This is X-Plane GLIDER, a REALLY fun little X-Plane app that lets you do some really fun GLIDING!
Here is how it works: You start off in either of 2 gliders: A nice Ask-21 composite trainer, or a Schemp-Hirth high-performance sailplane. You are on the runway, with a towplane in front of you, engine running, ready to go. Release the brakes to command the towplane to take off and away you go! The towplane will take you as high as you like, and you will hold formation behind him as he pulls you to altitude.
WARNING!! THE TOW-ROPE THAT ATTACHES YOUR PLANE TO HIS IS HOOKED TO HIS TAIL, AND YOUR NOSE, WITH REALISTIC PHYSICS. IF YOU PULL YOUR GLIDER LEFT, RIGHT, UP, OR DOWN, IT WILL PULL HIS TAIL IN THAT DIRECTION, PULLING HIM OFF COURSE, OR ULTIMATELY INTO A STALL OR SPIN IF YOU PULL TOO HARD. AT THIS POINT, YOU WILL HAVE CAUSED THE TOWPLANE TO CRASH, WHICH IS ESPECIALLY PROBLEMATIC SINCE YOU ARE ATTACHED TO HIM WITH A TOW-ROPE! The dynamics of the resulting crash are… ‘interesting’
Once you have gotten a successful ride to altitude, the REAL fun begins: GLIDING! X-Plane glider simulates RIDGE LIFT.
This is a phenomenon where the WIND blows UP and OVER the mountains, climbing or descending to follow the contours of the terrain.
Your mission as a glider pilot is pretty clear: Watch the wind and the slope of the terrain carefully to hold inside the UPWARD-MOVING areas of air, using the lift of the air flowing UP the mountain-slope to hold you aloft! If you set a good 25-knot wind, and then fly along the WINDWARD side of a nice steep mountain, then you can get a really nice free elevator ride to 10,000 feet in the right flying regions! This is called RIDGE LIFT.
Innsbruck, Austria, as well as a number of other amazing flying regions are provided to let you soar across all manner of amazing terrain with steep, tall mountains, watching that wind indicator in the lower-left to see what the wind direction and speed are, then hunting for the perfect mountain-slope at a right angle to that wind, pushing the air up into a free elevator for you to ride to altitude!
Helping you along is an instrument called the TOTAL ENERGY VARIOMETER. If it is BEEPING, then you have found a nice updraft from the air following the terrain… circle in that area to ride the climbing air to altitude! If you hear a STEADY tone, then you are in DESCENDING air… you have probably let yourself be blown to the wrong side of the mountain!!! You are now in DESCENDING air, and a crash will follow
soon if you do not find a way out of that area!
Now, here is where it gets REALLY crazy: MULTIPLAYER! You can do multiplayer gliding with your friends, working on formation flying with gliders (do the RANDOM START to start
in the air… you can see your friend as an icon in the bottom-center of the screen to fly to meet him), or, for more fun than a barrel full of monkeys, ONE of you should get in the Cessna 172 that is provided with the sim, and tow the other person aloft! With one of you acting as the towplane, and the other as the glider, you can have fun finding the perfect place to soar. BUT, READ THE TEXT ABOVE ON HOW IT IS POSSIBLE FOR THE GLIDER TO CRASH THE TOWPLANE! Hold position right behind the towplane carefully.. unless, of course, you WANT him to crash! After all… you can always RELEASE the tow-rope after you have put your friend in a spin, leaving him to crash as you go soaring!
PS: OK one more note: We just added a MOTORGLIDER for you as well… so you can motor on up to altitude and shut down the engine and glide as well, if you like!