Glider, sailplane, soaring, please! [Feature Requests]

Anyone noticed increased thermal effects tied to clouds with SU9? I was running one of my landing challenges in practice for saturday flying when I noticed I was gaining height rather than losing it, headed for the best cloud and was in +2 to cloudbase … back to blue sky and -2.

Started again from the world map, scattered cloud with no tweaks and +4 under cloud.

Not been gliding in MSFS much for the last few weeks but this seems new to me…
EDIT - apparently it was mentioned in the Dev Q&A, though I couldn’t see it in the release notes.

Yep, I noticed that too. Even tried to climb with the throttle moved to idle but did not have too much luck: it’s quite difficult to center in on an updraft under a cloud (in German named “Bart”… beard :laughing:) without being able to look up above easily from within the cockpit. I’m really waiting for a glider to be available on Xbox.

VR helps here :slight_smile:

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Having discovered gliding only a couple of days ago with the wonder that is the Discus-2c I’m completely hooked, and really hope it’s something that Asobo will put some proper focus into in a sim update soon. It’s easily the best way to experience the sim in my opinion, gliding immerses you in the wind and terrain like nothing else.

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As does it in real life! :+1::heart_eyes::+1:

I transcribed Seb talking about current and upcoming features of the thermal/updraft model in the sim - Developer Q&A Twitch Series: May 25, 2022 - YouTube -

In SU9 it computes the amount of watts, the energy recieved by the sun, which will depend on if it’s day or night, how high the sun is in the sky, how thick of atmosphere is crossed by the sunlight, if it’s humid or whatever if there’s haze etc, if there’s clouds. And so at the end there’s an amount of watts remaining that hits the ground at a certain angle, and then you know how much energy you get, then it calculates all sorts of things like how dark, albedo basically, how much energy is reflected, how much is kept. This transforms into heat, and then you know how much basically your ground is heating up. When you ground is significantly warmer than the air it builds up hot air which then wants to go up, and here you have your thermals.

Right now this is SU9, what we are adding with SU10 is to make this a little bit more comfortable, we are blending in the wind factor so that when you have absolutely zero wind you will get less thermals. … So now when you have low wind speeds the thermals are going to be much less than before, if you want strong thermals put at least 5 knots of wind or something … We also made these turbulences a little bit weaker at high altitudes, like I would say 20k and above, you will see less thermals. In SU10 you will see more gusts however.

And something we are currently working on but that will not be for SU10 - the problem with this system is that is it’s really working very locally, and generates local thermals that don’t combine when the go up and create, like the air which goes up somewhere else it needs to go back down, it doesn’t create any vortices/turblences on the side of thermals, anything like that yet. So there’s a research work going on which basically took the CFD of the airplanes and expanded that 20ish kilometers around the plane, so that’s a really very very very big CFD running, and it goes pretty high as well.

And we hope that sometime this year we’ll get that to, basically manage to simulate those airflows in the atmosphere to get nicer updrafts, nicer wind, that can combine so that only bigger fields get updrafts when you are going higher up, that you get vortices with air going back down, and all sorts of different local wind effects that we don’t really get with live weather, like live weather gives us wind gusts and direction but it’s something a bit more for the area, and not really (Seb interrupted by someone in his building, also briefly mentions looking into thermal effects over snow).

Pretty exciting stuff!

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Now with live weather having convection I often find good gliding condition near clouds with rain. Thanks to contact with GotFriends team I was informed that sadly flying through the rain doesn’t have any negative effect on glider polar as simply MSFS doesn’t provide any sim variable that would allow detecting flying in the rain (there is a variable that informs about flying in the cloud, so it seems like an oversight) - I confirmed it expermientally by flying throuh many rains had good lift there and not seeing increased sink leaving the rain. I was assured by GotFriends that as soon as they get such variable they will be able to implement proper polar degradation.

In RL it is very important to know how given glider wing profile behaves in the rain as some very good gliders can have polar drastically worsened by droplets making micro turbulences (it is easier to stall also).

It is also important for other factors - RL Discus 2c FES manual says:

It is allowed to fly through light rain with the motor running. However, use lower RPM settings, suitable for horizontal flight, to avoid damaging the propeller blades. Stop the motor if the rain becomes stronger.

I wonder if the team that officially implementing gliders is aware and will request & properly simulate flying gliders in rain conditions, but maybe there is no need to wait - is there a way for plane/glider devs to ask MS/Asobo for such variable (it would be good to know how heavy is the rain, so not just a boolean)?

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Yep. I think this would be an important capability to give to 3rd party developers, for any plane really, but especially for gliders as interaction with and negotiation around the weather is a crucial part of the soaring experience.

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AMBIENT PRECIP RATE variable indicates amount of precipitations in the aircraft location, in millimetres of water. it used by KA to decrease hotspot strength but it does not affect native thermals or aircraft performance outside of hotspot anyhow.
each developer should implement their own solution if Asobo will not add such drag force natively.

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Thank you I forwarded your message to got gravel, hopefully they’ll try to implement polar degradation due to rain.

the missing rain physics are also listed in the new wishlist topic:

Realistic dangerous weather - physics simulation

let’s leave a vote there as well

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One more thing that seems to be modelled incorrectly by MSFS is “the ball” physics in turn coordinator - I noticed it in new wonderful Ka7 - when I use right rudder the ball’s first movement is also to the right - everyone knows the “step on the ball” - so the ball should move away from the pushed leg - so right rudder - ball should move to the left.
I learned from B21 that this is not their’s instrument - it is just a standard built-in MSFS one.
So I also tested the standard C152 - and indeed it also works incorrectly- right rudder pushed - the first ball movement is to the right and only after a while the ball moves to the left - this makes making a full correctly coordinated turn (esp in glider where adverse yaw is and should be greater) with ball always in the center simply impossible - as moving stick to the right moves ball right (“ball follows hand”) and adding right rudder incorrectly add it’s additional wrong impulse to the right - ball must go outside center, even worse is exiting from the deep turn.

This issue may be obscured by another issue in MSFS modelled planes like C152 as they have less then in RL adverse yaw so practically no rudder is needed for slow enough turn.

This is really dissapointing about MSFS as I thought that build in “flagship” planes like C152 or C172 will have all instruments and physics of quite basic things like turning modelled and verified - seems not be the case :frowning:

I wonder if official 3rd party devs have greater chances of communicating to MSFS such issues.
Or maybe I am wrong - (but seems I am not as I compared it to Condor2 by myself and X-plane videos) - I challenge anyone to do a video of 45deg bank turn and exit from turn in Ka7 with having the ball in the center.

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It will definitely go under the radar in this comment section.
I would open this as an bug topic, so people can vote for it and Asobo/MS gonna list it.

official gliders in the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022 trailer

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Here Microsoft Flight Simulator Celebrates Franchise's 40th Anniversary and Introduces Halo Infinite Pelican as Free Add-On - Xbox Wire they even name the gliders:
DG Flugzeugbau LG8-18
DG Flugzeugbau DG1001E neo

But I think they misspelled the first one - I guess they mean LS8-18 (Rolladen-Schneider LS8 - Wikipedia)

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I’m very glad to see that it Asobo appears to be taking soaring seriously. I really hope we’ll see many more people in gliders flying around by the end of the year, I feel like it’s one of the most unknown/underappreciated activities in the sim atm.

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I think we should create a feature wish-list, containing all the things we would like to have from official glider support (maybe in a separate thread?)

I would like to see:

  • Multiplayer Towplane functionality

  • Support for Competition tasks (incl. start/finish waypoints, min/max altitude for WP, custom WP radius, max speed limit for WP, Nav Displays showing relevant task data, etc)

  • Competition features (Multiplayer races, leaderboards, etc)

  • Hypoxemia & Oxygen system

  • Wave & Convergence lift

PS
I unlocked a new achievement. 40.000 feet using live weather in the Andes!

Took off from Vitacura Airport in Santiago, Chile at a 2 kts wind and fog on ground level. 2 hours later i found myself at 40.000 feet with 100 kts of wind hitting the Andes allowing for a breathtaking view over some of the highest peaks in South America.

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I think we should create a feature wish-list, containing all the things we would like to have from official glider support

Yes that is also what I have been thinking for a long time - we need to communicate to Asobo what we are lacking before gliders are officialy in MSFS - as now they have the (3rd party) manpower to implement it, later on it will be probably end of “glider project”.

After the success of getting through with a question about thermals and soaring weather at the last Dev Q&A I think the next question should be smthing like “Describe all the features that are being done to properly implement gliders in MSFS” (I am not a native speaker so probably it could be stated better and simplier) and in the question body we could state sorted by importance all the features we feel are lacking now.

Some time ago I tried to make such a list in google docs but it quickly become unwieldly long and boring so what I think is important is to concentrate on things that cannot be implemented with required level of realism by third party (because of lack of API or is a part of core sim).

For example winch start seems essential and important BUT we already have good enough winch launch made by third party (of course it could be better, but I don’t think it couldn’t be made better by 3rd party) so it is not a thing to bother about (they already said they do it anyway).

On the other hand I am not sure if proper tow plane start can be realistically implemented - and by that I mean that the tow plane is not flying on rails - that what I do with the glider should through the rope affect the tail of the tow plane and thus it’s trajectory - every RL glider pilot knows that rising too much above tow plane should lead to a disastrous configuration of tow plane plunging to the ground.

In the same vein paradoxically not the official gliders are the most important feature that we want from official glider implementation - as we already have good enough ones.

We need MSFS flight model to be better at properly expressing how real gliders fly - even though I see adverse yaw in unofficial gliders I still don’t need to use much (for slow turns none) rudder to make a turn! Everytime I invite friends from my gliding club for VR session they all push rudder way more then MSFS needs and are unpleasantly surprised by not needing to do it that strong - changing sensitivity curve is not a solution.

Last showcase video with gliders doesn’t display neither yaw string nor turn coordinator - at least one of those instruments realistically modelled are essential for proper turning. Now B21 is trying in their’s Ka7 to circumvent faulty readings of MSFS’s simvar that gives turn coordinator’s ball position - that is embarassing for a sim developed for 40years.

Some experienced people from Condor 2 community stated that flaps are modelled incorrectly - I really expect that those official gliders will have polar data at all flap settings rigorously verified agains real life gliders - you cannot say you model a given glider (no matter how shiny the 3D model looks) when polar data are wrong.

Another very important (if not the most important) glider feature is the weather - even in SU9 we don’t have proper thermals - there are some updrafts, even a lot of them but they often too quickly come and go, they very rarely form a tight, long lasting updraft - that should be surrounded by turbulent downdraft (like a fountain). Weather features such as turbulence, cloud types and shapes should be emergent - by which I mean they should be result of proper airmass simulation not smoke & mirrors/movie props unrelated to airmass state. Settings for presets should be more elaborate - we should be able to define temperature gradient - like skew-t diagrams - this would allow us to model good or bad soaring day (no dumbed down thermal sliders!).

Live weather for gliders MUST be synchronized and exactly the same for all players - every updraft must be in sync otherwise we cannot fly together. At least I should be able to click other player and choose “sync weather” option to get other’players weather to fly together.

Online competition feature at least should allow 3rd party to implement cheatless glider version of reno air races - and of course the best whould be to have such an official (payware if you will) glider races add on.

I could go on and on but I think that are essentials. I am happy to read others people ideas - once again - that really require changes in the core sim to be properly implemented and cannot be implemented by 3rd party.

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RELEASE INBOUND:
Weeks Away… nah, we are days away fellas…






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I would specially double down on the adverse yaw. I started flying IRL and that’s a really chocking difference.

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