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Kinetic Assistant

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Kinetic Assistant is a SimConnect utility that covers missing simulation or gameplay elements of the Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020). Desktop application read sim variables and return adjusted values (like speed and rotation) back into the game to simulate some specific conditions, uplift inside of artificial thermal for example. Also it can insert objects into the game, like AI tow planes.

Currently these features are available: Winch, Aerotow, Thermals, Catapult and Arresting gear. All of them have limitations, so please read the description for each below.

* Kinetic Assistant also integrated into ALBATROSS competitions app, there is no difference in functionality between full and integrated version

* Freeware carriers pack was released by superspud on flightsim.to and not included into package

* Freeware glider add-on DG808S available on msfs.touching.cloud and not included into package as well

* Hotspots data provided by thermal.kk7.ch online service. This is freeware project, so if you like it – they have donation button in the Feedback section!

* Offline hotspots data provided by maps.openAIP.net service.

This is an open source project – if you are a developer and wish to contribute, or just curious about how it works – find msfsKineticAssistant project on GitHub (link in the header).

1. Requirements

Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020)

.NET Framework 4.7.2 or higher

Microsoft Visual C++ 2015-2019 Redistributable

2. How to install and launch

  1. Unpack archive content (do not place it inside of Community folder)
  2. Launch “Kinetic Assistant.exe” file
  3. Launch Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020)
  4. Choose aircraft and start the flight
  5. Press CONNECT button in the program window
  6. Choose the tab you are planning to use
  7. Set controls for required buttons if you are not willing to leave program on the screen
  8. Follow instructions for selected tab

3. How to uninstall

Remove program folder. If you have used kinetic version prior to 0.7, remove file SimConnect.cfg from My Documents folder

4. Winch

4.1 User interface

  1. String Length value determines how far from takeoff position virtual winch will appear. Longer string length will make the towing process longer, and final altitude higher.
  2. Higher String Speed value will make towing faster, lower – slower. Too low value for your glider performance will make climb less effective, as the airplane will stall instead of gliding.
  3. Initial Acceleration is the amount of time that takes winch to accelerate from zero winch speed to chosen in the String Speed field.
  4. Elasticity makes the winch pull you harder or softer when tension appears.
  5. Connection Point is the hook that will be used for towing. Center of Gravity hook allows you to gain more altitude. Nosehook makes controls easier as the string directs your glider to the winch position, but you can’t reach much altitude with it as it will pull you down right after take off – use it for tow plane only.
  6. Attach winch cable button can be pressed when the parking brake is engaged.

4.2 How to use

Assistant creates an imaginary winch in a selected distance from the player and then shortens the cable. Cable release can be performed manually, automatically when climb angle is high enough, or if string fails because of overload (threshold can be increased in settings).

To activate winch:

  1. shut down engines with Ctrl+Shift+E
  2. in the program set required values: higher String Length value will make towing longer so you can get higher altitude, String Speed will set starting winch speed (it will be decreased while you are climbing), Initial Acceleration will adjust speed up duration, Elastic Stretch – how much string length will change because of tension (lower value – steel, higher – rubber)
  3. while you on the ground and parking brakes engaged, press Attach winch cable or configured hotkey – virtual winch will be positioned in front of you at the same altitude, at selected distance minus 10m to avoid string tension
  4. Set flaps at 3-5 degrees
  5. when you ready, Disengage parking brakes, after 5 seconds delay launch will happen
  6. if you are on the runway, bank angle of the glider will be leveled
  7. hold 30-45 degree pitch angle and selected airspeed until you reach required altitude, or winch will start to drag you down
  8. on start winch speed will be equal to selected value, but it decreases dynamically because of high cable tension or high elevation angle
  9. to release manually, press Release winch cable button in application or configured hotkey
  10. if angle to the winch position will be greater than 70 degrees, cable will be released automatically

5. Aerotow

5.1 User interface

  1. Higher Scan range will make further objects appear in the results list
  2. Elasticity acts the same as Winch Elasticity
  3. Connection Point is recommended to set as Nose hook, as it will make the towing process simpler. CG hook can be used as well, but you will experience problems with holding position behind the towplane.
  4. Scanning Type filtering out results by type. To see online players you should select the Pilots option, as it is the only way to see other players via SimConnect at the moment.
  5. AI Tow Plane sets a model of the plane that will be inserted into the game after AI TOW button press. List contains only default MSFS aircraft, but you can type the name of another installed aircraft (full name you can take from Aircraft Window in Developer Mode). List split in two parts – planes below the line do not work well in the mode, when immediate take off happens (Realistic Tow Plane procedures option disabled). You could use them only when taxiing applied before take off.
  6. SEARCH button activates scanning of nearest objects. If tow rope connected, this button will disable scanning and release the rope at the same time. It is recommended to stop scanning after the towing finishes to avoid CPU consumption.
  7. AI TOW button insert towplane into the game. It will exist until you press DISCONNECT button
  8. Attach To Closest will attach rope to the first object in the list. If a connection is already made, the button will release the rope and continue to scan.

5.2 Multiplayer usage

You can attach your glider, or any other aircraft, to another sim object by invisible rope. By current limitation, the game does not return other players’ aircraft on SimConnect request, so you can connect to the AI/Live traffic planes and ground service units only. However, most native MSFS planes have pilot objects inside, which can be detected by program. So if tow plane was chosen wisely by another player, you still can connect cable to it using Pilots item in Type dropdown. However, some MSFS planes have issues with pilot position calculation, so can’t be used as a multiplayer tow plane. Known examples: DR400 Asobo, Cessna Skyhawk G1000 Asobo, FlightDesignCT Asobo.

  1. set scanning radius (tow rope length is variable – 80m in the air, 40m on the ground)
  2. select elastic value; as string will be really short and low elastic value can’t be processed properly at such low update rate, minimum total elastic stretch can be 5m minimum. It means for 100m string, even if 1% set in settings, it will be 5% in fact.
  3. select connection point; Nose hook recommended for the towing as make controls simpler
  4. select object type (only these objects will be added into scan result list)
  5. press SEARCH button
  6. in the list find aircraft (or pilot object inside of aircraft) to which you want to be attached
  7. press on the name label
  8. once tow rope connected, its length will be slowly decreased/increased automatically
  9. press on aircraft label or STOP button to release tow string
  10. string will be released automatically if angle to the tow plane will be more than 90 degrees in the air or 179 on the ground

5.3 Request AI Tow Plane

Aerotow tab has a button that inserts AI planes into the game, which will take the role of a tug. AI planes have a very limited level of control by SimConnect, so their effectiveness relies on many conditions, which you should know before use.

Two different modes available (depend on selected Realistic Tow Plane procedures option): immediate take off or taxiing from the parking.

To create AI tow plane anywhere:

  1. Press Connect button
  2. Ensure that Realistic Tow Plane procedures option is disabled (Settings tab)
  3. Open Aerotow tab
  4. Choose suitable for take off position (at least 500m of clean area in front of you)
  5. Remember that plane always turn North after take off
  6. Choose Elasticity, Connection Point and AI Tow Plane parameters (Scan range and Scanning type will be set automatically)
  7. Notice that you can choose only planes from the top part of the list (others will not move after insertion); custom planes allowed (you can find full list of your aircraft in Developer > Aircraft Selection window), but it this mode some/most of them will not move after insertion
  8. Press AI TOW button
  9. In 5 seconds tow plane will appear in front of you
  10. It will take off immediately, so be ready to avoid buildings and trees as there is no altitude control for this kind of AI aircraft
  11. tow plane will lift to the [launch position height] + 7000ft and then just follow to the north,  so you should release rope until then
  12. press STOP button to release tow rope and disable scanning (it consume CPU power)

To create AI tow plane on the airfield parking:

  1. choose the airfield with parking spots
  2. set as Departure point parking or runway position
  3. set Destination for the flight plan, it can be another airfield or custom location; without destination, tow plane may appear in the wrong airfield (last one used for the flight plan)!
  4. start the flight
  5. Press Connect button
  6. Ensure that Realistic Tow Plane procedures option is enabled (Settings tab)
  7. Open Aerotow tab
  8. Choose Elasticity, Connection Point and AI Tow Plane parameters (Scan range and Scanning type will be set automatically)
  9. You can choose any plane from the list
  10. Press AI TOW button
  11. In 5 seconds tow plane will appear on one of the parking
  12. If it did not appear, all parking spaces are busy, or airfield scene not configured properly (example of working airfields: EDWW and EDPN), or you have not set flight plan properly
  13. AI will proceed to taxiing, respecting ATC commands
  14. it can stuck because some other object blocking the movement – other airplane, ground service unit, your glider; if it stay in one place rotating continuously, something wrong, so you can try to add new one
  15. if AI plane started to move in opposite to runway direction (into nearby forest for example), it is not trying to hijack you, just don’t know where to go because this airfield does not have taxiways
  16. if it appear too far away from you, it will teleported near to you and then both of you follow to the runway
  17. you will be towed by the plane on the ground as well; that does not happen in real life but only workaround as small airfields does not have push back services
  18. once AI plane reached runway, it will contact ATC to request take off
  19. after approval, it will take position on the runway and take off; it may happen that you are not aligned on the runway properly
  20. after take off follow tow plane until it reach maximum altitude (it may be less than you desire)
  21. press STOP button to release tow rope and disable scanning (it consume CPU power)

6. Catapult

6.1 User interface

  1. Takeoff Speed will set the maximum speed of the catapult. When this speed value is reached, engines only will be the source of acceleration.
  2. Ready to launch can be pressed when parking brakes engaged. Press the button again to initiate acceleration.

6.2 How to use

Catapult is a simple script that accelerates aircraft to the selected airspeed. Launch aborts in case if preferred speed was reached, or aircraft takes off.

  1. as aircraft experience significant overload during launch, you need to disable crashes in the game settings, or enable Developer mode
  2. take launching position – it can be on the carrier or on the land, just be sure you have enough space to take off
  3. Engage parking brakes
  4. set Takeoff Speed value – catapult will accelerate aircraft to this speed
  5. press Ready to launch button
  6. set required throttles level (normally about 80%)
  7. Disengage parking brakes and aircraft will receive acceleration immediately

7. Arresting gear

7.1 User interface

  1. Full Stop Time will determine how long landing running takes. Lower value will cause stronger drag force – 2-3 seconds can be set for carrier jets with higher landing speed. For slow planes value can be 4-5 seconds for smooth deceleration.
  2. Deploy tailhook should be pressed at the same time as gear extraction triggered.

7.2 How to use

Arresting gear does not have any kind of hook/string collision calculations and activated after plane touching surface by one of the wheels or appear lower than 0.3m to the surface, while tailhook extracted (regardless is it presented/animated in the aircraft model or not) and speed more than 40 knots. After landing, aircraft experience negative drag force for the selected period of time. However, deceleration is limited to 5G and if landing speed is too high, aircraft will roll more then ~100m which will cause arresting string failure.

  1. while in the air, set required Full Stop Time value – depends on landing speed of your aircraft, set lower value for high speed aircraft
  2. press Deploy tailhook button, if model has animated tailhook – it will be deployed
  3. land on the carrier, or runway, or field; after first touchdown aircraft will experience drag force until full stop
  4. if you are not able to stop in ~100m, arresting string will fail (can be disabled in settings)
  5. after full stop string will be released and tailhook will be retracted automatically

8. Thermals

8.1 User interface

  1. Amount of loaded into program memory thermals, it includes both CSV and API points.
  2. LittleNavMap thermals map button can be used to load manually made thermals map in CSV format. You can load several maps one by one.
  3. Thermal.KK7.ch button will toggle automatic hotspots loading for current area. You can check coverage on the service website, you need to check HotSpots option in the left top corner to see the data loaded by Kinetic. This is an online method and requires an internet connection.
  4. openAIP.net toggle automatic hotspots loading for current area, coverage can be checked on service website. This is an offline method and doesn’t require internet connection.
  5. Clear thermals data button will clear thermals list, both CSV and API data.
  6. After clicking on CSV icon, thermal data can be saved as a CSV file and then loaded in LittleNavMap as Userpoints.
  7. After clicking on API icon, the service map will be opened in the web browser.
  8. Thermals height dropdown affect all API thermals, and CSV thermals with elevation near to 0 (+/- 1000). You could set it manually as the lower edge of the clouds. Exception is ALBATROSS application that will set this value automatically.
  9. Thermals type dropdown affects behavior of the thermals in different wind conditions.
  10. Enable thermals button activate updraft calculations while you are inside of the thermal.

8.2 How thermals works

Thermals are just coordinate points placed into program memory. Assistant does not affect the weather system anyhow, even wind,  as such capabilities are not implemented in SimConnect of MSFS, so lift calculations happen outside of the game.

Thermal lift power calculated from different modifiers:

  • how close plane to the center of the thermal (horizontally, nonlinear)
  • how close plane to the top, from 0 at the ground level to 1 at elevation level, nonlinear; also, inversion layer exist up to 500ft above elevation
  • pitch/bank angle modifier
  • wind (0-50m/s then thermal disappear): width increasing from 100% to 200%, strength decreasing from 100% to 0%, Static/Lean/Drift thermal behavior type on choice (drift positions will be reset after each thermals data reload)
  • weather: disappear while raining, 20% – snowing
  • time of the day: 100% daytime (no sun height dependency), 10% dawn, 0% dusk/night
  • forward velocity modifier to prevent overspeed
  • additional forward speed compensation as SimConnect script creating unwanted drag force

Smooth transition of ambient modifiers simulated by transformation delay, so it is normal that effect will not change immediately after weather change, teleportation or flight start.

8.3 Create thermals map manually

  1. Open flight plan in Little Navmap (or just to navigate to the area where are you planning to glide)
  2. create Userpoints at thermals locations with these parameters: ident – “thermal”, type – “location”, tags – thermal radius (in nautical miles, digit only) – space – thermal power in knots (optional), elevation (above ground in thermal location, in feet; if less than 1000 – thermal height will rely on selected by user Thermals height option, while elevation value became modifier)
  3. Choose menu item UserpointsExport CSV

Examples:

Elevation: 3000
Tag: 1
if ground level at 500 feet MSL, thermal top will be at 3500ft (MSL, barometric altitude), 1nm radius, lift power 10kn by default

Elevation: 2500
Tag: 1.5 10
thermal top at 3000ft MSL, 1.5nm radius, best lift inside of thermal will be ~8kn on the top, in the middle – about 5kn

Elevation: 500
Tag: 0.5
thermal height will be measured by MSL value, selected by user in Thermals tab (version 0.8 and later), if it set 6000, then thermal height will be 6500ft above sea level, 0.5nm radius, 10kn best lift value

Elevation: -500
Tag: 2 8
with same clouds level value, top of the thermal is 5500ft above sea level, 2nm radius 8kn (v0.8+ as well)

8.4 Load CSV thermals map

  1. Press LittleNavMap thermals map button on Thermals tab
  2. Select CSV file
  3. Set Thermals height value to fit current weather preset (altitude of lower clouds layer, 10000 if no clouds at all); only thermals with elevation value from -1000 to 1000 will be affected
  4. Press Enable Thermals button

8.5 Load API thermals

You can load high lift areas data from thermal.kk7.ch and maps.openAIP.net API services:

Both online services provide hotspots data mainly around Alps and some other areas. Coverage is low globally, but some locations are fully filled.

  • Follow website and find preferred soaring location
  • Enable Hotspots layer (kk7 top left corner, openAIP – right sidebar)
  • If you see hotspots in your area, launch the game, press Connect button, and then THERMAL.KK7.CH or openAIP.net
  • Program will load hotspots in your grid, you can see precise amount on top of the form
  • You can use custom (CSV) thermals map together with API data
  • Set Thermals height value to fit current weather preset, otherwise thermals effectiveness will be unrealistic
  • Press Enable Thermals button
  • In the flight, when you reach bounds of loaded area, program will update thermals data automatically
  • thermals strength and radius calculated from probability factor (radius vary 0.3-0.9nm, strength 2-6kn)

While you are inside of thermal cylinder, you will experience additional lift; maximum lift power in the center of the cylinder, at selected altitude, after that power will decrease smoothly. To debug value, press Thermals debug info button at the bottom.

9. Settings

  1. Autoconnect not implemented yet
  2. Display ingame tips will make pop-up Kinetic notifications appear in the game. Because of MSFS bug, they always stay on the screen for 10 seconds even after a new tooltip is inserted.
  3. Realistic Failures affect winch, aerotow and arresting gear. It makes the failure threshold lower so you need to be more accurate.
  4. Random Failures cause short time peaks of the winch/tow cable tension. Each step increases chances and multiplies the tension peak. Training Mode is like using damaged rope that will fail during the next launch but you still have a chance to avoid it.
  5. Enabled Realistic Restrictions forbid to use winch and tow in the air, connect tow rope with parking brakes engaged.
  6. With disabled Realistic Tow Plane procedures, AI towplane inserted in front of you, and taking off happen immediately. AI planes in this mode always follow north and do not avoid terrain or buildings. With enabled Realistic Tow Plane procedures towplane will be inserted on the parking with further ATC guidance.
  7. XCSoar data export disabled due to issues
  8. Play sounds enable sounds notifications created by Kinetic events. Volume can be adjusted with a slider.
  9. News and updates indicator – left click open news page in web browser, right  – reset counter.
  10. Always on top
  11. Transparent mode

10. Debug window

  1. Debug window toggle button
  2. Towplane scan result list
  3. Thermal data – visual representation of current thermal modifiers, last one is final modifier that affects lift power.
  4. System messages log

11. Controls configure

  • to bind keyboard/joystick/mouse button to the Assistant function, press CTRL icon near to event button
  • select desired MSFS sim variable (currently lights only)
  • configure this event in MSFS controls settings
  • press this button twice in short period of time (with interval between 0.25-1.0 seconds), process can be described as “blink by lights”

12. Issues

  • if winch/tow does not work for some gliders in v0.8.4, update to newer version
  • to fix program crash on attempt to load KK7 hotspots data, update to version 0.8.1 or later
  • to fix “Flight plan not found” error after AI TOW button pressed, update program to the version 0.7.1 or later
  • if you have problem with loading CSV file into assistant (thermals map), update to version 0.7 or later
  • if some other mods, add-ons or SimConnect utilities does not work properly after Kinetic Assistant usage, start Assistant version 0.7 or later and connect to the game once to fix the problem; if did not helped – remove SimConnect.cfg file from My Documents manually)
  • planes, controlled by other players, does not appear in nearby objects list due to SimConnect bug; as temporary workaround – pilot inside of the other player’s plane can be selected as towing target. That means planes without pilot objects inside can’t be used as a tow plane. But some stock aircraft has issue with pilots entities, they are not moving together with airplane, so can’t be used for multiplayer towing (only as AI tow plane, list in the description)
  • inserted AI planes often does not act predictable – taxiing in opposite direction to the runway (no taxiways in this airfield), stuck in the taxiing process (some other game object blocking his movements), gain altitude too fast, or to slow, or crash into buildings, etc. be ready for surprises.
  • no visible winch cable, arresting strings, launchpad
  • old tooltip does not disappear after new one added (SimConnect bug)
  • no launchpad animation (even if it exists) due to disabled related sim variable
  • catapult and arresting gear can be activated anywhere, not only on carriers

Kinetic Assistant v0.8.4.1

Discus 2.5  winch/tow hotfix

Kinetic Assistant v0.8.4

  • landing/taxi light blinking while connected to the tow plane (to make it obvious for the tow plane pilot)
  • thermals wind modifier (0-50m/s then thermal disappear): width increasing from 100% to 200%, strength decreasing from 100% to 0%, Static/Lean/Drift thermal behavior on choice (drift positions will be reset after each thermals data reload)
  • thermals weather modifier: disappear while raining, 20% – snowing
  • thermals time of the day modifier: 100% daytime (no sun height dependency), 10% dawn, 0% dusk/night
  • catapult holds aircraft at launch position position until catapult trigger
  • arrestor vertical force decreased to avoid immediate stop

Kinetic Assistant v0.8.3

  • Hotspots import generated by OpenAIP.net API (offline)
  • News notifier (settings page)
  • Slew mode pauses any kinetic activity

Kinetic Assistant v0.8.2

  • Always on top and Transparency checkboxes removed (available on the window bar)
  • 20 seconds minimum KK7 data update interval (to prevent server flooding by possible code issue)
  • KK7 thermals button state save (no need to toggle it after each program launch, just press Enable Thermals to update the data)
  • Solved KK7 data load precision issues, program request data for single grid cell (3 on far north/south) to avoid clipping
  • API thermals filtering, too keep distance between received hotspots
  • API thermals maximum strength decreased

Kinetic Assistant v0.8.1

  • Application crash fixed on attempt to load KK7 hotspots data
  • Background load of hotspots data improved when pilot get outside of loaded area
  • KK7 data export into CSV fixed (actual values will be inserted into Elevation/Tag values)

Kinetic Assistant v0.8

  • transparency option
  • partially working Always on top feature fixed
  • Winch Initial acceleration field added
  • Custom AI tow plane name support (most aircraft will not take off without taxiing; names list can be found in Developer menu -> Aircraft Selector)
  • Automatic thermals data load from thermal.kk7.ch service (experimental! coverage is limited, check their website to choose supported location)
  • Thermals height field, for thermal.kk7.ch data or CSV thermals with 0 elevation set; should match altitude of lower clouds layer in the game (in feet)
  • Thermal Clear button added, as now several sources can be used same time – multiple CSVs made in LittleNavMap and thermal.kk7.ch server data
  • Thermal debug data moved into bottom window
  • Winch/Tow rope random failures option (chances still depend on tension, Training Mode is like use damaged rope that will fail during next launch)
  • AI tow plane altitude limit depend on launching position altitude (fix for mounting area)

Kinetic Assistant v0.7.1

  • Error “Flight plan does not exist” in Steam version of MSFS fixed

Kinetic Assistant v0.7

  • compatibility issue with CJ4 mod fixed in fsConnect.dll (start Assistant and connect to the game once to fix the problem, if did not helped – remove SimConnect.cfg file from My Documents manually)
  • thermal parsing script decimal delimiter related issue fixed
  • AI tow plane insertion (immediate takeoff or taxiing, depends on Realistic Tow Plane procedures option)
  • warning if program launched from Community folder (move program folder outside of Community directory)
  • new settings options
  • cable tension calculation improvements

If you have a problem with DG808S (v0.6 or earlier) when you select parking as departure point (glider appear in the air), unpack these FLT files into community folder (overwrite on request). For later glider version, you don’t need these files.

If you have downloaded this version in less than 3 hours from release moment and experience problem with settings being not saved, download this archive again and update your files

Kinetic Assistant v0.6TEST

development version

Kinetic Assistant v0.5

* Aerotow tab – both AI and player’s planes attachment supported, can be activated only on the ground
* rope tension length limited to 5 meters
* glider bank leveling before winch start (on runway only)
* nose connection point (both winch and tow)
* thermal “Tags” value can contain both radius and strength, like “0.5 12” means radius 0.5nm maximum with strength 12kn
* multiply thermals modifiers for the smooth experience
* thermal lift calculation results rendering
* thermal lift disappear at airspeed greater than 180kn to avoid overspeed

Kinetic Assistant v0.3

* sound notifications setting added
* MSFS controls tracking (light evens can be linked with program functions)
* winch launch button removed (parking brakes disengage will be used to trigger launch)
* Thermals tab added (CSV userpoints list generated by Little Navmap)
* Winch cable speed depend on tension and climb angle
* rotation and vertical speed stabilization of the aircraft while catapult or arresting gear is active
* arresting string can be activated only at speed 20kn or higher
* maximum arresting string effectiveness limited to 5G
* maximum arresting string working length set as 100m

Kinetic Assistant v0.2

  • Winch code improved
  • Settings page
  • Catapult and Arrestor sections added

Kinetic Assistant v0.1

Initial release, Winch section

64 feedbacks on Kinetic Assistant

Hello Alex, first of all thanks for the great work you do. Kinetic Assistant works excellent overall in Connection with MSFS. Winch does its job and manually creating thermals with LittleNavmap functions well (these thermals can be quite strong!). I tried the combination with the Discus 2b, DG808S and SF-28 Falke.
Just a little “bug report”: Loading thermal hotspots from KK7 and openAIP has some issues. Sometimes they won’t be loaded at all, sometimes they get loaded after some flying time in the sim. But even when they’re loaded, they seem to have no effect at all. I’m flying directly to the position where they’re supposed to be, but there’s no thermal effect. A handmade LNM thermal at the same spot works well on the contrary.
(Running MSFS Steam version, all the latest updates, latest Kinetic Assistant version 0.8.4.1)
I will try to switch off some other mods I’m using, but I don’t think that will change a lot, since it’s merely scenery, liveries, Bushtalk Radio and stuff like that.
Nonetheless, thanks again for a fantastic tool.
Greetings and happy flying
Christoph

Hello! API stuff became tricky and maybe you just testing it wrong, let me explain it in details.

1. First of all – ensure that you have set Thermals Height value, because API thermals rely on it.
2. New option “drifting thermals” makes them move by wind. Poorly tested to be honest, may cause problems.
3. Thermals will be updated periodically in the process, so that is normal. Problem with KK7 server – it divides earth surface on degrees grid, so if I will request thermals for 10km radius around the player, it will return nothing. So when you cross grid border – script request new thermals for whole cell (on far north/south – three). This technique can have issues, especially when you fly along the border.
4. Remember that not all API thermals inserted into the game – when they are too dense, program filtering them out by distance, so they appear in 1-2-5 km’s between each other (depends on Probability value). If you reading WEB map – highly likely you will not find some thermals in the game in same positions. Instead, save CSV file and load it by LNV – it will provide reliable list of thermals and their position (even if drifting enabled, for a short period of time).

Installed mods can’t affect thermals anyhow, only other SimConnect tools – like replay, pushback etc.
And yes – even after various variables applied, thermals still too strong. But fight is not over.
Let me know if you’ll find something.

Thank you for your quick answer. It really may be that I was moving along the grid borders, there were some info boxes that the number of thermals had changed from time to time. I’ll check that out. Also, I wasn’t aware that it’s possible to load .csv files form kk7. I’ll give that a try and go on testing your fabulous software!

Hi Alex,
tried Kinetic Assistant again yesterday following your recommendations and it worked really great this time. I activated the KK7 online thermals, without even importing a csv file, and left the setting on “static”. And I found the thermals exactly where KK7 spotted them. Had a nice 80 kilometres flight. Thank you for that. Hopefully, Asobo will implement some elements of thermals in the future so that a cloud (or even birds) will indicate the spots of thermals like in real life.

Oh, and by the way: didn’t find a way to support you so far (like buy you a coffee or something). How can it be done?

Automatic downloader of thermal maps from KK7 & openAIP deosn’t work – I have Kinetic Assistant connected, both buttons (KK7 & openAIP) are green, but when I press enable thermals Kinetic assistant says “No thermal maps loaded” and thermals (which I can see on online map) are not in game 🙁

Yesterday I was using ALBATROSS with the integrated Kinetic assistant and the XCSoar server. All had been working well for about 15mins, I was circling a thermal using XCSoar when XCSoar stopped updating and displayed “GPS Fix” in the bottom left corner. When I looked at the device status in XCSoar it said “Error”. Since then I haven’t been able to get XCSoar to connect to MSFS using any server I can get running. I deleted the SimConnect.xml file in the MSFS game directory, but still no luck. Any ideas?

1. when you trying to connect, is something happen in Monitor mode (black incoming commands screen)?
2. I guess you have tried to reboot Windows, may happen that script was crashed and did not remove listen flag from the port 10110
3. which XCSoar client are you using, desktop or mobile device?

program does not create any config files in the system or game directory, so it was not good idea to delete this xml file. only guess I have that program still using NMEA port, but if same happen after reload – really weird.
what about other similar services, like xconn – is it still connects MSFS and XCSoar?

1. In monitor mode I don’t see anything coming in.
2. I have restarted windows.
3. I’m using the Windows XCSoar client.

I’ve only tried the FS2020NMEA.exe app as a server for XCSoar and I haven’t been able to get it to work since the issue started. I can’t get xconn to work, I’m missing the Microsoft.FlightSimulator.SimConnect assembly.

I got xConn working and XCSoar connected through it. It might be worth mentioning that xConn couldn’t connect by TCP to 127.0.0.1:10110. Using UDP works though.

Can you try to check ports status in your Windows.
One of the ways – in Command Line window (you have to open it as Administrator), type command:

netstat -a -b

it will list your local ports, you can stop the process with Ctrl+C after 3-4 seconds, no need to hold it longer. Then copy the content and paste in some text editor, like notepad.
Search for 10110 – when Albatross active, it should appear as

TCP 0.0.0.0:10110 WIN-***********:0 LISTENING [ALBATROSS MSFS.exe]

When no NMEA programs launched – no match should be found.

You can use any other ports scanner, you just need to find why this TCP port is occupied.

It doesn’t seem like the port is occupied. Using either netstat or TCPView nothing is using port 10110 unless I start the ALBATROSS server. I’m not sure why xConn is having trouble connecting to that TCP port because ALBATROSS seems to be connecting and disconnecting fine. I actually managed to get XCSoar to connect to ALBATROSS a few times after connecting successfully with xConn. It seems that whatever xConn is doing somewhat remedies the connection error between XCSoar and ALBATROSS. After disconnecting and reconnecting ALBATROSS I had the connection error until I ran xConn again.
When successfully connected through ALBATROSS, XCSoar was saying “GPS waiting for fix” even after restarting the flight. I monitored the connection and data was flowing, so I don’t know what’s going on there.

sounds like some poltergeist happen. I will spent some time tomorrow flying with XCSoar active, maybe I will be able to replicated issue. meanwhile, it will be not included in next kinetic update to avoid problems for others.

Tried out KA last couple of days. In general it works great, did some aerotows with friends.
However, for some reasons, not all of the default aircraft work as tow planes.

If friend uses DG808S and I use Zlin for tow, everything works great. Same for Bonanza or DA40.
But if I use DR400 for example, it just won’t work.
Friend connects to me and I slowly taxi forward. At around 50m distance, the distance indication at my friends will stop changing although I continue to taxi forward. At around 80m distance (I can see that if I open KA aswell) my friend will get „Tow rope disconnected“. Same results with Cessna.
We tried it the other way round but same result. We do nothing different to when we use the Zlin, but with the DR400 it just won’t work.
It’s a bummer because DR400 is the most common tow plane around here.

Never tried DR400 so maybe some issue exist, however program rely on pilot position rather than aircraft, a but strange it happen. We will check it.

Thank you!
We sure do connect to the pilots (tried both pilots in the plane) as we do with the Zlin and the others that work, however on the DR400 this doesn’t work 🤷‍♂️
Thanks for checking! 🙂

Hello! Finally was able to test DR400, and I can confirm this AC has a problem. As you know, kinetic connecting with pilot object that sit inside of the plane, as plane itself (controlled by pilot) not visible for SimConnect application (hope it will be fixed soon).
DR400 has pilots inside, but for some reason they are not moving with the airplane. Visually they are attached to plane model, but anchor (or some sort of system point with tag “pilot”) keep staying on the same place where airplane appear. So it is model issue, and I have not found a simple way to fix it. Will send bug tracker ticket but unlikely it will be fixed in near future.

Hi when i edit my thermal points and will it load into kinetic assistant i became an error :
Userpoint record does not have enough parameters
greeting Michi

Can you paste CSV lines here (some of them if file too long), and be sure to use 0.7+ version to avoid decimal delimiter issue

My Csv Lines are :
Type,Name,Ident,Latitude,Longitude,Elevation,Magnetic Declination,Tags,Description,Region,Visible From,Last Edit,Import Filename
Location,,thermal ,52.97976,10.44273,1000,1.67992,1.5 20,,Bahrnsen,250,2021-02-09T10:40:41.380,
Location,,thermal ,52.94512,10.31090,1000,1.64373,1.5 20,,Bahrnsen,250,2021-02-09T10:39:50.702,
Location,,thermal ,52.92132,10.41441,1000,1.67451,1.5 20,,Bahrnsen,250,2021-02-09T10:40:03.804,

Replace “thermal ,” with “thermal,” – additional space, will fix it in next update.
You will have warning for the first line (header) but you can ignore it, data will be loaded properly.

The ai in MFS2020 will not takeoff with me and instead just kinda begin to point to the left and we dont go anywhere

Yeah, AI is very unpredictable. In taxiing mode (Realistic AI checkbox enabled), only part of airfields supported, even if so – it can stuck waiting for ATC command.
In immediate take off mode – only part of aircraft starting to move after appearance.
Best chances you have calling Icon on the runway and take off straight away. Check out video tutorials in case you are making something wrong.

Hello. Thank you for your work; the Kinetic app is getting better, every day. Currently; Kinetic is not exporting the “thermals” correctly, for Little Navmap…

eg: KineticAssistant_0.8.1.csv
(bad)
Location,,thermal,41,65718,-8,36586,0,1,0.8 5.5,,,250,2020-01-01T00:00:00.000,
(Good)
Location,,thermal,41.65718,-8.36586,0,1,0.8 5.5,,,250,2020-01-01T00:00:00.000,

Kind regards

I think it was fixed yesterday, but not sure was it included into latest archive or not, please download 0.8.1 again and check it out (I have updated files several times).
If not, fix will be included into 0.8.2 (probably tonight)

“If you see hotspots in your area, launch the game, press Connect button, and then THERMAL.KK7.CH”

When I press connect, there is nothing labeled THERMAL.KK7.CH for me to press. Please elaborate on exactly what we’re supposed to do in order to connect to the API, after pressing connect.

Thanks!

It looks like you’re doing this in LNM? Maybe I misunderstood but I thought LNM was only needed if you’re making your own thermals manually.

It appears the site I downloaded from still serves 0.7, sorry about that. I wish I could remember which site that was, I’ve been downloading a lot all weekend.

Thanks

Which antivirus software are you using? First of all check log of it, in case AV blocked the program for some reason.
Ensure you have .NET 4.6.2 installed and Microsoft Visual C++ (can be found in Control Panel > Programs section)

Hi, I’m not able to bind my joystick buttons to the Assistant function. Does it matter what lights item is chosen from the MSFS control options menu, i.e. set cabin lights, toggle cabin lights, cabin lights on/off etc? Also once the button is configured in the control settings, do I have to press the configured button twice before leaving the options menu for it to be recognised by the Assistant function? Unfortunately, the instructions are not very clear. I’d appreciate your help in what is otherwise a very good program.

Hello.
Yes, it is important to toggle light even so program will capture this action. So if you want to use single button only (I guess you are) – choose “Toggle cabin lights”.
Then just save settings, no need to press anything at this stage.

While game running, Assistant connected, and “LIGHT CABIN” selected in required button, press selected keyboard or joystick button twice – with interval ~0.5 seconds (not too quickly).

The reason why we have such headache with controls – game developers did not include gliders related events into controls settings, even if variables exists in the game and can be read by SimConnect (but not write).

Hi – regarding thermals. Could you show a screenshot of this instruction:

“create Userpoints at thermals locations with these parameters: ident – “thermal”, type – “location”, tags – thermal radius (in nautical miles, digit only) – space – thermal power in knots (optional), elevation (above ground in thermal location, in feet)”

I think i’m a bit confused. What do the terms “elevation” and “thermal power in knots” actually mean? What are some good default numbers?

Elevation is a ceiling of the thermal (altitude above ground), at this point thermal will change to inversion layer.
Second number is lift power.
Examples:

Elevation: 3000
Tag: 1
if ground level at 500 feet MSL, thermal top will be at 3500ft (barometric altitude), 1nm radius, lift power 15kn by default

elevation: 2500
Tag: 1.5 10
thermal top at 3000ft, 1.5nm radius, best lift inside of thermal will be ~8kn on the top, in the middle – about 5kn

I can’t tell you best values, they depend on landscape and weather conditions. You should probably set elevation same as cumulus clouds layer altitude (minus ground level), and power around 5-15 (depends on the temperature, can be 20 in a hot day)

check out this tutorial for better understanding https://youtu.be/AUqTzTkIZeY

Hello.

Would it be possible to program the AI Tow Plane to climb to 7000′ AGL instead of MSL (or have a “Climb to Altitude” dropdown)? I tried using it at Telluride (KTEX) which sits at 7000′ MSL, so the AI aircraft did not climb at all.

Thanks for the consideration and awesome work on this cool utility!

you are right, climb altitude is limited by MSL value. I will add option to make it adjustable.

Are you aware of an issue with Kinetic Assistant permanently breaking other mods that use FADEC coding for throttle settings? I have tried KA recently and I am also now unable to use throttle in WTcj4, DA40 & DA62 mods. I can’t confirm that KA caused the issues – I tried several mods that day.
If you are aware of the issue, any suggestions what I need to reverse/reinstall to fix it?

Yes, fix will be released today.

Remove Simconnect.cfg from My documents manually to make these mods work.

Hello after Winch start no matter wich settings the winch stop towing and after few secends(15-30) than it start very strog towing pls help??

Hello! Rope is a bit unstable, that is true. try to set flaps to 3-5 degrees, and pitch right after take off.
Check out assistant v0.6 that will be released in the middle of this week, it will have improved rope calculation so no such issue happen there.

Thanks for you awnser but another thing i have test the Towing whit a friend because we are real glider pilots an love the aerotow and if we would to strat towing slowly like real and it zhe rope frame the glider start imidatly like a rubber robe and often after the start it will go out and disconect from the plane can you take the old rope from fsx or
xp11? because its easiler for towing pilots to strat and thanks for you fast awnser by my last question and sorry for my bad englisch i came from germany but i am very afraid if you would to get you feedback

Exactly same issue – poor rope calculations (tow and winch uses same peace of code). Try out future release, it became more stable.
Unfortunately, I can’t use any existing code as this application also presented on marketplace, so I have to avoid any copyright issues and write all code from scratch. Take long, but with your help we can get somewhere.

Thanks for your fast awnser and thanks a lot for your Hard work i Can‘t wart for the new Version and if i can help you pls say it. I now That have noething to do With These Things but i am very very Good in scenery Building if That can help‘s you i have an Ready winch object and you can Look at RCflight7 there is also a air Tow rope it is Yellow and easy to See.
Thanks for your work mein

Hi I try to build a thermal CSV but I get a error message when I import fle into Kinetic assistant (“Userpont record numbers format is incorrect”).

What I get from Little Navmap :
Location,,thermal,42.51412,9.40014,6600,2.93804,0 5 15,,,250,2021-01-16T18:30:56.716,

Any Idea ?

Hello Alex, see my thermals video at https://youtu.be/hZWOM2-_RXw
I made these changes to your program. Please contact me:
public void processThermals()
{
int id = 0;
foreach (winchPosition thermal in thermalsList)
{
//Console.WriteLine(_planeInfoResponse.AltitudeAboveGround + ” ” + thermal.alt);
if (_planeInfoResponse.AltitudeAboveGround 0)
{
// constant 100000.0 to make it in radians
// constant 57.296 to make radians in degrees
// constant 60.0 to make it a Mercator projection, unit nautical miles
double deltaX = (thermal.location.Latitude / 100000.0 – _planeInfoResponse.Latitude) * 57.296 * 60.0;
double deltaY = (thermal.location.Longitude / 100000.0 – _planeInfoResponse.Longitude) * 57.296 * 60.0;
// constant 1852.0 to make it in nautical miles
double radius = thermal.radius / 1852.0;

// standard 2d point in circle formula
if (deltaX*deltaX + deltaY* deltaY < radius*radius)
{
Console.WriteLine("VelocityBodyZ: " + _planeCommit.VelocityBodyZ);

// constant uplift in thermal
_planeCommit.VelocityBodyZ *= 1.0007;

try
{
_fsConnect.UpdateData(Definitions.PlaneCommit, _planeCommit);
}
catch (Exception ex)
{
Console.WriteLine(ex.Message);
}
}
}
id++;
}
}
// THERMALS END

yeah, you have different approach. thing is – I have made some significant changes in thermals code lately but I will try your version and maybe will mix it up.

Hello Alex, I tried thermals with my DG-808S model. I could not make it work. What should be the weather setting of FS2020? I tried clear sky, set wind to 0 knots, but I tried up to 12 knots.
Again, thanks for your work!

“thermals” has nothing to do with the weather system, as it locked and can’t be controlled by external application through SimConnect anyhow.
you can create Userpoints in Little Navmap, set required attributes for them, export as CSV and load this file into assistant.
Then, when your position inside of some point, glider will get some lift.

So again, this is not weather mode, and it does not work automatically.

not sure its because the last update but two things, the winch keeps cycling continuously even after release, and the app freezes simulator keyboard commands even after closing app.

Keyboard issue is really weird, as program just read light variables without involving in keyboard events. Are you in FB Gliders group, or discord channel? I can make special program version for you with some debug information

Hi, just notice that following a cable failure the tips message in the sim reads “Whinch cable failure” but should read “Winch cable failure”. A tirivial thing to fix in a future release…..

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