Some newbie comments about Condor.

Discussion related to the Condor...

Moderators: Uros, Tom, OXO

Locked
jjmaloss
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:05 am

Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by jjmaloss » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:22 am

I am a real glider pilot with 1400 hours of flight and with all FAI badges except the 5000 metre altitude gain. I am also using SilentWings.

The good points of this simulator are the following:

1) The frame rate is better than SilentWings: I maxed out everything and I still get 45 fps.

2) The Landscape can be of incredible quality.

3) The side-slip manoeuvre looks pretty realistic.

4) I crashed to a mountain where I pulled the stick as a (bad) reflex after the glider was buffetting. It is a good warning.

The less good things are the following:

1) Condor works only on Windows.

2) On tow, I tend to overrun the tug (what is unrealistic) and I do have to open the airbrakes to keep control.

3) I cannot control the glider with the rudder when on the ground. This is incorrect.

4) The cloud base is always at the same altitude irrespective of the ground altitude. In higher terrain, thermals go higher and the cloud base is higher as well.

5) It is impossible to make a free flight without a dummy declaration.

6) Thermal shapes are unrealistic: Normally, just below the cloud base of a cumulus, there is lift almost everywhere. The thermals are perfect circles which is in general incorrect.

7) The conservation of mass law is not respected. In strong conditions, the lift is of 6 m/s, but between the clouds, there is not notable subsidence.

8 The thermals are always at the same location.

9) In mountain flying, the anabatic and catabatic winds are not modelled properly.

10) The trees are too large. When I am 1000 feet above the ground, the size of the trees tell me that I am 350 feet above the ground. A student can be deceived. He flies a Condor circuit (pattern) at 1000 feet. In real life, based on the size of the trees, he may fly a circuit at 400 feet which is extremely dangerous.

11) The quality of the landing is not assessed. I made several poor landings that I would not like to make in real life and the programme just said that I landed!

12) When reaching the border of the landscape, the glider freezes without waring. I stayed stuck for 5 minutes at the same place. Conversely, Silent wings sets the floor at 0 when flying outside the lanscape and its border looks like a gigantic cliff.

13) Cumulonimbus are not modelled.

14) Unlandable areas are not defined.

User avatar
Tima (TSD)
Posts: 1608
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:08 am
Location: St.Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by Tima (TSD) » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:34 am

jjmaloss wrote:2) On tow, I tend to overrun the tug (what is unrealistic) and I do have to open the airbrakes to keep control.
That's very strange. As far as i remember this is the first report of this "bug". Personally i never faced such behavior of the glider on tow.
jjmaloss wrote:3) I cannot control the glider with the rudder when on the ground. This is incorrect.
This behavior i also never observed.
jjmaloss wrote:4) The cloud base is always at the same altitude irrespective of the ground altitude. In higher terrain, thermals go higher and the cloud base is higher as well.
No, that's not true. Which Condor version do you use?
jjmaloss wrote:6) Thermal shapes are unrealistic: ... The thermals are perfect circles which is in general incorrect.
Also not true. Switch on thermal helpers and you'll see.
jjmaloss wrote:8 The thermals are always at the same location.
Check "Randomize weather on each flight" in the "Weather" tab of flight planner and thermals will be at different location.
Image

Benedikt
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Europe/Germany/Bavaria/Franconia
Contact:

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by Benedikt » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:57 pm

Most of the "less good things" you have mentioned I have never noticed on my system.
1) The developer of this great program made it in their spare time, so such an achievement is great.
2) The planes behaviour on t ow needs getting used to it, that's a "bit" different to real life.
3) I am, and I think many people using condor, are abled to control the plane on ground using the rudder
4) Also not correct. Maybe you've used a scenery whose thermal map wasn't correct or any other aspect failed.
5) Making a free flight is easy to start, but I could be a bit more easier.
6) Therefore you should see the thermal helper ("H").
7) I don't know, never noticed that, I fly with normal thermal conditions, which means up to 3 - 4 m/s in my region.
8) That's no completely true, but locations leave behing the former metioned thermal map, which is programmed by the developer of each landscape, when I'm wright.
9) I have no experiences in mountain flying in real life, so I can't say anything to this aspect.
10) In some scenery you can choice the tree size. I managed flying with condor and flying patterns in real life with my a constructor without an the altimeter. In my opinion, students and pilots have to be abled to differ between simulation and real life.
11) Ok, that's true.
12) That's one characteristic of these great simulator.
13) That's really a deficit of the simulator.
14) In real life you also have to check if a field is landable or not.

One aspect, that should be part of your appraisment should be, that the simulator was programmed in the developers free time.
And the group of pilots flying and competing with condor is bigger than with the other soaring simulators.
I also made a look to silent wings, and flew the demo version, and was very happy using condor after a few flights in silent wing.

I respect your opinion, and wish you many good flights in real life, and with any simulator you want to use.

Regards.
Image

User avatar
Tima (TSD)
Posts: 1608
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:08 am
Location: St.Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by Tima (TSD) » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:42 pm

I would prefer to do not mention that "the developer of this great program made it in their spare time... bla-bla-bla". If it is the case then it should be mentioned by big red letters on the page "BUY CONDOR". So potential users will be able to decide in advance - whether to buy unsupported product or no. Currently people buy this SW, face a hell of problems, try to contact support and have silence as the answer. In my understanding this is unfair behavior of that "developer of this great program". Imho.
Image

User avatar
Sirály
Posts: 173
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 6:16 pm
Location: Szeged
Contact:

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by Sirály » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:04 pm

Tima (TSD) wrote:I would prefer to do not mention that "the developer of this great program made it in their spare time... bla-bla-bla". If it is the case then it should be mentioned by big red letters on the page "BUY CONDOR". So potential users will be able to decide in advance - whether to buy unsupported product or no. Currently people buy this SW, face a hell of problems, try to contact support and have silence as the answer. In my understanding this is unfair behavior of that "developer of this great program". Imho.
Maybe his spare time by the simulator, however, but we paid for it.
In return, you would expect if there are any errors the developer answer questions sometimes.
However, this is great way to quiet!

Surely there is much work for such a game, it does not need to remember that if only 1,000 people bought it even came with a nice amount.
All praise to the developers!
Map editors who are above it in this game, do this for free.

Image
Image
"The flying dream, love, life, memories"

User avatar
OXO
Condor Team
Posts: 5882
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:08 am
Contact:

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by OXO » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:29 pm

That is your opinion Tima. The reality is somewhat different.
Chris Wedgwood,
Condor Team

jjmaloss
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:05 am

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by jjmaloss » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:38 pm

In real life, I am able to make unassisted tows starting from the corner of the runway, lift the wing and align the glider with the tow plane. Therefore, I *do* know how to control a glider on the ground at takeoff. I am sorry to say that the rudder is unresponsive on the ground in Condor.

The scenery that I tested is Fayence50. The altitude varies between 300 metres at Fayence to 1900 metres or more over high terrain. Therefore, if in Fayence, the thermal height is 3000 metres (10000 feet) AGL, it should be around (may be a bit less) 3000 metres AGL above the Teillon that is at 1900 metres. Therefore, I would expect the cloud base at around 4500 metres MSL. These are laws of physics. An approximate formula to compute the cloud height in feet is the following h = 400 x (T - Td) where T and Td are the temperature and dew point given in degrees Celcius. (FAA handbook). Thus, if the atmospheric temperature profile is known (from a sounding: see http://rucsoundings.noaa.gov for example), the cloud base can be *computed* and should not be part of the scenery data. To me, it looks absurd.

Also, the law of mass conservation should be implemented. Strong lift somewhere means average subsidence pretty strong. This does not necessarily mean very strong downdrafts.

The trees being to big are a major safety hazard and I am sorry to insist. In the FOA handbook (Fundamentals of Instruction), the principle of primacy is clearly stated. If a student learns wrong things at the beginning, it will be very hard to then correct their mistakes. Thus, if a student gets a perception of the scene based on the size of the trees, it is just a matter of time that he will enter the circuit (pattern) at a wrong altitude.

I used the helper to find thermals. I confirm that thermals do not match real life. A thermal is very often very elongated and particularly close to cloud base, one can fly up or down wind for a while without loosing the thermal.

My 2 cents (US) comments.

User avatar
Tima (TSD)
Posts: 1608
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 9:08 am
Location: St.Petersburg, Russia
Contact:

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by Tima (TSD) » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:13 am

jjmaloss wrote:...Therefore, I *do* know how to control a glider on the ground at takeoff. I am sorry to say that the rudder is unresponsive on the ground in Condor.
Congratulations. But believe me you are not alone here who *does* know how to control glider on the ground at takeoff and who able to make unassisted takeoffs not only from the corner of runway but also from the very limited in size places after real outlandings. So check in the control panel whether your rudder pedals moved at full extent and also have a look into Condor to the Setup->Input tab. There you can adjust response curve for the rudder. Maybe this will help.
jjmaloss wrote:I used the helper to find thermals. I confirm that thermals do not match real life. A thermal is very often very elongated and particularly close to cloud base, one can fly up or down wind for a while without loosing the thermal.
Yes, this is the case when you set very wide, strong and stable thermals. Try to play with thermal parameters in the "Weather" tab of the Flight Planner. With narrow thermals with strength below moderate, strong turbulence and reasonable wind you'll not be able to fly up and down for a while.
OXO wrote:That is your opinion Tima. The reality is somewhat different.
OXO, if you think that such behavior of developers is fair then that is your opinion. The reality is somewhat different.
Image

User avatar
kristoffer
Posts: 883
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:06 pm
Location: Bergen,Norway

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by kristoffer » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:00 am

jjmaloss wrote:In real life, I am able to make unassisted tows starting from the corner of the runway, lift the wing and align the glider with the tow plane. Therefore, I *do* know how to control a glider on the ground at takeoff. I am sorry to say that the rudder is unresponsive on the ground in Condor.

The scenery that I tested is Fayence50. The altitude varies between 300 metres at Fayence to 1900 metres or more over high terrain. Therefore, if in Fayence, the thermal height is 3000 metres (10000 feet) AGL, it should be around (may be a bit less) 3000 metres AGL above the Teillon that is at 1900 metres. Therefore, I would expect the cloud base at around 4500 metres MSL. These are laws of physics. An approximate formula to compute the cloud height in feet is the following h = 400 x (T - Td) where T and Td are the temperature and dew point given in degrees Celcius. (FAA handbook). Thus, if the atmospheric temperature profile is known (from a sounding: see http://rucsoundings.noaa.gov for example), the cloud base can be *computed* and should not be part of the scenery data. To me, it looks absurd.

Also, the law of mass conservation should be implemented. Strong lift somewhere means average subsidence pretty strong. This does not necessarily mean very strong downdrafts.

The trees being to big are a major safety hazard and I am sorry to insist. In the FOA handbook (Fundamentals of Instruction), the principle of primacy is clearly stated. If a student learns wrong things at the beginning, it will be very hard to then correct their mistakes. Thus, if a student gets a perception of the scene based on the size of the trees, it is just a matter of time that he will enter the circuit (pattern) at a wrong altitude.

I used the helper to find thermals. I confirm that thermals do not match real life. A thermal is very often very elongated and particularly close to cloud base, one can fly up or down wind for a while without loosing the thermal.

My 2 cents (US) comments.
A tool is only good and usefull if you know how to use it. I might say a hammer works really bad because I try to hit the spikes with the wrong end.. Though, it's not the tool that's the problem is it?
I think you have to gain some more excperience using Condor as a practice tool before you publish all these "facts". :roll:
If things doesn't seem to work like it should, concider the option of your own equipment beeing faulty or not set up in the correct manner. Sensitivity of rudders, ailerons and elevators are things that can be manipulated. The same are weather. Condor is a simulator and can simulate both realistick and unrealstick weather and other conditions. It's up to you to set everything up in a correct manner to have the simulation you want. :wink:
Try some online contests and have fun!

Best Regards
Kristoffer
Image

jjmaloss
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:05 am

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by jjmaloss » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:30 pm

@ kristoffer

You did not respond to some of my objections:

The law h = 400 x (T -Td) is a law of physics. Nothing to do with my equipment

The trees being too big in the default scenery: nothing to do with my equipment as well. It is a safety hazard.

The conservation of mass: it is a law of physics. Nothing to do with my equipment

User avatar
OXO
Condor Team
Posts: 5882
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:08 am
Contact:

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by OXO » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:08 pm

jjmaloss wrote: Thus, if a student gets a perception of the scene based on the size of the trees, it is just a matter of time that he will enter the circuit (pattern) at a wrong altitude.

I used the helper to find thermals. I confirm that thermals do not match real life. A thermal is very often very elongated and particularly close to cloud base, one can fly up or down wind for a while without loosing the thermal.

My 2 cents (US) comments.
Just a couple of points.

I agree the trees are large, and this affects depth perception near the airfield. But, this is not the correct way to train students pilots. It's impossible to know how tall rl trees are from the air. The correct training is to teach the student to judge his circuit by angles, and this is not affected by any ground objects.

The thermal model in Condor was developed by RL pilots with many thousands of hours thermal experience. Two of the pilots (also beta testers) are/were world and european gliding champions. We are very happy with the thermal model.
Chris Wedgwood,
Condor Team

arneh
Posts: 524
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:34 am

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by arneh » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:47 pm

jjmaloss wrote:The altitude varies between 300 metres at Fayence to 1900 metres or more over high terrain. Therefore, if in Fayence, the thermal height is 3000 metres (10000 feet) AGL, it should be around (may be a bit less) 3000 metres AGL above the Teillon that is at 1900 metres. Therefore, I would expect the cloud base at around 4500 metres MSL. These are laws of physics. An approximate formula to compute the cloud height in feet is the following h = 400 x (T - Td) where T and Td are the temperature and dew point given in degrees Celcius. (FAA handbook).
I don't see how the formula you state in any way supports what you claim, quite the oposite. Or are you assuming that temperature will be the same at Teillon at 1900 meters as it will be at sea level? Or that dew point changes?

Using your own formula, and let's say at sea level temperature is 25°C and dew point 0°C, then you get your 25°-0° * 400 = 10000 feet. Then at 1900 meters (Teillon) if we're using standard atmosphere the temperature will be 12.4°C colder, i.e. there it will be 12.6°C. Then using your formula we get 12.6°-0° * 400 = 5040 feet over ground level (ground level at Teillon: 1900 meters = 6233 feet). That gives a cloud level of 11273 feet, which is no where near 4900 meters (16233 feet) which you claim it should be. Of course in practice temperature may not follow the standard atmosphere, and the dew point may change (particulary since we're usually talking about significant horizontal distances in addtition to the vertical distance).

And this matches quite well what we see in condor, cloud bases are somewhat higher over high terrain. But it is not constant height above ground level, like you seem to think it should be.
Thus, if the atmospheric temperature profile is known (from a sounding: see http://rucsoundings.noaa.gov for example), the cloud base can be *computed* and should not be part of the scenery data. To me, it looks absurd.
It is computed and not part of the scenery! If you look at the weather tab you can see and set temperature and dew point, and that is what determines cloud base. What is part of the scenery is which areas will generate good and poor thermals.
Last edited by arneh on Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Freebird
Posts: 2472
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:40 pm
Location: North Wales UK

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by Freebird » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:33 pm

Some points to bear in mind :)

We don't have weather in Condor, just thermals, ridge & wave. Add realistic dynamic weather with Cumulonimbus, rain, wave rotor, lenticulars, cloud streets, overconvection & a more dynamic airmass between thermals (if someone is clever enough to program it all successfully) then your 45fps would probably plummet to low single figures assuming your PC had the power & resources to run it in the first place. The point I am making is that you need to be realistic about what is possible on a modern PC & also software has to be scaleable (weather is not) to allow users with 2-4 year old hardware to run it, now Condor was developed some time ago on much lower spec hardware than we have available now. You are probably expecting the impossible :) Especially when you add 32 gliders to the equation in multiplayer.

Tree size, I don't like the size but I think its probably performance related. Big trees mean fewer objects to draw so its less of a performance hit, personally I would prefer correct sized trees with more options to set the tree density.

Mac & Linux support would require Open GL support, probably not worth the extra work when there is already a OGL based simulator.

Never had a problem like you describe on tow although I do find the rope shorter than I am used to but rope length seems to vary depending on where in the world you are.

On the ground all Condors gliders behave as they would with a tail wheel (although most have a moulded rubber skid) does make crosswinds easier but if you get the weight off the tail early I find rudder control realistic.

The conservation of mass law is not respected I think that's a bit of BS :) air around a thermal sinks at roughly the same rate (roughly the same volume) as the thermal rises at, the same happens in Condor. What happens between thermals is a lot more complex & probably the reason it is not modelled by Condor at this time.

Cloud base has been covered by others so all I have to add there is that the amount of height variation can be set.

My advice would be to realise the limitations of hardware & enjoy Condor for what it is (a competition soaring simulator) fly multiplayer in the available comps & enjoy what is probably currently the best simulation of soaring that is available... its a lot of fun & you get to talk/fly with glider pilots from all over the planet.

Are you going to post on the SW forum your thoughts on Silent wings?

David R
Posts: 769
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:57 pm
Location: USA, Washington

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by David R » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:10 pm

Several years ago we were a much more welcoming community. Now we seem a little reactionary. We should try to be more welcoming.

We all know that Condor is not perfect.

We also know that there is not a better option at this time.
(silent wings is a fine product but it has become even more dormant than condor)

One thing that newbie's offten miss is that Condor is a great tool for learning race strategy. It can also be used to assist in learning how to fly gliders but that was not its primary focus.

If you have not competed in an online multiflight competition then you have yet to experince what Condor does best, teaching you how to make quality decisions under pressure.

jjmaloss, many of your observations are valid but as stated by others maybe you are asking for the tool to do something that isn't relative to the tools mission.

Hope you find your way to Monday Night Soaring were you can truly experince Condor at its finiest.
Image,Image,Image

jjmaloss
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:05 am

Re: Some newbie comments about Condor.

Post by jjmaloss » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:23 pm

@arneh

Let me be more specific. In general, the dew point point *goes down* when you climb. Look at the soundings that I mentioned. For the sake of the reasoning, I shall assume that the dew point is constant with the altitude. You consider the mountain north of the village of Soleilhas that is 1700 metres high. The dew point at Soleilhas is still at 0C. If at Fayence, the temperature at noon is 25C, above Soleilhas, it will be around 20C (say at 1400 m high). Note that the ground will heat about the same at Fayence and at Solheliias, and probably even more above Soleilhas since the mountain is oriented to the south. Thus, the cloud base at Soleilhas will be (with my minimalistic hypotheses) h = 400 x (20 - 0) = 8000 feet = 2400 m AGL. Therefore, the cloud base will be 1400 m + 2400 m = 3800 m MSL. Note that the dew point decreases with altitude. Therefore, my computation is conservative. Above high terrain, I would expect a noticeably higher cloud base as I noticed for example at Chilhowee when I can contact a thermal above high ground. For this, you can check my OLC traces. One day in April of this year, I climbed to 9500 feet MSL on low land terrain while one of our pilots managed to climb to 11500 feet above high plateaus. I noticed nothing similar with the Fayence model.

@Freebird

I maintain my comment about updrafts and downdrafts. In a good day say with 10 knots updrafts, (my variometer showing 8 kts), the average sink rate between thermals is usually in the range of 3 knots down meaning that the airmass is going 1 knot down between thermals. On the downwind side of the thermal, I shall get a temporary -6 kts indicated for a very short period of time (that I nickname the Welcome Committee). Believe it or not, when I am close and downwind to a cloud and I get a nasty sink, I like it. It means that I shall get an excellent updraft soon! On the upwind side of the thermal, I usually stay in 0 or +1 knot for a long while. Thus downdrafts are not that violent. In Fayence, I got a -6 m/s downdraft with no updraft at the vicinity (blue line). This is not real life. The exception are cumulonimbus where downdrafts can be tremendous, but these features are not modelled in Condor.
Last edited by jjmaloss on Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Locked