How to Install Addon Repaints/Textures in FSX

This tutorial will walk you through the steps of installing addon textures, or repaints. I'm going to be using the United Express Bombardier CRJ 700 Textures in this example. Windows 7 is the operating system used in this tutorial.

It is helpful to have hidden files and folders, along with file extensions shown. To do this, go to folder options, click on the view tab, and then check off the two boxes titled: "show hidden files, folders, and drives" and uncheck "hide extensions for known file types". Still don't get it, click here for more help.

Step 1

Download and extract the aicraft file. Most of the aircraft that you will download are contained in a zip or rar file. You can either right click the .zip file and press extract all, running through the extraction wizard, or use a program such as Winrar, Winzip, or 7-zip to extract it. All do the same thing. If the file is a .exe or .msi, then you can just run the installer and it should automatically be installed for you.

Step 2

extracted addon folder

Now lets take a look inside the extracted folder, and see what's inside. We have a Texture.UNI_EXN and Texture.UNI_EXO folder, a readme text file, and screenshot. There are two important parts that we need in order to install this texture and make it run in the game. The first part is the texture folders, which contains the texture files used when that aircraft variant is loaded in FSX. The second part is the section of code that needs to be put into the aircraft.cfg, in order for FSX to know there are new textures installed.

Most addons will have a readme file, which should atleast give you basic instructions for installing the addon. Upon opening the readme, it tells us to copy the two texture folders to the CRJ 700 folder, and copy two texture entries into the aircraft.cfg file. More about this below.

Any addon texture folders in the extracted addon will have to be copied to there respected aircraft folder. The location of FSX aircraft and helicopter folders are listed below.

Aircraft: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes
Helicopters: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Rotorcraft

C:\Program Files (x86), for Windows 64 bit installations.

crj 700 aircraft folder

In our example, we have to copy the Texture.UNI_EXN and Texture.UNI_EXO folders into the Bombardier CRJ 700 folder, located here:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes\
Bombardier_CRJ_700\

The folders copied to the correct location are shown in the image to the left.

One important thing to take note during this process is that each texture folder will have a thumbnail.jpg file located inside. This file is the thumbnail that is displayed inside of the aircraft selection menu in FSX. An optimal thumbnail image should be 256 pixel by 128 pixel jpeg image.

Step 3

The next step of the process is adding the new texture entries into the aircraftc.fg file for the CRJ 700. The readme file should include the code that should be copied into the aircraft.cfg file. When opening up the readme, it tells us to copy the following code and paste it after the last texture/repaint entries.

[fltsim.X]
title=Bombardier CRJ 700 UNITED Express "Old"
sim=Bombardier_CRJ_700
model=
panel=
sound=
texture=UNI_EXO
kb_checklists=BombardierCRJ700_check
kb_reference=BombardierCRJ700_ref
atc_id=
atc_airlilne=United
atc_parking_types=GATE,RAMP
ui_manufacturer="Bombardier"
ui_type="CRJ700"
ui_variation="UNITED Express "Old""
ui_typerole="Regional Jet"
ui_createdby="Microsoft Corporation"
description="The CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet) family of ......."

[fltsim.X+1]
title=Bombardier CRJ 700 UNITED Express "New"
sim=Bombardier_CRJ_700
model=
panel=
sound=
texture=UNI_EXN
kb_checklists=BombardierCRJ700_check
kb_reference=BombardierCRJ700_ref
atc_id=
atc_airlilne=United
atc_parking_types=GATE,RAMP
ui_manufacturer="Bombardier"
ui_type="CRJ700"
ui_variation="UNITED Express "New""
ui_typerole="Regional Jet"
ui_createdby="Microsoft Corporation"
description="The CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet) family of ......."

Note: The description line has been shortened for this tutorial, but should be copied in its entirety when pasting into the aircraft.cfg file.

The aircraft.cfg file for the CRJ 700 is located in the following directory:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes\Bombardier_CRJ_700\aircraft.cfg

C:\Program Files (x86), for Windows 64 bit installations.

After opening the aircraft.cfg file with a text editor such as notepad, you'll want to find the last texture entry, ussually right above the [General] section, and paste the code included with the readme. Once that code is pasted in, there is one more thing to do.

Step 4

Most texture entries in a readme file will have an X in the fltsim line. This X needs to be changed to the next sequential number after the last texture before the addon textures. See example below.

The last entry for the default CRJ 700 is [fltsim.3], which is the texture entry for the white variant of the CRJ 700. Therefore, the following two textures we added on will become [fltsim.4] and [fltsim.5]. The final code with the last default texture entry and the two addon textures we installed are shown below.

[fltsim.3]
title=Bombardier CRJ 700
sim=Bombardier_CRJ_700
model=
panel=
sound=
texture=
kb_checklists=BombardierCRJ700_check
kb_reference=BombardierCRJ700_ref
atc_id=NCRJ70
atc_parking_types=GATE,RAMP
ui_manufacturer="Bombardier"
ui_type="CRJ700"
ui_variation="White"
ui_typerole="Regional Jet"
ui_createdby="Microsoft Corporation"
description="The CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet) family of ......."

[fltsim.4]
title=Bombardier CRJ 700 UNITED Express "Old"
sim=Bombardier_CRJ_700
model=
panel=
sound=
texture=UNI_EXO
kb_checklists=BombardierCRJ700_check
kb_reference=BombardierCRJ700_ref
atc_id=
atc_airlilne=United
atc_parking_types=GATE,RAMP
ui_manufacturer="Bombardier"
ui_type="CRJ700"
ui_variation="UNITED Express "Old""
ui_typerole="Regional Jet"
ui_createdby="Microsoft Corporation"
description="The CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet) family of ......."

[fltsim.5]
title=Bombardier CRJ 700 UNITED Express "New"
sim=Bombardier_CRJ_700
model=
panel=
sound=
texture=UNI_EXN
kb_checklists=BombardierCRJ700_check
kb_reference=BombardierCRJ700_ref
atc_id=
atc_airlilne=United
atc_parking_types=GATE,RAMP
ui_manufacturer="Bombardier"
ui_type="CRJ700"
ui_variation="UNITED Express "New""
ui_typerole="Regional Jet"
ui_createdby="Microsoft Corporation"
description="The CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet) family of ......."

Note: The description line has been shortened for this tutorial, but should be copied in its entirety when pasting into the aircraft.cfg file.

After all these steps are complete, you should have a succusfully installed addon texture for use. In the event that the new texture does not show up, read below to troubleshoot the installation of the new texture.

Troubleshooting Addon Repaints / Textures


  • Ensure that "Show all variations"in the FSX aircraft selection menu is checked off.
  • When two or more texture entries have the same fltsim number, only the first entry will be displayed in the aircraft selection menu.
  • The line texture= in the texture entry should point to the correct folder with the addon textures. If the line says texture=UNI_EXO but the folder is name Texture.UNI_EXI, FSX will not be able to read the new texture.