Firstly the team and I would like to wish you and your families a very happy, festive, and merry holiday season!

As a reminder or for those that haven’t seen it as yet, our Christmas/Holiday event for 2023 is live and pilots have until the 1st of January to complete it to obtain the special edition badge (you otherwise won’t be able to obtain this in future).

Those who have also enrolled their account into the new Aeroconomy platform will also benefit from a bonus payment that they can use in the future to purchase aircraft, property, and/or other commodities within the Aeroconomy world – it’s therefore well worth doing especially if you plan to participate in the new (optional) economy world.

If you haven’t noticed, and for those pilots that enjoy the daily flight challenges, I have overridden the “automatic selection” for the daily flight challenges to Christmas-themed ones and I plan to override them again tomorrow too for those that plan to fly on Christmas day so you can be sure to have festive themed ones 🙂

Whilst I have been posting many updates recently on our Discord Server and on our new forums, for those that don’t visit the Discord server (or forums), I thought I’d quickly cover some things that are in the works, recent features and releases in addition to a few other bits in this blog post…

Our new forums

Over the last four weeks, we rolled out our new community forums, originally planned as a place for discussions and “business dealings” for the new Aeroconmy platform but it also provides a messaging platform for pilot-to-pilot communications (private messages aka. PMs) in addition to forums for FsHub/LRM help and support discussions too!

If you are a long-time user of FsHub and have attempted to click on the new “Forums” link (of the mailbox icon) that you might have noticed having landed on the main FsHub site recently but have experienced getting “bumped back” to the FsHub homepage – you will need logout of your FsHub account and back in again – this will federate (sync) your account with the forums and enable you to access them without issues going forward.

The forums provide a better (more structured) and easier to re-locate previous discussions as opposed to our Discord server – rest assured though, our Discord server remains one of our primary support channels but we have archived and sign-posted many of the more complex discussion channels (such as “Developers Discussion”) to the forums as it is better suited for this kind of content/discussions.

I will also personally use the forums to push less important (still super interesting though, of course) platform updates and news; this blog however will remain in place for more formal announcements.

Whilst we understand that the forum theme (design) doesn’t exactly match the FsHub website at this time, we’ll be updating the style to better reflect the current FsHub website design and provide a more seamless UI experience – this will also improve how it renders on mobile devices too.

Virtual airlines will also have the ability, in the near future to have a private (hidden) forum and link it to the “Staff Room” module (in the Crew Portal section) if they feel they would benefit from their own private forums for their airline staff in the coming months.

Platform upgrades to FsHub

This year has been really busy and behind the scenes, I’ve been working on many projects including the new LRM client, the XBox client, the Aeroconomy platform and of course, updates and new features on FsHub, and as such, the platform is growing and future demand on the platform, I suspect will only increase especially with the release of Aeroconomy.

Part of the reason why I decided to hold off on releasing further updates for Aeroconomy last week was due to the potential for a large uptake in Aeroconomy fights (I suspect many pilots may start grinding the new PFH jobs to get a head start and have cash readily available to kick start their virtual airlines, side-businesses or purchase personal aircraft/properties, etc) and so, without wanting to stress the platform, especially over the holiday season – as I suspect the platform, in general, it will be busier than normal with (virtual) pilots having more time on their hands and being able to/wanting to fly – I’ll be adding, even more, compute to the main FsHub platform between Christmas day and New Year’s (we’ll be increasing the number of database servers in our cluster to help spread the projected additional load and offloading API (read requests) to a dedicated slave database. We’ll also be increasing the number of web and worker nodes.

The majority of this work will be transparent (we can spin up additional web nodes automatically) but extra/additional work will be required for the upgrades to the database cluster – While I’ll aim to keep this as minimal as possible, I may need to put the platform into “offline mode” for up to an hour on Tuesday 9th of January – I will however communicate this well ahead of time if this is required and I’m unable to get around this requirement!

These upgrades (to the infrastructure) with further future-proof the platform and allow us to handle over 5x the amount of traffic that it is currently designed for.

Oil Rigs coming to FsHub

If you’re a helicopter pilot and love flying to remote platforms/oil rigs or think that you’d love to fly helicopter missions (jobs) in Aeroconomy, this week, I will be adding the 196 North Sea Oil Rigs that are provided as part of the Aerosoft Offshore Landmarks addon and will be available to fly to/from 1st of January within both FsHub and Aeroconomy. This feature is designed specifically for Helicopter pilots and will help support the additional Helicopter flights (missions) that will be available in Aeroconomy.

This is in addition to the other boats, ships, and aircraft carriers that I added last year – these oil rigs will also be “purchasable” as business properties within Aeroconomy and as such, can be used to generate landing/service fees and generate PAX and cargo!

Be sure to check out the MSFS Store sale at the moment, this addon (Aerosoft Offshore Landmarks: North Sea) can be snapped up for ~$15 (or £11) during the December sale! – This isn’t a sponsored post/ad, it just looks like a really decent addon and many FsHub users are already using this 🙂

Aeroconomy features / rollout

I got a little carried away with some of the “Pilots for Hire” board jobs this past week and I actually decided to add even more fictitious businesses and job types, so in addition to what I have already covered at our forums, the PFH job board (from day one) will also now include the following:

  • More realistic (real world) “contract/jump pilot” jobs for several European and American airlines – Jobs that require you to fly the actual aircraft of the real-world airline (eg. B738, A320/A20N, A339, etc) and the routes being actual routes flown by real-world airline include:-

    As a reminder, the “PFH Jobs” are designed to help players earn money in Aeroconomy in “the early days”, these “jobs” are designed/intended as “quick missions”/”contract work” and are just one way to make money without having to job an established airline in Aeroconomy – you’re essentially paid “per hour” to fly the provided aircraft.
  • The list of real-world contract jobs now also includes:
    • EasyJet (A320/A20N/A319/A19N/A321)
    • Virgin Atlantic (A339/A30N/B789/A350)
    • Ryanair (B738)
    • Southwest (B737)
    • UPS (Cargo) (A330/B744/B748/B752/B763)
  • I wanted to go one step further for Helicopter pilots too and whilst our Royal Australian Flying Doctors’ service jobs do utilize several helicopters in addition to their famous PC-12 and the B350 fixed-wing aircraft, I decided that adding Oil Rigs into the simulator would provide additional benefits/flying styles for Helicopter pilots – specifically “Crew Transfers” and flying in supplies – these will be available as soon as the PFH jobs board goes live.

The new LRM and XBOX client

LRM client and Xbox support is still in the works – At this point, it’s mainly testing that I need to complete and then submit the XBOX client to Asobo for them to “vet” and publish on their store.

I’ve been a little short on time this past week – hence me not being able to keep my promises to have the “Pilots For Hire” board feature live just yet… but it’s coming, shortly after New Year’s day, I hope!

That’s all for now!

This post was. a bit rushed (I’ve been at work today) and very aware that Christmas day (at least in the UK is just a few short hours away!)

So finally, if you’ve attempted to access the forums but realise you keep getting sent back to FsHub, please logout (of FsHub) and back into your FsHub account – this will fix the issue and will thern enable you to check out the many posts and further details about Aeroconomy (maybe this is the first time you’re hearing about this now?)

We’ll be putting a ton more effort into the forums over the coming months too and hope to make it a really great community area for discussions about FsHub, Aeroconomy, LRM and flight simulation in general too. We’d love for you to participate in that too 🙂

Well, guys, keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks for many new features being released – check out the forums too, and finally, from Clorix, thunfischbaum, Aurora, and me (ballen) – I hope you have a great Christmas/holiday break and hope you’re getting as excited as we are with all the new things we’ll be releasing in 2024!

Lets us know what you think!