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For Newbies Like Me


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I have been flying aircraft simulations since they first appeared back before some of you were born. I am, however, totally new to FSX (Steam Edition) and the excellent CumulusX! add-on (licensed). Much thanks to Peter for this. He has done a fantastic job.

The issue of not finding thermals has come up a number of times and there have been good suggestions from the "pros" in here so I am mostly repeating their advice with a couple of my own observations.

Note I am running FSX/CumulusX under Windows 10 with absolutely no compatibility problems at all. Everything works perfectly although this is no surprise. So .....

To familiarize with the simulation make it easy for yourself to begin with ...

The CumulusX (CX) control panel is somewhat changed from what's in the docs but nothing major. It should start automatically if set up correctly. The checkbox for chosen  modes of lift must be green to auto-gen lift. This is all in the docs and very clearly described.

01 - From FSX choose "Clear Skies". This clears all weather so you can get used to appearance of CX clouds. You can complicate things later as you gain expertise

02 - In CX from "HELP" turn on "unBlue". This makes the CX clouds visible despite "Clear Skies". You will now see ONLY CX cumulus because of choosing "Clear Skies" above.  Later, when configuring more complex environments, you will be able to identify CX clouds more easily.

03 - You may not see clouds immediately. They will pop into view over some period of time. This is a realistic effect although it would be better if they grew gradually.

04 - Finding thermals is not always easy. I initially had so much trouble I was beginning to think there was a problem with CX. Get right under those clouds. The lift is there! The thermal columns can be quite narrow, especially under the smallest clouds. Don't bother trying  over water or extensive woodland.


Hope this helps someone.

Best wishes,


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey JHziwd,
Your post really helped me, but I still suck at gliding...
Is there any good video on youtube showing how to configure CumulusX and teach the basic of gliding using CumulusX ?

I am using FSX Steam Edition and free version of CumulusX.

Thanks in advance !

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