1.2.2022 – 16:44z

First Look: Shared Flight for X-Plane

The highly awaited Shared Flight plugin for X-Plane has finally entered beta, and with it, more public previews have been shared. We have also managed to get our hands on a beta copy of the plugin, and will be showing you some previews and first impressions of the plugin.

Please keep in mind the addon has only just entered beta and what we’ll be showcasing will not represent the final quality of the product.

User Interface

The addon features a clean streamlined user interface both in the simulator and on the official website. The in-sim menu, triggered through the “Plugins” tab, includes multiple tabs for controlling the plugin, such as creating and joining flights, viewing friends, changing preferences, and viewing pilot hours.

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Of course, you can switch between dark and light mode in the plugin interface.

Once you start your flight, you can see the download rate and your current ping in the top left corner. We found this handy numerous times when checking the status of our connection.

The website features some additional features. Once logged into the website you are able to view your dashboard where you can see who is online, any ongoing flights, and the ability to download the latest version of the plugin.

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There is also a flights tab with all ongoing and previously conducted flights. By clicking on a specific flight you are able to view some of the flight information including the flight route, souls on board, and duration, to name a few.

We can also see a detailed timeline of the selected flight in style as it is often seen amongst popular real-world flight tracking websites. It’s especially worth pointing out that you can see who and when had control, who was on board and when, and all the landing rates.

Finally, you are also able to view a live map of all currently ongoing flights on a map of the world, which you can select and view.

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We have noticed that the live map synchronizes the aircraft types, but not the liveries. We have to keep in mind, however, that it is still a beta version and a lot of stuff like this will get fixed eventually before the initial release.

The website and plugin interface is overall very well made and user friendly. It offers lots of information about flights and the plugin, yet doesn’t overload the user and is clean and tidy.

Functionality

To see how the addon performed, George and I hopped into the ToLiss A321 to test. Creating a flight was straightforward and easy, requiring some essential information to be entered before beginning. Once the flight was created you are able to invite friends or open the flight publicly. Once someone joins you have the choice to promote them to a crew member, or demote them to a passenger. Crew members have full access to the flight and can take over controls at any time they like.

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It is also possible to assign a control axis to a certain crew. For example, you can assign your thrust to your first officer so they may have authority over the thrust controls.

Another very cool feature included is that you can choose whose weather is injected into the flight, meaning your simulator weather will be synced together. It is compatible with Active Sky XP and the default weather engine as far we tested.

The flight went well, a few minor sync issues occurred which we easily resolved, and despite having around 250 ping, the controls were seamless with no delays or jittering. On our flights, we usually had ping around 150 to 250 milliseconds.

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George and I were surprised to see the priority input button working when we both applied stick inputs, a very neat and cool feature to see.

We also tried a GA flight in a C172 which worked relatively smoothly and well, even in spins/stalls it performed smoothly. Unfortunately, as one of us had internet issues, we lost connection and upon joining the flight again, we came across some more significant synchronization issues. But it is important to keep in mind the addon is in beta and still has a way to go before a stable release.

More information & Video

Currently, the addon only has support for a handful of aircraft, but the developers assure that many more aircraft will be available at the official launch. For a beta release, the variety of supported aircraft offers a plentiful to pick from.

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It’s apparent that the developers are prioritizing quality over quantity as instead of introducing more aircraft they listen to the community feedback and fix current aircraft configs first.

We have recorded a short video showcasing how the ToLiss A321 behaved during various ground operations. That video can be watched either directly through our YouTube channel or below.

The official release date and price has not been disclosed, but beta testing is underway. If you would like to apply as a beta tester, you can sign up for a Shared Flight account here.

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Of course, once the plugin is ready and released, we will do a proper review of all of what it has to offer and to what extent it has been done.

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