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Final flight of Queen Elizabeth II sets all-time flight tracking record

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The Royal Air Force flight carrying Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin from Edinburgh to RAF Northolt near London set an all-time flight tracking record on Flightradar24 with 5 million people following along. 4.79 million people viewed the flight across Flightradar24 web and mobile app services and a further 296,000 followed the flight via YouTube live stream.

Within the first minute of the aircraft’s transponder activating, 6 million people attempted to click on the flight carrying the Queen. That put unprecedented strain on the Flightradar24 platform, far beyond even what we experienced when the US Speaker of House flew to Taiwan and 2.2 million people followed the flight.

Prior to the flight’s departure, we implemented a number of traffic calming measures to provide our platform with as much stability as possible. Based on our experience last month, we expected a large influx of users, but this immediate, massive spike was beyond what we had anticipated. Approximately 600,000 users were able to successfully follow the flight before performance degraded.

As the stability of the site suffered, we implemented additional measures to ensure Flightradar24 remained accessible to as many users as possible and users unable to access the site could continue to follow the flight via live stream.

Flightradar24 platform throughput (blue line) during the Queen’s final flight, compared to baseline (yellow line). Time zone is CEST.

In total we processed 76.2 million requests related to this flight alone—that’s any action by a user, like clicking on the flight icon, clicking on the aircraft information in the left side box, or adjusting settings.

Even though our platform suffered under such heavy load, Queen Elizabeth II’s final flight from Edinburgh to RAF Northolt, is by far the all-time most tracked flight on Flightradar24 and will likely remain at the top for a long while.

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