Jun 25, 2013

787 Live: A bold, beautiful and not a little brave display

Boeing has come up with a stunning, beautiful and perhaps a little bit brave  787 Dreamliner Flight Tracker

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Dreamliners in motion this afternoon.

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.

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5 thoughts on “787 Live: A bold, beautiful and not a little brave display

  1. comet

    FlightRadar24.com is not bad for viewing particular aircraft models, though it might be more limited when aircraft are not in transponder range.

    On the left of the page there’s a filter button, and then in the pop-up window you select ‘Aircraft’, and add the ICAO designator:

    B788 for Boeing 787-8

    B748 for Boeing 787-8

    At least if you do it yourself, you won’t have the risk of Boeing pulling the plug on the locators if there is a really serious incident in progress.

  2. comet

    Correction, the ICAO designator is B748 for the Boeing 747-8.

  3. alexmnl

    It’s a nice little bit of geeky PR, but other than its pleasing appearance it falls a little short in its execution. The updates are few and far between and, more importantly, as with flightaware the tracker doesn’t display 787s from Air India or Thomson. So much for tracking all in-progress flights.

    “Brave” would be to include detailed flight status, ie why UA135 currently en route to LAX went tech and had to be swapped with another 787 resulting in a 3 hour delay. That said, I’m sure most in the media will be “wowed” by all those 787 buzzing around and how transparent and confident Boeing now is, heh.

  4. Ben Sandilands

    Not ‘wowed’ around here. But as ever, fascinated.

  5. alexmnl

    Wasn’t looking at you, Ben… was careful to use the word “most” 🙂

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