If you crane your neck skyward, you may see the contrail of a jet or two. Should you want a more up close and personal look, Plane Finder 3D has just taxied up to the Google Play gate. This app tracks flights in real time over a number of cities.
The feature set is a bit light right now, but there is some real potential here. There are over two-dozen cities tracked in Plane Finder 3D, each with satellite imagery ground maps. You can pan around and zoom in on any plane, then tap to get the flight number, airline, and go into first-person mode. Here's the full list of features:
- Stunning real time data
- Powerful 3D engine and simple controls
- Beautiful terrain and sky detail
- Smooth contrails
- Flight numbers and flight routes
- Airline logos and callsigns
- Sharing – via Twitter (Cool for holiday photos!!)
Plane Finder 3D works by tapping into the ADS-B signals used by aircraft to relay their location to ground stations. This is a new technology, so not all planes have ADS-B systems yet. The app is fun to play around with, but it still needs more features to find mass appeal. Plane buffs take note, though.