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Confirmed: (Some) Freeware FSX Add-ons Work in FSW

Last updated Tue, 23 May 2017 12:08:25 GMT
Originally posted on Tue, 23 May 2017 10:28:40 GMT

Dovetail Games' new flight simulator, Flight Sim World (FSW) was released on Steam Early Access last week and many of our users have been wondering if existing FSX add-ons will work with this new release.  While Dovetail hasn't mentioned a lot on this topic, we thought we'd have a look ourselves and see what we could find.  The results are interesting.

As mentioned, Flight Sim World was released on Steam's Early Access platform on the 18th May 2017 and much of the community have been wondering if existing add-ons and expansions (freeware and payware) will work with the new sim.

Dovetail haven't mentioned a lot with regards to expansions and add-ons but our early testing with our own selection of files seems promising. 

The directory structure within FSW is very similar to FSX, which is what we expected because of course, they are developing this new simulator on the existing FSX platform.

We tested four of our existing files; three aircraft and one scenery package.  Here is what we found...

Aircraft: Honda Jet

Testing the Honda Jet in FSW

All aircraft for Flight Sim World need to have a few lines added into the configuration file of that aircraft. These are the following:

ui_thumbnailfile="texturethumbnail.jpg" 
ui_hangarfile="texturethumbnail.jpg"
ui_selectionfile="texturethumbnail.jpg"
ui_tilefile="texturethumbnail.jpg"
​ui_info=333705325

These lines have to be added to the end of every aircraft variant within the configuration file. They must also have the correct location of the ‘texture’ folder changed (e.g. ui_thumbnailgile=”texture.BAthumbnail.jpg).

After adding these lines into the file and launching FSW and clicking on the HondaJet, the following error message was shown:

Error message shown

After clicking ‘Cancel’ the aircraft loaded in fine and seemed to fully work.

However, one thing noticed was the displays in the cockpit appeared difference than in FSX: 

The cockpit of the Honda Jet in FSW

 

This displays appear black and grey without the same background as in FSX: 

The same cockpit displayed in FSX

Scenery: Ibiza X Freeware

Ibiza scenery tested in FSW

The scenery installs well and without any problems.

However, instead of adding the scenery to the Scenery Library within the game, like FSX, you need to add it in manually to the configuration file. The following lines must be added to the end:

[Area.127]
Title=@IDS_AREA122_ADDONSCENERY
Local=Addon ScenerySFD_LEIB_Ibiza_X
Layer=127
Active=TRUE
Required=FALSE

These lines have to be added to the end of the configuration file for every new piece of scenery installed. They must also have the correct edits including changing the Area number to the latest and changing to the location and layer number.

Once done, there are no further steps within FSW and the scenery works straight away without any problems. 

Aircraft: iFly Freeware 747

Testing the 747

The same three lines must be added into the configuration file of this aircraft as the first add-on.  The aircraft appears in Flight Sim World and can be selected with all the details being shown.

However, once clicked on, the following messages appear: 

This is not a Flight Sim World aircraft model error message.
"This is not a Flight Sim World aircraft model" error message.

 

And then: 

The publisher could not be verified.  Are you sure that you want to run this software?
"The publisher could not be verified.  Are you sure that you want to run this software? " Error message regarding the unsigned gauge files.

And then:

Would you like to designate this module as trusted software?
"Would you like to designate this module as trusted software? " confirmation box.

And then:

Visual model could not be displayed error box.
"Visual model could not be displayed" error box.

All four, except the second message, appear each time the aircraft is selected. The second message is first-time only.

Once then loading the flight, the following messages appear: 

This is not a Flight Sim World aircraft model error message.
"This is not a Flight Sim World aircraft model" error message.

And then:

Visual model could not be displayed error box.
"Visual model could not be displayed" error box.

The entire program of Flight Sim World then crashes after several seconds of a gray screen. 

Aircraft: Project Airbus A380

Testing the A380

Despite adding in the same three lines to the configuration file from the first add-on, this aircraft does not appear in the Aircraft Menu at all. This includes attempting to edit the configuration file in several ways. 

Aircraft: POSKY 747-200


Air Force One test

Despite adding in the same three lines to the configuration file from the first add-on, this aircraft does not appear in the Aircraft Menu at all. This includes attempting to edit the configuration file in several ways.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, we tested four existing freeware FSX compatible add-ons in FSW and those are the results.  It seems that it should be possible for developers to port these older files over to the new FSW without much hassle.  However, with the current limitations and lack of SDK at the moment, we think that only "basic" type aircraft will work at present.  If you're looking for full FMC, fully 3D virtual cockpit and stuff like that - it could be a while before we can get our hands on these.

As you can see, the Honda Jet worked without any problems, albeit a few error messages.  But hey, we have been dealing with these gauge and panel error messages for years even with FSX.  Also, we feel that pretty much any scenery expansion will also work with the code adjustments mentioned above.

What we suggest is that you try the existing files yourself.  We have over 24,000 files in the library - most of them for FSX.  Why not give them a try yourself and let us know if you manage to get them working in FSW?  The report above looks promising.

If you have had success with installing the files or you have comments, suggestions and tips to share, please do post them in the comments section below.

Ian Stephens

About Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens is a Flight Simulation enthusiast with a keen interest in aviation and technology. He has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years.

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12 comments

Leave a Response
Pro MemberDavid WilliamsTue, 23 May 2017 13:06:19 GMT

Thanks for this update, Ian - FSW isn't as 'closed' as it first seemed!

ByronTue, 23 May 2017 13:45:56 GMT

Ian - many thanks for the info. Can you eleborate on the forums about where to find the info to put in the config file for adding a specific piece of scenery. IE Area, Title, Local, Layer numbers? OR better yet could someone come up with a mini installer that would locate this data and enter it into the config automatically ( dream big ) Thanks again for keeping our interest up.

Ken SzakacsiTue, 23 May 2017 14:49:30 GMT

What about FSUIPC. I have desktop aviation panels that will not work with FSW. Do you have any ideas.

JCGTue, 23 May 2017 16:44:36 GMT

Clearly we will have a lot of freeware addons and tools. Even the FSX Scenery Config Editor is working, so you do not have to edit the scenery.cfg manually (https://sourceforge.net/projects/fs-sceditor/).

derek robertsonTue, 23 May 2017 17:20:59 GMT

I would like to have more information and how do I purchase this system

5050Tue, 23 May 2017 17:30:11 GMT

BTW, do not forget that FSW is a beta version. I'm pretty sure that Dovetail's dev team would want to carry as much as possible of FSX addons to get as much as possible FSX users, but on other side, later update may break more compatibilities because of improved technologies.

AMHO, the most important point is to wait until a first stable release.

HeikkiWed, 24 May 2017 03:52:28 GMT

After some of the main reviews of this flight sim and given their own track record of failures, I would like to seriously caution anyone even thinking of buying this sim to hold off until it's in it's first full year.

There are also many reasons this sim as gone backwards insteads of forwards, which is far from what I used to expect from Microsoft sims.

The most hilarious thing about this sim, is that of the graphics card , requiring minimum a GTX 970. This might not seem much, but let's be completely honest here...there is hardly any difference between the 970 and the 1070 except a few bits and pieces that dont make much of a difference.

So those on slightly older cards such as say the GTX 950 will struggle to work...all on the back of the butchered FSX framework.

It is not a surprise most of these aircraft don't work, as is always been the case with dovetail, its about the profit not the quality, and as if with other products they threw into early access , this wont see the light of day, eventually and soon, i am excepting them to dry up on updates and that will be that. They also demonstrate they don't have the first clue about flying..one only had to look towards the other disaster flight school.

Personally I will stick with FSX and P3D 3.4 until a newer version comes out. All I want is stability, with ability to add in mods free / payware such as ground textures....what dovetail are doing here, is try a very big money grab...they should never in a million years ever been allowed on the steam service!

Buyers beware, because of the track record of this company, in general they are extremely poor. while it may be 25 euros...it is an extremely backward looking flight sim compared to fsx, there are just so many negatives to take from early access... P3D, FSX and X-Plane 10 / 11 are ALL far superior. FSX still going strong and still pushing hardware after 10 years!

Drawyah GamesWed, 24 May 2017 06:18:19 GMT

Co'mon guys! At least give me some credit being the one that actually discovered this! http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=929181307 http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=929612810

Simon FallaWed, 24 May 2017 14:03:12 GMT

Drawyah on the Steam forum deserves most of the credit for this!

Simon FallaWed, 24 May 2017 17:05:59 GMT

That IFLY FREEWARE 747 doesn't even work in FSX in DX10 with Steve's fixer..lol...so it was never hopeful for FSW

Pro MemberjonathonbartonWed, 24 May 2017 17:21:47 GMT

C'mon Drawyah!

If you're gonna get all broody and make it about "credit", then you should give credit to Reddit User /u/HughesMDflyer4 for being the one that actually discovered this - He posted the solution in 4 hours and 14 minutes (and includes details you don't), and you posted the your "discovery" TWO FULL DAYS after launch.

(Meanwhile, I'd been flying the FSX Extra 300 and FA-18 in Multiplayer in FSW with a Steam Friend for 2 days when you posted up. Yes, if you both have the plane, you can see each other in it in Multiplayer)

https://www.reddit.com/r/flightsim/comments/6bx4jt/flight_sim_world_now_available_on_steam/dhqk3p5/

Posted to Reddit: Thursday, May 18 2017 13:18:47 PDT Posted to Steam: Saturday, May 20 2017 02:55:00 PDT

Anyway, Hughes MDflyer also discovered that you can add this to the bottom of the aircraft.cfg, and the data shows up in FSW's menus.

[Other Reference] range = PLACEHOLDER rate_of_climb = PLACEHOLDER takeoff_distance = PLACEHOLDER landing_distance = PLACEHOLDER ceiling = PLACEHOLDER fuel_capacity = PLACEHOLDER short_desc = "PLACEHOLDER"

[UI Strings] engine_desc = "PLACEHOLDER" prop_desc = "PLACEHOLDER" crew_pass = "PLACEHOLDER"

You can add real data, or leave it the placeholder. You also only need these 4 image listings:

ui_thumbnailfile="texture.1thumbnail.png" // you can often convert thumbnail.jpg to thumbnail.png with MS Paint. ui_hangarfile="texture.1hangar.png" //1920x1080 image. I get them from Google Image Search. ui_selectionfile="texture.1selection.png" //also a 1920x1080 image. Ditto on GISing these. ui_tilefile="texture.1hangar.png"

...and don't need...

ui_info=333705325

Drawyah GamesThu, 13 Jul 2017 21:47:14 GMT

Not going to lie, I've not seen that guy's post until now. The videos themselves I released within a day of the simulator releasing, the steam guides themselves took the extra day to compile and publish! The placeholder stuff I did kind of know at the time but didn't know too much about so I left it as it was. I'll definitely give Hughes' Reddit post a read!

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