View Full Version : Mod for the original Xtreme Air Racing game; a few new airplanes available

05-31-2016, 12:27 AM
I don't know if anyone else out there still cares about this game, or if anyone else still plays it on occasion ... But my son found this game in my collection, installed it, and starting playing it. He loved it for the same reason I did when it first came out: it was a simulation of the Reno Air Races. I know the game is far behind many of flight sims available today, some of which have mods or modes in which some form of racing is possible. None the less, XAR is simply pylon air racing, and I've enjoyed getting reacquainted with it while racing with my son.

After racing with him one evening, I was curious if anything could be done to mod the game to add more airplanes, tracks, etc. I couldn't find any program that could open the games ."8on" file system beyond a hex editor. So I tried to figure out what could be done simply using a hex editor and discovered a decent number of partially completed airplanes and classes within the file system. The result of my tinkering is this mod ...

The mod "unlocks" the Formula 1 class in the game (with 18 aircraft) and 5 additional Unlimiteds including Tsunami, the Red Baron, and an F82 Twin Mustang. The "new" airplanes aren't perfect as many were only partially completed by the game's developers but they at least represent a few more options.

If anyone is interested you can download the mod from my dropbox account through the link below ...


06-04-2016, 05:28 PM
Going to download it and give it a try, still pop the game in the computer occasionally. Kind of neat there's some Formula 1's in there.

06-05-2016, 09:01 PM
Cool! I hope you enjoy it Russ!

Ya I was surprised to find so many Formula1 planes in the files as well ... but when I did some research I read somewhere that there was actually some sort of initial testing phase "Alpha release" of the game that actually included the Formula1's, so my guess is that these were the airplane models used in that release.

Also, something I forgot to mention in my initial post above ... the version of the game that I have is v1.032. So if your game is not patched to that version before you copy and paste the modded file, I'm not sure if the mod will work.

11-05-2016, 09:37 PM
I think XAR 2 incorporated most if not all of the experimental content.

Nice to see someone still appreciates this game. It is fun.

My son used to love playing it when he was 3 or 4, but unlike me, he is not particularly interested in flight sims. Now nearly 10, he likes tablet games and Halo games.

The other games/sims that permit pylon racing just don't do it as well as this dedicated game does.
I would love to see a new version done with more realistic flight modeling and modern graphics quality.

Unfortunately, the people behind this sim disappeared after their last game, Thunder Over Vegas! (a Thunderbirds' F-16 simulator), came and went with minimal sales. I suspect there will be no more flight sims released by them and most certainly not an update of XAR that would compare well with other recent sims given how Thunder Over Vegas still looked and worked about the same as XAR despite being released many years later.

11-19-2016, 02:55 PM
I don't think this game will run on windows 7.I know xtreme racing 2 won't.which sucks.:mad:

11-22-2016, 12:30 PM
I don’t have XAR 2 so I’m not sure exactly what was incorporated into that one, but based on some screenshots I’ve seen it looked like they implemented all the other classes.

Streakeagle, it’s ok, my son isn’t in to flight sims either right now, he just discovered “Star Wars” and it’s become his only obsession at the moment …

Mustang1957, I actually run my XAR game on Windows 7 all the time. I had to install the game with my computer in Safe Mode, but after that, it runs great! In fact it runs a lot better than it did on my old XP machines.

I would love to mod XAR further. I have used a hex editor to break down the file system used in the game and many aspects of the game are easy to modify, but some key aspects are not.

On my own computer I have changed the airframe and engine dynamics for many of the airplanes so that each plane won’t go faster than they would in real life. This leads to a more realistic racing dynamic as the planes spread out across the track and a few get overlapped every race. I much prefer this to the games original setup, I didn’t like watching a stock P-38 fly past me at well over 500 mph …

I have edited the image files to “reskin” and add a couple planes to my game. I have attached a picture of my attempt at Miss Suzy-Q below, it is a reskin of the hoover mustang. I have completely incorporated it into the game as another airplane in the unlimited class with it's own profile pic and everything.

The biggest modding issue though is the old openflight .flt files that the plane models were done in. Blender 2.46 can import them, but it does not export them correctly. So unless I can find a program that can import and export them, I won’t be able to make the flight models more realistic or adjust the placement of the textures on the planes. Hopefully I can find something that works, and then I could technically add as many planes as I had time to compile as well as update the detail on the models. So we’ll see!

11-22-2016, 02:21 PM
I wish people were racing on FSX.I found out afew days ago that gamespy shut down in 2014.that means no more server for muti player.:(

11-23-2016, 03:57 PM
Hello Mustang1957,

Xtreme Air Racing was a decent pylon racing game but there currently isn't a lot of support for this game.

Fast forward, I highly recommend that you do the following:

1. Download the free demo for the X-Plane 10 flight simulator (x-plane.com) and try it out.

2. If you like X-Plane 10, buy it from the X-Plane.com store.

3. Install X-Plane 10 on your new computer.

4. Join our virtual airline ( www.Alliance-Airways.net ) and sign up as a new Pilot.

5. Complete our Flight School training to get your Private Pilot License (PPL).

6. You now have access to three Pylon racing aircraft:

1. Unlimited Warbird : P-51 Mustang " Precious Metal "

2. Formula 1 : Cassutt Racer

3. Unlimited Jet/Rocket : XCOR Aerospace's - EZ-Rocket

7. Beginning next year, Alliance Airways will hold a Pylon Racing Event

where Alliance Pilots can compete and race on a private race course at the

Reno Stead Airport (KRTS). Will be using the VATSIM online network so

that our Pilots can connect and race online.

8. BTW, Three real Racing pilots have flown our Racing aircraft that we have

developed and they like the performance and handling of the planes on our

Pylon race course at KRTS.


Randy Shore

R&D Aircraft Developer/Director
Pylon Racing League Director
VA: Alliance-Airways.net

11-28-2016, 03:35 PM
thanks Randy.:thumbsup: I will keep that in mind.