Thanks. I added the set of ap switches to the .air files using aired and turned them "on"
The confusing thing is that the sequence I described above always got the speed hold working in FS2002 - I'm looking for the difference in FS9 as to why it doesn't work there
The difference is that the Aircraft.cfg file will override or adjust settings in the .air file...So you should now look at the autopilot section of the Aircraft.cfg file...Here is a good example:-
yaw_damper_gain = 0.0
default_pitch_mode=1 //1= pitch hold 2=alt hold
default_bank_mode=1 //1= wing level 2=bank hold
Note that "autothrottle_available= 0"...this is from an aircraft that does not have autothrottle and that would certainly need to be changed from 0 to 1