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Best simulator for Glider pilots?

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Hi all,

I would like to practice gliding more as I believe I am more passionate about it than jets or GA single-engines and it is something that I think I will be much more likely to do in reality from a financial point of view. Therefore I would like to train my skills up in gliding.

 

 

This brings me to which simulator would be best to train gliding? It should be realistic but also visually appealing which is a must for me.

 

I currently run FSX and P3d and have practiced in FSX with the DiscusX add-on and cumulusx/wingex.

 

Also it would be nice to fly online with other gliders live. I have not yet found a place to facilitate this.

 

Any pointers would be greatly appreaciated.

 

Thanks.

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I used to have Silent Wings, which was quite good.

 

I believe that the best one around today is Condor, although I'm happy to be told otherwise!!


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There are a few programs around that can alter the tug behaviour, add a winch launch, add thermals and even one to add ridge lift to FSX.

 

Go over to Wolfgang Piper's page and load some of his gliders.

 

Use a scenery design program or scenery object addon program to create your own glider fields and static gliders (in line for launch or parked.  Somewhere I have a library of static objects for gliders, winches, trailers, tractors, vehicles, buildings, barns, hangars, etc. (for RWY 12).

 

Add some photo scenery or create your own using FSEarthTiles.

 

Buy or create some mesh for the areas you like to fly in (in areas where the default is not good enough).

 

Then FSX makes a wonderful gliding platform.

 

IAN

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Completely forget about gliders in FSX / P3D, even using CumulusX!, unless you just want to have a glider model in your fsx fleet :-/

 

FSX's flight dynamics fall very short from the level of detail required to properly model a glider, and there are many reasons for that.

 

Condor and Silent-Wings are presently the only viable alternatives, unfortunately both stagnated long ago...

 

From the flight dynamics PoV, and even some details of soaring weather, I preferred SW to Condor, although the vast community of active Condor users, the smoothness you can run it at max settings on even an outdated rig, and the many online competitions available online, great to enter if Autumn / Winter time will render useless your visits to the airfield, and you have a "sort" of alternative at home, then try Condor...

 

Aerofly FS V2 could bring good news, but we know almost nothing about when it'll be come available and how...


Flight Simulation is the Virtual Materialization of a Dream...

Uninstalling flightsims is a temptation I can never resist...

 

 

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Must admit that I'd also forgotten about FSX as a soaring platform!

 

If you head over to the UK Virtual Gliding Association (UKVGA) then you will find links to lots of gliders, & also some sceneries & lift add-ons.

 

Well worth a visit!!


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Forget about gliders in FSX, totally unrealistic.

 

Give a try to Condor, you won't regret it. It was originally designed for competition training.

Great models (some payware packs), great sceneries (some websites offer unlimited downloads for a very small yearly fee), great dynamics, great weather, great community, tons of online competitions. Any modern average PC can run it, full options.

Most people there fly gliders IRL, and use condor during winter when real life gliding activity is quite low.

If you own a decent joystick +trackir, prepare for a lot of fun!


Emma C.

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Guest

+1 to Condor. I wouldn't even consider anything else for Gliding. Your comment that you might get into real gliding caught my attention. Why don't you go to your local gliding port and meet with the CFI for a chat about your options and perhaps take an introductory lesson. If you are not in a position to do that right now see if you can order a copy of the Training Manual for the Soaring Association of America www.ssa.org or the Soaring Association of Canada www.sac.ca. assuming you are in North America. I am sure there are other association for other countries but I am not familiar with them. Considering human factors, following RW procedure when simulating flight that you intend to do for real is important!

 

Here are some more handy links:

 

The forum here is very good and they welcome those who are new to gliding and they are mostly real world pilots.

http://www.virtualsoaring.eu/download

http://www.condor-club.eu/home/1/

 

Of course their is no harm in gliding in FSX just for fun:

http://www.fsglider.de/p_e.htm

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Check out Aerofly FS. Decent fotorealistic graphics and the best flight dynamics I have ever seen in a simulation.

 

The software is limited if you fly classic GA (not much system depth, no real navigation, very basic autopilot and planes don't use fuel and so on). But for gliding with a realistic feeling it is just awesome I think.

 

There are already some gliders as standard planes but also some payware addons meanwhile.

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Well, Aerofly FS looks great and its lots of fun but the gliders flight is not like the real thing and the thermals and ridge lift are only like there RW counter parts in that they make you go up:-)

 

Condor has by far the best modeling of Glider flight dynamics and the lift. There is nothing to compare with it.

It is however a DX7 Program so don't expect the graphics to be up to days standards.

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Never tried Condor so I can't compare.

What I find impressing with Aerofly in comparison to FSX and X10 is that you really have the feeling that you fly through air. And wind...feels like, well, wind. You really have to fight against it sometimes. Also if you fly near or low over a mountain you can feel updrafts and downdrafts. Quite nice.

Plus a stunning view out of the window.

I didn't know about Condor, guess I will check that out, too.

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Unortunately Condor has it's development stopped long ago.

 

True that almost every month new sceneries become available, or free, and they are excellent in terms of performance and effects, specially the mountains... Turbulence due to terrain effects aren't modeled as good as in Silent Wings, and even Aerofly FS IMO.

 

Aerofly FS is nice, that's true, and I look fwd for v2. But, even a turn in a glider, to catch a thermal, has it's effects way out of sync with reality. It would be disatrous if the RW gliders behaved that way on a turn, specially when tighter to stay in the thermal ....

 

Ridge lift and slope effects are also overdone, under most circumstances. You do not really have a thermal cycle modeled in Aerofly FS ( you have in Condor and SW ), nor does the simulation take into account important meteorlogical factors like inversion layer, temperature or even time of day...


Flight Simulation is the Virtual Materialization of a Dream...

Uninstalling flightsims is a temptation I can never resist...

 

 

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Thanks so much for the exhaustive replies guys. It is very appreciated.

 

I've just become realistic about my passion for flying and in Australia (which is where I currently live) it is very expensive to do you PPL and fuel costs, insurance, plane rental etc is only for  the wealthiest.

 

From what I hear, gliding should be way more affordable and gives you that feeling of literally flying with wings possibly much more than GA single engine flying. Also what I have always loved is the possibility to interact with the terrain in some way, such as in ridge soaring. Something that is probably much more dangerous in a cessna and most of the time you end up flying across the terrain at 3000+ ft. You don't really interact with terrain, or fly past some incredible mountain ridges in close proximity etc.

Not sure if that makes sense, it's more how I feel about it.

 

In that way I believe gliding suits me much better anyway aside from the obvious cost savings. I simply love the pure interaction with nature, be that sailing, kite surfing and now perhaps gliding.

 

I will purchase Condor and try to work my way into the scenery and glider models.

 

Is ther any real world weather for Condor (like Active Sky Next)? Or any texture programs such as Rex? I've got all that purchased for my FSX...

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Good decision making cencored, and Australia is a great place for gliding!!!

 

There is no ASN for Condor because the weather modeling is self contained in the soaring sim, unlike FSX where you need an external program to create good weather situations using detailled algorithms...

 

There are nonetheless graphic enhancements for clouds. Browse their forums and you'll certainly fins many, including freeware and payware.

 

Creating an account and paying for a whole year golden downloads and condor-club.eu is also very good.


Flight Simulation is the Virtual Materialization of a Dream...

Uninstalling flightsims is a temptation I can never resist...

 

 

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If you actually want to practice gliding forget FSX, it's totally rubish. Condor is by far the place to go, the feeling and dynamics are really accurate. All of the guys on my (now previous) soaring club used this to practice while off season.

 

Next to the core, there are still new sceneries being developped every so many weeks and you can find plenty online matches.


"If flying was the language of man, then soaring would be it's poetry"

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Yes, unfortunately competition gliding in FSX requires cohones, and a lot of work to get it realistic. It does not cater for the "instant gratification" brigade. Much like achieving real world wings. I believe that the UK Virtual Gliding association has a 1% graduation rate, and a growing number of regulars most of whom are real world pilots. Food for thought..........

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