Floyds Alpine Odyssey is a 1000 mile glider route through the Alps starting at the Southern coast of France and ending in Eastern Austria. The route is broken into 10 stages so you can tackle it one day at a time.
- 1 Alpine Odyssey
- 2 Weather Presets
- 3 Download
- 4 Preparation
- 5 The Weather Presets
- 6 Additional Assets Free from Flightsim.to
- 7 Which Glider Should You Use?
- 8 The AS-33me Instruments & Controls
- 9 Miscellaneous Notes
- 10 Practice Routes
- 11 The Alpine Odyssey Route
- 12 Frequently Asked Questions
Floyds Alpine Odyssey starts at the South coast of France and ends in Eastern Austria, a total of nearly 1000 miles. The route is divided into 10 stages you can tackle it one day at a time.
The Alpine Odyssey and practice routes require the use of the Floyds Southerlies presets containing 18 kts, 14 kts and 10 kts wind speeds. The other presets are there as a convenience for any route you decide after you have completed the Odyssey.
Practice routes are included in case this is your first time in a glider, or you want to use the AS-33me but haven’t tried it out yet. The instruments you will use most are described below to shorten the learning curve.
But if you already have a favourite glider, you can use that instead but you may want to switch to the slower wind speeds to compensate for the lighter weight.
The weather presets include 3 different wind speeds so you can match the wind to your preference and your preferred glider.
All three presets carry clouds that combine in different ways to provide varying micro climates to fly in, and there is plenty of open sky too. The landscape has been given a trace of snow to decorate the colder peaks and valleys and the ambient temperature is 10 °C, so the water ballast of the AS-33me glider will not freeze.
In order to begin the Alpine Odyssey you will need to load
- A Floyds Southerlies weather preset (supplied)
- A flight plan (supplied)
Note: If you need to find your community folder follow this link for an explanation.
How to Install the Weather Presets and Flight Plan:
- From the downloaded Wind & Weather folder copy the Floyds
Southerlies folder to your community folder
- Restart the sim
- Open the World Map
- Open Flight Conditions
- Choose Floyds Southerlies 18 kt
- Go back to the World Map
- Click on More (at the bottom of the screen)
- Click on Load/Save
- Click on Load
- Choose the required flight plan from your downloaded files
- Select your preferred glider
- Start the flight
How to Uninstall the weather preset:
- Move the Floyds Southerlies folder out your community folder
- Restart the sim
- The presets will no longer be in the Weather Presets list.
The Weather Presets
The practice routes and the Alpine Odyssey require the use of the Floyds Southerlies presets. The ambient temperature is 10 °C and there are trace amounts of snow to add a layer of interest to the landscape.
The clouds are thin and your glider will be in clear sky most of the time. Since the height of the clouds is fixed, you will get a different visual experience and coverage in the mountains as you will over lowlands.
The design of the clouds is integral to the Alpine Odyssey – they provide interest, screening and some degree of hazard along the route. If the complexity of the clouds are causing FPS issues, please bear in mind that Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 will be multi-threaded and should improve the situation considerably.
Additional Assets Free from Flightsim.to
- AS-33me (recommended)
Other gliders are available
- LFMR – Aérodrome de Barcelonnette – Saint-Pons
- LFNC – Mont Daupin – Saint-Crépin
- LFHU – L’Alpe d’Huez
- LIMW – Aosta
- LSPU – Munster
- LSZS – Saint Moritz – Samedan
- LIPB – Bolzano
- LOKL – Lienz-Nikolsdorf
- LOGI – Trieben
Which Glider Should You Use?
This route was created using the AS-33me glider because it has more controls than a conventional sailplane including the ability to switch between ridge racing and Thermalling. I suggest you also at least try out the AS-33me if you haven’t used it before, the controls are mostly intuitive but I have explained all you need to know on this web page.
The AS-33me Instruments & Controls
Please refer to the AS-33me’s own user guide
for a full explanation of all of its controls.
How to Dismiss the Tow Plane
- If you prefer to use the built in propeller, but the tow plane appears because you forgot to change your sim settings, you can dismiss it by pulling the yellow cable-release handle.
- If you want to use the tow plane, move your rudder left and right. You will see your helper on the left wing signal to the tow pilot to begin.
Starting the Engine
- Ensure that the spoilers are retracted.
- Ensure the master battery is engaged (the panels should be illuminated).
- First press the centre button to turn on the motor.
- Only after the motor is turned can the switch to the right be set to ‘extend’. The propeller will be raised.
- Raise the throttle on the left and when the propeller is fully extended it will begin to rotate.
- When you get off the ground, switch the flap lever to ‘A’ for Aerotow
- Raise the landing gear
Flap Lever Options
To your left is a black handled flap lever that should be adjusted fairly frequently to optimise your flight.
L – Landing configuration (high drag)
T2 – Thermalling, best climb rate
T1 – Thermalling
A – Aerotow (take-off)
0 – Normal cruise speed
-1 – Medium cruise speed
-2 – High cruise speed
Altitude & Speed
This dial shows your altitude and speed. Depending on conditions you will stall at around 50, one notch below the green line.
Keep your eyes glued to the 50 value when you are pushing for maximum lift in a tight spot.
On the right is a red vertical line showing the amount of spoiler deployed.
Compass & Wind Direction
The compass shows the wind direction, and speed relative to the aircraft.
At the base is a trim indicator shown as a yellow diamond. A slightly positive trim will reduce the amount of control required on the stick, making flying a little easier.
Vario and Audio Feedback
The vario bleep comes from this instrument. You can control the volume with the knob at top right, or change its settings using the 3 buttons. Note: The audio can be set to indicate climb only.
The average vertical speed is shown with an arrow at the top of the dial.
The other indicators are useful for competitive flying.
The Map, Thermals & Route Display
You can select the map style by rotating the knob at the top-left of the map display. You can make the top of the display either ‘North’ or ‘current direction’ by clicking once on the rotary knob at top-left. The rotary knob at top-right controls the zoom level.
The Flight Plan
Before you start a flight, load the flight plan into Microsoft Flight Simulator. When you arrive in the AS-33me cockpit you will see that the flight plan is loaded on the map display. The waypoints connected to the airports at either end of the route are not displayed. The first and last waypoints are marked on the route with a semi-circle.
Traversing the Route
Set enough zoom on the dial at top right to see a few waypoints ahead, and be aware that the map on the MSFS toolbar will also show the route if you need it for any reason.
You will find that the route makes more sense if you take the time to clear each waypoint in turn and get a text notification from the AS-33me’s display when you do. The forward rolling dotted line will move to the next leg of the route. Bear in mind that the direction the dotted line is moving show you the direction of the next waypoint – this helps if you get lost because the map isn’t zoomed correctly.
Sometimes you may need to ascend using a circular motion in order to reach a waypoint. Its worth doing as this will set you up properly for the following waypoint which could otherwise be significantly harder.
If you miss a waypoint you can scroll the dial at the bottom-right to change your active position on the route if you want to. This will make the current part of the route show show a dotted line moving forward.
The tracking option to the top-left which you change by clicking on the button. ‘Track North’ is recommended if you want to have a better idea of how far along the route you are. ‘Track up’ makes it easier to decide if you want to make a left or a right turn at a waypoint.
To change the map type, rotate the button at the top-left.
The Thermals Display
You can add an ‘altitude velocity’ map to the top half of the map display by clicking through the options at the centre-left button at the top of the display. As your glider rises your track will be a series of green blobs, as you fall your track will be red blobs. Scale the map to enclose the entire area you are using to ascend. The general advice for thermalling is to travel in one direction only while ascending (i.e. always clockwise or anti-clockwise). Make use of the location with the largest collection of green blobs to gain altitude.
The water ballast should be emptied prior to landing, and this sequence takes about 5 minutes to complete. If you want to be polite, don’t dump the water onto cars or houses.
The switches for the valve and pumps are on the right of the cockpit. Flip all 3 switches downward and water will begin to disperse from the rear of the glider.
The aircraft will become very light and act quite differently without the ballast. Make use of the landing flaps (‘L’ position) to maximise drag and in addition use the spoilers to keep control of the descent rate as you approach an airport.
Here are some random thoughts you might want to check out after you have got the basics sorted out.
- Always check to see your spoilers are retracted before you take off. Its an easy one to forget.
- Version 1.1 is still using the 18kt wind speed which can be a little too easy in places. If you feel the same, try going to the lower wind speeds for the AS-33me glider, for example 10 kts for the earlier sections and 14 kts as you get into the mountains, reserving 18kts for the mountains.
- Remember to make use of the -2 flap setting if you are riding high on a ridge to convert your altitude into forward motion. That’s a lot more fun than drifting ever higher, but it won’t always be this easy, so make the most of it :0)
- The Alpine Odyssey doesn’t show you the places where you may need to back-track or circle to gain altitude. Sometimes you can get more lift by reversing your direction across a ridge a few times.
- Remember that the atmospheric model now includes thermal radiation. Its not strong but you may want to use it to gain altitude if you do find it. Remember to switch on the thermal view (which will sit above the moving map). Zoom out far enough to capture the a good view of the whole area.
- The AS-33me performs best with full water ballast, so don’t be tempted to release the ballast to gain altitude or you will be left with a aircraft that is too light, wallows in the air and you’ll be sorry you did it!
- If you prefer to use the built in propeller, but the tow plane appears because you forgot to change your sim settings, you can dismiss it by pulling the yellow cable-release handle. The tow plane will turn around and leave. You won’t get a collision detection if it passes through you.
- Only some of the airports will offer you a tow plane, so you will have to learn how to use the propeller at some point. Remember to fold it away when you reach altitude or it will cause drag.
- Two of the instruments display a red band when you have spoilers deployed. The size of the red band corresponds to how much of the spoiler is in the air stream.
Practice Route 1
This is a straight line route following a ridge into the wind. This will give you a
chance to acclimatise to the glider and its instruments.
Practice Route 2
This route is a little less straight forward to manage than route 1 since it contains a stepped slope that harbours dead air. Enter the start of the route at 1000m and exit the ridge over the top of the last peak at the eastern end. When you can manage this exercise you will be ready to begin the Alpine Odyssey.
The Alpine Odyssey Route
The Alpine Odyssey is nearly 1000 miles long and has 10 stages starting on the south coast of France. You do not need to interact with the waypoints on the moving map if you have one, just use them as a guide to show the way. By default you will use the southerly 18 knot preset, but other wind speeds are included if you prefer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use a different glider?
Yes, but the AS-33me has several controls that will make the trip much more enjoyable:
- Dedicated flap controls for speed, thermals and landing
- A moving map showing the route, waypoints and optionally thermals
- A wind indicator to tell you what angle you have to the prevailing wind
Why Only One Weather Preset?
The variation in difficulty through the route comes from the geographic arrangement of the Alps with respect to the incoming wind. To add changing weather features would, in my opinion, ‘gamify’ the route and dumb down its skills based focus. You will need to be able to read the changing wind patterns and predict them as you go.
The weather has been carefully crafted to provide visual variation due to cloud screening, rain and rainbows but also to ensure that the challenge remains with your flying skills vs the Alpine wind patterns.