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HarryO

Cumulusx! 1.8 And Real World Soaring

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Hi there

Unfortunately I am completely ignorant on real world soaring :)

I enjoy the effect of soaring in my mind within the simulation, but at times it is good and healthy to compare what we do in the simulator with the real world. Already we have some real world pilots using CumulusX! 1.8. For example B21 has already given some idea of what it is like to be behind a tow plane at 75 knots as the glider begins to lift off!

I use real world weather data in the simulator. Sometimes a situation occurs where the cumulus cloud bases are no more than 1500 feet. What I do in the simulator is to enter beneath the cloud at say 1200 feet and screw up right into the cloud itself to gain not just a measly 300 conservative feet in clear air, but to get to 2000 feet inside the cloud. Conditions in the cloud are hairy in the simulator but manageable. You cannot see the ground clearly and it is a turbulent ride. But it does work and it is effective. My suspicion is that cumulus clouds in the real world at those low alitutudes would not be strongly formed but still supply sufficient lift.

My question to real world pilots is this. If I were to do this in the real world in unpopulated areas with no terrain obstacles around, would I be declared unfit to fly and sent to a mental rehabilitation clinic or is such a technique feasible in the real world?

Cheers,

Harry

PS) I do have FSUIPC turned on for extra turbulence in clouds but this setting may not be relevant to CumulusX clouds.

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Hi Harry,

cloud soaring is RW technique but requires some preparation. First your aircraft has to be equipped with an instrument for attitude control, which may be a turn indicator or an artificial horizon. Next (in Germany) you need a transponder and a radar reflector that ATC can identifiy. The third extra equipment is a Pitot heating, that it cannot freeze in a cloud.

You can do cloud soaring after filing a flightplan (by radio) and clearance from ATC. ATC keeps you clear from other aircraft, and no other VFR flight must not enter clouds, of course.

It's not wise however to enter cloud soaring at low ceiling, because what happens if ceiling 0 occurs after time, a you loose control temporarily? This is most critical during flying in mountains, there you might be in ground proximity even at 10000 ft. If you have only 1200 ft AGL ceiling it's probably not wise to go into a cloud. Cross-country soaring is not really practical at this conditions, and you have an almost 100% risk of landing out. Even at 2000 ft AGL its still tricky. You may help yourself in such conditions (in FSX :) ) by screwing up the poulation of thermals that the distance between the lift is less.

Indeed, FSUIPC does not know about CumulusX! clouds. However, the "being in cloud"-flag is (unfortunately) not at all related to the visuals in FSX anyway. Instead, FSX knows about large fields of clouds in a certain altitude layer. Whenever your aircraft enters this, the flag is set and FSUIPC creates turbulence. At the edges of these fields it might happen that you are in a visual cloud (of FSX) and the flag is not set, and vice versa.

Cheers,

Peter

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Hi there

Wonderful wonderful software this CumulusX and must have taken a bucket load of time to develop.....

I do not have real world experience in gliders just experience with R/C model equivalents. Personally I think that the CumulusX turbulence depiction of the DiscusX entry into the initial margin of a thermal seems a bit "soft" because I imagine that mother nature has a bit of a bite at the pilot to teach them respect before she lets them cooperate with her in harmony :)

So I experiment a bit with the "turbulence" feature in the CumulusX settings. It is at "0" by default but what do the real world glider pilots out there (like Peter and B21?) have it set to?

Cheers

Harry

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