IdealFlight help

Mission and Monitor

Ai Aircraft

Ai Aircraft do not use water runways. Do not select water landing only aircraft for Ai operations, or they will appear stuck on airport parking bays.

Aircraft will be departing and arriving at your destination, and at several airports along the route. Ai Aircraft will appear in their parking bays at the start of the simulation.

In tower views Ai aircraft can be observed up to 75Nm away on radar.

When FSX introduces Ai Aircraft into the simulation, a short pause may be noticed just as ATC starts talking to them.

The Ai Aircraft are started from the AiList.dat files in the "..\Ideal Flight\Flight\New" folder. We need to generate a flight to create one.

Ai Aircraft can be added to the list manually, so we can supply our own flight plans for them too.

The in-sim menu item "Remove Ai Aircraft", attempts to remove all Ai Aircraft not just IF10 traffic. The runway is cleared although in time other Ai programs continue to inject aircraft.

Ai Culling

During flight, excess Ai aircraft, off-route, or far away, are culled to aid performance, except in tower views. Ai aircraft are not culled if visiting departure or destination airports, or airports visible to the user aircraft en-route. This way the FSX Ai aircraft can be increased to fill the airports, without excess aircraft flying out of view during the flight. See Config.ini File [FSSetup], for settings. (>augmented)

Ai Settings - Ai Selection

Hide Parked Aircraft: Refers to your saved parked aircraft. If an aircraft is left in an official parking bay, Ai aircraft may also take the same spot. If parked aircraft are showing they could be shown merged with an AI aircraft when the sim starts.

In the interest of improved performance, IF10 only creates Ai aircraft likely to appear to the user during the flight, and removes them when they are no longer likely to appear.

En-route airports running Ai: Enable airports along the route running departures and arrivals.

Allow any smaller aircraft activity at large airfields: Do not restrict small aircraft from large airports.

Allow occasional smaller aircraft activity at large airfields: Occasionally allow small aircraft at large airports - overrides the "allow any smaller" setting.

Only the model can be selected for Ai. Depending on the add-on, the model may appear with the variation name as well, but all variations are selected with the single model item checked.

Full Ai Aircraft Optimisation: Allow IF10 to remove third party Ai Aircraft that are unlikely to appear or interact with the user. Please also see Ai Aircraft Culling for other settings.

Ai Shadow Aircraft: Enable the shadow aircraft, "Ai Buddy". In this case any model variation can be selected. (>augmented)

The Ai Shadow Aircraft (Ai Buddy) is scheduled to start very near to your departure time, or can be already departing, and is going to be flying precisely your route, with ATC. If the shadow aircraft is the exact same model as the user aircraft, it will be programmatically loaded to a similar amount, both aircraft flying equal loads. Other aircraft will load up with the setup from aircraft.cfg station values.

Ai Shadow Aircraft Settings:

  • Ai Setting: Ai Shadow Aircraft. Enable or disable the Ai Shadow Aircraft before building the flight.
  • Ai Setting: Hold Ai Shadow Aircraft for starting instructions. The Ai Buddy will be waiting for your command to start up right away. In this mode, Ai Buddy can still take several minutes to get underway, depending on traffic already in the sim. Otherwise Ai Buddy will start at or near to the user planned Push Back time, after the planned User Preparation time is completed.
  • Ai Setting: Ai Shadow Aircraft keeps to left. The Ai Shadow flight plan is offset slightly from the user flight plan to the left or right, by an amount determined by the wingspan of the aircraft. Warning: When using the in-sim menu item to change Left/Right, the plan is rebuilt and the Ai Buddy is restarted on the new plan. The Ai Buddy aircraft may not necessarily move to the other (Left or Right) side of the user aircraft, since the Ai Buddy is on its own flight path, and does not strictly follow the exact line of the plan.

In-sim Ai Shadow Aircraft Actions Menu:

  • Start: Start the Ai Shadow Aircraft when waiting for starting instructions. If waiting for instructions, the Ai Buddy will get underway after the planned User Preparation time is completed.
  • Locate: Message showing bearing and distance to the Ai Shadow Aircraft.
  • Follow Plan: Follows the plan and keeps to flight speeds laid out in the briefing.
  • Go Ahead: Leads the way.
  • Close Up: Keeps close by.
  • Drop Back: Follows behind.
  • Distant: Increases distances.
  • Steady: No roaming.
  • Left: Ai Buddy follows its own plan similar to that loaded by the User aircraft. Warning: The Left/Right directive actually restarts the Ai Buddy nearby the user aircraft on a new plan shifted laterally to the user plan.
  • Reset Nearby: Restart the Ai Shadow Aircraft, positioning nearby the user aircraft when in flight, or at the ramp if the user aircraft is on the ground or very close to the airport. The Ai Shadow may appear significantly below your aircraft if you have gained altitude very quickly.
  • Reset: Restart the Ai Shadow Aircraft at the ramp.
  • Exit: The Ai Shadow Aircraft ends flight, and waits at the departure ramp to be restarted with the Start menu item. The User Preparation time is ignored.
Notes: Re-choose the same action to cancel. With no directives, Ai Buddy goes along with the user aircraft, but positions where it wants, and changes position throughout the flight for different views. For best results, plan to fly at, or near, the natural cruise speeds of the Ai Shadow aircraft.

Tips for using shadow aircraft:

  • Choosing a similar or slower shadow aircraft can make it easier to follow.
  • Set the user aircraft parameters to build routes for the performance of the shadow aircraft if possible, so that your plan can be compatible with the shadow aircraft.
  • Internally IF10 can instruct the aircraft to match the current user aircraft speeds, or catch up and slow down as needed, to an extent.
  • The aircraft may play around; for example it could pass by then dive below and come up behind.
  • When restoring a saved flight IF10 tries to place the Ai Shadow aircraft just up ahead of you if you are on level flight between waypoints.
  • The Ai engine cannot start aircraft too near the airport take-off and landing areas or it will start on the ground.
  • Save your game when established on a route at level flight, then after restoring, there is a better chance you can reconnect with your Ai Buddy.
  • When choosing to set Ai Buddy to Go Ahead, try reducing your speed slightly to help Ai Buddy get ahead quickly. Especially at or near maximum speeds. Similarly when using the Drop Back directive, try increasing your speed temporarily to reduce the time taken for Ai Buddy to fall behind.
If you lose sight of your buddy, you can always use the Reset Nearby menu item. This can get the Ai shadow located right up ahead of you. If you are only a short distance from departure, the Ai aircraft may be some way below you on a climb.

Ai Aircraft Notes:

The Ai aircraft list box finds installed aircraft including those found in folders specified in fsx.cfg. The checked aircraft are Ai traffic that IF will randomly select and control independently of other traffic systems. Unchecked aircraft are available for IF to use but this is opting not to use them.

IF traffic does not affect other traffic, the aircraft will occupy empty parking slots or will not enter the sim. The FSX traffic slider has no effect with IF10 Traffic. IF traffic adds a few aircraft around the flight schedule and route so there will be some company at any time of day. Ai aircraft cannot stay at airports with no parking facility.

Settings.ini File

AiMinSelection=10       ← Minimum number of Ai models selected for each airport
AiSelectionPercent=25   ← Percentage of available Ai models selected in the Ai Selection box for each airport
AiMaxPercent=50         ← Percentage of parking used by IF traffic with over 10 places available
AiRatio=50              ← Departure and Destination traffic, verses En-Route traffic
AiParked=60             ← Percentage and parked verses in-flight traffic

fsx.cfg File

We need to ensure other SimObjects directories are included in fsx.cfg:

User Objects=Airplane, Helicopter
SimObjectPaths.6=SimObjects\UT2 Aircraft        ← a traffic add-on would normally insert an entry like this
SimObjectPaths.8=G:\AIPlanes                    ← add your own entry for another directory like this
SimObjectPaths.9=..\..\..\MyAi                  ← and relative to your FSX program directory like this

IF10 Settings.ini File

We can exclude directories for use by IF Ai in Ideal Flight Settings.ini:

Dir6=SimObjects\UT2 Aircraft

Perhaps we want to store our aircraft elsewhere on the system, maybe organised between Ai and User types.

Say I have C:\MyAiAircraft and C:\MyAddonAircraft

I would add these lines to FSX config - Section [Main] in fsx.cfg

SimObjectPaths.8=C:\MyAddonAircraft <- I don't want these included for Ai just users
SimObjectPaths.9=C:\MyAiAircraft <- I want these for Ai - IF10 reads fsx.cfg and installs these

In IF10 Settings.ini IF10 reads these and includes them all for Users - IF10 settings.ini:

Dir3=C:\MyAddonAircraft <- I don't want these included for Ai just users

Next in settings.ini IF10 reads these and excludes them all for Ai - IF10 settings.ini:

Dir6=C:\MyAddonAircraft <- I don't want these included for Ai just users

Completely refresh the Ai Setup by deleting the AIInclude.dat file

Close IF10, then delete the file:
"C:\ProgramData\Ideal Flight 10\Profiles\AIInclude.dat"

Finally restart IF10 and go to the Ai Selection Page.

Hint: The popup menu on the IF10 startup page will take you to Edit the IF10 config and settings files.
The popup menu on the main page will take you to Explorer Locations - FSX config.

AiList.dat files

e.g. "C:\ProgramData\Ideal Flight 10\Flight\New\4_AiList.dat"

D=at your Departure airport, A=at your Arrival (destination) airport
.:A=Arriving, D=Departing
.:.:Departure airport
.:.:....:Arrival airport
.:.:....:....:ID number for Plan file
.:.:....:....:...:0-99% time from first 30 minutes approximately, and 30 from destination
.:.:....:....:...:..:Aircraft folder name, use '#' in place of ':' for the drive name
.:.:....:....:...:..:...............:Aircraft variation title
.:.:....:....:...:..:...............:..................:ATC Call Sign
.:.:....:....:...:..:...............:..................:......:Flight Time (decimal hours)
.:.:....:....:...:..:...............:..................:......:....:Cruise Speed (Knots)
.:.:....:....:...:..:...............:..................:......:....:....:Cruise Altitude (ft)
.:.:....:....:...:..:...............:..................:......:....:....:....:Wingspan (m)
.:.:....:....:...:..:...............:..................:......:....:....:....:....:PlanType (IFR, VFR)
.:.:....:....:...:..:...............:..................:......:....:....:....:....:....:Traffic portion, B, C, D, E = mid route, A = route ends

A:A:LSPM:LFBL:1:22:d#\ai\Mooney_Bravo:Mooney Bravo With G1000:N1000B:2.10:180:15000:5.50:VFR:A
A:D:LFBL:LFLO:5:22:d#\ai\C208B:Cessna Grand Caravan Paint1:N208LN:1.09:160:18000:7.94:IFR:A
D:A:DIAP:EGFF:6:5:d#\ai\C208B:Cessna Grand Caravan:N208BC:2.81:160:18000:7.94:VFR:A
D:A:LFLO:EGFF:2:13:d#\ai\Mooney_Bravo:Mooney Bravo With G1000:N1000B:2.75:180:15000:5.50:IFR:A
D:A:LFSG:EGFF:3:7:d#\ai\FA-18:FA-18 Hornet 1:N002:1.37:400:40000:5.70:IFR:A
D:D:EGFF:EGXJ:4:26:d#\ai\FA-18:FA-18 Hornet 3:N004:0.67:400:40000:5.70:IFR:A

All decimal values are expressed with "." a period.
Drive names use "#" in place of ":", e.g. "C#\" = "C:\".

These plans would be found in the IF\Flight\New folder with the other files for the flight:


You can add your own aircraft and plan definitions, but FSX will not accept any plan or aircraft for Ai Flight if it is incompatible with conditions.