Will the AFS2 engine support glider towing and release?

  • Just wondering why no one seems to be working on the tow hitch and release mechanism so we can ground start the many sailplanes. The PLZ-104 Wilga 80 seems like a shoo-in for the tow plane. Didn't the original Aerofly have glider towing?

    Here is a Golden Oriole, a Polish STOL Wilga being readied for AFS2



  • I 've asked the same question some time ago but it not seems to be a priority for the moment.

    Can we imagine a plane simulator without take off ? Why would it be different for a glider ? And yet, the glider take off is more interesting and technical than a plane one...

    Like you I realy regret that...


  • I am not asking IPACS to change any priorities, I am just wondering if some of our developers with an interest in sailplanes might take it on as a project. Provided it is even possible with the current edition of the IPACS engine.

    There must be some limitations or Jan probably would have already worked up something as he is a glider pilot. Just guessing.



  • Sailplane towing, with wilga or even DR400 (very popular for such activity in Europe), would be absolutely great.

    We can dream, if in a far away future, multiplayer would be implemented in Afs2. And of course, someone can pilot the towing plane....

    We can dream, even of some kind of simple AI (like simple silly towing function like in Xplane now... at least, we could simulate a basic towing action...

    Or I remember of an Aerosoft add-on for fsx, with some kind of winch towing system with their Discus add-on....which was not so bad snd could be perhaps implemented in Afs2

    And of course I remember about the (was it a discus ? Probably) other sailplane we had in Aerofly fs 1, which was a very nice modeled sailplane, with retractable little engine, able to take off, then soar....

    I still think that Aerofly fs2 could be a fantastic sailplane simulator, once thermal and ridge lift are a little bit optimised.... but of course I know and understand, it is not a priority for the majority.

    Anyway, I’m sure some other collegues here like us would welcome in a far far future, such an add-on.

    Happy weekend

  • I learned to fly gliders in Florida so all that amounted to was how high would you like to release? We rented gliders in 15 min blocks of time and tried to get back to the designated landing area or at least close enough for a trailer to come get us.

    I was in Hawaii in the early 90s and while riding around I noticed a bunch of gliders at the waters edge up near Dillingham.

    It took at couple of tries to find the correct highway. Most ended up at one of the military bases and they wouldn't let us drive out the other side. I finally found the place and walked in with my log book and asked what kind of checkout would I need. The answer was Mastercharge or Visa. This was the first time I had ever taken a passenger up in a glider and my wife thought it was great for about 10 minutes and then She was bored.

    You could stay up all day long along a ridge on that corner of Oahu. Unfortunately, there are a cluster of radar domes protecting us from the 2nd wave of Japanese and the Army gets pi$$ed at the glider pilots doing turns around a point on their antennas. Heck, I thought that were waving at us, duh.

    Fortunately the gliders have very small numbers on them and they all look alike. I was long gone by the time someone drove out an asked who the idiot was that was circling the radar domes.

    Fun stuff.

    With all these new developers showing up all at once, we need to keep asking about a basic tow and release. After all, this is a simulator and we are having to imagine all kinds of stuff while we wait for the real simulation. Maybe someone at Aerosoft will adapt their K Discus for AFS2.

    Anyone know this tow plane? Maybe we can get it ported over.

  • Sorry but I don't have any news on this topic. We had a glider winch launch in Aerofly FS 1 which was loaded as a separate object and then connected to the glider but this functionality was dropped due to a significant performance hit. It was not optimized for our purposes and will need to be redone once we get time for that. Krzysk and I made a mod for FS 1 where we replaced the winch physics with the Dr400 physics and got that working as well. The issue back then was that the takeoff was not really straight and we never got around to making the airplane land. But as you can imagine this hack doesn't work in FS 2.

    I am a glider pilot, too and I will do the best I can to add in a glider tow and glider winch launch but at the moment it is just not possible without interrupting other projects that we are working on.

  • In all honesty, since Condor has converted to VR, I haven't flown the ASG-29 in AFS2 once. Maybe if thermals also get done right, but until that moment I would say that AFS2 had best develop in the areas it's already strong in. And become a great GA / medium size aircraft sim. Because let's be honest, real glider pilots won't be interested in using an 'OK' gliding sim when there is a specialised one.

  • In all honesty, since Condor has converted to VR, I haven't flown the ASG-29 in AFS2 once. Maybe if thermals also get done right, but until that moment I would say that AFS2 had best develop in the areas it's already strong in. And become a great GA / medium size aircraft sim. Because let's be honest, real glider pilots won't be interested in using an 'OK' gliding sim when there is a specialised one.

    It's true, but condor VR graphics and fluidity are for the moment far away of the ASF2 ones.

    ASF2 will never replace Condor but it could be a good begining for simulating gliding.

  • Just a couple of posts above Jan left the door open for some sort of development of a simple tow winch at some time in the future. We will just have to keep beating the bushes and hope to flush out a developer with an interest in basic sailplanes and towing.



  • This is something that is certainly on our list, and Jan is also a big fan of it, but it will still be quite some time before we can get to it. We have much bigger fish to fry at the moment :)

    IPACS Development Team Member

    I'm just a cook, I don't own the restaurant.
    On behalf of Torsten, Marc, and the rest of the IPACS team, we would all like to thank you for your continued support.



  • I don't know about towing as it would require 2 planes in the air, and I'm not sure FS2 can handle that, certainly not in collaborative mode.

    Now to me I think this is the same problem as the aircraft carrier. I think if we solve one, we solve the other, at least a winch launch.

    If we can find a way to interact with the plane from exterior conditions (winch pull, catapult launch, arrestor cables) then all that is left would be some animation/graphics.

    That's a big if though, I don't see any way right now to do it, maybe a moving colliding object. Since real physics are implemented maybe if we have an object (transparent) that comes into contact with the wheels, and then moves without breaking the plane, maybe that would work and push the plane.

    Like a small transparent plane that comes into contact, then applies a huge amount of thrust (parametring the engines accordingly) or something to that effect. But, like the towing issue, I'm not sure how and if we can have two moving objects (with tsc files) at the same time. So far I don't think we can.

    Maybe with the wind/air resistance model???

    Maybe with modifying the thrust parameters on the go????

  • Michael,

    Sure we can have two moving objects at the same time. Look at all those wind turbines spinning the last year or so in Helgoland. Each one can face a different wind direction and rotate at a different speed. Or the animated guy and girl discussing advanced thrust vectors while standing next to the Cessna somewhere in Utah. How about Jeff’s Cessna and Piper shooting touch and go’s at Key West, or all those boats crisscrossing the harbors in the South Florida dlc as you fly overhead.

    Or those manatees swimming near the old fort or in the the young girl running in the sand while playing with a beach ball in the Turkey Creek scenery.

    Even though the current engine is newer and more advanced, maybe even more capable, than earlier versions of Aerofly, the early version had a working winch and a tow plane and glider combo. It is just a matter of priorities and it will happen in FS2 one day, and if not it will be in FS3.

    Everyone agrees these things are possible, just not with the current priorities and workload. 🙃😯🤨😬

    So many conflicting wishes and desires, so little time (or soo few people).

  • I'm sort of repeating myself a little bit (sorry)

    The animations at Key West are just that, animations. There is no physics that you could use to tow an aircraft with this or do some form of winch or catapult launch with these animations. The animations are far away from the physics, they don't even run on the same thread on the CPU. And the communication is one way: physics to graphics thread and there is no way you can affect that from the outside.

    Loading two airplanes at the same time is not possible at the moment in Aerofly FS 2. There are also no actual dynamic objects in FS 2, I think the wind turbines have no actual physics, just sort of a "sample wind and spin this fast and turn this way" kind of deal.

    But a user made aircraft tmd can most certainly simulate two or more aircraft at the same time. You could have a 3D model of a towing plane and a glider in the same 3D file or add a winch model to your glider model and you could have a two aerodynamics and rigidbody setups that are independent as far as I know. To connect them you could have multiple rigidbody elements that act as a rope and chain them together, creating a rigidbody chain e.g. with 16 elements or so. I'd not go beyond that cause it's fairly expensive to simulate rigidbodies.

    What I don't know is weather you could actually disconnect the "rope" without causing a crash. That means you would have to set the simulation reset time to infinite but that is doable. I'm not recommending that you should go and do that, I'm just saying it should be possible. These are the kind of things I used to do (automated glider towing in Aerofly RC 7) and it got me to do more and more stuff and here I am working for IPACS and doing it legit without "hacking" :) .

    Regarding catapult and winch launches, these are kind of tricky to do, as I said. I mean you could modify your f18 tmd but there are no good elements to fake the necessary forces. You could have two jet-engines that normally face into each other to cancel the net force and then tilt them backwards or forwards to accelerate or decelerate the aircraft (could have side effects on the flight model of the aircraft).

    For the catch hook it would be really difficult to get the positional trigger. I guess you could move the carrier over a waypoint in the database and then check the fms or dme distance output to that waypoint and then trigger it when the distance gets below 20m or so and the radar altitude being close to 0.2 m or something. Not easy at all though, definitely not recommended spending many hours on this only to be frustrated afterwards.

    I don't think it's possible to increase the wheel friction to the level necessary. And if you bounce a little bit (which you do a lot on a carrier landing) you'd lose the grip and not come to rest at all. Also impossible to adjust engine values on the fly. All you could do is add additional engines that normally cancel each other and are tilted to create thrust in a certain direction.

    But by that point you're closer to creating a Harrier aircraft, which would be nice, too :)

  • Since ASFS2 exists, I miss two points from ASFS1 in ASFS2:

    (1) winch launch for gliders

    (2) gliders with fold-out engine

    I miss both in ASFS2. And I think it's a good idea to use both as a basis for further develpments:

    (3) A catapult start on a carrier is similar to a winch launch for gliders.

    (4) The landing on an carrier can either be simulated by (2) with a virtual fold-out motor with counter thrust or by (1) with a virtual winch launch in the opposite direktion.

    Bye, Michael

    Configuration: MacBookPro 15-inch, 2018; Pocessor: 2,9 GHz 6-Core Intel Core i9; RAM: 32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4; Graphics board: Intel UHD Graphics 630 1536 MB)

  • Hello to everybody

    So as I read this thread .. there is enough of us here that would like to fly a glider on a reel or in a tow behind a tow plane. Aerofly FS2 has a good graphic base .. no tearing and chiseling is no threat against FSX or XPlane 11 put the Aerofly FS2 on top. I live in Brno - Czech Rebublic. flightXtreme is busy working on the countryside of the Czech Republic and I can say that it has a very nicely done ... I can not wait to see how the airport Medlánky, where I went as a little boy and I still fly rc model Radian 2m and Radian 2.6m .. which i miss the rc sim.Aerofly rc7. I believe we will see a winch or a drag tow .. if the winch was in Aerofly fs why is it not fs2? it's not just a traffic simulator, but also for us who like aircraft that fly in aeroclubs ... like L-13 Blanik or Zlin Z-226 Z-142 and other beautiful machines. The best thing for me is the Z-226 + Blanik x air lift. Please excuse English ... I write via smuggler :)