Finding thermals part 2

  • Today I flew around Cloverdale airfield (CA). I started at 750m altitude and found my first thermal a few minutes later (6.53 pm). This thermal lasted for 3 minutes and took me to 1000m altitude. Next thermal I encountered was 5 minutes later (7.01 pm) and lasted for 4 minutes. It took me to 1000m altitude starting at 850m. Then I flew around for 13 minutes without encountering a single thermal and I was forced to get in to the landing pattern and land at 7.20 pm.

    Settings where 0 kt wind, 100% thermal activity and almost no turbulence. The strongest thermal I encountered was 6+ m/s but was difficult to centre (my bad) the first thermal was around 3 m/s and was easy to fly.

    This scenario would be a reasonable day where I come from (the Netherlands, where thermals in excess of 2 m/s count as good thermals and thermal flying is usually a tricky business at best) but in a simulator with the strongest thermal condition set, it is a bit meagre.

    Like Jan said, I would not dare to leave the vicinity of the airfield in such conditions, unless off course you have a craving for an out landing.;)

    Little tweaks in thermal strength, frequency and duration would make a huge difference and would make Aerofly FS2 a seriously interesting (early access) alternative for Condor soaring. Cause when flying a glider in such a beautiful scenery and finding, centring and climbing a strong thermal towards the heavens is a really nice and satisfaction giving experience. Being able to really leave the surrounding of an airfield and go cross country, hopping from thermal to thermal and along the way discovering the scenic spots in the sceneries would be even better. Can't wait for it!



  • Flew for 20 minutes and found 4 thermals. They took me to 2500 m. I will continue there later. Seems that I had some luck. Strongest thermal was 7.0 m/s! took me to 1700m in less then 3 minutes (starting at around 600m).

    Still no thermal lasted longer then 3 minutes and then just died out on me. So I still haven't found (what I'm looking for :rolleyes:) a thermal that lasted more then a few minutes.

  • Well, I expect when you set thermals to 10, they'd be easier to find and maintain. Centering seems nearly impossible. Not by any means I've learnt in real life anyway. So they're probably quite small in diameter. Even when I put then 29 in a 60deg bank, I can't seem to hold it. So, I think it's fair to say that Ipacs should have a look at the way Condor does it.

  • To make this clear (I think I have mentioned it in the other thread): We will have a look into the thermals and change a few parameters like the life time, the diameter and the average distance between thermals. We won't completely redo the thermals at this point, we just want to fine tune the thermals for now.


  • Thermals are actually good to centre and hold in FS2. The behaviour of the thermals is pretty nice in 0 kt wind conditions. They have a area of sink around them which gives a nice heads up that an area of lift is in the vicinity. They have a layer of weaker lift at the edges and a strong core. When thermal settings are on 10 (also holds true for lower thermal settings), they are pretty wide in my opinion , and because of that they are pretty easy to centre. I think that I have a success ratio of more then 80% when encountering a thermal and trying to centre them. Just fly 270's and when you have even lift all around the circles you just fly very accurate and slow circles with a bank angle of 45 degrees and 80 km/h velocity. Flaps set to thermal 2 (to notches down from neutral). You don't have to go slower then 80 and no need for more then 45 degrees bank angle. Going beyond 45 degrees only makes it harder to fly nice and even circles.

  • Hi, well I'm a real world glider pilot as well and I've flown in the Aerofly FS 2 for 30min in flat terrain without encountering a single thermal that I could use, so I'm pretty sure we need to change a few things. In the mountains I have been able to center the thermals most of the times, they still were quite small. I feel like we need to widen the thermals because they are too strong in the center (7m/s is ridiculous that happens like one or two times in a year, try 3.5 to 4m/s on a good day) but they are too weak when you finally have centered it. You should be able to use the thermal with 45deg bank and about 90km/h. 40 or 35deg with the same speed should position you at the edge, where you should still manage to climb but you are at the top a lot later. We are not talking crazy diameter here, just a little bit wider so that there is more tolerance. We wan't to stay realistic here, right now it is just way too hard to find a thermal and use it to gain significant altitudes.


  • Hello,

    since the thermals slider in aerofly FS 2 can be adjusted from 0 to 100% why not going to extremes with 100%?
    I would suggest to do so. And the slider should control all 3 parameters:
    Uplift strength, extension, duration.
    I would love to do long distance flights with successful climbing phases between.