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jcomm

The Perfect Soaring flight environment....

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I was able to test and definitely adhere to what I might call a perfect conbination:

 

FSX ( Gold ) + AS2012 + CumulusX!

 

CumulusX! is probably not a very well known product, it's getting old, but still provides very interesting algorithms for populating the area around your aircraft, particlularly if a glider, with various types of lift and sink or turbulence that we find in real life.

 

While CumulusX! does it's work very well, it lacks a proper weather environment to feed it's algorithms, and that's one of the main problems with default FSX weather. AS2012 provides us with what I still consider to be the most complete and detailled weather injection / simulation program available for microsoft flight simulator.

 

AS2012 already includes the possibility to simulate thermals and ridge lift, using the default models provided by FSX and the Acceleration pack together with it's own algorithms to place thermal objects and ridge lift, but while doing an acceptable job in this area, it is not it's speciality. On the other hand, on providing the most realistic cloud type / coverage / visibility / temperature and pressure as well as accurate winds at various levels, AS2012 feeds CumulusX! with just what it needs to do it's job.

 

I turn off the thermal and ridge effects in AS2012 when I use it coupled to CumukusX!. I also deactivate FSUIPC when using either or both AS2012 and CumulusX! because I do not use fancy hardware, and I found that FSUIPC appears to interphere with wind / turbulence and shear / up and down draughts generated by these two programs.

 

One of the main advantages is, specially from a RL glider pilot, the chance to "fly" your glider and try at home your tasks using the closest to real weaather environment that can be provided in FSX.

 

I also suggest the use of good glider models to go with this successful combination, such as Aerosoft's DiscusX.

 

Also, while I do not own such add-ons, enhanced mesh and landclass scenery helps CumulusX! in providing even more fine / detailed effects.


Don't know, but to me MFS looks a lot like the "Barbie" of desktop flight simulation...

Doesn't matter - I like to play with Barbies...

 

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I agree completely.

 

I have AS2012 thermals and ridge lift turned off in the options. I once had a problem with 8 second game freezes, which I eventually traced to the creation of thermals in Active Sky.

 

CumulusX has instructions on removing the stock "world class" thermals from FSX, a simple file rename and I recommend doing this.

 

An unregistered version of CumulusX is good enough that you don't have to register, but doing so has a few advantages. The most important one, for me, is that thermals cause wing left towards the center of the thermal, making it much easier to center in a thermal.

 

CumulusX provides special clouds which mark the location of thermals. These clouds look good, and cast shadows on the ground. They are slightly different from the normal FSX clouds so you can identify them, but they blend well with FSX clouds.

 

Using CumulusX along with AS2012 is quite a treat. CumulusX will read the weather conditions and provide the necessary thermals and clouds at the same altitude as the AS2012 clouds when possible. CumulusX also provides good ridge lift, and adds some "texture" to the atmosphere so you never feel like you're "flying on rails". I occasionally fly powered aircraft with CumulusX running just for the atmosphere effects.

 

The DiscusX sailplane mentioned above comes with a registered copy of WinchX, which will allow winch launches without a tow plane. You won't need to do a separate purchase.

 

Hook


Larry Hookins

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

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CumulusX has instructions on removing the stock "world class" thermals from FSX, a simple file rename and I recommend doing this.

 

Hook, thanks a lot for reminding me of this! It's been a long time since I last had installed it, and I had completely forgotten about this rather important step!

 

;-)


Don't know, but to me MFS looks a lot like the "Barbie" of desktop flight simulation...

Doesn't matter - I like to play with Barbies...

 

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Do you recommend it for non-glider planes?

 

CumulusX will give a realistic feel to weather that has thermals. It also adds a "texture" of slowly rising and sinking air between thermals. The thermals not only have updraft in the center and downdraft around the edges, but also have turbulence in between these layers.

 

I'll occasionally use CumulusX with powered aircraft to remove the "flying on rails" feeling you get in perfectly smooth air, with or without winds. CumulusX does not interfere with FSX turbulence or gusting conditions. If you're flying mainly airliners, you won't get much if any effect at the flight levels: thermals only happen in the convection layer between the ground and the first level of clouds.

 

It probably gives the most realistic representation of atmospheric effects, although some people will find it to be a nuisance. You don't need to register CumulusX to get most of the benefit unless you want to do soaring.

 

Oh yes... if you have thermals active there will be a slow widespread sink in the area between them as air has to move down to replace the air rising in the thermals. Also, in the colder months there won't be much thermal activity at all, so all effects will be reduced.

 

Hook


Larry Hookins

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

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