Jeff H

The Best Freeware Utilities for FS9

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For the last installment in our "Best of" series, we come to one of my favorite categories; The Best Freeware Utilities.  As a kid, I grew up in a time before personal computers existed.  Back in the sixties and seventies, we had simulations of sorts, but those took far different forms than the simulations we all enjoy today.  We had slot cars and model railroads, board game based statistical simulations of baseball, football, etc.  The war games available would often cost upwards of $50-$100, come with hundreds of counters and could take many hours or even days to play.  Some had rulebooks that would rival the size and scope of any manual PMDG (and Boeing) provide.  Even today, I'll still jump into a game of ASL when the opportunity comes up, rare as that may be.  My how times have changed.

  I always enjoyed model railroading as it offered so many different things to do, and it had something for everyone.  Carpentry, electronics, modeling the scenery and the trains, real world schedules and operations. In my decade of using FS9, I've always viewed it as analogous to Model Railroading in those aspects.  FS9, more so than other versions, allows almost limitless opportunity to create the world we want.  Whether your interest is in perfectly modeled aircraft with every rivet and every weld accurately modeled, perfect recreations of airports and regional scenery, or in real world schedules and airlines to fly them, there's a tool to help you create the things that are most important to you. 

  With that in mind, this section is for you to share your favorite freeware tools and utilities for making FS9 as real as you want it to be.  As I use many of the programs available, I'll just add a few of my favorites.

 

Scenery Config Editor  http://fs-sceditor.sourceforge.net/

GA Traffic  http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004util&DLID=47722

Texture Manager  http://stuff4fs.com/newpage.asp?Folder=TM&Docs=TextureManager.pdf

Airport Design Editor (ADE)  http://www.airportdesigneditor.co.uk/

Plan-G  http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/   This is a very nice flight planning program, with many FSNav/FS Commander like features.

 

What are your favorite "best of the best" tools for FS9?

 

Cheers,

Jeff

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SweetFX makes the most obvious difference to the way my sim looks.

I haven't even scratched the surface of all the possible combinations. but only because I'm lazy, not because it's hard :)

 

The other 2 utilities that changed my life:

 

ACA2005 from Pieter van der Veen, which allows you to check just about every aspect of installed AI, and more. 

 

Scenery Align which allows you to add and sort and do stuff to scenery addons without going into the sim.

This is really useful if like me, it takes a loong time to get into your enormous FS install. 

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Scenery Align which allows you to add and sort and do stuff to scenery addons without going into the sim.

 

This is really useful if like me, it takes a loong time to get into a big FS install.

 

Scenery Config Editor does the same plus a whole lot more.  One of its' most useful features is that you can categorize your scenery into different groups, which allows you to activate and deactivate scenery based on the area you're flying.  If you have tons of scenery installed, as you and I both do, this ability alone substantially reduces loading times of the sim.  Check this one out, WingZ.  I think you'll appreciate the improved functionality.

 

Cheers.  :smile:

 

Oh yeah, Sweet FX is awesome.  Makes FS9 a whole new sim!!

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Yes I think it was another "batcher" which caused me some problems with AES.

As soon as you de-activate a group, and perhaps try to add AES credits, AES throws a hissy fit.

Scenery Align allows me to copy 'n paste a folder into any position I want, and the utility renumbers the scenery.cfg file without having to go through the sim's database.

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ScanAFD is indispensible.

Sandboxie for protection.

O&O defragmenter (free edition) for those using HDD's.

Free Download Manager for making those large downloads tolerable.

And, of course ...

DxtFixerX by 'our' very own neumanix (Peter Nyman.)

 

Others can chime in ...

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Sandboxie for protection.

 

... and to find out what a self-executable installer actually does within your FS2004 installation.

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Though I use the payware (registered) version, everyone can use Pete Dowson's freeware FSUIPC without which many of our favorite features of FS9 would be impossible...

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Where would any FlightSim be without AFCAD, SBuilder, GMAX, and ADE.

I also like AI Aircraft editor, Model Converter X,

and though not specifically made for FS, GIMP, and Google Sketchup.

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The thing that made happy was AIFP. This is a nive program which allows you to make your ai-traffic even more realistic.

 

Download traffic plans (AIG) from avsim and open them within AiFP. It helps you complete your favourite airline with all the special liveries which you can download directly.

 

It really made my Fs more realistic!

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Thanks to Joseph29 linking to a set of useful utilities, which one should install from the top down(!)

http://www.avsim.com/topic/472975-epwa-warsaw-chopin-airport-2015/page-6#entry3393574

 

I found FSrenum

Description: Renumbers [fltsim.xxx] entries in aircraft.cfg by dropping the exe file into the aircraft folder that needs renumbering

 

Wish I'd had seen this years ago, saving the time it takes to drop 128 AI repaints into an aircraft.cfg file... 

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ACA2005 which lists all the AI according to airline, a/c type, folder etcso making it very easy to find a conflict rather than having to guess where a problem might be.

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On 1/22/2014 at 2:27 PM, HaraldG said:

 

 

 

... and to find out what a self-executable installer actually does within your FS2004 installation.

For this, I use unofficial Microsoft "sysinternals" collection's procmon.exe.

Allows you to filter by process, action, result, path, etc., so you can for example list all files that were created by a particular process.

Maybe overkill for FS, but very efficient on Windows. On the other hand, if you got a Linux box, or a VM, you can use Wine to precheck the install.

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Thanks, Nicolas, I had forgotten all about that one.

Regards,

Robin

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