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CumulusX! 1.8 on final

Peter Lürkens

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Dear all,

the new release CumulusX! 1.8 is on final approach. New in this release:

Freeware and Licensed versions:

- Slipstream in deep valleys or behind high terrain upwind leads to reduction of lift

- Improved placement of thermals in mountains with better coincidence of slopes and thermal triggers

- Lee-side thermals with reduced lift but punching through lee side sink

- Thermals start on ground in steep relief

- New leaning formula with a more natural leaning profile across altitude

- Strength of thermal is also shown by cloud-size

- Thermals start and end now first on ground with the cloud related to situation at upper end

- Older CCS2004 ridge-lift behavior restored if CCSCompatibility is chosen (was sacrificed some time ago)

Licensed version only:

- Smart Tow Plane searches for the next thermal after circuit pattern, avoids crashing into mountains

- Easy selection and configuration of tow plane (type, speed)

- Tow plane returns to airport (may not work yet in mountains)

- Wing-tip lift upon oblique entry into a thermal

- Turbulence effects in lee-side and around thermals

Currently the RC is under test at the beta-team. If nothing goes wrong, release will be short from now.

1.8 had to do a go-around because of some new extra features, so stay tuned.

best regards,


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Thanks Peter! Sounds great! Thanks again for keeping CCS2004 compatible. I need to get back in the swing of things again to get some funfly/contests going. I've had some in the works, but have been unable to finalize them the way I'd like.


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Peter thank you for this wonderful simulation. I have always been fascinated by the air and gliding either birds/RC-gliding/simulated gliding/real-life gliding. A long term dream would be to simulate wave lift so that we can climb to altitudes in excess of 24000 feet, and as well to experience the dreaded rotor at the back side of a mountain. And then there is the roll cloud.........I think already in 1.6 I should be able to notice the wonderful experience of the nose pitching downwards and the tail upwards when you have cored the aircraft in lift, as this phenomenon is probably covered by the aerodynamic model of the simulated aircraft (Discus for FSX). It looks like you might be simulating wing tip lift into the thermal for version 1.8. Viva la Peter for giving some of these effects the best try that any one has yet attempted for FSX!

If anyone cares, I have had a very enjoyable ridge lift fly under CumulusX/DiscusBM/ASE/FSX northwards across the Sangre De Cristo Mountains in Colorado. Whether it is possible to traverse this long ridge which is in excess of 150km in a moderate westerly wind of 15-20 knots in real life I do not know, but it was a hell of a lot of fun in the simulator. The ridge broadly faces the San Luis Valley and so you would think that the air across those mountains must be silky smooth. It was only the afternoon thunderstorms that put a stop to progress.


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I have had a very enjoyable ridge lift fly under CumulusX/DiscusBM/ASE/FSX northwards across the Sangre De Cristo Mountains in Colorado. ...

moderate westerly wind of 15-20 knots

sounds neat - is there a base airport + direction & distance to the ridge you could quote? I found this relief map:[ref]


I couldn't really work out the max N/S distance you could ridge-run with a westerly wind, but it looks interesting. What it really needs is a start airport, max launch height that still enables you to reach the ridge lift, and a far turnpoint (pref airfield in FSX) and we agree maybe 17 knots @ 270 for an out-and-return.

thanks for letting us know -


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Hi ya B21

I'm only passing through the region on a cross country gliding simulation flight but from what I could understand of the region, here is the challenge at this time of year. It could easily be turned into an exciting mission in FSX I'd say:

Take off under tow from Questa Municipal N24 which is parallel to the slope on a 9am start (probably can't fly gliders from this airport in real life?). I flew over the region on 07/06/2010. The minimum launch height to make it to the ridge and stay in lift hmm.... now that is a good question! You follow the mountains north until you have to face a somewhat daunting 30km gap with no ridge until reaching the majestic Blanca Peak (you can see it on your map image above). The issue with crossing this gap before midday is that thermals will probably be blue and there will be a partial headwind, requiring good judgement about whether the gap can be crossed. In the simulator, it can. If you can make it to the west side of that mountain you are cruising again on ridge lift. If not you must use thermals or bail out to Blanca airport 05V. After midday you will be heading north again having past Blanca Peak. Now comes the afternoon thunderstorms! If you make it past those you start arriving at the northern extent of the mountains. The turn point could be C011 or simply to land at 0V2 (but in real life it has changed to KANK Harriet airfield). I'm sure this is where the very happy real life glider pilots hang out in this region! Airnav.com reports that a reasonable number of gliders are situated at that airport. There are nice storms that form quickly in the mountains at this time of year so I'm sure these real life pilots are watching mother nature over there! An interesting side point is that the climatic conditions support hurricane formation in the San Luis Valley when dust twisters keep growing after 12pm. If you have a decent texture set in the simulation as well as enhanced land class data, you can make out the Great Sand Dunes national park that runs adjacent to the ridge north of Blanca peak. It sure must be an unusual feature in the Colorado region! The sand settles at the base of the ridge as it is blown across the valley from the west winds as the Rio Grande river keeps eroding the valley.

Cheers and enjoy.

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cool - apologies to Peter for hijacking his post - N24(7686')-0V2(7486')-N24 looks doable for an out-and-return with wind 17knots @ 270, cloudbase 14000'. Total 394km. I'd set off (in FSX) at noon. Aerotow to the South (r/w 18 ?) to 3000' AGL will enable you to get to the ridge and come back past N24 for a good start. thx, B21

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