So with the recent addition of the converted FSX DG-808 and Kinetic Assistant I decided to step out of my A320 Cockpit in P3D and give MSFS a try in soaring.
I should mention that I don’t have any experience in glider planes other than the handful of times I tried it in FSX/P3D, but never really did anything else than doing some turns for fun and landing on some field.
So far from what I could gather from avsim and here, there is no thermal simulation in MSFS and none planned for the forseeable future, though with Kinetic Assistant there is a way to simulate them but only very sparsely, depending on the Hotspots found on https://thermal.kk7.ch. I also have read that ridge soaring is somewhat simulated, but not ideally for non motorized gliders.
Though if I got something wrong, I’d love to hear your opinion on the topic.
So since I basically have no experience with gliders I’d also love to hear from someone experienced what weather settings in-sim will result in the best simulation conditions in terms of wind/ridge updrafts (Season, Temperature, Wind, Gusts, Clouds, etc. settings).
Greetings! Glad to hear you are decided to try it out.
Your are right, no native thermals in MSFS yet. Kinetic creates some artificial lift, but as you have no RL experience - you probably will not notice difference. But not the thing you can use for training of your pilot skills.
Ridge is okay, but too strong - it goes up into the space, literally with strong wind you can raise up to 50 000ft above some mountain.
You can simulate soaring conditions easily - choose location with long straight rocky surface, like sea coast or some Alps area, make the 10-15kn wind blow 45 degrees to the direction of mountains (so you will soar on the edge of the relief), and just follow this line with positive lift. I do recommend to remove gusts - not just set it to 0, but leave field empty, deleting any numbers.
Temperature does not seem to affect anything (devs told that high temperature create thermals but I have not found any proofs, maybe it was about development version?).
If you are using API clouds (KK7 and OpenAIP) - set clouds to something like 8000-12000ft, and thermals height to 8000, so it will fit lower edge of the clouds.
We are making competitions app right now - ALBATROSS where you will be able to load and install ready-to-go tasks, which will include flight plan, thermals and optimal weather settings, and run them for training/recreational purpose, or participate in competition. It will be available next weekend probably, maybe near end of the month.
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