P3D v3 Parameters that Define AI Enabled Models


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I have recently encountered a seemingly odd situation that upon investigation, seems fairly pervasive. I have thrown together various user operated vehicles, usually to test animations and occasionally as a completed project. I'd always gotten the impression that user vehicles were essentially "ramped up" versions of AI vehicles and my fairly extensive experience creating AI boats reinforced that belief. Although successful in the past, I have thus far been unable to enable my most recent project as an AI aircraft. Additionally, I can find no defining value or aspect and indeed, some of the default P3D AI models can not be made AI nor even identified as a useable model by the default traffic tool box. For example, the model "Commercial_Airliner" can be assigned flight plans and identified by the traffic explorer, the model "UH-60" cannot. There are actually quite a few models excluded from AI operation, far more than I would have guessed. Exploring with AI aircraft editor, there are no apparent differences between the two example models, aside from the obvious distinction between helicopter and airplane. To rule out this distinction, I can inform that I am able to AI enable a downloaded helicopter model, an MI-8 and possibly significantly, it is the only helicopter I can enable, including all the default FSX/P3D ones. I have done various experimentations by swapping components with this MI-8 model and it appears to be something about the model file that prevents AI activation. The model I am trying to enable is that of a helicopter, but the only thing within the .mdl file that distinguishes this fact are animations assigned to rotor_still, _slow and _blurred.

Writing it up this way, I would say the natural conclusion is that helicopters are normally prevented from AI activation and something about this MI-8 model circumvents that block. The extension of this would be that the change is contained in the AIR file, which of course I've switched to no avail. Does anybody have any experience or insight they can share?
Are you referring only to "AI ground vehicles" or also to other AI aircraft/helicopters?
My ground vehicles (but with an aircraft.cfg and an .air file, not a sim.cfg) work fine in P3Dv3.
Or are you saying you try to convert those AI's into user 'aircraft'?
Guess I have to read the thread again:oops::confused:.
And then I understand that it is all about not being able to assign helicopters as AI, or am I wrong?

PS: nice try to be concise and to the point but ... it makes it more difficult to understand what you really are referring to.
PS2: helicopter AI is not yet implemented in P3D either, so maybe you would have to call them aircraft or something in the .air file.
PS3: just guessing as I never tried to use AI heli's in P3D if that is what you are referring to.


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Roby is correct, if aircraft type in the AIR file (section 105) is set to 1 (type = helicopter) it will not be accepted as an AI aircraft. It must be type 0 (flyable aircraft ) or type 2 (AI only).


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Sorry to be unclear, but yes, I have been trying to have a helicopter act as AI aircraft. Also I appreciate the input, but .air file is not the only distinguishing factor that determines AI availability. I placed the MI-8 .air file into the problem helicopter folder and it still does not show up in the traffic tools selection field, i.e. it is still not recognized. However, I scanned the aircraft.cfg and found the "switch" in the General section:

Changing that from "helicopter" to "airplane" allowed the model to render in the sim:

At this point it taxi's and even leaves the runway. However the animations stopped working, presumably because they are labeled "rotor_x" and not "prop_x," so I'll investigate that. I really just need the thing to ambulate around, these are islands in contested waters and there just needs to be some activity when people come to explore.


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Changing the animation tag names did indeed awaken the rotor animations. However, the model still conducts anomalous behavior that I would like to change. Currently, only the "prop_still" animation plays. As AI, the model "wakes up," the nave lights come on and it moves a few feet backwards for the push back, then the animation plays and the model taxi's to the runway, receives clearance and proceeds down the runway. Clearing the end of the runway, the model proceeds in level flight. The fact that the wheels continue to spin, implies the model is in some sort of "taxi state."

I believe I could add some high lift wings to the .air file or aircraft.cfg to get it to lift vertically, but what concerns me is that the animation never switches to prop_slow or prop_blurred, even on the takeoff roll. I'd like to get that to change, if I could.
Looks like the heli is too heavy.
I would go to Hovercontrol and find some examples of AI heli's.
The best one is the NBAI_AH64_Apache_AI_ONLY.air that is the most realistic one.
By the way, are you sure your 'AFCAD' is OK?


Resource contributor
Great ideas Roby. As far as the airport file, I have AI J-11's that taxi, land and take off from this field, so I would assume that part is ok. I've already learned that all the relevant flight parameters, including the one that defines AI capability, were deprecated from the .air file and are controlled by the aircraft.cfg categories, been that way some time, apparently:

So, you probably won't believe this coincidence. I'd decided to copy/paste the relevant sections from the Stemme motorglider into the Z8 aircraft.cfg. I was just finishing when I saw your post. Curious, I searched the Apache. I actually live and work in Hood River and drive past the Hovercontrol home airport almost every day, it's nothing like their version. I didn't find the Apache there but I did at MAIW and wouldn't you know, the Stemme is specifically quoted as the source for their flight parameters. Too funny, huh? Great minds and all. I decided to use their version - and the helo taxi's and lifts as expected. in fact, I could not quite catch it in that Alphasim Dauphin, without a little slew boost.

Unfortunately, the rotors still remained in prop_still animation state. Furthermore, it seemed very wobbly and the main rotor rotation is even reversed. I've considered futzing with the engine data, especially considering it is faster than it probably should be, to see if I can't reduce power to entice the "engine state" to make more RPM's and therefore call a higher speed animation. As it stands, the model is pretty darn adequate and further development has to be weighed against the demands of the overall project.