Flightradar24 – Flight Tracking for Free


Flightradar24 is the perfect app for tracking flights in real time. Track any civil flight or even helicopter currently in the air, taking off or landing. As the name suggests, flightradar24 works around the clock. That’s seven days a week, of course. No matter what time you request information on a flight, flightradar24 has your data available, twenty-four hours a day. Try the radar out for fun! Just enter a flight number in the search, for example. At the push of a button, you can pull up information on the flight route, the time until arrival and the time since departure. All this information and more is available for any flight you wish at flightradar24.

General information on air traffic at flightradar24

Looking up information on specific flights is only the primary reason people use flightradar24.com. Sure, you could use it to check up on a friend or family member’s flight. But the information the radar provides is interesting for other reasons, too. For people interested in air traffic, the flight radar can provide useful information on the city, region or country where they live. Anyone who lives near an airport and knows when flights are taking off and landing there can now track these flights online. All it takes is a computer or smartphone with an Internet connection. Tracking flights with flightradar24 couldn’t be easier. The user simply zooms in on the region they’re interested in and clicks on one of the aeroplane icons moving across the map. Once you click on the icon, a separate window comes up with additional information on the flight. There’s just one small limitation; flightradar24 only displays flights currently in progress (or just before take-off). All other aeroplanes disappear from the map shortly after landing.

Flightradar24 Ilustration of airplane, satellite and radar.
Simplified illustration of how flightradar24 works.

Needless to say, a flight radar application such as flightradar24 only shows flights that are currently in progress. If the service were to display all the planes in or near the hangar at the airport, the map displays would be cluttered with little aeroplane icons. This would make flights that individual site users are interested in much more difficult to filter out and locate. Even if some airlines are known for having short down-times between flights (Ryanair, for example) the planes will disappear from the radar shortly after they land. Once they are back in the air, they reappear with a new aeroplane icon and new flight number. Now you can look up information on this new flight.

A side note on small aircraft and airborne radar: the increasingly popular private drones do not carry transponders. They are therefore not visible on any radar. Still: In this video you can follow the most popular drone accidents.

Thousands of flights at flightradar24

The number of flights you’ll find within a relatively small map section on a flightradar is already staggering. Just look at the radar results for Great Britain alone, and you’ll find hundreds of flights currently in progress. There are countless aeroplanes flying in all directions. At first, all this air traffic might seem a little disorienting.  It might be hard to navigate through the bustle of flights available for tracking. Flightradar24 tries to help the user find their way around, for example, by showing the aeroplane icons in different sizes. The bigger the actual size of the aeroplane shown on the radar (depending on the type of aircraft), the bigger the icon will appear on the screen. So a large Airbus will look much bigger than a small Bombardier private plane.

Image of an aircraft that can be tracked on Flightradar24

The farther out you zoom on a map section, the more flights will appear. If you look at all the flights passing over the European continent, for example, you might think you’re observing a colony of ants. Everything is constantly moving all over the place. It’s not surprising, considering that flightradar24 integrates short, medium and long haul routes in a single view. Even a tiny little plane chartered by a private consumer for a trip around their own house is picked up by the radar once it takes off.

But looking at all of Europe at once reveals much more. For the most popular routes, you’ll find something like aeroplane highways. This is particularly noticeable with the steady traffic to the South-East (towards the major connecting airports on the African peninsula and back to Europe). You’ll also find heavy air traffic over the Atlantic Ocean. Air traffic between the US and Europe is immense, and you’ll see that straight away on flightradar24.

Not least of all, take a look at the globe as a whole on flightradar24, and you’ll notice another interesting fact. In Africa, flight traffic is very low compared to the rest of the world. In all likelihood, this will change in the coming years. New airports are continuously being built in Africa, too. So flight traffic could potentially increase there, as well. Naturally, this change goes hand in hand with the economic development of many African countries. All this will eventually lead to more and more flight traffic being displayed for Africa on flighradar24.

Flightradar24 – Session timeouts

The flightradar24 service is currently experiencing a high volume of traffic. A large number of users are attempting to access the service simultaneously and placing a high demand on our server capacity. As a user, you might wonder about the short interruption that occurs after approx. thirty minutes of flight tracking. This interruption is necessary in order to reserve capacity for active users and not computers on which the site is just running in the background. Users of flightradar24 can simply reload the site and continue tracking flights.

The flight radar provided by flightradar24 is a brilliant tool. As we’ve already described, searches can be used to find information on specific flights. Friends and family of flight passengers won’t have to worry any more about their loved ones, now that they can check that their flight is on course. What’s more, the service raises awareness of the overall number of flights taking place around the globe. No matter what direction flight radar takes in the future, this site will keep you up to date.

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