How are thermals modeled in Aerofly FS 4 and is there any way to see a thermal lift zones?

  • I just bought Aerofly FS 4 and tried out the ASG29 glider with the thermal slider at max setting and did not find any thermals. This was with medium Cumulus density setting and high level, no cirrus, in the vicinity of U14 Nephi UT, time set to 2200 GMT (2PM local?). I did notice that the temperature was around 2.1 degrees C which I know is not good for afternoon thermal generation. However, I do not see any way to set the time of year or temperature manually in the sim.

    So I would like to know how this version of Aerofly FS 4 is generating thermals. Does the developer have way to generate a visual display of the thermal lift field that could be made visible with a keyboard shortcut key (like is done in X-Plane using ctrl-M) for regular users?

  • In the FS (1) there was that once - just like the winch and a motor glider.🤔

    Tschüss, Michael (🍎🚁)


    - MacBook Pro (16", 2021); Chip: Apple M1 Max; actual macOS || Thrustmaster TCA AIRBUS EDITION: 1x Sidestick, 2x Quadrant, 2x Quadrant Add-On || Pro-Flight-Trainer PUMA X

    - iPad (12,9", 4th Generation, RAM: 6 GB); actual iOS || nimbus steelseries

  • In the FS (1) there was that once - just like the winch and a motor glider.🤔

    I don’t remember it being good for thermals specifically but it certainly showed rising and sinking air. It would be great if it was brought back as it was better in some ways than the equivalent offering in the other later sims. It was known as the wind field simulation.

  • If I recall right, the thermals are triggers at the moment. Finding the right spot is kind of luck.

    But not impossible at all. The longest triangle I have flown with the ASG in Aerofly was 230 km (124 nm). A bit wind and early afternoon should give the best result.


  • Yeah, I have used AFFS1 for thermal glider soaring, just prefer to fly somewhere in the USA (I live in CA). I also have used FSX with the CumulusX! addon for thermal soaring which is pretty nice except the scenery is pretty meh.

    If I recall right, the thermals are triggers at the moment. Finding the right spot is kind of luck.

    Well if the thermals are based on tile location triggers then I guess time of day and outside temperature as well as presence of cumulus clouds are meaningless then? Are you sure that you were getting lift from thermals rather than turbulence? I mean, there is no way to visually verify that thermals are even really being generated, it could be that the thermal slider is non-op. If thermals are so rare even at maximum thermal setting then maybe it's not thermals you are encountering. I hope an IPAC developer can provide some clarification on this issue, especially how they were verifying the intensity and actual presence of thermal generation via testing before release.

  • A simple thermal field display is all that is needed, like what X-Plane 11 has as shown in this Chris Evans video. Don't need birds or funnels, just simple line vectors via keyboard shortcut command to display on screen.

    External Content
    Content embedded from external sources will not be displayed without your consent.
    Through the activation of external content, you agree that personal data may be transferred to third party platforms. We have provided more information on this in our privacy policy.

  • Well, I guess the answer is there is no way to intelligently find thermals because they are randomly generated. The correct answer on how thermals are generated was provided by IPACS Aerofly FS 4 tech support request on the issue of bugged weak short duration thermals.

    "Thanks for your valuable inputs. Currently, Aerofly FS 4 supports only slope dependent updrafts and random thermals for soaring. The glider pilot in our team always tells me we need ground dependent thermals and clouds at the right spots - we totally agree. The main limitation is the cloud rendering library we use at the moment, which does not allow to place the clouds where we would need them. This has to be replaced first, after that we will include terrain and slope based thermals and more weather effects. This is definitely on the roadmap, but it will take time. Hope this helps."

    Personally I am fine with randomly generated thermals, but when you have 100% Thermals slider control setting you should have very wide thermal (1500 to 2000 meter) with extremely good lift (say 4 to 6 m/s), a long duration (20 to 40 minutes) and a good number of thermals per 100 km^2 (say 7 to 10 thermals). Then scale that down when slider position is reduced until 0% slider you no thermals/100km^2. Basically just use the settings from the different CumulusX! difficulty configuration files.