FlightAware Discussions

Someone was having fun yesterday

noticed some rings on my heatmap plot this morning

interestingly, there are rings in the same places on the elevation plot

AWACS. I see one quite regularly over the North Sea.

Not only there. I can see it regularly also in several areas in Germany, currently almost daily.
This was a rare “shot” where an AWACS did some fuel testing with a K35R

After that maneuvre the AWACS touched down in Spangdahlem while the K35R returned back to UK where it came from.
What a waste of money just for testing something

I’m used to seeing circuits on the polar plot but it was the circles on the elevation plot that puzzled me.

it looks like someone doing loop-the-loop.

It also trains the crews and keeps them proficient.

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Which could be done in a more efficient way :wink:
But that’s a political topic. “Military” and “Efficiency” is hard to explain to people outside

Just had a closer look at the azimuth/elevation plot and realised that one of the circles is at about 6000 feet and the polar plot shows it is in the vicinity of Ledbury airfield so surely it’s got to be GA?

A flight school?

Could be sky diving runs?

That could explain why they seem to be climbing and descending all the while.

Bear in mind that the plot is elevation, not altitude. An aircraft that is travelling in circles at a constant altitude will appear at different elevations as it approaches and recedes, which will have the effect of drawing circles (or more likely ovoid patterns) on the elevation plot. This effect is most noticeable when the aircraft is quite close, because that is when the elevation changes the most with range.



Despite the plot being titled azimuth/elevation I had misunderstood what I was seeing.

It is clear to me now.