Contrails pointing at an angle with high wind's

They look quite weird, is this correct?

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I think the effect is currently a bit disconcerting, There should be a wide curve connecting the plane to the trails.

I wouldn’t expect the contrails to be straight behind the plane with strong crosswinds aloft though.

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That’s what I thought a curve not pointing where you are tracking

Its a work in progress, only to get better. They explain in the latest developer QA.


It’s a con trail


Yeah, but somehow it shows particle effects in a quite weird state (if those are particles at all).
If you’d have real particles that are emitted from the engines, they either should hold their position (disregarding the wind and draw a clean curve) or even be carried away with the wind further away.

Currently it rather seems like it’s not really emitted particles but some effect with a fixed behavior.

They would be straight behind the plane even in 100mph crosswinds.
The plane is also in the same crosswind.


They announced in the Q and A that they would be working on it

It would be nice to see an actual contrail in a strong crosswind to observe actual behavior. I’ve been scratching my head about the off-axis angle of generated contrail. I also think they need to add more persistence.

The contrail effects in DCS are quite nice compared to MSFS. I’m going to set up a test today in DCS with a strong crosswind and closely examine the effect. I’ve been flying DCS for many years and have never seen an off-axis contrail.

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The plane would only turn partly into the the wind though right? let’s say you have a straight crosswind (90 degrees relative to the plane), the plane would only crab into the wind by a couple of degrees (depending on wind speeds, so let’s say maybe 15 degrees at high winds aloft), So the contrail would still be blown away from the axis of the plane right?

It wouldn’t be the sudden angle it is right now though.

As explained in the dev Q&A, this is the first iteration of contrails and they will continue to refine them

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This is the trouble with releasing half-baked features to get them out there to appease the people who wanted them, there’ll be others who dislike the first/early iterations regardless of whether they’re a work in progress feature.

Personally I dislike early released rushed features, make them work correctly from the start and as fully fleshed out as possible before releasing to the public, otherwise it’s yet another “Early Access” feature and before you know it the Sim will be full of half-baked stuff.

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No. The plane would not be affected by the crosswind at all. The entire airmass is moving. The plane and contrail move with the airmass together. The plane will fly straight and level. Airflow over the plane will be 100% parallel to the fuselage. The contrail will be directly behind the plane. Like if you are in a hot air balloon floating along. You do not feel the wind even if you are moving at 20 mph with the wind.

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There’s a big difference between a balloon passively floating along in the wind and a tubeliner being pushed through the wind by a couple of turbines.

The plane has thrust acting on it, the contrail does not.

The contrail will act like the balloon, the plane will not.

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You would think so but it is not true. With 100mph “crosswind” your airliner will still be 100miles downwind of where you think you should be after 1 hour.

After some sketching I think you might be correct. That is, if the crabbing angle of the plane completely lines up with the contrail, which thinking about it, it should be.

here’s my quick sketch, 1 hour of flying with 100knots crosswinds, first one crabbing, second one flying straight.

Am I getting this correctly?

orange line; course
green line; contrail
thin black line; plane track
red dot; start point

I was expecting the crabbing angle to differ from the angle between the contrail and the course due to the fact it’s powered.

And Blue line: how the contrail should be.

Exactly. Crabbing is not an aerodynamic thing. It is a navigation tool. The plane always flies straight and coordinated and the contrail therefore is always straight out the back.

No it’s not. The contrail is left in the 3D world on the track you followed.

Thanks for your insights and changing my mind :slight_smile: Next up for you is the previous poster above I guess.

@MikePapa4008 not really. The wind still acts on the trail.
Imagine the plane dropping a balloon at the red dot. After one hour, that balloon will end up 100 nm further north (so, on the green line. If the plane drops a balloon at the end point, that balloon will be at the plane.
Connect the two balloon-dots, and you get the green line.

it makes sense to me now, just took some time to wrap my head around it. Could still be wrong though, and I’m happy to be corrected again.