fr24.com is probably the best of the internet flight trackers with live tracking feeds. But you need to look at the color of the aircraft to determine
live from the delayed FAA feed. Orange means FAA feed. Yellow means a live tracking feed from ADS-B from a receiver in the area decoding 1090MHz. This
can be done with a Kinetics box, or with a combination of a certain DVB-T dongle, the rtlsdr driver, dump1090 decoder software, and virtual radar
server to plot it. About $15 and a lot of work. I don't know the current price of the Kinentics receivers.
Now orange FAA feed is not only delayed, but it is filtered based on either location or when the plane is assigned a squawk code for use over the
range. Sometimes they screw up and don't filter properly, so the tracking of the plane goes a bit further into the range that usual. I have one track
that landed at Groom.
The yellow planes are the ones to watch because they are live. Their tracking information is not from the FAA. If a plane was stupid enough to fly
around the range with ADS-B enabled, you would see where it went, if in range of the receiver.
Most of the fr24.com receivers are at flight schools. It wouldn't surprise me if the LAS receiver was at KVGT or KHND. Fr24.com receivers are a
combination of receivers they own and get someone to host, and volunteers who owner their own receivers and provide fr24 a feed. You get a slight
premium service as a feeder to the website, and I do mean slight. Basically the screen doesn't time out.
But here is the most important bit of information: none of the Janets use ADS-B. It wouldn't surprise me if they have the hardware, but they don't
use it. They do use mode-s, which is a bit like ADS-B, but no position data.
This is true of the 737 Janets and the Beechcraft. So what you see on fr24.com for the Janets is no better than say flightware or any number of other
programs that get the FAA feed.
I have access to a mode-s receiver in Las Vegas and can see the mode-s data. This isn't exactly a secret. The website is
To see data on the website, you need to be a member. To be a member, you need to be a feeder. However I understand you can see some data without being
The live-military-mode-s website has started to do a little ADS-B tracking. For instance, a C-17 with tail number 02-1102 and callsign THUG13 arrived
at Nellis with the ADS-B turned on. You can see if followed a path over I-15 from the direction of Utah.
The terms of service prevent me from sharing the imagery. However, there is no reason that fr24.com didn't catch that plane. And it did. You can
enter 02-1102 or THUG13 in the search box. But the playback doesn't work very well, as in not at all.
Nellis runs an exercise called MAFEX twice a year. It hasn't been announced yet, but I would guess the day of the exercise is on the May 15th. Watch
for NOTAMS. You may see the THUG flights arrive at the KENO airstrip to the east of the TTR. That would be an opportunity for real live tracking over
the range. It is also possible the exercise was cancelled to save money (sequester).
There is an option in fr24.com to turn off the FAA feed.
Regarding the cheap tracking, there are websites that cover using rtladsb or dump1090 plus virtual radar server. I haven't seen it explained in
painful detail. It is on my list to do a write up on how to integrate the hardware and software.
This should get a reasonably competent hacker going.
Virtual radar server