We got a new video from World of Aircraft: Glider Simulator and are asking for some alpha/beta testers! Check this post.

 

Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Peter Lürkens

Where are the birds?

Recommended Posts

Though it seems that I'm almost alone here:

Has anybody managed to _see_ birds as a natural thermal indicator ?

At my installation it only slows down the fps, withoout any visible effect. I can produce the spirals immediately with the schematic switch.

BTW, in the German release, the sun-glare option is also missing, though it is referenced in the manual.

Cheers,

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

re FSX Mission 'Reporting' - don't really know what you mean here Peter. Assuming you have audio on you should here a few messages as you fly, including "welcome back" when you get back to LOWZ. To complete the mission you have to land back at LOWZ (there's a bug that often doesn't record a successful landing though)

re ridge lift - it's entirely hand-placed within the mission. There are people creating missions and it actually works pretty well. In the Austrian Soaring mission the wind is from the South and just about all the south-facing slopes produce ridge lift - particularly from the start to TP2.

From start fly straight to TP1, then turn right only 1km to get onto the ridge and into the ridge lift - you should be about 4000 feet. Then just follow the ridge (i.e. the North side of the valley - the south-facing slope) until you're opposite TP2 on the south side of the valley - cross the valley into wind to get to TP2, climbing in the thermal before if you feel like it, then turn back to the north side of the valley to nearby TP3. You get a bit of ridge lift around/just after TP3, but then you jump a bit of a gap continuing west toward TP4. You'll lose height but stay close to the north side of the valley and you'll get in ridge lift again before TP4. TP4 is again on the South side of the valley, so you have to climb up either in ridge lift or circling until you're pretty much opposite it and again turn across the valley to TP4. There is a HUGE thermal on the South side of the valley just before TP4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, I think I made it pretty decent up to TP8, when things went haywire. In spite of having southern winds, the ridge from TP8 until closely to TP9 mostly didn't work (correctly). In the second half of it I had even huge sink, despite of being perfectly aligned closely in front of the ridge and almost at its altitude. In this way it made me landing out short before TP10, safely I'd like to mention.

I took a chance to look into the mission builder, and I saw, that there thermals and ridge lifts are overlapping. Maby the result is that the sink of the overlapping thermal is dominating. Maybe my mission file is also not absolutely the same what is in the SDK since I had another thermal where the mission builder didn't report anything. At the end correspondance between ridges and lift remains somewhat arbitrary, relying on the goodwill of the mission designer. I strongly believe that for a much better ridge lift Eric's CCS could be still the tool of choice.

The effort behind the Austrian mission is tremendous, and I'm badly remembered to a very poor automation programming software from Keithley (called ViewDAC), which required a similar hayheap of code and definitions, triggers, events, etc. etc. We discarded it after 6 months and went over to LabVIEW in 1992.

A look into the ThemalsDescription.xml revealed, that there are lots of opportunities to provide clouds and everything automatically, and to produce a large variety of thermals by autogen. So eventually, at least CUMULUS! seems to be outdated by now. What I'm still missing is an option to align the autogen thermals base with lowest cumulus layer (and moving, leaning etc., but timing ?).

BTW, meanwhile I saw my first birds, made them even myself with the mission builder. What I didn't see yet, are birds as "natural visualization" of thermals.

Cheers,

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Peter - I enjoyed reading the description of your flight... I got caught once in in the sink that runs in the valley between TP8 and TP9, and like you eventually made a safe field landing - in my case right at TP9...

You're probably right in that the sink appears as an artifact of the placement of the ridgebox along that south-facing ridge between tp8 and tp9 but that area is supposed to be wave (if you reach the high ground major lift kicks in, but not if you don't quite make it...)

Even so by ridge running to just before tp4, taking a huge climb, and then running tp5-tp6-tp7-tp8 you can just make it to the high ground between tp8/9 and get up into wave so you can run and climb to get high enough to go round tp9-10-11 and home. If you really push it you can approach 1 hour for the task, but no-one's got below about 1 hour 02.

Re my other post with the tutorial... few people currently understand the fact that FSX missions provide the opportunity to create great cross-country soaring challenges. I'm having a try at creating something decent but I'm sure it'll take me a while. The Austrian Soaring mission is pretty good as a taster for what's possible.

I agree automatic placement of ridgelift based on topography is the way to go for the future. Mission files are simple XML, and given a finite mission area it would clearly be possible to generate the 'ridgelift' element of the file automatically and import it into the mission.

There's an FSX bug (as of Jan 07) which I'm sure will be fixed in an update which means the wind direction for optimum ridge lift is 90 degrees from where you think it should be. Apart from that, there's no issue with the lift transitioning with wind/slope direction in a totally consistent way with what you'd expect - see the analysis diagram in my tutorial (if that was the question you had).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Fosterlewis,

I just got FSX and it seems to run okay on my meager 2.6 ghz processor. I tried setting a 25 knt wind from 270 degrees for the Andes, my favorite soaring area, and could find no slope lift anywhere on my beloved vulcons and ceros. How can I obtain your tutorial? I need to learn how to edit FSX to create ridge lift? I have a string of volcanos and peaks that run from S 40 degrees to S 30 degrees south latitude.

I have ccs slope files that cover the Andes from S 40 drgrees to S 30 degrees. I really need lift down to S 50 degrees which involves a huge amount of lift files. This really needs to be accomplished with automatic lift creation within the sim. You mention this as a possibility. Any idea how far off in the future we are looking at?

Cheers, :smiles:

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this is why i wont buy fsx.....

m/s release a product annd then you spend ages creating things that should automatically be taken care of by the program, ms is good for eyecandy, but i prefer a realistic weather engine, no conflicts between lift types clouds that line up with thermals etc...

seems like m/s is still clueless and people keep buying the damn programs...

nevermind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
this is why i wont buy fsx.....

Your choice Tom.

FSX has other attributes not matched in other flying sims so it just depends...

* FSX does not have automatically created ridge lift based on the terrain.

* FSX does have default thermals, but these are not connected to the placement of cumulus clouds, go unrealistically high, are unrealistically strong, and unrealistically wide. FSX default thermals have a 'shape' (a narrow ring of sink surrounding a circular lift core), but the default thermals do not vary with time.

* FSX multiplayer doesn't work for soaring (unless everyone has the same custom thermal scenery)

All this would seem to add up to a product poor for simulated soaring, but this is not necessarily the case.

The first thing to do would be to try the built-in Austrian Soaring mission. This takes you around a ~250km course in ridge lift and thermals. It is definitely fun, and now I'm developing a similar mission I can tell that it only scratches the surface of the possibilities in mission creation. 'Mission' is an FSX term referring to a package of placed scenery (e.g. thermals) typically including a whole bunch of audio messages that get played at different points in the course. Missions are ideal for cross-country soaring courses. Many new missions are being created in the community (as with planes and scenery) but not yet for soaring.

To add ridge lift and thermals you need the SDK which comes with the 'Deluxe' version. The SDK contains a 'mission editor' which primarily means the 'Object Placement Tool' with which you slew around inside the FSX world plonking objects (e.g. ridge, thermals) where you want them.

In the FSX 'mission' system, a developer can add a variety of active scenery onto the default terrain (or whatever existing scenery the user has installed) - the developer can add individually placed thermals and ridge lift (and any other scenery objects), and specify the strength/size parameters for each thermal/ridge (or make them all the same). The mission system can generate 'events' based on a wide variety of situations (timers, the user flying into a defined area, reaching a specified height or speed, landing, etc etc etc) and the kinds of things that can be triggered include text and audio dialogs, or the activation or deactivation of scenery objects - including thermals. Unlike FS2004 and FS2004, thermals and ridge lift do actually work, are well documented, have a point-and-click tool for placing them on the landscape, and the resultant mission file continaing all the object placements and parameters is XML, amenable to external manipulation. This is a HUGE advance on FS2004.

Using the mission SDK doesn't involve any 'coding' - it's all drag-and-drop as you move around inside the FSX world. There is a fantastic introductory video showing mission creation on

fsxmission.com

It may be a while before the first truly impressive soaring missions become available for FSX. I am working on an attempt, and I'm aware of someone else putting in a similar effort. The definition of ridge lift and thermals in the mission editor gives you complete control over the shape and strength of the lift, and the timer event mechanism allows you to vary strengths if you wish. Also it's easy to include task briefings and other event-driven communication.

The installation of missions created by others is a trivial placement of the new folder into the 'Missions' folder, in fact simpler than installing either planes or scenery.

I spent weeks/months developing custom lift in FS2002 and FS2004 and as a soaring developer can state unequivocably that FSX is in a totally different league.

Tom I'd accept your comment that FSX once again depends on other development to show its soaring potential, but wouldn't write it off for that reason. I've already had 40 hours of soaring in it, I think that's already much more that I ever got out of fs2002+fs2004. It doesn't compete with Condor for multi-player soaring experience out-of-the-box, so kudos to the Condor developers.

Missions are not supported in multi-player (although fshost states it will), so another win for Condor there. For all the gripes I've heard about FSX soaring, this is going to turn out to be the significant one.

Don - you'll find my lift tutorial following the 'development' links on my FSX page. But I recommend spending some time with the existing missions first before you delve into the 'Object Placement tool'. The Austrian Soaring mission has ridge-lift already defined and you can explore the local area. It *will* be easy to add ridge lift to the Andes, but you need to play around a bit first to just get familiar with the tool. Just placing the thermals is trivial, particularly if each is the same, but you also have to create the 'mission briefing', and save a flight with the required location, aircraft and weather to link to the mission to give a suitable starting point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Don,

actually, it seems, that "automatic" lift is constrain to "autogen" thermals so far. Except from this, all lift has still to be placed as scenery elements in the manner of Thermiek.

So only a small advantage compared to the situation with FS9.

Automatic production of ridge lift will either require something like CCS again, or a new tool, that analyses the DEM database directly and generate XML-scenery which can be loaded into the scenery engine as usual.

Cheers,

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Fosterlewis,

Thanks for the information. You have a really nice web site. We will provide a link to it from the SOAR site.

Cheers, :smiles:

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...