User Survey June 2022 – Have your say!

We have just published our latest “User Survey June 2022” – Be sure you give your honest feedback and help shape the features and changes to FsHub and the LRM over the next few months.

Now is YOUR CHANCE to have your say and give honest (positive or negative) feedback to ensure we’re doing the right thing and concentrating in the right areas…

We take the outcomes of these user surveys very seriously and new features and/or future improvements are worked on based on the collective outcome of your feedback!

Follow this link to complete the Google Forms survey…

https://forms.gle/5VeLyjPvuN7Wsh26A

Many thanks for your time and we look forward to hearing how we can better improve our services and products and provide the best experience to you are our valued users!

May 2022 round-up – Virtual airline improvements, LRM 5.5.9 released and other news.

In my last update blog post (last week), I mentioned some of the updates that had been released in closed beta mainly aimed at virtual airlines which had been in the works and planned for a while.

I’m happy to provide updates today and to announce that the majority of these new features are now immediately available for all virtual airlines and I’m looking forward to sharing screenshots, a quick tutorial of the new airline permissions system and insights with you below but first, let’s cover some of the other general updates that all pilots, regardless of if they manage or fly for a virtual airline can enjoy too….

LRM 5.5.9 released!

This morning I have released LRM 5.5.9 which can be immediately downloaded from the main LRM client website here: https://www.lrmclient.org/

The release notes can also be found on the website too but in summary, this release includes the following bug fixes, features and improvements – nothing major but does address things that have been reported to me over the last couple of weeks:

  • Bugfix: Company Route notes window (if there are optional company routes attached to an imported route plan) now correctly displays the notes window regardless of using the “Auto-activate” route option.
  • UX Improvement: Clicking “Preview plan in FsHub” on Route Planner window now displays the planned route map and waypoint info (instead of going to the Web GPS and requiring the user to click/load the flight plan – reducing user clicks and provides improved route information).
  • Feature: Clicking the red “Disconnected” status message on the main LRM client window now opens a useful webpage with information as to why LRM cannot connect to the simulator and how to resolve it.
  • Performance Improvements: General application performance tweaks on the main thread during the status cycle.

I don’t personally feel that this release warrants a forced update and as such, you can install if you want to use the “latest and greatest” version of LRM otherwise upgrade as you see fit – this version is, however, the version that new users will be downloading and using going forward.

Logbook filter improvements

The logbook filter feature enables pilots (and airlines) to filter and sort their logbooks based on many options, this week I have also added the ability for pilots to filter their logbooks by virtual airline flights too…

Hopefully, a welcomed edition especially if you want to quickly and easily filter and sort your logbook flights for a specific airline(s) too!

The new “Crew Portal” features and advanced management features for virtual airline admins

Some of you may have noticed if you fly for one or more virtual airlines that the “My Airlines” page has been updated and simplified this week and now shows a simple “Crew Portal” link for each airline that you are a member of, as shown here:

Clicking on any of these “Open Crew Portal” links will now load a separate portal (in a new tab) which, it’s important to understand that whilst this may seem strange to show a separate portal, the statistics and links within this portal (as shown below) are within the context of the virtual airline specifically – FsHub obviously provides personal logbook functionality in addition to enabling pilots to fly for one or more virtual airlines and a pilot’s personal profile will show all flights and statistics for all flights flown regardless of the virtual airline or if the user is flying “Personal” flights only.

As per previous “User Surveys” I had several requests to enable features such as Pilot ranks and “Carry over hours” to name but a few, whilst these features are useful, the way in which FsHub was previously designed could have meant that users of these virtual airline features could have put them at an unfair advantage in the global statistics (for those of whom care about those things) and as such, the “Crew Portal” provides a separate area of FsHub that enables such features as pilot ranks and carry over hours to be used whilst not impacting other member VA’s or pilot stats to name a few.

Loading the “Crew Portal” portal for whichever virtual airline you are a member of will open a new dashboard like so:

As you will see immediately, this page is branded with the virtual airline’s logo and the pilot’s airline “ID Badge”, the stats shown on this page are the pilot’s airline-specific statistics – flight hours and the pilot’s rank (as shown on the ID card) take into account any VA managed “Carry over hours”.

The airline portal page also provides quick links to other VA specific pages such as the following:

  • Airline profile – Opens the airline’s public profile page.
  • My flights – Opens the pilot’s flight logbook with the new “Filter by airline” filter automatically applied.
  • NOTAMs – Airline specific “Company messages” will be able to be published by the VA’s management team here (current a work in progress) and will probably be renamed to “CO MSGS” instead.
  • Staff room – This button will become active/clickable when a staff room URL (could be a Discord server URL or forum weblink) is set by a member of the VA management team in the VA General Settings page (simply provides a nice and easy way for new and existing pilots to understand where they can immediately start speaking with other VA members)
  • Achievements – Opens the new custom airline achievements page and will show all achieved and available custom virtual airline achievements.
  • Resign – Probably obvious but this button enables you (the VA member) to resign from the virtual airline essentially removing you as a member of that virtual airline.

A quick word on the new “Pilot ID badge”…

This gained much attention this week as I rolled it out to some of the virtual airlines, originally, I used it as a way of simply showing the pilot’s rank (based on the flight hours/carry over hours for this airline specifically) and simply had used the airlines standard colour scheme to render out the ID badge.

It was pretty obvious however that several of the VA’s loved this feature and so, I quickly expanded on the features and customizability of this badge πŸ™‚

The airline pilot can now “Download” their badge too (using the “Download” link below) which will enable them to upload to forums or other websites and even print out too (if they really wanted to haha)

The airline management team (the CEO and anyone else that the CEO has given specific permissions to) are also able to upload not only a custom background PNG image but also a transparency layer too – enabling airlines to very easily get VERY creative with airline pilot badges and the ability to apply “badge shine” and/or watermarks/embedded chips and fake scratches too! – These features can be configured in the new “Airline Styling” section as shown here:

The “Administration section” buttons (shown above) will only display to VA members when certain permissions and roles have been applied to them by the airline CEO and/or other members that the airline CEO has granted administration access too – we’ll cover this in more detail later in this blog post..

From the “Airline Styling” page, the custom background image, optional overlay image and customisation of the airline badge foreground (text) colour can be updated here:

If this is all too much for you as an airline owner or simply not fussed about this level of customisation, then just leave the defaults – FsHub will automatically render a suitable (but clearly less advanced) badge – an example of which would look as follows:

Example shows using the default airline colour scheme and the uploaded (LRM client) logo in the top right.

The customisation levels are endless though, here are a few other examples of some airline ID badges…

Custom background PNG (with white used for the foreground text without a transparency overlay)
The FireFly air “test” ID badge – uses black foreground text and a custom PNG background.

Applying a transparency overlay too, this example shows how you can really get creative (I’ve uploaded a transparency layer to the above “EasyJet” example badge) πŸ˜€

Whilst the above is a very crude example, the main point to take away here is that the transparency overlay will ensure that any pilot specific information on the badge (such as the pilot’s name, VA rank and photo) is below the transparency layer enabling you to add watermarks, scratches and any other ideas to the card which enhances these badges.

I’ve talked wayyy too much about this particular feature (which was never supposed to be so in-depth haha) so now we should probably move on but I hope you guys find this useful!

Airline management permissions

It’s been requested for a while now that Airline CEO’s should be able to give permission to trusted members within their airline(s) and up until last week, only the airline CEO was able to customise all aspects of the virtual airline.

I’m pleased to announce that I have now implemented a new “Role-based access control (RBAC)” system for virtual airline CEO’s to enable them to grant granular permissions to their most trusted airline members or create specific roles (groups) that can be granted to VA members.

Whilst this may sound complicated at first, I’ll walk you through the steps (with screenshots) and demonstrate how we can grant specific access to users.

The new “Roles and Permissions” system can be accessed from the new Crew Portal, by default only the Airline CEO has access to this section at first, we can access this new section like so:

Access to the “Roles and Permissions” section can be found on the airline’s “Crew Portal”.

Once you have clicked on the above button, the “Roles and Permissions” page will appear like so:

Clicking on the “Manage permissions” enables you to customise the permissions for each role.

The above screenshot shows that I have already added several “roles” – I guess you can think of these as “user groups” too if this terminology is new to you.

From the above screenshot, and for this example, I have created some custom roles, these being:

  • Senior Managers – I will enable this group to have ALL access to the admin functions for this virtual airline – these users will be able to do ANYTHING expect for deleting the airline and remove CEO access to the airline CEO.
  • Dispatchers – I will use this “role” to enable users that are granted this role to add, edit and delete virtual airline company routes only.
  • HR Personnel – I will use this “role” to enable users that are granted this role to approve and reject VA applications.
  • Design and Marketing team – I will use this “role” to enable users that are granted this role to customise the virtual airline-style (upload and set logos and ID badge background etc)

The first thing you should know, is that the above role names and my example use-cases for each of these roles are just for demo purposes, you can name your roles and assign whatever permissions you want for any of them but these are a good basis for our example walkthrough below.

The next thing you should know is that “roles” contain granular permissions, and that multiple roles can be applied to users – these permissions that make up the “role” are applied inclusive of other roles that a user may have, so as an example, lets say that “John” is granted both the “Dispatchers” and “HR Personnel” roles… he would, from our examples above, be able to add, edit and delete virtual airline company routes AND be able to approve and reject VA member applications.

Now that we understand how this works, let’s now take a look at the Roles permissions page (remember that a role has one or more granular permissions):

The “HR Personnel” role enables users with this role to be able to approve and reject pilot applications.

It’s important to note that you must also grant “Enable VA Admin sections” too – without this,the VA member, when logging into the Crew Portal will not see any of the “Administration” feature icons.

Our “Dispatchers” role permissions are set as follows:

By now, as you’ve probably already guessed, our “Marketing and Design Team” which we said should be able to update our Airline profile page (social media links) and upload airline logos and ID badge backgrounds.

Our “Senior managers” role, given that we want them to be able to do pretty much everything, will include all permissions for that role specifically ad demonstrated here:

Once you have created the role(s) you can then assign roles to your VA members by editing their HR information – therefore, back on the “Crew Portal” (Dashboard) page, click on the “Human Resources” link like so:

A full list of all airline members will then be displayed, clicking on the “Edit” button next to the pilot you wish to add roles for:

The Pilot’s HR record will then open and you can then add or remove any number of roles like so:

Remove to “Save changes” once you have added or removed any roles.

The next time the Pilot accesses the crew portal, he or she should then be granted the specific permissions as setup for each role they have been granted.

Whilst this may appear at first sight as being somewhat complex, the power and possibilities of using this system will, at least amongst the larger virtual airlines on the FsHub platform prove to be most useful in providing specific permissions to certain members and alleviating the burden on the virtual airline CEO to have to manage all aspects him or herself.

If you get stuck using this feature or would like to ask for our help or advice you can always contact us and we’ll be sure to help you as quickly as possible!

Airline Pilot Ranks

A big feature that has been requested for a long while now has been the ability for virtual airlines to add custom pilot ranks based on VA flight hours.

This feature is now available for airline CEO’s and management teams to configure and setup on a VA basis, this feature can be accessed from the new Crew Portal’s “Pilot Ranks” section (which will be visible to the airline CEO and any other VA member that the CEO has granted permissions and roles too.

The VA ranks page looks as follows:

It’s pretty simple in terms of how it works, you can add new ranks and set the minimum required number of flight hours (flight hours being, hours flown by the pilot for this VA specifically)

When a pilot lands (which flying for your duty airline – having the airline selected in the LRM client) their flight hours are automatically recalculated and new ranks applied where applicable.

Airline Admins, using the “Human Resources” page can also manually override a pilot’s rank if they wish like so:

Like with almost everything in FsHub, features are fully optional and by default, airlines will not use pilot ranks until they have been setup by the airline management team.

Whilst a VA pilot’s rank is displayed on their ID badge when they login to their VA’s Crew Portal (as shown further up in this blog post), a member of the virtual airline management team can also enable the “Rank” column on the airline’s “Pilots” page.

VA admins can enable this column using the “Airline Settings” icon from the Crew Portal and enabling this option:

Once this option has been enabled, the airline pilot’s listing page will show the additional column like so (hovering over the rank abbreviation will pop up the full rank name too):

The way in which this is implemented in FsHub enables a pilot to fly for different airlines and hold different ranks within these airlines – this is ideal for both Commerical “tubeliner” VA’s as well as military VA’s too – both types of VA clearly using a different type of ranks (eg. Captian, First Officer vs. Wing Commander, Flight Lieutenant. etc) .

Virtual airline (custom) achievements

It’s great to see that virtual airlines are already making use of and starting to publish VA-member exclusive virtual airline achievements too.

Custom virtual airline achievements can now be configured through this icon (found in the new Crew Portal) by the airline CEO or any VA member that has a role assigned to them that enables the required permissions:

Osprey Airways have already published several airline achievements which can now be flown by their VA members exclusively.

If you’ve not yet seen them, public airline profiles (where one or more custom achievements have been setup) now show a button like so:

Clicking this button will show you the airline-specific achievement listing page like so and the available VA-specific achievements that can be earned:

Other airlines such as TwoToneMurphy’s FireFly Air and Coastal International. are also starting to publish their own custom achievements too.

I’m really excited about this as many other virtual airlines or “bush flying clubs” could start to emerge and publish some amazing and very creative bush trips etc and start to attract new airline members simply for the reason of flying these amazing achievements – which, could equally be planned for group flying events using MSFS’s multiplayer servers or our recent JoinFS integration features.

As a member of one of more airlines, all of your VA specific achievements will also be merged and shown on your own pilot’s achievements page too as demonstrated here:

As a quick reminder, and I know that recently FsHub has focused on bringing pilot achievements into the system, we are however still very much supportive of the fact that some pilots will prefer to fly how and where they want – whilst these features have been added to FsHub we do not impose them on to any pilots.

Some pilots may really find the pilot achievements annoying and therefore, as a reminder, any FsHub user can completely disable the achievement system (both in terms of processing achievements for their flights specifically but also the displaying of achievement icons, badges, buttons and pages) by simply enabling the “Enable Distraction Free Mode” from their Settings page as shown here:

Thanks for reading…

Further updates, tweaks and new additions will be making it into the new “Crew Portal” soon but I wanted to give you all a great overview and explain some of the more complex features so that you can understand them sooner rather than later (if you’re super excited to start using the new features right away) πŸ™‚

As always, thanks for taking the time to read this rather large update, there are many other features on the new “Crew Portal” that are still left to be explored and too much for me to write about this weekend (I still need to find some time to spend with my family too)

Like what you’ve seen and read today or have feedback, questions and/or maybe you need help or a further explanation as to how to use some of these new features then please contact us.

If you love what’s happening with FsHub and haven’t already, please consider donating as it really does help.

Thanks again and I hope you have a great weekend!

May 2022 platform updates

G’day pilots!

Just a quick update from me (conscious that my updates are normally super long) with a few updates on new features, achievements, and what I’m currently working on…

New achievements released in celebration of World Update 9!

Firstly, as Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update 9 was released today we have, as we have for other recent World update releases, released a handful of new achievements for you to explore and obtain (if that’s your thing) whilst exploring the improvements to the area, these achievements will see you visit a couple of airports Rome (and this one), Pisa and Florence.

In addition to adding achievements in and around Italy and Malta we’ve also added a few more in other parts of the world too including “The Big Apple” (New York), another achievement in New Zealand, an exploration of Japan and several more.

You can browse all the additional achievements on your pilot’s achievements page.

We’re now in BETA testing for the new VA Portal (features) updates

These new features enable virtual airlines to publish their own custom VA achievements (like the ones above) in addition to adding pilot ranks, carry-over hours and advanced airline management permissions (RBAC) – enabling airline CEO’s to give granular management permissions to other pilots within their virtual airline allowing the CEO to share the load of approving/rejecting pilot applications, managing ranks, roles, custom achievements and much, much more.

BETA testing will continue through this week and once I’m happy that everything is working “as it should” I will slowly roll these new features out to more and more airlines – these features, as with others before are entirely optional and can be used at the discretion of the Airline CEO.

I will post screenshots and go into further details in my next update but suffice to say, this has been the biggest area of improvement the last few weeks and should provide many of the advanced airline features that have been requested in recent months!

For more information on these new features (that have been planned for a while now), please refer back to my earlier blog post where I detail the new features in a little more detail.

New “Advanced pilot stats” page

Whilst still in BETA and many more charts and other useful stats will be coming to this page over the coming weeks, I decided to roll this page out sooner rather than later in order to get feedback and allow pilots’ to take a quick look at some of the already existing stats.

Pilots can get to this page from their main dashboard page but by clicking on this link…

Various other updates and improvements

There are also many other updates and improvements that have been rolled out “in the background” over the last month that many of you may have already noticed but if not, these include:

  • Airline flight filters.
  • Airline page style improvements (we now display the VA logo on all associated airline pages).
  • The ability to one-click copy a flight route from an existing flight report.
  • Major search engine results display improvements – VA logos, achievement badges, user avatars now displayed in results.
  • Achievements now included in the search results.
  • Search results can be filtered by type (eg. airlines, achievements, airports, virtual airlines etc)
  • A pilot’s logbook filter can now filter on achievement type too.
  • Optional 2FA account protection – You can now further secure your FsHub by using a mobile authenticator app (such as Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator) when logging into FsHub – You can enable this from the Settings > Security section.
  • Flight report “flags” – easily see what characteristics a flight report had both through the web-based flight reports and via the REST API.
  • Airport info pages now display “related” achievements – Unless you have disabled these from being displayed in your FsHub account settings (also a new feature ;))
  • …and probably more that have simply slipped my mind!

In addition to the above FsHub improvements, in May and the latter part of April, I released several new versions of the LRM client which fixes a few minor bugs, adds experimental support for helicopters, and a hotkey to maximise and minimise the LRM client window (CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+L), super useful if you’re flying MSFS in full-screen mode and several other improvements and other minor features.

What’s next on the agenda….

Whilst I’m still very much improving virtual airline features that are provided by the new Virtual Airline Portal and fixing up any issues that *may* arise from the current BETA, I will also be adding more improvements to the new “Advanced pilot stats” page, and then be overhauling the virtual airline radar page and bringing it in line with the current style and functionality of the main global radar page (instant load of aircraft, aircraft colours by altitude etc.)

Right, keeping it short and sweet for this update, that’s all from me, I will post a more detailed update with screenshots as soon as the new virtual airline portal (and advance VA features) are fully released later this month!

Stay safe people!

Happy Easter 2022!

From myself (Bobby) and the team (Clorix, thunfischbaum and CIVA008Jim) at FsHub we would like to wish you all a very Happy Easter break!

To mark the occasion, another “Special Event” has been set up today and is now live and will run until next week (the 25th April 2022), this event will see you fly into KMCO (Orlando International, Florida) to take passengers to the famous Walt Disney World resort.

More details of this event and the criteria to obtain the “special event” achievement can be found on the achievement details page.

A few other bits of news and updates to make you aware of over the last week (between doing several flights and enjoying myself in the simulator)… I know I said that I’d be taking a small break before working on the VA improvements mentioned in my last post and whilst, for the most part, that has been true, I have also added the following improvements to the FsHub site:

  • Pilot logbook can now be filtered by Aircraft type
  • Pilot logbook can now be additionally filtered by flights with or without screenshots.
  • Pilot logbooks can be additionally filtered as “Daily challenge” and/or “Pilot achievement” flights only.
  • Major improvements to the main search feature – you can now navigate large result sets (pagination) as well as specifically filter by different types of results (airports only, pilots, airlines and flights)
  • Ability to show/hide expired “special events” on the achievements page.
  • A few other minor tweaks and performance optimisations.
  • The ability to filter the logbook by flight number and tail number (if you use these features in LRM) will be released on Tuesday too – just finishing up a few things on these features specifically.

I would also like to say that it’s been great to see a handful of people already using the new Live Traffic/JoinFS integration and I myself have bumped into a couple of other users randomly – which has been great!

Once again, happy easter from myself and the rest of the FsHub team!

April 2022 news and updates

I didn’t actually expect to be providing such a big update so quickly but after my last update (a few weeks ago), a request came in from one of the VAs that use FsHub and whilst they only wanted part of what is now possible, after looking into the original request I couldn’t help but get excited and work on it tirelessly for the last week. I’m pleased that it is now ready and I’m excited to tell you more about it…

LRM 5.4.8 has been released – FsHub Live Traffic!

LRM 5.4.8 has just been officially released today (you can download it from here) which, amongst some other improvements (which can be found in the changelog) now provides the ability to fly with your friends, VA colleagues and other FsHub users that choose to enable this new integration that I have added into LRM this week.

Whilst I’m fully aware that this particular feature may not be to everyone’s taste but as with nearly all of the other features provided by LRM, you can enable or disable them as you desire (if you don’t like it, don’t enable it).

Setting the scene a little… maybe you already use other tools like VATSIM, IVAO, are simply happy with the built-in AI traffic in your simulator or straight-up prefer flying with zero traffic whatsoever… On the other hand, maybe you’d like to fly with other users that fly on FsHub without worrying about radio comms etc?

I personally think this could be a great feature for many of the VA’s, especially GA virtual airlines that wish to fly in formation but equally, for all pilots’ wanting to fly with or have realistic aircraft moving about the skies during their flights, the integration work that I have done this week also means you can cross-reference the aircraft you see in the simulator with the ones on our Global radar page (you may have already noticed some aircraft looking slightly different on there this week during our testing πŸ˜„).

….and ok, maybe you’re already using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and already taken advantage of the built-in multiplayer traffic features, users on other simulators would not be able to join the same multi-player session as you and so, this is where JoinFS comes in…

Among other things, JoinFS (which is freeware) enables you to fly with other simulator pilots across all the major simulators (totally cross-platform) and due to the distributed way in which “hubs” are hosted, this means that latency really isn’t an issue or at least not that I’ve seen yet- several of our test pilots have been testing it out all of this week and have found it to be flawless in terms of speed and smoothness.

JoinFS comes with a whole host of other features too which means you can share a cockpit with another pilot online, fly in lag-free close formations and can do a whole load of other things too but especially, being able to fly with others on different simulators is fantastic in my opinion.

Whilst there is still a little bit of setup and configuration to do inside the JoinFS client, once completed, LRM can automatically handle the launching of JoinFS and automatically connect you to our dedicated “hub” network in addition to auto-closing JoinFS once you’ve finished flying too which I feel provides you with a hassle-free, totally automatic way (you can do manual too) of starting the JoinFS client and automatically connecting you to our dedicated hub and therefore instantly gain FsHub pilot traffic – giving you a similar experience to that of VATSIM and/or IVAO but without the having to worry about ATC or potential concern about radio comms but, from our tests, much smoother and lag-free.

I think it would be really great to arrange (specifically for those flying GA) a big fly-in event such as a virtual “Sun and Fun” whereby, we could over say a period of 24 hours host a huge fly-in event and “virtually”, fly into and land at, meet up and depart from the chosen destination airport – that could be super cool I think πŸ™‚ – A great opportunity to get screenshots πŸ˜€

I could go on for ages about this feature but I encourage you to go and read the documentation that I have prepared here which goes into more details as to how LRM integrates with JoinFS and the few simple configuration steps you need to do in order to have LRM client connect you to our own dedicated hub network (it’s kind of like a server but it’s distributed – which makes it all the more awesome!)

I suggest that as many of you may want to try this out and plan to install JoinFS that, whilst you may have support questions related specifically to JoinFS and whilst, like myself, Peter (the developer of JoinFS) works on the software in his spare time and, some of the initial questions you may have may also be the same questions asked by other FsHub users and therefore suggest that you instead ask them in our Discord server in the first instance to alleviate pressure on him but also will enable us to document on our wiki common FAQ’s, tips and tricks etc. That being said, the JoinFS manual is rather good and I would highly recommend you read it in the first instance (specifically the model matching parts may be) as the rest of the functionality is pretty much automated by the LRM integration.

Airport data upgrades have been completed!

In my last update, I mentioned that I would be doing a major airport database update to include the latest airports that are included in the latest MSFS2020 update (WU8) – essentially just making sure our airport database is reflective of the real-world airports by renaming older ICAO’s and adding in new airports that were previously missing.

I’m pleased to report that after hours of testing on my test platform that the data “merge” into our production environment was a great success!

As part of this work involved me developing a new automated software tool that could compare new/modified data in future database upgrades and will intelligently merge changes with our airport database – now that this is completed future MSFS world update airport merges should be much quicker enabling me to rollout airport updates into our database really efficiently.

Other notable updates and news from FsHub these last couple of weeks

The daily challenges appear to be really enjoyed by many pilots on FsHub which is fantastic – it’s great to see such large “daily streaks” too – you guys are truly dedicated!

The Pilot Achievements that we added in celebration of the MSFS World Update 8 release last week that mainly JimG and Clorix added (my only contribution this time being the Antonio Gaudi one 🀣) have also seen a big uptake with many pilots have already completed both the single leg and multi-leg achievements… great job guys!

As previously promised, we will continue to add a new handful of Pilot Achievements every couple of months and in the meantime, the dynamic daily achievements should keep you occupied and have you travelling to parts of the world you might not have otherwise even considered in the past.

Some FsHub users on the other hand prefer to make their own way in the world and aren’t too fussed about the daily challenges or flight achievements and so, in order to declutter the FsHub interface a little, I added the option to “Enable distraction-free mode” which can be accessed through your Settings > Options page and, when enabled will remove all references to, and menu items for the daily challenge and pilot achievement sections – Nothing major but does clean up the menus a little bit and I’m sure some will like that.

I added some automatic warning messages to flight achievement pages that could affect users with the “Ignore short flights” feature enabled in the LRM client – this was, yet another great user suggestion.

Flight reports now include a new section called “Flags“, I guess this is kind of the same as the pilot editable “tags” but these “flags” are set automatically by FsHub when the flight report is created, these are designed to help you see very quickly if the flight has any special characteristics…

There are actually three types of flags and are as follows:

  • Pilot Achievement – Displayed when the flight report was created from flying one of the Pilot achievements.
  • Daily Challenge – Displayed when the flight report was created from flying the daily challenge (not shown in this screenshot but I’m sure you get the idea).
  • Live – Displayed when the flight was flown on our JoinFS hub network (online flying).

With the introduction of the flags on the flight report page, I thought I’d also update the logbook filter panel and include the ability to filter your logbook by achievement type too, this, therefore, sees the introduction of these two new filter options too…

We are now able to import user flight logs from other systems or manual flight logs created in the past too… This feature however is limited to users of whom have “Supporter” status as there is a degree of manual validation that has to happen – eg. ICAO’s change and we have to make manual decisions and also due to the fact that we do not want the system to be abused, as any and all requests to have historical flight logs imported do count towards the pilot’s global stats – If you are a “Supporter” and have log files you want to import please contact me and I can provide you with details of the file format required (alternatively, we could potentially work together to build a “migration tool” to ease the process from the origin format into the FsHub format).

The official SDK clients have been officially released and accessible from our Platform integrations section as per normal, however, I got distracted this week and worked on the Live Traffic (JoinFS integration) features and so I do still have further documentation and examples to publish but fingers crossed, that will be next week now.

To be honest, there are so many other tweaks, updates and improvements to the FsHub site these last couple of weeks that I’ve simply forgotten most of them having accidentally thrown my notes out earlier this week – but that adds to the excitement, right?

What’s next? – Virtual airlines are getting some love…

The main site search is going to be overhauled with optional new filters and result pagination improvements I’ve not been overly happy with the way the search feature functions – it searches amazingly due to the backend technology that I’ve used but at the moment it’s just a single global search, I will improve this massively very soon…

With so many pilots and flight-specific related updates made recently, I must admit that the virtual airline features have been neglected (I only have so many hours in a day though, right πŸ€ͺ) but virtual airlines will receive major updates in the next couple of months and will be my primary focus.

FsHub has always tried to be unopinionated as to how you set up and use the virtual airline features within FsHub and that is why, many of the features I announce today haven’t yet made it into FsHub (because I was purposely pushing back wanting people to use the API features) but, it would seem that the demand is so high that I have decided to introduce them.

All of the features detailed below will be fully optionally – if these features are not enabled by VA CEO, the VA options and features will remain as they currently are which, will probably suit most GA flying clubs – which is great πŸ™‚ – No one will be forced to use these new features but for the larger VA’s may come in super handy. Anyway, without further ado, let’s go over them…

The planned updates (most of these requested through the user surveys, and Discord conversations) are as follows:-

  • A new “management centre” for virtual airline owners and staff to manage their VA as there will be many new features (continue reading πŸ˜‰) that simply won’t fit into the existing “Airline settings” pages of FsHub website.

  • More customisation features for virtual airline public profiles – the ability to upload banner images, and change the page style entirely to enable VA’s to have very unique profile/”homepages” if they wanted.

  • Role-based authorization controls (RBAC) – enabling VA CEOs to set up “staff members” (roles) which will mean that virtual airline owners can give extra permissions to certain members within their VA to grant them granular level access to specific management features – something that has been requested numerous times.

  • Custom VA achievements – Like our Pilot Achievements section but will enable VA members with the correct permissions to create custom achievements to be flown by VA members only – Like a private version of what we have already, with this feature it would be great to see more “flying clubs” established where community members could join simply to fly a ton of amazing VA curated achievements.

  • Private message boards for VA’s – fully optional and only available if the VA CEO enables it but will provide a private place for VA members to communicate, post NOTAMs, arrange events, post news and even cat pictures if they wanted πŸ˜‚ . Essentially a private forum for your virtual airline members to keep in touch. As you might expect, the new permissions system would allow you (the CEO) to grant moderator permissions to staff members to help you delete said cat pictures πŸ˜‚.

  • Optionally require the manual approval of PIREPs before being accepted and displayed on the airline flight logs.

  • Carry-over flight hours – VA staff will be able to manually “add” pilot hours for pilots’ transferring into their virtual airline (such as from an external system) – this data will be VA specific and will not affect the global leader board stats or the pilot’s personal profile but just the pilots’ VA pilot profile.

  • Pilot ranks – Again, another optional feature – these are VA specific and can be enabled (it’ll be disabled by default) and will provide the ability to use the flight hours that the pilot has completed for the specific VA (and include any “carry-over hours”) to compute their rank – rank names, emblems and flight-time requirements will be fully customisable by any VA staff members with the correct role-based permissions. In addition to that, whilst there will be a generic set of rank icons, airline staff with the correct permissions will be able to upload custom rank images that will be displayed next to the pilot’s name within the VA specific pilot roster screen.

  • Airline hubs – At present FsHub doesn’t really have the concept of “hubs”, and if you’re a member of a VA you are just that – a member of the VA that when you fly the hours and flight data is recorded against the virtual airline and it’s global statistics. Whilst every virtual airline will be able to set up their default “hub”, VAs will also be able to add additional hubs into their network and assign pilots’ to these hubs – this doesn’t restrict what the pilot can do from the FsHub side of things, however, this is purely aesthetical and simply displays the pilot’s hub on the roster page(s).

  • Airline radar updates – The global radar has seen many improvements recently in addition to the ones this week too that now highlight aircraft that are also connected to our JoinFS hub network, these same changes will be applied to the VA radar pages too, including the “instant loading” of airborne aircraft like we have on the global radar page – in the past, virtual GPS data packets had to be received before the individual aircraft would appear on the map meaning that it would take several seconds potentially for all active aircraft to load in.

  • Airline Whazzup.txt files – If you’ve used tools like LittleNavMap and other moving map pieces of software in the past you may know that you can “feed” them with a whazzup.txt file, which is regularly read by the software and can plot aircraft and other attributes into the software – I will be adding a dynamic whazzup.txt file that will render out all online virtual airline aircraft – think of it like a text-based version of the airline radar feature and so, whilst you will be able to use tools like LittleNavMap and have them render your fellow VA pilots/aircraft in near real-time, this file can also be used with online mapping tools like Google Maps and OpenStreetMaps making it super easy for VA’s to display their online aircraft on their own websites.

  • Airline type description – This change has already made it into FsHub (yesterday) to be honest but I wanted to mention it here as otherwise, you may not notice it for a while – VA CEOs can now set the type of operations that the virtual airline (flying group) carries out, there are a few options to choose from, the default is simply “Virtual Airline” but others include “Flying Club” (aimed at groups flying GA aircraft) as well as “Special Operations” (aimed at Medivac, Milsim, Firefighting etc). At the moment this feature can be configured from your virtual airline settings page and is displayed on the virtual airline profile page. In future, however, this setting could be used for filtering the VA listing page and leader board style stats.

Logbook export tool (FS Logbook Editor) by Radek

One other final quick mention and although I plan to post it up on a new page on the FsHub site soon too (in the next couple of weeks) that will contain a list of third-party developed addons for FsHub and/or tools that utilise the LRM data connector features….

Radek, a user of FsHub and developer of a tool called “FS Logbook Editor” which enables you to have a local flight logbook, has developed an integration that synchronises your FsHub cloud logbook (using our REST API) to a file on your local machine.

I worked with Radek briefly over the last couple of months to help add some other bits to the API to make what he wanted to achieve possible (aircraft tail number and aircraft ICAO type) and did some initial testing on the earlier versions but I can say that this tool looks promising and maybe something that you’d like to use if you wanted a local copy of your FsHub logbook too and/or use some of the other additional features he provides.

More information can be found over at the FS Logbook Editor website.

Ok, that’s it, I’m taking a couple of weeks off before starting on the VA updates…

I want to personally thank the guys for helping me test out the numerous LRM builds this last week and flying on our new dedicated live traffic environment… Whilst I was bashing away at the code, these guys just kept testing and feeding back on the almost daily builds πŸ™‚ – Particular thanks to JimG, Alex 002, and Caspy1Uk – you guys were flying and testing every day I think πŸ™‚

That’s all from me, for now at least, I’m going to have to take a break from the code for a couple of weeks and hopefully enjoy a bit of flying between other things, jobs and family-related stuff that I’ve been putting off completing for a while now.

As a reminder – feedback (both negative and positive) is always welcome so please get in contact if you have any.

If you like the continued updates, what we have planned to work on next maybe you might consider making a small donation to help towards the hosting costs – it would be much appreciated but certainly not expected πŸ‘

March 2022 platform updates

So it’s been a couple of months since the last major update (I’ve been saving them up πŸ˜‚) but I’m pleased to say that I’ve been super busy behind the scenes and have a ton of things to update you on today, here are the section highlights (feel free to jump around the blog post if you’re interested in specific things only):

  • Daily flight achievements (new feature!)
  • SimBrief Flight Plan Sync (new feature!)
  • New flight achievements released
  • Display weights in FsHub as Pounds (lbs) instead of Kilograms (KGS) (new feature)
  • LRM Client updates (improved GUI, new options and bug fixes)
  • FsHub website improvements for mobile devices (Responsive UI enhancements)
  • FsHub REST and Webhook API improvements
  • New and Official .NET/C# and PHP Client (SDK) releasing next week
  • What’s next on the roadmap

Let’s now go over these changes in more detail…

Random daily flight achievements

I have now added a new feature whereby each day (at 00:00 UTC) our platform will choose three flights of varying distance – these will be globally available for pilots to choose and fly one or more of these flights.

So whether you want to simply gain the “daily flight challenge” points each day for completing the daily challenge or using this feature to gain flight ideas and explore areas of the world you wouldn’t have otherwise – I hope you enjoy this new feature.

New daily flight challenges!

I have also updated our global stats page to include both a “Top pilots by number of daily flight challenges completed” in addition to a “Top pilots by daily flight challenge streak” to add a competitive angle for those who may enjoy it.

More information about this feature and how it works can be found on our wiki here.

SimBrief Flight Plan Sync (directly from SimBrief)

Up until recently, you could import a number of flight plan formats directly into the FsHub website or use the LRM client these being:

  • LittleNavMap file
  • SimBrief XML file
  • A company route (that had been added by your VA owner)

Whilst LittleNavMap is more heavily used by GA pilots, a lot of the jetliner pilots tend to lean towards generating flight plans with SimBrief and whilst it was previously possible to “export” a SimBrief flight plan in an XML format and then load it by downloading and selecting the file in LRM (or uploading it into FsHub) I have now added the ability to “one-click” sync your flight plan from SimBrief.

This option is now available in both the LRM client and the FsHub “My Flight Plan” page.

Import flight plans directly from SimBrief from within the LRM client’s “My Route Plan” window.
You can also use the “Fetch from SimBrief” option in the FsHub web-based route planner.

I’m super happy with how this turned out, it’s so much faster for SimBrief users now and I’ve already received some great feedback on this latest addition therefore I’m hopeful that the majority of users will appreciate this too.

New flight achievements added!

Since releasing the new flight achievement system at Christmas and releasing several new challenges on new years day, we have just released a bunch of new achievements and two special events (be sure to fly those before they expire!!)

New pilot achievements to be bagged πŸ™‚

These new achievements will see you visit some other parts of the UK, Italy, France, Spain, North America, touring the Philippine Islands in addition to a trip to the Taj Mahal in India!

As previously stated we will continue our commitment to adding new achievements and badges every 3 – 4 months (so that all pilots have ample time to fly and enjoy them before we release another batch).

A special thanks to CIVA008Jim for planning and “designing” this latest batch of flight achievements for me to add to the system!

Remember to fly the two special events (Mardi Gras 2022 and St. Patricks Day 2022) ASAP if you want to achieve the badge as once the events are over, they will no longer be achievable!

We are also planning on adding a few more next week to coincide with Microsoft’s Flight Simulator World Update 8 to give you guys another opportunity and reason to explore the new in-sim world updates whilst also obtaining new achievements in the Iberia peninsula.

Display weights in FsHub as Pounds (lbs)

A new settings page has been added to FsHub where you can now switch the unit of measure for weights as shown on FsHub.

The new setting can be enabled from this page:

and, once enabled, all weight values on flight plans and other sections of FsHub will output as Pounds (lbs) instead.

Hopefully, this new feature will make a few people happy too…. Being from the UK I’m just so used to using kilograms and is the default UoM in the Airbus of which is what I normally fly.

Sorry it took a while to be implemented but in available now at least πŸ˜‰

LRM Client updates

Last month I spent a while tweaking and improving many aspects of the LRM client, these changes included:

  • Added the ability to sync your flight plan directly from SimBreif (no need to export an XML file and manually import it now!)
  • A fix for the EFB service not starting when running LRM in BlackBox mode (which was an outstanding bug since Christmas)
  • Several new options added into the LRM Client (including the ability to enable or disable logging of short flights)
  • Fixes for a handful of bugs (all bugs that we know of at this point are now squashed :))
  • ….plus various other things – all visable in the changelog!

Today however I have released another release of LRM (v5.3.0) which you can download from the LRM website now if you wish – it isn’t really a “must-have” version but does include some nice tweaks to add quality of life changes and more importantly is the last visual change to the client until our next major release in what I suspect will be in after summer now (greater than six months time).

The reason for the recent changes to the client and the “freeze” to visual style changes for the next six months is due to the fact that I really need to write the client documentation (user manual) and naturally needs to include screenshots of the client and therefore unless anything is super important (visual style-wise) then the client should, in theory, remain as is now for several months – At this point in time though, it is super stable and all known bugs are fixed and so I’m confident that LRM 5.3.0 will be the “stable” client for a good while now.

With the above in mind we should therefore hopefully have the documentation (user manual) released soon for LRM 5.x.x – this wasn’t really possible before given the frequent visual style and feature changes that had been happening every few weeks!

FsHub website imrpovements (tweaks for mobile devices)

Nothing major here specifically but thought I’d mention that I have invested a couple of days in tweaking many of the pages on FsHub to make them render better on mobile devices.

If you had therefore previously avoided using your phone to check your logbook on your FsHub due to some responsive design issues it might be worth giving it another go now as it’s been vastly improved since πŸ˜€

FsHub REST API and Webhook updates

As you may have recalled with recent LRM client updates (especially the Aircraft Manager), pilots can now configure custom sound packs and landing rate scores per aircraft (livery), in addition to that, users can also specify the airframe ICAO as well as the tail number – both of these values can now be retrieved through the REST API and is also exposed/pushed with our webhooks.

There are also some new REST API endpoints available such as the ability to retrieve both airline and pilot stats now too!

These new changes should make it even easier to integrate your flights and provide more options to “match up” FsHub flown flights with your own airline routes, fleet and pilot rosters.

I have also reviewed all of the REST API (v3) and webhooks documentation to ensure that the content is accurate and up-to-date API example snippets are available.

I would therefore recommend, if you are already using the FsHub REST API or webhooks to integrate directly into your website, it might be worth you revisiting the documentation pages again to see all of the new properties that are available for you to consume.

Official .NET/C# and PHP FsHub Client (SDKs) are being released next week!

Since the launch of FsHub several years ago, the REST API was available since day one but whilst I took the time to document with examples how to query and return data from the REST API to use in your own website, mobile or desktop apps, it required a user (with development experience) to write or utilise a third-party HTTP client layer to retrieve and format the data before using it in their own applications – whilst this is relatively easy for a developer to do, it is time-consuming and developers need to keep a constant eye out for API schema changes.

I am pleased to announce that I have been, for the last couple of weeks banging away at writing two new official SDK clients that:

  • Provide an easy to use and painless fluent API to get airport, flight, pilot and airline related information from FsHub.
  • Are fully unit tested to ensure code quality.
  • Both the C# and PHP SDKs have been specifically designed to use the same fluent API methods and properties hopefully making it easy to transistion between the libraries in future if you need to (think… Airbus Cockpit Commonality theory ;))

Both SDK’s will be available to install through the package manager for each code language/framework/environment therefore the .NET/C# SDK will be available through NuGet and the PHP SDK will be available through Composer (Packagist).

I am also planning on writing a Python SDK very soon too but suspect that the PHP and .NET/C# SDK’s will satisfy most developers and will enable them to easily integrate FsHub into their own websites as well as Desktop, IoT and Mobile apps.

Having these SDK’s available will now make it super easy and fast for you to start “playing around” with your personal or airline data and integrate these into your own applications whilst ensuring you always have the latest, quality-assured version of the SDK is now super easy!

Full code snippet examples will be provided too – check out the “API clients and libraries” section on the Platform Integration page next week for links to the individual SDK documentation and instructions on how to download (through Composer and Nuget) and use with your own projects.

What I’m working on next

These last couple of months have been strange – there has been an influx of various private messages to me on Discord as well as emails which mainly have been personal requests for tweaks, custom code or assistance with integrations into their own websites etc.

Whilst I have done my best to accommodate all of these requests it has been distracting and I’ve not been able to achieve as much as I’ve wanted to therefore, I will be having to cut back on the number of personal requests that I will be able to action each month (unless it’s from a “supporter” of course) – it’s nothing personal it’s just that I really should be prioritising features and changes that will benefit everyone or at least the majority.

I can therefore confirm, the next things on my immediate roadmap for FsHub are as follows:

  • Finalise and release the PHP and .NET/C# SDK (next week)
  • Airport and NavData upgrades (updating our massive database of airports and navaids)
  • Pilot statistics page (containing numerous personal statistics)
  • The Python (v3) SDK client

…and then, as before will continue to work on feature requests and other useful improvements to the platform but it’s important that I divert my attention at this point to the above four items as they have been on my “todo” list since Christmas but time has just kept running away with me and other new features and improvements have skipped the queue πŸ˜‚.

Let me know what you think!

How do you feel FsHub and LRM client is doing? Do you like the changes and updates – feel free to drop me a message on our contact form with any feedback πŸ™‚

If you think we’re doing a really great job maybe even consider donating πŸ™‚

Until next time, stay safe!

~Bobby

February updates and new achievements!

We are pleased to report several updates that have been made to the FsHub platform since the new year, these updates include:

  • Display of geo-tagged screenshots on flight report maps (remember you must enable Screenshot Geo-tagging in LRM client first though!)
  • The airport information pages now have a “Screenshots” tab which uses geo-tagged screenshots to populate these automatically.
  • Flight and route map style improvements.
  • Display of, and links to any virtual airlines/flying groups on the pilot’s public profile page that he or she is a member of.
  • Several bug fixes as reported by some users – one such issue is that you can now plan a flight that departs and arrives at the same airport (great for some of the new “training captain” achievements)!

In addition to new platform updates, and as promised in the last blog post update (we mentioned that we would continue to add new achievements throughout the year) we decided that given this week’s Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update, we thought we would add a handful of Australian flight achievements to give you yet another reason to go and fly in the region (if it’s not somewhere that you’d normally fly or explore!)

In addition to the Australian flight achievements, we are also pleased to announce that we have published our first ever FsHub user-contributed achievement. The achievement is named “California Coast” and will see you explore some of the best locations and well-known airports that exist in California. A big thanks to CIVA008Jim for submitting the achievement to us!

And finally, we are super excited to announce our second time-based “event” achievement named “Love Is In the Air 2022” – This time the theme is St. Valentine’s Day and will see all those who choose to participate and obtain this one-off achievement fly into Paris (LFPG – Charles-de-Gaulle International Airport) which is affectionately known as “The City of Love.” This event will be going live on 7th of February and will run until the 21st of February giving those pilots who cannot fly on the actual St. Valentine’s Day (the 14th February) the opportunity to!

All the new achievements are now available on your Achievements Page and ready for you to explore the criteria for each!

We look forward to informing you of more FsHub updates next month but for now, we hope you enjoy the new achievements and other improvements we’ve made to FsHub since the new year – Hopefully we’ll see you all in Paris between the 7th and 21st too πŸ™‚

Happy new year! Latest platform news, updates and the end-of-year user survey!

Firstly the FsHub team would like to wish you and your families a very happy new year and best wishes for 2022!

Happy new year from the FsHub Team – GIF designed by thunfischbaum!

I also have a few final updates and other bits to let you know about before we roll into 2022 that I’m pleased to share with you…

LRM 5.1.2 has been released!

Today we have released LRM 5.1.2 and have pushed the “auto-update alert” to all user’s that have the “Check for updates” enabled – this new release sees various improvements and depending upon what version you’ve upgraded from (or will be upgrading from) you should notice a whole load of nice and new features including the new “Dark mode” that seems to have been very popular.

If you’re coming from a much older update (eg. v4.x.x) – Oh boy, you’re in for a treat and without me explaining all the new features in recent releases, you can check out the individual “release posts” here:

Other fixes and tweaks in this specific release (5.1.2) however include improvements to the simulator type detection and further general optimisations.

You can download the latest LRM client version from the official LRM website or use this direct link – simply run the installer to automatically upgrade your LRM client version!

Lapland 2021 event is closing but was a great success!

Our Lapland 2021 event is almost over, flights to Lapland after midnight on the 31st December 2021 (UTC) will no longer be counted and the achievement will not be applied to your account and so, if you wanted one last final chance to obtain this “special edition” achievement badge – be sure to get your aircraft airborne ASAP! – Full details and criteria can be found on the event details page.

Whilst we know that “achievements” and “events” aren’t for all our users, it has been great to see that as of now we have had over 70 pilots complete the achievement in just under two weeks, pilots have been flying in from all different parts of the world in various types of aircraft – it’s been great to see so many get involved and we’re pleased to say that it appears to have been a great success!

Thanks to all that got involved – recent pilot screenshots and flight reports from those that participated in the event can be viewed on the event details page.

New flight achievements now released!

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to add numerous “global” (all-year-round) achievements into FsHub and we’ve done our best to cater for both airliner and GA pilots – this works in exactly the same way as our special “Lapland 2021” event with the exception that these new achievements can be obtained all throughout the year…

These new achievements are just the start of many other achievements to come (that we will be adding every few months) and we hope that the initial set of flight achievements will keep you guys busy for a while yet πŸ™‚

Generally speaking, most of these achievements have some kind of “real-world back story” or theme to them, we hope you enjoy flying them and receiving your well-deserved badges upon completion!

You can now see the full list of the available achievements on your personal “My achievements” page – you can access this by clicking on the “View achievements” button on your pilot dashboard as shown here…

…whilst most (or all, if you didn’t participate in the Lapland event) will be “greyed out” – you can read about each achievement and the criteria for completion by simply clicking on each of the achievement badges.

Progress on FsHub updates

As you may recall from my last blog post, I’ve been busying finalising some major improvements to the FsHub website and can confirm that the website’s display of geotagged screenshots and major radar page updates are making great progress and by the end of next week, these new features should be released and fully available.

As a reminder – if you’ve not yet configured screenshot geo-tagging or are not sure what it is/how it works, please see this guide – whilst totally optional, it is super easy to set up and really will enhance your future flight reports going forwards:- https://docs.fshub.io/lrm/guides/screenshots_geotagging_in_lrm

Other than the above, in my last blog post, I also covered what will be worked on next and into the next few months – if you’re interested and didn’t see/read my last update, you can read it again here.

Have your say – participate in the December 2021 User Survey

If you’ve been following along and reading my blog posts over the last year you will be aware that the previous user surveys have been a great way for users to communicate what they do and don’t like in addition to what feature they want to see or how they generally feel FsHub should be improved – almost all user requests (where I have felt that these requests fall into what FsHub is/should do) have been implemented over the last twelve months – I take the user survey feedback very seriously and would like to invite you all once again to participate in this new survey to help shape the future direction of FsHub and/or provide general feedback (good or bad).

Please take a minute to complete the user survey to let me know that we’re on the right track πŸ™‚

You can access the anonymous user survey here

That’s it from us for this year – have a great new year’s eve, keep your eyes peeled for new improvements that are released over the next two weeks and we’ll see you again very soon πŸ™‚

Happy holidays from the FsHub Team!

As well as a few new things to announce in this blog post, the FsHub Support team (clorix and thunfischbaum) and I (ballen) would like to take this opportunity to personally wish you all a very happy and merry holiday season – we hope you have a fantastic break and manage to spend some quality time with your families!

As mentioned, I have a few other things to announce this week…

LRM 5.1.1 has been released!

This version of LRM includes several improvements and new features which are as follows:-

  • A new “Dark Mode” has now been added to LRM client which can be enabled from the “Edit > Preferences” window – this is disabled by default!
  • Pilots who use the virtual airline features and particularly the “Import a plan from a Company Route” can now type/filter the company route to auto-select it (no need to scroll through a ton of company flight plans)
  • Improvements made to the VA stlying of the LRM client (text boxes and stat text now utilise the VA configured colour scheme too).
  • A new EFB app (“Airline Radar”) has been added that enables you to launch your virtual airline radar (to only display other pilots in your virtual airline on the radar page)
  • A new EFB app (“Route Plan”) has been added that will automatically open up the FsHub “My Flight Plan” page to enable easier cross referencing of waypoint and navaid frequencies/coordinates when programming your MCDU/GPS etc.

You can download this release (LRM 5.1.1) from the main LRM client website now: https://lrmclient.org or by using this direct link!

Simply download and run the installer – the upgrade will be automatic!

Screenshots of changes and new features in this release can be seen here:

We are aware of an issue at the moment where the EFB does not correctly load if you have configured LRM to auto-start when you login aka. “BlackBox mode” (this has been an issue since we first released the EFB features) – but rest assured this will be fixed in the new year, if you wish to use the EFB and are currently running LRM in “BlackBox mode” we recommend disabling BlackBox mode for now and starting the client manually – you won’t experience any issues that way!

Lapland 2021 event

With only a few days left until the end of the month, I would just like to remind all pilots that they have until the 31st of December to achieve this special “one-time” achievement and gain the “Lapland 2021” badge for their profile.

As a reminder, the achievement details and criteria can be found on the achievements page (along with the list of pilots who have already completed the achievement, their screenshots and the associated flight plans) here.

If you’re considering taking part in the event and would like details of how to get freeware of payware scenery for the airport itself, links can be found on the original event blog post.

So far we have had over 50 pilots complete the event – it has been great to see so many festive liveries used too; surrodox2001 even completed the achievement in a Concorde πŸ™‚ and most pilots who have participated in the event posted some amazing screenshots so far, here are just a few of them (for your viewing pleasure)…

What’s next on the list of things to do for FsHub/LRM client?

As well as several other little tweaks and improvements to FsHub over the last three weeks, which some of you may have already noticed, I’m going to take a couple of days off and spend some time with my family but improvements that will be worked on next are as follows:-

  • Finally make use of the new Screenshot Geotagged data – I’ve been super busy with other user requests and changes recently which has meant that I’ve not yet had the time to finish off the displaying of geotagged screenshots on the FsHub site (flight map pins, airport “screenshots” features and the ability to search for screenshots in areas of the world etc) but this will be prioritised after the christmas break – I personally cannot wait to have this completed and be able to see and search for screenshots in various parts of the world or along my flight path – it’ll be great!
  • Major improvements to the Radar page – you will be able to instantly see information about all flights/pilot details instead of having to wait several seconds for information to populate in addition to displaying the “already flown path” for each aircraft. A listing of all flights with flight plans will also be available. Clicking on a new button on the pilot profile page “Show on Radar” will automatically launch the radar page and select the pilot on the radar too!
  • Pilot stats page – this is actually already 50% completed and already includes various graphs and charts but I do however want to add more features and charts and so it’ll be a month or so before this is fully completed and released but it is on it’s way!
  • Further airport and navdata improvements.
  • Adding a new instant messaging and “NOTAM” system for virtual airlines so they can keep in touch with other “company” pilots through the EFB and FsHub website – we *may* roll this out to everyone (personal users too) if pilots would like the ability to add “friends” and chat with them in real-time/get notifications when they are online etc – Not sure how people feel about this though so I will hold off making any decissions until I get feedback from other pilots!

Once the above is completed, I feel that FsHub will feel more complete and having added every feature that pilots of whom have completed the various “Pilot Surveys” throughout this past year I guess the next logical things for me to work on are as follows:

  • Documentation!!! – We have created a new documentation site at: https://docs.fshub.io but it’s pretty sparse at the moment as I’ve just been so busy with coding etc but this will get some special attention very soon!
  • More apps and improvements to the new Electronic Flight Bag system – improving the live GPS viewer will be one of the first tasks – we’ll be switching to vector based maps for a crisper look!
  • A fully overhauled LRM client (v6) seeing a completely fresh and clean client “borderless” interface that can be run on MacOSX and Linux too! – This will be a long project and will take several months (possibily six months) to develop and test fully.

In the new year, I will publish a new User Survey which I invite you to all participate in – I want to know if you guys are happy with the recent improvements and features and maybe if there are certain things you would like to see in the near future too.

New achievements coming in January!

With the recent “Pilot achievement” system that we implemented this month, we have, up until now only added a single achievement (special event) to the system which is the “Lapland 2021” event.

Work is happening behind the scenes by Clorix and thunfischbaum to add many more “global” (all year round) achievements which will be available for pilots to complete and achieve from early January (if they want to participate – no pressure if achievements/badges aren’t your “cup of tea”).

A very special thanks to you guys…

I just wanted to thank (once again) all you generous pilots out there who have donated to the project this year and have helped relieve some of the hosting cost pressure from me; I would like to say an extra special thanks to John Gould, Jackson Strand, Charles Nadeau, Beefloh and Felix Richter for their continued support on Patreon (your monthly support alone helps pay for two of the five servers that make up our Kubernetes cluster that runs the FsHub platform – thank you so much for that!!) and to those pilots of whom have made one-off donations this year by PayPal too – thank you guys so much!

The pilots over at CIVA (Virtual airline) and SimPlanet (Virtual airline) have also recently sent over a few donations in the last week or so too – again, thank you!

We’d also like to thank and show our appreciation to our “Test Pilots” over on our Discord server of whom help us test releases and provide valuable feedback – Thanks guys, you do a fantastic job!

Well, that’s it from us for this blog post – again, we hope you have a fantastic holiday season and as always, please feel free to feed any comments or requests to us either on our Discord server, forums or by sending us a message using our contact form.

From myself (ballen), Cody (clorix) and Uwe (thunfischbaum) – Have a great Christmas and we’ll see you back again in a few days πŸ™‚ – As you might expect though, we’ll be on hand for any support issues in Discord, emails or the forums if you need us – even on Christmas day πŸ™‚

Lapland 2021 event (and our new event/achievement system)

Ahead of the Christmas period and with the recent release of Rovaniemi (EFRO) by MK-Studios I decided to build in a new “achievement” system into FsHub this week of which is capable of time-based “events” as well as global (all year round) pilot achievement flights in addition to “grouped” (multi-leg/multi-achievement) achievements.

This is our first-ever “event” and pilot obtainable achievement on FsHub and hopefully the first of many…

This particular achievement (event) is “time-bound” and as such, FsHub users who would like to obtain this “special edition” achievement must complete the achievement between Saturday 18th and Friday the 31st of December 2021.

Let us tell you a little more about Lapland and Rovaniemi airport (EFRO)…

Lapland is Finland’s northernmost region, a sparsely populated area bordering Sweden, Norway, Russia and the Baltic Sea. It’s known for its vast subarctic wilderness, ski resorts and natural phenomena including the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. Capital Rovaniemi is the gateway to the region. The homeland of the indigenous Sami people, which extends into neighboring countries, centers on the far north. 

Rovaniemi is known for Santa Claus Village and Santa Park which is located near the airport as well as very cold winters and demanding weather conditions.

Rovaniemi (EFRO) airport is located in northern Finland and serves the local town as well as the local Christmas tourist attractions commonly known as “Lapland”.

Many European airlines fly young families up to Rovaniemi in December to see “Santa Claus” but flights by Finnair are carried out to and from Helsinki all year round too.

Rovaniemen Airport is the third busiest airport in Finland, located about 10 kilometres (6nm) from the city centre and a fun fact… the Arctic Circle crosses the airport runway at its northern end!

The video is used for demonstration purposes ONLY (not to advertise or recommend this payware scenery package specifically!) you can use the standard scenery included in your simulator of choice or download and use the freeware scenery that I have linked below too!

In return for participating in the event, all FsHub users will receive a special edition emblem on their pilot profile for having taken part.

The details of your flight, any screenshots you take and your pilot details will then appear along with the other participants on the “event” details page.

How do you participate in the event? – You can quite simply visit the achievement details page, read the details and in particular, ensure that your flight adheres to the “criteria” section (for this particular event you simply need to fly to and land at the airport (from any airport of your choice) but you must ensure that your flight distance is greater than 80nm – there is no restriction on the aircraft type either).

Upon completion of the flight, you will automatically obtain the special edition emblem which will appear on your public pilot profile which you can proudly show off!

In preparation for this event, I have uploaded a bunch of official charts to the airport information page which can be added to your flight case (and viewed through the new AeroPad EFB that we released in LRM v5) for the event and can be found here.

Want to grab some custom scenery files? For MSFS users, there is a fantastic freeware scenery pack over at Flightsim.to. X-Plane 11 users can take a look at this free scenery pack that I found too. Personally, I think I’ll be grabbing a copy of the new MK-Studio’s payware airport as it looks amazing!

Updated: An FsHub user (CoderDede) has also contacted us with a link to download the scenery for P3D users too, you can grab it here: https://files.fsnordic.net/rovaniemi-efro-revisited-version-3

As always, It would be amazing if all participants could take screenshots at the airport or on approach and share (by uploading to their flight report) so they will automatically be included in the Event details page’s screenshots section.

If you have any questions about the event or want to know more about what we have planned for the new achievements’ system, please drop by our Discord server!

We hope to see you in Lapland very soon!