Every so often a piece of FS-related software comes along which puts a big smile on your face. I’ve long been tempted to get-online, but I’ve grown used to having airports full of detailed AI aircraft and losing that once in multiplayer mode was a downside. Browsing the FSDeveloper.com forum I came across a utility called SAMM – Static Aircraft .mdl Maker, programmed by Don Grovestine. It turned out that this was software designed to do just what it says – make static aircraft models using either original flyable or AI aircraft. It is several months into development, up to version 10 by this stage so many of the bugs had been ironed out, and best of all as freeware it is priced perfectly.
SAMM looked like the answer to my prayers – could I populate my 25 or so detailed European airfields with quality static aircraft to improve the visual atmosphere of online flying? Furthermore when flying offline could this overcome one of the drawbacks with Ultimate Traffic 2 which only injects aircraft into FSX just before schedule departure time? Well the answer to both questions is a resounding “yes”, and in response to the second question the ability to park static GA, bizjets and cargo aircraft adds significantly to those often forgotten parts of airports away from the passenger terminals, on- or off-line. SAMM will convert just about any original aircraft model designed for FS2002 and FS2004, but not those built for FSX. But that’s no problem, all the freeware AI-traffic models were originally built for FS2004, and they work perfectly in FSX, although you may wish to convert textures to .dds format.
Belfast/International now has some cargo traffic!