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meerkat

FSX's Ridiculous Thermals (ACES please read)

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Flying in calm winds around many parts of the world it doesn't take too long to run into a thermal. The problem is these thermals are so far from realistic it ruins the enjoyment of the flight. They are MUCH stronger than the vast majority of real life thermals and are more representative of the vertical air movement found in thunder storms.FSX has improved the feel of turbulence from FS2004 and I have no complaints there, therefore I want to tone down the thermal activity to a more realistic degree whilst keeping FSX turbulence as it is.ACES? How do I achieve this?I notice in the fsx.cfg there is this setting:TurbulenceScale=1.000000However would this effect thermals? (I am guessing that it won't and only serve to harm the current turbulence experienced in game which I am happy with).I am not the only person complaining about this. See the following thread: http://www.visualflight.co.uk/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6485PLEASE: Give us a parameter in the config file to disable/adjust the strength of thermals or separate the option to disable turbulence/thermals.

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I live & fly around mountainous areas. While I've run into some pretty good real life thermals, FSX may have a few more than the norm, per hours flown, but I don't feel they're excessive in air movement. IMO, there not even close to what could be experienced in a thunderstorm. I read the thread, and disagree with several thoughts on the subject.L.Adamson

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over on the other big flightsim website they have a revised thermals xml that I find is a lot better... it actually works based on the landclass it is near, and in rocky/desert area has those big big thermals, and a little more realistic in flatlands...try it!

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FSX models turbulence worse than FS9. It is constant and predictable and based upon imaginary weather. It also seems to be built into some planes, especially the cessnas. Doesn't affect choppers or the bigger ones.

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There is no single parameter you can set to get more realistic thermals. They are coded in the ThermalDescriptions.xml.Download the thermaldescriptions_11.zip from the AVSIM file library - there are 4 sorts of thermals with different, more relaistic strengths (lift, ceiling) and smaller diameter so you really have to circle. Also the assignment of thermal types to the landclasses is changed.I will try to further improve this, but it needs some time and feedback.BTW, the "other big flightsim site" has illegaly publishesd my file - I didn't upload it to them and the zip file doesn't contain the Avsim.diz file (no wonder).But I suppose this happens often and so I don't care too much.Have fun!

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>There is no single parameter you can set to get more>realistic thermals. They are coded in the>ThermalDescriptions.xml.>Download the thermaldescriptions_11.zip from the AVSIM file>library - there are 4 sorts of thermals with different, more>relaistic strengths (lift, ceiling) and smaller diameter so>you really have to circle. Also the assignment of thermal>types to the landclasses is changed.>I will try to further improve this, but it needs some time and>feedback.>>BTW, the "other big flightsim site" has illegaly publishesd my>file - I didn't upload it to them and the zip file doesn't>contain the Avsim.diz file (no wonder).>But I suppose this happens often and so I don't care too>much.>>Have fun!>Thank you! Have downloaded and installed your changes and will go do some testing. :-)

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No disrespect but if you live in a mountain area and fly in a mountain area you will find most the thermals you get are not thermals but ridge lift. Ridge lift can be a lot stronger than thermals when winds are strong.I have limited hours flying for real but I've never experienced the same kind of thermal lift in real life that FSX produces. At a guess I would say FSX is about 2 to 3 times more agressive than is realistic. That said I fly in the UK and other parts of the world could be very different. It is most likely the original poster is UK based or at least from Europe.I've never flown in mountains and I guess had I done so I would better be able to appreciate the kind of upwinds that one gets.In FSX the mountain lift feels about right to me but I'm just guessing.Peter

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>No disrespect but if you live in a mountain area and fly in a>mountain area you will find most the thermals you get are not>thermals but ridge lift. Ridge lift can be a lot stronger than>thermals when winds are strong.>That's true. We also have the lakes, the dry lake beds, and even a nearby "ridge" that is world famous for hang gliding. Since thermal/lift ridge code in a flight sim is "trickery" anyway, I haven't made exact comparisons between the two, even though there is no doubt that some ridge lift is modeled as I often encounter it. But in any case, I have not experienced anything close to what you'd find in a thunderstorm.L.Adamsonedit: lot's of desert area around here also.

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What I am referring to more specifically is flying around the UK particular in early morning or evening and encountering thermals which gives 3000-4000fpm lift despite pointing nose down and adding power. Now whilst my real life flying has been limited to europe I have not encountered this in real life and wouldn't expect to at these times of the day.The exception to that was flying with another pilot with a heavy overcast and running in to the edges of an imbedded thunderstorm, then we saw the climb rate needle go off the clock and it took a severe nose down attitude and full power to slow the ascent. We rapidly conducted a 180 and were fortunately able to get clear (why I am still here to write this).Perhaps I was exaggerating slightly with my description of the FSX thermals, however it isn't much of an exaggeration. The ones found at least in this part of the FSX world exceed what you would find in real life by a huge margin even on the warmest days.There is however one perhaps more accurate observation made, it could well be related to the size of the thermal. In real life I will tend to fly through thermals in a very short space of time and therefore not notice the actual strength of the lift to the degree a glider remaining in the thermal would. So perhaps in FSX the thermals are too large in terms of area and therefore experiencing the lift over an extended period.I keep an open mind on this, but all I am certain of that thermals currently in FSX in Europe are not realistic.

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>What I am referring to more specifically is flying around the>UK particular in early morning or evening and encountering>thermals which gives 3000-4000fpm lift despite pointing nose>down and adding power. Now whilst my real life flying has been>limited to europe I have not encountered this in real life and>wouldn't expect to at these times of the day.>I have not been getting anywhere close to 3000-4000fpm, not even half of that. But I haven't been simming in the UK or any other European area either, as of yet. L.Adamson

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meerkat, thanks for your upgrade for thermals! Sorry about the highjack at "the other big flightsim site", maybe they will take it down if you want and ask them to.I have found it more realistic for where I am flying in northern europe, canada, and texas (places where I have the most low and slow real flight time)Your thermals simulating ridge lift are a pretty respectable solution in colorado, where I've also tested, but could perhaps be a little larger in radius, or if you could reduce the amount of downdraft near the outside of the lift area. In a bonanza I was at 12,500 climbing over the hills northwest of Alamosa, Colorado into some pretty massive 3-4000 fpm thermals in real life during the summer, with almost nil downdraft the whole route... Over christmas here with a few round trips between Austin, Texas and Montrose, Colorado in a turbocharged 2006 C182 (sweet ride by the way) I found myself riding over the top of some pretty intense mountain waves. +3000fpm for 2-5 minutes slowly decreasing to -3000 fpm (or -2000fpm at Vy actually) starting nearly 50 nautical miles leeward of the hills. Quite scary if you are coming from the leeward side, but I was still high enough to ensure I was above the rotor clouds. In those 50 miles I fought the downslope and rode the upslope until I crossed the ridge at 16,500 (starting again at 12,500). Gotta love those oxygen masks!one last thing, have you seen the show meerkat manor?cheers!

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Jonasbeaver,I got a little bit envious reading about your wave lift ride... Only flying on my old PC :-(And no, I don't know this show - I'm German.For the thermals - I think this file must be further refined - I did not really want to simulate ridge lift with thermals, as thermals work regardless of wind speed, but the ridge lift as it is implemented in FSX is proportional to wind speed.BUT ridge lift objects must be hand made as no automatical algorithm exists (look for steep and high ridges in the mesh, consider their compass direction, look if they can have lift on both sides if the wind comes from opposite direction, consider their lateral dimensions). So this would be an enormous, but valuable task.So for now I made some strong, high thermals that work over rocky landclass to have some chance that this "wave lift like" effect occurs in the right place.BTW, if you suspect somwhere to have ridge lift, turn on the "schematic thermal visualization" in the display settings (weather tab) an check - thermals have green spirals, ridge lift is invisible.Cheers

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