Installing new add-on scenery is quite simple after you understand a few basic concepts about how FS2004 loads scenery files.
FS needs two different types of files to add scenery to your environment. It needs graphics objects, and texture files. The graphics objects will actually define the 3d structures and shapes, and the textures are used to cover them with colors and detail.
The graphic objects are defined in files with the extension .bgl and the textures will be defined by any number of different FS recognized image files (some extensions include: .bmp,.bmp2, .ra6).
These different files should normally be grouped into two folders:
\Scenery : This folder contains any graphics objects.
\Texture : This folder contains any texture files.
Most scenery add-ons you download from the internet will contain atleast the two above folders. Scenery developers may include additional folders for various reasons, but often these will be explained in some type of readme file normally included.
Some scenery packages you download will suggest that you put the graphics objects and textures into the default \Scenery Addons folder that is included with FS2004, but we recommend that you create your own folder to contain all of your add-on scenery packages. After your collection grows, you'll appreciate having a special place for them to be kept. I created the following folder:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Flight Simulator 9\myscenery
You can create the folder where ever you like. Just remember the location!
Within this folder you will be able to add any number of additional scenery packages you might download. We will use the Hovercontrol Missoula (KMSO) Training scenery package as an example. The file name is HC2v2.zip and it can be downloaded from the HC Scenery category of the Hovercontrol file downloads section.
After unzipping the HC2v2.zip you should be able to navigate inside the unzipped folder and find a folder called HC2v2 which contains the 2 folders: Scenery, and Texture that you have already learned about.
Copy the entire HC2v2 subfolder into the \myscenery folder that you created, the resulting structure should look like this:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Flight Simulator 9\myscenery\HC2v2
At this point, you have completed all the file copying steps that will need to be accomplished before starting the flight simulator software. Do that now.
Once in the flight simulator, we are going to add the scenery files you just created to the game's scenery library. This is fairly easy.
1. A the start up screen, we are going to click the "Settings" option on the bottom portion of the left hand side of the window.
2. In the Scenery section of the following screen, we will click the "Scenery Library" button.
3. Click the "Add Area" button on the right hand side of the screen.
4. Navigate to your "\myscenery" folder and highlight the scenery package you want to add. In this case, hilight the HC2v2 scenery folder. The information for this folder should auto-complete in the fields presented.
5. Click "OK".
You should now see this scenery package listed on the list of installed scenery packages. It will probably be at the top of the list. In most cases this will be ok, although some scenery packages might have additional instructions regarding where the package should be located on the list. Options on the right will allow you to change the order of the list by moving a selected package up or down.
From the Scenery list screen, Click "OK". On the Following screen you will see a red message reminding you that you will need to restart flight simulator for the changes to take effect.
Restart Flight Simulator.
Once back in the simulator, you should be able to visit the geographic location of the scenery and view the new scenery items.