Weathervane effect strong?


Fair but I may be misunderstanding you and what you feel is the significance of aileron input to counter weathervane in a light crosswind takeoff roll.
The example I keep giving is a 5 kt right crosswind. I’ve taken off plenty of times in a light crosswind as a student pilot with either no aileron input or improper aileron input (due to ignorance and, well, just being a dumb student pilot haha). Thankfully I was staying in light winds and could get away with it.
In those scenarios with a light crosswind, without the aileron input, I did encounter pronounced drift and the upwind wing rising, but never did I notice a pronounced or obvious weathervane. In a light right crosswind, the effect of no aileron input perhaps allowed for a very minimal amount of less right rudder, but nothing pronounced.
My point is I’ve never had to give any left rudder on takeoff in a 5 kt right crosswind in a 172 in real life. Do you agree that the weathervane model is exaggerated in the game, and aileron input is far from being any kind of major factor in countering the weathervane effect in a light crosswind?

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I would agree if you said rudder effectiveness is not what it should be. 5kt x-wind is 30% of the 172’s max demonstrated. Maximum x-wind component is when rudder authority is incapable of maintaining directional control. Rudder effectiveness in the sim is reduced to the point that without proper aileron input directional control can be difficult. This is not a wind or “weathervane” issue. This is a problem with control surface modelling.

To simulate control pressure increasing with airflow Asobo chose to reduce control surface travel. The result is unrealistic control input is required to achieve the desired result. Same reason accelerated stalls are very difficult to perform. Just not enough control surface travel when under load.

Do not underestimate the importance of aileron drag when controlling an aircraft on the ground.

There is now an option to increase the authority/travel on the three primary control surfaces by up to 2 degrees (under ‘customisation’). Have you found that this has addressed the issue? I’ve done some testing of the feature, but not enough to form a definite view (not helped that it isn’t persistent and has to be set each flight). What’s your view on intertial forces on landing?

I don’t doubt anything you are saying, you are far more knowledgeable than me. But I still want to flush this out as I’m not in complete understanding and therefore maybe agreement. Have you ever required left rudder on takeoff roll in a light crosswind in a 172 in real life? For me the answer is no.

Why would “lack of rudder effectiveness” in game translate to the need for left rudder to counter weathervane in a light right crosswind?

What I’m saying is, in a 172 in the game, with a light right crosswind on takeoff roll, if you let the aircraft roll on it’s own with no control surface input, the aircraft will veer right. Wouldn’t the reason for this be an exaggerated weathervane effect modelled? Shouldn’t the aircraft still veer left due to Torque, Asymmetric thrust, slipstream…etc? The light right crosswind wouldn’t be enough to completely negate all of these. To be clear, how is this a “lack of rudder effectiveness” issue since I haven’t given it any rudder in this scenario?

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Left turning tendency is a function of pilot throttle control. If you rapidly open the throttle then even with a light crosswind the initial response would be a left veer. Once RPM stabilizes then the effect of a 90 degree 5 knot x-wind would begin to turn the aircraft back to the right. Depending on flap setting, the aligning effect of the landing gear could easily be overcome at low speed.

Have I ever needed to apply left rudder in a 172 in a light x-wind?
Yes. During a soft field departure full power is applied rapidly and the nose wheel raised as soon as possible. The increased angle of attack reduces the weight on the gear quickly and the slow speed with no nose wheel steering make the rudder very ineffective, therefore not just some left rudder, lots.

In normal takeoff from a paved runway, there is no excuse for the aircraft to not track the centerline even at relatively high x-wind components. 0 flaps, ailerons into the wind, proper use of rudder during smooth application of power, do NOT take weight off the wheels until the aircraft is ready to fly, rotate crisply, establish crab into the wind and track the centerline to 500 ft.

Get behind the weathervane effect or left turn early and you will be trimming the infield. Biggest mistake is allowing the tail to start moving. Then you get to fight inertia and wind.

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Hmmm. It’s obviously implied I was talking normal throttle application for a standard takeoff roll. Assume I had spelled out that we’re using a standard, smooth, yet assertive throttle application. Given these throttle application parameters, would a real 172 turn right in a light right crosswind despite no control surface input? Are you implying that this light crosswind should have more authority over all the physical factors I listed that cause the left turn tendency in an aircraft on takeoff roll?
In the game, regardless of how you apply the throttle in a 172, the aircraft will turn right during the takeoff roll in a light right crosswind. This is specifically what my issue is. That would never happen in real life, in a light crosswind.

Therefore, in this exact example I’ve layed out, “rudder ineffectiveness” isn’t causing a right turn. I’m not saying there isn’t a reduced rudder effectiveness in the game (I honestly don’t know), but it’s a separate issue to what I’m describing.

BTW, you’re either a used car salesman or you were once upon a time on your high school debate team haha. I appreciate your input and enjoy the discussion.

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With all that’s been said here I still have to say the sim is not representing ground physics well at all, and I completely agree with @OneRobertOne here. I haven’t flown light aircraft for a good few years now but I have been flying the A320/A321 professionally for 10 ​years however and I can tell you that thing is pretty ■■■■ stable at low taxi speeds with a decent crosswind, unlike the sim where its blown off the centreline like a crisp packet.

I often feel like the aircraft in the sim are driving on ice, something is not quite right. This is a shame as its one of the few things that spoils the sim for me. What’s wrong? Who knows. (I am not a dev.) Some aircraft are a lot better than others, probably due to the creators trying to nullify the bad handling characteristics. I also believe the fact that most of us use flimsy plastic controls that have no ‘feel’ to them coupled with no ‘seat of you pants’ feelings induces (as previously mentioned) pilot induced oscillations. I think a large part of it is also due to how tyre friction is handled. You would be surprised how much side friction tyres actually provide. (One of the reasons why Airbus do not recommend landing with any crab on - it can be punishing to the landing gear).

I seriously hope that Asobo is looking at this issue though I don’t hold much hope. Ground handling has been an issue in ALL simulators that I’ve flown. Even level-d full motion sims can’t get it 100% right. Here’s hoping!


I too have experienced this. The weathervaning effect is too strong.Any idea whether this is already a reported bug?

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The developers cannot possibly be unaware of this issue, as many times as it has been discussed. You can report bug if you want, but you’ll be wasting your time in my opinion.


If only they prioritised such.Watching flightdeck2sim’s live stream while stress testing the pmdg 737 and he also states that the physics don’t feel quite right during a crosswind take-off/landing.

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All, let’s not leave out the fact that putting aileron correction in on takeoff/landing is pointless. As speed increases and roll the correction out the plane will roll into the wind with even the slightest of aileron.

With a 5 or 10 Kt. cross wind you should not need much rudder input at all, just put the aileron full into the wind and as you accelerate smoothly roll it out. Try doing that in an Asobo aircraft and let me know what you see.

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How do you find non-Asobo aircraft?

Another 172 irl pilot here, can confirm I don’t think I’ve ever needed left rudder on takeoff no matter the conditions, especially not the full deflection this sim seems to require at times. My home base was doing runway work and down to only so I had all sorts of crosswind practice. Not once did the real 172 react on the ground the way this sim does.


The MSFS flight model is not bugged. It is just very simple (poor) at this point of development and needs to evolve over time. How much time is anyone’s guess. I agree with @GenTVDinner. If you use RW inputs with these aircraft models you are in for quite a ride…LOL!

Moved to #self-service:aircraft-systems which didn’t exist as a category to when this thread was originally started.

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This right here. We’re in a new sim essentially so its in its infancy. Few more years I think well be in a really good place.

I had hoped that SU9 had addressed this issue, but after a fair amount of flying it’s still pretty bad.

I find that I have to use so much rudder that as speed increases on the t/o roll out that reverse aileron is necessary to stop the downwind wing from lifting.

With landing I often use a cross-control slip for the final phase to keep runway heading. Which works well for me. The difficulty is you immediately have to switch rudder inputj as soon as the wheels touch. Inertia? Not so much.


Is there a main/master topic for this issue? I thought I read that it was on the roadmap to be fixed. It causes so many stupid issues on takeoff and landing for every aircraft.

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