Cloud density causing aircraft performance issues

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Brief description of the issue:

Aircraft performance is decreased when cloud thickness is increased beyond about 13,000 ft, and severely impacted when cloud density is increased beyond 1

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Detailed steps to reproduce the issue encountered:

I flew the Cessna 172/G1000 w/NXI mod in level flight at 4500 ft msl near KPBF, with surface temps set to about 71F and standard pressure. Created a overcast cloud layer from 0 to 11,000 ft MSL and cloud density of 1 (no precip or humidity.) Autopilot was able to maintain level flight at 103 KIAS @ 2400 RPM in ALT and HDG hold modes. Increased cloud density to 5. Aircraft lost significant speed, and entered 500 fpm descent, despite autopilot annunciations indicating no change in selected mode. Descent and speed reduction continued until cloud density reduced to 1. Aircraft lost 500 ft, and was indicating 50 KIAS. Autopilot recovered lost altitude, and was then able to recover to cruise airspeed.

Similar (though less dramatic) issue encountered if cloud tops increased above 23000 ft. Result was significant loss of indicated airspeed (decelerated to about 75 KIAS) but no loss in altitude. Later realized that this issue seemed to occur if clouds tops were set higher than base of next higher layer (even if next higher layer was set to thickness and coverage % that rendered it not visible.)

PC specs and/or peripheral set up if relevant:

Build Version # when you first started experiencing this issue:

SU8


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