How MSFS 2020 Inspired Us to Create a Virtual Hang Gliding Experience

If you’re a fan of flight simulation, you’ve probably heard of MSFS 2020, the latest and most advanced version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. With over 80 million users and counting, this is not just a game, but a platform that allows you to explore the entire planet in stunning detail and realism.

But what if you want to experience something more than flying a plane? What if you want to feel the thrill of soaring through the air with nothing but a wing and a harness? What if you want to hang glide in a virtual world?

That’s exactly what we’re working on. In this blog post, we’ll share with you our vision, our challenges, and our progress in creating a virtual hang gliding experience using MSFS 2020 as the base. We’ll also show you how you can join us in this exciting project and help us make it a reality.

Why Hang Gliding?

Hang gliding is one of the most exhilarating and rewarding forms of aviation. It’s also one of the most accessible and affordable. You don’t need a license, a runway, or a lot of equipment. All you need is a glider, a helmet, and a suitable launch site.

Hang gliding gives you the freedom to fly wherever you want, whenever you want. You can soar along mountain ridges, catch thermals and climb to cloud base, or glide over scenic landscapes. You can also fly with other pilots, join competitions, or go on cross-country adventures.

Hang gliding is also a great way to connect with nature and appreciate its beauty. You can see the world from a different perspective, enjoy the silence and the wind, and feel the exhilaration of being alive.

But hang gliding is not without its challenges and limitations. It requires skill, knowledge, and practice. It depends on weather conditions and site availability. It can be risky and unpredictable. And it can be hard to find places to fly, especially if you live in an urban area or a flat region.

That’s where virtual hang gliding comes in.

What is Virtual Hang Gliding?

Virtual hang gliding is the simulation of hang gliding using computer software and hardware. It aims to recreate the physics, the visuals, the sounds, and the sensations of real hang gliding as accurately and realistically as possible.

Virtual hang gliding can be done on various devices, such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, or VR headsets. It can also use different input methods, such as keyboards, mice, joysticks, controllers, or motion sensors.

Virtual hang gliding can have many benefits and applications. It can be used for:

  • Entertainment: You can have fun flying in different places and scenarios without leaving your home.
  • Education: You can learn the basics of hang gliding theory and practice without risking your safety.
  • Training: You can improve your skills and confidence by practicing maneuvers and techniques in various conditions.
  • Exploration: You can discover new sites and regions that you may not be able to visit in real life.
  • Socialization: You can fly with other virtual pilots online and share your experiences and feedback.

Virtual hang gliding can also be a gateway to real hang gliding. It can spark your interest and curiosity about the sport and motivate you to try it for real.

How MSFS 2020 Changed Everything

Until recently, virtual hang gliding was not very popular or realistic. There were only a few software options available, most of them outdated or limited in features. The graphics were low-quality and unrealistic. The physics were inaccurate and simplified. The weather was static and boring. The scenery was sparse and repetitive.

But then MSFS 2020 came along and changed everything.

MSFS 2020 is not just a flight simulator. It’s a platform that allows you to fly anything you want anywhere on Earth in stunning detail and realism.

MSFS 2020 has several features that make it ideal for virtual hang gliding:

  • Scenery: MSFS 2020 uses satellite imagery and AI technology to generate realistic 3D models of buildings, bridges, mountains, rivers, trees, etc. It covers the entire planet with high-resolution textures and accurate elevation data.
  • Weather: MSFS 2020 has a dynamic weather system that simulates real-time conditions based on live data sources. It includes wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, pressure, clouds, precipitation, visibility, etc.
  • Mods: MSFS 2020 has a built-in editor and marketplace that allows users and developers to create and share custom content, such as aircraft, scenery, missions, etc. It also supports third-party tools and plugins that can enhance the functionality and realism of the platform.
  • VR: MSFS 2020 supports various VR headsets and controllers that can provide an immersive and realistic experience of flying. It also has features such as hand tracking, voice recognition, and multi-screen support that can improve the interaction and usability of the platform.

These features make MSFS 2020 a perfect base for creating a virtual hang gliding experience. But it’s not enough. MSFS 2020 was designed for powered flight, not for free flight. It lacks some essential elements that are crucial for hang gliding, such as:

  • Lift: MSFS 2020 does did not simulate the effects of thermal and ridge lift, which are the main sources of energy for hang gliders. Without lift, hang gliders cannot stay aloft or climb to higher altitudes. Current version now does this.
  • Gliders: MSFS 2020 does did not have any hang gliders or paragliders in its default aircraft library. It also does did not have any models or physics that can accurately represent the characteristics and performance of these types of aircraft. We built hang gliders.
  • Sites: MSFS 2020 does did not have any dedicated launch or landing sites for hang gliding or paragliding. It only has airports and airstrips that are suitable for powered aircraft. It also does not have any information or guidance on how to find and access suitable sites for free flight. We built these too.

That’s where we come in.

What We’re Doing to Make It Happen

We’re a team of passionate hang gliding enthusiasts and developers who want to bring the joy of free flight to everyone. We’re working on a project that aims to create a virtual hang gliding experience using MSFS 2020 as the base.

Our project has three main components:

  • Application: We’re developing an application that will run alongside MSFS 2020 and provide the functionality and features that are missing or inadequate for hang gliding. This includes simulating lift, creating glider models, managing sites, etc.
  • Models: We’re creating high-quality and realistic models of various types and models of hang gliders and paragliders. We’re also making them customizable so that users can choose their own colors, logos, harnesses, etc.
  • Scenery: We’re enhancing the scenery of MSFS 2020 by adding details and objects that are relevant for hang gliding, such as windsocks, ramps, cars, people, etc. We’re also creating custom scenery for specific sites that are popular or iconic for hang gliding.

Our goal is to make our project compatible with MSFS 2020’s existing features and content, such as weather, mods, VR, etc. We also want to make it easy to use and accessible for everyone, regardless of their skill level or experience.

We’re final stages of development and we’re excited to share it with you.

How You Can Join Us and Help Us

We’re not doing this project alone. We’re doing it with you. We want to create a community of virtual hang gliding enthusiasts who can share their ideas, feedback, suggestions, and support with us and with each other.

If you’re interested in joining us and helping us make this project a reality, here are some ways you can do so:

  • Follow us: You can follow our blog, our social media accounts, our YouTube channel, etc. to stay updated on our progress and news. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to get exclusive updates and offers.
  • Test us: You can sign up for our beta testing program to get early access to our application, models, scenery, etc. You can also give us your feedback and bug reports to help us improve our project.
  • Support us: You can support our project financially by donating via PayPal or Patreon. You can also support us by spreading the word about our project to your friends, family, colleagues, etc.
  • Join us: You can join our team if you have skills or expertise that can contribute to our project. We’re looking for developers, designers, testers, writers, etc. who are passionate about hang gliding and simulation.

We appreciate any help you can give us. Together, we can make this project a success.

What’s Next?

We’re working hard to make our virtual hang gliding experience a reality. We have a lot of challenges ahead of us, but we also have a lot of opportunities and possibilities.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about our virtual hang gliding project. We believe it will be a game-changer for the flight simulation community and the hang gliding community.

But we can’t do it without you. We need your help to make this project the best it can be.

So, what are you waiting for? Join us today and help us make virtual hang gliding a reality.

Click here to sign up for our beta testing program.

Thank you for your interest and support. We look forward to flying with you soon.