Slartibartfast wrote:When you say the flight dynamics are far more realistic than any other SF out there, how is this so? I appreciate that Condor has focused on different aspects of weather modelling than other sims and this alone would make the flying far more viable but is the actual flight dynamics them selves really amiss in the big name titles? I had been of the opinion that X-Plane in particular had a flight model system that was simply second to none in the industry, and the Prepar3d, though working in a completely different manor was similarly well equipped. Is it really true that two guys hacking away in their basement (and I don't mean that derogatorily) over a decade ago have out performed the very best that the industry can offer?
xplane has a pretty advanced "one of a kind" flight model, but not in the sense that it necessarily better simulates gliders. Whats fairly unique about it, is that it will simulate *anything*. You design a 3D model of a plane, any plane, and xplane will dynamically calculate and model its aerodynamic properties. Thats quite nifty, and certainly useful in some cases, but the result therefore not better than a "handcrafted" flight model like condor. Quite on the contrary. Its not like xplane's model is as anywhere as accurate as super computer simulations that Boeing or Airbus would use to predict how their planes fly. Now is it possible to tune and tweak the automagically created model to be as good as condor? I dont know, maybe; but no one has done it, and certainly not for 2 dozen different gliders.
I dont know anything about Prepar3d, I never even heard of it. But if it doesnt have RL glider pilots as their development leads, chances are it will not come close to condor's flight model for gliders either.
So yes, when it comes to this niche, you could safely say that the "basement devs" outdid the very best of the rest of the industry. But then again, thats also at least partially because the industry has never focused on this, instead focusing on F16s, cessna's and boeings.
As for the weather modelling, I appreciate no one seems to have invested the time nor the effort to model this for the big name titles but is it inconceivable for it to be done? As I say, I am only just entering the flight sim space myself so there is a lot for me to learn about plugins and alike but is it fundamentally not possible for an enthusiast to build a plugin that models such atmospherics for say X-Plane, or is it just that no one has done it? I know there are very good cloud modelling packages for FSX/Prepar3d and both FSX and X-Plane do a reasonable job of representing real time weather in their environments. Admittedly their notions of 'real world weather simulation' are but chicken scratchings compared to what would be required to fly a glider but it's also not what their trying to do. If someone were to make a dedicated effort would they be able to build a model comparable to what is in Condor, or is what Condor models so fiendishly complex that it is simply incomprehensible that a plugin could achieve it?
Cloud modelling is one thing, that should be relatively easy. Its everything else about atmospheric modelling that Im sure, is incredibly hard to do properly, and in real time no less. Modelling how wind moves in mountains, how air is affected by solar radiation, the whole modelling of thermals has got be both art and science combined. To give you a sense, here is a visualisation of a mathematical simulation of thermals:https://vimeo.com/78336339
Condors model of course, is no where near that accurate, but its a decent approximation. And once more, this is something that basically only affects glider pilots. When flying a cessna, you couldnt care less if thermals arise on the places you'd expect, you dont care and would never notice how they move or how long they live. Or if ridge lift is modeled in the right spot and a realistic vertical speed given the shape of the mountain, the direction of the wind, the position of the sun, the temperature and moisture gradient on the air, the time of day, etc. If you get some wind dependent turbulence around mountains, its probably good enough.
Now whether you implement an atmospheric model as a plugin for existing simulators, or built in your own simulator, I dont think that makes a lot of difference, provided the simulator provides the required plugin infrastructure and features to even do this. So yes, I assume this could be done for xplane or others. But not by just anyone, it would take a lot of time and rare combination of skills. So again, no one has.