Good afternoon and for those who celebrate ThanksGiving – I hope you all had a fantastic day of celebrations yesterday and for everyone else, I hope you have all managed to grab a few bargains in the Black Friday sales!
I have a great Black Friday deal for you too… (you’ll have to wait a few more days) but the best part is, is that it is totally free of charge! 🙂
Bad dad jokes aside, I am super excited to announce that for the last four weeks (consisting of many, many long hours of development and test time) that LRM Client v5 is now in the final stages of internal beta testing (by myself, the FsHub support team and our “Test Pilot” group over on our Discord server) and is due to be released on December 1st 2021!
I would personally like to thank the following FsHub users for their testing and feedback to me Caspy1Uk, Phil, vchristie/CIVA006 and Ryan ensuring that I have been able to fix up any issues during the BETA phase and have them retest.
LRM v5 builds upon the solid foundations of LRM v4 and the versions prior to that, the client has been further optimised and various optional, new (and in my opinion, game-changing) features have been added (but disabled by default – you can choose if and what new features you would like to use) hopefully all of them though!
** I WILL POST SOME SCREENSHOTS UP OVER THE WEEKEND, SO IF YOU’RE SUPER EXCITED AND WANT TO SEE WHAT’S COMING, COME BACK AND VISIT THIS POST AGAIN SHORTLY! **
Although the main LRM client look and feel remains the same – a sleek, simple and totally “not getting in your way” interface, as per the user survey (users feeding back that they love how lightweight and unobtrusive it is) – I want to reiterate that these features are completely optional and unless you enable them from the “Preferences” window, the client will continue to run as it always has done – a super lightweight and easy to use ACARS client.
There are however several new features (which, if you’re worried about performance at all… during testing, with all new features enabled, the LRM typically only consumes up to a maximum of an additional 10MB of RAM) – Taking LRM client’s total memory footprint up to about 25-30MB of RAM in total…. which is insane given the new features that have been added and especially when compared to other products that compete with LRM/FsHub!
Here is a quick high-level list of new features and improvements which you can expect from LRM v5 (being released on December 1st):-
- The EFB – Using the new “data connector” feature that is baked into LRM (again, fully optional and must be enabled through the preferences window) that I developed for LRM v5, has enabled me to develop the EFB system which can now be installed and/or viewed remotely on your main simulator PC or any other network connected computer or tablet/mobile device in your home. The EFB comes with a bunch of apps out of the box including a live GPS app (yes, realtime) and ability to view and navigate airport gates and taxiways with ease, view your airport charts, get airport information and weather reports! The EFB is also “duty airline aware” and can automatically change it’s style/logo to match your “active” virtual airline’s branding (if you use Virtual airlines and your FsHub VA owner has set custom branding up!).
- Screenshot geotagging – You can now configure LRM to “watch” a screenshot folder on your computer and whilst you are flying, if LRM detects any new screenshots having been taken it will automatically tag them with your aircraft’s position, speed and altitude, which, if you choose to then upload any of these screenshots to your flight report on FsHub, FsHub will display where your screenshot was taken on the flight report map and present information about the screenshot (speed, alt and location -nearest city or airport name) in a details panel. Although I could have added the ability to have LRM automatically upload these screenshots to your FsHub account I understand that most users like to edit their screenshots first!
- Ability to customise landing score parameters for specific aircrafts (maybe you don’t agree with the default FPM and G-Force limits that determine the LRM Client “Landing score”) – you can configure specific setting through the a new “Aircraft Manager” window otherwise LRM will continue to use the default settings.
- Ability to set a tail number for specific aircraft liveries (and have them sent to FsHub with your flight reports) – Enabling you to filter and group “multi-leg” flights such as “Around the world tours” or on the new “pilot stats” page, be able to see which (very specific) aircraft you fly the most.
- Easily add and customise a whole host of cabin sound effects through a new “Aircraft Manager” window, the Aircraft Manager interface also has options to “Export” and “Import” packs so you can share with your friends or VA members.
- Using one of our core EFB apps that is included in LRM v5 (that I have called Cabin Manager) you can remotely play any of the cabin sound effects that you have configured for the current aircraft (such as boarding music, safety annoucements, seat belt signs, prepare for landing etc from a seperate tablet/computer device) – You can setup custom cabin sounds for different airlines/aircraft with total ease!
- Ability to sync your collected “My flight case” airport charts to your computer and view them through the new EFB (or any other apps that you may install or develop in future).
- Retrieve real-world METAR and TAF reports directly from LRM Client.
- A new “LRM Data Connector” feature, which, if you enable it will allow other third-party applications running on your computer or your home network to retrieve data about your current flight, active duty airline, aircrarft and other aircraft position infomration (nearby airports etc) through a standard JSON REST API enabling for endless possibilities for developers to build amazing applications that can be used with ease with LRM client. – I could talk for hours on what this means for developers and other tools/apps that can be developed, this really does open up endless possibilities!
- Users who choose to use LRM Client offline (you can enable this too if you fly on FsHub also) can use an new “Landing rate logbook” which, when your aircraft lands, will store basic landing rate details to a file (CSV) on your computer which you can either open through the LRM client or using a tool such as Microsoft Excel.
In addition to these new features, further updates and optimisations have been made as follows:-
- Adding a pilot token to LRM Client is now fully automated with the use of a “Login” box – you no longer have to generate, copy and paste an API token from FsHub into LRM client as it’s now fully auomtated!
- Better prevention against users being able to accidently close LRM (and thus leading to loss of flight data) – LRM will now warn and ask for you to confirm closing the application if your aircraft is airborne or yet to send the final flight report.
- Discord Integration – If you link your LRM client to FsHub and fly online, your current flight details (location, elapsed flight time, speed, altitude and tail number or, your flight number, departure and arrival airort if you use flight plans) can be presented on Discord (if you’re running and logged into Discord, this can optionally be disabled if you don’t want your boss seeing you fly when you should be working :D)
- Users now have the ability to “force” a new flight from the “Help > Advanced” menu (if, for whatever reason they feel they want or need to do that – LRM is pretty good at figuring this bit out auromatically for you ;))
In addition to these features and improvements, the new data that is provided by the Screenshot Geotagging feature will enable me to make some amazing new features to FsHub (assuming you like flight simulator screenshots that is :D) such as the ability to display screenshots on the airport information pages (a new tab called “Screenshots” has recently been added) – these will display screenshots that had been taken at that airport (on the ground) or within close proximity to that airport – enabling users to “scout” out airports and the surround area’s before they decided to fly in. I also have plans to add a new “area drag” search feature to FsHub whereby, you can drag your mouse over the world map (creating a circular search area) and FsHub will return back all screenshots taken in that area!
For plugin developers and/or power users:- With the addition of the new LRM Data Connector (REST API) and EFB plugin system, I will be working hard on documentation leading up to the 1st of December release date with full API endpoint details a ton of example code and guidance as to how to build and share EFB apps or external apps (in your programming language of choice) and how to share with the LRM/FsHub community.
This post could go on for ages as I’m so excited about the new (again, fully optional and disabled by default) features that are coming in version 5 and especially the new “Data Connector” but I appreciate that you guys probably won’t find this as cool (geeky) as me so I’ll rein it in for now 😉
In the next update to LRM (5.1.0), I plan to have real-world weather overlays added to the EFB Live GPS map too, this specific release has turned out to be pretty major and I have to stop adding features at some point and let you guys play with it 😀
For now, though, I wanted to share progress and let you know what we have in store for you and we cannot wait to release this new version in just a matter of days now!
I wish you guys a great weekend and I will look forward to updating you with further information soon!
Appreciate the work that I do and haven’t donated as yet? If you fancied it, you can donate here – all donations go towards the hosting bills but rest assured that this does do me a massive favour as it means that I might not have to dig into my own pocket for the hosting bills this month 🙂