FlightRadar 24 launches new Aircraft View feature

FlightRadar24.com is a site that does a nice job showing live air traffic on top of a Google Map. They have a great interface, but it’s similar to other sites that we’ve seen in the past.
However, they’ve just launched a new feature that almost seems obvious, yet I’ve never seen it before — “Aircraft View” using the Google Earth Plug-in! By clicking on a plane and choosing “Aircraft view (BETA)” from the sidebar, a window pops up on your screen and shows you the view from that plane via Google Earth.


The view runs pretty smoothly in most cases, and includes 3D buildings in the view. All in all, it’s a great addition for a site like this and a very creative use of the Google Earth Plug-in.
You may notice that coverage is most comprehensive in Europe where most aircraft have the right type of transponder and there is a denser network of volunteers picking up the signals. You can read more about that on their about page. That said, coverage in the US and elsewhere is continuing to expand.
Go explore this fun new feature for yourself at FlightRadar24.com.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. This isn’t a new idea. A similar portuguese website had this feature a few years ago (NavPT was forced to close by the authorities).
    Anyway, a welcome addition to a great site.

  2. Found a screenshot. The view was from inside the cockpit, so not quite the same, but similar enough.

  3. Feature is good with aircraft flying over 3D mountains or approaching airports – but be warned, virtual touch downs are not entirely sorted in this beta version and you may see some alarming simulations. You can also click on an airport symbol and ‘go to’ any listed arrival or departure and then open the ‘aircraft view’.

  4. Watching landings is usually not possible because the ADS-B receiver would have to be very close to the airport to get position reports at low altitudes. As most volunteers live several Kms from airports, this means that the aircraft transponder transmission is lost while still on approach.
    Simulating landings from the point of last contact is therefore quite tricky and usually unreal…

  5. @ AC yes, lost transmissions are apparent at many airports, but you can see simulated touch down at London Gatwick for example and other places, so worth a look at any airport just in case there is a receiver nearby.

  6. This news was also posted in Google Maps Mania, which also prompted comment on whether an ‘aircraft view’ type of feature has existed on other real time tracking sites. There is a claim that it was in Plane Finder http://planefinder.net/ but, although you can download a flight as a KML from the site to see the track in GE, there is no sign of an aircraft view feature, but GEB readers may know of other examples.

  7. I prefer Plane Finder, there is much more coverage. I saw 12,000 planes last night!

  8. The Flightradar24 feature is now no longer a beta version and is called cockpit view. The pop up window showing the simulated flight in Google Earth is now augmented by a panel of compass, altimeter, and speedometer, plus a rotate view option for a passenger view, plus an inset map of the aircraft’s position (all switchable).

  9. @Jim Dyson: Plane Finder might show more aircraft, but I just checked and it shows completely wrong data!
    I checked 2 planes near their destination, and it showed them at 30000ft and going outwards (when they should be heading towards the airport). I confirmed one of the flights visually. Flight Radar 24 had them just on final approach to land, as expected.
    So, more doesn’t always mean better…

  10. Mademoiselle says:

    This is great but why does it not show the night view at night from the cockpit? That would be more realistic because the cockpit view currently only shows day-time views?

  11. Ravi Hontuarna says:

    RadarBox24.com was released by the company which makes the receivers that feed flightradar24.com
    It looks more professional.

  12. It is really nice to see the landing of an aircraft. Glad to capture the launching and it looks great.

  13. Ashirwadini says:

    It’s wonderful

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