Posts by virtual glider

    I agree Jan, real weather isn't feasible at this point in time. Maybe in a decade but probably later. My point is simply that the weather model (i.e. a simplification of reality) is a model and not a picture that has nothing to do with reality. For instance: It really bothers me that cumulus clouds are always just randomly distributed through the sky. No matter if the clouds are on the leeward side of a mountain, over a lake or whatever. This is not modelling after reality but just putting up some background pictures to make it look nice.
    I would like to find cumulus clouds at the tops of mountains on the windward side where the moist air is and where the wind is mechanically pushing the moist air up forming clouds, not on the leeward side. There I want to see a blue gap (rain shadow I believe it is called? Sometimes extending 600! miles away from the mountains) I would like to find cumulus clouds just over the lake at the windward side and see a blue gap at the leeward side. This would make the it so much more realistic.

    And yes, only real weather data as source of input for the weather model should be really nice, but I think not all would agree with this. Ipacs could make it optional: real weather input/slider input. The input data for the weather model is the same, only one is from data files, the other put in by sliders.

    And yes, turbulence is not evenly distributed. That is my point. It would make flying in the sim much more challenging. Think of an approach during turbulent weather with a severe wind gradient. You really have to be on top of your game to cope with such conditions, not knowing if and when a wing will suddenly drop away or if you airspeed will suddenly decrease or increase as a result of wind gradient or a thermal that's changing your angle of attack.

    Turbulence in most flight sims is just a artificial rocking of a plane and not an effect of the moving air currents. My suggestions is that in FS 2 it is done right. For example:

    On a sunny day, a late spring day with a steep temperature gradient (unstable air) there wil be turbulence as an effect of rising and sinking air (thermals).

    Near mountains the turbulence is an effect of the mechanical turbulence created by wind and obstacles. Wave turbulence would be really great.

    Wind sheer turbulence would also be nice.

    Off course this would mean that the weather settings would need imputs for at least:

    - wind strenght at different heights
    - temperature of the different air layers (dew points, etc.)
    - wind directions at different heights

    This way you could create inversions, determine the strenght and height of thermals and thus turbulence (so no sliders for thermals, but indirect by setting temprature at the surface and in the air (condor has a good working system)), determine the amount of wind sheer, determine the wind gradient, etc. If it is done right you could create weather that has chances for thunderstorm development, tubulence at different strenghts at different places, challeging landings due to wind sheer and wind gradient, mechanical turbulence behind buildings and tree lines, etc.

    Real weather data would effect the same variables and would simulate the conditions of the real world at that point in time, not just picture them.

    I probably forgot a great deal, but maybe it is of some use in the development.

    Hi Guys,

    I want a new monitor for every day use and for aerofly simming. I have a track IR head-set which I love.

    Computer specs are: GTX 970 GPU. intel i5 processor. 8 GB ram.

    I currently have a 22 inch LG monitor with only a VGA port, so upgrading is in place I suppose.

    What do you think I should go for?

    24 inch or 27 inch?
    1920 or 2440?

    1 ms TN panel or a slower (5 ms or so) IPS panel?

    Help is needed and very appreciated!

    I was foolish enough to buy x-plane 11 the other day. My nosiness got the better of me. As a glider pilot I flew the ask21 glider. Oh boy, did it disappoint! Her my findings:

    xplane has a bad thermal model (no sink at the edges, no life cycle, way to wide a diameter. I could actually fly straight for 10/15 seconds in the thermal on mediocre settings. Those things are huge!). FS 2 has a better and more realistic model already (life cycle, sink at the edges, accurate width of the thermal core, etc.) and they will get even better in the near future, while xplane does not speak of such things.

    Frame rates of FS2 are way, way, way better then xplane. Yeah, there is a lot more going on in xplane, but the generic scenery is really meagre and not at al convincing, while FS 2 without any addon looks absolutely stunning.

    Instruments. the vario in fs2 works like a charm. Its a nicely modelled, modern instrument. The vario in xplane is a outdated type with no compensation. It's pretty useless.

    Sounds are bad in xplane. I wonder what the **** the have been doing the past years that there newest version is still so bad at so many points.

    All my respect for the small team of Ipacs and what they have achieved already.

    Sitting snug in the small cockpit of my glider, waiting for the winch launch to get on the way, I look to the right of me and see some tall yellow grass next to the runway waving in the soft breeze that is blowing from the west.
    It's 10:30 am in the morning and the first wisps of cumulus clouds are forming. That means thermal activity, cause every book on the topic of weather will tell you that a cumulus cloud is always being formed by a thermal underneath it. I'm getting excited. Seems like a good day for soaring!
    I again look to the left and notice some summer flowers in between the grasses. Then I feel the wing of my glider lift and I see that person X is holding my wing up. Time for some action! A gust of wind makes the grass wiggle a bit more frantic. Better be ready for some turbulence and sudden wind gusts while going up, I say to myself.
    Then the winch cable tightens up and off I go. The first few 100 feet I look to the side and watch how I slowly stop seeing details in the grassy patches next to the runway. When they turn into a more or less uniform blur I know I can do a 360 in case of a cable break emergency. Steadily I climb to 1200 ft and at that point I pull the yellow knob in front of me (my hand was on it all the time... just in case) and I release the winch cable. Nose down? Check! Speed? Check! Wind breakes locked? Check! gear up? No, wait for it.... check! Ok, now I'm off for some soaring adventures!

    Wouldn't this be great? At this moment the scenery looks beautiful from a distance, but up close it's flat and featureless. Trees make up for it a little, but I do hope that Ipacs will implement some kind of detailed ground textures or better jet, 3D grass, grain, bushes, etc. Don't forget sheep, cows and the odd horse. I imagine that these close up features will only be rendered when up close (say a few 100 ft max) so they wont take up computing power when they are to far away to be viewed in any kind of detail anyway. This would make flying close to the ground in gliders (ridge soarin) or helicopters so much more immersive. At this point when close to the ground I always loose the feeling of being in a close to real environment. This feeling I do have when higher up in the sky.

    Ipacs: is this idea at all on the to do list? If so, what to expect?

    Thanks guys, I now have legs and hands. Gives a way better feel for cockpit size. I now actually feel like I am in a small, cramped but comfy glider cockpit.

    My avatar has way to much sun screen on though. His skin is reflecting sunlight like a polished piece of metal...:p

    Still flying. Now around 3.5 hours in flight. I'm currently south of lake Tahoe, heading for alpine village. Just clearing the high peaks of deadwood peak and round top. Currently at 3500 m (11500 ft) altitude and covered a distance of 300 km (190 nm). So far I found enough thermals to keep my going, even able to skip some. When I'm at lake Tahoe I'll will see what I'll do next. I think I'll try heading south, but that's for another day.

    200 nm XC flight in the ASG 29. Not bad so far!

    Hi guys,

    Just a post to tell that I'm having fun flying cross country in the ASG 29. I started at Cloverdale airfield above San Francisco, and now flying towards Sacramento. At this moment I am 1 hour in flight and at an altitude of 1200 m (3600 ft). Covered around 100 km of ground (60 miles). Weather is calm with thermals set to strong. Still not easy to find strong thermals, so I have to settle for 2 m/s (around 600 ft/min) thermals most of the time. In effect this gives me an average climb rate of 1,3 m/s (350 feet/min). Do miss a working McCready, but the scenery is lovely. It's already pretty, but I am really looking forward to animated water and well animated clouds.

    All in all enjoying myself. Great!



    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.

    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.

    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!



    Hi Jan,

    That seems like a good starting point. If the thermals have a longer life cycle and if they are more frequent then flying cross country would be very doable. It seems to me that this is only a minor tweak and would be of great help for the FS 2 glider community.



    I flew for about half an hour in 0 kts wind conditions and 3/4 thermal strenght. Here are my finding:

    - Thermals differ in strength. I had 1,5 m/s thermals till 6+ m/s thermals.
    - Thermals seemingly have a short life cycle. I can fly pretty tight and even circles in the glider in FS2, but every thermal I caught died out on me after just a few minutes.
    - Thermals have sink around the edges and the highest lift in the centre, which makes them easy to centre using real life thermal centring techniques.
    - Strong thermals have strong sink around the edges.
    - Good centring techniques are essential for using thermals in FS 2 right now since the die out within a few minutes.
    - Thermals are few and far between even using settings that would suggest good thermal flight conditions. In a good half a hour flying I found 5 thermals and I think a stayed in them for around 10 to 15 minutes. This means that I flew for 20 minutes or more without encountering a single thermals. This doesn't seem like good thermal conditions to me.

    I will fly around in the same type of weather to see if the results I'm getting are consistent.