It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these – for numerous reasons, mainly due to many family-related issues that I’ve had since Christmas and prior to that, because I started posted updates furiously over at our forums.

More recently, simply not having the time to actually write and publish these blog posts (they actually take a considerable amount of time, time that I have been otherwise dedicating to replying to support tickets or developing and deploying smaller changes …and of course, the continued development of Aeroconomy and the new LRM client.

…I thought I’d use the blog today however to give you formal-ish update as to the current goings-on at FsHub and what we’ve been doing, what we’ve released and what’s still to come in the next week or so!

Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their support since Christmas and for not giving me too much grief (despite me not being as active as normal) – I appreciated the space and things have been much better over the past couple of weeks and hopefully I’ll be running at “full steam” again now (I certainly have the past two weeks)

I’ve got a handful of updates to tell you about, some new features that have been released (much needed in order for me to progress with Aeroconomy stuff) and are available now, a new version of the LRM client and a few other bits-n-bob’s to make you aware of.

Anyway, please take a read and details about being able to provide feedback and where to do it can be found at the end of this blog post…

New flight plan departure and arrival time features!

A new feature has been added this week and deployed late last night – this feature now enables you (as pilots) to optionally set scheduled departure and arrival times to your flight reports/plans and in addition, provides a visual representation as to whether your departure and/or arrival was on-time, delayed or late, check this out…

Whilst this feature is optional for flights on FsHub and can add to the immersion, this new feature paves the way for some features that Aeroconomy will need access to and in the next couple of weeks, this feature can optionally be used by Virtual Airlines to restrict route “payouts” or simply accepting the flight report for specific route departure and arrivals times (if they wish).

The way the new feature works is that if you add departure and arrival times in the FsHub Flight Planner (as shown below) or import a SimBrief plan, these departure and arrival times are now set and if they’re present on your flight plan when you land, they will be analysed and added to your flight plan record as shown in the above screenshot.

I didn’t just stop there though, LRM Client 5.7.0 which has now been released for public testing (see below for more details) also supports adding and importing departure and arrival times too 🙂

The logic is as follows:-

  • An “On-time” status (green indicator) is one that takes-off or touches down before, at or within 10 minutes of the scheduled timeslot (filed in your flight plan).
  • A “Delayed” status (yellow indicator) is one that indicates if your take-off or touch-down is greater than 10 minutes after the scheduled time but less than 1 hour after.
  • A “Late” status (red indicator) is one that indicates that your take-off or touchdown exceeded 1 hour of the scheduled time.

I personally thought that showing indicators for both the departure and arrival enables you to better visualise if you managed to “make up the time” such as turbo-ing the COST INDEX 😉 …or taking “the shortcut”!

At the moment, these indicators are only used on the flight report page but on Friday, updates to the world radar will be deployed too and these “real-time” indicators will also be available on “clicked” aircraft within the radar screen (we just want to make sure that no major changes are needed prior to updating the world radar page).

This is optional – If you’re a GA pilot or someone that doesn’t want to have these indicators displayed on your flight reports you can simply disable them or don’t even enter a departure and arrival time and these stats won’t appear at all (they are disabled by default by the way)!

For Aeroconomy this is a much-needed feature that will enable agreements with airports for take-off/arrival time slots – failing to depart or arrive “on-time” will likely incur airline fines – with this feature now implemented into FsHub, this gives me the green light on the Aeroconomy side too!

As the more technically minded might expect to, these “flight indicators” will also be available via. the API on Friday too!

Interested in taking a look at some flight reports with these new metrics?

You can take a look at a few flight reports here to see how this information is displayed (you can hover over the departure and arrival “Planned time” indicator bars if you’re confused as to the colour codes used).

Downloadable Flight Plans (for your simulator/pilot reference)

A common request in the past has been the ability for pilots to download the SimBrief OFP (Operational Flight Report PDF) in addition to the various flight plan formats that can be selected and loaded into your simulator of choice.

A new drop-down button now appears on the FsHub Flight Planner page that enable’s you to access and download the various files once you have imported your SimBrief flight plans. This new button and the available flight plan downloads options can be found here:-

LRM 5.7.0 is here!

LRM 5.7.0 has been released this morning with updates to the Route Planner window – this ensures those users who use the LRM’s Route Planner window instead of the web-based route planner window can also make use of the auto-import and sync flight plan departure and arrival features within the client too!

Optional text input boxes for adding departure and arrival times to your flight plans (so that you can start seeing your flight departure/arrival performance on your flight reports).

We plan to officially update the LRM client download link on the main LRM Client website on Friday but for now, if you would like to download it and use it, feel free – it’s been pretty stable in our testing so far!

You can download and install it here.

Ps. No need to uninstall your older version, just install this over the top and the installer will deal with all the required changes.

Pps. If you have no desire to use the flight planning features within the LRM client there is no immediate need to upgrade, the current (version 5.6.1) client will continue to work just fine) but it does also have a few other improvements behind the scenes – Uwe and I have been doing a few test flights with it this afternoon and it’s been stable!

UI improvements to various parts of FsHub

You may have noticed over the past 24 hours that various pages on the FsHub website have had little tweaks here and there too – whilst rather small, I wanted to make you aware – these are mainly design/style tweaks and moving some data references around (mainly to scratch my own itch), these include improvements to the panels on the Airport information pages, updates and enhancements to the Flight Planner page and Flight information pages – the other affected pages/changes escape my mind at this point in time though!

A new advanced flight statistics is now available

It’s a small thing but if you ever wondered how many unique airports you have personally visited? This specific statistic is now available on your “Advanced Statistics” page which can be found by clicking on this button on the “My Dashboard” page:

The statistic shows the total number of unique airports that you’ve visited (landed at) and is a rather interesting statistic I think 🙂 – Those who regularly fly the daily flight challenges probably have a ton!

The number of unique airports visited appears here:-

Virtual Airline Route Improvements

With the addition of the new departure and arrival time-checking/performance analysis, this has opened up the ability for us to add even more features to FsHub – specifically for Airline Routes…

Work will be taking place over the next few days/into next week to optionally enable airlines to add multiple routes (with the same departure and arrival) but with varying flight numbers and more specifically dedicated departure and arrival times.

If an airline decides (adding departure and arrival times to VA routes is optional) to add departure and arrival times to their routes, they will also be able to optionally specify what happens to those flight reports (flights) if the pilot fails to complete them “on-time” – these new features will enable a virtual airline to “discard” flights that breach a threshold or restrict the rewards paid to the pilot – the discarding of VA flown flights will add extra realism for virtual airlines that take flying routes (specifically to the real-world time-schedules) seriously.

In addition to that, a virtual airline can now add multiple routes (“schedules”) but with varying departure and arrival times and thus ensures that flight reports will have the correct flight numbers based on what time of day they were flown!

Virtual Airline Reports

Later this month, as part of our continued commitment to developing and enhancing FsHub (in parallel to our work on Aeroconomy), I will be releasing a “Reports” section in the Virtual Airline’s Crew Portal, this section will enable airline management to run queries such as:-

  • Most active pilots (by NM flown and number of flights)
  • Flights by aircraft type
  • Most/least flown routes
  • Most/least active hubs
  • Company fuel burn
  • Gear damage reports

Whilst this is already possible with the FsHub API (airlines can scrape the data for their airline and build their own reports – and have been able to for many years), this new feature will make it easy-peasy for lesser-technically minded virtual airlines.

Whilst reports can be run by any virtual airline, another added benefit for those “Premium” users (those who have gained “Supporter” status) will benefit from being able to these run reports for longer than the one-week default (“free user”) date range restriction, premium users will also be able to export these reports as Excel files should they wish.

Aeroconomy and the Simconnect client

Things have been unfortunately slow on this front due to the before-mentioned family issues that I have been dealing with since Christmas… Continue reading however for more information and my plans to accelerate this now that things have settled down!

On a positive note, the inclusion of the departure and arrival (time) tracking features that have gone live this week has contributed to outstanding tasks and integration requirements.

We reached 3,000,000 flights!

After nearly 10 years (this October), we reached 3,000,000 recorded flights earlier this week too! Clorix was awake and was able to quickly grab this screenshot as we “rolled over” the 3,000,000 mark!

…a huge milestone – thanks to all the pilots of whom have contributed to this!

Update your FsHub2Discord webhooks!

Aurora (one of our resident support team members here at FsHub) provides the commonly used FsHub2Discord service – this service effectively takes our very complex and data-rich webhook data in raw format and transforms it into pretty Discord messages – Many of the virtual airlines on FsHub utilise this daily.

At the weekend several airlines experienced issues with not receiving Discord messages, this was due to these airlines having not previously seen or taken action on updating their webhook URL’s to utilise the new domain that the service was moved to.

Whilst our team worked with Aurora and she was able to remedy a few issues on the FsHub2Discord side too, the majority of airlines now have working Discord notifications again – if you still aren’t receiving Discord notifications for your airline’s departure and arrival notifications please ensure that you update the webhook addresses in FsHub to use the new domain name – if you had previously missed the announcement from here, please see this announcement on the official FsHub2Discord server.

Bolstering the team

Whilst it’s still early days and discussions have only just started, I’m looking at involving one of my closest friends into the development team to help me accelerate development of all the various things that we’re currently working on – I just have to convince him that working on this “free” platform and collection of other services/software with no financial reward is actually worth it 😉

…If all goes to plan, this will be great as I truly trust him not to break the platform with potentially dodgy code 😉 – We have been (for over 20 years), and do work really well together – I hope that the next 12 months will be able to deliver many new features and land Aeroconomy and the new LRM client in the very near future.

Signing off for now…

It feels great to provide you with some firm updates, new features and a new release of the LRM client today – the recent family-related dramas would appear to be behind me now too – I’m looking forward to working on more features that will be going live shortly and finally getting Aeroconomy and the new LRM (Simconnect) client finalised.

Thanks as always to Clorix, thunfischbaum, Aurora and JimG for their close support in helping with support tickets and creating new and interesting flight challenges for your enjoyment!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these updates – feel free to provide your feedback on anything you’ve read in this post either over at our dedicated feedback forum or via our Discord server!

…more updates to come very soon 🙂

Lets us know what you think!