Realistic Dangerous Weather - Physics Simulation

Yesterday in the FS Community flight, we were flying real weather over British Columbia mountains at FL380, and my Longitude and everybody in airliners were shaken like crazy!
Even wondering if this turbulence were not a bit too much!
Just for reminder, the video is here: MSFSofficial - Twitch

There may be turbulence at high altitude according to testimonies. But I fly exclusively GA and that’s not a thing at lower altitude…

Well said. For me, that’s the single most important impediment to realism in the sim. They are trying to model turbulence created by trees and ridges, which is great, but they really need to add in seemingly random, unpredictable turbulence.

I think it is important to add, that when Asobo implements this, they do it the “Asobo way” and have it be as realistic as possible - this can be part of their weather engine using meteoblue CAT (clear air turbulence) maps to generate the major bumpiness we would experience in the real world. Weather Maps | Live Satellite & Weather Radar - meteoblue

But - that doesn’t mean the rest of the World where there isn’t CAT indicated should be perfectly smooth - that would mix in with some pockets/bumpiness depending on time of day (later in the day = bumpier), altitude, terrain (already implemented), and some other factors they could use to generate pockets of turbulence.

—> Conditions need to be “just right” for nice smooth air (which DOES happen and it is welcome in aviation!) Otherwise known as a stable air mass The Characteristics of Stable Air Mass | Sciencing

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Can’t complain about the lack of low level turbulence realism.
Nicely differs according to the terrain below, temperature and wind.

As IRL, flying on a cold clear and calm winterday results in a silky smooth flying experience.

I’m regularly confused by the number of people reporting that MSFS is ‘on rails’ and lacks any kind of turbulence. I had that experience with FSX for years, slightly lessened by Active Sky’s turbulence feature but even that was very much an off/on situation and felt quite ‘canned’ and not so natural. With MSFS I actually feel the turbulence is completely fluid, random and natural. It’s the first time I’ve felt like I was actually flying through moving air in a sim.

Maybe it is mainly restricted to slightly hilly or mountainous areas, I cannot say for sure, but when I see comments like those posted above…

… I can’t help but compile some short snippets of video from recent flights, taken with this general topic in mind.

This is from around NSW in Australia, where there are some moderate, rolling hills but nothing too wild. This was in light winds but it was a few weeks ago so I can’t remember the details. I was at 5,500ft, and the pop-up messages about passenger discomfort were from AirHauler 2. The sudden drops registered down to 0.5G as you can see. The aircraft is clearly being thrown around plenty and experiences a few downdraughts and updraughts:

Of course, I don’t think anybody is disputing turbulence around mountains (even buildings at low level), but if that’s all we have for turbulence at the moment then that’s indeed not enough. With meteoblue data it should be possible to ‘liven it up’ in appropriate places in time.

What about flying during bad weather, like in a storm? What happens in game when you fly near a cumulonimbus? Absolutely nothing… Only eye candy.

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OK, in this respect I’ve no doubt there is lots of room for improvement, in general the turbulence effects we do have are much better than any others I’ve seen to date. I mainly fly VFR so naturally tend to avoid clouds.

I think MSFS models the weather in a completely different way to every other sim, and everything that depends on it, including turbulence, has to be derived differently than in previous sims. It takes the global weather model and represents it in game in your local area and (I think) let’s it play its course, rather than taking data from weather stations and injecting & interpolating weather around the player from that. At some point it may need ‘teaching’ what types of clouds should create turbulence etc. (as well as how to represent more cloud types) and I’m sure that will come in time.

In one of my early flights in the TBM, I flew into a storm cloud for science. Within a minute the flight ended due to the aircraft being overstressed - and I was straight and level. Whether it was from cloud- or terrain-related turbulence I don’t know, but it happened.

Let’s be clear when complaining about what’s missing, that’s all I’m saying. MSFS is certainly not ‘on rails’, I hope we can agree on that at least :slightly_smiling_face:

There is almost no turbulence effect. There is head shake instead. Try disabling camera shake. That’s a big disappointment.


I’m very happy with X-Plane’s turbulence. I made a mod that increases turbulence near the ground proportionally to wind speed and it’s very similar to real life now. You actually have to make constant corrections to keep the wings level. On MSFS, i invite everyone to set the winds at a crazy value like 40kt and notice how you can approach with little to no inputs. No corrections are necessary. It looks like the airplane goes back to its original attitude. Also, watch some videos of real life landings and see how this no-inputs approach is extremely rare, only occurring in very calm conditions. The turbulence on MSFS is so unrealistic that I’m not even flying it anymore. Waiting for a miracle to fix it.

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Can’t confirm your findings Flight model is set to modern?
At 40kts a lot of work is required to keep the aircraft stable during the approach.

I can confirm that I experience the same behavior and that I have seen totally inexperienced friends do perfect STOL manœuvres in the Cub with insane crosswinds and using Rpm lever instead of power (yes, THAT inexperienced.)
Flying in bad weather on Xplane or P3D is the absolute opposite of eye candy « bad weather » in MSFS.

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Yes it is. That’s weird. Turbulence is enabled as well. Can you confirm that if you don’t touch the ailerons the aircraft won’t return to its initial attitude after being displaced by turbulence? What aircraft are you using? And is it a mountainous or non-mountainous terrain?

Let me illustrate what I mean. I´ve made a video on X-Plane 11 with a Phenom 300 (Aerobask) landing on runway 09R with winds 150/21 gusting 28kt. I shot another video, this time on MSFS with the WT CJ4 with the exact same conditions. Notice how little to no aileron input is required on MSFS, but much more work is done on XP11. Notice also how the aircraft doesn´t fly on rails on XP11.



One thing I´ve realized is that the real weather (using Unreal Weather addon) fails to simulate small gusts and wind direction variation, even though not reported in the METAR.


I made another one on MSFS, this time using Unreal Weather (Live WX was even more stable).

Absolutely stable with a gusting 39kt wind! Impossible IRL!


I took out the TBM from LFMN with a preset weather of “DNBOF - Windy”. I turned off “Camera Shake”. I play in VR btw.

I took off, did a circuit and then landed. I see what you mean. Whilst the aircraft wobbled around like mad, this was just seemingly an illusionary effect as the aircraft was actually directionally very stable. If I ignored the “wobbling around”, I didn’t really need to make much adjustments when landing at all and my flight line seemed rather unaffected.

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Haven’t flown with wind and turbulence since quite some time and apparently things have changed over the month.

I have to confirm that turbulence presently has not much to do with real world turbulence.


I think this could be easy to improve. On XP11, I made a LUA script to increase turbulence proportionally to wind speed as you get near the ground, below 2500ft AGL (roughly the usual boundary layer). If you use XP11 with a real weather addon, such as NOAA WX, which does basically the same thing as MSFS’s Unreal WX addon, there isn’t much turbulence either. My script improved it.
If Asobo could strengthen the link between turbulence and wind speed or even add a random small gust with a slightly different direction (say 10° off), I think we could get a good result.
In sum, we miss slight varying winds or gust with real weather.

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Quoting you like this is best describing one of the key missing element in the game to me.

This resonates with what I’ve been observing (video included):

MSFS is breaking the VR golden rule: don't move the camera, the user is

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