Today it is easily possible to track flights live with the help of a flight radar. Earlier, in times the internet did not provide so many possibilities, a lot of people used to stand on the brink of the airport watching the planes take off and land. You could watch these scenarios for hours, although it is always the same. But what if there is no airport nearby and one still wants to know what is happening in the air space? Thanks to the flight radar it is possible to do flight checking comfortably online. You need nothing else but a PC, Tablet or Smartphone and yet can track planes. Besides departure and landing time there is more information provided, like flying altitude or destination. There is no technical knowledge needed. The flight radar can be handled by mouse-click. Everybody can, you too.
Can everybody use the flight radar?
Definitely! As already said, there is no technical knowledge required. Plus, in this day and age, the transponders provide all the information needed for the flight radar to work. Be it out of curiosity, as a hobby or the uncertainty if friends or family arrived safely at their destination. The tracking of a flight can not only be a pastime, it can also be a lot of fun if one is engaged in the material. There are of course no global limits to this. The flight radar works all around the globe and can be used to every day and night time.
How does a flight radar on the internet work?
The flight radar is based on the technology ADS-B – short for „Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast “. Most of the planes got ADS-B Transponder built-in, which by the way are duty in Germany since 2017. Reverse you can say that in future it will be possible to track every plane with year of construction 2017 or younger on the flight radar and therefore there should be no limits anymore. Besides information like flying altitude or flight number ADS-B Transponder are also sharing a current GPS Signal. This makes it possible to determine the last known position in case of emergency and action force can exclude huge areas faster.
But, there is even more to it than that. Different to conventional radar devices, ADS-B Transponder are also offering a much smaller delay in data transmitting. So, the flight radar can detect information (up to) two times per second. For us this means that the data displayed on the flight radar is nearly „live“ and there are no big delays. Probably the biggest disadvantage of the flight radar using ADS-B Transponder might be that airplanes without transponder cannot be displayed. If it is a question of older machines it can happen that the requested flight cannot be tracked on the flight radar. However, this does not happen very often these days. Therefore, a flight tracking is, with the upmost probability, always possible.
Is the use of the flight radar for free?
Quite clearly: YES! The use of the flight radar does not cost you a cent. Casperflight is offering you this service, which we integrated on this site, for free. We are just as big fans of aviation and are watching the one or the other flight daily. Be it out of boredom or curiosity – we are watching flight routes because it is fun for us.
The use is easy-peasy
The handling and steerage of the flight radar indeed is very easy and does not require any know how. Simply choose an airport or location, or find the correct flight number immediately – and yet you can get started. After entering the information, the flight respectively the plane is immediately visible on the map, if it is airborne. Afterwards you can click at the plane and request information like plane model, speed or flying altitude. The flight can be tracked offhand.
Behind the plane, you can now see the distance covered. Before the plane there is also the estimated route visible in small intervals, which the plane will head for. If you are interested in it, you can also find out the airline company or aviation enterprise, e.g. Lufthansa or Air Berlin. Therefore, just click a plane and navigate a bit down on the right side of the flight radar. There you will find different menu points which you can click through.
The history behind the flight radar
Concluding a little history lesson, because we feel this information is important and think it might be interesting for the one or the other. To begin with we want to point out that we did our best in research.
The origin of the flight radar reaches back to the year of 1886. Heinrich Hertz could detect a reflection of radio waves on metallic objects with electric magnetic waves. After this things have calmed down around this discovery. In 1935 Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt, a Scottish physicist, could undertake a locating of planes for the first time. If one wants to call it so, this was the birth of the flight radar.
You are probably aware of the fact that technique has not been pushed as far as it is today. A locating of maximum 10 to 13 kilometres then has been the measurement of all things, certainly at that time it was a huge progress. A few years later, in 1939 to be accurate, the German air force flew an intercept mission against British bombers with the help of the flight radar. Britain’s as well as Germans at that time found out quite fast that metal stripes (streamer) represent a perfect radar reception.
After war came to an end things have again calmed down around the flight radar. Until the year of 1950 the technique has even been forbidden by the armed forces, because the danger of a breakthrough has been seen as too dangerous.
After 1950, the USA started studies and continued experimenting with the radar technique. The Synthetic Aperture Radar has been born and worked with an analogue signal processing at first. Probably the biggest problem to that time has been the vast low processing power. Only in the 1980s it was possible to increase the processing power and achieve the breakthrough with the help of an analogue/digital converter of the SAR Principal.
Nowadays technique is so highly proceeded so that the flight radar can not only be used to watch flight routes but also as an early-warning system. Weather fronts or even rockets are displayed on the radar, so in an emergency a rapid reaction is possible. This way a high safety and early warning is guaranteed. We are curious about how research will perfect the flight radar in the upcoming years.