Russian AI Guide v3.0
Topic: Russian AI Guide v3.0
Posted: September-09-2007 at 6:21pm
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Russian AI Guide v3.0
Over the past few years there have been many advances in Russian AI. Up until recently Russian AI was nearly non-existent, the models available were very frame rate heavy and the paints for them were very lacking of quality. Some people replaced Russian models with models of Western aircraft that looked somewhat similar to the Russian aircraft. The plans were hard to find, and if you did find plans, there was no guarantee that there would be paints and models to go along with them. With the help of new modelers, flightplanners and of course Ultimate Traffic, the skies above Russia are filling up with quality Antonovs, Tupolevs and Ilyushins. Hopefully by using this guide you will be able to enjoy Russian AI.
Part I: The Models
This section will focus primarily on the following main aircraft types:
The model of choice is from the CIS Traffic Team and as a backup when needed, use the Samdim model.
CIS Traffic Team model
Samdim base model
Samdim FS2004 model update http://www.avsim.ru/files.phtml?action=download&id=145
Even though there is a far superior model from the CIS Traffic Team, there are not many repaints for the model. So for the AN-12 you should use a two model setup, the CIS Traffic Team model and the model by Samdim.
Samdim Base Model
Samdim FS2004 model update
CIS Traffic Team
In the latest schedules there is only one carrier that operates this aircraft (Uzbekistan Airways) and at this guides release time, there is no repaint available for it. However the model does include a paintkit so hopefully somebody will paint the IL114. Until this livery becomes available and you want this texture flying, you can use the Project AI ATP model and repaint in it’s place as the two planes look somewhat similar.
For the Ilyushin IL62, the model of choice is from SKJ.
You can get the SKJ model here:
Mehdi’s model can be found here:
Rulexy’s model can be found here:
And a model update can be found here:
While not a true AI model, this IL-18 model has been converted to an AI model and performs rather well without a huge hit to your frames per second.
For the IL96, SKJ makes the best model for AI use.
The model of choice is the Vala model and if for any reason you cannot find a repaint for it, use the model by SKJ as a backup.
The only L410 model available is the one from Viktor Schacht, and with a new layered paintkit available, some nice repaints have recently been released for it.
Tupolev Tu-204 / Tu-214
The models to use are the models from Aardvark.
Tupolev Tu-204 (PS-90A) Base Model
Tupolev Tu-204 (RR) Base Model
Tupolev Tu-214 Base Model
SKJ’s TU134 model is the model of choice, as it comes with different variations, The TU134A/Tu134A-3 and the TU134B-3.
A newer model is available by Mehlin Rainer but there are not as many repaints available as there are for the SKJ model. There has been some debate as to which model is the better choice, and so far painters have been sticking to the SKJ model. If you want to take a look at Mehlin’s model, you can download it here:
The best setup to use with the TU154 is a two model approach, using the SKJ TU154B and the Vala TU154M.
Yakovlev Yak 42
The current standard is the model by Xomer, however a newly released model by Carl Selin is poised to give the Xomer model a run for it’s money.
Xomer’s model can be downloaded here:
Carl’s model can be downloaded here
Yakovlev Yak 40
As with other models, there are several Yak 40 models available, but the only choice should be the model from Vala.
Part II: Other Models
The models in Part I are the common models that UT uses. If you want a more diverse and interesting assortment of traffic, consider some of these aircraft types and models.
While not a true AI model, this model does perform quite well as AI. Repaints for it are somewhat hard to find since there is not a paintkit available for the model.
Samdim has an AN-26 model that can be used for AI. Not designed for AI, but if you used his AN-24 for AI, expect the same performance out of his AN-26.
Recently some talented painters have been using the CIS Traffic Team/SKJ AN-24 as an AN-26 which is also something to keep in mind when looking for paints.
While not in the UT schedules, I decided to include this model as some AI package creators are including it in their work. And if you look hard enough, you can find flightplans and textures for AN-30 operators on http://www.avsim.ru and http://www.avsim.com. This model, like the AN-26 is from Samdim.
Like the AN-30, the AN-72/74 is not in the UT schedules. And like the AN-30 there are repaints and schedules available on the websites for those who want to have a diverse assortment of traffic. Once again, the model to use is from Samdim and like the others it was not designed for AI use, but it does OK.
Another equipment type that is not included with the Ultimate Traffic schedules but there is an assortment of models, repaints and flightplans to get this cargo hauler into your skies. Unlike the other Antonov models mentioned in this section, this one was not created by Samdim. The model from Krzystof Malinowski is suitable for AI and has been featured in a couple of AI packages.
When looking for repaints for this model, do a search on http://www.avsim.ru using the keyword Johns.
Part III: Finding Repaints
Finding repaints for the Russian models can be somewhat of a difficult task. There are three main places to look for textures, http://www.avsim.com, http://www.avsim.ru and http://www.trafficsystem.ru/indexeng.html.
The search engine on avsim.com is not the best, if you feed it too little info, you will get nothing. Feed it too much info, you will get nothing as well. Try to be as specific as you can, choose the Flight Simulator 2004 - AI Aircraft category to limit the search choices. This way you will not get results for non-AI aircraft. If you are looking for Aeroflot textures, do not search by Aeroflot alone, but instead search by Aeroflot Tupolev so that only the model type you are looking for comes up. Also try searching by the AI model designer, like Aeroflot EvolveAI or Aeroflot simlandmarks.
If you cannot find it on avsim.com, take a look at avsim.ru. Avsim.ru…ahhh wait, this site is so complex that it needs it own section. More on avsim.ru later.
In the past year, a group as appeared called the Russian AI Traffic System (or RATS for short). You can find them at http://www.trafficsystem.ru/indexeng.html. The RATS team have some great packages for the Russian skies, and their packages include repaints and flightplans. Originally they only had repaints and plans for smaller charter and VIP operators but recently they have been releasing paints and plans for the major carriers in Russia. Their paints are a great source of color matched fleets. I highly recommend using their repaints for your major Russian carriers, and if you are knowledgeable with TTOOLS, download their plans and repaints for the other operators as you can get more traffic in the air. A few of their packages even include plans and textures for the An-2 aircraft!
Two other sources for AN12, IL76 and AN24 paints are the following sites:
Both of these sites appear to be abandoned and might vanish at any given moment, but they do have some repaints for various cargo operators that you can find at airports like Sharjah International. With the right plans and repaints, your OMSJ can look like the real thing.
Part IV: Avsim.ru
If you are looking for something Russian, look no further than http://www.avsim.ru. The one big drawback with this website, it is only in Russian and if you do not read and speak Russian, this site can be nearly impossible to navigate. The site does offer Google translation from Russian to English and you can find this option on the upper right hand side of the main page. And as translators go, this one can provide some weird and funny translations, but you should get the idea of what is being said tough. If you use the translator feature, you will want to have two browser sessions open, one showing the original page and the other showing the translated page. Reason for this is because downloading from the translating page often does not work.
When you find a file that you want to download, hit the Скачать link in the lower right hand corner of browser that is showing the original page. A new window will open up that will start the download process, but before the download starts, you have to enter in a verification code from an often hard to read graphic image. If you cannot read the graphic, refresh the page and a new graphic will display. After entering the letters and numbers into the verification box, hit the Скачать button again and the download will start.
Recently I have not had any problems downloading from avsim.ru, but in the past downloaded files were often corrupt and I would have to keep on downloading the files over and over until they were not corrupt. If your .ZIP program tells you the file is corrupt, try downloading the file again.
Part V: Installing textures
If you are not sure what you are doing, installing textures by hand can be an adventure to say the least. You have to make sure that you are installing it to the right model and that your [fltsim.x] info is correct. What is [fltsim.x] you ask? [fltsim.x] is an area of the model's aircraft.cfg file that contains the info about the repaint being used on that model. The .x is actually a reference to the number of the texture. The first entry is [fltsim.0] and the next one will be [fltsim.1] and will continue in sequence as you install new textures into the model. Enough with the boring talk, let's get to installing textures. Stick with me here, this will get a little technical.
In this example, I will be using the Vala TU154 model. If you do not already have the model, download it here: http://www.avsim.ru/files.phtml?action=download&id=4298. When you unzip the file, you will see a folder called 154_traffic. Copy this folder into your Flight Simulator 9\Aircraft folder. And if you look inside that folder you will see:
(Note: the < > indicates a subfolder of the 154_traffic folder.)
Earlier I was rambling about the aircraft.cfg file and now you see what I was going on about. Every aircraft in Flight Simulator has an aircraft.cfg file and an .air file.
The aircraft.cfg and the .air file make up the flight dynamics, or the FDE, as you will see and hear used by AI fanatics.
The texture folders are where the liveries for the aircraft model are located. In this example, there are three texture folders: a blank white livery, an Aeroflot livery and a S7 (Siberian) livery.
The model folder contains the .mdl file, which is what you actually see in Flight Simulator. Jumping back to the FDE, it controls the model, everything from speed to rate of climb and so on.
The sound folder, do not worry about. This particular model is set to use default Lear 45 engine sounds. Since you do not fly the AI aircraft, the sounds that they make are not really important. If you want to change them, you can, but it is out of the scope of this guide and somewhat not suggested, as sounds can reduce the frame rates that Flight Simmers crave.
Now that I bored you even more, let's get back to installing textures. Since we already have textures for Aeroflot and S7, let's look for another model. Let's get a livery for Pulkovo. So fire up the ol' web browser and head on over to the File Library at http://www.avsim.com/. In the ‘Search For’ box, type in the following: ‘vala pulkovo’. You will get two results, one for the IL86 and the other for the TU154, which is the one we want. Download this file to your hard drive and remember where you saved it to. If after downloading the file you cannot find it, search your hard drive for the following file: ai-tu-154_simlandmarks.zip. When you find this file, open it up. You will see several files and folders, of these we are only going to work with the texture.plk folder and the aircraft.cfg file. Use the Windows Explorer to copy the texture.plk folder into the 154_traffic folder. After doing so, you should see the following:
Now we need to tell Flight Simulator that we have a new texture for the TU154 model, and by doing this, we need to edit the aircraft.cfg file. To do so, double click on the aircraft.cfg file. If Windows asks you what program should be used to open the file, use Notepad. When the aircraft.cfg file is opened, you will see the following:
title=Aeroflot Tupolev Tu154M
title=S7 Tupolev Tu154M
performance=Enter your performance information here.
And there is much more to the aircraft.cfg file, but this is all that we need to see. In the Pulkovo texture file that we downloaded, open up the aircraft.cfg file from that folder. When you open it up, you will see something like the above info, but it will look like this:
title=Pulkovo Tupolev Tu-154M
performance=Enter your performance information here.
Again this has been edited for space, there is much more to the aircraft.cfg file. We only need the info in the [fltsim.0] portion of this file. Use your mouse to select everything from [fltsim.0] down to the description=Notes: line and then copy it into memory (right click the mouse and select copy). Now switch back over to the aircraft.cfg file that is in your 154_traffic folder. Scroll down to the blank line below the [fltsim.2] section and the [General] section. Press Enter to add another blank line between these sections. Then right click and select paste. You should now see the [fltsim.0] entry for Pulkovo. Since we already have a [fltsim.0] entry in our aircraft.cfg file, we will need to change the Pulkovo's [fltsim.0] to the next available number, which in this example will be [fltsim.3]. Save and close the file. That is it, now the Pulkovo livery has been setup for use with the TU154 model.
Now if you want to give a shot at looking for a texture on http://www.avsim.ru, try to see if you can find the TU154 texture for Omsk. There is a large file on this website with textures for the Vala TU154, however this author for whatever reason, left out the aircraft.cfg info. If you download this package, you will get quite a few textures and you'll also get a lesson on how to manually create a [fltsim.x] entry.
Here is a little tip that saves me some time. When manually creating a [fltsim.x] entry, simply copy the previous entry, paste it in and change the relevant parts (title, texture folder, description, callsign and parking info) for the new texture.
Another tip, I do not worry too much about getting the right info into my [fltsim.x] entries. After adding in textures, I check them with a program called ACA2005 which will correct any wrong info, like call signs, parking codes and so on. This freeware program can be downloaded from this site: http://aita2004.pvdveen.net/
There are a couple of key factors to keep in mind when adding in a new livery.
1) Make sure that the ui_manufacturer= and the ui_type= are the same for each and every entry, this will make it easier to find the textures when assigning them. Go back and review my [fltsim.x] samples and notice how different the Pulkovo entry is from the others. If not found and corrected, simple errors like this can lead to some aggravation in trying to find your newly added texture.
2) The [fltsim.x] entry for Pulkovo has some extra info that the others did not have:
FS9 (FS2004) has the ability to group aircraft on the ground by airliner or by designated parking area, but in order to take advantage of this, the airport’s AFCAD file needs to be coded for this, and this is out of scope for this guide. But the basics are that the parking types will tell FS9 that this plane should park at a Gate, and not in a Cargo Ramp or other parking areas. The parking code tells FS9 that the plane should use a parking spot that has been designated for PLK (Pulkovo). If there is not a PLK parking spot, it will still park at the Gate, but at any random gate. You can go back and add in this info to the other [fltsim.x] entries. The parking codes is the airline's ICAO code, and there are several resources on the web that will tell you the ICAO code for an airline, the best being http://www.airlinecodes.co.uk/
Part VI: Modding your Russian AI Models
When you look at pictures of the older Russian jets in action, what do you always see trailing the aircraft? The answer is smoke…black smoke. The AI models do not come with exhaust smoke, but it can easily be added in with Nick’s AI Jet Exhaust. The first step is downloading the Jet Exhaust files from the file library at http://www.avsim.com search for the file russian_ai_jet_exhaust.zip from Jason King. Actually you will need to download other files as well, which are also available in the AVSIM file library and the filenames are given in the Russian_ai_smoke.txt file in the .zip file you just downloaded. After you have downloaded and installed the needed files, use the settings in the Russian_ai_smoke.txt file to mod your aircraft by copying and pasting the settings into your model’s aircraft.cfg file. One change though, if you notice in the settings you see something like light.10 = 7, Some have been changing the 7 to a 5 for a more realistic look. When the setting is 7, the smoke effect will be on when the aircraft lights are on. When the setting is 5, the smoke effect is on when the aircraft is below 10,000 and the landing lights are on. These settings are purely up to you and both provide great results.
The Russian_ai jet_exhaust.zip file does not contain settings for the newer models by Vala and Xomer. If you are using these models, Jason King has provided these settings for those models:
light.5 = 5, -40.25 , -9.1 , 1.0 , fx_nicksmokeAI_lrglear-MD-7x // Engine 1
light.6 = 5, -40.25 , 9.1 , 1.0 , fx_nicksmokeAI_lrglear-MD-7x // Engine 2
light.7= 5, -45.25 , 0 , -0.5 , fx_nicksmokeAI_lrglear-MD-7x // Engine 3
light.5 = 5, -60.25 , -5.3 , 3.0 , fx_nicksmokeAI_lrglear-MD-7x // Engine 1
light.6 = 5, -60.25 , 5.3 , 3.0 , fx_nicksmokeAI_lrglear-MD-7x // Engine 2
light.7= 5, -65.25 , 0 , 4.0 , fx_nicksmokeAI_lrglear-MD-7x // Engine 3
light.5 = 5, -50.25 , -9.1 , 3.0 , fx_nicksmokeAI_747 // Engine 1
light.6 = 5, -50.25 , 9.1 , 3.0 , fx_nicksmokeAI_747 // Engine 2
light.7 = 5, -60.25 , 0 , 5.0 , fx_nicksmokeAI_747 // Engine 3
light.5 = 5, -2.5 , -32.00 , -8.0 , fx_nicksmokeAI_747 // Engine 1
light.6 = 5, -8.0 , -55.4 , -6.5 , fx_nicksmokeAI_747 // Engine 2
light.7 = 5, -8.0 , 55.4 , -6.5 , fx_nicksmokeAI_747 // Engine 3
light.8 = 5, -2.5 , 32.00 , -8.0 , fx_nicksmokeAI_747 // Engine 4
Part VII: Adding Your New Models Into Ultimate Traffic
Now that you have the new model installed and have some textures applied to it, the next step is to add them into Ultimate Traffic and get them up in the air. This will be a basic overview of how to do this, for a much more in-depth tutorial on how to add new models to Ultimate Traffic, read the articles on John Goodwin's web page at http://www.john-goodwin.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/index.html.
Assigning a new model in UT is rather easy. Go into the Aircraft Assignments menu under the Utilities button. Make sure that you have selected the Search Aircraft by: Aircraft Type (this is the default option, but just in case.) Under the Equipment Type box, hit the down arrow button and select TU5 - Tupolev Tu154 and the Carrier Airline and Operated Airline will show Aeroflot Russian Airlines. In the Manufacture box, select the model that was installed, in the example above, we would be looking for Tupolev. Then in the Type box, select the Tu-154. In the Variation box, if not already selected, select the listing for Aeroflot (in the above example, they named it AFL, but when I installed it, I changed the name to Aeroflot to make it easy to find). Once the Aeroflot texture is selected, hit the Insert button and in the ‘Assigned Acft’ box, you should see something like Tupolev TU-154 - Aeroflot. If you have other models and textures assigned, like a Boeing 727 Aeroflot texture, remove it by highlighting it and selecting Remove. When you are done adding textures and removing textures, hit the Save button. By the way, Aeroflot never operated the B727. The reason it is there is because Ultimate Traffic does not have an AI model for the Tupolev TU-154, so it uses the Boeing 727 model, which looks kind of similar to a TU-154.
If you have any more textures to assign, repeat the process until you are done adding in the new textures.
Now that we have our new model and textures added into the aircraft assignments, the last thing to do is to carry out a compile. After the compile is complete, load up Flight Simulator and create a flight at any of the Moscow airports. If you go into Spot view, hit the S key a couple of times and then hit the Ctrl and W buttons, you will cycle through the AI traffic in the area. Keep on cycling through until you see your TU-154. You are now one step closer to making your Russian AI life like.
Part VIII: The Wrap-up
The key to adding in AI is patience; you will need a lot of it. Do not rush it and in the long run, you will see great results. If you get stuck, there are some great places to turn for help. The first obvious choice is the Ultimate Traffic Support Forums. Other sources of help are the forums at http://www.evolveai.com/ and at http://www.projectai.com/. And if you feel brave enough, there is the forum on http://www.avsim.ru. The reason why I say "if you feel brave enough" is not because of the language issue, there is an English forum on the site. The hard part is the registration process, you will definitely need the help of Babel Fish.
When you are adding in your Russian AI, show it off for the rest to see. Flight Simmers love three things: 1) Adding in new models, textures and flightplans 2) Looking at and showing off their screenshots 3) Actually flying every once in a while rather than adding in textures, models and flightplans.
Hopefully some of it made sense to you and did not resemble reading a study guide on network theory and the OSI Model Layers...which I do not suggest reading unless you like subjecting yourself to torture, endless head scratching and trying to cure insomnia.
Part IIX: About the Author
I became interested in Russian aviation after originally installing Ultimate Traffic and noticing that it lacked the models for the Russian aircraft. I spent a lot of time looking for models, repaints and flightplans. I made a few mistakes with models, but that can also be contributed to the models that were available at the time. I have tried to contribute to the Ultimate Traffic community in various ways by trying to repaint and write flightplans. However my thick skull prevented me from learning the finer tricks of those trades, so I decided for focus more on Russian AI and helping out in that area.
When I am not working on Russian AI and helping out in the Ultimate Traffic forums, I work for a credit card company in the Chicago, Illinois area providing software support.
Part IX: Revision History
Added this section that you are reading now
Updated Vala TU154 model information
Updated links for texture downloads
Added info for other Russian equipment types
Added info on new AI models for the TU134, IL114, IL76 & YK42
Revised section on avsim.ru
Updated links for the SKJ models
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