Now updated to include FS2002

I'm sure I followed the instructions.

Why doesn't my plane show up…….?????????

I've lost count of the number of times I've been asked this question.
The answer is surprisingly simple. Please take time to read this.

The release of CFS2 & FS2002 makes things a little more complicated but once you understand the aliasing principle, all those annoying installation problems should be solved.
I've used CFS2 in the examples below but the Aliasing principle is the same for all MS sims.


Aircraft designed with Abacus FS Design Studio (FSDS) or Gmax & posted as 'CFS2 only' or 'FS2000 only' will not work in FS98 or CFS1 (Europe).

Aircraft specifically designed for later MS sims are not generally suitable for earlier versions (Backward compatible).

Most FS98 aircraft will work in CFS1, FS2000 , CFS2 & FS2002.
As explained above, most FS2000 aircraft are suitable for FS2000, CFS2 & FS2002 only.
Aircraft posted for FS2000 or FS2002 Pro Only will use files only included with the Pro versions.
They should work fine in the Standard versions providing they're re-aliased accordingly. (See below)


Many 3rd party (add-on) aircraft don't have their own panel and/or sound files.

To reduce the size of the download they are configured to share these files with the default aircraft.
This is known as ALIASING.

The first things to check if an aircraft doesn't show up on the menu are the panel & sound folders.
I usually do this before installing a new aircraft.

If either folder contains just one file it will be aliased to another aircraft.

The file will be named panel.cfg or sound.cfg depending on which folder it's in.
If the aircraft it is aliased to is not installed to your Aircraft folder your new plane cannot show up on the Aircraft menu in the sim.

Some people will tell you to fix this by copying the panel & sound folders from a default aircraft or download suitable files & paste them into your new plane. This will do the trick but is generally NOT the best method. Panel & sound files take up a lot of space on your hard drive so why duplicate them if it's not necessary? It's a matter of preference. If this method suits you, please use it & read no further.

Once you understand the Aliasing principle, re-aliasing the panel/sound to another aircraft is quick & simple. It's by far the quickest way to check out an aircraft to see if you like it.

OK, let's get started

To find out which aircraft your new plane is aliased to, open the panel.cfg or sound.cfg file in Notepad.

Tip: Associating CFG files with Notepad will make editing them much easier. Here's how.
  • Right-click on the file icon & select "Open With" from the drop-down menu.
  • Choose Notepad from the list & check the "Always open files of this type with this program" box.
  • Click OK to open the file.
  • Next time you wish to edit any CFG file, a double-click on its icon will open the file in Notepad


A typical aliased sound.cfg will look something like this


This means the sound is aliased to the FS98, CFS or FS2000 default C182.
If there is no C182 folder in the Aircraft folder you found the problem.
You may have deleted or re-named the folder.

CFS2 does not have a default C182. (See FS Converter below)

The simplest way to fix the problem is to re-alias to an aircraft you do have.
You can use any panel or sound you wish with one consideration.
The plane you alias to must have its own sound (or panel) files.
To alias the sound to the CFS2 default Hellcat, modify the sound.cfg like this.
(It's not case sensitive but you must use the exact folder name.)


Exit Notepad, saving changes. That's it.


Similarly, here's a typical aliased FS98/2000 panel.cfg.


This example is aliased to one of the FS Converter panels in the fsfsconv folder.
To re-alias the panel, modify the panel.cfg in the same way like this.


The panel & sound do not need to be aliased to the same aircraft.
Remember to use the exact folder name of the one you alias to.

FS Converter


The FS98 Converter was released as a separate download for FS98 only. You can get it here.
It should be installed along with the separate FS98 Patch before attempting to install 3rd party aircraft to FS98.
Most aliased aircraft will not show up in FS98 if the the FS Converter is not installed first.

CFS1 (Europe)

Unless you choose the Minimal install option, CFS1 will install the FS Converter by default.
This is basically the FS98 Converter which is designed to make it easier to import FS5 & FS98 aircraft.
It includes folders which will be installed to the CFS Aircraft folder.
The converter folders are named B737_400 , C182, extra300, fsfsconv, lear45, sopcamel & schweizr.
They are non-flyable, similar to the CFS AI aircraft, so do not appear on the Aircraft menu.

You will experience installation problems if you see aircraft you don't recognise or remember installing & delete these folders. Many 3rd party aircraft are aliased to them so I would recommend keeping them.
This will allow you to quickly check out a new aircraft. Then if you like it you can re-alias the panel/sound or find & install suitable ones later.

If some or all of these folders are missing, the only practical way to get them back is to uninstall/install CFS1.
This will only remove the files it originally installed so you won't lose any add-ons.

Don't try this with CFS2......!

You will have the option during the uninstall process to save personal files such as Campaign awards.

  • Insert the CFS CD & select Uninstall. NOT Reinstall.
  • When that's done, select Install & choose the Typical option.
  • Make sure it installs to the original location.

Now fire up CFS & adjust the Display settings. Try it in Free Flight.
You may well find some of those missing aircraft on the menu.

Any add-on scenery will need to be re-activated from the Scenery Library.
If you use the No-CD Crack it will still be in the CFS main folder & can be re-activated later.


FS2000 will install the FS Converter by default.
This is basically the FS98 Converter & will add the fsfsconv folder & associated gauges for aliasing 3rd party aircraft to.

Providing they are installed correctly, FS98 & FS2000 3rd party aircraft should install to both versions of FS2000 with no problems.
Those specfied as FS2000 Pro ONLY will most likely be aliased to the panels & sounds of aircraft not included with FS2000 Standard. They should work fine if the panel/sound are re-aliased accordingly.

CFS2 (Pacific Theater)

CFS2 has no FS Converter. This is the cause of most installation problems with CFS2.

The FS Converter folders listed above can be copied into the CFS2 Aircraft folder from FS98, CFS1 or FS2000 if you have them.

CFS1 & FS2000 default aircraft will be flyable & show up on the Free Flight menu.
Disable them if you wish, by deleting everything except the panel & sound folders.
This makes them into FS Converter style dummy "aircraft" which will not be added to the Mission Builder database or count against the "100 plane" limit.


FS2002 has no FS Converter. This is not a problem with the following exceptions.

Providing they are installed correctly, FS98, FS2000 & FS2002 3rd party aircraft should install to both versions of FS2002 with no problems.

Imported aircraft aliased to the FS98/CFS/FS2000 Converter panels will show up on the menu but the panels will display without gauges. To fix this problem re-alias to another aircraft or install a suitable panel.

Some CFS aircraft will work fine in FS2002. Others will not. The only way to find out is to try them.
CFS1 or CFS2 aircraft without their own panels and/or sound will almost certainly need re-aliasing to show up on the menu.

Aircraft specfied as FS2000 or FS2002 Pro ONLY will most likely be aliased to panels/sounds of default aircraft not included with FS2002 Standard. Those with their own panels most likely use the gauges for these extra Pro aircraft which will obviously be missing. They should work fine in FS2002 Standard if the panel/sound are re-aliased accordingly or with suitable panel & sound installed.

Helicopters in CFS1 & CFS2

CFS & CFS2 have no default helicopter. To get your helicopters to show up you will need one.

Most add-on helos are aliased to the FS98 or FS2000 Bell206B.
The special CFS2 Helicopter Base File in the
CFS Misc section is suitable for both CFS1 & CFS2.
It contains the missing panel & sound folders. Install it to the CFS1 or CFS2 Aircraft folder in the usual way for your helos to show up.

An alternative method for either sim is to download a helicopter with its own panel & sound files.
Then re-name the folder Bell206B before installing it.

If you have another MS sim, the Bell206B folder could be copied direct from FS98 (for CFS/CFS2) or FS2000 (for CFS2 only). To make them unflyable, simply delete everything except the panel & sound files.

Jets in CFS1 & CFS2

CFS & CFS2 have no default jet.

Most jet fighters will be aliased to an FS Converter panel & the Lear45 sound but confirm this first & re-alias the sound to the Lear45 if necessary.

There is a special CFS2 Jet Base File for aliasing the sound to in the CFS Misc section.
It contains a dummy "FS Converter" folder named Lear45.
Install the Lear45 folder to the CFS2 Aircraft folder in the usual way to fix the sound.

That leaves the panel. You will need to re-alias or delete the Panel.cfg to check out the aircraft.
You can install a more suitable panel & sound files later.

CFS1 Aircraft in CFS2

Aircraft designed specifically for CFS1 should work in CFS2 but will often be aliased to the CFS default aircraft, for example the P51d.
For them to show up you can re-alias them to CFS2 aircraft or, if you have both sims, copy the CFS default aircraft you need into CFS2. If you don't wish to use these aircraft in CFS2, make them into dummy "FS Converter" folders by deleting everything except the Panel & Sound folders.

"FS Converter style" dummy folders are not recognised as aircraft which means they are not included as such in the CFS2 "100 plane" limit.

I hope this explains everything. If you still have installation problems please mail me.
I will be pleased to receive any suggestions for revisions or additions to this article.

© Grumpy's Lair 2002