The Flightradar24 blog is turning one today! We began the Flightradar24 blog a year ago to have a space for longer posts on aviation, flight tracking, and how FR24 works. With a year—and nearly 100 posts—gone by, we’re looking back at some of our most popular posts.

How Qantas Ferried an Engine on the Wing of a 747

In January 2016, a Qantas 747 in Johannesburg suffered an engine issue that kept the aircraft on the ground. To get a replacement engine there as quickly as possible, Qantas decided to employ the rarely used “fifth-pod” option and carried the engine under the wing of another 747.

The Qantas technical team responsible for the "Fifth Pod"
The Qantas technical team responsible for the “Fifth Pod”

 

Flight Paths and Great Circles—Or Why You Flew Over Greenland

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but when a line on a globe is shown on a two-dimensional map, it looks like an arc. Flights make use of these straight lines called Great Circles everyday to get to destinations halfway across the world as quickly as possible.

The BA286 following a Great Circle route from San Francisco to London.
The BA286 following a Great Circle route from San Francisco to London.

 

Putting Ed Force One Back Together Again

On 12 March, while being moved to a refueling dock in Santiago, Ed Force One suffered substantial damage after it collided with the ground tug pulling it. Less than 10 days later the 747 was back in the air. We wrote about the logistics required to fly two 747 engines and other spare parts 0ver 11,000 kilometers.

A close up on the damage to one of Ed Force One’s engines.
A close up on the damage to one of Ed Force One’s engines.

 

How to Draw a Plane with a Plane

Earlier in March, the pilot of D-EFHN took to the skies to draw a plane—with a plane. We looked at what it takes to perform aerial artwork and what else the pilot has drawn.

Aerial portraiture—drawing a plane with a plane.
Aerial portraiture—drawing a plane with a plane.

 

How to Paint a Plane: Going Inside the Paint Hangar

Step inside the paint hangar to see how airplanes get their liveries and how you can track them when they do.

A British Airways A380 arriving for full livery painting in Hamburg.
A British Airways A380 arriving for full livery painting in Hamburg.

 

Planespotting in St Maarten Just Got Even Better

In March our friends at PTZtv launched their brand new HD webcam at the Sunset Bar and Grill right next to the runway at Princess Juliana Airport in Sint Maarten. Planespotting at SXM has always been great, but now it’s possible to go planespotting there without having to be there. FR24 is embedded on the webcam page so you know which flights are on their way and when they’ll get there.

A screenshot of the new Maho Beach Cam from //mahobeachcam.com/
A screenshot of the new Maho Beach Cam from //mahobeachcam.com/

 

A Week in the Life of Three Types of Airplanes

United operates a diverse fleet, so we examined a week in the life of three types, an Embraer E175, Boeing 737, and Boeing 787-9. Together they flew over 231,000 kilometers and spent over 250 hours in the air.

Tracing the route of 3 United Airlines aircraft over a week.
Tracing the route of 3 United Airlines aircraft over a week.

 

Following the Emirates A380 Fleet for a Day

With Emirates taking delivery of its 75th Airbus A380 in March, we thought it would be interesting to see how they put their fleet to use. We crunched the numbers for one day of Emirates A380 operations and followed 68 aircraft on 131 flights to 38 airports across 5 continents.

 

Squawking 7700—In-flight Emergencies from a Pilot’s Perspective

We field many inquiries each time a flight declares an emergency, so we spoke with pilot Ken Hoke to understand more about what is happening on the flight deck during an emergency situation. Captain Hoke is a Boeing 757/767 captain for a package express airline and also runs the website AeroSavvy.

A Pakistan International Airlines flight “squawking 7700” after experiencing smoke in a lavatory.
A Pakistan International Airlines flight “squawking 7700” after experiencing smoke in a lavatory.

 

Making Sure an Aircraft is Ready to Fly

Before we visited the paint hangar, we toured the maintenance hangar to see what it takes to keep large aircraft flying safely. We also have some tips for tracking test flights after an aircraft undergoes heavy maintenance.

Two airplanes undergo maintenance
Step inside the maintenance hangar with us.

 

A Day in a Minute

We compressed a full day of traffic over the United States into under a minute. In our blog post accompanying the video we explored details of some of the 76,329 flights the crossed the country on 1 April.

 

Aircraft Incidents

When an incident occurs, we publish our data on our blog under the Major Incident category. We also publish occasional updates on past events here as well.

 

What’s Next?

We’d like to hear from you! What would you like to read about here? Are there questions about Flightradar24 you’d like answered or questions about aviation generally? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter and we’ll do our best to cover them here.

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