Aircraft Information Window

Getting detailed information about aircrafts

LiveTraffic can show aircraft information and updated flight data. Note that the current flight data (like position, speed, altitude and so on) represent the aircraft as shown in X-Plane. This is supposingly very close to reality, but LiveTraffic certainly needs to interpolate between available data points, so there is some degree of freedom. And it lacks the buffering time (see config) behind real time anyway.

Aircraft Information Window, showing N889NN flying flight AA1268, climbing out of KLAX

Data and Settings are explained below. The Camera button starts the External Camera View. The Visible and Auto Visible buttons hide/show the aircraft.

Opening an A/C Info Window

All menu items mentioned here can be bound to keyboard shortcuts or joystick buttons.

There are two relevant menu items:

  • Plugin > LiveTraffic > Aircraft Info... for a window inside X-Plane

  • Plugin > LiveTraffic > Aircraft Info... (Popped out) for creating a popped out window in a native operating system window, which could be moved anywhere. It makes most sense if you have and use for this purpose a monitor, which is not filled by X-Plane, e.g. if you keep one monitor for flight planner, moving map or the like. Otherwise the popped out window would become hidden behind X-Plane once X-Planes gets the focus - just like any other window as well. The initial position of any new window might not be optimal and you might need to drag it out of a corner to see it completely.

Several aircraft information windows can be opened in parallel, just select the above menu items as often as you like.

Icon

Action

Icon

Action

<Title Bar>

To move the window around drag it by the title bar.

Pop out into separate OS window

Close this window

Pop back in to X-Plane

Open this page

Move into VR

You can also hide/show all windows at once with the Aircraft Info Shown menu item and close all of them with Close All Windows.

AUTO and Locked Mode, Search

The "AUTO" checkbox in the first row switches between AUTO and Locked mode:

AUTO mode

A/C Info Windows always open in AUTO mode, i.e. they display information on the nearest aircraft roughly in the direction of the camera (even if it might not currently be visible on the screen because it is way below/above the camera).

Locked mode / Search for aircraft

In locked mode the currently shown aircraft will be retained no matter where the camera points to, as long as the aircraft is displayed in LiveTraffic.

Or you can select any specific aircraft for display by entering an id into the first field A/C key. Type in any one of the following and LiveTraffic searches for a match once you hit [Enter]:

  • transponder hex code

  • registration (tail number)

  • call sign

  • flight number

  • squawk code

  • index within LiveTraffic, which is just an arbitrary number starting with one up to the number of displayed aircrafts (and is not currently stable, i.e. with aircrafts appearing and disappearing one particular aircraft might have a different index any time), it is mostly meant to search around for something interesting.

Displayed Information

Note that some lines are split into two fields. The label is then divided by a vertical bar |.

ld

Example

Content

Aircraft Information

A/C key

AC407D

Transponder hex code uniquely identifying an aircraft (strictly speaking: its transponder)

AUTO

Switches between AUTO and Locked mode

Registration

N889NN

Registration, aka tail number

ICAO Type

B738

Unique, ICAO-defined identifier for the type of aircraft, like A388 or SR20. See the ICAO DOC8643 aircraft type designators for a list.

This code is received from the tracking data and plays an important role in CSL model matching, i.e. influences heavily how the aircraft is rendered in X-Plane.

"?" if there was no ICAO type in the received tracking data.

Class

L2J

ICAO-defined aircraft class:

L - Land plane, H - Helicopter, S - Sea plane, and others.

1,2,3,4... - number of engines

J - Jet, P - Piston, T - Turbo, E - Electric, and others

Manufacturer

Boeing

Human-readable, ie. non-standardized text

Model

787-800

Human-readable, ie. non-standardized text about the aircraft model

Operator

AAL: Wilmington Trust...

ICAO-defined identifier of the operator of the aircraft, often an airline, plus its human-readable text

Communication / Flight

Call Sign

AAL1268

Call sign used in radio communication. For airliners this often gives away the flight number, but this is just convention and no guarantee.

Squawk

1372

The flight's current squawk code.

Flight: Route

AA1268: KLAX-KMIA

Flight number: Departure Airport - Arrival Airport All of this is community-maintained data from the tracking data and might be inaccurate .

Position / Spacial

Position

4.8nm WSW of KLAX

Relative position to nearest airport

Coordinates

25.2660 N

55.3484 E

Current aircraft position (latitude / longitude).

Altitude

2397ft

...in feet MSL.

AGL

2398ft

Height above ground level in feet, or GND_ON if on the ground.

Speed

250kn

knots over ground.

VSI

+1193ft/min

ft/min vertical descend (negative) / climb (positive) rate.

Heading

231°

...in degrees relative to true north.

Pitch

2.7°

Pitch angle in degrees

Roll

0.0°

Roll/bank angle in degrees

Bearing

245°

Look into this direction to see the aircraft, based on your current camera position.

Distance

5.2nm

The plane is this many nautical miles away from your current camera position.

Modelling Information

CSL Model

BB_Boeing B738_AAL

Actual CSL model currently used for rendering this aircraft within X-Plane. This is one of those you installed with the CSL packages.

Simulated Time

2020-07-05 21:23:05.2Z

This is the ZULU time currently simulated, which should be current real time minus the buffering period.

Tracking Data

+77.3s, ADS-B Exchange Online

Number of seconds into the future (+) or in the past (-) of the last available position information. If this number is positive then there is future data available and the plane will keep moving at least until then. If the number is negative then we already ran out of tracking data and the plane will disappear soon if no more data is received.

Flight Phase

Climb

Current flight phase like Take Off, Climb, Cruise, Approach...

Gear

0%

Gear position: 0% - fully retracted, 100% - fully deployed

Flaps

0%

Flap position: 0 - fully retracted, 1 - fully deployed

Lights

nav/bcn/ strb/----/lnd

Indicates which lights are on:

nav - navigation lights

bcn - beacon

strb - Strobe

taxi - Taxi Lights (not all CSL models show taxi lights)

lnd - Landing Lights

Settings

...control the visual appearance of the Aircraft information Window. Click to open.

Both options are Drag Sliders: Click with the mouse somewhere in the bar and drag to the left/right to change the value. Why this type of control has been chosen becomes apparent when you drag the Font Scaling control...

Option

Default

Description

Font Scaling

100%

Changes the text size of all Aircraft Information Windows, thereby influencing the window size, too.

Opacity

25%

Opacity of all Aircraft Information Windows

0% - fully transparent, 100% fully black background