Tracking Questions


#1

I have a few questions about DirectFlight.

Is it possible to track commercial airliners by tail number along with flight number?

I’d assume that tracking an airport would automatically be the equivilant of tracking many flights, and therefore would be much higher. But I see it’s less expensive to get an airport listing as opposed to following a single flight. Why is that?

I read that you can only look at history of the past 48-72 hours, but on the free-side of the site, the history goes back much further. Is there a way to get such data for DirectFlight, too, or did I miss something?

Thanks.


#2

Welcome to FlightAware!

Not yet – we currently only support tracking based on what is in the IFR flight plan. If you’re an airline or charter operator, you could use an internal database to accomplish that.

I’d assume that tracking an airport would automatically be the equivilant of tracking many flights, and therefore would be much higher. But I see it’s less expensive to get an airport listing as opposed to following a single flight. Why is that?

The AirportInfo function that is less expensive provides information about an airport (name, location, etc). The airport activity functions such as Enroute and Arrivals are the same price class as the flight tracking functions. They all allow a maximum of 15 results to be returned before you have to start “walking” offsets.

I read that you can only look at history of the past 48-72 hours, but on the free-side of the site, the history goes back much further. Is there a way to get such data for DirectFlight, too, or did I miss something?

Right now, DirectFlight is primarily targeted at real-time and recent activity applications rather than historical analysis. We’d be interested in any feedback as we work to expand DirectFlight’s offerings.


#3

Keep in mind that N-numbers aren’t generally available for commercial flights without access to that information from an internal database. When an airliner files a flight plan, the N-number isn’t stored anywhere; ATC has no idea what the N-number is, only the flight number. If you had intended to fly one aircraft an changed to another, ATC would have no idea there was a switch.