WOW! Reached A New Milestone

by SharonKurheg began as a hobby for 2 Swedish aviation experts who wanted to build ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Service-Broadcast) network receivers in Northern and Central Europe.

That was in 2006. The service opened to the public in 2009, when anyone with a suitable ADS-B receiver could contribute data. Since then, Flightradar24 has built on this web of data transferred by aircraft and has made flight tracking accessible to anyone, via smartphone or desktop.

Besides offering a live flight tracker and a real time flight tracker, Flightradar also does the aviation world multiple services by maintaining a blog chock full of aviation news, a message forum, what feels like a neverending file of aviation photos, as well as a YouTube channel that currently has nearly 650 videos. Best of all, although they have various tiers of paid subscriptions for those who want to deep dive, its basic plan is free for anyone to just look up and follow recent flights.

a screenshot of a subscription has been around for (gulp) close to 20 years, and has been available to the public for 15. Since that time, its website and services have grown exponentially. Then again, so has aviation. Back in 2006, there were “only” 25.5 million flights worldwide. In 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, there were 40.3 million flights.

New Flightradar24 record

2023 traffic was still slightly below 2019’s numbers, but in 2024, aviation is starting to see new records. As is Flightradar24. So much so that they posted the following this past Friday:

a map of the worldYep, they tracked 23,158 commercial flights all at the same time. That’s one impressive number!

Fun facts!

Here are a few more fun facts about Flightradar24:

  • The above record was the most flights. The least amount of flights during Flightradar24’s tenure occurred during the earliest days of the pandemic.
  • In September 2022, the plane carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was attempted to be tracked by 6,000,000 users in the first minute after the transponder activated. Initially, the site crashed due to the sheer number of users (they expected a spike, but not THAT much of a spike). 4,790,000 following a portion of the flight, becoming the most tracked flight of all time, making it a record accepted by the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Although they’ve been around since 2006, Flightradar24 was, understandably, initially relatively small. It wasn’t until Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in March, 2010, and the resulting ash cloud grounded thousands of flights that the masses began recognizing Flightradar24’s powers.
  • Flightradar24 has about 34,000 ADS-B receivers in its network, about 1/4 of which were built by Flightradar24 itself. However since it’s relatively cheap to build one (about $100), thousands of people have signed up to lend a hand. Anyway, they’re located all over the world, including remote areas such as Antarctica.
  • About 3% of the aircraft in the air at any given time have formally requested that their data be removed from public display. These are usually military, government or private planes.

***Many thanks to Stephan for inadvertently being the catalyst for this post. MWAH!

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