GPS simulation with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004

We love FlightGear and all that it stands for, but the truth is that it's a bit complicated for beginners. For the rest of us, there's the old stand-by, Microsoft Flight simulator. There's a free plug-in for MS Flight Simulator 2004 called GPSOut that simply outputs GPS of the current flight to the serial port of your choosing, with whatever NMEA sentences you want. If you've got FS 2004, download that, copy the dll and ini files to your Flight Simulator modules folder and edit the following lines in the GSPout.ini file so that they read like this:

Sentences=RMC,GGA [add any others you want]
Port=COM2 [change to whatever port you're using for your serial connection that substitutes for your GPS]

There's no sign of the plug-in in the FS program when it's running, but if you've copied it to the right directory, it should be silently outputting the GPS in the background while you're flying. So fly to the area where you'll be testing your real UAV and you should see the correct GPS data streaming into your Basic Stamp autopilot.

Here's a video of this working (that's me and my ten-year-old):

Views: 2688

Comment by rad man on February 18, 2008 at 9:47pm
The only problem with that is the airplane is slightly bigger than the model. (:
Comment by Wayne Dancer on February 19, 2008 at 10:19am
I've been looking at using X-Plane ( from Laminar Research for testing my code. It has a setting that allows it to be used in the big simulators, so everything is outputable (is that a word?). The plus side is that you can also custom build planes in X-Plane too. You can also get an adaptor to use with your radio at
Comment by Marcus Wolschon on February 20, 2008 at 4:04am
Now, an autopilot has more inputs then just GPS.
Is there a way to also get attitude and altitude-data
from MS-FlightSim to translate into fake-sensor-readings?
Comment by Greg on February 27, 2008 at 2:40pm
Try CHcomm 3, you also need to use the FSUIPC module,

Portdrvr is faster but I think it only reads instruments, you cant write to the control surfaces as with CHcomm.

When I get some time I will use CHcomm and GPSout to make a UAV breakout test box for FS2004 - Servo leads input to FS2004 with pitch sensor outputs. This will be Ideal for testing UAV hardware at home for extented periods of time. I already have GPS out working just need CHcomm and a PIC circuit....


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