Alrighty Gents.....here it is, it may need some changes and tweaking based on comments, so bear with me, Bottom line is, it's not as hard as it may look, but - I get wordy becuase sometimes it's better to have too much info than not enough. I will re-edit this based on your comments and results.
Also: The example shows this being done to the stock Bell 206. Well, turned out to be a bad idea, since that helo has a problem showing animations as a recording. ALL other helos (except the Robinson) seemed to work great, although that doesn't include everything out there. So this example is only an example, you can follow it and apply to a "real", quality downloaded helo and it should work great, or follow it explicitly and experiment with the Bell....but the rotors won't turn in the recording of that one. Anyway here you go:Recording and playing back Helicopters with FS Recorder
As we know, making a recording of a helicopter with FS Recorder is very possible - it's just playing it back that causes the simulator to crash. This is due to the fact the FS9's (and FSX's) lack of capability to use Helicopters as AI (computer-generated) traffic, and the dependancy FS Recorder has on using the AI routines of the simulator. So the trick is, to make a duplicate "Kind-of" AI Helicopter that the sim can use without crashing, and that FS Recorder can thus use as well. This is done by "cloning" the entire folder of the helo you want to use, then modifying the files slightly to make a tweaked "AI Helo" that is dedicated for that purpose. This only has to be done once per helicopter type you want to use. The second part is, since you use the REAL non-tweaked helo to record your flight, and FS Recorder 1.3 or 1.31 embeds the aircraft type into the the recording file, you must "tweak" the recording file to use the AI helo instead. This last part is a temporary workaround until version 1.4 of Matthias Neusinger's FS Recorder is released, which will allow much easier modification of the recorded aircraft name (THANK YOU MATTHIAS!)Now for the caveat: It ain't real simple but also ain't impossible, obviously. If you're determined to to do it, you can...but it's not user-friendly at this point and requires a certain level of tech savviness, because the "tweaking" requires some small but specific changes. And remember, for now at least, you need to "massage" each recording file before you can play it back, or the sim will crash when you try to replay a real helo recording. The good news is, you don't have to go through all the trouble of making a true AI helo, which can be an involved subject - just a few tricks have to be employed so it works with FS Recorder.To review the steps, they are:
1) Duplicate or "clone" the helo you want to use...this is as simple as copying and pasting it's folder in the FS aircraft folder, and renaming it.
2) Replace the .air file for it with one for a fixed-wing non-helo aircraft, and also make some minor changes to the aircraft.cfg file
3) Fly the REAL (original, non-tweaked) helo in the sim, and record the flight with FS Recorder.
4) Modify the FS Recorder .frc file you created, substituting the original "real" helo name with the dedicated-AI helo name.
Lather, rinse, repeat steps 3 and 4 for any additional recordings you want to make with your helo. If you want to use another, different helo as well, then perform steps 1 & 2 for it to "prep" an AI version for use.Tools required: "Stranger's" cool "Rename It" tool to modify the Recorder files just slightly after recording them:http://www.fs-recorder.net/download/dow ... d=renameit
Download and install, and create a shortcut to it somewhere very convenient becuase you'l be using it quite a bit (once per helo recording).Step 1: Make a duplicate folder of the helicopter you want to use with FS Recorder:
Easy enough. Navigate to your FS9 "Aircraft" folder (or SimObjects\Rotorcraft" in FSX), right-click on the the folder of the helo you want to use, choose "copy", then right-click again, choose "paste", then right-click one more time on the new folder name and rename it to exactly the same name as the original except put the letters "AI" at the end.
As an example, we'll use the stock Bell 206b. Copy the Bell206b folder, then paste it, then rename it, getting rid of the "Copy of " at the beginnging, and adding "AI" at the end, so it appears as shown here:
The contents of both the folders should be identical at this point.Step 2: Modify the files of the AI version for FS Recorder:
Two files need to be changed: First, the .air file needs to be replaced with a suitable one. Then, the aircraft.cfg file need to be modified slightly to make this a new AI helo with a name and other parameters that indicate that.
It turns out that any .air file from a regular prop plane should do the trick. Let's go grab one from a plane that doesn't fly too fast and that everyone should have...the Piper Cub! Go to the "Piper_J3Cub" folder in the "Aircraft" folder, right-click on the file " Piper_J3Cub.air", and choose "copy". Then navigate back into the folder of your new AI helo, right click, and choose "paste".
Now, rename that .air file to the correct name of the helo .air file (which is still in the AI helo folder) but also add the letters "AI" just before the period and filename extension (don't add it to the very end of the whole filename, just add it at the end of the first part of the filename, as shown below. Simple!
Next: Double-click on the aircraft.cfg file to edit it and change the entry values in all of the [flightsim.x] sections to correspond to the AI naming you will need. For the Bell, the new entries look like this (and maybe I changed more than I needed to, so this perhaps can be trimmed don - but it works):
(note that we're adding the letters "AI " just at the very END of entries such as "title", "sim", "ui_manufacturer" "ui_type" and "ui_variation")
For helos with multiple repaints and additional [fltsim.2], [fltsim.3], [fltsim4] etc.entries, the same changes wil need to be applied in those sections as well.
Save the file and that should do it.Step 3: Go record the file and "tweak" it for use!
Load the REGULAR, unmodifed version of the helo (NOT the new AI version if it shows up in the aircraft menu, unless you want weird results and a helo that might fly like a Piper Cub) and record a short flight with FS Recorder...save the recording as usual.Step 4: Now, change the recording slightly before playing back so it uses the fake "AI" helo instead:
The objective here is to open the recording file you just created and change the name of the REAL helicopter you just recorded, and, just like the edits for the AI helo, simply add the letters "AI" to the end to trick FS9 and the recorder into playing back the helo recording with the fake AI helo so FS9 won't lockup! Easy huh? Well, let's start:
Fire up Stranger's "Rename It" tool that you downloaded from the link way above and installed. Navigate to the folder where you store your FS Recorder files, click on the file for the recording you just created, and the name of the original aircraft you recorded it with wil be shown in the entry field toward the ottom of the applet window.
Modify the aircraft name to represent the name of the new "AI Helo" we made - in our example, we go to the end of the filename and simply add the letters A and I so the name is now exactly conforming to everything else we've been doing ("AI" at the end).
That's it....save the file using "Save As", give it a slightly new name (since the tool protects the original recording file by not allowing it to be overwritten) and you're done. Actually pretty easy huh?
After you verify it works, you can delete the original recording file that still has the original helo name in it.Step 4: Go back to FS9 (or FSX) and play the tweaked FS Recorder file as either "Play as Traffic" or "Play"!
Oooops...one more word on that. This seems to work with every single downloaded helo I've tried it on, but for whatever reason, in proofing the above with the STOCK helos, I found an odd thing having to do just with the stock Bell 206b OR the stock Robinson R22. For whatever reason, the rotors don't turn and the sound is not right on the Bell, and the Robinson just don't work...it still crashes. This does not happen with any other helos this has been done with. Don't know why yet (suggestions are appreciated). Since it's just the stock Bell 206 anyway, chances are any real helo nut won't care about this, but it's a concern. So far this seems to work with everything else.
There is some good information out there on the topic of AI Helos, check Hovercontrol.com, and odds are that playing with different variants of modified .air files (such as the ones from Holger Sandmann for AI helos) may resolve specific issues with any individual helis, but the topic isn't simple and goes somewhat beyond the scope of this how-to for FS Recorder.Comments and questions appreciated, I'll update with clarity when and where possible.