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Contrails

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So, one thing I've never really messed with in FS is contrails.  I know there are some payware products out there for this, but, those aside, what can I do to make the contrails a bit better?  I was able to find a freeware item to improve the look but I'm not 100% sure what changes I can make that will not only make the contrails actually appear when they should but also make them last an amount of time that is a bit more real.

 

If anyone can help with this I'd appreciate it.

 

Thanks!

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There is a freeware program that will modify the aircraft.cfg files of your installed aircraft to include a new effects entry that lengthens and improves the look of contrails. I think it also allows you to set the temperature at which the trails will appear. I can't recall the name I'm sorry to say as I used it a long time ago and continue to use the modified files for my AI aircraft. But it worked well and if you do a search of the library you should find it.

 

It is definitely worth doing IMO - I recently did a simulated interception using the radar in the CS F104 and once the radar helped me get the target at my 12 o'clock I was able to get a visual by following the contrail - it was pretty cool! 

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If memory serves, after installing a new low-cost video card with 1 GB of RAM, I got a dramatic improvement in how the contrails appeared.  Also, adjusting the various "sliders" in the display settings made a difference (I used to have 2-D contrails).

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I know about what's out there.  The question was how to get them configured.  Things like temperature need to be set and I don't know what they should be set to.  Things like that.

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There is a freeware program that will modify the aircraft.cfg files of your installed aircraft to include a new effects entry that lengthens and improves the look of contrails. I think it also allows you to set the temperature at which the trails will appear. I can't recall the name I'm sorry to say as I used it a long time ago and continue to use the modified files for my AI aircraft. But it worked well and if you do a search of the library you should find it.

 

It is definitely worth doing IMO - I recently did a simulated interception using the radar in the CS F104 and once the radar helped me get the target at my 12 o'clock I was able to get a visual by following the contrail - it was pretty cool! 

 

 

Can anyone else shed some more light?

 

I know about what's out there.  The question was how to get them configured.  Things like temperature need to be set and I don't know what they should be set to.  Things like that.

I must have missed that...

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Jan Rosenberg (AI_fx.zip) suggests -27C.

 

This, from the Readme: " In FS2004, I tested this effect in Florida. With default ground temp of 59 deg F, the contrails occurred anywhere from 24000 to 26000 ft with the "max" temp set to -27 deg C. By setting the "max" temp to this lower value I seem to get the high-altitude contrails more often with AI aircraft."

 

Dorian

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I must have missed that...

Check out the initial post...

..."what changes I can make that will not only make the contrails actually appear when they should but also make them last an amount of time that is a bit more real."

Jan Rosenberg (AI_fx.zip) suggests -27C.

 

This, from the Readme: " In FS2004, I tested this effect in Florida. With default ground temp of 59 deg F, the contrails occurred anywhere from 24000 to 26000 ft with the "max" temp set to -27 deg C. By setting the "max" temp to this lower value I seem to get the high-altitude contrails more often with AI aircraft."

 

Dorian

That doesn't really make sense to me.  He is saying the contrails appeared anywhere from 24-26000 with the temp set to -27.  Then he says by setting it to this lower value he got contrails more often.  If he is saying he is suggesting changing the max to -27, what is the default number?

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We are not mind readers, we don't know what utilities you have, we don't know what you consider "more real", we don't know where and how you fly.

 

Use the mentioned utilities and set things up the way YOU want to. There is no right way-wrong way, it's a hobby where you tinker, adjust, modify, fly and then start all over again.

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We are not mind readers, we don't know what utilities you have, we don't know what you consider "more real", we don't know where and how you fly.

 

Use the mentioned utilities and set things up the way YOU want to. There is no right way-wrong way, it's a hobby where you tinker, adjust, modify, fly and then start all over again.

More real means they last as long as they should depending on the conditons, appearing when they should, etc.  Things shouldn't have to be adjusted one way for conditions A and another way for conditions B.

 

It's not like this stuff hasn't been discused before so I'm not sure why this thread has become what it has.  All I was asking was for some common sense and a little help getting things configured to be slightly more realistic when it comes to contrails from those who have already gone through it.  As stated initially, contrail "tinkering" is not something I have messed with in the past.

 

As far as no right way-wrong way, I disagree.  In my opinion, the right way is as realistic as possible given what there is to work with.  The wrong way is tweaking things to be unrealistic on purpose.  If I knew how to adjust things, regarding the topic at hand, to be the right way I wouldn't have needed to ask for help to begin with.

 

It seems like the last couple of years asking for help in these forums has changed and I'm not sure why.  Maybe I'm just getting old.

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The free program "FlusiFix" amongst many other useful things allows modification to contrails.

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More real means they last as long as they should depending on the conditons, appearing when they should, etc.  Things shouldn't have to be adjusted one way for conditions A and another way for conditions B.

 

Winter, Summer, Spring, or Fall?

N Hemisphere or S Hemisphere?

What weather input, because all of this depends on the air temperature?

 

 


It's not like this stuff hasn't been discused before so I'm not sure why this thread has become what it has. 

 

So what past discussions did you read and what were the conclusions made?

 

 

 


Maybe I'm just getting old.

 

No, it's just our E.S.P. isn't what it once was!!

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The general consensus is that -27C is default. Discussions on various fora (Google: FS9 default contrail max temp and you will get 14600 hits) suggest a range between -25C (a tad too warm for contrail formation) and -30C. 

 

Dorian

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The general consensus is that -27C is default. Discussions on various fora (Google: FS9 default contrail max temp and you will get 14600 hits) suggest a range between -25C (a tad too warm for contrail formation) and -30C. 

 

Dorian

Then I'm really confused.  What is the info above saying that is supposed to be from some ReadMe document?  And what do you mean by hits?

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My apologies. Further investigation, specifically of the default b737_400 aircraft, shows the max temp at which MS decided that contrails should appear is set at -30C (in the GeneralEngineData section of the aircraft.cfg file).

 

Jan Rosenberg looked into the actual mechanics of the contrail.fx effect and tinkered with both the look and duration of the effect. His work is available in the file AI-FX.zip and it is from this Readme that I was quoting. If you are still confused then I suggest you contact him.

 

As for "hits" ... that's the number of page returns when you Google "FS9 default contrail max temp".

 

Dorian

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I still don't get it.  So that's what it shows.  Is that a good number or a bad number?  And whichever it is, the temperature number is something that is set per aircraft?  So each aircraft has to be changed separately?  Not something that is global?

 

And is it ai_fx.zip or ai-fx.zip?  Are we talking about two different files?

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"I still don't get it.  So that's what it shows.  Is that a good number or a bad number?"

 

Just to show you that Google is your friend and that the subject has been discussed previously. You could have searched it out for yourself.

 

"And whichever it is, the temperature number is something that is set per aircraft?"

 

Yes.

 

"So each aircraft has to be changed separately?"

 

Unless you have a horde of friendly elves hidden away in a cupboard somewhere who are prepared to change the numbers for you, yes.

 

"Not something that is global?"

 

Do a Library search for "Contrails"

 

"And is it ai_fx.zip or ai-fx.zip?"

 

High-Altitude Contrail 50 Miles Long

 

File Description:
FS2004 High-altitude contrail 50 miles long. Use w/ default AI aircraft. High- altitude contrails are now enabled by MS for use on each aircraft, jet or prop, single or multi-engine, by using the FS9 version of the aircraft.cfg "EFFECTS" section to specify them. The temperature below which the contrails occur can also be defined in aircraft.cfg by the user. Included in d/l are new AI contrail, and revised aircraft.cfg w/folder structure to make a extra "AI" copy of default AC. This allows default(or other)contrail to be used for "hand" flying same aircraft. Easy manual installation with all new filenames.


Filename: ai_fx.zip License: Freeware Added: 28th September 2003, 19:12:42 Downloads: 14356 Author: Jan Rosenberg Size: 91kb

 

"Are we talking about two different files?"

 

No, I was simply suffering a case of fat finger syndrome.

 

Dorian

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"I still don't get it.  So that's what it shows.  Is that a good number or a bad number?"

 

Just to show you that Google is your friend and that the subject has been discussed previously. You could have searched it out for yourself.

 

"And whichever it is, the temperature number is something that is set per aircraft?"

 

Yes.

 

"So each aircraft has to be changed separately?"

 

Unless you have a horde of friendly elves hidden away in a cupboard somewhere who are prepared to change the numbers for you, yes.

 

"Not something that is global?"

 

Do a Library search for "Contrails"

 

"And is it ai_fx.zip or ai-fx.zip?"

 

High-Altitude Contrail 50 Miles Long

 

File Description:

FS2004 High-altitude contrail 50 miles long. Use w/ default AI aircraft. High- altitude contrails are now enabled by MS for use on each aircraft, jet or prop, single or multi-engine, by using the FS9 version of the aircraft.cfg "EFFECTS" section to specify them. The temperature below which the contrails occur can also be defined in aircraft.cfg by the user. Included in d/l are new AI contrail, and revised aircraft.cfg w/folder structure to make a extra "AI" copy of default AC. This allows default(or other)contrail to be used for "hand" flying same aircraft. Easy manual installation with all new filenames.

Filename: ai_fx.zip License: Freeware Added: 28th September 2003, 19:12:42 Downloads: 14356 Author: Jan Rosenberg Size: 91kb

 

"Are we talking about two different files?"

 

No, I was simply suffering a case of fat finger syndrome.

 

Dorian

Thanks for the clairification.  On most of it.  I still don't know about the temperature though.  You said I could have search for it myself, and I suppose that's true.  But, the reason why I come to this forum for questions is because I've had pretty good luck with people not only willing to help but who are able to help because they have had the issues/problems/resolutions themselves.

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And, as I have already stated, the general consensus amongst simmers, given the limitations of FS9 as a realistic simulation platform, is -27C.

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Just throwing the cat amidst the pigeons ... if I'm reading this correctly, the Appleman Chart suggests a range anywhere between -26.15C and -69.61C, dependent upon hPa (pressure) and RH (relative humidity).

 

Personally, I have no idea how well the simulator models these situations at altitude, so it might be that the MS default of -30C may be a good enough compromise for FS9. Who knows?

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