Quick custom heli takeoff spots?

Is there a way to make a custom airport for the purposes of starting a heli flight? I want to start at the baseball field across from my house. Seems this ought to be doable by making a zero-scenery airport at that spot, but I have no idea how to go about this. Any help?

It would be as simple as enabling an option to start on ground anywhere, instead of airborne anywhere as we have now. The same thing is needed for seaplanes indeep (to start on water anywhere). I don´t understand why world map does not include such option.



Hi there,
There is a category of the forums for discussing the SDK. I have moved your topic there.

If you can’t find your answer here, you can also try https://devsupport.flightsimulator.com/.

Start by creating a new airport at the spot, then you want a Taxiparking object. In order to be valid, It may need to be connected to a runway object via a taxipath connected to a taxipoint. I haven’t tested whether a helipad can substitute a runway for this purpose. Runway objects can be made invisible though.

The scenery editor documentation is decent at explaining these items

Edit: re- reading the documentation, you may not need any runway at all, just a connection to a taxiway point. Not sure. You will need to experiment… good luck!

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A good workaround is start from the air. Use slew to put you helicopter in place than save the flight. Next time just load the saved flight and you will be in the ground

I’ve tried this a few times and creating a new custom airport has caused a CTD after placing an apron. I can work fine overriding an existing airport.

I was able to create custom project, drop an airport with an apron, h-pad and windsock but then it didn’t show once exported. There were no errors reported when building.

I’ll go custom again with an invisible runway to see if that helps.

The current SDK does seem to have some warnings.

I was finally able to get a helicopter pad in my neighborhood. The trick seemed to be to start in flight and not on the ground at an airport. Basically I had to bail out of an airplane and let it crash. I guess that’s something all scenery developers know?

After that I could create a new airport, then just dropped a few things on the ground. It now shows in the world map with an H.

A few things:

  1. I couldn’t figure out how to make FAA appropriate lighting and markings for the helicopter pad. I still haven’t figured out the sim’s SDK when it comes to lights. It just seems non-existent.
  2. The helicopter doesn’t start cold and dark. I’m not sure how to set that option.
  3. I don’t know how to fly helicopters, but it looked cool inside VR.

All I had was an Apron and Pad. I couldn’t get a taxiway point to connect to the pad. But I did have a taxiway on the pad to simulate edge lighting. That may have been enough.

Anyway, it seems like it should be easy enough for any simmer to put a helicopter pad in their back yard. Someone just needs to make a YouTube video.

The only non-intuitive part is having to start the dev project mid-air.

Need a video?
Here you are!

There is no need to start in the helipad location, simply park yourself in nearby airport and with the dev camera move into the helipad location
Or use the built in teleport function to jump to desidereed coordinates
(Always Better to pause the simulation when doing projects, to avoid reloading terrain making you aircraft jump)

Also you don’t need aprons or taxiway to place lights, those are placed with lightrows everywhere you need (in an airport …but with helipads we need airport, so we can use them)…maybe upcoming tutorial?

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Thanks! I was getting a CTD when parked at a nearby airport. As soon as I dropped an airport and placed something on it the crash would happen.

Once I started in air the process of dropping a new airport pin seemed to go smoother.

Lights are confusing me currently. The first time I dropped a row it looked like the blue lighting without any options. The SDK is very vague.

I’m trying to figure out how to place better flood type lighting at my local airport as it’s currently the darkest location on planet Earth at night time. Well, every non star sim airport is.

In the airport object properties there’s a custom light option.

You attach it to a mesh, I use a non physical one like the medium warm light, set the colour, intensity, height and size.

They can only be placed with light rows and you select the preset in the lighrow properties.

For floodlights there are plenty of sdk models that get the job done.

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You mentioned changing the base imagery in the video. I didn’t know that was possible. How is that done? Or is that the unmentionable thing we can’t talk about on here?

It would be super useful for updated airports.

In the video I talk about different source to acquire different type of imagery, in that case is openstreemap.org where you can choose between lot of providers, those images are only references, not imported into the simulator

there are afaik at least 2 different way to import reference imagery in the sim:
one is with projected mesh, the other is with secondary aerial imagery
Using reference images in the sim I think is fair use, unsless you don’t redistribute them

[014] Adding Custom Aerial Imagery - Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 SDK Tutorials - YouTube



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Excellent content! I’ve done quite a bit of GIS development but have never worked with custom tiles before.

Ironically, Bing has the most resent imagery I need but the sim seems to load older image tiles. I suspect they need to version lock.

That is cool. I would love to learn how to add ground imagery that autogens buildings, it would be fun for fictional cities and such. I think maybe Thrustmaster did that with their iLand mod?

Ground imagery is just imagery, no additional
autogen buildings can be generated from it using in sim tools

Struggling with lighting still in the SDK, it’s way harder than it should be :slight_smile: Like where is the aerodrome beacon? That should be like placing a windsock.