From a fresh install standpoint, and as an ongoing test (norm) I plan on decompressing all the gauge .cab files into folders, as space is not an issue currently.
I find it convenient to leave the cabs decompressed, as you cannot modify the xml or bmps while it is compressed if you need to fix or change something. And I always want to fix or change something
If I may I offer my 2 cents worth on this topic... I always wondered why a pilot would have so many aircraft in one "Hangar" inside the sim. Does he/she put them one on each foot and go for a flight? (lmao)
Here is my simple solution, no tools needed and no extracting *.cab files, no large amount of space required after the fact.
Inside my FS folder hierarchy, I have only the AI (Some AI such as UT2 Aircraft outside the main Aircraft folder and in it's own) and the intended craft that I want to fly inside the main Aircraft/Helicopter folders of my FS. I personally don't use the stock airliners as AI and all other aircraft that I own reside in a custom folder I chose to call "Area52".
The Area52 folder sits inside the SimObjects folder in FSX (or anywhere you choose to put it, does NOT have to be inside the FS folder at all) and is NOT listed in the fsx.cfg file as a source. If I choose to set up a flight requiring a different aircraft, I move the previously used to the Area52 folder and import the needed craft from Area52 to the Aircraft/Helicopter folder inside SimObjects. My loading times are never sluggish and some aircraft load faster than I can press the "ok" button it seems.
I will ad, that if the gauges are NOT stock FS, I put them into the AC's panel folder as suggested, instead of the FS gauges folder.
Give it a try, no pain involved but a bit of cut and pasting and everything to gain.
Simpler, in this case, is better.
** Darnit! I'm getting the feeling this was not about "Loading times".... I'm sure someone will correct me if it was the wrong place to post this.
On my tombstone shall read:
"He ran out of fuel, altitude and airspeed all at once."
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