Floating landable helipad

Hi all

I hope that I'm not making a stupid question.

There are any way to configure one object to behave like a floating object inside watter?
I have the this structure:



I want to attach one landable platform that moves with the waves. There are any way to do that?

Best regards

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Resource contributor
FSX does not include wave motion. Any default library object that has motion, like a buoy or float plane model, has had a cyclical repeating motion applied to it and you can do the same to your platform.
Thank you. You provided one ideia. Animate the platform for different conditions and use SODE.

And in P3D there are any way to repeat the boats/seaplanes behavier when they are over the waves?

P3D after, I think, version 3 has boats and ships moving with the waves, so you should be able to set set it up as a ship to get the movement with the waves. You'll also need to give it a route so that it appears where you want, that may mean having two points close together for it to sail between but you should be able to set it so it travels very slowly.
They definitely move up and down with the waves though, there's even a flag to set in the cfg file to stop them doing it. You may need to have the water on one of the top settings for it to show up.


Resource contributor
Great, be kind enough to show us the link, because the only thing I have seen in my own copy, or found online is wave effects.
In P3D you put the water settings to Ultra and you get 3D waves. As I said it's from version 3 on-wards you can't get them in FSX but Marioc was asking about P3D in his second post.


Resource contributor
I get it, who needs links with so compellingly mediocre an assertion. Here are two videos of the - read carefully - wave effects. You can see that it has no effect on either model objects, or user vehicle in slew mode. Other videos show user vehicles interacting with water surfaces that display wave effects, but the scenery objects, like AI ships remain unaffected.

This next video is undocumented. It shows a user vehicle interacting with wave effects and it is difficult to tell if the AI aircraft carrier boat is affected or not. The model is not default and to me, looks like more like the development work of SWS.

Here is a video of SimWorks Studios development work on pitching deck simulation. I've done some development with these people and I hope to do more. They are very enthusiastic about providing an immersive experience and I can assure you that the work and coding that goes into creating this pitching deck model is not trivial.

Sorry, I didn't realise I had to provide links to prove core features of the programme.

Here's a rough clip I took in December 2015 to show a friend what was new in v3, it shows an AI ship bouncing up and down on the waves as they have done since then.

Incidentally the model in your 3rd video looks like the Team SDB USS Enterprise which I did some beta testing on in P3D way back, so as far as I know has no special code to move around with the water surface.

Also, if you got to this page of the SDK http://www.prepar3d.com/SDKv4/LearningCenter.php you'll see under contact points the ignore_waves flag in a sim.cfg will stop the object using the height of the animated waves, which you wouldn't need if the waves didn't have an affect on objects.
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Resource contributor
Your apology is accepted. It would be nice to substantiate this for me and anyone else reading. There is no "contact points" section in the SDK you linked to and there is no ignore_waves flag description. If you refer to the image below, you can see it is a screen capture of the P3D SDK. In the upper right corner, you can see the words "contact points" in the search box with the hit counter displaying 1/2. In the left pane, you can see black section titles, and purple links. In my browser, clickable blue links turn purple after they have been clicked. On each page clicked the search box was open with "contact points" as the term. On the page for Aircraft Configuration, the search hit indicator showed there were two cases of the term "contact points," no other page in the SDK had a hit on the term "contact points." Yes I clicked on all those links, simply to learn whether or not what is being asserted is actually true.

See, at this point, I can thank you for turning me on to the idea that at least one person passionately believes AI ships pitch in the wave effects of P3D v4. Meanwhile, I have my own memory of Farley passionately explaining the induced pitch they have programmed into the carrier, you can witness this yourself in the SWS video - none of which you'd need to do if you could simply remove the ignore_waves flag from a sim.cfg.

Perhaps someone else has experience with this and can chime in..
sim.cfg section.png

It's in the Sim.cfg section because it's for sim objects not aircraft. You'd need to search for contact_points. Or you could have searched for the ignore_waves flag that I'd said was there...

You can believe what you want, meanwhile I'll carry on using P3D v4 which has 3D waves which affect AI objects on them. SWS have I'm sure gone their own way due to the slightly unrealistic movement of larger ships on the waves, presumably because due to the lack of options for inertia, waterplane area etc. in the cfg they bob around like a much smaller vessel. I.e. they move much like in the video I posted showing a ship moving with the waves in P3D...

Or you could just fire up P3D v3 or later set the water to Ultra and go and check it out for yourself.
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Resource contributor
So the scenery object would have to be packaged as an AI vehicle. It would probably be sufficient to have a traffic plan that had an indefinite idle period, such that it never followed the route. My AI vehicles occasionally go missing for no identifiable reason and I imagine the platform/dock so configured might do the same and if that is acceptable, it should work.


Resource contributor
Only if by that you mean what you may have said. The real issue is that there is a system for static boats and consequently the system for AI boats does a pretty good job of keeping boats moving. So, since you want to get specific and thanks for bringing it up, the traffic plan will have to be much more detailed than two points close together - and the real hitch is the schedule portion of the traffic plan, not so much the route. From the manual included with AI Boat Traffic Compiler

Schedule file (Plans*.txt)
Each line of the file specifiy a different boat. Lines starting with '//' are comments and not read by the program.
The line is split using the comma as a field separator. A plan starts by 4 fields then is followed by the list of plan orders (at least two)


  • AC#14 define the boat model identifier. Use the same identifiers as specified in Boats.txt
  • B60264 is the boat name. It is not displayed or used by the traffic, but could help to distinguish plans. Only characters valid for an aircraft registration could be used here. Avoid punctuation marks and use no more than 10 leters.
  • 60% is the minimum traffic percent that must be configured to see this boat in the simulator
  • 2Hr is the repeat frequency. You can specifiy it as a number of hours or weeks, e.g. 1344Hr or 8WEEK
In each order, a departure time is given. The departure is relative from the start of the period. If a plan has a 4 hours periods, then an order that starts at 1:45 will be repeated at 5:45, 9:45, 13:45, 17:45, and 21:45 each day. Although all these times could be used to define a plan, the first one (between 0:00 and 4:00 the end of the period) should be used.

For periods that span multiple days, a day number is also used, followed by a '/' before the time. Day numbers starts at 0. For 1WEEK periods, 0 means Monday, so for instance 4/15:20:40 means 15:20:40 on friday.
For periods that span multiple weeks, the day number 0 is (apparently) the first monday of the year, though it remains unsure.

An order consists in 5 comma separated fields:


  1. The first field is the departure time or day/time if period is more than 24 hours. The time is always GMT.
  2. The second field the arrival time. It is not used by the program since the arrival time is recalculated based on the route length and the boat speed. When a file is compiled, calculated arrival times are inserted back in the file. It's generally a good idea to check the calculated arrival time to see if the next leg does not starts before the arrival of the current leg. Otherwise the boat may conflict and not appear at correct times.
  3. 1754 is the route number, as defined by the Boats.KML or Boats.CSV file. Only numerical identifiers are supported
  4. The fourth field is a boolean indicating the travel direction on the route. If it is marked reverse, then the route is followed from the last point to its first point. Any other word in this position means normal direction
  5. The last flag concern terminal parking type. As said before, a boat marked FERRY will stop at the endpoint of the route. The default behaviour is not FERRY, so any other word in the leg definition will cause the boat to find a parking spot on a circle around the endpoint.

When designing flight plans, users should be very careful to the order and directions of the legs. Like aircrafts schedules, a boat schedule must loop back to its first point before the end of its period. However improper route definitions and direction may cause the circuit to break. AIBTC check circuit continuity and errors.
A complete plan definition looks like this:


Note that the plan use only one route with one leg marked as "normal" and the other as "reverse". This is the safest way of creating a boat plan. Due to some limitations in the AI subsystem, no more than two different routes (not including direction) could be used in one plan. The contrary may cause FSX to crash.
You can fortunately have more than two orders provided they use only two routes and makes a correct closed circuit
Based on the above, a two point route with a ferry terminal leg would provide the most predictable dock, however the most reliable solution would probably be to enable and use the TrafficExplorer toolbox included in the SDK and initiate a "flight plan" for the dock every time you intend to use it. In my experience activated boats just sit and wait at the first point until the game time catches up with the departure time.


Resource contributor
You are comparing SODE, an external module intended to add dynamic movement of the simulator, like jetways that rotate to the user aircraft, to the built in traffic toolbox, designed by the publishers of the simulator to do exactly what is intended, place AI objects in the sim. The presumable advantage being that it might work without having to compile a traffic .bgl, is that correct? The other side of it is that Mario has to install, learn and run SODE in order to use the dock. Additionally, there is this caveat in the SODE documentation that bears consideration.

A large subset of SimConnect API function calls are targeted to control dynamic AI-Objects like airplanes, etc. But of course, you can use it to display static scenery objects as well, i.e. AI-Objects that do not move. These objects can now interact with their environment by accessing internal simulator variables. However, to trigger these interactions you are limited to the predefined variables as stated in the FSX SDK. Unfortunately, the use of custom local variables for each object is not supported as far as I know. So basically, to control your object, you have to „hijack“ writeable simulation variables, that only affects that object and not the simulation in general or other objects. The list of possible candidates of those type of variables is very limited, but there are some available and this paves the way to enable conditional display.

The thing is, you don't want a conditional display, you want a static displayed object that has also had the ignore_waves tag added to it.