Iíve been asked many times what the procedure is to add a new version of an existing aircraft to the game. You might want to do this to have a different skin or loadout on one of your favorite planes. I have added a few different versions of my own favorites and now will try and pass on the way I have achieved this. It's no secret but is rather hard to explain. There are many entries in different tables that you must make. I would say that it is not for the beginner. You should be familiar with the DME. This can be accomplished working only with the admin.ini (that's the way I used to do it) but now have found that it is easier with the DME. One thing for sure - BACK UP YOUR ADMIN.INI before working on it.

First you must create your new aircraft folder. I will use the f4e as my example. I will create a new f4e with a Marine Corp. skin. I will call it F4-Marine. So, here we go.

New version of the same with different skin or loadouts, start like this:

  1. Duplicate the entire F4e folder in the Controllable_Aircraft folder.
  2. Rename it F4-Marine
  3. In your new folder change the skin to whatever you like. You do not have to change the names of the files.
  4. Open the DME. Did I not mention this before? It would be a good idea to know something about this before diving in but not essential.
  5. Go to the Tables Tab.

Add a brand new aircraft to the game start like this:

  1. Create a new folder in the Controllable_Aircraft folder and name it (Kfir, F-14, E6b, etc.)
  2. Put all your new files, .p3d .bmp .tga as they are in an original folder.
  3. Open the DME
  4. Go to the Tables Tab.

At the Tables Tab you must make initial entries for your new aircraft in the following categories:

Name Enum -  Put your entry into NameEnum then go to BaseObjects in the Tables tab, find
                       your new entry in the drop-down and then add display name.
                      Then you will find it in the Entity Template , BaseObjectPtr.

Entity Template - You will enter you new name and select your plane from the drop-down for BaseObjectPtr.

Object type Enum


Use the other entries to guide you as to what you need to enter in these areas or you can duplicate an existing entry and just change the name. Make sure you enter the name the same way every time.

  1. Once you have the above entered you can now add your new plane to the following*:

          *These tables now have your new aircraft in the drop-down boxes. Again, look how the other entries are made or you can duplicate the aircraft that is already           listed and just change the name.
    Base Objects

    Formation Template - Follow how the others are done.

    QME Objects

    Weapons Config. - In this area you can add what ordinance your new plane will carry. Look and see how the others are done.

  1. Now go to Loadout default tab. Here you will enter what your new plane will be loaded with when you select it in the UME. You should know what
  2. Next you will go to the GraphicRep tab and enter the path to your new aircraft. In this case it would be 3dObjects\Controllable_Aircraft\F4-Marine\f4e_h.p3d. You may have to do this step earlier as there is an entry you must make for it in one of the other tables. But you can go back to it and do it later.

  3. You're not done yet! Save all your entries in the DME and go to your missions folder, then Data. Open the QMEdefault.pms file with wordpad and now enter the loadouts for AA,AG, and AA/AG. Follow the example of the aircraft you are copying and make your entries at the bottom of the loadout column. Don't forget the number sequence.

That should do it. I have not gone into all the minutia. You should study how the other entries are made and follow suite. There is one problem that happens when you create two aircraft of the same type with different skins and I haven't figured how to correct it. If you open one version of the aircraft in QME, finish you mission, then open the other version of the aircraft with the different skin, it will display a combination of the two textures. In other words, when you change planes, one of the two .bmp files seems to stick in cache. This may not be a problem if you are creating a new plane that only uses 1 .bmp. This now happens with the F4e and the F42000 at present but know one has said anything about it so it doesn't seem to be much of a problem.

UPDATE - UPDATE (This does not apply to adding a brand new aircraft.)

I have discovered how to enter a different name .bmp file into the .p3d file. This will allow for different skinned versions of the same plane in the same mission without any skin corruption.

1. Alter the name of your .bmp skin slightly. Example - f4e to f4m. Then open the .p3d file with a hexadecimal text editor (this cannot be done with Word Pad, Note Pad or the like) and do a search for f4e. When you come to the next one, press delete, then enter your new name f4m. Go thru the rest of the entries and do the same. There will be about 50 entries to change in a 2 graphic model. I am no programmer and no nothing about different programming formats but it seems you need to use ASCll. I have used UEdit and Merge to accomplish this procedure. With UEdit I have been able to give the command to "Replace All" and the whole thing is completed instantly. I'm out of my area with this but just stumbled through it and got it to work. I'm sure someone that knows something about programming with hexadecimal coding could explain this much better than I.

Now with a new .bmp name in the .p3d file there is no problem with different skins.

Remember - Do This At Your Own Risk and BACK UP YOUR ADMIN.INI

If you find an error in the procedure above please let me know. If you were able to place a new aircraft in the game with it please let me know that too.


Tyler Mcfly