see the prop the way the human eye sees it. If you like it you can copy it over to your other Saratoga textures as well.

4. The N number is painted in international 12-inch letters with '1965' representing the year and 'W' as the final letter, which seemed to be common on Cherokees of the day. Thus the call sign is 'N1965W."

5. Texture files are in the DXT5 format. I conducted some tests using DXT1a, DXT3, DXT5 and 8888 (uncompressed) formats and the DXT5 format is the best of the compressed formats and the files are only a quarter of the size of uncompressed.

6. Some anomalies on the model.
a) There is a thin black strip at the wing roots which I cannot get rid of and is present in other repaints as well. Perhaps this is supposed to be a rubber seal.
b) FSD built the Saratoga model based on the Seneca model. Unfortunately they left the lower rear engine nacelles on the wings. This is not an error in the texture but in the model itself. Hopefully FSD will fix that one of these days.
c) The paint kit did not include a rear bottom fuselage, causing the paint to simply carry over from one side to the other. That is why there is a multi-colored rear tie-down. Think of this as a feature!

7. The preferred texture file format for FSX is DDS. It is thought that the FSX graphics engine can load these textures with slightly less processing power than BMP textures. For me, a huge benefit of DDS textures is that I can read and write them without ever leaving Photoshop using the nVidia plug-in. Unfortunately, the FSD Load Manager was originally designed for FS9 which was purely BMP. It will not recognize any DDS textures when installing a repaint. Although there is a workaround for this and I do use DDS files on my own computer, it is simpler to distribute the BMP textures which work fine in both the Load Manager and in FSX. Also, these textures should work for FS9 as well as FSX.


1. Piper Aircraft Corporation, for making some great aircraft. They also created the design used in this repaint.

2. FSD International, for a nice model of the Saratoga II TC.

3. Microsoft, for continuing to develop the Flight Simulator software.

4. My father, who gave me a love for flying from the start.

May you have many happy hours with your FSD Saratoga in its 1965 red paint scheme.

Ben Anderson

Images & Screenshots

Screenshot 1Screenshot 2

The archive sar1965r.zip has 21 files and directories contained within it.

File Contents

This list displays the first 500 files in the package. If the package has more, you will need to download it to view them.

Filename/Directory File Date File Size
FILE_ID.DIZ09.06.08291 B
FSX Files09.06.080 B
Saratoga Tagbilaran Takeoff.FLT09.06.0813.61 kB
VFR Tagbilaran to Bankstown.PLN09.02.084.59 kB
N1965W.gif09.06.086.40 kB
N1965W.jpg09.06.08173.33 kB
ReadMe.txt09.06.086.61 kB
texture.1965red09.06.080 B
aircraft.bmp09.06.08144.49 kB
fsdsaratoga1_T.bmp09.06.081.00 MB
fsdsaratoga2_T.bmp09.06.081.00 MB
fsdsaratoga3_T.bmp09.06.081.00 MB
fsdsaratoga4_T.bmp09.06.081.00 MB
fsdsaratoga5_T.bmp09.06.081.00 MB
paint.cfg09.06.08370 B
propc.bmp09.06.0864.07 kB
thumbnail.jpg09.06.0830.01 kB
Thumbs.db09.06.0837.50 kB
Thumbs.db09.06.087.00 kB
flyawaysimulation.txt10.29.13959 B
Go to Fly Away Simulation.url01.22.1652 B

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