• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

MSFS How to convert FS2004 models to MSFS?

Is there a good tutorial somewhere on how to import aircraft models in MSFS?
Does it work for FS2004 models?

I tried to import WOAI models and included it in my flightplan, but it doesn’t show up.
I used the PlaneConverter program. It did generate the structure and json files, but I notice many cfg files are missing and the different liveries don’t have as many fields in the aircraft.cfg.

So I’m guessing there is some more work to be done before it works in MSFS, but I can’t find anywhere what exactly or how.
To convert from FS2004, you need to first convert the mdl to FSX format. Here's a tutorial for that - http://www.calclassic.com/convert_tutorial/

Then once you have it as an FSX aircraft, you can do the conversion to MSFS which is different. The easiest tool to use is MSFS Legacy Importer as it tries to automate the process a bit. PlaneConverter is an earlier tool which only puts the files in the proper structure and creates the .json files for you - it does not actually look at the files to make sure they are compatible.

MSFS is flexible in how it reads in the .cfgs - it will support the original aircraft.cfg and .air file just fine, or you can go through the trouble of splitting the values out into the many .cfgs that native MSFS planes use. There are some values in them that the .air does not have so you have to determine that for yourself. You can also use new .cfgs to partially override the aircraft.cfg and .air. My jet conversions have the original aircraft.cfg, .air, engines.cfg, and systems.cfg. Works fine although there are plenty of tweaks required for ideal flight performance in any case.

I have no experience converting to/from AI, so not sure how that might change things.
Hmm, the tutorial states I need the FSX SDK for it to work. But I don't own FSX. :(
I just wish the old AI planes are being converted to MSFS. AIG is doing so, but they say it they will only release when it's 100% finished and tested, which is according to them more than a year from now. :|


Staff member
Resource contributor
And I would expect any aircraft 'converted' to MSFS to not behave correctly, and possibly crash the sim, as well as being a violation of the original designer's copyright.

Better to learn to create original aircraft for MSFS using the tools and that SDK. Then you own the design, and can guarantee it's behavior in the sim. And yes, it's not easy.