Boeing has come up with a stunning, beautiful and perhaps a little bit brave 787 Dreamliner Flight Tracker which follows in real time through Flightaware and overlaid on Google Earth every Dreamliner in the skies.
There are numerous features on the tracker, to quote:
· Track all in-progress 787 flights using FlightAware data
· Geographically position 787 flights using Google Earth with tremendous mapping accuracy
· Explore 360 degree views of all 787s in flight in airline livery
· Experience virtual window views, 360 degree views and views using Google Earth at the click of a button
· Interact with a list view of current customer airlines, flight number, status, time enroute, origin, destination and direct booking availability
· Customise Google Earth features such as adding country borders, zooming to city detail or freely rotating the planet to desired view
This week it would have followed real time a number of glitches that caused three 787s to abort their flights because of various faults, like oil level warnings or brake fault indications.
But those issues are not matters like the battery malfunctions that caused the grounding of the world wide fleet earlier this year. All aircraft have early introduction glitches that an airline about to fly an oceanic route might not find acceptable for a continuation of a mission, especially if it involves an engine in a big twin.
Mature aircraft experience such glitches too.
If the 787 settles in over the next year, the tracker is going to become much busier than it is today, and the first 787-9s, starting with some for Air New Zealand, will add to an increasingly complex web of Dreamliner flights, as will the 787-8s due in service by the end of this year for Jetstar.
It’s a great idea. Of course it can be extended to other types. Someone could do a 747 tracker, which while picking up the 748-Is and the more numerous 748Fs, would also display the reducing number of 747-400 flights, and now rare flights by earlier versions of the Queen of the Skies.