This post is a re-edit of the original post made earlier last year.
I downloaded 2 Aircraft Tracking iPhone Apps which allows you to track the position, height, speed, Squawk Code, Aircraft type, heading, source, destination and Aircraft Registration, plus much more.
These amazing iPhone apps are brilliant if you are interested in aircraft or just want to know where a plane in the sky is heading.
So Which one is better, FlightRadar24 or PlaneFinder (Harry Hill would normally do ‘FIGHT’ at this point but I’m going to look at the 2 apps and do a proper review…In no particular order)
Flight Radar 24
This was the first app I downloaded. The main features were full flight tracking plus visual tracking where you could hold the iPhone camera up to the sky where there was an aircraft and it would point to it with identification. The Augmented Reality makes it possible to point the camera to the sky and view aircraft information and all the details regarding air traffic over you.
The accuracy is stunning – I actually grabbed a pair of binoculars when a Lufthansa 747 was reported over Waterford, and it was indeed the aircraft mentioned on the iPhone App. Amazing. Check out http://www.flightradar24.com/ for more details.
I downloaded this app just as a comparison as this one showed actual photos of the aircraft in question and also allowed for sharing of the spotted aircraft on Facebook etc.
The screen shot above shows the same Aircraft which was spotted in the Flightradar24 App.
PlaneFinder does almost everything that FlightRadar24 does, but I find that there are certain functions you can achieve such as advanced filters, e.g. show all aircraft above a certain height, speed or indeed of a certain airline. I also found some aircraft not listed on FlightRadar24. More information on PlaneFinder can be found at http://my.pinkfroot.com/
How do these iPhone Aircraft Tracking Apps Work?
These apps only show information regarding aircraft which are equipped with ADS-B transponders. About 60% of the passenger aircraft and some private aircraft have an ADS-B transponder installed.
The Flightradar24 and PlaneTracker apps use a network of ADS-B receivers around the world. These ADS receivers get plane and flight information from the aircraft with ADS-B (Broadcasts) and sends this information to a main server. These apps simply collect the ADS data and displays this information on the iPhone Apps map. However only aircraft within the coverage area of the ADS receivers are visible – so if you are in USA you may have limited visibility as these apps are mainly covering Europe. Current coverage is approx 90% of Europe. However, there is also limited coverage in USA, Australia and Middle East.
Both Apps require WiFi or a 3G connection to work. If you only have a cellular data connection you may get 1 or 2 aircraft showing up but the app won’t work to it’s full potential – so ensure you have 3G turned on.
The only problems I saw was one aircraft which was a ghost image of itself – i.e. for example an aircraft D-GBHF was showing up side by side but it was the same aircraft. Could have been a glitch. However the most fun glitch I saw was an aircraft which had a recorded cruising speed of zero knots – clever trick!
Flight Tracking Apps – Conculsion
Both apps are excellent in the way the aircraft are displayed plus the refresh rate and the accuracy is very good on both apps.
Both apps have been updated since my original post and I will be updating this post with the changes and new features.
PlaneFinder retails at €3.99 in the App Store
FlightRadar24 reatils at €2.39 in the App Store.
FREE Versions of these iPhone Apps are available also.
If you have any comments regarding these apps please comment below!
Everyone knows the pre-flight safety announcements…. What you should and should not do on the flight, as well as what to do in an emergency. But would it not be better if the truth was thrown in also for a more realistic safety announcement. It might go a little like this….
“Ladies and gentlemen, you are very welcome abroad your flight today, on board this Boeing 737-800 series aircraft.
To fasten your seatbelt …. In fact if anybody by now does not know how to fasten their seatbelt please leave the plane now, as you don’t deserve to be on a plane.
This aircraft has 8 emergency exits – 2 at the front , one left , one right , 2 at the rear , one left , one right and 4 over wing exits 2 left , 2 right. It should be fun watching all 300 of ye scrambling for a gap barely able to fit one person , especially if the wings are on fire.
In the sudden loss of cabin pressure your lungs may puncture and blood vessels on your skin will burst almost immediately being exposed to a huge pressure difference and temperatures like -50 C. Oxygen masks will drop from the panel above your heads. If you are still conscious , pull on the mask to start the flow of oxygen. Stop screaming, place the mask over your nose and mouth and breathe normally. Oxygen will continue to flow even if the bag is not fully inflated.
In the unlikely event of us landing on water (very unlikely as our journey today is 90% over land today and in all probability we will be landing sideways in a field going at 500mph) … your life jacket is under your seat. Plunging at 750mph towards the ground, the G Forces of 5 & 6 G mean the in all reality you will not even be able to reach for your lifejackets as your body will weigh 5 times its normal weight. If you do manage to get them place it over your head, tie the straps at the front. Do not inflate the lifejacket inside the aircraft as this will jam you into your seat and you will just have to watch all the sensible people leave the aircraft from your seat.
The lifejackets has a light and a whistle to attract attention …. as if 3 miles of burning wreckage won’t get you enough attention.
Please read the safety card in your seat pocket for further reassurance.
We hope you enjoy your flight. “
I don’t think this new style safety announcement will take-off.
The hero pilot, Captain Sullenberger, who landed his Airbus 320 safely on the Hudson River, in New York, on Jan 15 2009 has retired after 30 years.
Captain Sullenberger, 59, officially retired at a private ceremony in Charlotte after flying his last commercial gig, Flight 1167 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida – landing 17 minutes ahead of schedule.
Captain Sullenberger also flew with the same co-pilot as during the Hudson landing of US Airways Flight 1549, First Officer Jeff Skiles. Also on board were some of the same passengers that were on Flight 1549 to celebrate his final flight.
If you don’t know the history of Flight 1549 and the amazing landing on the Hudson, check out the video below.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Ryan Air’s Fat Tax, Fly for Free, and pay to use the toilet are not 100% real.
These may be very clever marketing tools guaranteed to keep Ryan Air in the spotlight for a few months. One good quirky idea , a few press releases and hey presto News and Internet coverage worth more than any advertising…. And Free too!
I have no problem with Ryan Air. Every time I have flown with the, they were on time and the tickets cost less than €70 to the UK from Dublin. Last time in fact, Michael O’Leary himself was taking the tickets at the gate, as he was on the same flight to Gatwick. A Good Manager… Getting stuck in!
Once I was in Stansted and it was snowing. Other budget airlines were stating that “these flights are now cancelled please rebook online” , Ryan Air did not cancel and I flew home only 55 mins late.
Most Recently I found that classical music was being played while boarding. Quite a change for Ryan Air.
Overall the run a good service, some people have had bad experiences but what do you expect when your trip only cost a few quid. They even have a mobile phone system which allows you to make and receive texts and phone calls in the air – however I could not make use of this, as the mobile in-flight system did not work for me, I tried it a few times and it just doesn’t work.
I fly again with Ryan Air in late September as I travel over to AdTech London. I expect my trip will be event free and on time…. If not, you will hear about it here.
By now the black boxes of Flight AF447 pinging divices have certainly stopped sending out locator information. The investigators know the general location of the crash, but due to the vast size of the search area and the fact that the ocean is miles deep in those locaions, the black box, if found would be of little use. It could be corroded and the combination of the salt water and pressure would probably destroy the box before it could be found.
Investigators into the AF447 crash have made primary results known, blaming the pitot tubes, saying that they probably froze over and gave incorrect data to the auto-pilot.
Either way, the issues will need to be looked into.
I’m flying on Air France soon, I’m not overly worried as the Airbus is a superb machine, however, if the blog is not updated in the next 3 weeks, It could be, because I can”t get decent internet connection from beyond the grave 🙂