Flight Simmer Wanting to Find Distance Flights


I am considering signing up for the data API access. I am a flight simmer and would like to fly the routes of real aircrafts. At times though I want to fly a particular model over a particular distance (or time). For example, fly a 777 over 3000 nm.

My intention is to create a search that would show the results of a particular class of aircraft. Those results may be the planned distance and the tail number. I would then sort it however I wish such as longest to shortest distance. I would find the flight I want to simulate and then could come back to FlightAware’s web page and get the route that that particular aircraft flew.

I have looked over the pricing classes and the programming examples and it seems that I should be able to find what I need with the “class 2” “19. Search.” Do you agree? Is what I proposed feasible with the data provided via the API?

Thank you very much.

EDIT: Since my original post I believe what I would like to do is feasible. Something like this may do it:
w/ -type B77* AND -distance >3000 AND -distance <3500 (for example – will work out the programming syntax)
Retrieve the tail number or hopefully a unique flight number. Display that information in a list.

At that point I could use the web to search the tail number to find the specific flight and record the route. Better would be to make another query that pulls the information I desire.

Does this sound doable?

Odd flight route - Departure and Arrival are the Same

Yes, I believe that would work. Your SearchBirdseyeInFlight query would need to be something like:
"{aircraftType {B77*}} {range distance 3000 3500}"


Thank you! I applied a credit card to my account a few hours ago (before your reply) and am now just waiting for it to be “approved” so that I may request my API access credentials.

I’ll report back if I get this working.


You should be able to immediately visit flightaware.com/commercial/flightxml/key once you’ve added a credit card to your account.


So far so good! I have my search returning results. One point of clarification please. Does the “range distance x y” parameter indicate the distance between the current waypoint (x) and the next filed waypoint (y)? This query is to the SearchBirdseyeInFlight module.

If it does it clarifies why I am having flights returned that have an entire route range (origin to destination) greater then what I was asking for. I believe I will be able to work through that problem but I just need to know first what the distance parameter is using as the source and destination.


UPDATE 1: I have since added “true arrived” to my search. Now the distance calculation seems to be reporting back the entire route. Still researching but this would be sufficient.

UPDATE 2: I still wish clarification on the “distance” query. What is it comparing? In the meantime I have experimented more and believe the distance is calculating the entire route. The state of the flight is irrelevent. It does not seem to matter if it is scheduled, enroute or has arrived. I believe my initial error was when I took the tail number and look at the FlightAware via the web for that tail number. The result by default shown was for the current flight and not necessarily the one that my search had returned. I have since written another program to query the unique flight identifier and it does appear that the results from the specific flight does seem to fall between my search distance. I am joyed at how well this is working out. My last step will be to roll this all together wherein my program asks me which aircraft type I am interested in, and the distance range. It will then result a list sorted by distances and includes the route filed.


The distance is indeed for the entire flight’s planned route.


I have my set of programs working, as web pages. A few screenshots of the results:

Search page:

Results list, limited to fifteen:

Details for a specific flight:

Clicking on the “tail number” will direct to the history of that particular flight directly from the FlightAware web site:

At that point I can easily click the “track log & graph” link to get more information, or copy the route filed, etc.



Looks very good. It’s nice to see the results of what people are able to do using our API.

FYI, you can make your page link to “http://flightaware.com/live/flight/id/” + faFlightID if you want to directly load a specific flight.


That tip would have saved me a few minutes of carefully constructing this:

print "<tr><td>Tail Number</td><td><a href=\"http://flightaware.com/live/flight/$ident/history/" . date("Ymd",$filed_departuretime) . "/" . date("Hi",$filed_departuretime) . "ZZ/$origin/$destination\" target=\"_blank\">$ident</a></td></tr> 

Further changes may be to sort the first set of results by distance rather than displaying them as they were returned. And others as I use it.