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These days I managed to write a little program that creates and dissolves thermals on the fly, using simconnect and VB.NET. Thinking, that this could be huge step forward to simulate and recreate former CCS and Cumulus! functionality I tried some more things, in particular, moving and modulating the thermal.

As it turns out, this is not possible with the current implementation of simconnect. The simple reason is, that there is not an influence on the behaviour of a thermal once it has been created, neither on its visual appearance, which is totally controlled by the airobjectvisuals.xml file, as the built-in thermals are. Also re-creating a thermal with altered parameters does not help, because the thermal lift ramps up very slowly over a period of several seconds, while the lift disappears immediately when the thermal is deleted. So even with overlapping thermals a reasonable behaviour is not possible. From a programmer's view the implementation concept is absolutely inconsistent.

Making gliding conditions for FSX appears like fighting the Hydra. If you cut off one of her heads, she grows three new. At least it seems now possible to write a thermal generator, that produces cloud base and lift strength consistent with existing weather conditions.



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