Here’s a partial update on where we’ve got to with sailplanes/soaring in MSFS to date:
(1) Facebook group: MS Flight Simulator Gliders
(2) Ridge lift: stock MSFS seems to do a pretty reasonable job of this, with soarable ridge lift available on any windward slope with 10+ knots of wind set in the MSFS weather tool.
(3) Thermals: none in stock MSFS although they’re kinda expected as part of the airflow modelling for the Cumulus clouds in a year or so. Thermals can be added into MSFS with Alex Marko’s freeware Kinetic Assistant with the caveat these are not linked to clouds.
(4) Launching: some MSFS gliders are modelled with a hidden, weightless internal jet engine, so Ctrl-E will get you airborn. Also winch launching is available in Kinetic Assistant.
DG-808S - flapped 18m FSX conversion by Alex Marko, Michael Rossi (flight model) , B21 (gauges). The first glider we got working in MSFS, flies ok, some compromises due to FSX conversion i.e. flat instruments and no panel interaction.
Ka-6E - wood 15m FSX conversion by Paul Falke, B21 (gauges), no panel interaction but flies nicely (MSFS flight model) and good instruments.
Discus 2 - flyable work-in-progress high-performance 15m. (see website for credits). New MSFS aircraft, handles nicely, working set of English/metric gauges.
AS-33 - in development high-performance electric self-launching flapped 18m by Brett Larrett, B21 (gauges). New MSFS aircraft. Comprehensive digital panel with computer vario’s and GPS nav.
Pilatus - in development payware aerobatic glider by Aerosoar.