A Guide to Military Aircraft in FlightRadar24.

How to spot military aircraft in FlightRadar24

What is FlightRadar24?

FlightRadar24 is a Swedish based internet service that provides real time aircraft tracking, via its app or website. FlightRadar24 relies on ADS-B receivers to track aircraft.

How to find Military aircraft:

When you are searching for Military aircraft, there are three main factors that you must keep in mind.

1) Date
This is possibly one of the first errors people make when trying to spot Military aircraft. Here’s the basics when it comes to date:

  • Easier to find on weekdays rather then weekends, and holidays.

2) Area
Another huge mistake, you need to know where to look. It’s unlikely you’ll find a C-17 flying near Amsterdam Schiphol. Here are some of the best areas to look:

  • In the UK, look near Brize Norton for all military operations. If you’re looking for fighters (fighters are hard to find unless they’re trainers), look near the Mach Loop in Wales. If you’re looking for tankers, look near the channel and on the east coast. A sweet spot is just above Norwich.
  • In Spain look around Southern Madrid and Zaragoza.
  • In Italy look around Taranto and in Sicily. You’ll find some patrols in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

3) Symbols
Military aircraft tend to have to following characteristic on FlightRadar24:

  • No logos (enable airline logos to use this). If you see an aircraft symbol such as an A340 symbol that is unbranded, odds are it’s a KC-35.
  • 747 unmarked: C-5 Galaxy.
  • A340 unmarked: KC-35’s.
  • A330 unmarked: A330 MRTT, 767’s.
  • Dash-8 unmarked: C-130’s and A400M.
  • BAE unmarked: C-17’s.
  • Jets have unique symbols.

With this in mind, have fun! Post your finds here


As far as I’m concerned sometimes flightradar deliberately hides aircraft upon governmental request, so if you want to really see all of the military traffic I’d rather recommend adsbexchange

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Turkish drone 😶

Alternatively, you can shell out the 5 dollars to buy OpenADSB, which has military aircraft displayed on there for you!

It’s actually $9.99. A little pricy, in my opinion.

Really? It was 5.99 for me. Are you Canadian?

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I am not.

That’s why you should use the free one
It’s a website, if you hit the U button then that filters military.
Here it is

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