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FSUIPC & individual cumulus cloud positions


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Hi Pete,

Thanks again for all the work you've already done to help me with my little Cross-Country Soaring (CCS) program. There's one major shortcoming in it that I don't quite know how to tackle - the inability to make thermals align with cumulus clouds. Do you have any ideas? Here are a couple of mine, but I don't know that either is possible.

1. Perhaps each cumulus cloud is treated as "temporary" visual scenery by FS, with each cloud's lat, lon, and altitude stored in memory. As the clouds drift with the wind, FS would have to update these positions. If there were a way to read these positions, I could then force CCS thermals to align with these clouds.

2. If approach #1 couldn't be used, then maybe scenery files (BGLs) could be prepared in advance or created/altered on the fly by CCS to place clouds where CCS wants them to be. I don't know that much about static scenery, but I might have to have a way to force FS to refresh its memory about nearby BGL scenery in order to make this cloud appear.

Maybe there's another approach that would work. I'm open to suggestions. CCS is okay as is, but the #1 real-world thermal marker for a lone pilot on a cross-country soaring flight is a cumulus cloud. Without CCS having the ability to make thermals under clouds (or clouds atop thermals), each flight is like a flight on a cloudless day over undifferentiated terrain.

I'd appreciate any amount of thought you could spare to help me figure out how to tackle this challenge.

Thanks,

Eric Carden

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Apologies for the delay in my reply -- as announced in this Forum I've been away with no Internet access from 24th September until 12th October.

1. Perhaps each cumulus cloud is treated as "temporary" visual scenery by FS, with each cloud's lat, lon, and altitude stored in memory. As the clouds drift with the wind, FS would have to update these positions. If there were a way to read these positions, I could then force CCS thermals to align with these clouds.

Possibly, but how do I find such details? Maybe RealityXP know how to do these things, but I'm afraid I don't. I will be asking MS to provide some interface for this in future versions of FS, but i won't be holding my breath!

Regards

Pete

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Thanks, Pete. I knew you were out - just wanted to write the note while it was on my slippery mind. I didn't expect there was an easy answer to this. For the time being, I think I'll try to pre-build a scenery file of clouds before starting FS and make sure CCS "dances" appropriately with these clouds. It isn't ideal, but it's at least an improvement.

Thanks,

Eric

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Pete,

I hope you enojoy(ed) your vacation. I've updated CCS to do as I described in my last post in this topic, and I'm hoping I can add another voice (my own and maybe more) to yours in asking Microsoft to give some way that FSUIPC can control (or at least recognize) cumulus cloud positions. What's the most effective way to make this request of Microsoft? A particular message board/forum? A particular e-mail address? An old-fashioned paper letter? Also, if there's a particular phrasing you'd like me to use to make sure I ask for exactly what you'd need to make this happen, I'd be happy to borrow your words.

I see that FS10 (FSX) is expected around the end of 2006, so I'd like to go ahead and start making this request of Microsoft.

Thanks,

Eric

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