Ridge and slope lift

Hills, ridges and mountains produce rising air in a number of ways and they are all realistically simulated in Condor.

Wind blowing on a hill and being deflected upwards sounds quite simple, but there are many effects Condor also takes into account.

The strength of lift varies with distance from the slope, wind strength, altitude, height above the valley, and angle between the ridge axis and the wind.

Bowls and gullies in the ridge channel the air and give improved lift. The area of best lift moves upwind as you approach the crest of the hill, and the wind speed increases over the top. Behind the ridge the air descends in a turbulent area of sink.

Slopes facing the sun have increased heating, and this gives rise to upslope winds which can also be soared.


Thermals in Condor are triggered by hot areas on the ground like fields, villages or slopes facing the sun. They have roughly round cross-sections with diameters from 100 to 500 meters. They can have a cumulus cloud at the condensation level, or be completely cloudless “blue” thermals. When the reservoir of warm air at the ground is exhausted, the lift starts to weaken and finally the cloud dissipates and the cold air starts sinking.

In windy conditions the thermals are inclined because of the change of wind strength with height and are moving with the wind at the same time. Some thermal are created by a fixed source, such as a sunny slope, and there do not travel with the wind, and are sharply inclined in the downwind direction.

If the wind is strong enough, and you enabled the setting in the Condor weather setting page, they will form long streets aligned with the wind direction.


Lee waves can be made in Condor with the appropriate settings on the weather page.

The strength of the wave, the wavelength and the visibility of the lenticularis clouds are controlled by setting the wind speed, the airmass stability, and the airmass moisture content.

Using the weather controls in Condor its possible to have all three types of lift available in one flight. This can make the selection of the best strategy for cross country flying  quite challenging, but also a lot of fun.