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!


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!

LRM Client v5 has now been released!

Following several weeks of hard work and long hours, we are finally pleased to announce the official release of LRM v5!

The release was slightly delayed by some last-minute feature additions and further testing (as we wanted to be sure that you didn’t have any issues when installing and using the latest version) so apologies for that!

LRM v5 has, without a doubt the biggest number of improvements and optional new features since 2017 – it is also the most tested release and we are confident that you will share our excitement and enjoy this particular version as much as we do!

This new version of the client has many new features that can be enabled (the majority of them are disabled by default for the simple fact that we feel you should explore at your own pace); some of my personal favourites however are:

  • Screenshot Geotagging – FsHub has always provided free and unlimited screenshot storage space for all users and we are most definitely fans of taking a ton of screenshots during our flights and so, we decided to take screenshots to the next level by enabling users to setup automatic screenshot geotagging, which, when your screenshots are uploaded to FsHub can now be displayed on your flight report map as well.
  • AeroPad (our very own integrated Electronic Flight Bag) which can be accessed through a browser on your flight simulator computer or any other network-connected device (we specifically built it to function on iPads and Android tablets but will work in any browser too!)
    AeroPad comes with a handful of “apps” out of the box including a real-time GPS/”moving map” app with integrated airport lookup facility, Charts Browser, Cabin Manager (for playing a whole host of fully customisable (per-aircraft livery) cabin annoucement messages), METAR Services to retrieve and display real-world weather reports and a couple of other, less interesting apps!
  • A fully customisble cabin annoucement system that can be configured on a per aircraft and aircraft livery basis through the LRM interface (no more copying and replacing sound files manually or listening to my voice giving you the instructions as to how to achieve the pushback and arrivial messages :D).
  • You can now “sync” your airport charts from your FsHub flight case directly to your computer using the new “Chart Sync” screen which then enables you to filter and view these charts on the AeroPad EFB.
  • You can tweak the landing rate score parameters on a per-aircraft basis (if you don’t like the default LRM values), you can also disabled the “G-force” calculation too if you’d prefer to just see your landing score based on the “FPM” value.
  • A built-in METAR and TAF report tool that you can use directly from the LRM client interface – providing real-world METAR and TAF reports.
  • You can enable a new feature called “Landing rate logbook” which can store basic landing rate details to a CSV file on your local computer – this obviously isn’t essential if you use FsHub as FsHub’s metrics on your flight are far superior.
  • The “LRM Data Connector” – This feature enables developers to build apps in any programming language of their choice and gain access to the aircraft’s flight data in real-time locally (on the same computer as your flight sim) or on other devices on the same network (that is, if you allow it through your computer’s firewall) – our new EFB uses the “LRM Data Connector” behind the scenes too which makes being able to run our EFB remotely on a tablet device possible! As a developer, the possibilities of using this new feature are endless and hopefully others will use the data connector to build all kinds of apps and services (and hopefully share with our community too :)) – I’m especially exicited for this!
  • The ability to build HTML/JS “apps” for AeroPad – If you know HTML/JS you can easily build and share apps that users can “install” into their AeroPad – documentation on this is coming soon but it’s much easier than you think and app developers get access to a set of REST API endpoints that they can access all kinds of data and use in their apps however they like… app developers can also query external API’s too if they wish! We will release a few “simple” apps for AeroPad very soon that will give you “one-click” access to other popular sites like SimBrief, RouteFinder, FuelPlanner.com and for those that like using AirCharts or ChartFox… they’ll be coming too (although you’d get a better expereience and native feel if you downloaded and used the new Chart Browser feature that is provided out of the box ;))

Various other tweaks and improvements have been added too, such as:

  • A warning/user confirmation prompt when closing LRM client if your aircraft is mid-flight or is yet to send the final flight report back to FsHub (this should prevent you from accidently closing your simulator and losing flight data).
  • It’s now much easier to link LRM to your FsHub account – you can use the new “Link my account” button in the preferences window (instead of having to generate, copy and paste an API key from FsHub.
  • The majority of the AeroPad apps are “airline aware” and will automatically style based on the “active” virtual airline’s colour scheme/logo (if you don’t use Virtual airlines in FsHub, the default style will be applied as you might expect).

We’ve also been working hard to document these new features on our brand new documentation site. To make things easier, once you install the client you will find various “tip” links to help you get started with the new features (that is, if you intend on using them of course) you will however still feel right at home with the main interface as it looks and functions the same (we know from the user survey that our users liked the simplicity of LRM and FsHub!) – we’re still working on the documentation for now but the majority of the new features are fully documented already so should help you get started, rest assured though that these documents will continue to be worked on over the next few days! Everything, in all honesty, should be pretty self-explanatory anyway so please, fear not!

As a reminder, these new features are entirely optional and should you choose not to enable them, LRM will work as it did previously but with some added protection against you accidentally closing LRM mid-flight (this will now prompt and ask you to confirm).

We highly recommend all users upgrade to LRM v5 regardless of if they choose to enable and use the new features or not as various other changes and under the hood improvements have been made of which, in the future, may prevent older versions of the LRM client from functioning correctly (such as SSL configuration updates and dependency updates etc).

Would you like to upgrade now?

You can download the LRM v5 release now using this link!

The LRM website (lrmclient.org) will also be updated soon with new screenshots, an updated feature listing and updated links to the documentation but we are keen to get this new version in the hands of our most active users as we know the release has already been delayed by a couple of days!

The launch event livery pack!

To mark the official release of LRM v5 and LRM’s 8th birthday that is just a few days away – thunfischbaum has created three exclusive ” v5 launch event” liveries specifically for X-Plane users (sorry MSFS folk – he doesn’t own a copy of that, unfortunately)…

The pack contains the “FsHub” livery for The Toliss A321, Toliss A21N and the IXEG B773, you can download these liveries using the links below:

A special thanks to the team!

I would like to personally thank Clorix and thunfischbaum from the FsHub Support team – they’ve been doing a lot of testing for me during the development phase, I’ve been throwing releases at them every day for about a week now (and every few days prior to that :)) and their feedback and capturing issues and reporting back in a timely fashion has been great!

In addition to the support team, we also have a group of “Test pilots” (namely Phil, Ryan, CIVA006/Vernon, Caspey1UK and Alex 002) over at our Discord server of whom have tested a number of releases recently too and their feedback and reporting of issues has been much appreciated too!

Thank you guys – I have really appreciated your help and support as doing this alone would have taken so much longer!

Feedback is always welcome and we would love to hear from you!

If you do (or don’t) like anything in particular or have issues with any of the new features (or LRM in general), as always, you can use our Community forums, our Discord server or send us a personal message as we’d love to hear from you!

If you don’t think something is working with the latest version of LRM or you think you found a bug, it probably goes without saying but please do report it to us using any of the support channels mentioned above and we’ll be quick to investigate and provide a solution!

What’s next?

Obviously, in the event of any issues found and reported with LRM v5, these will be fixed and an update provided as soon as possible but and as per our extensive testing, this time around I would be surprised if this was the case and therefore, these are the next things on my “to-do” list…

Between now and Christmas, now that LRM v5 has officially been released, my plan is to do further improvements to the main FsHub site (cleaning it up, refining some of the pages and generally improving the user experience of the site (pre-load thumbnails etc.) – no drastic changes just giving it a bit of “TLC”.

There will also be more navaid and airport data updates too that will happen behind the scenes – this is something that I’m working on getting fully automated and including even more data such as airways, SID’s and STARs (for those that use the flight plan features in FsHub.

Probably the biggest major feature that I have planned to add to FsHub in the next few weeks will be related to the new Screenshot Geotagging features that have been added in LRM v5…. At the moment, (if you enable Screenshot Geotagging in LRM and you choose to upload these screenshots to FsHub) the data is processed and stored in our database but the FsHub website has not yet been updated to display this new data and so, I will be adding some nice “dropdown” geo-location overlays (containing such information as the name of the town/city the screenshot was taken near, altitude, heading and placing the aircraft on a small map so you can see exactly where it was taken), I will also be using the screenshot metadata to add to a new “Screenshots” tab that appears in the Airport Information pages on FsHub (will show screenshots that was taken of aircraft on the ground at a particular airport) in addition to building a new page where users can search for screenshots in a certain area (dragging a box over a map etc – I think this will be pretty cool!)

Although the new EFB (AeroPad) is web-based (but running from your computer) and enables network access to it from tablet devices (you can even add an icon to launch it on your iPad or Android home screen), if there is big interest for me to build a dedicated (native) iPad and Android tablet app then I will start working on that too… In the end, I decided that a “web-based” EFB would be more flexible especially for those users that like to use a laptop instead of a tablet device.

Some minor updates to the Radar page and web GPS pages too – clicking on an aircraft will display the path already flown – previously this wasn’t persistent and would only show the path flown since clicking on the aircraft (as does the Web GPS page)- I will be working to make these paths persistent though and think that although this is a non-critical update, I think it will be a nice little touch!

In other news, we’ve also contacted SimBrief to see if we can obtain an API key from them – this will enable us to build an automatic route calculator directly into FsHub and potentially the new AeroPad EFB for those users that use the Route Plan features (but we’re still awaiting a response at the moment and yet to look into the finer details (terms and conditions of using it etc).

Are we missing anything?

I feel now that I have implemented and released everything that has been requested on the recent user surveys – with the exception of an LRM client for MacOS (which is something I’ll be looking into very soon however!!)

But, please, do let me know if you think we’re missing anything if you would like to see something added (that you feel fits the genre of what FsHub is) please contact us!

Having issues after upgrading?

We understand that people are using many different versions of LRM (even back as far as five years ago) and as we’ve not been able to test the upgrade path for all versions (as we’re only a very small team), we have made big improvements to the “uninstaller” (of all things :D) to ensure that in the event of any upgrade issues, users can simply uninstall and re-install it – this will force a completely clean install which should be 100% error-free!

So please keep this in mind… if you have issues after upgrading LRM to version 5 (likely due to the fact you are on a very old version), please uninstall and re-install LRM v5 – LRM v5 will then perform a fully fresh installation!

November 2021 – LRM Client v5 (the biggest update to LRM since 2017!!)

Good afternoon and for those who celebrate ThanksGiving – I hope you all had a fantastic day of celebrations yesterday and for everyone else, I hope you have all managed to grab a few bargains in the Black Friday sales!

I have a great Black Friday deal for you too… (you’ll have to wait a few more days) but the best part is, is that it is totally free of charge! πŸ™‚

Bad dad jokes aside, I am super excited to announce that for the last four weeks (consisting of many, many long hours of development and test time) that LRM Client v5 is now in the final stages of internal beta testing (by myself, the FsHub support team and our “Test Pilot” group over on our Discord server) and is due to be released on December 1st 2021!

I would personally like to thank the following FsHub users for their testing and feedback to me Caspy1Uk, Phil, vchristie/CIVA006 and Ryan ensuring that I have been able to fix up any issues during the BETA phase and have them retest.

I would also like to make a special mention to my close team members – clorix and thunfischbaum of whom have been doing extra testing and helping with other aspects of this particular release.

LRM v5 builds upon the solid foundations of LRM v4 and the versions prior to that, the client has been further optimised and various optional, new (and in my opinion, game-changing) features have been added (but disabled by default – you can choose if and what new features you would like to use) hopefully all of them though!


Although the main LRM client look and feel remains the same – a sleek, simple and totally “not getting in your way” interface, as per the user survey (users feeding back that they love how lightweight and unobtrusive it is) – I want to reiterate that these features are completely optional and unless you enable them from the “Preferences” window, the client will continue to run as it always has done – a super lightweight and easy to use ACARS client.

There are however several new features (which, if you’re worried about performance at all… during testing, with all new features enabled, the LRM typically only consumes up to a maximum of an additional 10MB of RAM) – Taking LRM client’s total memory footprint up to about 25-30MB of RAM in total…. which is insane given the new features that have been added and especially when compared to other products that compete with LRM/FsHub!

Here is a quick high-level list of new features and improvements which you can expect from LRM v5 (being released on December 1st):-

  • The EFB – Using the new “data connector” feature that is baked into LRM (again, fully optional and must be enabled through the preferences window) that I developed for LRM v5, has enabled me to develop the EFB system which can now be installed and/or viewed remotely on your main simulator PC or any other network connected computer or tablet/mobile device in your home. The EFB comes with a bunch of apps out of the box including a live GPS app (yes, realtime) and ability to view and navigate airport gates and taxiways with ease, view your airport charts, get airport information and weather reports! The EFB is also “duty airline aware” and can automatically change it’s style/logo to match your “active” virtual airline’s branding (if you use Virtual airlines and your FsHub VA owner has set custom branding up!).
  • Screenshot geotagging – You can now configure LRM to “watch” a screenshot folder on your computer and whilst you are flying, if LRM detects any new screenshots having been taken it will automatically tag them with your aircraft’s position, speed and altitude, which, if you choose to then upload any of these screenshots to your flight report on FsHub, FsHub will display where your screenshot was taken on the flight report map and present information about the screenshot (speed, alt and location -nearest city or airport name) in a details panel. Although I could have added the ability to have LRM automatically upload these screenshots to your FsHub account I understand that most users like to edit their screenshots first!
  • Ability to customise landing score parameters for specific aircrafts (maybe you don’t agree with the default FPM and G-Force limits that determine the LRM Client “Landing score”) – you can configure specific setting through the a new “Aircraft Manager” window otherwise LRM will continue to use the default settings.
  • Ability to set a tail number for specific aircraft liveries (and have them sent to FsHub with your flight reports) – Enabling you to filter and group “multi-leg” flights such as “Around the world tours” or on the new “pilot stats” page, be able to see which (very specific) aircraft you fly the most.
  • Easily add and customise a whole host of cabin sound effects through a new “Aircraft Manager” window, the Aircraft Manager interface also has options to “Export” and “Import” packs so you can share with your friends or VA members.
  • Using one of our core EFB apps that is included in LRM v5 (that I have called Cabin Manager) you can remotely play any of the cabin sound effects that you have configured for the current aircraft (such as boarding music, safety annoucements, seat belt signs, prepare for landing etc from a seperate tablet/computer device) – You can setup custom cabin sounds for different airlines/aircraft with total ease!
  • Ability to sync your collected “My flight case” airport charts to your computer and view them through the new EFB (or any other apps that you may install or develop in future).
  • Retrieve real-world METAR and TAF reports directly from LRM Client.
  • A new “LRM Data Connector” feature, which, if you enable it will allow other third-party applications running on your computer or your home network to retrieve data about your current flight, active duty airline, aircrarft and other aircraft position infomration (nearby airports etc) through a standard JSON REST API enabling for endless possibilities for developers to build amazing applications that can be used with ease with LRM client. – I could talk for hours on what this means for developers and other tools/apps that can be developed, this really does open up endless possibilities!
  • A simple to use plugin/app system for the EFB enabling pilots, developers and virtual airlines to create their own “apps” using HTML and Javascript that can be installed into the EFB through our own free “App store” (i’m working on that documenation at the moment)
  • Users who choose to use LRM Client offline (you can enable this too if you fly on FsHub also) can use an new “Landing rate logbook” which, when your aircraft lands, will store basic landing rate details to a file (CSV) on your computer which you can either open through the LRM client or using a tool such as Microsoft Excel.

In addition to these new features, further updates and optimisations have been made as follows:-

  • Adding a pilot token to LRM Client is now fully automated with the use of a “Login” box – you no longer have to generate, copy and paste an API token from FsHub into LRM client as it’s now fully auomtated!
  • Better prevention against users being able to accidently close LRM (and thus leading to loss of flight data) – LRM will now warn and ask for you to confirm closing the application if your aircraft is airborne or yet to send the final flight report.
  • Discord Integration – If you link your LRM client to FsHub and fly online, your current flight details (location, elapsed flight time, speed, altitude and tail number or, your flight number, departure and arrival airort if you use flight plans) can be presented on Discord (if you’re running and logged into Discord, this can optionally be disabled if you don’t want your boss seeing you fly when you should be working :D)
  • Users now have the ability to “force” a new flight from the “Help > Advanced” menu (if, for whatever reason they feel they want or need to do that – LRM is pretty good at figuring this bit out auromatically for you ;))

In addition to these features and improvements, the new data that is provided by the Screenshot Geotagging feature will enable me to make some amazing new features to FsHub (assuming you like flight simulator screenshots that is :D) such as the ability to display screenshots on the airport information pages (a new tab called “Screenshots” has recently been added) – these will display screenshots that had been taken at that airport (on the ground) or within close proximity to that airport – enabling users to “scout” out airports and the surround area’s before they decided to fly in. I also have plans to add a new “area drag” search feature to FsHub whereby, you can drag your mouse over the world map (creating a circular search area) and FsHub will return back all screenshots taken in that area!

For plugin developers and/or power users:- With the addition of the new LRM Data Connector (REST API) and EFB plugin system, I will be working hard on documentation leading up to the 1st of December release date with full API endpoint details a ton of example code and guidance as to how to build and share EFB apps or external apps (in your programming language of choice) and how to share with the LRM/FsHub community.

This post could go on for ages as I’m so excited about the new (again, fully optional and disabled by default) features that are coming in version 5 and especially the new “Data Connector” but I appreciate that you guys probably won’t find this as cool (geeky) as me so I’ll rein it in for now πŸ˜‰

In the next update to LRM (5.1.0), I plan to have real-world weather overlays added to the EFB Live GPS map too, this specific release has turned out to be pretty major and I have to stop adding features at some point and let you guys play with it πŸ˜€

For now, though, I wanted to share progress and let you know what we have in store for you and we cannot wait to release this new version in just a matter of days now!

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns you can contact us on our Discord Server, our community forums or send me a private message using the FsHub Contact form page.

I wish you guys a great weekend and I will look forward to updating you with further information soon!

Appreciate the work that I do and haven’t donated as yet? If you fancied it, you can donate here – all donations go towards the hosting bills but rest assured that this does do me a massive favour as it means that I might not have to dig into my own pocket for the hosting bills this month πŸ™‚

October 2021 Updates (Pt.2)

Hey, I hope you’re all well?

I wanted to post up another update post to let you all know about more updates and changes to FsHub again this month.

Following the recent user survey, I have taken on board your requests and feedback and am pleased to announce and demonstrate various new features that have been released in the last couple of weeks and are accessible now.

I guess *most* features have now been added into FsHub/LRM client as the number of responses to the User Survey this time around was significantly lower than the last two user surveys – I guess I should take this as a sign that generally users are happy/content with the features that now exist (have been added in the last year) but remember – if you think we are missing a feature or want to make a suggestion, please contact us!

Anyway, on with the list of updates and improvements that have been made over the last couple of weeks…

MSFS 2020 airport database update

As of today, I have now “merged” our existing airport database of which has been a labour of love since I originally started FsHub back in 2016 with the latest airports that can be found in MSFS2020 and which didn’t already exist in our database – this has been a requested feature/improvement that was voiced in the user survey recently.

I’m so pleased this process is over – this was one feature/improvement that I was not looking forward to (as I know how much time it consumes to do it properly) and to say that I have spent MANY hours working on these new merge scripts and testing would be an understatement πŸ˜‰

With the merge now completed, this now sees the inclusion of an additional 10,709 airports and 23,350 runways – Wow, I honestly didn’t think there would be so many new airports!!

Going forwards, this should be much easier now as I have now developed a new “import processor” that will enable me to partially automate the “merging” of new airports every few months to ensure that our database remains up to date with those airports that appear in MSFS 2020!

In case you’re wondering what this means if you use XP11, P3D or another simulator… it simply means that our database supports more airports and this certainly will not break the experience for other users that are not using MSFS2020 so please don’t worry this won’t impact your experience and if anything will actually make it better!

LRM Client v4.3.2 is now released!

Earlier this month I released LRM Client 4.3.1 which came with a whole host of new features and performance optimisations but whilst this was released and passed our internal testing (and testing by our community of “Test Pilots” over on our Discord Server) it appeared that *some* users experienced issues with this release.

We initially found it hard to pinpoint what these issues were that affected a handful of our users but eventually (through the use of email and their bug reports) I was able to identify the issue as being a “regional setting” issue – essentially, it would seem that users in countries such as France (and other countries that Microsoft Windows would default decimal characters to a comma (,) instead of a dot/full-stop (.) would prevent the client from starting on their computers.

I have since added a fix for this situation that affects those users and as a result, have released LRM Client v4.3.2 which is available to download now from the LRM Client website.

There also appeared to be some users that experienced other issues with the client not running but these appear to have been resolved by the user adding an exception to their anti-virus system as their computer must have detected a false positive – this generally happens when new installers “hit the internet” that are not digitally signed (something that I don’t do due to cost implications) but over time, these non-signed applications are accepted by automated systems and Windows Defender/anti-virus systems then acknowledge them as being safe.

Ability to filter your logbook flights by country (not just ICAO code)

You may recall that recently I added the ability for pilots to filter their logbook entries and whilst users could choose a specific to/from ICAO airport code there wasn’t an easy way to filter all flights to or from a specific country (encompassing all airports in that country) well, that has now been added.

The logbook filter now supports the ability to search for flights to/from specific countries in addition to being able to specify specific airport ICAO codes πŸ™‚ – I hope you enjoy this new feature!

Countries visited page now enables you to click on a flag…

As per the above new feature, by me implementing the new logbook filter option to filter flights by country it was then relatively easy for me to add the ability for users to now click on a “visited” flag from the “Countries visited” page to then automatically take them to a filtered list of the airports that they have visited.

Therefore, it is now possible when viewing the “Countries visited” page to click on a flag which will then automatically show a list of the airports visited within that country!

LRM Client website updates!

It’s been a while since the LRM Client website received much love from me… probably mainly due to the fact that LRM Client (v4.0.0) was stable for several years and changes that I had been making to FsHub didn’t require any LRM client changes but given all the recent new features (based on user suggestions or feedback) meant that I had to release newer versions of the client with more advanced features.

Up until now, however, the website remained with the same old screenshots from several years ago which didn’t accurately reflect all the new and advanced features that have been added to LRM and FsHub in recent months.

I have therefore updated all of the screenshots (and added more) as well as updated the list of features on the website too.

Feel free to check out the screenshots and page updates to see what’s now possible with LRM Client and FsHub – Personally, some of my new favourite features is the ability for Virtual Airlines to customise the LRM Client GUI interface (with their own colour scheme and logo) as well as being able to add “optional” flight route information either manually, imported from a “Virtual Airline Company Route” or from SimBrief and even LittleNavMap!

Improved FsHub homepage

It has been fun updating the FsHub homepage this last week, the homepage in recent years has been neglected a little as my time has been better spent adding and improving actual features of FsHub but I’m pleased to announce that I have made a few homepage updates recently and added video backgrounds.

Thanks to Cody (clorix) and Uwe (thunfischbaum) for supplying me with some video clips of their flights too.

The new FsHub homepage now has three random videos (one from each of us) that will play when you visit the site – ok, maybe not so interesting for you guys but I personally think the homepage now looks pretty awesome in comparison to the older static image πŸ™‚

New “Flights by Simulator” stats on the platform stats page

This is an interesting new statistic that I’ve added today too – From the platform stats page, scroll to the bottom and you can now see the number of flights by simulator version (eg. MSFS2020, XP11, P3D, FSX etc).

This is a really good statistic (especially for me) as I can see how flights are flown with which simulators and as such will be able to help me make informed decisions and improvements in future πŸ™‚

New exclusive features for FsHub donators

In addition to the above features, there are also some new “non-essential” features that I have added that are enabled for “supporters” of FsHub as my way of saying “thank you” to those people who help me out personally by helping me cover the hosting costs of running such a service.

The new features that are exclusively available to “Supporters” of FsHub are as follows:

  • Supporters can export/download their entire logbook to a CSV/Excel file (from the Pilot Logbook screen) enabling them have an offline copy or use their own Excel (or Google Sheets) knowledge to generate charts and other such cool features! – Remember that if you’re not a supporter you can still use our API to download your logbook but this is a far easier way of grabbing the data and takes only a few seconds!
  • The ability to update the landing rate (FPM and G-Force) for their flights using the “Edit flight” button on the flight report page.
  • A new private Discord room for providing priority support and guidance (if you would like access to this room and have already donated please Contact Us with your Discord username and we’ll send the invite)

I’m sure you will all agree that whilst these features are “nice to haves” and that they certainly do not limit your experience of using FsHub (as a “free” user) and I am keen to ensure that the bulk of features are and remain free to all users but I wanted to provide some additional functionality to those who really do help me personally by ensuring that I don’t have to keep footing the hosting bills each month out of my own pocket!

I will also be adding some other small features for “Supporters” of FsHub overtime (when I can think of non-essential but worthwhile features that I think they would benefit from) but don’t worry – this is not a sign of things to come I just wanted to provide the very kind people that help me out with a few extra perks to make it more worth their while and to show my appreciation!

As a reminder, if you would like to help out and become a “supporter” of FsHub, you can find more details on the donations page.

Survery question: Why do we use FSUIPC?

One question that I want to address here as the original question was asked/feedback to me in the recent user survey was “Why do you still use FSUIPC and why not switch to SimConnect now that MSFS 2020 is out” and yet, the user (all submissions on the Google Forms are anonymous) did no voluntarily provide his or her email address for me to respond back to but, I can confirm as follows:

I continue to use FSUIPC in the LRM client software simply due to the fact that FsHub (and LRM client) aims to support and work with all major flight simulators – As you can see from the new “simulator” stats section on our “Platform Stats” page, there is a large number of X-Plane users too and X-Plane is a platform that I too love and want to ensure is supported for our community. If LRM client solely used SimConnect this would not be compatible with the likes of X-Plane and other users running older versions of FSX, FSX:SE and P3D could also be affected and, in my opinion, would give most people (except those running MSFS2020) a headache trying to install SimConnect correctly.

Whilst I could write separate clients for MSFS and X-Plane based clients and whilst this is something that I *may* do in future that will leverage their own APIs (eg. MSFS2020 would use SimConnect) and X-Plane would use the X-Plane DataRefs the truth of the matter is, is that I am the sole developer working on FsHub and LRM client and ensures that I do not have to maintain multiple versions of a client which would take my attention away from improving the core functionality of FsHub.

Reiterating that I will be keeping things simple and platform performance is the key!

Another thing that was evident from the user survey is that users of FsHub, whilst are enjoying the new features voiced their opinion that, one of the main reasons why they love FsHub is the simple and non-cluttered interface and experience that it provides to users.

This is something that I have always been keen on keeping and I want to reassure users that simplicity (from a users’ perspective at least) and speed and stability of the platform is my top priority and so you guys need not worry!

Scheduled outage for FsHub Forums and the Blog this week!

On Wednesday 27th October between the hours of 08:00 and 16:00 (UK time) I will be performing maintenance on the servers that host the FsHub forums and blog site, this process could take up to 8 hours.

The main FsHub platform, LRM client website and our discord servers will remain online during this process and will not be affected – it’s just the blog and forums that will be affected during this time window.

Remember that all outages planned or not are always reflected on our Status page.

Would you like to feedback on anything or ask questions regarding this update?

If you would like to provide feedback or ask any questions with regards to this update specifically and instead of me opening up another Google Forms survey, I have created a new thread in our official forums which you can reply to – I will then read and respond accordingly πŸ™‚

Video clips of your flights wanted!

As you may have noticed, there have been a few minor updates to FsHub this week, one of which is the new video background on the homepage (if you haven’t seen it yet, please go and check it out – you may have to refresh your browser cache if it doesn’t immediately show up!

With so many people uploading amazing screenshots to FsHub (which are visible on both flight reports and in our discord server), I thought it might be nice to involve the community too in helping to create a number of short intro sequences for the FsHub homepage – the idea being that one of these video sequences will be randomly shown when someone visits the FsHhub homepage.

So, what am I after and how can you get involved?

Well, if you are using MSFS 2020, XP11 or later versions of P3D (the quality of other simulators like FSX etc is just too outdated though for the video quality that I’m after) and, if you would be happy to record some sections of your flights (ideally using OBS) then I’d love for you to upload and share them with me so that I can edit them together and make short intro sequences that will be included in the randomly selected pool of background visuals for the FsHub website.

What kind of video clips am I looking for?

  • Landings/touchdowns etc.
  • Rotation (take off) clips
  • Wing views showing beautiful scenery and weather formations (maybe sunsets too)
  • Window views (looking out)
  • Transitioning through clouds
  • On-approach (nearing the runway)
  • Taxiing
  • Pushback
  • Ground services working around the aircraft/baggage loading etc.

Note: I don’t really want a ton of in-cockpit views (as us simmers see enough cockpit views whilst we’re flying anyways :)) and therefore ideally all of the above would be external views of the aircraft!!

Note: There is no limit on the types of aircraft that I’m looking for and I would ideally like a selection of all types of aircraft (to demonstrate that FsHub is inclusive of all types of aircraft)

In return (if your clips or part of your clips are used), I will ensure that a full list of credits (usernames and links to your profiles) are credited and linked to on the website. For those that go far and beyond (eg. amazing high-quality footage, great scenery, liveries etc and really have spent a ton of time/effort making great clips/panning in etc) I will also send them several “FsHub” vinyl stickers (to anywhere in the world) – I recently got a load done on Stickermule!

I’m hoping to make about 10 videos (all being under a minute long) and will be cutting between various phases of the flight from startup, taxiing, take off, mid-flight to the landing.

I think it could be a fun little “community project” and I hope many of you can get involved and help contribute video clips for this project!

Hopefully, all video clips can be submitted to me BEFORE this coming Thursday (October 28th 2021)!

You can use this page to upload your video files (screen recordings) – please upload as many video files as you want! Just pay attention to the 1GB file upload limit (per file) and I would therefore recommend that you record multiple files and then upload them separately – don’t worry as I will edit them all together anyway πŸ™‚

If you have any questions about this or want to run an idea past me then please join our Discord server and ask in there, you could also post a message somewhere in the forums or, alternatively use the built-in Contact Us page (if you don’t have or prefer not to create a Discord or forum account) and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

Happy recording and I look forward to seeing all of the wonderful video clips you guys upload and editing them together into some great video sequences for the FsHub homepage!