An ultimate design tool for FS


Staff member
Hello all,

I am posting this looking for feedback. I would like to hear your ideas on a design tool that we would all like to see for the future of Flight simulator. I do understand that it is impossible to put everything in one tool, but lets think logically....

I for one would like a tool that would allow me to directly modify the mesh in FS using a point and click method. Want a mountain? Click and pull one up...



Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor
I want a tool that allows you to create all scenery. So mesh, airport (XML), MDL object placement, etc. Everything in one.

But it should also be user friendly (allowing background image), import of geo data, preview (shape) of MDL files, etc.

I am not really a fan of point and click, I want to be able to enter exact data.

And the most important thing is that it should be flexible. So not like MakeMDL were it only allows basic objects, it should allow you the special things as well. You need to be able to go to the edge of the scenery engines capacity (or slightly further sometimes).
It would be great to have more ability to create better objects such as windsocks that react right away to windspeed and direction instead of the way of doing it now(Still having trouble with mine working but i wont give up).
There is some great scenery out there and im sure we all have ideas that would be a great addition to anybodys fs experience but but because of the limitations of makemdl and lack coding knowledge for most of us restrict it.
I think i speak for many of us and who knows, perhaps somebody from micrsoft would read this is a better MAKEMDL and im sure we would see some mind blowing scenery that we only wish was possible now.
afcad ala execbuilder ala flattens ala taxisign creator ala lwmviewer with painting ability program with gMax ala CAT ala library creator.
Scenery editor

A nice combination of existing tools and an interface which shows the FS scenery in 3D just as it looks in FS itself...

The good ol' Fly II had a scenery editor directly within the sim itself. Using that editor you could place 3D objects etc literally on-the-fly. It was excellent. Something like that would make life much easier when building sceneries for FS.

That reminds me of the old FS 4.0 tool, Aircraft and Scenery designer...

From within FS you could create buildings, size them, give them height all while in map mode in FS 4. There has never been a tool as simple as that to use to this day. In at least one way FS 4 is still superior to FS5, 5.1, 98, 2000, 20002 and 2004!!!

If we had a tool that would allow us to design within the FS engine, maybe with a simple preview window so we see FS in one window and the preview data in the 2nd window... As we know new sceneries can't be loaded until FS is restarted, unlike FS4.

The tools as mentioned, AFCAD, AI Flight Plans, Parking Codes, Roads and Rail Data, Object Library, all the necessary stuff that we need to:

A) Build an airport - i.e. frequencies, runways, taxiways, buildings and airport objects

B) Build roads around the airport

C) Move or delete default objects in the scenery

D) Build other buildings near the airport

E) Define autogen layouts for photoreal textures around the airport, or region (i.e. if you are using photo mapping)

F) Design airways and airspace

G) Design SIDS and STARS for airports

H) (this one might have to come from MS) - A tool that can work inside FS manipulate and create items within FS, protected memory for FS modules, where one module in FS can be shur down and restarted without having to exit the program... e.d. you design a building in FS and want to compile it and see it without having to restart FS... The Super Design module would shut down the scenery.dll and reboot it while keeping all the other modules up...

It might even be possible to preview items in design mode within the scenery by the use of Direct X, you set attributes for what you want to place (such as a building)... The design module will overlay a transparent rendering of the object over the image generated by FS and blend the two images together to get a rough preview. When satisfied hit the compile button, the design module then shuts down the scenery engine, compiles the new scenery, and reboots up the scenery engine when complete....

In fact ditch the 2 window display, just have the preview as a direct X transparency overlay over the FS generated image...

Sorry, the older I get the more I am starting to think outside of the box... Must come from my Mac days... ;) Think FS Different!!! :D
Last edited:


Resource contributor

Ok, I wrote a long reply, but apparently my login timed out and... I´ll sum it all up;

Auran Trainz.

I want the "tool" that "they got". I have a friend who designs for Trainz 2004 and I have seen what he has to play with. Oh my. Trainz is also Gmax-based, so head over to their website and have a look.

I think it could not be better.


/hopefull hans

EDIT: Well, actually, thinking about it more... AFCAD with the possibility to accuratly place a background image & add custom textures to the pavement would do just fine! Lee? ;)
Last edited:
ultimate design tool

I like the idea of the complete all in one, perhaps a swiss army knife for the Sim developer, to be able to do terrain editing - with support to make slopes, water falls, cliffs, rivers with rushing water, airport design, modify landclass, add or remove objects, remove autogen and create your own autogen objects.
having to download 10 tools where one tool for all is a positive idea worth developing on.