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Air File Documentation?

Discussion in 'Tools programming' started by theisomizer, 29 Apr 2007.

  1. theisomizer


    15 Jan 2007
    Hey Folks,

    I've been looking at integrating support for .air files into my SimStudio program (a home-grown tool I use to author payware aircraft) for a long time. I recently upgraded it from a native C++ MFC application to a .net assembly in C++/CLI, and then replaced my old MFC style plugin system into a scalable and easy to use .net plugin system (thanks to Jon for introducing us to it). So now I am ready to roll with a better application infrastructure, and naturally I thought it would be a good time to add an .air file editor plugin.:stirthepo

    But I have no clue at all about the structure of an AIR file!!! Does anyone have know anything about the general layout of these files? If someone can get me pointed in the right general direction I can probably figure out most of the contents, but right now I'm headed nowhere since I don't even know how the darn thing is laid out!:confused:

  2. Manuel Ambulo

    Manuel Ambulo

    29 Sep 2006
    Hi, Sean,

    The file format of the *.air files always had been (and will be) a mystery because inside of them there are performace data that real life's aircrafts manufacters gave to the Flight Simulator team to implement them in the Flight Simulator, so the deal was that they dont publish them out to people, (as far as i know), in others words, they encode this data so then *ONLY* the Flight Simulator can use it, and others cannt extract, or see DIRECTLY the performace data, thats why FS team doesnt include description or information about the format of it in the SDKs throught the different FSs versions. Anyway, its something that no one knows entirely how its the whole format (as far as i know).

    BUT!, this doesnt avoid to us to look at the file itself and try to decode it in someway (like most people do with BGL files). There is "classic" application that is for free, and many people developing aircrafts, use it. Its called "AirEd" which is an editor for edit the *.air files. It reads and modify most of the **KNOWN** sections of the *.air files. Like the 50% of the content is still unknown. You can use it in *.air files of FS98/2000/2002/2004, (i didnt tried using it at FSX, so i dont really know if it works on FSX's *.air files, in others words, i dont know if the format of the *.air files changed in FSX). To find the program do a Google search: "AirEd Flight Simulator" and you will find it. I dont really use the program because i dont use to make aircrafts, but for some years ago, i downloaded and modified some of my FS aircrafts flight performace data. Once you get the program, and use it, you can use a Hex Editor, and begin decoding the format, inside of the file there are just little sections, which can be easily read, the problem is that most of the sections contains values that are unknown, in others words, the difficult part is that most sections contains values that no one knows for what for or how the FS use or interpret these values.

    Hope this helps,

    Best Regards,

    Manuel Ambulo
    Last edited: 2 May 2007

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