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Author Topic: glider-sim (allmost) ... release  (Read 2910 times)

fly77

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glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« on: October 13, 2020, 12:45:30 am »

Its my immense pleasure to release here an upgrade to Levi's glider, including atmospheric phenomena such as thermals and ridge upwinds as well as downdrafts. It is a first step towards a "glider simulator".

In this occasion I want to thank simon ("bomber") for useful discussions about soaring and of course
for the glider JSBSIM flightmodel he provided Levi a long time back.


This mod was made possible by the availability of worldwide thermal hotspot open-data from https://thermal.kk7.ch/ 
I embedded this data into the glider and added also computation of ridge updraft/downdraft winds.
Also some downdraft is generated when flying low over waterbodies.


What is special about this mod ?

1) it allows to FULLY exploit outerra's beautiful landscape: instead of just admiring it you can "use the landscape " to get you up in the sky ,through clever flying near each little terrain bump/hill/slope
, knowing the outerra winds.
 
2) you will really have the sensation "to feel the air" !

3) since you need to "conquer height" admiring the terrain now occurs from a wholly different perspective..it is a "reward" that you gain by flying intelligently !
so this is "gamifying" a lot a simple glider plane.

   


Download the model from here:  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1u4c6YzWLM0SmsyrfYZRr_zFLTUrCYNQR?usp=sharing

installation:
1) copy the folders "thermal" and "windarrow" into outerra/Anteworld/packages/outerra  root folder
2) click on the self-installing ASK-13-fly77.otx file
it will create a glider named   ASK-13-fly77 so it will not overwrite Levi's original model that you can still use, but I doubt you will ever use it again after having
experienced the new atmospheric winds coming with this mod.


Here a demonstrative video that also illustrates how you can "climb" on top of the highest mountains with an unpowered aircraft !




Controls:

CAMERAS
ground camera   K 
ground camera height  up/down arrows      (useful when camera is in a forest)                 
camera locked   F
incr flyby range      H
decr flyby range      J
zoom: numpad +/-
external cameras   C
first person view cameras   V
(pilot camera1, pilot camera2, tail camera, flyby camera..either airborne or on ground)



ATMOSPHERE:      
thermals show range
incr       L
decr      R
graphic display mode, show thermals as 3D cylinders and wind as arrow    CTRL + K       



SETTINGS:
easyness of soaring
incr         CTRL+T 
decr         CTRL+B
 



GUI:
show/hide GUI     shift+K


PLANE:
towing:   P
label    CTRL +S



Instructions for glider flying in outerra:


there are many sources of basic information on how to do glider flying in the real world (see videos at the end).
In outerra its basically the same, just simpler  (and not all atmospheric phenomena have been included yet):

thermal lift: Just look out for thermals around you, shown as 3D translucent cylinders, if there are any.
Be sure that the GUI under SETTING indicates that
"graphic display mode" is on. By default it is on but if it isn't press CTRL+K.

Eventually increase the thermal display range by pressing L  (or R for decreasing it)
By default the display range is set to 30 km and can be increased up to 100 km.

If you see any thermal try to glide towards it and when you reach it fly circles inside it. It will bring you up if its strong enough.
Not all thermals are "created equal", also their force fluctuates in time and decreases going up.
Once you're inside a thermal you can get some info on the strength and thermal's "core"  by pressing CTRL + K
which will switch from the "cylinder dipslay mode" to  "text info display mode" of the entered thermal shown in the top right corner of the screen.
try to fly circles close to the core as the updraft increases towards the core.
"probability" gives the strength of the thermal and the probability to have it actually active.
the themal hotspost included in the mod are those from summer (july midday)
If you want to see them on a 2D map instead of 3D cylinders have a look at them directly at the website https://thermal.kk7.ch/  which also reports the flightpaths of glider pilots.

ridge-lift:
A second way to do glider flying is "ridge-soaring".
Basically it consists in checking from which direction the wind is blowing and looking out for hills/ridges or mountain slopes
towards which the wind is blowing. Then just fly towards these slopes and keep flying along them. The upwinds that form on these slopes will lift you up.
Of course you need to stay on the side of the mountain/hill that is impacted by the wind, not on the "downwind" side
as the wind will rise on the side of the slope towards which the wind is blowing but will sink on the other side.
So be careful to possibly just fly on "upwind sides" of of hills/ridges/mountains.
How to do this in outerra practically ?
When in the "graphic display mode" (press CTRL+K and check if "graphic display mode" is shown under SETTINGS in the GUI)
This will show a "Wind arrow" in the sky. Just look around you. The wind arrow will follow the plane
for convenience so that you allways know from where the wind is blowing.
In addition in the GUI under ATMOSPHERE you can see the wind-direction and strength.
A good windspeed for ridge-soaring  is 2-4 m/sec: stronger winds can prevent you from flying against the wind and reach the next slope
In general it is not recommended to do glider flying at windspeeds > 3-4 m/s.
if you just intend to exploit thermals its better to have windspeed even lower, since it will make it easier to keep flying your circles around the core of the thermal
but for ridge-soaring you need some wind since its this wind flowing up mountain ridges that creates the lift for you and the birds.

make it more challenging:

1) flying in regions with high mountains is relatively easy as there are nearly allways nice ridge-winds and/or thermals
soaring in slightly hilly or flat terrain is much much more challenging as there are very few ridge-winds and so you need to rely on thermals which may be
even not that abundant. Unfortuntaly the thermal hotspot database included does just list the strongest thermals so don't expect to see any thermal updraft
in outerra over a big parking lot or other hot surfaces. But watch out for lakes ! Lakes as cooler bodies will create some downdraft even in this mod and will drag you down a little,
the more the lower you fly.

2) change the level of easyness in the GUI by pressing CTRL+B to decrease the easyness... (CTRL+T to increase it)
easyness by default is set to the maximum which is level 8. The most challenging level is level 1.
Decreasing the easyness level does the following:
it will make ridge updrafts weaker and more localised so that each and every small "Bump" in the terrain will be felt more in the air.
It will make ridge downdrafts stronger so you need to be more careful to really fly on the "upwind" side of ridges.

3) remove all information (disable GUI) by pressing shift+K, eventually also switch off the graphical display of thermals and wind (CTRL+K).
In this way you need to discover yourself from where the wind is blowing and where to find thermals.

adjusting difficulty "on the fly"
if you fly in nearly flat /slightly hilly terrain probably the best thing is to leave easyness level in SETTINGS at the default max value of 8.
On the other hand near high mountain slopes probably it is better to reduce "easyness" otherwise ridge updraft might be so strong to "skyrocket" you up very fast.
So changing easyness level depending on your momentaneous feelings is a good idea, but don't make it too easy. Leave some challenge.
If it seems to you to be so low that you're going to crash look rapidly for the nearest even just moderately good slope and perhaps it can save you from crashing and bring you up
in the sky suprisingly to your great relief.


camera instructions:

a new feature of this mod is the ground-camera. To use it you need to be in first-person camera mode . press V until you get to the pilots view , then press V again and again till you get to the fly-by view.
The fly-by view by default is "airborne", meaning that the camera will stay fixed in the air watching the plane flying by. You can increase or decrease the fly-by range by pressing
H or J. To get to the ground-based flyby view now you need to press K. This will put the camera at a fixed ground location at a height above ground that can vary between 3 m and 33 m.
Clearly inside a forest you'd like the camera to be near or above treelevel ..whereas on an open field it looks cooler to have the camera near ground,
so adjust the groundcamera height by pressing the up/down arrows.To keep the ground or airborne camera locked to the current position press F.
The state of the camera is shown on the left-bottom corner to avoid getting lost.

     
resources:
thermal lift


ridge soaring









« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 01:20:10 am by fly77 »
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aWac9

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 02:19:47 am »

awesome work ,, as always ,, a great contribution to the community ... fly77 thank you so much for your time ....
I'm going to start studying this, it doesn't seem so easy.
Congratulations
:)
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fly77

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2020, 03:06:44 am »

Thanks aWac9 ! With you airport sceneries it gets even more fun. Now we need some landmarks near fiames airport !  farms ! Animals (cow-herds !, deers roaming around ? ) , Ski-lifts ??  radio antennas ? little mountain churches ? castles ?  ruins ? mountain huts.. supermarkets...parking lots...cars..cars and more cars....tourist busses...etc....more football fields..
Probably I can in the future even let detect the plane any underlying city so to generate thermal lift also over cities in hot days....well temperature is not yet in outerra, but it could be guessed form season, cloud coverage and sun position or extracted from metereologic database
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 03:50:15 am by fly77 »
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2eyed

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2020, 09:10:15 am »

Fly77, you are the Outerra wizard! Great work!
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fly77

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2020, 09:31:26 am »

Fly77, you are the Outerra wizard! Great work!

Well...just trying to "get it rolling"...with whatever tricks are needed  :D

« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 09:33:58 am by fly77 »
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aWac9

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2020, 11:24:58 am »

Also mention our gratitude to bomber and Levi for their contribution ,,, together with fly ,, a great team ,, it is like a family some work and others enjoy ... just kidding ... thank you very much. :)
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aWac9

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2020, 12:41:45 pm »

I will need a manual to understand the different sounds, interpret the cockpit clocks and know where to go .. it is wonderful to fly freely up there, but you are stunned by sounds that you do not know .. try to know its handling and above all to know what its maximum altitude would be Of flight.
I don't know why the 3D image "CTRL + K" doesn't work for me. I can't see that image, I added the two folders to the ASK-13-fly77 folder .. or have I done something wrong ????
Thank you.
flight to gogo :)


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fly77

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2020, 12:49:29 pm »

You're flying way too high ! ...this is a "glider" not a "spaceglider"  !  =D
That might be the reason why you don't see any of the thermal cylinders and wind arrow.
Also I see that your screensize is too small to accomodate all the GUI on the bottom. maybe I will edit the script so that it works also for such "small" screens
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fly77

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2020, 12:58:08 pm »

OK.
Just now (13/10/2020 ,  16.58 UTC) I changed the script so that the GUI fits also on small screens.

So if you plan to use it for a small screens  and/or have text overlap in the GUI  please redownload the ASK-13-fly77.otx  file from above

« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 01:28:40 pm by fly77 »
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aWac9

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2020, 01:29:01 pm »

Now I am undergoing renovations and I have this screen, but soon I will use a 49ยจ screen again, maybe it is not interesting to change.
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fly77

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2020, 01:56:12 pm »

I will need a manual to understand the different sounds, interpret the cockpit clocks and know where to go .. it is wonderful to fly freely up there, but you are stunned by sounds that you do not know .. try to know its handling and above all to know what its maximum altitude would be Of flight.
I don't know why the 3D image "CTRL + K" doesn't work for me. I can't see that image, I added the two folders to the ASK-13-fly77 folder .. or have I done something wrong ????
Thank you.
flight to gogo :)

sounds: the  beeping you hear is the variometer..if its beeping it means you're flying up,,and the higher the pitch of the tone the faster you're rising. If its continuous means you're loosing height..the lower the tone the faster you loose height.

max flight height of the glider is 5 km. Which is more than usual ("gliders climbing in thermals normally stop at cloudbase, which can be anything from 3000 - 6000 ft.
 Pilots who have been taught to fly using instruments can climb inside clouds and reach 12000ft or more."....that's between 1 km and 4 km height)


The limitation is just to keep it efficient..if you want to fligh higher and still get it working correctly I need to increase the raycast distance in the script to value higher than 5000 m. I don't think its needed really but if you insist I will set it higher


« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 02:00:54 pm by fly77 »
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fly77

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2020, 02:20:46 pm »

OK another update: for those of you that are part of the space-glider club
you can redownload it now and you will be enabled to fly 15 km high : (allmost the world record of glider highest flight ever made..."On Sept. 2, 2018, the sleek Perlan 2 glider carried two pilots to 76,100 feet, or more than 14 miles, over the El Calafate region in southern Argentina. ") That is my last offer  =D


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Jagerbomber

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2020, 02:34:27 pm »

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"Perhaps this speaks to some larger trend within society today...  A prevailing desire on the part of indie developers to recreate the entire world into one where you can charge more than $15 for your game design degree coursework." - Yahtzee ;) :P

aWac9

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2020, 05:48:40 pm »


550/5000
CTRl + k still doesn't work for me, I installed something wrong, plus I'll have to practice more with the camera.
I'll add three little things to the to-do folder.
a) achieve the movement of the thread that is located in the cabin.
b) add pilot in external view, that gives a lot of realism.
c) the most difficult ... I remembered the boats joined together that fly added "train ship", I was thinking if it is possible to design a rope that could be hooked to the Cessna172 with the ASK13, drag it like a train and with a key release it in flight..??? difficult truth.

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fly77

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Re: glider-sim (allmost) ... release
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2020, 12:20:10 am »


550/5000
CTRL+ K still doesn't work for me, I installed something wrong, plus I'll have to practice more with the camera.
I'll add three little things to the to-do folder.
a) achieve the movement of the thread that is located in the cabin.
b) add pilot in external view, that gives a lot of realism.
c) the most difficult ... I remembered the boats joined together that fly added "train ship", I was thinking if it is possible to design a rope that could be hooked to the Cessna172 with the ASK13, drag it like a train and with a key release it in flight..??? difficult truth.


Already better flying ! BUT you need to set the wind higher. I saw  0.9 m/sec  ..that's OK for thermal flying but not for ridge flying..but since you didn't see any thermals it should have been 3-4 m/s if you at least want to exploit ridges.

So now about first your problem:
1) "CTRL + k still doesn't work": I can see an error in red a the bottom of the screen. What is it saying exactly ? (open eng.log) I guess it says something that he can't remove .... ..of undefined in script flyf77....that means you placed the "thermal" and "windarrow"  in the wrong folder. Make sure that you have dropped the "thermal" and "windarrow" in the right Anteworld/packages/outerra folder...as I know you have different versions installed.
2) "practice more with the camera." yes...but I see you have not redownloaded as still the text of the PLANE info overlaps the info of the camera and so you can't see which camera is active..and so its more easy to get lost. I suggest you to redownload the ASK-13-fly77.otx file again. ..for your small screen.
About things to add:
a) "achieve the movement of the thread that is located in the cabin." very good observation. I tried it but so far couldn't achieve it ..will try again and in case ask for help from Levi who has the original 3D model.
b) "add pilot in external view"....again that is something that needs help from Levi since only he has the 3D model
c) "design a rope that could be hooked to the Cessna172 with the ASK13"...yes that is something I want to do. presently very hard to do but I am experimenting with it...eventually it will need some dirty tricks. I am not there yet. But the problem i snot solved by just designing a working rope. You also would need an AI cessna taking off...too difficult for now....OR..the ability to switch between the glider pilot and the cessna pilot...while taking off stay in the cessna and let the glider do some simple winglevelled flight (autopilot)..Once up in the air switch to the glider, release the rope and let the cessna go...will try this way
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 02:07:20 am by fly77 »
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