If Wishes Were Fishes - Wish We Had Something Like This For Aerofly FS 4 Glider Thermal Soaring

  • Just sharing some thoughts I have about Aerofly FS 4 (and FS 2) as pertains to glider thermal soaring.

    Below are some screenshots of glider thermal soaring while in a thermal in MS FSX:SE using the CumulusX! freeware addon by Peter Lurkens. I really wish that such an external addon were available for Aerofly FS 4 but I suspect that the IPACS network interface does not support this capability otherwise we would be already be able to use Little NavMap for FS2 and FS 4 which we cannot because the IPACS network interface does not support this kind of network communication functionality for the general public to use. Right now the thermal soaring is pretty bad in both FS 2 and FS 4, being slightly better in FS 4 given there are more randomly generated thermals, but personally I find it to be impossible to stay centered in a thermal even if I, by pure chance, fly into one, both because there is no visual cueing and because the diameter of the lift zone seems to be very small even with maximum set on the thermals slider.


    Note: In FSX the default thermals are disabled, also no default clouds or wind, local temp set to 89 deg F from ground to 8000 feet in the month of May (Spring), time set to 2:00 PM local, blue sky thermal clouds enabled in CumulusX! addons menu so visible clouds are generated which are tied to the bluesky thermals with both being generated externally by CumulusX! and then being injected into FSX along with the cloud ground shadows. This was for done for the purpose of capturing the example screenshots. Normally if you set the right FSX weather conditions (cumulus clouds density and altitude ranges, no cirrus clouds, time of day and temperature altitude ranges) CumulusX! will use this data from FSX (via the FSX network interface data communication) to generate its thermals and own clouds and cloud shadows then inject the data into the FSX flight simulation engine so they can affect the aircraft and in-flight 3D scenery.

    Ideally, if wishes were fishes, IPACS would arrange to work with Mr. Luerkens to make the Aerofly FS netcode interface be able to support an Aerofly FS 4 version of his CumulusX! addon.


    Here are the settings I used in CumulusX! to generate the pretty easy thermal conditions that I used for the screenshots I took. KEDW elevation is 2,303 feet.

  • Instead of making an interface to support an external application from another flight sim we should just implement these things ourselves into the Aerofly FS core simulator. That way all customers on all our platforms, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android can benefit from it.

    From you lips to god's ears. I am all for that, but your company is pretty slow on doing these QoL type improvements, especially without having to wait to do it until a new version is being developed.

    Edit: And by new version I mean whole number version like Aerofly FS 6 if the mobile 2023 version is considered as FS 5.

    Edited once, last by jayeye2011 (January 30, 2023 at 2:55 PM).

  • If I understand Dr. Lurkens description of what his software does, all the thermal and ridge lift calculations are done by it external to FSX so that his software is just injecting the lift value to use for the aircraft at the current time and position of flight. Of course the flight sim must be able to provide data on aircraft position, local weather conditions, wind, local terrain mesh elevations, etc. to his application so that it can do all the necessary calculations. Likewise his software also tells the flight sim where to place the clouds and shadows his application provides as 3D simobjects which are different from the default cloud objects and are totally independent of the cloud implementation provided by FSX. Of course his clouds do not look like those provided by FSX but that's is a small price to pay.

    You can download a pdf copy of his software's manuals here

    English: https://magentacloud.de/s/TdTNZtnzk8cxs5P

    German: https://magentacloud.de/s/6METngX9KwN5X7X

    CumulusX! is an add-on for MicrosoftÒ Flight Simulator X for the creatio

    n of a soaring

    environment. It was inspired by Cross Country Soaring 2004 of Eric Carden for Flight

    Simulator 2004. CumulusX! creates thermal lift with appropriate clouds either on the fly

    every time new in the environment of your glider with a wide variety of characteristics, or

    based on custom-tailored lists of thermals. Both allow joining in online sessions, thereby

    equal conditions for all participants can be achieved. It adapts automatically and

    continuously to the internal weather conditions of Flight Simulator X even under real-


    CumulusX! produces varying ridge-lift conditions in all areas of the world. It tries also to

    place thermals in mountain areas according to slope conditions and sun irradiation.

    Thermal and ridge soaring are experienced with a completely new quality. The user can

    choose the difficulty level according to his/her personal skills from very easy to realistic

    and difficult.


    The author hereby notifies that the implemented procedures and behaviours may

    differ significantly from the behaviour of real aircraft and excludes any liability for

    the adoption of inappropriate skills that may lead to accidents, damage or personal

    injury, when applied to operation of real aircraft.

    The author refuses in addition any liability for unwanted effects on the computer, on

    which the software is installed and executed, or with other software, or on a

    network-connected computer.

  • I suspect that the devs of MSFS incorporated thermals wherever hills/mountains exist so that users can fly gliders in it. Nearly every Vlogger complains that when you get to the slightest hill you get turbulence. Seems to me that an external interface where you can activate this stuff would be the best approach for the majority of pilots.

  • Would also be nice if Aerofly FS networks interface supported both data in as well as data out with a public interface document that would allow Little NavMap to operate with it like it does for FSX as the screenshots below show.

    FSX Steam Edition + CumulusX! freeware with FSX default DG 808S single seat glider. Little NavMap flight track (Started Perris Valley Airport).

    CumulusX! thermal configuration used for blue sky thermals.

    Found a thermal, now round and round I go!

    And well... you get the idea. Who knows, if this had been Aerofly FS 4 with VR, one could end up tossing all their cookies. <X

  • If you don't have any other flight simulator then you probably don't know what the free Little NavMap program is. Aerofly FS 1 & 2 & 4 are probably the only flight sims that don't have a network interface that would allow Little NavMap to work with it and that is due to IPACS not Little NavMap. Little NavMap can work with FSX, MSFS 2020, X-Plane 10, X-Plane 11, X-Plane 12, Prepar3D but not Aerofly FS. It really is a shame.

    Here is a recent video explaining Little NavMap

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    If you have any of the other flight sims that runs on a desktop computer (Windows/Linux/macOS) and have never used little navmap than you can get it here, its free:

    Alex Projects