Flight Simulator Add-on Reviews:
Discus Glider X
27.95 Euros (download, 160MB)
What is it?
Discus Glider X is an add-on for
Flight Simulator X from German publisher Aerosoft. Based
Schempp-Hirth Discus B. The original release offered ten
but with the upgrade to version 1.5 a further three models
all with English cockpits and British markings. Five Discus B
are provided, four in German markings and one in British
Discus BT has an auxiliary engine which can be used in flight
not capable of being used for take-off; five of these are
provided - four in German
markings and one in British colours. The Discus
use its engine for take-off but only around nine have been
of these are provided - two in German colours and one in
markings. Because Microsoft Flight Simulator X will not allow
if the towed aircraft has an engine, Aerosoft has thoughtfully
included the WinchX! facility, which allows all three types to
launched using this module. Of course the pure glider Discus B
still be launched using the default FSX aero tow facility.
Comprehensive documentation is also provided.
Discus B on the winch [click
on image to see larger version]
In detail ...
development (more than 20 months to create).
detail models (e.g. the Virtual Cockpit of the
model has 146384 polygons, more than double the capacity
using all the FSX options.
flight models that are accurate even in spins and
other non-standard attitudes.
100 non-standard sounds (created through flying with open
pending stalls etc.), all triggered by FSX variables and
Aerosoft Sound Control.
water ballast system.
ports (with selector) to avoid problems when using the
non standard animations, including elements that move
high G load, as well as an animated pilot.
wing flex created with new technology.
instruments accurate, including Total Energy Compensation
yaw string, making coordinated flight easier.
include a highly realistic C4 Flight Computer that
allows the pilot to calculate ideal speeds and routes.
licensed copy of Winch X! .
full support of Schempp-Hirth, SDI Variomers and
the SOAR online glider community.
FSX manual (English) and the real manuals for
the gliders and C4 Flight Computer (English and German)
Cable release [click on image to see larger
confess I waited impatiently for this title to be released and
months while it was in development passed by very slowly,
by the odd 'taster' on the Aerosoft web site of what delights
come. In my opinion this package takes FSX in a direction
hitherto unexplored by most mainstream publishers, namely into
wonderful world of gliding (or soaring if you prefer).
the default FSX glider opens up this aspect but the Aerosoft
is, in my opinion, the first to really offer something serious
realistic for gliding enthusiasts. By including a motor glider
package. Aerosoft has also ensured that those seeking full
take off, find their own thermals and then glide away. The
WinchX! utility also offers the chance to soar into the skies
three models as well as having the option to have an aero tow
pure glider Discus B, of course.
Initially this package provided ten Discus models, all in German
markings and with German language cockpits which had the desired
of ensuring that users read the manual, especially if, like me,
don't speak German! The Aerosoft Forum also had quite a
of German language postings on this package, which may not be a
surprise given that the designer is German, but it did lead
to a little disappointment that the package and support wasn't
'English friendly' as some Aerosoft releases have been.
with the subsequent release of an update, taking Discus X to
1.5, three gliders wearing British markings are now
included and these also have English language in the cockpits so
speak English and haven't upgraded to version 1.5 yet, I'd
it, especially as it fixed a few other early teething troubles.
The cockpits are different for each Discus variant and only the
Cockpit is provided. Not having a 2D cockpit might appear to be
point but actually I have found that there really is no need for
one. The Pocket PC (GPS device) is a little hard to read
designer has already thought of that and, with a click of a
larger version is opened in a new window in FSX. Reading
manual is certainly a must with this package if you are to fully
understand how the cockpit works from basics such as releasing
cable to starting, stopping & stowing the engine or
how the complex C4 Flight Computer works - there is a separate
for the latter. Other aspects to master are the water
system and the spoilers, which can be set to work on a sliding
rather than just fully in or fully deployed. All of this
a highly realistic experience from inside the cockpit with the
system being the icing on the cake!
WinchX! is a very simple package to operate and it runs
FSX. Before launch the user sets the cable length, desired
airspeed and cable strength before activating the winch
Once the winch launch has taken place (assuming the cable hasn't
broken), using the glider's cable release sets you free and the
even descends on a visible parachute. Included is a manual
explaining about WinchX!, although I found it so simple to use
didn't not need to refer to the manual initially. From the same
designer as WinchX! comes another free package, CumulusX!, which
creates thermal lift with appropriate clouds and, while this is
included in the Discus X package, it comes recommended - a link
relevant web site is given below.
The end result is a quite superb and novel add-on for Flight
X which must surely tick many boxes for those, like me, who have
keen to exploit further the options that FSX opens up as regards
gliding. I have spent many happy hours testing out this package
that the testing is over, I shall still come back to Discus X, I
certain! I am also quietly hoping that sales of this
well so that Aerosoft will be convinced to consider producing
gliders for FSX and even inspiring some of its competitors to
fun and get the gliding bug.
Do I recommend this? I surely do!
[Version tested: 1.50.]
The Discus BM in flight with
image to see larger version]
- Highly realistic gliding experience, offering something
- A motor glider for FSX at last!
- Winch launch possible for all types, thanks to the
- Comprehensive, detailed and illustrated manuals.
- Attention to detail everywhere - designed by those who
Discus (BM) cockpit with pocket
enlarged (top right) [click on image to see larger
and also ...
- The tow rope can be seen from inside the glider and
connect visibly with the glider when viewed externally and
reflection on the inside of canopy isn't interactive;
these are inherent faults with FSX, rather than with Discus
- Engine deployment and starting are fiddly and cannot be
using short cuts such as CTRL+E.
- Gliders on the ground can be very tricky to handle in
- Only German and British paints offered.
Discus BT coming in to land [click
on image to see larger version]
Discus BM using the engine to
take off [click on image to see larger version] Cumulus
(creates thermal lift with appropriate clouds)
Discus BT with the
engine deployed [click
see larger version]
(no other gliding titles available for FSX?)
Discus BT with the canopy
open [click on image to see larger version]
use, installation, documentation & support:
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