Ever heard an aeroplane fly overhead and wonder how high it was, where it was going or which airlines are keeping you up all night? Wonder no more because today I present to you a choice of Live Flight Maps.
I’ve to thank my Dad for making me look for these. He bought his iPad to me saying ‘look at this new app it shows you where every plane is’. Pretty impressive I thought, but as with every other time he tries to impress me with an app I fired up a web browser and found a few sites that offers more information, faster, for free and without wasting disk space. But anyway…
There is a choice of airplane trackers available mainly because Google Maps are free to use and the data is pushed by various Air Traffic Controllers around the world and by the planes themselves through radio. Generous plane spotter enthusiasts have connected radio receivers to the internet that can contribute to services like this.
Though Planefinder.net does a pretty decent job, I’ve found flightradar24.com much easier to use and read. It doesn’t really need to be explained to you because if you’ve got this far you probably know how to use it. But I will do because this post needs padding out.
The whole thing is a map. You can zoom in and out and move around. Click on a little red plane to find out more information and its flight path or just watch it go by. The trails the planes leave behind may be coloured differently. If it is green it was close to the ground at that point, blue is above 6000 meters and red is closer to 13,000 meters and above. Airports are little blue crosses.
Detailed Flight Information.
It gets nerdier for dedicated plane spotters, which I am not. The full Flight details include
* Callsign: the flight identity the pilots use over the radio with Air Traffic Control
* Flight Number: The numbers and letters the passengers and tour operators identify the flight by
* Reg: The aircrafts identification number
* Hex: Something to do with radar, transponders & crashes (or; I don’t know)
* Model: Manufacturer and model of the plane.
* Ground Speed
* Track or Bearing
* Squawk: Something else to do with Transponders
* From: Departure Airport
* To: Destination Airport
If you are into that kind of thing then Flightradar24 also offer a forum and live chat with other plane buffs, though you don’t have to be one to check out what the hell is making that racket.