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Guest danny68

Gliding in FSX

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Am I the only sim-pilot who didn't know that airflow over terrain in FSX can generate lift?I was trying to land a light aircraft at Dutch Harbour, Alaska and found strong lift on final for rnwy 30.Switching to the fsx sailplane, I confirmed the lift which extended up to 13,000ft and climbing. The lift is mainly hill-lift into wind but thermal lift over concrete airfields also exists.I have confirmed this in NZ and in Corsica so far. Any comments?

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It's in the Learning Center in FSX and many posts on this forum.You can turn on thermals to see them visually, and you can turn them off in the weather settings.

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You can also add thermals wherever you want with the Object Placement Tool that comes in the FSX Deluxe's SDK. As you were mentioning above, terrain can generate lift, and so if you find a place where there should be lift and there isn't, you can add a thermal with the Object Placement Tool. If you don't now how to setup or use the Object Placement Tool, there is a great, step-by-step guide on how to do this in the Avsim library called, Make Scenery with the Object Placement Tool by Luis F

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I'm under the impression that FSX doesn't automatically generate ridge lift but will generate thermals based on landclass information. Could someone please confirm or deny this? If FSX doesn't auto generate ridge lift, does anybody know of a weather add-on that will? Is proper ridge lift not possible in FSX (placing a thermal on the windward side of a hill doesn't count...)ThanksDavid

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Hi David,>I'm under the impression that FSX doesn't automatically>generate ridge lift but will generate thermals based on>landclass information. Could someone please confirm or deny>this? You're completely right. The information where to generate thermals is stored in the ThermalDescriptions.xml (editable) in the main FSX folder, and of course in the active landclass files. If thermals actually occur depends on the season and daytime (during winter or night you won't get thermals; not sure if the weather is evaluated as well, but under a stratus blanket should be no thermals); this is hard-coded as well as the density of thermals.Btw, if you don't have SP1 you should update, as the ThermalDescriptions.xml got major improvements for more realistic and varied thermals.>If FSX doesn't auto generate ridge lift, does anybody>know of a weather add-on that will? Is proper ridge lift not>possible in FSX (placing a thermal on the windward side of a>hill doesn't count...)Ridge lift depends on the terrain topography and thus cannot be autogenerated on a landclass basis. There would an algorithm be needed that evaluates direction, strength, extent and smoothness of terrain slopes in the aircraft's vicinity (say next 5 miles) from the bgl file in use and calculates lift using actual wind data...I don't know any addon that does this.It is however possible to create real ridge lift by using the SDK, evaluating the terrain by hand (the automatically shaded depiction of terrain bgl's in the TmfViewer helps a lot), placing ridge lift boxes and compiling them into a freeware bgl ;-). Would take some days of spare time for a mountainous gliding area of some 10000 km2, I suppose.Cheers

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I had a problem with the thermals recently which others have as well. It happens at many airports. At Sedona, KSEZ, I am unable to land an aircraft during the day because of the tremendous lift that begins and stays over the plateau. Perpetual ground effect is what it looks like. The only remedy is to disable the thermaldescriptions.xml or simply turn off thermals for landing. I tried changing the landclass in the area and over the airport to cool tiles using EZ Landclass, but this did not fix the problem. So I think it is NOT an issue of landclass but rather some code that does in fact set the parameters for ridge lift, caused in this case by the plateau. It's too bad you can't place downdraft with the object placement tool to counteract the effect!

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I haven't really got in to gliding yet but must give it a go.I used to fly radio controlled gliders but to be honest was never that good.I used to watch these guys ridge soar and it was fasniating. They could keep their gliders up for hours at a time in even the slightest of winds.I tried this several times but always just went down.So even with good ridge lift it still takes a lot of skill.Dan

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Well, there are gliders and then there are gliders. I am by no means an expert in the field, but since the release of FSX, I've been watching the glider scene a bit more closely.There are two basic types of gliders: aerobatic and soaring, although there are many variations on those two themes. The glider in FSX is designed for soaring, and as such is quite easy to fly. Even better, you can turn visuals on to simulate thermals to make it easier to stay aloft. Flying a glider in FSX is much easier than flying a real-world RC glider, which I would think are more closely modelled to be acrobatic -- I could easily be wrong though. The other great thing about FSX gliders (apart from the peaceful soaring and the great cockpit views) is that a glider tends to be very frame-rate friendly, so you should get smooth, sweet flight performance during your soar into the skies. Jeff ShylukSenior Staff Reviewer, Avsim

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I would agree it's easier gliding than RC gliders. I'm not sure I would agree most RC planes are acrobatic by nature. Certainly though becuase of the fact small things are more robust by nature most RC gliders can easilly handel acrobatics.This has got me thinking. I talked some time ago to a real glider pilot and one of the things he was shooting for was a 100 mile round trip. I wonder if that would be possible in FSX?Dan

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