Looking At Making My First FSX Aircraft Addon

#1
Hello, I'm looking at creating my first aircraft addon for FSX. It'll be freeware and I'm contemplating between the Aerolite 103 ultralight and the Sonex Onex kit-plane, since those are simple airplanes and no one has made either one of them for FSX before. I would like to use Blender since I recently learned how to use it, but other than that I don't have much of a clue where to start with this. So here are my questions:

How Do I:
  1. Convert Blender model to FSX
  2. Create an FDE/air file for the aircraft
  3. Create a 3D VC and 2D panel & add gauges to them
  4. Assign/create textures for the model
  5. Assign "triggers"/activation commands for the animations
  6. Add special effects like lights & smoke
And that's about all that I can thing of for now. But if anyone could give me tips on where to start (and suggest which model I should do) as well as direct me to the proper tutorials and forum posts on the matter, that would be great.
 
#2
I don't know much about using Blender but a few things I could point you at:

1. Check out the Blender forum here: https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/forums/blender.136/. There is a Blender2FSX toolkit for exporting your Blender model to FSX. Note the toolkit doesn't yet support Blender 2.8.
2. You'll need the SDK, installed either from FSX boxed version or for FSX:SE you'll have to get the P3D v1.4 SDK (links are here in the Resources section). Reading the SDK documentation is quite worthwhile but can also be confusing until you get the hang of things.
3. There's a series on YouTube that goes over making an airplane for FSX using Blender: https://www.youtube.com/user/kpgamemods/videos. I'm guessing there are many others as well.

For FDE one way is to use Airwrench which is all I've ever done but there are other airfile editors around, mostly for free. Look over the various aircraft development forums here for more info.

For gauges you can choose to make 3D gauges (VC only) or make 2D gauges that can be used in both VC and 2D panels. If you make custom gauges you'll be doing some programming, either XML or C/C++. That's another pretty big topic if you are new to this.

There's also sounds but you can always try to find a sound pack or alias sounds from another aircraft. Depends how far you want to go with it.

I suggest starting slowly, maybe even just make a simple scenery model in Blender and export it to FSX, or consider other simple mods like making an aircraft repaint or a custom gauge for an existing airplane if you haven't done those things before.
 

hairyspin

Resource contributor
#3
I'm contemplating between the Aerolite 103 ultralight and the Sonex Onex kit-plane, since those are simple airplanes
At least you're not thinking of something complex like a Constellation. The Sonex would be the simpler to model and map for textures, since you'd need a decent human figure for the Aerolite. Since you're using Blender already, I'll second Barry's advice above and recommend reading the FSDeveloper Blender forum. Building an aircraft – even a simple one – is a big job, so small steps and export your work to the simulator early, often, and check your work in the simulator as you go along. The Blender crew here should be able to point you in the right direction for specific information and tips (I don't use Blender myself.)
 
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