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B21 last won the day on February 6 2010

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  1. hehe Hodge, still kickin ass? My 2c: FSX isn't really GPU-limited, but  decent card still makes sense. For THREE screens though the ATI/AMD solution is significantly better than Nvidia. I've run triple screens for many years, through several generations of both Nvidia and ATI graphics cards. The ATI/AMD cards from the 5000 series onwards have Eyefinity, a hardware buffer combining the screens built into the card. At a fairly fundamental level the rest of the system can (if desired) treat the three screens as a single screen (in my case with a resolution 3600x1600). Nvidia on the other hand always presents the multiple screens as multiple screens to Windows so games have to have their own in-built multi-monitor support. FSX is kind of ok in this regard but most games really suck at multi-monitor support. AMD sidesteps all this by allowing the sofware to believe there really is a single 3600x1600 (or whatever) monitor attached to the GPU. The only limits you then come up against are games that have hardcoded max screen resolutions less than that, or games that won't accept aspect ratios beyond a certain limit (that's why my 3 screens are portrait), games that have a fixed set of hardcoded resolutions that don't include yours. FSX in general doesn't seem to have those hardcoded bad design decisions (but LOTS of games do). Also FSX does do what you'd want with extra screen estate, i.e. just use it for a broader view. Some games just stretch what they'd put on a smaller monitor so the whole thing is fairly pointless. Some games (Silent Hunter 5) just crash-to-black if asked to display on a screen above a certain resolution. So the whole thing is a bit messy but IMHO AMD cards make life simpler by at least allowing the s/w to treat the screens as one.
  2. water ballast simulation in FSX is not bad - the FSX aircraft within the sim has 'loading stations' that can be arbitrary weight and an X-Y-Z location relative to a defined mid-point of the aircraft, and this existing simulation capability is used for both aircraft fuel and conveniently for glider water ballast. FSX is simulating the aircraft in accordance with how heavy it is, and the FSX aircraft developer has a huge number of parameters available to define things like inertia in pitch and roll, all of which are affected by the aircraft weight including the current ballast. So if you load the sim glider up with water, it will fly faster, the high speed glide angle will improve, and the aircraft will have more momentum in roll. The Aerosoft Discus probably has the most detailed work of any FSX glider on the aerodynamics, so it's as good as it gets. The LS8, ASW28 and ASH25 have been repeatedly flight-tested using custom development gauges to test GLIDE performance with and without ballast, so they're ok. Messing wth the aerodynamic parameters really is a niche hobby though, even amongst developers, so it's no wonder the majority of FSX gliders do not have water ballast. FSX has other issues (e.g. the effect of flaps is not quite correct) and relative to those the ballast support is very good.
  3. you'll need to use the 'mklink' command, and link your Scenery folder on hard drive back to the correct location on the SSD. The method doesn't have a lot to do with FSX so there's better help elsewhere on the interweb - google words like 'mklnk' 'ssd' 'symbolic link'
  4. FYI msoft have updated their website for MS Flight as of Oct 2011: http://www.microsoft.com/games/flight/
  5. ahh - I love a happy result. B21
  6. You need the ballast indicator to know the FULL and EMPTY weights of the LS7. It is made easy for you to find out those weights by simply putting the ballast indicator into "weight" mode as you discovered. Start with the glider on the ground, note the FULL reading, open the ballast valves and see what the reading gets to when all the ballast is gone (i.e. EMPTY). These weights are in Kg. Then you have two ways to fix up the gauge in the LS7, both involve editting files: (1) Add the "b21_polar_v2" gauge from the ASH25 into the LS7 as in the ASH25 (see panel.cfg) - it has a size of 1x1 so you don't see it. Open "b21_polar_v2\b21_polar.xml" in Notepad and edit the following two lines with the correct EMPTY/FULL weights for the LS7: 626 (&gt;L:B21_polar_weight_empty, kilograms) 746 (&gt;L:B21_polar_weight_full, kilograms) or the hackyhacky option number 2, just hardcode the FULL/EMPTY Kg figures into the ballast indicator gauge: (2) In the "b21_ballast" gauge you've already installed in the LS7, use Notepad to edit the file "b21_ballast\ballast_indicator.xml". There's an element section that looks like the following: <Element id="ballast proportion"> <FloatPosition>6,2</FloatPosition> <Visibility>(L:B21_ballast_weight_visibility, number) 0 ==</Visibility> <GaugeText id="B21_mc"> <Size>30,20</Size> <FontFace>Quartz</FontFace> <FontColor>#ffffff</FontColor> <FontHeight>20</FontHeight> <Length>1</Length> <Transparent>True</Transparent> <VerticalAlign>CENTER</VerticalAlign> <HorizontalAlign>RIGHT</HorizontalAlign> <GaugeString>%( (A:TOTAL WEIGHT, kilograms) (L:B21_polar_weight_empty, kilograms) - (L:B21_polar_weight_full, kilograms) (L:B21_polar_weight_empty, kilograms) - 100 / / int )%!3.0f!</GaugeString> </GaugeText> (a) Replace "(L:B21_polar_weight_empty, kilograms)" with the EMPTY WEIGHT AS A NUMBER, e.g. 666. Note that it appears TWICE in the code. ( Replace "(L:B21_polar_weight_full, kilograms)" with the FULL WEIGHT AS A NUMBER, e.g. 777. So you should end up with a ballast_proportion element something like: <Element id="ballast proportion"> <FloatPosition>6,2</FloatPosition> <Visibility>(L:B21_ballast_weight_visibility, number) 0 ==</Visibility> <GaugeText id="B21_mc"> <Size>30,20</Size> <FontFace>Quartz</FontFace> <FontColor>#ffffff</FontColor> <FontHeight>20</FontHeight> <Length>1</Length> <Transparent>True</Transparent> <VerticalAlign>CENTER</VerticalAlign> <HorizontalAlign>RIGHT</HorizontalAlign> <GaugeString>%( (A:TOTAL WEIGHT, kilograms) 666 - 777 666 - 100 / / int )%!3.0f!</GaugeString> </GaugeText> OK? B21 / Ian Forster-Lewis
  7. see if the ballast % gauge on the LS8 is what you want... http://carrier.csi.cam.ac.uk/forsterlewis/soaring/sim/fsx/simobjects/ls8-18_b21/
  8. right-click 'play in youtube' to get the HD version. I agree there's lots of eye candy, but that was always the MSFS advantage. Condor's a better soaring sim but the scenery is not as good. And MSF will have multi-player that works out of the box. If we end up with FSX+(working multiplayer) that will be a significant advance. At the same time I'm assuming soaring in MSF will be seriously borked due to some technical oversight, e.g. no thermals. B21
  9. After a few months off, MSoft have added new screenshots to their Microsoft Flight marketing site. You can go to the site if you can be arsed to install proprietary Msoft plugins just to view an image, or check out the versions below to see if it's worth following up: These images are hosted on a blog somewhere - I'm guessing they're reduced resolution.
  10. CumulusX ridgelift kicks ass - if you want to try it set the wind at 310 degrees (i.e. from the NW) 17 knots from 0..7000 feet, set a 3/8 cumulus layer at 6000 feet (not essential for ridgelift, but it tells CumulusX where to put the thermals up to..) and take off from Mifflin County Airport, code KRVL. With a NW wind, the wind is hitting the ridges to the *South* of the airport, so just fly over there and get down to ridgetop but stay on the airport side (i.e. stay on the NW side of the ridges) Active Sky made the mistake of referring (I think) to ridge lift in some of their product literature, but this is misleading for soaring pilots. If you fly *along* a ridge, Active Sky cannot detect the windward slope and hence no lift is generated. Active Sky will briefly generate lift as you fly perpendicularly towards a windward ridge, as Active Sky detects the rising ground beneath the aircraft. Those developers tried to do *something* with only a single sample of elevation immediately under the user aircraft, but the approach is fundamentally limited for ridge soaring. Thermalling in a glider is relatively hard work, and the limited view from FSX makes finding the core of thermals tricky too. Ridge soaring is simple once you've got the hang of it and you'll find many FSX soaring pilots cover a lot of ground that way. Re Condor - the scenery and graphics are not as good as FSX, but Condor was designed from the ground up to be multi-player where FSX is very poor in that regard, so neither is perfect. The as-yet unscheduled "Microsoft Flight" is the multi-player platform of the future from microsoft, but each release of flight sim from MSoft typically knackers the soaring capability and there's a lull while add-on developers work around it. B21
  11. Tigerclaw - CumulusX was built specifically for soaring (unlike Active Sky which as more general appeal) so the thermals are much more accurately programmed and CumulusX has ridge lift which Active Sky does not. It's unlikely the CumulusX lift is sometimes working, sometimes not - more likely sometimes you find it. I've a couple of suggestions: 1. open the CumulusX debug window to check the thermal and ridgelift strengths so you know the lift is out there 2. do a lot of ridge flying before worrying about thermals too much - for various reasons the ridge lift is easier to exploit. I'm assuming you know the effect FSX weather/time settings have on CumulusX lift generation. B21
  12. B21

    Smart Tow Plan

    yeah - FSX tows are totally unrealistic with a fully ballasted glider at 90 knots with a climb rate of 10+ knots - in my experience by the time planes get to be towplanes they're fairly gutless - I've had tows being dragged along the ground too slow to lift off with the towplane already off the ground struggling to climb, getting ready to release (which means wasting 45 mins pushing back to the launch point and waiting for another tow) until being dragged into the air flopping about like a dying fish on the end of the towrope. In general you call up the towplane with "B21 towplane a few more knots would be nice" trying not to let the desparation enter your voice. The reply is typically "ok I'll see what I can do" which isn't totally encouraging but at least the tow pilot puts the nose down so you fly at 70 knots instead of 60 but with a derisory climb rate. B21
  13. LOL we've had that in Scotland wave too. Nice flight Peter. ~220 km ? Thanks for posting up the pics. You did well to make it in the dark... Ian
  14. Thanks Peter you just beat me to it... I became aware of that issue yesterday and have fixed it with a new version on the download page. An updated version of the B21 ASH25 has been uploaded to the download page (refresh your browser if download appears to be missing - you have a cached version of the prior page). BUGFIX This updated version (1.4) fixes a 'speed-to-fly' bug that occurs at random and affects some users, causing the calculated 'speed-to-fly' to remain fixed at 104 kph / 54 knots. The bug can be made obviously visible by clicking on the face of the Airspeed Indicator so that the speed-to-fly is indicated by a small red needle rotating around the edge of the instrument. As Peter correctly guessed, the bug was a result of a relative timing between the initialization of the '302 vario' and a hidden gauge on the panel containing the ASH25 polar. I recommend all existing users download this update. ALSO the update contains a minor change to the stall characteristics reducing the thermalling stall speed slightly and making the stall less abrupt. The glider will still stall in fully ballasted tight turns at around 50 knots. Stall recovery is immediate by pushing the stick forward. ALSO a minor usability enhancement has been added - the flaps indicator gauge now includes a 'gear down' warning - the background of the instrument illuminated red when the gear is down. B21
  15. Yup, this model does actually stall and you have to move the stick forwards to recover. Recovery is pretty immediate though. Even though some of the signs are there (nose is high, handling is poor) FSX doesn't get across the pre-stall info as well as a real glider (e.g a noticeable lack of wind noise, and the controls becoming almost weightless). More importantly, did you end up sitting in the same glider??? I've never tried it. B21
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