Thunderbirds visible for tracking?

Have started seeing some Thunderbird F16 flights but not all of them.
Is this anything different from Flightaware for Military demo jets, or is it just the pilot deciding when they want to turn on ADSB?

It is not only wether the ADS-B transmitter is enabled or not on the aircraft. Flightaware and other sites are filtering military aircraft based on their policies.

As far as i know the transmitter on the aircraft cannot be turned of simply because they want to. There must be a good reason for it (e.g. an aircraft on a special mission etc.)

The NATO is currently surveilling the airspace over the ukraine with some unmanned drohnes and some rivet joint aircraft. These still transmit ADS-B data, but sometimes with only few information.

Unfiltered traffic can be viewed on

It’s rare to see fighters on adsb. There are exceptions allowed for sensitive flights.

I see them pretty often. The training area south of me does have jets and other military almost every day. Also the approach to Ramstein Air Base is covered.

Just checked, my receiver got 69 military aircraft/flights the last 24 hours
11 C-130
14 C-17
4 Airbus A400M
1 C5-M Galaxy
1 E3-F Sentry
5 Eurofighter Typhoon
2 Panavia Tornado

And it was a more quiet day

Have been getting alerts on certain thunderbird flights

`THBRD08 (F16) has just filed a flight plan. It is scheduled to depart from Colorado Sprgs Muni (COS) at 10:30AM MDT Tuesday (24 May) heading for Colorado Sprgs Muni (COS) for an estimated arrival at 11:09AM MDT Tuesday (24 May).

Expected route: BRK V83 PUB CHARM 3752N/10510W CHARM PUB

For more information visit THBRD08 Flight Tracking and History 24-May-2022 (KCOS - FlightAware

When they were in town for an airshow they were never visible on the local webpage of my adsb receiver, but they were displayed in Flightaware which suggests they are getting the data from some other source than civilian adsb

Maybe outside the possible reception area for your receiver?

On FR24 you can check on the aircraft details which source is used.
Alternatively you can also make a cross check on ADSB Exchange

Just click the track log? It shows it’s FAA data.

Flight Track Log ✈ THBRD08 24-May-2022 (KCOS-KCOS) - FlightAware

Some info about a mode 5 spread spectrum mode used by military on 1090 MHz, Supposed to be difficult to detect without the decoder ring. IFF and Mode 5: Past Present and Future Would be efficient to have mode 5 receivers at FAA antenna locations with data only going to the appropriate users.