Aircraft Type Question



I’ve been feeding for a while and after a while of trying to figure it out myself, I have come here for help. On the restricted view displaying ADS-B flights, FA will 99% of the time provide the aircraft type. Is this aircraft type information coming from the ADS-B Out transponder itself, or is FA using the information under it’s N-number registration to display its type? The reason I am so curious is because I’ve recently started flying a Tiger Aircraft AG-5B (N924TE) that is ADS-B out but has an “unknown” type.

Thanks in advance,


If the aircraft you are flying doesn’t have ADS-B transponder, then FlightAware is taking the data from the transponder itself.
On the other hand, if it has an ADS-B transponder, but it is displayed in FlightAware as unknown, then it might be that it is a private jet and it is hidden.
Those are just my thought on your subject.


Thanks for the reply. The aircraft is fully 1090 ADS-B Out compliant and the aircraft has public tracking on FA.


ADS-B doesn’t send the registration or type. At best it sends a very broad category eg. ‘light’ more for wake purposes than anything. The type and registration information you see on FA is either from internal or 3rd party databases, or from the flight plan info when available.


Well the ADS-B transponder definitely transmits the N-number, coordinates, ground speed, altitude, and track because that’s what I see coming from my antenna for my feed. I agree with you that the airplane info such as type is probably coming from a 3rd party. It sounds like you were describing a Mode-C transponder, that does not transmit any type of information other than the altitude coming from the encoder.


What? No.

You are probably confusing identity/callsign with registration, and you are probably assuming that the rest of the world works like the US which has a predictable 1:1 mapping between registrations and 24-bit addresses. The US is very much the exception here.


For example this is an extended squitter message I just pulled off the air here:

DF:17 AA:3C5434 CA:5 ME:200834F3DF8820
 Extended Squitter Aircraft identification and category (4)
  ICAO Address:  3C5434
  Air/Ground:    airborne
  Ident:         BCS378  
  Category:      A0 kindly tells me, based on the ICAO address, that this is an A300-600 with registration D-AEAT, but there’s nothing in the messages on the air to tell you that.