How Do You Turn on the Afterburner in "FSX"?

By Bjorck DiMarco

Updated September 22, 2017

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is included in Microsoft's
i Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images

Microsoft’s "Flight Simulator X" (FSX) is the latest installment in Microsoft's series of flight simulation games. Although it has a free flight component, "FSX" also contains structured gameplay, including more than 55 missions, and includes both military and civilian aircraft. Many military aircraft, as well as supersonic aircraft, have an afterburner, an additional component added to jet engines to temporarily provide additional thrust during takeoff or in combat situations. As implemented in "FSX," afterburners were a working and useable feature. But when additional aircraft, created by other companies or by players, are used as add-ons to "FSX," some players experience problems getting afterburners for the new planes to work. Many such problems can be solved by following the steps below.

Download the SR-71 Blackbird from the Flight Simulator Talk website listed in the Resources section. Run the executable file to load the program. When the program is loaded, select Tutorial 1 from the main menu. Once you are airborne, push the throttle completely forward (go "full throttle") to automatically turn on the afterburners.

Press "I" and then "Shift+F4" to turn on the afterburner for the Concord, which is available as an add-on. Alternately, press "Shift+F4" to turn on just the afterburner, then press "I" if you wish to turn on both the afterburner and the smoke effects for the Concord.

Press "Shift+F4" to turn on the afterburner for the F-14 Tomcat, which is available as an add-on.

Fix afterburner problems with the F-18C and F-18E Hornet by downloading a patch from Abacus for the gauge file that controls the afterburner. "FSX" comes with the F/A-18 Hornet, but the F-18C and F-18E versions are provided by other companies as add-ons.

Download the add-on aircraft to the \SimObjects\Airplanes subdirectory of the folder in which you installed "Flight Simulator X." Open this directory in Windows Explorer. In it, you'll find each aircraft installed in its own subfolder. However, sometimes an effects file ends up in the wrong folder. All effects files should be located in the locations specified in the file "aircraft.cfg" inside each aircraft's base folder. Making sure that all effects files are in the appropriate effects folders should ensure that afterburner effects work properly. This usually fixes the problems with add-on aircraft.


Afterburner problems seem to mostly occur in aircraft that can be added into the game, rather than with the aircraft that come as part of the standard or deluxe editions of "FSX." Although Microsoft does offer a patch for the game at its website, afterburner problems do not seem to occur with aircraft that are packaged with the base game itself.


The link to the Abacus afterburners patch links directly to an .exe file.