FlightAware Discussions

First time seeing a B-52

I don’t know how often you may see them, but this is a first for me. In fact, I think this might be the first combatant aircraft I’ve seen in seven years in this hobby.


Nice catch! I occasionally see military planes, mostly medium-range transports. USAF, RAAF and/or PAF (Philippine Air Force) every week or two. Never a combat aircraft though.

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That’s fed by MLAT? Might not be true.

ICAO checks out. See the next to last line on this web page.


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Not the first time…

Nice catch!

When I was working for the FAA back in the day when Griffiss AFB was a live and functioning SAC base they were pretty cool to watch. BUFFs we called them. The flight crews were so young they looked like they hadn’t even started shaving yet.

I was in the tower when one landed well short and tore up a bunch of trees while crashing. Man what a mess that was!

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First time for me…

I was in the right place at the right time. I have a tablet on the kitchen counter with VRS on all the time. I was making dinner when I saw it pop up.

When I was in the Scouts our leader was a Air Force captain who was a navigator on B-52s. Our troop was located on Westover AFB in Chicopee, MA. We got some good close-ups of the B-52s and KC-135s. That was during the early years of the Vietnam war. When the B-52s took off in waves for training sorties they flew right over my house.

Speaking of B-52s, you’re probably aware of the one that crashed in North Carolina (where I live now) in 1961. Part of one of the nuclear bombs onboard the plane was never recovered and is still buried in the ground, about 180 feet below the surface.

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Many, many years ago (actually before the internet), I looked up once and saw an AWACS up the in the air above my house. Don’t see that everyday, at least in northern Indiana.

While not a find on FilghtAware, still cool and haven’t forgotten seeing since. :slight_smile:

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When I was in the Navy during the mid '80’s I was driving home from work to Virginia Beach. I was stuck in traffic and looking out the window and saw the NASA 747 carrying the space shuttle to DC (I think). It was a farewell flight and the 747 flew at low altitude over the East Coast so people could get a good look. Had to be sometime between '85 and '87.


Some things never change. Traffic is still horrible in HR.

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Enterprise, perhaps?

I don’t know. I was in Naval Intelligence. They didn’t tell us anything. :joy:

Apparently this was the flight I saw.


Only new to the hobby, but what is VRS? I would love to learn more about how to find military aircraft.
Cheers and thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Another way of displaying what your receiver sees. It delivers some more details about an aircraft based on their own database. Can be used on any device, but it’s ressource intensive.

It also can combine several receivers if you have more than one.

Home - Virtual Radar Server

It cannot show more aircraft than your receiver, so the military aircraft are there already. in VRS there is a category where you can filter based on Military or not.

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Ahh gotya, thanks so much for taking the time to explain :wink: There is sooo much to learn in this field :slight_smile: Only on yesterday I got my Raspberry Pi and my SDR going with feeds to FlightAware and FlightRadar24 and am loving it :wink: I would like to use RTL-SDR Tcp server and trying to figure out if this is achievable or not.


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I run Virtual Radar Server (VRS) on a Windows server separate from my Piaware ADS-B receiver setup (desktop computer running Linux). I’ve always run VRS on a Windows computer and, at least in my case, never found it to be a resource hog.

Run it on a Raspberry and you will see it differently :wink:

It works on a system with higher performance, but also depends on the traffic it needs to handle.
There’s a point where it scales more and more worse. Having a system with 1000 aircraft on a display makes the load time 4-5 seconds, independent from the underneath hardware.

However a single receiver is working ok on a Raspberry where nothing else is on it.

That’s what I did for years (while running VRS on a Windows box). A couple of years ago I changed to an old laptop running Linux with the Piaware Debian add-ons. This year I took an unused Lenovo desktop with Intel i5 and installed Piaware, etc. I like this “separation of powers”. You can find old desktops with infinitely more power that a Pi for not a lot more money than a Pi, IMO.

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That would mean mathematically that the Pi has zero power :rofl:
PS: Infinite * zero can be anything.

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