Foxtrotcharlie - A journey to ADS-B tracking with Raspberry Pi

ADS-B Live

Latest Mode-S and ADS-B aircraft picked up from my location in Hong Kong and other sites. Trackers in Hong Kong, Briancon and mobile tracker over the world when I am travelling: United States (New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Kansas City, Seattle, Miami), Spain (Barcelona), France (Paris, Chalon sur Saone, Rennes, Lyon, Briancon), Germany (Berlin), Luxembourg, Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto), China (Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Beijing, Wuhan, Shanghai)... Shows ModeS code, tail number, type of aircraft, registered owner and when my trackers detected them first and last.

Radar and maps

Trajectory of aircraft as seen by my trackers - All aircraft do not have positions as they are not reporting it and MLAT position may not be available.
Worldwide airports (15.000 airports around the world, including Air Force bases and Naval stations - and also Santa Claus own air base!)
All the routes in my database (150.000 routes from 32.500 airlines worldwide)

New aircraft

New aircraft detected by my trackers. Aircraft that are seen for the first time by one of my tracker. I also have many unknown ModeS hex codes for which I don't find any data in available databases.

Special aircraft

Military and other special aircraft detected by my trackers. Quite a lot of "freedom of the sky" activity by USAF and US Navy in the area between Hong Kong, Taiwan and South China Sea. Also, a lot of military transport aircraft and helicopters over Briancon.


Search my database of aircraft. You can search aircraft by Tail Number, Operator (owner, airline, military branch), ModeS code (ICAO hex code), Type of aircraft (manufacturer, type).
Access my database of aircraft, airports and routes through API. More than 33.000 available ModeS hex codes with associated registration (tail number), 15.000 airports with latitude/longitude and 150.000 routes.
Some interesting aircraft: Air Force One / Lockheed EP-3E Aries 2 Orion / Boeing RC-135 / Hawker Beechcraft B350


Statistics from my trackers. Number of aircraft per country, per manufacturer (Boeing, Airbus, Dassault, Bombardier, COMAC,...), daily stats and evolution over time.


My ADS-B tracker project and interesting links.
Build your own ADS-B tracker.

Blog - FoxtrotCharlie

A Journey to #ADSB Tracking with Raspberry Pi, SigFox, Python, MySQL, PHP, dump1090 and solar power. I try to publish on a weekly basis, let me know what topic would be interesting for you!

US NAVY using ADS-B code hopping
Recently, I started to detect many P8 Poseidon aircraft above South China Sea, like if a dozen of different P8 were flying in the area each day. The only explanation I see is that they are doing ADS-B code hopping, switching to a new TACTICAL code every few minutes. Here are some of the codes … Continue reading "US NAVY using ADS-B code hopping"

3 tips to optimize PHP code
How I divided my server errors by 40 with PHP code optimization I have been running several Raspberry Pi based trackers for a while, and I wanted to create a common database of detected aircraft and their positions. I looked for online database solution and how I could connect my Pi to them directly in … Continue reading "3 tips to optimize PHP code"

SigFox for Raspberry Pi
The hardware First you need to find a Sigfox hat for your Raspberry Pi. Just Google “Sigfox for Raspberry Pi” and you will find the latest solution available. I am using a RPISIGFOX, made my SNOC. Pretty easy to setup and use. Just plug it in, change the serial port parameters, and it is ready … Continue reading "SigFox for Raspberry Pi"

Breitling Jet Team
Breitling Jet Team, operated by Apache Aviation is based in Dijon, a city in France few hundreds kilometres south east of Paris. My mobile tracker picked most of the team when I spent few weeks in Chalon our Saone early this year. Breitling Jet Team is flying on Aero L39C Albatros, with tails ES-YLX, ES-YLN, … Continue reading "Breitling Jet Team"

US military planes in South China Sea
There are a lot of US military activity in the area between Taiwan, Hong Kong and the South China Sea. Transports, SIGINT, reconnaissance, protection of US carriers in the area… mainly conducted by the US Air Force and the US Navy. Here is a list of planes seen in past few months (click on the … Continue reading "US military planes in South China Sea"

SAM727 flying over Guangzhou with Secretary Pompeo
Today (2020-10-30), the Boeing C-32A with tail 99-0003 was spotted by my trackers over Guangzhou with the CallSign SAM727. A quick search shows a departure from Hanoi, and a current position over Japan. Probably used by Secretary Pompeo who was visiting Hanoi yesterday.

My ADS-B tracker project
Some years ago, I bumped into an article on Mashable about Jeremy Merrill using a Raspberry Pi ADS-B tracker to detect aircraft flying over his house and display the origin or destination of that plane (see article here and github there). As my place is just on a busy plane corridor, that gave me an … Continue reading "My ADS-B tracker project"

Will airlines recover from COVID-19 crisis?
I have been tracking planes in Hong Kong for few years now with my Raspberry Pi based ADSB trackers. There are few airports in range (Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Huizhou), which was giving me quite some traffic (about 2000-2200 different aircraft per day). Then came COVID-19. Many international airlines stopped to come to … Continue reading "Will airlines recover from COVID-19 crisis?"

Sharing my database of Aircraft, Airports and Routes
I have been gathering data for few years now, from multiple sources (databases found online, some special aircraft found manually online, …). I now have more than 32,500 entries in my Aircraft database, including 6,000 that I flagged as “special”, meaning military or any other interesting features (helicopters, rare aircrafts …). I also have more … Continue reading "Sharing my database of Aircraft, Airports and Routes"

G-IRTY Spitfire flying over Hong Kong in 2019
One of the most surprising catch of 2019 was for sure seeing a Spitfire in my new aircraft list! I had to check if that was correct or a mistake somewhere in the database of Mode S codes I collected. It turned out it was the real thing! The Silver Spitfire was doing The Longest … Continue reading "G-IRTY Spitfire flying over Hong Kong in 2019"


Tweets by FoxCharlie - my twitter bot with some manual retweets. Tweeting for new aircraft and when interesting aircraft are detected (military, helicopters, rare manufacturers, exotic countries).
New #Aircraft ✈️ #Lockheed C-130H-30 Hercules flying near #Briancon🏔️ #France with tail 5151 #FrenchAirForce 3b7715 #ADSB 📡 #Ras...
New #Aircraft #Boeing 747 8F ✈ flying near #HongKong at 40000ft with tail N624UP #UnitedParcelService A826E9 #UnitedStates 🇺🇸 #...
New #Aircraft ✈️ #Bombardier Global Express Xrs flying near #Briancon🏔️ #France with tail T7-KIA #AvconJetSrl 5001e8 #ADSB 📡 #Ra...
#COMAC ARJ-21-700 Xiangfeng 🛫 ascending over #HongKong at 26825ft at 384.9mph heading SW with tail B-602C #UEA1948 #ChengduAili...
US NAVY using ADS-B code hopping #ADSB #RaspberryPi #FoxtrotCharlie

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