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Waldo Pepper

"Soaring Weather for MSFS"

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https://flightsim.to/file/56827/soaring-weather

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Sim Soaring Club presents: 

Soaring Weather for MSFS

soaring-weather-44926-1687080502-oRqI1.j

The goal of these presets is to provide flyable conditions, in a wide variety of geographical locations, be it over flat terrain or in the mountains and at the same time maintain a realistic look of the weather.

To achieve this goal we optimised relevant variables and created workarounds for various MSFS quirks.

After hundreds of hours of research and feedback from real pilots we believe to have found a compromise that best mitigates the current issues with lift in MSFS.

This download contains 8 variations of the SSC Soaring Weather preset, for 8 different wind directions, allowing you to glide anywhere in the world.

How to install:

Simply copy the .WPR files to the correct location and select them in-game from the weather presets menu.

MS Store version: C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.FlightSimulator_[random-letters-&-numbers]\LocalState\Weather\Presets 

Steam version: C:\Users\[Your Name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\Weather\Presets

 

To successfully fly long distances in a glider it is important to understand the weather in MSFS.

The SSC Soaring Weather features 2 sources of lift for glider pilots:

1. Thermals (rising air associated with clouds)
2. Ridge lift (created by wind flowing over mountains)

 

Prerequisites:
In order to find decent thermals, flights should be done in summer around noon hours.
Time of Day and Season play a big role in determining the thermal strength.
These factors are not part of the presets and have to be set by the pilot himself.

 

Thermals:
The presets include clouds that feature thermals of up to 10 knots of vertical wind below cloud base at 2000 m above ground level, and slowly decreasing the higher you fly above cloud base.
Due to how msfs works, these thermals can be found a little offset to the windward side of the cloud (not directly below the cloud). The larger, higher and denser the cloud is looking, the bigger is the chance to find good lift.
MSFS also simulates hot air rising from the sun heating terrain, but this is completely independent from cloud formation, and cannot be controlled by a weather preset, as it solely depends on the time of day, season and wind speed among other things.

Ridge lift:
MSFS is doing an ok job at simulating air flowing over mountains, with the exception of the fact that under many circumstances lift can be found at altitudes high above the ridges, which is quite unrealistic.
To work around this fact, the presets are set up in AGL mode, featuring several wind layers at different altitudes above ground level (as opposed to altitude above sea level).
To produce ridge lift, you will find wind speeds of around 15 kts close to the surface (be it in a valley or on a mountain peak). As in real life this lift only reaches a couple of 1000 ft above the terrain, due to the addition of multiple wind layers of decreasing wind speeds in the preset, meaning you have to fly pretty close to the mountains in order to benefit from the ridge lift.

Note:

These weather presets control the lift by manipulating the wind so you will see wind speeds reducing significantly as you rise above slopes but this seems the optimal compromise to get realistic ridge-lift conditions.

They were designed to work universally for thermal- and ridge soaring. Feel free to finetune the windlayers and cloud altitudes for your specific flights.

 

Tips:
 

  • For best conditions fly during summer at noon.
  • Pick a preset with a favourable wind direction depending on your flight plan.
  • Find thermals on the windward side of clouds (not directly under clouds).
  • For best lift in the mountains fly between 500 - 1500 feet above the ground.
  • Fly over terrain easily heated by the sun (cities, rocks, beaches)
  • Consider setting the Turbulence option to medium for a smoother flight (Assistance Settings>Piloting)

 

The Sim Soaring Club is a friendly community of over 1300 pilots, flying gliders in MSFS and hosting multiple group flights every week.

Join us on discord: https://discord.gg/9MGpR6H77N


Contributing pilots:
ANRI, B21, Biggles, Georg & all active members of the Sim Soaring Club.

Happy Soaring!

 

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Out of interest as i havent flown gliders in MSFS yet: Is the live weather not good for it atm?


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58 minutes ago, ThomseN_inc said:

Out of interest as i havent flown gliders in MSFS yet: Is the live weather not good for it atm?

Unless you have favourable finds for ridge lift the answer is no. The thermals the sim generates are terrible. With live weather you'll always need favourable conditions at the place and time you want fly anyway.

I didn't have much time to try the presets posted by the OP but right off the gate I'll say this is excellent. Very real and immersive for me. Thermals are centred using virtually textbook technique and adjustment for staying centred work reasonably well too. In the short flight I just had I'd say best all round sim soaring experience to date.

I'll be back at it when I have some time, for sure.

Edited by FBW737
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1 minute ago, FBW737 said:

Unless you have favourable finds for ridge lift the answer is no. The thermals the sim generates are terrible. With live weather you'll always need favourable conditions at the place and time you want fly anyway.

That's like real life actually. Not always nice weather. Often you just launch and land within 6 to 8 minutes if there's no thermal. 

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3 minutes ago, bigifooti said:

That's like real life actually. Not always nice weather. Often you just launch and land within 6 to 8 minutes if there's no thermal. 

You took the words right out of my mouth.


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42 minutes ago, ThomseN_inc said:

Out of interest as i havent flown gliders in MSFS yet: Is the live weather not good for it atm?

SSC flies a live weather event every Wednesday.   Sometimes the live weather is easy,   other times it's pretty difficult.  For instance,  I out-landed during the last Wednesday event.   But I still rather enjoyed the challenge.

Crashed into a mountain ridge.  🙃 I'm always my own worst enemy,  because at times I ignore my own rules and I like doing things the hard way.  I don't like following anyone.  This time I was flying near stall speed and encountered 15 knots of sink.  Broke my own rule,  paid the price.

That's why I like soaring.  Every second is a wager.  Ever second is a new decision.  It feels good when you make the right decisions.

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13 minutes ago, bigifooti said:

That's like real life actually. Not always nice weather. Often you just launch and land within 6 to 8 minutes if there's no thermal. 

Often? IRL an experienced glider pilot will be reading the METAR etc and looking at sky and even be aware of thermals kicking off the ground near them to determine whether to launch or not. Good pilots will go in marginal condition. Average pilots like me won't go unless the conditions are good. It's not just a matter of taking off and hoping for the best. Either way you look at it, the thermals in MSFS are rubbish and cannot be centred unless something significant has changed since last time I tried which is months ago.

Edited by FBW737
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22 minutes ago, FBW737 said:

Often? IRL an experienced glider pilot will be reading the METAR etc and looking at sky and even be aware of thermals kicking off the ground near them to determine whether to launch or not. Good pilots will go in marginal condition. Average pilots like me won't go unless the conditions are good. It's not just a matter of taking off and hoping for the best. Either way you look at it, the thermals in MSFS are rubbish and cannot be centred unless something significant has changed since last time I tried which is months ago.

What is below average pilot? 😛 because I went knowing (i only could go on sundays). It's good for training and flying with a club you could get a flight every 1.5 hr "hoping" the weather would improve along the day... or not a then you went to the field to help in the hangar. 

Edited by bigifooti

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1 hour ago, bigifooti said:

What is below average pilot? 😛 because I went knowing (i only could go on sundays). It's good for training and flying with a club you could get a flight every 1.5 hr "hoping" the weather would improve along the day... or not a than you went to the field to help in the hangar. 

So this conversation makes no difference to the fact that when you fly a glider in the sim at mid day in summer with well developed CU and by all experience it would be a reasonably expectation to find lift under many of those clouds and sink in between them and be able to centre those thermals in a glider and climb to cloud base I could not find that the Sim even remotely delivered on those expectation so at the risk of repeating myself. "Unless you have favourable winds for ridge lift the answer is no. The thermals the sim generates are terrible. With live weather you'll always need favourable conditions at the place and time you want to fly anyway."

But what would I know. I only have an FAI Silver Badge!🤪

Not withstanding that the weather presets posted above seem to work very well to me.

Edited by FBW737
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I re-enacted my FAI Silver badge flight to check out the weather presets. I highly recommend this addon. It emulates thermal entry and centring really well. Of course when I did this flight for real many any years ago I took me an hour in a K6. Had I done it in a Discus it probably would have looked something like this:

 

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Watching your flight now.

There's a pretty nice K7,  https://flightsim.to/file/34815/schleicher-k7-glider

schleicher-k7-glider-835QO.jpg?width=140

I spend most of my time in the DG-800s.   

B21's new JS-3 is super nice,   I just haven't had time to sit down and learn the nav and the instruments.   He did a hell of a job of making the JS3 feel different than the other msfs gliders.

https://flightsim.to/file/56083/jonker-js3-rapture

 

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I did try the Jonker a couple of weeks ago and I'll give it another go with these presets when I have some time. I cant remember if I commented in the thread about the Jonker but I do recall it handles more realistically than any other glider I've flown in any sim including Condor the soaring Simulator. I've never flown a real flapped glider though. I'd like to give those online races another go some time but its very hard to find the time. I did try them early on after msfs was released and they are quite compelling.

I originally learned to fly in a K7 over 30 years ago so I'll enjoy trying that. Thanks😁

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45 minutes ago, FBW737 said:

I did try the Jonker a couple of weeks ago and I'll give it another go with these presets when I have some time. I cant remember if I commented in the thread about the Jonker but I do recall it handles more realistically than any other glider I've flown in any sim including Condor the soaring Simulator. I've never flown a real flapped glider though. I'd like to give those online races another go some time but its very hard to find the time. I did try them early on after msfs was released and they are quite compelling.

I originally learned to fly in a K7 over 30 years ago so I'll enjoy trying that. Thanks😁

Well, unfortunately I can't be so positive as you regarding the qualities of flight of any glider I have used in FS2020 so far. 

They all feel way detached from reality 😕

The JS3, though, is indeed my preferred too, so we agree in that one 🙂

OTOH I am going to test these presets, and am grateful to those who continue to try to do their best to make soaring flight tasteful in FS2020, but we do need ASOBO to pay attention to the various inconsistencies in soaring weather, starting with the rather awkward thermal implementation, with structure and effects that are only realistic in as far as creating rising air...

I hope FS2024 will revisit weather for soaring, because I have also pretty much dropped all other sims and use FS2020 only, not because of the good soaring weather or flight dynamics but rather because of the wonderful similitude of FS2020's scenery with reality, making it great to familiarize with areas you want to visit IRL.


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8 hours ago, jcomm said:

OTOH I am going to test these presets

I think you'll change your tune after your try the presets.

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