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I don't have any hard data, but my guess is ActiveSky is generally considered the (gold) standard in our community.  I'm trying to think, but everyone that I can think of that I fly with uses it.  

Welcome back!

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Don Desfosse
Vice President, Operations

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Hello Michael, welcome back to flight simulation!

X-Plane has good built-in weather but you can definitely use addons that are available. I don't use MSFS, so I can't speak on that.

Just a quick word of caution. Flight sims have advanced to an extremely realistic level in the last few years. Be careful, it's going to be addictive! 😉

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19 hours ago, Thimo Koolen said:

Is it? I've heard quite some complaints that it's not always very accurate.

I've found ActiveSky to be significantly more inaccurate, but that's just my observation. YMMV

Ryan Geckler - GK | Former VATUSA3 - Division Training Manager

VATSIM Minneapolis ARTCC | FAA Miami ARTCC 

 

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On 9/15/2022 at 1:23 AM, Thimo Koolen said:

Is it? I've heard quite some complaints that it's not always very accurate.

My anedotal observation is that the data source seems to lag behind real-time -- so if a line of storms is visible on SkyVector which has just moved through Chicago and is now sitting off to the east, in the sim it may be over top of the airport now or is just west and still moving into the area.  I haven't spent a lot of time making careful notes to confirm this hypothesis but it's my current working theory.

Cheers,
-R.

fvJfs7z.png

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This is a lot of interesting info. Thanks you guys. The thoughts about a time delay in real VS sim weather makes sense. I'm ok with that. 

Additionally, the point about simulations and how far they've come since I was last involved is exciting as well as it may be dangerous to a person's wallet! 😅😂😎👍

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On 9/15/2022 at 9:07 AM, Tim Waldon said:

Hello Michael, welcome back to flight simulation!

X-Plane has good built-in weather but you can definitely use addons that are available. I don't use MSFS, so I can't speak on that.

Just a quick word of caution. Flight sims have advanced to an extremely realistic level in the last few years. Be careful, it's going to be addictive! 😉

Due to the expected increase in technology requirements compared to 2007 I've saved up for a new pc. I get to order it next month. About 5 or 6 weeks from now. I'm hoping it will be good for 5 years or so at least. 😅

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If you go for MSFS, you will NOT need an additional weather program, because Microsoft has not opened the weather interface (yet). For X-Plane the live weather function that comes with the simulator is good for starters. I do own ActiveSky for X-Plane 11 and always used it. The cool thing is that you can define custom weather areas which is good when you want to fly VFR and the actual weather is bad. Simply take a real world METAR and replace all those nasty cloud layers with "CAVOK" and you will be good to go, while the temperature and QNH will remain like in the real world.

As usual: before you buy anything, try the weather function(s) that come with the simulator first.

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
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The MSFS weather engine is good enough to surprise me on what seems a fairly regular basis now. 

Climbing out of Vegas the other night, with the Metar reporting reduced vis in blowing dust.  Not only did the sim render reduced vis as you'd expect... it looked like a layer of blowing dust. It was night and these pics are badly compressed (sim does not show any of the banding of course) but you can see the color difference between dust and clouds in the moonlight:

https://thumbs2.imgbox.com/be/c5/X3Dok1Qd_t.png

 https://thumbs2.imgbox.com/01/f9/ZQ7PQOX6_t.png

And here, it's picking up and displaying wildfire smoke in the Sierra: 

https://thumbs2.imgbox.com/99/9f/DbApH1zN_t.png

Edited by Andrew Crowley
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It seems to me that once our client logs into VATSIM it would download raw weather data from VATSIM. This way we're all on the same page. Our individual simulator renders the raw data.

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N313GM, P0: X-Plane 12.b14, Windows 10, Intel I7-5939K 3.5 GHZ, NVIDIA GTX980 4GB, 16GB DDR4 2400 RAM,

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/16/2022 at 10:36 AM, Robert Shearman Jr said:

My anedotal observation is that the data source seems to lag behind real-time -- so if a line of storms is visible on SkyVector which has just moved through Chicago and is now sitting off to the east, in the sim it may be over top of the airport now or is just west and still moving into the area.  I haven't spent a lot of time making careful notes to confirm this hypothesis but it's my current working theory.

Having built a few of these systems in the past I can absolutely confirm this. The radar maps you see have a latency of between 5-15 minutes.

Cheers!

Luke

... I spawn hundreds of children a day. They are daemons because they are easier to kill. The first four remain stubbornly alive despite my (and their) best efforts.

... Normal in my household makes you a member of a visible minority.

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  • 1 month later...

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