A comprehensive list of flight tracking websites (1/2)
There are many publicly available resources to do flight tracking online (including military flight tracking); I am listing here those that have at least some free services available to anyone (for this reason some key player in this industry are not in my list).
I came into flight tracking few years ago, and over time, I did quite a lot of research, identifying all these resources. I am quite happy to share the result here. I am keeping it up to date as much as I can, but there are always new (and old) sites I don’t know about, therefore do not hesitate to comment if you know some I missed!
I’d also like to thank all of those who already pointed to resources I didn’t know about. Thanks all, this list would be much shorter without your help!
Flight tracking websites with global coverage
ADSBexchange – “World’s largest source of unfiltered flight data”
ADSBexchange is an aggregator of ADS-B feeders, relying on a community of volunteers. It is showing unfiltered data, meaning all aircraft are visible (including private jets and military aircraft). Thanks to this, it has become a reference for many in the flight tracking community. It is a great tool for OSINT, enthusiasts and journalists.
Feeders (people sharing the data from their own receiver) have access to all aircraft visible on the network through API, after requesting an API key. Others have access through a map.
ADSBExchange enable its own MLAT solution, which means that airplane which are not broadcasting their position may still be positioned by triangulation if they are in range of enough feeders. Their map is based on tar1090 open source software.
Adsbhub – “Free ADS-B data sharing and exchange”
ADSBhub is another aggregator of ADSB data. It also relies on a community of feeders. All their data is accessible to feeders in the same SBS format you can get from the receivers. This is more for enthusiasts with a technical background as there is no interface to track a specific aircraft or flight number, but this is a great tool if you want to increase the coverage of your own receiver. Their coverage is sort of global, but with less receivers than ADSBexchange.
Ads-b.nl – “Tracking Military Aircraft”
ads-b.nl is a site dedicated to tracking military aircraft. It is relying on ADSBexchange data. It is listing all available military aircraft on ADSBexchange at a given time.
Airnav Radarbox – “Disrupting an Industry. Revolutionizing Air Traffic Surveillance.”
Airnav Radarbox is a commercial website, based in Tampa, Florida, USA, relying on a network of feeders that they deployed, a community of feeders, but also some different sources of data (FAA radars, Satcom ACARS, HFDL…). Airnav was a pioneer in that industry as they started as early as 2001. As usual you can share your data. They are filtering some aircraft for privacy reasons. They are also selling a ADS-B dongle and one to listen to ATC. They have one of the best coverage of the market thanks to the aggregation of data from different technologies. It is definitely one of the reference in this domain.
|Type||Commercial, map, commercial flight tracker|
AvDelphi – “One place for all your aviation data requirements”
AvDelphi is an aviation data provider based in Switzerland. They propose more than tracking, with a lot aviation related data available on their site (ACARS data, NOTAM, aviation news, airframes data…). They also propose some spotting tools so that you can log your observations and store your pictures. A little less well design than the other websites, they still are a great source of information.
FlightAware – “Live Flight Tracking”
FlightAware is one of the pioneer in the industry, based in the USA. As a commercial website, they started in 2005, focusing first on North America, and step by step increasing their coverage to the world. They now have one of the best global coverage, thanks to their access to satellite ADS-B technology, that allow them to track cross ocean flights that are not visible to normal ADS-B trackers (to be able to track a plane, the receiver has to be “in view”; as the earth is round, even with receivers on high points and aircraft at cruising levels, it is difficult to track planes beyond 250nm).
FlightAware deployed its own network of feeders and they also made it possible for enthusiasts to share the data of their own receivers. FA is also making some Raspberry Pi software available, to make it pretty affordable and easy to build your own receiver and start with flight tracking. They have been deploying tracking worldwide actively, they even sent me one for free back in the time they launch their own tracking dongle.
One of the great feature is they give you access to MLAT positions (if there is enough receivers in your area for triangulation), which means you can track some aircraft that do not broadcast their position, as is often the case with military one. At least you can see them on your tracker, even if they may not be visible to the general public.
They also provide some hardware, with some great USB dongles (maybe the best on the market, with integrated amplifier and filters), filters and antennas. If you are a feeder, you have a free access to their business account. They also make a lot of data available for free for the general public. They are filtering some aircraft for privacy reasons. Don’t expect to find many military aircraft. Some private jets are also filtered. They also provide a lot of services to the aviation industry.
|Type||Commercial, map, commercial flight tracker, mobile app|
FlightRadar24 – “Live Air Traffic”
FlightRadar24 is one of the best commercial websites, based in Sweden, relying on a network of feeders that they deployed and also a community of feeders. They started in 2006, just one year after FA. They gain a lot of exposure in 2010 during the explosion of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano that disrupted the flights over Northern Europe.
If you share your feeder’s data, you have a free access to their business account. Many great features are also available for free. They have one of the best global coverage, you should find what you are looking for with FlightRadar24. As other commercial websites, they are filtering some aircraft for privacy reasons. Don’t expect to find many military aircraft; private jets are more covered, but also filtered.
I also love their mobile app with an AR feature that let you know which flight is the plane above your head. They also have a great 3D view on their website developed using Cesium and Mapbox.
|Type||Commercial, map, commercial flight tracker, mobile app|
flight-radar.eu is embedding Radarbox map.
|Name||Flight Radar EU|
Opensky-network – “Improving the security, reliability and efficiency of the air space usage”
The OpenSky Network is a non-profit association based in Switzerland. It relies on a community of feeders. Researchers and academics have access to their historical data. They claim they keep all the data ever recorded in their database. If you feed your data, you have access to a great dashboard with a lot of statistics about your receiver.
|Type||Non profit, research & academics|
Planefinder – “Live Flight Tracking”
Planefinder is another commercial website, based in UK, that started in 2009. They rely on a network of feeders that they deployed and also a community of feeders. They also integrate FLARM feeds to track gliders and other small planes without ADS-B. They are filtering some aircraft for privacy reasons. Their main focus is on their mobile app.
Planeflighttracker – “Live Flight Tracker”
Planeflighttracker is embedding PlaneMapper.
RadarLive – “Airplane radar map”
RadarLive is embedding FlightRadar24 map.
You need to create an account to see the planes.
|Type||Worldwide but better coverage in Europe|
Skyscanworld – “Aircraft Transponder and Satellite Tracking”
Skyscanworld is a new comer in the industry. The radar is behind a paywall, except if you are a feeder.
VariFlight – “Your Live Aviation Data at Hand”
This is the website of the Variflight mobile App. They have great data on the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry.
Flight tracking websites dedicated to commercial flights
Flightstats – “Global flight status”
Flightstats is dedicated to track commercial flights by flight numbers or by route. This is the website of the Flightstats mobile app.
|Type||Commercial flights, mobile app|
Flightview – “Real time flight tracker“
Flightview is dedicated to track commercial flights by flight numbers or by route. It is managed by AOG, one of the major aviation data provider.
|Type||Commercial flight, mobile app|
Google is able to give informations about most commercial flights.
Flight tracking websites with a regional focus
Airframes is an aggregator of ACARS data.
AussieADSB is focusing on Australia.
|Type||VRS, Australia focused|
Watching the skies over Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
|Type||List, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, UK|
eSky is focusing on Europe.
Freedar.uk is focusing on UK, with a global coverage thanks to ADSBhub data.
|Type||VRS, UK focused|
Itamilradar – “Monitoring military aircraft movements over Italy and Mediterranean Sea”
ItamilRadar is focusing on military aircraft above Italy and Mediterranean Sea. It is aggregating data from other websites.
LiveMilitaryModeS focused on airborne military aircraft.
NASA Airborne Science Program Tracker
NASA is tracking its airborne science projects, generally over the USA.
|Name||NASA Airborne Science Program Tracker|
Planeradar.ru is focusing on Russia.
WebTrack is providing flight tracking service for airports all over the world.
WestWeather is a tracker in UK.
360Radar is focusing on UK.
Flight tracking websites of Airports and Airlines
Many airports and airlines have their own flight tracking page on their website. They generally use services from a major tracking website such as FlightRadar24, FlightAware RadarBox or WebTrack. The list would be too long to add here, but you can check your local airport or favorite airline website if you are interested. Airline websites generally focus on their own fleet.
Glider tracking websites
GliderRadar is focusing on gliders.
Ktrax is tracking gliders in Switzerland. They are taking their data from the Open Glider Network.
LiveGliderNet is based on the Open Glider Network – live tracking of gliders, paragliders, UAVs, and other aircraft.
|Type||Gliders, paragliders, UAVs|
LiveTrack24 is a GPS based tracker service. It supports all sports, including gliders, paraglider and delta planes.
|Type||Gliders, Delta planes, paragliders|
SkyLines is a live tracker platform to record and share your flights. It is used by many gliders.
Flight tracking websites by enthusiasts
Clanlawrence is a tracker close to Edinburgh in UK.
Receiver in Eindhoven, NL.
OverTheNorthEast is a website tracking flights above the North East of UK since 2007. It has been developed by P. Mitchell in Seaham.
PlaneBoston / kx1t
Impressive tracking solution based on ADSB containers by KX1T team. Very interesting solution!
|Name||Planeboston / KX1T|
|Type||Trackers / ADSB containers|
Plane.watch is a tracker close to Perth, in Australia.
Receiver in Maarssen, Stichtse Vecht, NL.
Receiver in Volfheze, NL.
RealADSB is focusing on New York area. It is also providing lots of tips if you want to make your own tracker.
Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation
The Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation shares the VRS view of their receiver near Santa Barbara, CA, USA.
|Name||Santa Barbara Wireless Foundation|
Sonicgoose – “Words for Nerds-A blog of things I’ve learned as a geek”
Sonicgoose is displaying data from his own tracker in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. He is also giving a lot of interesting tips in his blog.
|Type||Enthusiast, blog, tips|
TheBaldGeek is a fan of ACARS and ADS-C (satellite version of ADS-B), but he is also displaying his ADS-B data. Lots of interesting stuff on his site. He is sharing many different views on his data. Contact him if you want to start receiving ACARS data, he loves to help new comers.
|Type||Enthusiast, blog, tips|
Foxtrotcharlie – “A journey to ADS-B tracking with Raspberry Pi”
On Foxtrotcharlie, I am displaying data from my trackers in Hong Kong and Briancon, France. I also have a twitter bot for new aircraft or interesting ones (military, helicopters, rare aircraft…). I use this blog to share what I learned building this site and all the infrastructure behind.
|Type||Enthusiast, database, free API, blog|
Virtual Radar Servers
I also found many Virtual Radar Servers without being able to attribute them. Don’t hesitate to comment if you have more details about them (they may not be always online).
Flight tracking Twitter bots
AboveTustin ADSB Bot
Thanks to Kevin Brandon an its AboveTustin software on GitHub, many flight tracking enthusiasts are sharing some data from their trackers on Twitter. I created a list on Twitter with those I found.
|Name||AboveTustin ADSB bot|
Other Twitter bots
List of Twitter Bots sharing the aircraft flying above their trackers. It generally gives only a very small view on what’s going on in the area (by default it is only sharing those which are actually “flying above”), but that’s still another interesting source of data to explore if you are into flight tracking. Also in the list, some OSINT geek sharing interesting data from all the sources available (such as adsbexchange, Flightradar24, Radarbox or FlightAware).
Special flight tracking websites
This is a special flight tracking site, dedicated to flight simulators. It won’t provide any data on actual flights!
This is quite fun to do simulated flight tracking on the map in the same way you can track real ones.
I show here the new plane tracking websites I still didn’t have time to categorise.
Despite all my efforts to make this list of flight tracking websites and Twitter bots as complete as possible, I may have missed some. Don’t hesitate to comment if you know other sites, I will be happy to add them.
Some links may stop to work, specially VRS servers. I am trying to keep track of this, but with some delays. Don’t hesitate to comment also if you know where the links have moved.
There may also be errors. They are all mine, and will be happy to correct them if notified.
The list of mobile apps will be covered in part 2.
Plane tracking is fun, join the team!
Do not hesitate to make a comment if you know some other sites that I missed!