Thermals, Up&Downdrafts - missing implementation

  • weather / cloud based up and downdrafts are missing
    (which were promised in the first aerodynamics feature discovery video)
  • terrain based drafts are working, but they are limited (Asobo says: max peak 1000 fpm)
  • thermals are missing

Currently there are no improvements/implementations planned, probably until next year, when they start working on gliders.
So also please leave a vote right here to get them prioritised:
Glider, sailplane, soaring, please!

Asobo interview statement about up and down drafts:

…as this is something that was really new,
there’s just a limit to the effect
so in video I showed it can build up to 1000 feet per minute.

if you look at some extreme weather on the internet you can see that updrafts they can
reach 10,000 feet per minute

so we have limited it, but when we get better we will unlock this further.
But currently if you start with a light plane and you get a 10000 feet per minute updraft
you would just not understand what is going on, it would look like a leaf.

this is something which we keep improving but also I think we need to add more systems
where people will understand why they’re just getting shaking around.

One thing we were doing during the alpha is that this was much stronger
I think updrafts were limited to 4 or 5 thousand and some people didn’t understand
why on final they were just going upwards and it’s because they were on a hill and
the wind was blowing them.

  • please make the strong/realistic up/down drafts and thermals at least optional possible (specially for the 3rd party gliders)
  • thermals are not noticeable = doesn’t even exist (?)
  • Vario and Altimeter are enough ‘‘visualizations’’ to understand up&downdrafts, everything else is a nice bonus, but not essential
  • just because some people didn’t understand certain weather conditions, doesn’t mean everybody doesn’t understand it + a lot of people now missing the realism
  • with the limit you introduced the problem of an unrealistic arcade feeling
  • very weak up to no turbulences
  • weather/ wind doesn’t play any role, you can fly through any cumulus cloud/ storm with the lightest airplane, while in reality it would blow you away :wind_face: :small_airplane:

Don’t forget the hardcore simmers, please give us more realism, the community would be thankful.

All videos are autotimestamped, just press play (gonna update this post when there is a new interviewpart about up&down drafts and thermals).

(about thermals implementations and needed slider) 10.03.21

(thermals on flat terrain, temperature based) 27.01.21

(about turbulence behaviour, up or down draft implementation) 27.01.21

(about visualizations for airflow) 05.11.20

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Although Kinetic Assistant is a great tool and has opened up a new world - as a glider pilot i deffenitly wait for real wether flying conditions beeing reproduced in the sim. Asobo AND Community : Thanks for all which is possible already- and keep going .


I agree 100%, I really hope Asobo starts implementing/improving the up/down drafts and thermals.
But there isn’t even a timeline for that, that’s why I really hope this wishlist post goes into the top 15.

Otherwise we will probably have to wait at least a year.

Asobo says everything is already implemented, but I never noticed or saw any thermal and the up/down drafts are so limited that they are also unusable.

Sadly the kinetic mod is the only way to use any glider at this moment.
I’m thankful for that, but I’m also gonna wait for the ‘‘natural’’ thermals and unfiltered up/downdrafts.

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I don’t know at which point they decided to go for the up/down draft limit, but I searched for an older video on youtube where somebody tried ridge soaring with a DV20 and he’s gaining some altitude it’s awesome.

Thanks to the limit something like this is currently not even possible with a glider mod, it’s really frustrating…

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Are there any alpha tester out there who maybe could share their experience with the ‘‘non limited’’ up and down drafts from last year?

Would be really interesting to know if it really was that bad or uncontrollable before they decided to go for the unrealistic limited version.

There were never realistic thermals/convective updrafts in the alpha or release from my experience with both. The video linked to above is demonstrating orographic/terrain based lift, which is a different process than thermals and convective updrafts. Ridge lift is still not limited as far as I can tell, and I’ve been able to ridge soar with any aircraft and a strong enough wind.

My thoughts are that this isn’t as simple as adding a slider. Thermals need to be realistically modeled, which they probably aren’t yet. Same with convective updrafts and clouds, which so far is probably more of a visual effect than a realistic weather effect. Simply throwing a bunch of thermals in there and adding a slider is going to create a great big mess just like we have with the clear air lightning we’re still experiencing, and overzealous icing effects. If the devs said they had them, but had to limit them, I bet it was because they were so wacky and unrealistic they couldn’t include them in a release, not because the newbs simply wouldn’t understand what was happening.

It’s definitely a feature I’m voting for and want to see implemented though. The proper time and effort needs to be put it into it, however. Franky, it was kind of an oversight in my opinion to release this beautiful recreation of the Earth and not put in a glider with realistic soaring capabilities.

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I had to rewatch the first aerodynamics feature discovery video, he really said:

…the airflow gonna match the clouds… We have all the up and down drafts which gonna match the actual weather…

(starts at 08:52)

but the only thing you will get there are small turbulences, no real up or down draft anywhere besides the terrain based ones. You can fly through the biggest cumlus clouds with the smallest GA Airplane and sing ‘‘if you happy and you know it clap your hands’’ without any problem.

  • terrain based up/down drafts = working
  • cloud based up/down drafts = non existent
  • temperature based up/down drafts = non existent
  • thermals = non existent
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Thank you for your feedback, I’ve changed the topic name and description.
Instead of asking for a ‘‘realism slider’’ we should ask for the implementation of cloud based up and down drafts / thermals itself.

It becomes more clear that this is completely missing instead of ‘‘tuned down’’.

Yes, microbursts please!


Sadly there was no word about thermal and draft implementations in the last Q&A so I think any improvement is pretty far off.

Maybe the main focus is to keep it as simple as possible for the xbox release and many million casual playing people, we simmers gonna be left behind for probably a year.

Which is sad, because imagine proper thermals and drafts with the upcoming Top Rudder Just103Solo:


‘’…we need more visualisations, also for debug…’’

I mean in the last Aerodynamics update video they pretty much showed a very good visualisation.

Still don’t understand why we don’t get at least the possiblity to play with the unrestricted up and down drafts. As expected the Top Rudder Just103Solo (and any other airplane) feels like on rails because of that.

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If you want weather improvements, also leave a vote here:
Glider, sailplane, soaring, please!

If the glider release getting prioritised, the weather improvements getting prioritised too.
Because the Gliders doesn’t work with the currently non existent thermals, up and down drafts.

Therfore we have good news:
The status of the topic has changed to Under Investigation ( = the team is currently looking into the wish)


Indeed… the 71 votes here should be added to Glider, sailplane, soaring, please. That’s the big one.

Or add the 700+ votes right here and we have 2 topics in the top ten which support each other :wink:

I voted here too :grin: but I hope a lot of members will see our links and click Vote in the main thread about this subject . Mods won’t change anything about votes, we’ll have to add votes. Nice to see there are 71 potential votes here ! The subject is still alive ! I would love to have thermal upward airflow and be able to do ridge soaring… and an official sail plane, properly supported by the Flight Model. Sail planes are airplanes too…

This thread aims for realism in general.
Thermals, proper up and down drafts are a must for realistic aviation for every airplane.
So I’m asking for improvements in this context.

This is not another glider thread, but since gliders would definitely benefit the most from it I linked the glider topic in the main post to not split any votes in two :wink: .

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True, it’s not only gliders (planes), it’s the whole atmospheric model. It will be quite some work to make that realistic ! You’d have to take ground temperature into account, wind, altitude… resulting upward airflow at the altitude… flowing patterns near mountains… it is a challenging 3d model. But I am sure it would pay off. MSFS is ideal for sail planing, because of its beautiful nature scenery. And for other planes… some turbulation would be nice… because it is reality !

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I always wanted to enable those air visualizations they show in their videos. Is that not possible in dev mode?

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In Simconnect (part of dev mode), certain airflow scripts can be run. But if you script something, it feels unnatural. People tried in the past, there is Kinetic Assistent Addon which can provide for a “thermal spiral” at specific locations. But it is a separate executable from uncertified source, sometimes triggering virus checks. Upward and downward airflow should be built into the simulation model itself. Upward air flow has to do with temperature ! there are no ventilators in the real sky.

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