The Detroit Post
Thursday, 28 October, 2021

Best X Plane Weather Engine

Ava Flores
• Friday, 04 December, 2020
• 10 min read

Along with this I'd like to buy weather add-ons, I've done research, but I still can't decide between buying Active Sky XP and ultra weather XP (together) OR Environ. The ultimate WeatherEngine for Fix, Prepar3D and Plane giving you the best real weather experience in your simulator.

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Features include real upper and lower air winds, cloud types, clear air turbulence, icing, historic weather, weather reporting and flight planning and compatibility with ATC and AI Traffic. Every 6 minutes Improved Stratus PVC Flight planner and Weather reports Network support via Widens and Disconnect Alternative Network support via Msgr NETWORK Bridge tool Autostart using command line parameters Local weather effects Documented weather data format for weather use in add-ons And more ... Because of sim limits, not all features available in all simulators ...

Massif Khromtsov Ivan Chekhov Max Broken Andrey Yelnikov Dmitri Kotelnikov So mega supercomputers are mostly created for one job, in creating the world's weather system and maybe throw in a few military applications on the side to pay for all that processing power, but simulation users want the same power on their desktop with as close to no frame rate hit in the bargain, well you might have just got your dream.

But make no doubts that there are areas that still need development, and some things are a bit glaring... and then there is that price? But like everything else to be considered is that if you want the best it doesn't come cheap, but there has been a large team and years of development to bring this plugin to your desktop.

Then the application checks to see if your computer can install the plugin, it is noted that you are to be connected to the internet at all times (environ won't work or be able to download data if you are not). If ticked you are then sent to the site which is handy to note updates and changes to the plugin.

I couldn't set up a certain scenario or environment to note differences or changes because environ only runs in “real” time. So what we have here is one UK route Manchester GCC to Peter GTE over five days and flown at various time and conditions.

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I picked the UK, because first it is familiar and two the weather at this time of the year is very changeable. The first thing that strikes you am that the clouds don't look 2d, more 3d and the sheer depth of the formations, breaks gave clear patches of blue as were required, but transparency is very good as we shall see later.

But the biggest effect was the early mist around the hills in the distance from GCC, it was wonderful and very realistic, in some ways environ turns X -Plane10 into X -Plane11 with a great visual haze. On this flight the low cloud was also thin so you passed through it quite quickly into the bright Azure blue above.

Another aspect of environ that is important is that it will look good only with HDR (High-Dynamic-Range imaging) switched on, and that is not a factor in X -Plane11 as it is now tuned only in that way. It is even worse at night (right), HDR has to set quite high as well, but remember you do have more frame rate headroom to play with.

The “wows” got bigger as the change from day to night happened in real time... ... open these images up to see the quality of the formations and the way the light reflects, note the excellent mist on the ground as well, it is just well... stunning.

Climbing out of GTE and the low mist showed the cold 2 degrees on the ground (this is December), up higher and the formations were amazing. The conditions here are very hot 35º so you get more haze than you would normally get, but look at the cloud edge as the wind creates a boundary.

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This boundary effect is noticeable here as well (in X -Plane10) as you can see the sea air conditions are affecting the inland atmosphere. X -Plane11's extra mist boundary created a fuller fill, and it looked simply amazing.

But you notice that X -Plane10 is not as good in the visibility, there is a distinctive line were the fog hits the ground that is more blurred in XP11 creating that more enveloping feel. In leaving the ground the transition from murky fogginess through the translucent phase of a brightening view was simply perfect...

How you push through cloud realistically is one of the most important aspects of flight simulation. Laminar Research wanted their “little puffs” to create such an environment, it did work but clumsily.

There are a few flickers, and too many quick direction changes, but overall the effect is excellent in creating enveloping cloud around you, and after a while you are just working on flying the aircraft in the environment more than being distracted by what is going on around you, in other words it is good as it feels real. It is hard to simulate rain, because in reality is a reflective element in that you would only see it if you shone a light on it, like at night.

Snow is easier as it has mass, and but both are simulated here, but the sounds are more realistic than the visual ideas. Lightning is also an effects feature that gives you lighting strikes around you and in the area on the ground.

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There is of course a delay between reality and events in the real world and a simulator, but it was a very good and reflected my changing current conditions very accurately. Get close to those clouds and the turbulence that was created was very realistic, but I will note I do use the Head shake plugin by Sim coders, and that tends to shake you around more.

Closer to Brisbane and the wind in your face at 22knts made a a pretty hairy landing... Noted features coming soon to environ are: Crepuscular rays, Variable volumetric clouds and haze, Visible precipitation volume, VAT SIM & Ivan networked weather, Historical weather and macOS compatibility.

Sun dog's Sky-Maxx Pro was the first to really breakout of that ceiling (no pun intended) but this plugin from Commercial Simulation Systems has to be the next generation. Cloud blend with terrain, horizon line went out on the update and the night environment needs a lot more work.

Load real-time meteorological data with download interval from 5 up to 60 minutes taking into account following factors: Wind direction and speed on ground and aloft, temperature, turbulence areas, icing areas and dangerous phenomena (thunderstorm wind shear) Simulate visual effects of different types of precipitations and phenomena: rain showers, snow, fog; Simulate visual raindrops effects on windshields both in 2D and 3D cockpits (if it’s loaded in aircraft model); Simulate in-cloud visual effects; Simulate visual effects of shades and aircraft lightning in clouds (Strobe lights, beacon lights, navigation lights, landing lights) Simulate landing lights “screen” effect during in-cloud and foggy flight; Volumetric lights effect; Simulate lightning on clouds surface from cities lights; High-detailed cloud shades; Custom cloud density and range; Simulate realistic breaking action effect; Display saturation, color gamma and cloud density, depending on weather conditions and time of day with real-time changing (automatically) or manually.

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