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Plane Finder

Planefinder - track aircraft in London

Plane Finder is an interactive real-time platform allowing to spot almost any aircraft on (or above) the Earth. Its radars set for ADS-B transmitting technology provide for immediate direct signal receipt from the plane. Another type of signal working out technology is MLAT. For the planes not equipped with such transmitters or unavailable in real-time, the FAA is the primary source of tracking information, along with the FLARM glider source.

The pilots, technological team, ground operators, scientists and engineers use the data for their work. Yet, a regular Internet user might have a look just out of interest. Whatever made you think of planes and their routes, you can always discover more about it on PlaneFinder 24 hours live platform.

How does it function?

The Planefinder.net live map represents the existing plane routes in the mode of the real time. The data for drawing the map is received from 3 different feeds.

Feature/Feed ADS-B MLAT FAA
Planes covered Commercial medium and large size aircraft, general aviation planes Commercial all sizes aircraft, some military aircraft, general aviation planes All types of aircraft in the territory of the USA / Canada
Simultaneous target capacity 500 aircraft 500+100 aircraft 5000 aircraft
Type of radar (transmitter) used/frequency ADS-B, Mode-S / 1090 MHz ± 5 MHz or 978 MHz ADS-B, Mode-A/C/S / 1030 MHz, 1090 MHz, 9978 MHz ARTS IIE, ARTS IIIE / 2700 MHZ-2900 MHz
Precision 97% errors occur 97-99% 99%
Update frequency Every 0.5 second 1-15 seconds 5 minutes
Operation mode Automatic Automatic Automatic

The ADS-B radar system is the most modern tracking technology that permits receiving the precise and complete information about the aircraft via the Internet connection. More than 1000 ground radar stations all over the world provide the data for 500 planes simultaneously, their call sign, position, altitude, velocity, direction of heading, etc.

The satellite connection allows defining the location of the aircraft.

The transponder ADS-B onboard the plane sends the signal. The ground radar stations receive the signal and forward it to the Plane Finder server.

The satellite connection allows defining the location of the aircraft.

Plane finder monitors aircraft

The system works in the automatic mode, which means no human factor is involved. It receives signals sent out by the aircraft transponder as often as each half a second, working them out into the tracking information. The radar stations can screen up to 250 nautical miles’ space that provides for their high coverage and positioning precision.

The plane radar finder replenishes the data received by means of ADS-B technology with another useful illustrative information. We add the departure and destination points, photos, the verified data about the aircraft (its age, registration number etc.).

The ADS-B tracking system is applied in the majority of the European and Australian planes. However, planes from other regions do not make a significant contribution. Still, nowadays, there are many aviation companies introducing the relevant transponders onboard their fleet.

When it comes to the planes of the smaller size or older configuration, or simply not having an ADS-B transponder, the MLAT or Multilateration technology is applied. It is marked for using the data from the different transponders working on different frequencies. The system takes the information from three feeds – radar stations – situated at the different distance. Then, the time difference in having the signal from each of the stations is calculated. All these math results in assigning a precise position of the plane on the map as often as every 4 seconds on average and as precise as 5 metres close. The MLAT technology can also use the data from ADS-B feed, so the update rate can be improved up to 1 second.

PlaneFinder map
For the planes not having the transponders and the places not covered by the ADS-B sufficiently, the outer feeds’ data is used. This is mainly the territory of the North American continent, for which we receive the data from Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has several stationery radar systems working at high frequencies and allowing for the immediate precise tracking of the aircraft. However, the data transmission takes time, so watching some light plane making its way to the Beaver Creek airport you might be falling some 5 minutes behind its actual position. The coming enhancement of the FAA aviation fleet with the ADS-B transponders must make up for the elimination of this delay.

The gliders and small aircraft of different types not covered by the airlines are also present on the Plane Finder free online map thanks to the data received from the FLARM. This technology feeds the data about more than 35000 aircraft and allows for the increased air traffic awareness.

What Opportunities does the Website Provide?

The PlaneFinder.net and the mobile app version provide the handy interface enabling to track any flight you might need. For that, use the search bar in the upper part of the screen. Type in any data you have, the flight number, call sign, destination or departure airport / city.

  • tail number
  • aircraft type (commercial, general aviation, military, glider, etc.)
  • departure and destination locations in the IATA coding
  • velocity
  • altitude

Clicking on the plane you will get the detailed information about the aircraft and the flight (brought up in the left part of the screen):

  • flight number
  • airline company
  • airline company
  • airport (departure and destination)
  • time (departure and arrival – local)
  • total time of flight
  • time in the air
  • total distance
  • distance in the air
  • aircraft type (detailed, with photo options)
  • age of aircraft
  • first flight date
  • aircraft registration number
  • current altitude
  • current heading direction
  • current velocity

PlaneFinder plane tracker

With some planes, the data about the number of seats, aircraft’s weight, type (passenger / cargo / sport, etc.), service class are available.

The Plane Finder interactive platform offers different search filters in order to specify your search as much as possible. You can look for the most frequently visited airports around the globe or create your own system of filtration, where you can select:

  • airline
  • airport
  • type of plane
  • Squawk Codes
  • altitude of flight
  • speed
  • data feed (preferred radar)

You can also check the record of the air traffic for any specified time and date.

The PlaneFinder website is available with different interface options. The setting adjustments include:

  • map interface mode
  • brightness of the map
  • aircraft animation on/off
  • map animation (when a particular plane is selected) on/off
  • airline logo above the plane / data text above the plane / hide the data (by default)
  • units of measurement options (for speed, altitude, distance)

Plane Finder Coverage – What Can I Track?

The interactive map reflects the flights and current positions of 31187 aircrafts of different types. The passenger and cargo planes of 872 airlines contribute to this number. Besides, the platform provides the detailed information for 10582 airports located in 220 countries of the world.

Who Needs PlaneFinder?

The interactive service is worked out in response to:

  • Requests of the general users:
    1. Meeting someone from the flight.
    2. Seeing someone to have a flight.
    3. Watching the flight of their colleagues, friends, and relatives.
    4. For the curious ones who want to watch the flights, plane information, routing data, etc.
    5. For those who are going to plan the flight (spotting the plane, the route, altitude, etc).
  • Needs of the commercial organizations.
    All companies and institutions engaged in aviation and the adjoining spheres can use the Plane Finder free data for their work, statistics, scientific research, etc.

History of Development

Initially created in 2009 as a mobile application for the flight tracking, Plane Finder has swiftly gained the popularity as the handy online flight tracker. In the upcoming years, the following outstanding features were added:

  • Augmented reality map
  • 3d visual map of the skies
  • Showing all the aircraft on the map at once
  • Playback option

PlaneFinder - find your haul

Further on, the design and implementation of the ADS-B receivers’ global network greatly enhanced the application performance allowing for its high refresh rate and preciseness. The constant ongoing cooperation with the ADS-B receivers’ owners and Plane Finder application users all over the world enabled the PlaneFinder app development into a large database of the aircraft-related information and a smart immediate tracking instrument. Today, the platform is available for different OS as a mobile app and a Web version.

Types of Aircraft Tracked on Live Platform

The map shows positions and data on over 31000 planes belonging to commercial aviation and private air fleet. The most popular types of the planes:

  • Airbus A320
  • Airbus A321
  • Airbus A319
  • Airbus A330-200
  • Airbus A330-300
  • Airbus A350-900
  • Airbus A380-800
  • Boeing 737-700
  • Boeing 737-800
  • Boeing 737-900
  • Boeing 747-400
  • Boeing 757-200
  • Boeing 767-300
  • Boeing 777-200
  • Boeing 777-300ER
  • Boeing 787-8
  • Boeing 787-9
  • Bombardier Dash 8 (400)
  • Embraer 175
  • Embraer ERJ-190

Video Recording on Free Tracking Map

Sometimes, you might wish to record a particular flight.

  • Open up an app or a program for the screen recording.
  • Enter the Plane Finder website or a relevant app on your smartphone.
  • Find the plane by using the search bar, applying the filters or simply locating the aircraft on the map.
  • Start recording.
  • Upon the completion of the flight, save the recording in your files.

Besides, the Plane Finder instrumental panel features a Playback tool that allows watching and recording the flights performed in the past. Find a relevant button at the top-right part of the website, select the date and time and push the “Play” button. The Playback works in a mode of a regular video player (you can choose to watch from any moment, pause, restart) and features the same options as the current Plane Finder live map.

In this way, you can also catch interesting figures made by the tracking lines of planes. It can be fun, as sometimes you might get a bunny or your favourite number drawn by the route lines.

Recording on the website or through the PlaneFinder free app, you can easily share your record on YouTube and compare it with the similar records by other users. Also, you can share your video on the social networks.

Archives and Other Statistics

Using the Playback mode, you can trace any flight spotted on interactive map as far as April 2011 and have a full information on it just the same way as with the current online chart. Besides, Plane Finder provides statistical data for the units engaged on the platform.
The access to all the data is free and can be gained on the company website. Namely, you will discover the information on:

  • operating airlines;
  • countries and airports;
  • online-spotted and out-of-reach aircraft;
  • recently performed and currently operated flights.

Services Available in the Free Version of PlaneFinder App

The global flight tracking platform operates in two modes:

  • Website online map – all the services are free, there are no premium versions or additional packages charged. You will be able to browse the aircraft live map, track the plane and get a full information on it (tail number, age, airline, destination etc.), use the Playback mode, consult the statistics.
  • Mobile app – features the full package of services available at the website version, for iOS or Android. Available at the small cost.