I’ve been hammering away with many more site updates and features to FsHub (that you may have already noticed) and this evening I am pleased to announce a new BETA release of LRM Client (v4.1.0).
This release adds support for capturing the g-forces, improving the “Landing Analysis Summary” as well as some other general optimisations and improvements.
As you might expect, the landing g-force is also captured and recorded on your flight report now too (that is, if you have configured LRM client to save your flight reports to FsHub and not just using LRM client in a “standalone”/offline mode)
Here is a screenshot of where the landing g-force now appears in your flight reports:
In addition to adding the g-force to your flight reports and the LRM stats window, it also contributes to the landing score summary and affects what is a “good landing”.
After doing some investigation around the internet, it would appear that:
g-forces < 1.6 are generally as you would expect/good and therefore the normal flight score logic will therefore apply based solely on the aircraft’s landing (FPM) rate.
g-forces > 1.65 is generally a very hard landing and apparently when (commercial) pilots exceed this value are pulled up by the air safety department. With this in mind, LRM will automatically trip the “Hard landing” score regardless of the vertical landing rate (FPM) value.
g-forces > 2.5 is a super hard and therefore a very concerning landing, that said, apparently Boeing’s specifications can safely handle up to this rate and therefore will automatically trip (regardless of the FPM) the “Concerning” score as this could be deemed as very dangerous.
The above “logic” is based on what I have found online from searching about, if you feel that this should/could be tweak to better provide a more realistic landing analysis score please do let me know and I can make the changes prior to releasing this version as “stable”.
As for what testing I have done on this beta release – I have tested this on many aircraft inside Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 on over 50 short test flights and should equally work as expected in the other simulators that FsHub supports such as FSX, FSX:SE, XP11 and P3D etc; I plan to test this over the next few days in the other simulators regardless but wanted to offer the beta release to you guys too so you can help me test 🙂
To install, simply download the ZIP file, extract the installer and run it – this will overwrite your existing LRM client version (don’t worry though, you can always re-install the older version again if you want/you have issues) – You do not have to uninstall your existing client and I would recommend that you simply “upgrade” by just running the installer. You *may* have to re-add an FsHub API token however and re-configure your settings once you have installed the new update (so just be aware of that!)
This post is titled “Part 1” as I plan another large update later this month and so I will give further details of that in due course.
Good morning! So following yet another (pretty major) release this morning, I wanted to share many new features and improvements with you – I’ve been working tirelessly the last couple of weeks to add, what I feel are some great new features and improvements to the platform (hopefully I won’t start getting charged a ton from Google Maps haha) and again, is also down to you guys for suggesting these great features in the User Survey recently.
So let me give you a quick rundown of what I have added or improved upon…
Flight plan/route entry
As you will see further down in this post, this feature was essential in being added to ensure that other features as part of this release would work.
You will notice that there is now a new menu item in the user dropdown list:
Whilst this feature is ENTIRELY optional (I know a lot of you didn’t want me to overly complicate the user experience of FsHub) – If however, you enter a flight plan before taking off you can load the route into the new GPS (mentioned further down) this will then show your planned flight path in the GPS in addition to your “already travelled path” (for want of a better phrase ;)). The route information as part of the flight plan that you enter will also now show your planned route on the main Radar page too if a user clicks on your aircraft!
As you can see, It’s pretty simple and straightforward to use, you only need to enter a flight number, cruise level (or altitude) as well as your planned flight route.
In addition to this feature, this also enables the addition of functionality to the GPS and the main radar page as any route information added on this page, your flight number and planned CRZ level will also automatically transfer to your flight report when you land!
As you may discover (if you check out the new feature), the “Import” button is not yet functional but will enable you to import a route from a SimBrief OFP export (XML) file, load a published virtual airline route or select and import a previously entered route – the “import” feature will be fully implemented this coming week but for now, you can copy and paste a route into the route box. – These features have now been released and are live 🙂
Improved GPS functionality
The GPS has been updated with a fresh new design and some “big buttons” which make using it on an iPad a joy… It is no longer just a simple “see where I am and how high or fast am I flying”….
The new functionality includes optional range rings around the aircraft (at 20nm increments up to 80nm).
Loading in an optional flight plan (pressing the clipboard icon -see below) will overlay your route, show a flight progress bar, an ETA (based on you current aircraft speed) and remaining distance to the destination airport – it will also pop up two buttons allowing you to quickly and easily get your most important departure and arrival airport information.
There are two new “toggle” options which are “Enable airports” and “Enable Naviads” and whilst I’m still improving these two features (hence they are labelled “BETA” they are fully functional. When selected they will display airports and/or navaids up-to 80nm around your current location, you can click on any of these icons to then display an information window about the airport or navaid, they are flagged as “in beta” as although it fully works I really need to do some improvements to the icons and better distinguish the type of navaids and airports. At the moment however, the “logic” is simple – airports without an IATA code are shown in pink/magenta, those that do have an IATA code (generally larger airports) are shown in blue. I also need to add additional icons for the different types of navigational aids but yeah, apart from the icons this feature is fully working!)
Several buttons have been added that make zooming, entering and “restarting” the GPS much easier. An overview of these buttons are as follows:
Improved Radar page
The radar page has been overhauled too and is more interactive – clicking on a flight that has a flight plan filed will now show information about the flight and it’s progress in addition to displaying the planned route – if you didn’t file a flight plan (and you want to continue to use FsHub without any interaction prior to your flight – that’s fine too and it’ll simply fall back to what it used to do (simply show your name, aircraft type and general statistics) but will now display your pilot avatar too!
If you are flying for a virtual airline and the airline owner has uploaded a “banner image” – this will show above your pilot card too (this is discussed further down in this post).
Pilots can now upload custom avatars!
Previously, pilot avatars simply used Gravatar, from today you can now customise your pilot avatar (by default it’ll still use Gravatar though). If you want to do this you can head over to the settings page (My Profile) where you can now upload a custom avatar image!
User avatars now appear on the main radar page too (when clicking on an aircraft)
Virtual airline banner images and logos
Some future updates that I’ll be working on will utilise these icons and banner images and logos – if your VA has a “banner” uploaded, any flights that are flown for your VA will also have this banner image appear over the top of the pilot information on the radar screen.
Although I have a ton more features and improvements planned for the coming weeks and months – Virtual airlines will also get a big overhaul and I will be massively improving how they appear on the site, the interactivity, customisations to their “microsite” (another new feature panned) and adding “live chat” for VA members – these new features that have been added under the Virtual airline management panel will be utilised heavily in these features to enable VA owners to really customise and brand their VA.
Overhauled weather system
Previously, when METAR or TAF information was requested through the airport’s page, FsHub would go and “retrieve it” from NOAA on a per-airport request basis and then cache the information for a small number of minutes (to ensure we were providing as near real-time information as possible) whilst this worked well it meant that occasionally there was some delay to the user (whilst waiting for our servers to connect to and retrieve the information back from NOAA).
Given that the new GPS updates enable you (if you have “Enable airports” checked) to click on an airport and very quickly see the airport information (weather conditions and radio comms) having any delay in this information coming back would seem sluggish and to that end… I wrote a separate service that now very efficiently “syncs” weather changes to our own separate data storage system that is independent of the main FsHub system and therefore does not affect performance on the main servers at all.
The result of which is that weather (METAR and TAF) lookups are now pretty much instant.
This truly was a massive update (in terms of coding time spent and additional cloud hosting service requirements) and I hope that you enjoy these new features – even if you don’t use them all – as I’ve said in the past (and what I keep too), my main priority of the system is to ensure that it is simple to use and above all… stable!
These features introduced a lot of potential bottlenecks such as loading in the airports and navaids (in real-time) to the GPS map and therefore, in order to combat these potential issues – nearly all of the real-time functionality for the GPS is now hosted as a separate microservice taking the processing and calculation burden off the “main system”.
As you can probably imagine, it is super hard for me (as the only developer) to fully test every situation with real flight simulators so whilst I do my best with two computers and a separate test environment (one running XP11/MSFS2020 and the other running FSX:SE at the same time) – Issue *may* occur following this release but rest assured that as soon as any are reported or I notice any myself I will reactively work to resolve them. I’ve purposely held off releasing until this time as the daily backup has been completed – so worst-case scenario is what we can roll back.
If you have any strange display issues on the GPS or radar page – try refreshing your browser cache… this is most likely going to be the issue (it’s all working fine for me it would seem)
Please, let me know what you think!
I’m honestly interested in hearing what YOU think of the new features and maybe what you’d like to see in future – If you want to send a quick message to show your appreciation or buy me beer that would be great but equally, if you don’t like these new features… let me know too – I wouldn’t want to think that I am wasting my time adding features that people don’t like or that they feel get in the way so I won’t take any offence…
I generally gauge what to do in future based on what you guys want or would like to see get added… obviously, though, not all requests can be implemented due to certain constraints such as “the data” not being available or is commercially licensed and ultimately if certain ideas stray too far off what FsHub is designed to do best/concentrated on.
Things I’m working on next
Over the next couple of weeks my plan is to work on and improve the following areas of FsHub:
Complete the implementation of the “import flight plan” features (from SimBreif, VA routes and previously flown routes).Now completed and pushed live as of 17:20 17/05/2021!
Catch up with airport and aircraft designation requests/fixes – I’ll be adding and amending some data as per your requests.
Build out an entirely new Search system – Completely overhaul its design and functionality and again, changing out the backend search technology to provide typo tolerant, faster and more relevant results as well as access to all kinds of data from a single search query (no longer will you need to search for airports or VA’s separately). This will also encompass flight report tags (of which, in the past have not been “searchable” through the website front-end at least) – So get tagging those flights 😉
Logbook filters – You’ll be able to filter down your logbook list on various filters such as aircraft type, flight duration, tags, to/from specific countries etc.
More pilot, global and VA stats (I will be adding a new “My stats” page, “VA stats” page and “Global stats” page) – As per the user survey, you guys asked for more stats, charts and other related topics… Now that aircraft are “designated” to types (from my last update) I can now, more easily query the backend data storage systems provide these kinds of additional statistics.
Those are my plans for the next couple of weeks at least – still, on my long list of things (other than things I’ve already mentioned in the past) I want to sort/get added are:
Runway and taxiway map overlay in the newly improved GPS tracker (when on the ground at airports) making it easier to navigate around etc.
A new version of the LRM client – A fresh new look and as well as recording landing g-force and other more advanced parameters, if and when you select a VA from the virtual airline dropdown to fly for it’ll download the VA logo and colour scheme that the VA owner has set up in the “Manage” section of FsHub (this will make the LRM client automatically branded to your VA’s colour scheme and logos etc) – Pretty sweet right?! 😀
A new and improved “v4” Web API allowing you to get even more data from your flights and VA’s as well as better endpoints for iterating records etc.
Would you like to help out?
Although the development of the system is something that I want to remain within my control as having worked with others in the past on other projects, mistakes can happen and lead to disastrous situations and the systems that make up FsHub are far from “simple” – at the end of the day, I want to make sure your flight reports are safe and the system is always available!
With the above said, I do get a lot of requests for data changes (airport updates and addition of aircraft types etc) and therefore I am toying with the idea of getting a small group of the more established users (that have many flight hours and therefore experience and a vested interest in the platform and it’s data accuracy) to help me handle these requests – The plan would be (if there is enough interest) that I’ll build a nice admin panel that this small team of volunteers can access and help me with user requests such as amending runway numbers, adding airports etc. – I’ll set up a Discord server too so we can stay in touch and lend a hand/answer questions if needed. (I’m probably looking for a close-knit team of three people that I can really trust and work with)
Firstly I would like to thank you for recently taking the User Survey 2021, I have looked through all of the results and yes, there was ALOT of responses so I just want to quickly thank you all for taking the time to give me that feedback – it was most helpful!
In summary, the general response was that you like the simplicity and stability of the platform and didn’t want me adding too many “over the top changes” – I can confirm that FsHub is designed to be a stable but extensible platform (through the use of the APIs) and as such, the changes that I have made and will continue to work on into next month will be to provide better and accurate data as well as feature enhancements that fit within the principles of the platform.
Having spent this last week implementing some new features and improvements based on your feedback, I just wanted to inform you about some of the changes and updates that I have released this last month and that are now available to use, these changes and improvements are as follows:
Dark mode (theme) Users can now enable a “dark mode” theme for the site, you can do this by going to your Profile settings page and enabling the “Dark mode” option at the bottom of the page, once saved and you navigate away to another section of the site you’ll notice that your theme will now use the new dark mode – I’ll be making further improvements to this theme over the coming weeks but I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out so far.
The ability to edit departure and arrival airports on flight reports Although FsHub does its best to calculate the airport that you landed at, sometimes there are just too many other airports or airfields near to where you took off from or landed at. In the past, I have manually updated flight reports for users when they’ve contacted me, however, from today all users can now edit their departure and/or arrival airport by opening up their Flight Report and clicking on the “Edit flight” button which will then give them the option to choose “the correct” departure or arrival ICAO (this list is limited to airports and fields that are within 30nm of the actual “take-off” or “touch down” co-ordinates.
The screen where you can change this appears as follows:
The ability for users to set their aircraft ICAO type Some users had reported that *some* aircraft (on the radar map) do not display the type (ICAO code) for the aircraft and whilst FsHub has an algorithm for trying to match the aircraft to an ICAO code based on the aircraft’s label/metadata, this isn’t always possible (given that labels that are set by the designer/livery and such can sometimes be misleading etc) and therefore, I have now made it possible for users to set their ICAO codes for their aircraft which will in-turn correctly display them on the radar map.
You may notice that when looking at your flight reports in future if FsHub was not able to match your aircraft to an ICAO code, you will get this heading at the top of the screen asking you to manually select it from a list:
This process is really easy, simply click the link in the notification bar and then set the Aircraft ICAO code from the dropdown menu!
Once you have set the ICAO code, FsHub will remember it for all future flights as well as set for all other aircraft that used the same metadata so fear not, you won’t have to do this every time.
If you fly a lesser-known aircraft and you cannot find the ICAO code in the menu list, simply contact us and we will get it added in to the database and email you back to confirm you can reattempt this process (obviously just let us know the aircraft manufacturer, model and what you expect the ICAO code to be – we’ll attempt to cross-reference this information with the internet to ensure that the platform remains as accurate as possible).
Added missing country flag icons As reported by some users, the platform was missing a few flags (images) for several countries/regions which included Antarctica, The Isle of Man and Kosovo. I have now added these to the platform and they should now appear.
Numerous airport name, runway information and radio frequency updates I have made a whole host of database changes based on your feedback, there are way too many to note here but rest assured that the data issues that have been reported have now, for the most part, have been fixed. If you know of any other data issues, again, please contact us and we’ll get them sorted (these are generally just changes or runway number(s) or radio frequencies that naturally change over time).
Platform notification system changes I have updated the platform notification system so that all news is now linked to this blog which means that instead of me trying to cram all the information into a notification box that is very prominent on your dashboard screen, probably drive you mad and won’t disappear until I disable it – I am now also pleased to let you know that notification boxes (when you are logged in) can now be “dismissed” (using the “x” in the top right of the box), this will then permanently hide that particular notification from your dashboard once you’ve read it etc.
Added this blog!! This blog will serve as a place for me to provide more in-depth updates to you and more frequently (visit back to https://blog.fshub.io if you’re interested in reading about more updates that might not warrant a system notification tab), and whilst I have MANY more updates in the pipeline of which, I will update you on in due course.
Well guys, I *think* that’s pretty much all of the updates that I have added this week, there could be more 😉
Please, if you notice ANY issues with the system or changes that have been implemented please contact us ASAP with a screenshot and/or as much information as possible (eg a link to the affected flight report) and we’ll very quickly implement, test and release a patch to resolve the issues as soon as possible.
Next month I plan to make major improvements to LRM Client software (yes a new release of that coming very soon too – An updated, modern interface with even more stats that can be fed into your flight reports), the radar and GPS maps to include colour coded aircraft based on altitude, as well as some other nice improvements for VA’s such as estimated trip time calculations…. plus a load more improvements that I’d rather you all wait to see (as I’m super excited)…. As per normal though, my priorities for this platform is to ensure it it’s stability and simplicity you can rest assured that all the changes I make will not impact either of those things and all “fancy” things can be opt-out/opt-in of via. the settings anyway.
I will post up new some new updates very soon guys – I hope you have a great weekend!