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Guest santiagoluib3

A Question to RW GA pilots - Turbulence

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Hi guys,If there is zero winds (as in perfectly still), will your light plane like the C172, Citabria, Scout, Maul etc. fly as steadily as it does in FSX as if it were rolling on a rail?I don't know if it's just me, but somehow I feel that adding light to moderate turbulence in the sim adds little and random 'nuissances' in flight that IMO gives a more realistic sensation of flight. I'm not a RW pilot so I'm not sure :) but after watching so many in-cockpit videos in real world flights, i cannot help to think that there are always these little 'shakes' even in still winds. I know the camera holders dont have rock-steady hands, but the camera shakes are not all due to unsteady hands, but seems to also comefrom those little 'bumps' the plane makes. Am I correct to say that? That said, I always add Light/Moderate turbulence. Without these, the flight is soo steady (assuming you trimmed the plane well in level flight) that it feels i'm rinding on plane rolling on a rail :( And yes, my realism settings are all the way to the right. Your feedbacks are greatly appreciated.santiago

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Santiago,Very rarely did I ever fly or land with no wind (NJ/NY/PA). One time I flew into something like an updraft and my first reaction was to see if the 172 wings were still attached.I use RW weather when I fly in the sim.Jim

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I do agree with you that the planes are rolling like on a rail. I do like to add some winds and turbulences into the game through different weather situations as the pre set settings in FSX are good but there can be a lot more done about such things.I am using my latest airplane the CLS 747-200/300 and even in little to zero conditions the wings are moving up and down and flexing around which is very nice.But yes I do agree with you.

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As a former RW GA pilot I can tell you that I enjoyed a number of very smooth flights where you trim the plane up and she's very steady and there is very little sense of motion. Conditions like do not occur often requiring not only little to no wind, but also a lack of thermals and a stable air mass, but flight can be very smooth and steady. Temperature inversions sometimes produce very smooth flying conditions. RegardsMartin

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Agreed. Especially early in the morning before the thermals start up, it can be so smooth you can't tell you are moving.

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Yep, agreed. Flying over bodies of water is also usually more stable than when flying over terrain. Those pesky thermals...

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On the other hand, I have like one hour in a Cessna 172 purely as a passenger in the right hand front seat (which hey, was still very cool). It was in college 30 years ago, and the thing I remember most about the experience was the feeling that my life was in mortal danger. The wind just slammed this little aircraft up and down so violently, and it made such a tremendous racket that I thought I'd never, ever want to fly in such a death trap again.I kind of miss that in Flight Simulator ... the sensation of everything in the cockpit being rattled to within an inch of its life.

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I think FSX is a bit better than FS9 in this regard. The Acceleration Mustang especially feels less like its on rails. IMHO real weather is the way to go as there'll always be something there to make your plane deviate a bit. If you fly with "clear weather" selected then theres no wind or any pressure/direction shifts at all. I think the rattling noise you get in a real plane would help a lot with the sensation in the Sim, maybe that would be a selling point (DEVEPLOPERS TAKE NOTE).I'd like to hear my G&T sliding across the table and the overhead lockers rattling, the screaming babies and snoring businessmen... ahh bliss!

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I flew for an hour last evening. Winds were somewhat breezy at the airport. As it turns out, about 1/4th of the flight had light bounces, while 3/4's was very smooth. Plane was trimmed, and the ground/ lake slowly moved by underneath. I was only about 1500' above the surface of the Great Salt Lake, and paralleling a series of islands. But since the lake is large, the effect of moving is still "slow", although I was doing around 175 mph.L.Adamson

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Interesting part is to takeoff with mild to mid turbulance and reach 2,500 to 3,000 and everything turns glass smooth.Seems most of my training and cross country solo flights worked out that way. Always enjoyed reaching the smooth level but good practice is to stay in the "stuff" to gain confidence. After a while it becomes something you get used to. :(

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I also like the way some add-on developers implement sound effects, really a big plus IMHO in the immersion factor.Take the SF260 or the Citabria from RealAir Simulations for example.... that rush of wind as you gain airspeed, that shuddering sound of buffeting as you come to a near stall, coupled with visual shuderring effect...and oh... that rumbling sound of the undercarriage as your Citabria rolls on the pavement - music to my ears!! Add to that those little 'nuissances' made by moderate turbulence while in flight.... pull hard on that Spitfire and listen how your airframe sqeaks as it fights the stress, kinda like an immenent breakup haha.... you RW Pilots know what I mean ;) It's quite interesting to hear all your inputs based on your RW experiences, which I can only taste in the sim

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I always add some extra turbulence in FSX - really adds to the realism.I fly a 172SP Mon-Fri on traffic duties (we broadcast the live traffic news on UK radio stations). It's amazing how different the wind/turbulence can be from one hour to the next. Mornings are normally quite smooth (especially during the summer) while the afternoon and early evenings can be particularly turbulent due to the sun heating the ground below and the warm air rising. It gets quite uncomfortable at times!AdamG-UFCF

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It can actually be very smooth .. as smooth as cutting soft butter with a sharp knife. If weather is say foggy with temperature inversion it often indicates a very smooth flying at least during final approach. In my many cross country (RW) flights I rarely had to put up with annoying turbulence that would be noticeable to me or my passengers.

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At nighttime, I have flown through air smooth enough to allow me to trim for level flight, then keep it pointed in the intended direction of flight with small rudder inputs. Compare that to this past Saturday, when I was flying an AA5B on a LPV glideslope, 90kts indicated, 1700 rpm, and if I don't force the nose down, the updrafts keep me from descending or only give me about a 100 fpm descent. Ordinarily, that will produce about a 500-600 fpm descent!

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I tend to fly gliders in real life more than powered aircraft, so for me, turbulence is usually a good sign! But more importantly, the thermal activity which glider pilots seek is usually what is behind most turbulence, rather than wind alone, which tends to be responsible for more of the very high altitude turbulence, or stuff on the leeward side of a hill.In case you are unfamiliar with thermals, here's a quick explanation: The sun heats the ground and layer of warm air just above the surface of the ground keeps that heat trapped at low level until the ground gets hot enough to force warm air to burst through the low level layer, which is why glider pilots refer to thermals as 'popping'. The warm air of the thermal rises in a column and often rotates too, but it also has a lateral component as the wind shifts it along. Eventually, it cools enough to stop rising, most typically at between 1,500 and 3,000 feet, where the water vapour also condenses to form clouds, on warm days these are typically the fluffy cumulous clouds you see on a sunny day. Because the thermals drift with the wind, you will see these clouds forming into 'cloud streets' and you can often look back along them to see the likeliest source of the thermal activity, they often form along roads and downwind from towns, that sort of thing. typically you will find warm air rising in and under a cloud and spilling downwards on its edges, and it's the difference between this up and down motion which is usually behind most turbulence.Here's a fascinating fact for you about cumulous clouds: because of its water content, the average cumulous cloud weighs more than a Boeing 747.That fact highlights why turbulence can be very rough, as obviously enough energy to lift the weight of a 747 is no small thing. When there is a lot of energy and rising air, thermals will go up much higher and begin to form cumulonimbus clouds - the anvil shaped thunder clouds which get their flat tops from the cloud hitting an inversion layer higher up and spreading laterally on high winds. The energy in and around these coulds can be fearsome, I flew a glider around some of these thunderstorm clouds once and was almost flipped inverted by one and it literally felt like somebody was grabbing the back of my chair and shaking it as hard as they could. On more serene days, when you thermal in a glider, it feels very similar to that annoying thing you get in a cinema when someone is tapping their foot on the back of your seat, but if your wing flies through the edge of a thermal, it is often strong enough to tip a wing up quite noticeably.By contrast, one of the other sorts of lift you can find is 'wave lift' this when the wind blows over a series of undulating hills and the up and down motion of the wind as it passes over the hills propogates into a wave which can extend well up to the cruising heights of typical airliners. This kind of lift is noted for being very smooth indeed and is like sailing along on a millpond, although depending on what part of the wave you are in, you could be going up like a rocket with the surrounding air, or dropping like a stone as the air descends. Most power pilots are wary of this kind of thing, being most familiar with it as the 'rotor' which forms on the leeward side of hills, where the air curls back on itself downwards like the airflow at the back of a stalled wing. This can actually cause the air mass to descend so fast that it can overcome an aircraft's ability to climb and it can occasioanlly get turbulent where the wave changes direction. Several aircraft have been lost in circumstances such as this, including a United Airlines Boeing 737 which was in fact flipped inverted by a wave from the Rocky Mountains before it nose dived into the ground on approach to Colorado Springs.As some people have already pointed out, the air tends to be smoother in the early mornings and in the evenings, when the sunlight's beams have to go through more atmosphere before they hit the ground, because the sun is lower on the horizon, which means it heats the ground up a lot less. That incidentally is also why the sun looks more reddish at those times of the day, as the atmosphere absorbs more of the blue light from it because it passes through more of it before you see it. It is also why a 'red sky at night' is often indicative of good weather the following day, especially in Europe, because it means the sun can shine through a lot of clear atmosphere from the westerly direction in which it sets, which is often the direction the weather is coming from due to the prevailing westerly winds.In short, if you want a smooth flight, fly any time other than around midday.Al

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Night flying on a good day is generally very smooth! yup..just like in the sim. you may not feel any motion.

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I won't get overly "windy" with this post (pun intended). Have a lot of PIC time in C172's, C152's, and various other low wing GA aircraft as well (been a renter off and on for years, and when I wasn't renting, was flying my brother-in-law's Skyhawk 172XP II which I subsidised for the privelige of flying it when I wanted. ). When conditions are right and you get up early enough in the morning, it can be like hanging from a cable.Most of the time, it really is pretty smooth, and very often, it's not impossible to get in good enough trim to maintain an altitude, for 15 - 20 minutes, within +/- 50', sometimes for FAR (no pun intended) longer. Most often, only a thumb and index finger on the yoke are required, with little to no rudder input at all while maintaining straight and level flight. But you've gotta use the trim wheels, they are your best friends, next to a well functioning autopilot. :( Best Regards. :(

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