Weathervane effect strong?

Hi all. I’m having a blast with the game. I fly tailwheel low and slow and I’m in awe of the new benchmark in visuals.
I fly mainly the Xcub with Bush League mod, as well as the Savage Carbon. For the most part there are a lot of good things going on with the flight models but after a few hundred hours in the game I’m certain the weathervane effect is too strong on the ground.

As a disclaimer, I have never flown a taildragger in real life as I’m a C172 pilot. Before I get the “get some pedals or a joystick and practise” comments haha, please know that I have all the hardware, my ppl, and a lifetime of sim experience.

A light right crosswind negates P-factor entirely which I don’t think is right, not on these high power aircraft with 200+ hp.

Edit: I meant to mention one last point. For those that feel it’s not an issue, remember the benchmark is to stay on the centerline with nose straight throughout the run. If you have no issues and find the effect believable, ask yourself if you can maintain centerline on takeoff and landing in any real weather light crosswind? I don’t think you can. Maybe you swerve back and forth staying mainly over centerline but I’ll bet the nose doesn’t stay straight throughout the run.
Prove me wrong please with video haha.


I agree 100%. I am also a real life PPL and I can confirm that the weathervaning on takeoff is excessive. It’s hard to keep the plane straight no matter how hard you try. And yes, you are correct that some slight crosswinds can make the “right rudder on takeoff” rule obsolete. It’s strange taking off in a 172 in the sim and have to go full left rudder due to a slight crosswind… i’ve rarely ever used left rudder in a real life take off. A quick fix for now is to use autorudder on takeoff in the assistance menu.


Accepting all that, imagine how chuffed you feel when you maintain the centre line all the same! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Yes and interestingly I flew yesterday in a 172 with a 5ish knt slight right crosswind. I still needed all right rudder as usual on takeoff but had this been in the game it would have been left rudder.

So as a relative newbie to flight simming these light winds, plane all over the runway (C152/172, Cub) on take off is not realistic? Even though i have all the Assists turned off so I’ve got Fully Realistic settings?

And there was me thinking my pedals sensitivity were bugged…

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Not realistic at all. In real life, keeping a 172 straight on the runway is pretty easy. A little right rudder as you add power and you’re good to go straight down the runway.


When I did my first 172 takeoff in training all I was told is I would need a little right rudder to counter nose left. There was no briefing on winds and how on certain days you might need left rudder, other days maybe severe right rudder…etc. It’s just a little right rudder every time. Being a tri gear plane with the cg forward, there was hardly any swerving on my very first try, pretty simple to keep it straight.

I realize extreme winds and tail wheel handling characteristics aren’t so simple. My understanding is a tail wheel aircraft can be more than a handful just to taxi in severe windy conditions.

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Agree 100%

This was discussed in the latest developer Q&A. It seemed to be an issue they’re well aware of and is a problem with static friction effects on the ground. It is something they’re working on but it sounded like the updates would be rolling out at the sim level and per-aircraft over time.

Ok thanks. Do you know if anyone does a recap in print form of these Q and As for those that don’t want to sit through a lengthy video?

You can check here, though I don’t know that every topic from the last Q&A is written up:

Latest Archives/Live Dev Answers topics - Microsoft Flight Simulator Forums

Edit: direct link to that part of the discussion if it’ll let me post the link here, time is 11:30 on the last Q&A.

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Thanks for that.

I had a 12 kt right 70-80deg crosswind today on landing in the bush league legends 180hp xcub. I had a nice side slip, perfect touchdown on centerline. I was full left rudder deflection through the slip and on touch down. Full. A few seconds after touchdown, with full left rudder and right wing down into the wind, the aircraft departed hard to the right off the tarmac.

Again this was a 12 kt wind that wasn’t a direct crosswind. Maybe max 10-11 kts directly across.

Fortunately I’m not having technical issues with the game so as a VFR low and slow pilot, this would be priority 1 for me to get fixed.


I had a post on this a year ago where I noted the weathervane effect is quite severe and unrealistic. I would have preferred to post in that thread but it’s been closed due to time limit.
edit thanks mods for reopening last year’s thread

Again last night, I had a mild right crosswind (5 kts I believe), in a 172. I needed left rudder to combat this 5 kt hurricane haha. Never have I needed left rudder in a 172 on takeoff in real life. Unfortunately the ground handling is still a mess and this is a big part of it. For the life of me I can’t understand why this isn’t a big issue with the overall community, it being so fundamental of flight. Since this is obviously not a priority to be addressed, I was wondering if there’s a way that we can dial back the weathervane effect in a Cfg file or something like that…? Or is this deep in the code and not for dumdums like me to be messing with?

Thanks guys and Happy New Year :slight_smile:


Completely agree and makes the ground handling, especially during takeoff and landing incredibly unrealistic.

It’s something that I have heard mentioned by Asobo that it’s being worked on, something to do with side friction of the tyres perhaps? Can’t remember how long ago I saw that but hopefully it’s still on the radar.

Absolutely. 5knt crosswinds can be tricky. 15 knots nearly impossible, especially in a taildragger. This should be right at the top of the list of things to fix.

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Did you have right aileron in?

Yes to counter drift and the upwind wing from rising, not weathervane effect.

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Upwind aileron input is key in counteracting weathervaning. This is a very misunderstood topic. There are currently two or three of these discussions. Most non-pilot simmers are taken aback by the difficulties of controlling an aircraft on the ground. While there are plenty of physics working to send you grazing in the hayfield, the least considered is that airplanes are meant to fly, not drive. That means they are exceptionally light and are adversely affected by wind when not travelling fast enough for their control surfaces to take full effect.

People also forget that once flying, there effectively is no wind. It is simply moving through a stationary airmass as far as it is concerned. If that airmass is moving across the ground then the aircraft is going to move with it. No power on earth can prevent that.

As the aircraft wings start to take the weight off the landing gear, the tendency to go with the airmass becomes greater and we need to induce drag to assist the wheels and rudder in maintaining directional control. That is what ailerons are for. Proper airmanship requires they be used from ramp to ramp to maintain proper control of the aircraft. They are not just to make a wing go up or down.


Agree - there is much more going on than often appreciated and I wonder how many think their sim is broken when in fact it’s just the wind and a bunch of other things (PIO!) Overall I find the physics in MSFS excellent, but the weathervaning effect is still overdone - or at the very least friction and inertia are under-modelled to some extent.

I would hate to see any fix remove what should be the real challenges involved, but equally, it would be nice if it wasn’t quite such a dramatic transition on landing.