FS2004 - Installing aircraft for FS2004/FS2002 (Note: You can also you use the FS2002 help: Installing aircraft / Adding panels )

This help page will only help if you have WinXp.

1. Open the file in WinZip by double clicking on on the zip icon of the file you have downloaded (my apologies to people who have Windows set up so that single clicks substitute for double clicks). In the colorful WinZip window that opens up, you should see a worryingly long list of files.

2. Click on the 'extract' button up there in the middle of the WinZip toolbar and you will get a new dialog which is there to help you select which folder you want to extract the zipped files into. I hate to do this to you, but along with my addiction to having a special download folder, I have a special one for extracting files to, called 'Junk'. You can call yours whatever you like, but it might be worth creating one right now to extract your file into. Whatever you do, don't forget where it is. Why do I have such a folder? Well, if you download enough files, you will get left with all kinds of stuff you don't need to install and having it all in one place makes it real easy to clean out. Not such an issue in these days of two hundred gig drives, but it makes for an easier life.

If you use the 'folders/drives' pane to find the 'Junk' folder on your hard disk, and left click on the folder name to select it, the 'Extract to' pane should change to show something like this. Make sure you have the 'all files' button checked and especially the 'Use folder names' button checked too. To unpack the files all you have to do is to left click the extract button at the top right of the 'Extract' dialog and there should be a flurry of disk activity as your aircraft files are unzipped into the junk folder.

3. Okay! Now we have to find where your copy of FS2004 is lurking on your hard disk. Most probably it is in Program files, though this varies depending on which type of installation you have. Left click on the little + sign next to the Program files folder in the left hand pane of Windows Explorer. A huge list of sub-folders should appear - drag the scroll bar on the divider down until you can see a folder called Microsoft games. Click the + sign next to that. Again, you should get a list of sub-folders appearing, the length of which will depend on how many Microsoft games you own, but one of those folders will be called 'Flight Simulator 9'. Make sure that you don't accidentally drop the plane into the main Flight Simulator 9 folder - believe me, it is easily done. At risk of getting repetitive strain injury here, left click the little plus sign next to the Flight Simulator 9 folder. Even more sub-folders will appear - I bet you had no idea how many files there were on you hard disk… Now one of these sub-folders should be called 'Aircraft,' find it but don't click on it, because that is where we are going to put our hard won Convair 580. Now go back and select the Junk folder - you may need to use the scroll bar to find it depending on how much software is installed on your machine. Left click on the Junk folder in the left hand pane of Explorer and then select the CV580 folder by moving your mouse to the right hand pane. Left click on the plane folder and the drag all the way down until it is level with the 'Aircraft' folder and then move it across until 'Aircraft' folder is highlighted and let the mouse button go.

4. The CV580 folder should disappear from Junk and move to Aircraft - check it has really gone there by left clicking the + sign next to Aircraft and somewhere in there you should see it. If the CV580 folder doesn't appear in Aircraft there are two possibilities. The first is that Windows hasn't updated Explorer to show the move - you can check this by left clicking View on the Explorer menu bar, then selecting Refresh from the drop down menu. If CV580 doesn't appear in Aircraft after this, either it is still in Junk, or you have missed Aircraft and dropped it in some other nearby folder. Or it is in Flight Simulator 9. Or the network pixies have got it. The only good news if you lose it is that by now, you should know enough to go looking for it and move it back to its rightful place. Close Explorer and any other windows that happen to be open. We are going to see this bird fly.

This Tutorial was created by Jack Larbow.


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