Tracking your flights with SimConnect is now available!

This is probably the blog post that you’ve all been waiting for, for a while now – Finally a SimConnect client for FsHub!!

Firstly, please consider this a public BETA release – It’s been tested by several people and numerous flights have been logged successfully, even helicopters!

If you do plan to help us test this new client, please ensure that any issues (please also tell us what aircraft you were/are flying too – as this is important) are logged via. our Ticket System.

You also need to know that this is also the SimConnect component only – the full graphical client is releasing soon (read more on this below)! This does however track your flights, is super lightweight and is exactly what we’re using in the new graphical client, behind the scenes!

Let’s see it in action…

Once you’ve downloaded and installed the LRM CLI SimConnect client (download link available here) and installed it under Windows, you’ll notice this new icon appear on your desktop:

Double-clicking this icon will launch, you guessed it, “the launcher” – The launcher is really just to provide you (the user), assuming you prefer to use the LRM CLI SimConnect Client (a lighter alternative to our full-blown graphical client) an easy way to set up a flight quickly.

Before clicking it though, you should edit the client configuration file that can be found at: C:\Users\{YOUR_USERNAME}\.config\lrm-client\client.conf – you can simply open this file with Notepad or another text editor!

You then need to set your API token and optionally enable the logging of short flights too as demonstrated here (API tokens can be generated on your Fshub account here):

With the changes to the configuration file saved, now head back to your desktop and double-click that “LRM CLI Launcher” icon!

Once the launcher loads, it will prompt you for the “active airline” (this is the equivalent of using the drop-down menu in the graphical click), here you’d type in the airline ICAO/abbreviation for the airline that you want to fly this flight for, as a reminder, airline ICAOs/abbreviations can be found on FsHub on the airline’s public profile or on the airlines listing page.

If your flight isn’t a VA flight and/or you don’t want to set a callsign, flight number of tail number you can simply just press ENTER at these prompts (skipping them entirely)

Do keep in mind that you can only use an airline ICAO code if you are actually a member of that airline, entering the ICAO code of a virtual airline that you are NOT a member of will result in login failure!

Here is an example, in this quick “demo flight”, I’ll be flying for the virtual airline Alaska Airlines, which, on FsHub, this airline’s ICAO code is ASA and I’ll be using the flight number/callsign of ASA1308:

Before going any further you should now start your simulator and set up your flight, once your aircraft is “on the tarmac” you can start the flight.

LRM will immediately start monitoring your flight as shown here:

At this point you can now minimise the terminal window (LRM CLI Launcher) and fly as you would normally.

For demonstration purposes, once your aircraft has taken off, the terminal window will output the standard take-off stats, demonstrated here:

If the above screenshot is hard to see, the terminal window outputs the following text:

> Took off at 81kts, winds 1kts at 269'

At this point in the flight, the LRM CLI SimConnect client will continue to track and behave much like the current LRM version, it quietly reports your flight progress to FsHub and all web-based features such as Route Planning, Radar, Web-GPS etc are fully functional and supported!

Upon landing, as you might expect, the client will report the touch-down statistics and log the flight on FsHub:

…and again, if the text is too hard to see in the screenshot, the terminal window has reported that we landed successfully:-

> Landed at -284f/m (1.06g) at 75kts, winds 1kts at 269'

Following the flight, you can exit the monitoring tool by pressing CTRL+C to close it and stop the monitoring.

JoinFS is also supported by the LRM CLI Launcher too, the launcher can auto-start and auto-stop the JoinFS client too. Should you want to use JoinFS with this client feel free to ask on our Discord server how to configure it if you need.

That’s all there is to it really, a simple icon on the desktop, two prompts for if you want to set an active airline and one to optionally set a tail number (for GA aircraft) or a flight#/callsign for the bigger birds!

Have a play about with it but realised that this isn’t the full-blown graphical client – this is an alternative option for users that don’t want to use a full-blown client, it uses less memory but is used behind the scenes by the new graphical client so your testing would be much appreciated and we’d love to hear your feedback!

Can I try it without uninstalling my current LRM Client?

You sure can! – This installs separately from the current LRM client and can be run independently.

It is best to make sure that you’ve closed your existing LRM client (if you’re using “Blackbox mode”) and you can also kill that FSUIPC session that MSFS has probably launched too!

…you won’t be needing FSUIPC for this 😉

Why are we releasing CLI versions of the new LRM Client?

Firstly for testing purposes – it is much easier if we have a ton of users testing the new LRM SimConnect connector component and we can continue to develop the new cross-platform graphical interface which then directly “talks” to these (Windows, Mac and Linux) CLI applications silently in the background!

Secondly, because it provides a lighter-weight alternative to our new snazzy graphical client which now bundles a ton of extra features (moving maps, flight history… the lot) and we feel that some users – “Power users” perhaps might appreciate a tiny little terminal application that just sits out of the way, monitoring the flight and reporting back to FsHub! Our new graphical client also bundles Aeroconomy features too… something that various users might think is just unnecessary bloat!

We also know that you’ve been crying out for a SimConnect-compatible client – we’re delivering this now so that you can start tracking your flights through SimConnect and ditching FSUIPC altogether, should you wish!

The power of these CLI components means that virtual airlines who have access to developers/people with programming experience can now embed the FsHub tracking functionality into their own fully customised graphical desktop clients and choose whether or not they want to display landing statistics or simply to provide a custom graphical client (completely de-branded from FsHub)!

Where is the full graphical client then?

You may recall from my last blog post that we now have the same CLI components that work on Mac, Linux and now (as of this post) on Windows too.

Whilst I’ve personally been coding away to support Windows, Linux and MacOS connectors for the new LRM next-gen (graphical) client – these components are now completed, they form the foundation of the new client and are necessary in the first instance.

I can say that the testing (by members of the community, Uwe and I) has gone great on both Linux and Mac (for X-Plane) and we’re now at the stage where these components can now be “wired in” to the new graphical client.

I’m also pleased to announce that as of a couple of days ago Aurora has joined the development team to increase the rate at which we can deliver the new graphical client – While I will be working closely with her, she is leading the development on the graphical front-end of the new cross-platform client – meaning that I can concentrate more on the CLI components, the main FsHib web platform and the Aeroconomy platform.

Given that we now have fully working SimConnect and X-Plane connectors working and released to you for testing – we can now concentrate on getting these integrated into the new client interface and delivering a truly cross-platform next-gen LRM client that works on Windows, Mac and Linux!

Want to know more about the technical side?

We’ve published a few wiki pages for our SimConnect and X-Plane connectors (CLI components), details and useful information – more aimed at developers or power users can be found here:

That’s all for today, go and have fun!

That’s all for today, I’m now heading off out to an 80’s music night with my family, I hope you enjoyed the blog post and new possibilities this provides to you and your virtual airlines!

I’ll be sure to post another blog post about all the other things that have been happening over the past few weeks and a few screenshots of the new next-gen graphical LRM client in the next few days too – assuming I’m not swamped in bug reports 😉

Have a great weekend all!

Platform updates May 2024

Just a quick blog post to keep you all updated with the latest updates and things happening “behind the scenes” at FsHub!

As you may recall from my blog post a few weeks back and recent updates in our Discord #notams channel, I promised that the SimConnect client for MSFS would be available to test on Friday the 7th of June – I’m pleased to announce that this is still on track and a beta release of the SimConnect client will be available on that date!

There are however a few more things that I wanted to make you aware of that have been going on and released in the last week (these updates have been requested as a matter of urgency due to VA’s wanting to “partner” with the likes of VATSIM and needed a way to prove VATSIM flights.

I’m also super excited to announce that we now have a working X-Plane client for Linux and MacOS too… (read on to see more information about this!)

LRM (CLI) Client running on Debian Linux.
LRM (CLI) Client running on Debian Linux.

VATSIM and IVAO tracking is now available on FsHub!

Assuming you have your VATSIM and/or IVAO user ID set in your FsHub settings as shown here:

FsHub will track any flights that you complete on our platform whilst connected (flying on) either of these virtual ATC networks, the result is that your flight report will be “flagged” as a VATSIM or IVAO flight as demonstrated below, in addition to that, users using the FsHub API will also be able to identify those flights that are flown on VATSIM or IVAO too.

A flight report “flagged” as a VATSIM flight.

In addition, given that flights can now be “flagged” as VATSIM or IVAO flights, I have updated the airline flights and personal flight filters too:

Additional flight list filters have been added!

In celebration of this new feature, there have also been two new Personal Achievements added to the platform, these are named “The VATSIM Pilot” and “The IVAO Pilot” and can be found here:

Shiny new personal achievements!

Improvements are coming to both the Global Radar and the Airline Radar pages in the coming weeks too (as soon as the SimConnect client is released for testing) – this will highlight any aircraft that are flying on either of these networks too (so just hang tight for this)!

Native X-Plane Support on Linux and MacOS is now here!

I’m pleased to announce that we now have a native X-Plane client to test on Linux and MacOS.

Uwe and I have been testing the new client on Debian Linux with the latest X-Plane version and can confirm that it is working great (and logging real flights to Fshub – between us, we’ve logged more than 10 successful flights) and I’m now at a point where I am happy to share with BETA testers that are on either Linux or MacOS.

The eagle-eyed amongst you might realise that from the screenshots shared in this post, the client we’re offering to “test” is a CLI client (Command Line Interface).

The new LRM client (a cross-platform graphical user interface) uses this client behind the scenes to connect to and send position reports to FsHub like the new SimConnect client does too!

This has many additional advantages, including the ability for virtual airlines with “technical” members with a programming background to develop their own front-end interface (for their VA) which communicates with the CLI client behind the scenes.

So whilst the screenshot’d command line client isn’t the “final product” in terms of how it will look (Linux and MacOS users will be able to use the new GUI client too), some users on Windows, Linux or Mac might like to use the CLI client component exclusively as a lighter alternative to running the new and improved full graphical client in future.

A wiki article is now being written to explain how to install and use this on Linux or MacOS (super easy though, just 2 files!) and will be shared tomorrow along with download links for the BETA client should you wish to participate in the testing.

If you’re a Linux or MacOSX user and would like to BETA test this new version, please send us a message here and we’ll share all the information and a download link with you tomorrow!

…so fear not all of those people that have read the recent tech news this past week (Microsoft going to start screen recording on Windows as part of their Copilot AI product), FsHub now has a “privacy-respecting” alternative for you 😉

Pressing on with the SimConnect client…

Anyway, just a few quick updates in this blog post, I’ll now bury my head back into the code and ensure that the delivery of the SimConnect client makes “the drop” date this coming Friday!

Have a great weekend all!

Signing off,

Bobby and the FsHub Team!

Platform updates April 2024

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 🙂

Happy Holidays 2023!

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

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

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

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

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

Our new forums

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

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

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

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

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

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

Platform upgrades to FsHub

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

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

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

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

Oil Rigs coming to FsHub

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

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

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

Aeroconomy features / rollout

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

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

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

The new LRM and XBOX client

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

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

That’s all for now!

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

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

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

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

Platform updates June 2023

Welcome back to another platform updates blog post where we aim to provide you pilots with the latest features and goings-on within the FsHub team!

As usual we’ve been pretty busy and been working on many features across the FsHub, LRM and even the Aeroconomy platforms and am excited to share the latest new with you today – this should have gone out a couple of weeks ago but other things have been getting in the way/we’ve been busy working on various bits and peices so thank you for your patience!

Let’s jump right in…

Our new Assignments (Mission) Generator feature

If you’ve been keeping up with our announcements on our Discord server you’ll see that earlier this month we released a new Assignments feature whereby virtual airlines (of any kind) can now configure different types of randomly-generated assignments (or “missions”) which Fshub, based on the settings entered by the VA can randomly generate assignments and missions for your pilots to fly.

This particular feature has been designed and I guess you could say that this is my “solution” to cater for other types of airlines/flying groups such as Heli-med, Chater, Cargo, Military, Bush flights, and Aerial Firefighting etc. etc.

Whilst the new (optional) Assignment Manager module is happy to generate flights to and from established airports that exist within the simulator (and we have a ton of options for randomly generating these kinds of assignments) this system, based on what it was actually primarily designed for, really shines when generating assignments to non-airport specific locations such as GPS locations (such as in the bush, oil rigs, ships, hospital helipad and road-side locations) and opens up a whole load of fantastic possibilities for STOL, float planes, Military and Helicopter flights.

Here are just a few example use cases and ideas that I had in mind when developing this feature which I hope might serve as a creativity booster if and when you and your airline staff create assignments (obviously these will depend on the type of airline you are running):

  1. Heli-med operations (you could either use completely randomly selected GPS locations or set a list of specific GPS locations within the area that you operate to give your pilots a more realistic experience) such as at skiing resorts (sport-related incidents) or major roads (vehicle collisions), and built-up cities (cardiac arrests etc.).
  2. “Poacher Patrols” and Veterinary Missions – Using STOL aircraft potentially in Africa or the Australian outback to patrol or tend to animals in the wild!
  3. Cargo missions in remote areas – Flying in the Amazon, using STOL aircraft, requiring expert piloting skills and landings/departures to, from or both heavily obstructed and vegetated areas.
  4. Military reconnaissance flights (flights can land and depart from a specific airport but you could impose a minimum flight distance and specific aircraft types) or delivering soldiers and/or supplies to soldiers at make-shift, war-torn landing zones.
  5. Aerial fire-fighting operations (land on water to “collect” fire retardant) from specific GPS locations that are at lakes, riverways or in the sea.
  6. Visit obscure locations – You could set up assignment templates for “helicopter charters” to custom scenery locations such as visiting Sealand (a sovereign Principality built on a WWII military fortress in the north sea!)
  7. Charter flights – You could use your existing airline’s hub airports and then configure the assignment templates to generate random flights to or from airports within a set radius of your operating area (hubs)
  8. Scientific/Expedition charters – Using specific GPS locations you could configure a list of places where scientists may need to be taken such as glaciers, the Artic Circle and other remote areas.
  9. Re-creation of charter flights to remote islands (that don’t have actual airports) such as the luxurious Fyre Festival where VIPs paid thousands to attend a remote party island.
  10. Police/SWAT – Busting drug cartels and other criminals in parts of South America (think “NARCOS” – I loved that Netflix series ;)).
  11. Helicopter Transfers – To transfer staff to custom scenery locations such as oil rigs, wind farms or static ships.

Whilst the above are just some examples, you can combine the power and available options that our assignment system provides to literally cater for any kind of assignment or “mission”.

In addition to the above, this system can also be combined with our existing Routes and Duty Schedules features (for conventional, commercial airlines), you could, for example, choose to set the value of the rewards on your Company Routes to zero (0) and then use the assignment generator to generate flights to and from “Any company route” and by setting the value of a reward on the assignment template specifically would entice pilots to fly the company routes using the generated assignments only (as the rewards would only be available and “paid out” when flying them as an assignment) or, equally, pay a “bonus” for flying the assignment (such as an “overtime” achievement).

The official FsHub demo airline (Alaska VA) is using this system to automatically generate tasks based on our routes, hubs and spoke airports such as pilot stand-in (sickness cover), maintenance flights and VIP transfers. I’ve personally really been enjoying using this as a way of finding “jobs” and flying other routes that I wouldn’t otherwise normally fly and as an added benefit, we’ve configured our assignments to pay the pilot a “bonus” (as overtime) on top of the existing Route based rewards.

Conventional airlines, whilst they primarily fly route-based flights (and probably have their routes and hubs set up in FsHub already) could use this feature to generate other assignments such as maintenance, lost baggage, repatriation flights and/or “fictional” pilot cover (for example, if a pilot calls in sick) – so don’t think this is just for bush, helicopter or military flying!

More details on how this system works from a pilot perspective can be found on this wiki page (full instructions) and, for virtual airline owners/managers, full documentation can be found on this page – this particular page provides a ton of use cases, examples and tips for generating awesome assignments so definitely give it a read if you’re interested in using this optional module.

To date (two weeks since it was released), we already have over 15 airlines now using this feature and between the airlines, have amassed well over 1,000 assignments/missions flown!

I would also like to give an honourable mention to SixKnots and IronBird from FireFly Air of whom were helping me test, providing bug reports and re-testing at the initial release a couple of weeks ago – I really appreciate the hard work you guys did and you certainly saved me a ton of time so thank you, guys!

Other fixes

In addition to the work that I have been doing on the new Assignments system, there has also been a number of other fixes and improvements to FsHub and the LRM client these include:

  • We released LRM version 5.6.1 – Which includes fixes for a bug that we found in the Aircraft Manager feature where under some s – If you’re still on the older LRM 5.5.9 release, you can download and upgrade to the new version from the main LRM website.
  • Based on pilot feedback, we updated the Pilot achievement overview details for aircraft-specific assignments – we added a new Wiki page and linked to it from the pilot assignment overview which details the specific aircraft types that are “valid” and will count towards the achievement requirement.
  • We fixed a bug with the aircraft restrictions feature (due to a duplicate aircraft type).
  • Improvements to the gallery pages (image loading and error handling).
  • The daily challenge now shows a “count down” as to how many hours, minutes and seconds there are until the next set of challenges is generated (should help pilots understand how much time they have regardless of whichever timezone they are in).
  • …probably a ton of other bits too and I’ve since forgotten 😉 – It’s been a super busy few months!

Progress on the new LRM client (SimConnect version)

The latest LRM client has had further updates added to it this past month too with the view for me to further expand the possibilities and in-sim experience of the new VA assignments/mission system, this now enables the pilot to “action” certain other (virtual) mission-type objectives such as “lowering a stretcher” (where the LRM client is now able to “track” a period that the aircraft may have to hover for a set time within a range of a new “objective” coordinate (eg. SAR/Helemed), fly a straight and level path for X nautical miles within range of X (for ariel firefighting, military surveillance or bombing missions) and even “load/unload” cargo/passengers/casualties at a certain airport or coordinates – The new LRM client now tracks these optional objectives and provides the user with real-time feedback either through a new AeroPad app or using the new LRM client interface (using the AeroPad is much cooler though and can be used on a separate remote iPad/tablet device too).

Given that Microsoft announced their new MSFS2024 release a couple of days ago, I’m now keen to understand what SDK changes the Asobo team plan to make to ensure that the client will also work with the latest version of the simulator – I’m hoping that more information will be shared ASAP so that I can better plan features and potentially have to an extra layer of abstraction to ensure that this also functions on day one of the release.

I’m also eagerly awaiting any information regarding if the SDK will enable me to track some of the “mission” tasks within the new simulator and hopefully be able to integrate that seamlessly with the new Assignment system that I released earlier this month as if this will be possible, this would be absolutely awesome…. if not however, I know I’ll be able to implement workarounds within FSHub and the new “actions” feature in the latest LRM client – so whilst I wanted you to know that this is on my radar (tighter integration with the new features) for now though, we’ll just have to watch this space 😉

Progress on the LRM XBOX plugin

As I’ve mentioned already in our Discord Server, I’m now very close to my goal of “saving up” for an Xbox (planning on purchasing it at the end of the month – 2 weeks’ time!) and at which point, I will be looking to start the integration of the already developed WASM module and testing it. – Really hoping I don’t have to buy a second copy of MSFS now 😉

One potential obstacle I may face however, nearing the completion and has only recently dawned on me is the potential need for FsHub (me personally I guess) to form a company/organisation – As many XBOX users know, the only way to get plugins into MSFS (for general use) is to purchase them through the app store – it is my understanding that I’ll therefore need to go through the process of forming a company (I don’t believe that Microsoft will accept submissions from non-organisations) and then going through the process of applying to Microsoft to become a content provider.

There are two potential “issues” that I see:-

  • I will have to form a company (FsHub has always been a “hobby” project of mine – I hold down a regular day job too) and with that, decide how to best take on the extra stress and hassle of running one, the associated tax returns and essentially running a company that doesn’t really make a profit (which obviously isn’t all that easy to explain to “the taxman”) as I wouldn’t expect or could rely on XBOX users to pay a premium fee for the addon. Microsoft however will still want their minimum amount per “purchase” and as such, I would only expect that the cost of the addon for XBOX would be “free” from FsHub but MSFS would still charge their “minimum fee” (which I believe is about $5).
  • XBOX users would have to be prepared to pay/buy the plugin as per the above – basically, the same issue that PMDG have for making their livery packs available on the store.

If you’re an XBOX user I’d really love to know if you would be massively opposed to this and would I be wasting my time? My hands unfortunately are tied here!

Rest assured however that I will take a day out this week to investigate the full requirements from an MS Store and company formation perspective so I have a solid understanding and know what I need to do to make this possible and as cheap as possible for those XBOX users.

New flight achievements

Between JimG, Clorix and myself (ballen), we have been rolling out more flight achievements to keep you all entertained with things to do, the new achievements that have gone live in the last couple of months include:

We also have a few more that we are currently working on and will be rolled out as soon as they’re ready and/or we have noticed that pilots have started completing the latest ones and then probably itching for some new ones 😉 – the other ones that you can expect in the new few weeks include:

  • A South American bush achievement
  • An African bush achievement
  • …we also have a couple of others that I’ll keep as a nice surprise for now though but thought I’d mention the above ones as I know those areas are currently under-represented so wanted you to know that we are rectifying this.

For those of you that have always wanted to fly a “round the world trip” but maybe didn’t know how to go about setting up a flight plan, we are also working to put together a special type of achievement where FsHub pilots will be able to “fly around the world” broken down into a series of seven (each continent) multi-leg achievements, having achieved all of those (and the connecting flights), you’ll be awarded the “Around the world” achievement – This is a pretty extensive achievement and as such, will take us some time to complete and release so expect it later this year (likely in the fall).

Given the implementation of our new VA’s Assignment Generator, this also opens up the opportunity for a few more Pilot achievements badges too, these are planned to be released in the new few days and will centre around the number of VA assignments/missions that a pilot has flown (and before anyone asks if previous assignments flown will count, they certainly will).

Aeroconomy updates

Behind the scenes I have been working on more of the Aeroconomy codebase and, at this point, I now have a fully working dynamic (real-time) economy processor (calculator, I guess you could call it) which, uses the real-time data from FsHub (based on the flights, destinations and aircraft flown) to dynamically calculate country-specific fuel prices, business rates, maintenance fees, cargo quantities, PAX numbers, charter opportunities and and landing fees – All of these metrics (based on the FsHub “world” economy) will affect your airline operations and profit/loss – this system essentially uses the REAL supply and demand that FsHub “sees” from the actual pilots, aircraft, activity and countries that pilots are actively flying in.

Whilst at the moment, this probably doesn’t sound all that beneficial to your game-play experience, after all, there isn’t an “interface” to Aeroconomy just yet but this is essentially the “core” feature and a massive part of Aeroconomy that needed to be handled and now means that whilst I continue to work on the other bits and pieces mentioned in this blog post above I can continue to monitor the economic states/prices and apply tweaks as required (this system is now actively running within our platform – silently processing the live data and crunching the numbers).

I guess, to the average FsHub user, this may not sound that interesting but rest assured this is actually HUGE – I won’t go into much detail at this point as there are so many things to talk about and explain why this is a game changer in comparison to other types of economy systems out there at the moment but I was keen to share this with you as I personally, think this is very cool!

As a reminder – This is an optional (opt-in) feature for airlines and so airlines don’t have to use this system to “compete” against other airlines on FsHub if they don’t want to. So no need to panic/worry if you’re happy with the way that airlines currently work within FsHub as you can continue to use airlines in a non-opinionated way (like FsHub already does by default)!

What are we missing or what would you like to see in future?

Whilst I’ve been really busy recently with developing/implementing LOTS of things in parallel – to ensure that everything “works together” when the new LRM client is released (FsHub, the new assignments system and features that are in the works for Aeroconomy), I’d really love to hear your feature requests as it is super important now that I’m getting much closer to a release of the new LRM client – if any new feature requests require some LRM-specific changes/feature added to the new LRM client, I would much prefer to add them now as opposed to crow-baring them in at a later date.

If you do have a feature request or would like to “bounce” an idea off us/see if something is possible, please raise a feature request, please be specific as possible regarding what you want to see added, why/the purpose and how you might envisage it working – I’ll be reviewing all new feature requests at the end of the month and unless anything major comes up, will work to finalise the new LRM client by the end of August and get it into the hands of the beta testers.

Platform updates April 2023

Welcome back Pilots! It feels like it’s been an age since my last update but here goes…

Easter & April Fools Day special events!

As per tradition here at FsHub and since we introduced the flight achievements feature, throughout the year we design and publish various “Special Events” for important days of the year or dynamic “world events”.

With Easter weekend approaching, we (or more specifically, JimG) have designed and published an Easter-themed event that will run over the Easter weekend (for two weeks), virtual pilots from all over the world, flying on FsHub will visit Jerusalem in a Christian-themed event. More information on this event can be found on the special event page.

For April Fool’s day, we also took this opportunity for pilots to test their skills – yep, Cody devised a special/unique achievement and reached out to me to “make it possible” – I’ve spent several hours implementing new “requirements” that will see this “foolish” achievement made possible – I’m not going to give away any spoilers but rest assured, it’ll be fun (and probably challenging)… We’re not sure that may of you pilots would have attempted this before 😉

So do keep an eye out for when these achievements go live – The April Fools day one will go live around 00:00 (UTC) on the day (1st of April) and will run for one week!

Progress on the new LRM client

I know that I may have mentioned this before but development up to this point has been arduous, to say the least – ensuring that the next generation of the LRM client meets (and exceeds) the current performance of the existing LRM client, some annoying “bugs” that exist in the current client (specifically the aircraft manager duplication issue) are squashed and ability to retain flight information if the simulator crashes have been the top of my priority list.

To date, I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours (probably over a thousand actually!) working and fine-tuning the new LRM client that not only includes a modern UI but also supports multiple backend data connectors (SimConnect, X-Plane’s SDK and the trusty FSUIPC) and new features.

Whilst I massively underestimated the timescale for this to come to be released and work is still ongoing – the majority of which is simply flight testing across all simulators in my test environment and fine-tuning for performance at this stage.

I honestly wish I had a “hard date” for release at this point but I’m still fine-tuning the different data connectors behind the scenes and for lower-end hardware too – at this present time, getting consistent performance between all three is causing me a slight headache (SimConnect works differently to that of FSUIPC and the X-Plane API) – hence taking a couple of weeks away from it and having implemented the other features and new achievements mentioned in this blog post – I will return to the grind stone code again in the next week or so for the final push and then run the same tests on Linux (for those X-Plane users of whom are using Linux as their desktop operating systems) – this should be reasonably quick though as only X-Plane (and more importantly the Xplane SDK) is supported on Linux!

As you may have seen too on Discord, I invested time last month in implementing WASM support for LRM – since then Microsoft has now released WASM support for the XBox (or atleast, that is my understanding)… Whilst not wanting to leave all of my PC users in the dark for another few months and seemingly “leaving baby in the corner” (you get it?) “leaving FsHub in the corner” in the corner… I will be finishing the release of the next-gen LRM client and working to add a few more highly-requested features to LRM before saving up my pennies to get my hands on an XBox to then fully test and then finally release the embedded (WASM) support for XBox users so that manual PIREPs for those users should then be a thing of the past!

New features and improvements to the FsHub platform

Whilst most of you know that I’ve been hammering away on the new LRM client, I’ve also been adding some new features and improving some existing features within FsHub too – generally those that have been requested or from users on Discord that have

I won’t go into too much detail here as the majority of you already know about these new features, have seen my screenshots in Discord and have already started using them (I did announce them on Discord) but in summary, they are as follows:-

  • Personal arrival and departure stats on the airport information pages – Enables you to quickly see how many times you have departed or arrived at a specific airport (if you ever did) – useful to find new airports that you’ve never been to before!
  • Virtual airline achievements can now be deleted – this was an architectural nightmare given how FsHub is developed (as a distributed system) but a highly requested feature from some of the larger virtual airlines which literally have hundreds of bespoke virtual airline achievements!
  • Flight hours by aircraft (Pilot Stats page) – The pilot stats page now also shows details of the number of flight hours per aircraft type, not just the number of flights – including a new pie chart!
  • Fixes to the “light theme”
  • Prevention (and warning to users) when attempting to designate or re-designate an aircraft with a missing (invalid label) – Whilst this might not make sense to some of you, rest assured, some pilots might have been aggravated by this – our change now informs the user of the issue and how to resolve it.

We released another ton of single and multi-leg achievements!

We’ve kept to our word and, every few months (to enable those who will have less time to complete them before getting overwhelmed with the number of flight achievements available) and have been drip-feeding you pilots with new achievements over the last couple of weeks.

I have recently started building out the European version of our popular “US Cities” series and are called “Euro Cities”, so far, two volumes have been released and more coming soon!

In summary, those new achievements can be found here:

A new “Pilot Achievement” system is being released shortly!

Originally I was very sceptical about adding “achievements” of any kind into FsHub but having had them added to the platform for almost a year now, I can see from the stats that these are really enjoyed by many members!

At this present time, all of our achievements centre around flights and landing style challenges, I have some annual leave from work (for two weeks) starting Monday 3rd of April and during of which, I will be releasing a new “Pilot achievement” system.

The Pilot Achievement system, much like the existing achievements can be disabled by pilots of whom feel may increase anxiety or promote “grinding” but for those of whom have previously asked for this feature should be excited to know that they will now be able to be recognised for general achievements and will be able to collect badges for various pilot activities and “long term” use of the platform.

At this stage, I’m doing some final testing and adding a handful more of these achievements prior to the “go live”.

Whilst I don’t want to entirely spoil the surprise just yet, I can confirm some of the badges that will be awarded (and why) are as follows:-

  • GA Pilot (Amass over 500 flight hours in any “common” GA aircraft)
  • Boeing Pilot (Amass over 500 flight hours in a Boeing commercial aircraft)
  • Airbus Pilot (Amas over 500 flight hours in any Airbus commercial aircraft)
  • The day job (Amass over 1,000 flights and 1,000 flight hours)
  • The Explorer (Visit over 200 countries)
  • The long hauler (Complete 50 long-haul flights, each flight time > 10 hours)
  • I crossed the pond (Complete a flight departing England, Ireland, France or Germany and land in North America or Canada! – or in reverse!)
  • The Butter King (Perform 10 landings at less than -20 f/m)
  • Achievement Master (Complete over 200 “global” achievement legs)

These achievements will be “back dated” and so, if you already have completed any of the above, the badge will automatically be awarded!

Upon release of this new feature, there will be approximately 10 other “Pilot achievements” that I won’t be sharing at this time – we’ll keep them as a nice surprise!


I haven’t mentioned this recently but want to reassure you all that this is definitely NOT forgotten…

Aeroconomy, whilst an “opt-in” feature for VA’s will bring about the ability for virtual airlines to operate (and compete with other VA’s in a “dynamic” and evolving economy) and will give a more realistic “score” to those smaller airlines that are operating more efficiently than simply having a ton of pilots and routes.

Aeroconomy will provide another level of immersion at VA management level where carefully balancing the books, finances, routes and customer satisfaction is paramount in operating a “successful” virtual airline – other “competing” airlines will be waiting in the wings (pun intended) to steal first place if you don’t keep tabs on your business.

I quite literally just want to work on this now – This is going to be amazing and it honestly feels like it’s been a long road already – web, cloud and API platforms are my passion and having a completely blank canvas to work from on this is super exciting for me.

This will, once the new LRM client has been released be the next major thing on my priority list – I’ve mentioned it before in other posts and shared my excitement to start working on this.

Stay tuned for more updates soon – much like the development and release of features on FsHub, the good news being that progress on this will be much more rapid when compared to the LRM client (as it’s all web/API/cloud-based – I don’t have to worry about the various client-side computer configurations and other things that are “out of my control”)!

Financial support for the features we want to bring to FsHub

You probably read “financial support” and thought, oh, here we go… begging for money but this isn’t and has never been the case but lack of forecastable, on-going of financial support is holding us back to a degree.

As you’re probably aware, in order to help support the ongoing hosting costs of FsHub (so it isn’t too strenuous on my personal wallet), we offer “premium” access to some features of FsHub for those that show support (by donating) to the platform – many of the features we provide with this are actually very taxing (performance wise) on the platform (such as routes, VA achievements and duty schedule features) – whilst I’d love to share these features with everyone (I like free stuff too!), this isn’t really an option right now.

With more features and the requirement for third-party (expensive) services that I simply cannot develop myself due to not having “the data” (such as mapping API’s and weather overlay maps, huge improvements to AeroPad etc.) I may look to start offering the ability for users (or companies) to “sponsor” on a monthly basis, the platform – this should bring in more money but more importantly a “known” amount (that I can budget for the use of such services) in return for having their logo’s and links on the homepage of FsHub and will mean that I don’t have to rely on individuals in future to help me prop up the monthly costs of the platform infrastructure and then, all existing features can be “open to all” – don’t worry though, this won’t be intrusive at all and will remain easy on the eyes!

Whilst I won’t waste my time if people HATE this idea this will mean that more advanced features that we cannot “afford” (at the expense of risking the platform stability in it’s current state) at the moment will have to hold off.

Some users have also asked for us to support debit/credit card payment mentions for donations – I will also look to add this as an option very soon.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this specifically though – feel free to DM me on our Discord server (with good or bad feedback) – My Discord username is “ballen”.

Closing off…

Whilst I know that, partly due to the fact that I’m back in full-time work now (I used to work extensively on FsHub between “contract” jobs) but also the sheer amount of work that has been going on behind the scenes on the next-gen LRM client things appear to have “stalled” with development – this certainly isn’t the case and whilst I’ve been a little quieter on Discord recently, it’s just because I’ve been trying to keep my head above the water.

In the coming weeks, I will also publish a new “User Survey” to get your opinions and future requests – Once the LRM client is done and dusted we’ll be running at the speed of light again on the web platform and releases will be supersonic as they have been in the past!

I’m super excited to finally finish off and release the new LRM client – this has been really hard work (the amount of time required and if I’m honest, boring too) but the end goal will be a truly stable, super efficient LRM client that will be used for another 10 years hopefully (yes, it feels weird to say it but FsHub will be ten years old next year)!

…I can then go back to working on what I’m most passionate about which is the web and API side of things – FsHub and the new Aeroconomy platform.

I’m almost certain that in a couple of months time the sheer amount of features and new “toys” that I will be bringing to you all will utterly amaze you 🙂

In the meantime, if you appreciate everything that has been going on, and would like to either buy me a beer or simply help with the ongoing hosting costs and support the work that we’re doing – remember that you can always donate. I also just want to mention and thank you to all of those that have donated in the past and continue to support the project on Patreon each month – this is massively appreciated and I’m hugely grateful – you know who you are 😉

That’s all from me – I hope you have super fun with the new April Fool’s day achievement (it’s going to be a strange one for sure ;)) and I look forward to updating you again very soon with some amazing updates and new features!

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

ballen (and the FsHub team)!

World Update XII – New Zealand achievements

Microsoft and Asobo are due to release World Update XII later today. As per tradition at FsHub for a while now, we have carefully crafted a couple of achievements to help celebrate this release and give you a “guided tour” (with some backstory) of the new bespoke airports.

We have split our tour of the new bespoke airports in this world update into two multi-leg achievements; one covering the North Island and the other, the South Island.

The achievement details can be found here:

Flying these two achievements will ensure that you visit all 7 of the new bespoke airports provided in this world update and, in addition, will earn you a couple of new flight achievement badges for your FsHub profile 🙂

We hope that you enjoy these new achievements – be sure to share your screenshots in your flight logs too.

Happy release day everyone!

See you in the skies very soon!

February 2023 platform updates

It’s been a while since my last blog post/update but with good reason – behind the scenes, I have been working tirelessly (between work and other real-world commitments) to bring you all the next generation of the LRM client.

Progress on the next-gen LRM client

For those of you of whom are unaware of what the LRM client actually is (or does), the LRM client is the aircraft tracking software that is installed on your PC and, during flight is sending data back to the main FsHub platform.

As you may know, in the past, the LRM client has used FSUIPC/XPUIPC as “middleware” to communicate with the flight simulator (FSX, MSFS2020, P3D and X-Plane).

Whilst updates to the main FsHub platform have been plentiful and frequent during 2022, the most recent user surveys highlighted that users wanted more of my time and effort to go into improving the LRM client and more specifically to “do away with” FSUIPC.

The last few months I have dedicated almost all of my time to working on a completely overhauled and modern replacement for the LRM client, whilst I’m getting nearer to a release date, I have taken the conscious decision not to rush a release out and ensure that major new features are implemented correctly “from the get go”, I have also taken time to ensure that the new LRM client will be compatible (through the use of a decoupled WASM module) for XBox users once this is fully supported by Microsoft.

The new client has an overhauled (modern) UI and offers out-of-the-box support for SimConnect and X-Plane’s API – in addition to “pluggable” support for FSUIPC too for users who prefer to continue to use FSUIPC as a data connector.

Whilst I will be going on a much-needed holiday in a couple of weeks, once I’m back, I will be full steam ahead to get this released for initial public beta testing… I have personally been testing this in an isolated test environment up until now and have amassed over 100 flight hours. The software seems to work flawlessly (Which is a great sign that a public beta should go without many issues).

New features and user requests for FsHub

In addition to working on the new LRM client, where issues or “bugs” have cropped up and been reported, I have ensured that they have been fixed and pushed to the FsHub platform.

Some of you may have also noticed several new features around the FsHub website over the last few weeks and other improvements of which I will be blogging more specifically in a couple of weeks’ time.

Whilst we do get many requests in via. Discord, at the moment at least, please can I ask that you use the Contact Form on the FsHub website instead (as this will automatically raise a “ticket” which I can then easily convert into a “Feature Request” into our tracking system and saves me having to try to remember individual requests of which, do easily get lost amongst other Discord chats.

Valentine’s day 2023 special event

JimG has published our 2023 valentines “special event” which will see pilots (of whom wish to obtain this time-limited achievement/badge) visit the Italian city of Venice!

The achievement is set to go live on the 7th of February 2023 and will run through until the 21st of February 2023 – so be sure to fly the achievement within this time period as it will not be awarded after this time.

More information about this can be found on the official achievement page here:

I’m looking forward to the 2023!

I’ll be honest with you, working on the LRM client really isn’t much fun 😀 The client really serves the purpose to get your flight data into the main FsHub platform (which is where the real magic happens!), I’m working extremely hard to get this released so that I can then turn my attention back to the more impressive features that FsHub can and will provide in the future.

So rest assured, over the coming months, my promises of a full-blown economy system will still very much be coming and implemented alongside the main FsHub platform for those that wish to participate and use it.

In the mean time, I would like to pay special thanks to Clorix, thunfischbaum, Aurora and JimG for stepping up and helping in the Discord server with general support issues whilst I’ve tried to not get too distracted which would otherwise make the release of the new LRM client delayed further.

I look forward to providing you with more updates and some awesome screenshots very soon!

Bobby & the FsHub Team

Happy Holidays!

Seasons greetings to you all!

This year has seen many new major features and changes to the FsHub platform and going into next year we have so many new, unique and amazing features planned and coming soon (as mentioned in previous blog posts)!

Over the Christmas period (23rd December to the 2nd of January), we will halt deploying any new features and tweaks to the main FsHub platform to ensure that it remains stable over, what we expect to be a very busy time for our platform.

Myself on the other hand (ballen), will be concentrating, during this time, on the isolated development and testing (another great excuse for me to complete some of the other achievements that I’m still yet to obtain ;)) of the much requested and anticipated SimConnect version of the LRM client and expect to have it fully stable and released by the 2nd of January – so you can all expect this very soon 🙂

The support team (including myself) will also be on-hand to help with any issues as normal so please feel free to reach out whether that’s via. our Discord server or using our other official contact methods!

We just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and festive holiday season and hope that you all have a great and relaxing time with your family and friends during this very special time of the year!

If you’re stuck for places to fly or things to do over Christmas (although we highly encourage you to spend it with your loved ones) we have recently released several new achievements that you might like to fly and earn – our Christmas 2022 “special event” is still available to be completed too at this time but will expire on the 31st of December so be sure to fly that one specifically if you don’t want to miss out on this unique achievement/badge – so far we’ve had a total of 112 pilots complete this 🙂

In addition to the above, on Christmas day itself, the three random “Daily Challenges” will be overridden to target specific holiday/Christmas airport locations and so, you can be assured of a festive daily challenge flight should you choose to fly on Christmas day 🙂

The daily challenges on Christmas day will be as follows:-

Short flight:
EFIV (Ivalo, Finland) > EFRO (Rovameni, Finland) – GA to Lapland!

Medium flight:
CYZF (Yellowknife, Canada) > CYWJ (Deline, Canada) – Buffalo Airways “Polar Express” route.

Long flight:
LFPG (Paris, France) > KORD (Chicago, USA) – “Getting home to Kevin” Inspired by the film “Home Alone”!

Special “Daily Flight Challenges” for Christmas Day!

I look forward to updating you in my next blog post in the new year with what I expect will be the announcement and immediate availability of the new, much anticipated SimConnect client (for MSFS users).

We hope you have a great Christmas/Holiday season!

Best wishes and season’s greetings to you and your families…

Bobby (ballen) and the the FsHub support team (Clorix, thunfischbaum and Aurora)

December 2022 Platform updates

Good day Pilots! It’s that time again 🙂

This blog post is going out a few days later than originally planned due to me being tucked up in bed at the moment (with what I can only imagine in the flu!)…

I hope you’re all well and recently were able to pick up a few bargains (payware scenery and/or aircraft) in the recent Black Friday deals, and of course, to my American friends and pilots, I hope you had a great “Thanksgiving”…

Just a quick blog post to update you on everything that’s been happening since my last blog post.

This month has been a strange one really, a lot has been happening behind the scenes, and great progress was made with the LRM SimConnect client but then our growth started to impact various parts of the site and we’ve had to increase our investment into some of our cloud services to get around rate limiting issue due to our continuous growth.

Our holiday (Christmas) event is now live…

Last year, the official FsHub Christmas event was held in Europe – Rovameni (Lapland) and in my last blog post, I asked the community for suggestions for ideas and suggestions for this year’s special event and with Vancouver being in North America we felt this was a great change of scenery from last year…

Between the 10th and 31st of December 2022, we welcome all FsHub pilots to participate in our yearly Christmas holiday event (Vancouver Christmas Market), this year, we have decided (based on user feedback from our last platform update blog post) to host it in Vancouver (Canada).

The official FsHub Christmas Event for 2022

More information and the achievement requirements can be found on the official achievement page.

Keep in mind that this is a “special event” and as such, you only have a short window to complete the achievement or forfeit ever being able to obtain the special edition badge.

Stuck for places to fly at the moment (maybe whilst waiting for the new Christmas event to “unlock”)? – We also recently released various new flight achievements a couple of which with an emphasis on winter flights (The European Skication and North American Ski Resorts).

Also remember that every day, FsHub will generate three global “Daily challenges” which you can fly and visit new airports and parts of the globe that you wouldn’t otherwise maybe visit and count towards your pilot stats too 🙂

Static aircraft carriers have been added

With many new military virtual airlines joining FsHub, I thought that now would be a great time to add in a few of the payware static aircraft carrier locations into FsHub – enabling pilots to take off from and land at various aircraft carriers and for airlines that use the “airline achievement” system, these can now be incorporated into achievements.

The aircraft carrier packages (locations) that we support are the MilitarySim Carriers add-on and the USS George W. H. Bush carrier add-on by LatinVFR – the inclusion of these carriers into the FsHub database sees an additional 17 aircraft carriers which pilots can now use.

Landing or departing at any of these aircraft carriers will now correctly show in your logbook using the provided ICAO codes (UBG1, UBG2, CN71, CN72, R09 etc).

More virtual airline achievement settings have been added!

It was always my intention to expand upon the custom airline achievement rule set and as such, in November I added the (optional) additional achievement rules:

  • Minimum landing rate (FPM)
  • Minimum flight time
  • Maximum flight time
  • Maximum distance
  • Maximum altitude
  • Maximum speed

These new achievement rules are immediately available to all virtual airlines that have access to the “Airline Achievement” features.

New custom achievement rules for virtual airline flight achievements.

The addition of these new “rules” means that airlines (commercial, military or otherwise) can get even more creative with their flight achievements – these new “rules” were recently introduced to make high-speed, low-altitude flight achievements possible such as those military VA’s wanting to create an achievement like the famous “Mach Loop“.

Added various other “special” aircraft designations

It was mentioned this week that whilst FsHub has the official “Undesignated” aircraft designation ICAO code (ZZZZ), with the recent release of many other new types of aircraft, specifically within Microsoft Flight Simulator, at the request of one of our users, Clorix has spent some time this week adding in several new official “special” designators of which can now be used to correctly designate aircraft types such as Gliders, etc.

The new ICAO “generic” types that have been added are as follows:

ULAC – Ultralight aircraft

UHEL – Ultralight helicopter

GYRO – Microlight autogyro

PARA – Powered parachute/Paraplane

BALL – Balloon (Hot air balloon)

SHIP – Airship

FFLO – “Foward flight only” – Official description of this type is “An unmanned aircraft (UA) which is not capable of hover or vertical flight and needs to be in horizontal motion to sustain flight.”

VFHC – “Vertical flight and hover capability” – Official description of this type is “An unmanned aircraft (UA) which is capable of vertical flight and hover”.

In addition to the above, in the latter part of November and earlier this month, many new payware aircraft were released for MSFS and other simulators such as the Harrier jet – we have been working tirelessly on user requests to add these new types of aircraft into the FsHub system to make them available for owners and users of these new payware aircraft.

As a reminder, FsHub uses the official ICAO aircraft database to validate and add aircraft designations to our platform.

Added pilot-specific airport notes feature

For pilots with “premium” status, a new feature has been added to FsHub whereby a pilot (user) can add custom notes to any airports in FsHub.

These notes are personal notes – only the logged-in pilot will see their notes for the particular airport.

Whilst this feature can be used by pilots for storing any type of notes about the airport; personally, I use this feature to track what custom scenery I have for any given airport.

Example airport notes section.

The great thing about this feature is that if you visit an airport page and you have custom notes, a small icon will easily identify that you have notes for this airport, and in my case, I know that I have custom add-on scenery for this particular airport.

Airport page indicates that the pilot has custom notes for this particular airport.

….a new map will be added to FsHub soon too whereby, the map will show all airports that you have added custom notes too – enabling you to very quickly “jump” to that airport and see your notes.

SimConnect LRM Client Progress

In response to the recent User Survey, in the latter part of November, I started developing a SimConnect-specific version of the LRM client that would do away with the need for FSUIPC to be installed for MSFS users specifically (X-Plane, P3D and FSX users would still need to use the FSUIPC version at this time).

Whilst initial testing went great and I released 9 different BETA versions of the LRM SimConnect BETA client to a small group of BETA test pilots over on our Discord server, there was, unfortunately, an issue that causes LRM to crash mid-flight after a few hours – whilst this was extremely disappointing I knew that this would require more time to properly iron-out and understand, under the hood, what the SimConnect SDK was doing.

With my work commitments this month, I decided that I would revisit during the Christmas period (as I have two weeks off work) and instead concentrate on delivering the various other user-requested features and tweaks (of which there have been many this month).

So stay tuned for early January when I expect to have a fully stable release of the LRM SimConnect client ready and available to download.

SimBrief integration

After several months of chasing the team over at SimBrief and a couple of direct email requests, we have finally received an official SimBrief API key and as such, given the setbacks this month with new features (as mentioned in this blog post), whilst we’ve not been able to complete this feature, we now have everything we need to integrate SimBrief more tightly into FsHub.

Although we have already added the optional feature for pilots to enable the “Generate SimBrief” links on various parts of the site (this can be enabled from your Settings > Integration page in FsHub) of which takes you directly to the SimBrief website and pre-populates a lot of the data for you…

Work will continue on this over the Christmas period (when I’ll have more time to implement and test this feature and time off from my normal day job), the end result will mean that you won’t have to visit the SimBrief website at all and you’ll be able to view the flight plan/SimBrief flight manifest from within FsHub itself – awesome!

The LRM client website got an overhaul

The LRM website although never designed to look “cool”, I gave in a couple of weeks ago and spent a day re-designing it to better showcase the features of the LRM client.

The new LRM client website.

The redesign of the website also brings a more modern feel to it – I hope you like it!

The FsHub homepage got an overhaul

I also spent some time updating the design and layout of the FsHub homepage, the old one, as mentioned in my last blog post, was starting to look dated and I felt needed a little overhaul.

I would like to personally thank TwoToneMurphy, Phil and Clorix of whom supplied various video clips from within their simulators of which I was then able to stitch together to make a sequence that kinda made sense 😉

The new and improved FsHub homepage.

Again, much like the updated and much improved LRM website as mentioned above, I hope you like and agree that the updates to the LRM website really do look awesome 🙂

Our growth started affecting our third-party service limits.

We rely on a couple of third-party cloud services for hosting our huge collection of over 100,000 high-resolution user screenshots in addition to the maps that we display on FsHub…

Whilst I had a ton of plans for this month, and although I have achieved many of them, the new SimConnect client, despite having a semi-successful beta release meant that I had to redivert my attention to some of the third-party cloud service issues that we’ve noticed happening over the last month – no doubt a side effect of us onboarding so many new users in the past month!

These “issues” as you might have noticed include the maps on FsHub (on busy days – mainly over the weekends) are starting to hit our map render limits, whilst I have done some initial investigation into how I can mitigate these issues, I’ve decided that I have no choice but to increase the monthly spend on this service and have now increased our subscription to the mapping service that hosts and provide these web maps and so – whilst this isn’t ideal (as it’s a “free service” – I could do without the additional on-going costs) this isn’t too bad based on the fact that we have received several donations last month – thanks to all of you that have donated last month and for those that continue to support the project on Patreon.

In addition to the mapping service hitting its limits, you may have also noticed that screenshots, avatars and achievement badges within FsHub are, in some cases appear to “timeout” and not load during busy times – this is due to some changes with our BLOB storage provider which are now rate-limiting image requests – I’m actively looking to migrate the mass of screenshot and pilot avatar data to a new could service so we can get around this issue… please bare with me whilst I migrate the issues with achievement badges and screenshots – in most cases, however and in the meantime (until I have a solution implemented) simply “refreshing” the web page will re-load the missing images.

Other behind-the-scenes stuff

Whilst, unlike recent months, new features might not be so visible on the FsHub site but a ton of time and effort has gone into some much-needed backend “admin” features to enable us to move airport locations, migrating data between airports and various other backend management tools of which has enabled us to fix up and close a few more complex “data issue” reports that have been laying around for a few weeks.