July 9, 2013

Locate your Flight in Real Time




It's about time we came across a website featuring all the live air traffic happening in real-time. Flightradar24.com is one of the best web applications that provide you with real-time info about thousands of aircraft around the world. It allows you to live track every aircraft equipped with an ADS-B transponder, which for Europe is about 90% of all airplanes. It’s easy to use, clean and it doesn’t require so much effort from the CPU, even in the highest visualization conditions where hundreds of flights are shown and animated at the same time. The web version is completely free, while mobile apps for iOS and Android cost a few bucks, as well as the Mac OS X application.

The primary technology used to receive flight information is called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).

  •     Aircraft gets its location from a GPS navigation source (satellite).
  •     ADS-B unit on aircraft transmits signal containing about the location (and much and more).
  •     ADS-B signal is picked up by a receiver connected to Flightradar24.
  •     Receiver feeds data to Flightradar24.com.

Only aircraft with an ADS-B transponder, within the coverage area of the 500 receivers are visible.

Enter Flightradar24 and a world map opens on which all current flights are marked by a small, moving, yellow plane figure. Flightradar24.com tracks all the incoming and returning flights, even identifying each flight with its code when your cursor hovers over it. On the left side, searching for an airport or city will move the map directly to that region. Very cool and helpful, if you're curious about flights coming to and from your city. You can also see the history of flights on the website by pressing 'Playback' in sidebar to view content from the last 30 days.

Common aircraft models that have an ADS-B transponder and are visible on Flightradar24:-
    All Airbus models (A300, A310, A318, A319, A320, A321, A330, A340, A380)
    ATR 72-600 (most new deliveries)
    BAe ATP
    BAe Avro RJ70, RJ85, RJ100
    Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787
    Embraer E190 (most new deliveries)
    Fokker 70 and 100
    Gulfstream V, G500/G550
    McDonnell Douglas MD-10, MD-11
    Sukhoi SuperJet 100
    Some newer Ilyushin and Tupolev (for example Il-96 and TU-204)

Common aircraft models that do not have an ADS-B transponder and are NOT visible on Flightradar24:-
    Antonov AN-225
    ATR 42, 72 (except most new deliveries of ATR 72-600)
    Boeing 707, 717, 727, 737-200, 747-100, 747-200, 747SP
    All CASA models
    All Bombardier Dash models
    All Bombardier CRJ models
    Dornier 328
    All Embraer models (except most new deliveries of Embraer E190)
    Jetstream 32
    Fokker 50
    McDonnell Douglas DC-9, MD-8x, MD-90
    Saab 340 and 2000
    “Air Force One”
    Most older aircraft
    Most military aircraft

Mainly for curing curiosity, there are better more comfortable ways to get flight information such as FlightAware, FlightStats or even Googling the flight’s number. The added value of Flightradar24 is the realization that there are so many flights up there and to think that it shows only the civilian airplanes, think of all the smaller domestic planes and the military air-crafts.

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