Thermals, Up & Downdrafts - Realism Update/ Remove Limitations

It would be great to see features similar to those available with “Condor” the gliding sim.

With Condor you have ridge and thermal soaring implemented with toggleable visualisations that are very helpful if you’re new to soaring. Visualisations could also stop turbulence seeming random to non sailplane players.


Nice job Homie - that is an awesome bit of research. Asobo are definitely giving a confused message about what is in the sim today but in any case it looks very promising for the future.

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Gliders got started! But the release has been changed from a possible 2021 to a 2022 only.

Also Aerodynamics got stated for the update alpha test :

This testing opportunity will target areas of the sim in performance, stability, ATC syntax accuracy, Aircraft (Engine Performance, Roll Stability, Average Yaw Control, and Aerodynamics).

Maybe it means we get the first up&down draft / thermal ‘‘unlocking’’ pretty soon. Would be nice to see an approach and estimated release for this topic, we only need another 200 votes for that. :laughing:


Here is another take on this topic:

I have the feeling asobo thinks that too much realism could kill the fun for casual players,
but I think it’s actually the other way around.

Less realism, means less danger, which means less fun for everybody.
Having to fight realistic up&down drafts in storms or different cloud formations would present a fun challenge even for casual players.

And because of that missing realism it gets especially for them pretty boring real quick.

Imagine a 7000-10000 fpm updraft in a cumulus cloud and the small GA airplane gets thrown around like it would in real life, that would get the interest of many more people than the current boring ‘‘on rails’’ simulator.


I’ve done a few tests flying through and around cumulus clouds with a Robin DR400.
The up&down drafts are definitely there and the limit of 1000fpm as well, as the Vario showed +/-1000fpm pretty much spot on at the certain points in the cloud. However I would prefer ‘‘the plane would look like a leaf’’, since that’s what would happen in real life. :wink:

(limited) Cloud based up and down drafts are there, but I never noticed any temperature based draft, even with the most extreme settings.

Edit: I was asking in the discord if there are any news about this topic in the alpha testing for the Simupdate 4, but unfortunately there is an NDA. But we gonna see it next week anyway :wink:


There’s gonna be a new Aerosoft glider simulator released in a few days.
They are using birds to to help you locate thermals. Which would be a nice feature for MSFS as well, if it’s not overdone like birds circling everywhere or in every thermal that occurs.

What I think is pretty weird, Aersoft partnering up with Asobo and releasing this as a standalone instead of an MSFS addon. Meanwhile a lot of people asking for official glider support in msfs.

I really hope the aerodynamic features and glider support delay doesn’t have anything to do with this mediocre release.


A very good glider to test the (still frustratingly limited) up&down drafts and non existent thermals
is the AS 33 Me

With that glider you don’t need any mod to get close to the clouds and you can easily test any wind behaviour.

But the disappointing results should be still the same since nothing changed with Simupdate 4.
The promised step by step updates regarding wind drafts from over half a year ago seems like forgotten…

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So a few things to take away from the last Q&A (05/2021)

  • If an estimated release is labeled 2022, it’s definitely not gonna be released this year (looking at gliders #RIP)
  • There is a new partner hired for the glider implementation (’‘with tons of insight’’),
    I’m really curious with which weather/aeroeffect model they are working, can’t be the limited one we have to endure for almost a year now…
  • No freaking Thermal, Up&down draft improvement in sight anywhere

Seems like not enough people are ready to push this topic/ not enough people are interested in realism.
Probably most are happy flying with their autopilot straight through a cumuls cloud with no effect what so ever.

I’m giving up on this thread now, gonna come back next year when the gliders gonna be released and they have to give us an improved aero/weather model.


Don’t give up, please. I’m frequenting another thread about a live weather bug that is/was present. Several simmers interested in realism pushed the topic so far that it seems the bug is now gone.
I’m interested in realism as well, it’s a simulator in the end… not just a game.
I think that for example the excessive icing and weather radar actually showing precip and not clouds are a great step towards realism in this sim and we need all people onboard to keep threads like these alive.


Come on, @HomieFFM let’s put the effort together… you already did, keep it up… this topic and the one with the votes, add the votes up we are over 900 votes !!


Thank you for the motivation guys!

I found an interesting topic called '‘Wave Flying’'

I wonder if this is also represented in MSFS (when they give us an unrestriced version).


looking at some gameplay from the newly released World of Aircraft - Glider Simulator.
They are using the birds for thermal visualization, just like Asobo mentioned in one of the Q&A’s.

Nothing wrong with using a bird here and there, because that can happen in real life.
But please don’t use it for every thermal and don’t use 100+ birds for each of them, that’s a complete realism / immersion killer :sweat_smile:

(still wondering who is the hired partner producer team for the gliders in MSFS, maybe the folks from World of Aircraft?)

My head has kind of been in the sand on a topic like this, but after reading everything I think it’s really discouraging to see that Asobo would be so reactive to complaints about up/downdrafts and local convective areas being too strong or unrealistic. The strong incorporation of real effects such as that felt like a hallmark of their weather and flight model in the earlier days of the sim and really made flying enjoyable and rightfully unpredictable to me. In the earlier days, I felt like at some airports near challenging terrain you could really lose lift, or quickly come in too high and have to go around or correct for instantaneous changes in condition. I haven’t felt that as much anymore. I think people don’t want aircraft that feel like they’re flying on rails, but at the same time they balk at stuff like this.

However, I have to agree that they’ve done themselves a huge disservice by not including some sort of airflow visualization in the sim to actually convince people that the right physics is happening. This kind of visualization is something that is obviously possible (see X-Plane, or even Asobo’s own promo videos), maybe with some additional optimization. The dynamic air mass model they’ve developed is the shining part of this sim, and is what brings the flight model to life. They should want to show it off however possible.

I’m hoping that this topic gets more visibility, and also that Asobo gets back to fixing this sooner than later. I’d also like to see other related aspects patched in, such as wake turbulence. You cannot have a good flight model without appropriately modeling your atmosphere.


I definitely agree with you, that is the big problem, most of the players do not care about realism… do not care about real aviation, they just want to jump in the cockpit engine on and fly right away… Of course there is a place for everybody but they are the majority so that votes concerning realism are in the bottom of the wish-list as a matter of fact!!!

I really don’t understand Asobo that talk and talk and claim about realism when we do know that in aviation the weather is the main corner stone! It is so frustrating to fly through CB without any sort of danger encountered, at that moment it really feels like an arcade game!

I even don’t understand why Asaobo is so “scared” to open the doors of the limitations of turbulence, thermal, updraft/downdraft, we could have an option like “arcade mode” and “realism mode” or something therefore everybody will be happy!.. and what is the problem for “GTA players” to avoid TS, what is the issue to avoid thunderstorm, Asobo won’t loose any money for that because some of them will complain? On the contrary they will buy some credibility in terms of realism, anyway It just doesn’t make sense at all… Also maybe players will have fun to care about the weather, and learn something new, is it that bad to learn? It’s enjoyable!

So far in MFS2020 we still can fly a C172 in any sort of “severe” weather conditions no matter what, which is totally unrealistic!

I’m tired to wait and wait for updates but… Don’t give up, let’s hope!

Happy flying Captains! :wink:


We won’t get too many votes but we can always submit a bug report. I’ve submitted a couple of bugs last week regarding wind/realism. At least they fixed the wx radar despite the fact that the topics themselves didn’t get enough votes.


I start to play the lobbyist around guys hhh here an example:

and I will open a thread to ask users to vote for the links bellow :


I think we need to stick to one post describing all the weather bugs rather than creating lots of posts spreading our votes. TBH, I’m not very pleased with what I see after each update. Not to mention the fact that devs listen to the community where we are the minority. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s said that turbulence was tuned down because some people were complaining. Just imagine what’s gonna happen when the XBox version comes out. In the mean time I keep my fingers crossed reading the forum and flying that other sim where I can feel the plane and how it reacts to the wind and such.


Yes I agree with you, it would be nice to get one post really ahead with this topic, since this is the most voted I would stick to this right here (not because I created it).

I’ve got this response from the community team in the bugs section before the thread got closed and I reopened it right here in the wishlist section:

Hello everyone, I’m closing this thread as this not an issue but a will to unlock any sort of limitation on updrafts.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts after the last Q&A! This feedback has been shared to the team!

So the will to unlock and improve this is definitely there, also mentioned in a lot of interviews.
And the problem with the casual players isn’t really one, since this realism feature could be optional, like everything else.

The only real question is: ‘‘When they gonna improve/ release something?’’
They said last year they want to roll out a few updates this year, but so far we got nothing.

That’s why it’s a good idea to push this topic, it could move up in the priority list, or at least we could get an estimated releasetime .

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Over 200 votes. Thank you so much guys!!
Does somebody know when the next Q&A is?

We could ask again for an thermal/drafts update.
But maybe they gonna answer this directly without asking, because Asobo mentioned they want to announce the glider dev-team partner and therefore they maybe gonna talk about the status of a possible realism update.


Voted. please stop dumbing things down in a “flight” simulator.