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Flightradar 24: Teach you a trick on how to get a free Business subscription (499.99 USD/year)


Please read this section carefully, otherwise you will be solely responsible for the consequences of your actions. ADS-B captures military aviation information, which may pose a threat to military and aviation security. Therefore, setting up an ADS-B receiver or using the Flightradar24 website in China may be considered illegal and subject to investigation and punishment. Therefore, when using Flightradar24 in China, please pay attention to safety and legality.


Flightradar24 is the most popular flight tracking application worldwide. It allows you to view real-time information such as the location, speed, and altitude of thousands of aircraft globally. If you are interested in the aviation industry or want to track a specific flight, Flightradar24 is a very useful and interesting tool. If you want to learn more about Flightradar24, you can refer to the first article in this series.

Membership System#

Flightradar24 offers both a free version and a paid version for its members. Free members can access basic flight data and map views, but with some limitations and advertisements. Paid members, on the other hand, can enjoy more advanced features and services, such as:

  • Unlimited access to historical data (Silver: 90 days, Gold: 1 year, Business: 3 years)

  • Viewing weather layers and airspace boundaries (including wind speed, clouds, precipitation, volcanic eruptions, etc.)

  • Viewing aircraft photos and 3D models (including ground speed, airspeed, GPS, temperature, etc.)

  • Accessing airport information and flight status

  • Receiving custom notifications and alerts

  • Ad-free experience

Paid membership is divided into three levels: Silver ($9.99 USD/year), Gold ($34.99/year), and Business ($499.99 USD/year). For more detailed membership benefits, please click here. If you want to experience all the features of the paid membership without spending money on a subscription, then I have good news for you: you can get a free Business subscription to Flightradar24 by sharing your ADS-B data!

ADS-B Sharing#

ADS-B stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast. It is a modern aviation surveillance technology that allows aircraft to transmit their own position and other data to other aircraft or ground stations. Flightradar24 utilizes thousands of ADS-B receivers worldwide to collect and display flight data. If you have an ADS-B receiver and are willing to connect it to the internet and share data with Flightradar24, they will grant you a Business subscription.

So, how can you obtain an ADS-B receiver? There are two methods:

  • DIY your own ADS-B receiver, which only requires a Raspberry Pi and an ADS-B USB kit with an antenna.

  • Apply for a free ADS-B receiver kit. If you meet Flightradar24's requirements, they will send 30-50 complete receiver kits to eligible hosts every week.

The requirements for applying for a free kit are quite strict. Flightradar24 will review whether you are eligible to receive a free kit and may even ask if you are an amateur radio operator. If you have a strong background in this field, you can try applying, although the author has been mercilessly rejected. However, we can still assemble our own ADS-B sharing node.


First, you need to prepare the following materials 1:

  • Raspberry Pi (requires Raspberry Pi 3b+ or higher)

  • Necessary accessories for the Raspberry Pi, such as power supply and SD card

  • USB SDR ADS-B receiver (USB SDR (Software Defined Radio) ADS-B receiver converts 1090 MHz radio signals into computer-readable information)

  • Antenna and antenna cable

You can purchase a pre-assembled receiver kit on Taobao, which looks something like the image below and comes with an antenna:



Next, you need to install and configure Flightradar24 software on the Raspberry Pi:

  • Download the Flightradar24 Pi24 image file and burn it to an SD card.

  • The author used balenaEtcher for the burning process.


If you want your Raspberry Pi to connect to a wireless network, you can modify "wpa_supplicant.conf" in the burned SD card.


  • Insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi and connect it to power and the ADS-B device. In normal circumstances, you should see a solid red LED, a blinking green LED, and green and yellow Ethernet LEDs.

  • Activate your device by visiting the Flightradar24 verification link on the same local network. After a while, you will receive an email with your radar callsign and key (Please remember that the email used for activation must be the same as your Flightradar account).

  • After waiting for a few minutes, you can filter your radar callsign on the Flightradar24 website to see the captured flight information.

You can also access advanced settings through your browser by visiting http://{replace with your Raspberry Pi's IP}:8754/. You will find the flight information you have captured there as well.


After a few hours, your account will successfully receive the Business subscription.

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