Most commercial and governmental aircraft use a system called ADS-B to transmit information like their location, speed, and altitude to help air traffic control keep the skies safe. Because this data is transmitted via radio, anyone with a receiver can listen to what is happening around them.
I have a receiver set up at home that I use to feed data to Flightradar24 and ADS-B Exchange. My setup is pretty basic, consisting of a receiver and small aerial attached to a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. The software side was straightforward thanks to this guide. I also installed the ADS-B Exchange feed client and wrote a small script to pull data out from it.
|The tracker has seen 16,452 different aircraft conduct 723,793 flights, most frequently one Airbus A-319 (reg. G-DBCB ) 998 times.
|It has tracked 505 different aircraft models registered in 107 countries. In the battle between manufacturers, it has followed 1.18 times more Airbus than Boeing planes.
|The two London Air Ambulances have been seen 1290 times, and the four Met Police helicopters 1501 times.
|The tracker also captures information that some militaries have chosen to make publicly available. 970 of the tracked aircraft come from 49 different countries' militaries and have completed 4201 flights. These flights include 124 Chinooks, 28 Apaches, and, although long out of service, 20 Spitfires.
|The FAA has a programme where aircraft owners can partially opt out of public tracking. The tracker has seen 2432 of these aircraft 15120 times. The most frequently hidden aircraft model is the Gulfstream 5.
Updates frequently, most recently at 2023-10-22 16:20:45 UTC. Total ADS-B messages: 3,239,837,925.