July 2nd, 2020 Development Update

Screenshot by CaseBug92496684

It can be hard to see the forest through the trees.

For now…



The team is finalizing preparations for releasing Alpha 5 on July 9th.

Full build notes will be posted with the release.


We are still on track to release the Closed Beta in late July.

Once Alpha 5 has been released, the team will begin preparing Closed Beta for release.

Targeting 07.09 to provide an official release date for Closed Beta.


New invitations have been sent! 


What is FlightAware?

We’re an aviation intelligence company that provides real-time and predictive flight insights to all the biggest players in aviation. We synthesize data from thousands of sources across the globe and our team of amazing engineers layer on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to give the most accurate predictions on where a flight is and where it’s going.

Our data is used everywhere from Google flight statuses, airport notification boards, airline systems managing gate flows, individual pilots sharing their private flights, to the millions of travelers and their friends and families checking out our web and mobile apps to get info on their flight. Now, our data stream called Firehose is going to power the real-time, global traffic in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 so that while you’re using the sim, you can see planes near you in real life.

HyperFeed® is FlightAware’s machine learning and rules engine that uses thousands of proprietary models and algorithms to compile, evaluate and aggregate over 10,000 aircraft position messages per second to generate a single source of truth (SSOT) for aviation data.

Where do you get your data?

We’re a data company. Our data merges sources such as commercial schedules, air navigation service info of over 45 countries, VHF and satellite datalink, worldwide weather, and ADS-B data both from earth and in outer space. At the core of our data is our own ADS-B network – right now 28,000 receivers (and counting) – managed by a network of aviation enthusiasts across the globe that capture what’s happening in the skies above them and transmit the data directly to us. Planes are required to give off this information, we cast the net that captures it, then we synthesize the information on our site and in our products.

The fun part about these receivers is that you can make them yourself. Get a Raspberry-Pi, pop our software on it, hook it up to the interwebz and start sharing. Costs run less than $100 for the basic setup. Here are the instructions. For folks who live in areas where we need more coverage and can pass an application process, we’ll literally send you a pre-made one in a box – for free.

You’ll become part of a network of ADS-B hobbyists across the globe and start seeing the skies in a totally different way.

We call the pre-assembled ADS-B receivers FlightFeeders

Why airplanes?

FlightAware promotes aviation geekiness in all its forms. From the ADS-B network we just mentioned, to routine trainings for our employees, we want to be able to show you just how cool flying and flights really are. Our CEO, Daniel Baker started the company in 2005 to try and share the position of his Cessna 172 with his friends and family. Since then, our feeds have become the central data source for the aviation industry. He still flies, and so do about 20% of the folks that work at FlightAware. Fun note, our Technical Project manager, James Parkman recently got his pilot license and his plane in under 6 months – a company record. Over the years, FlightAware has begun a Flying program that subsidizes pilot training for its employees – we’ve even got our own training airplane!

We believe that flying opens up the world around you, it makes distances shorter, the world more accessible, and satisfies one of the core aspirations of mankind. The Microsoft Flight Simulator project is close to our hearts because it opens up the world of aviation to a broad audience.

Screenshot from Microsoft Flight Simulator

“Microsoft Flight Simulation’s team is fully dedicated to bring to simmers the most accurate replica of the world ever seen from a plane perspective. Thanks to FlightAware data, we are thrilled to be able to populate this world with the actual aviation traffic all around the world, whether it be on ground or in the air. Out of the box, Flight Aware data will allow simmers to fly sharing their air space with the current air traffic but also to check arrivals and departure from airports, select any flight to see its fly plan and even have the possibility to, virtually of course, take controls.” – Jorg Neumann Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator

Screenshot from Microsoft Flight Simulator

Screenshot from Microsoft Flight Simulator

For those folks who are just starting out, we say “Play hard, have fun, and once you’re hooked, wear your aviation nerd badges with pride (like us).”


Head into the Insider Area to check out the preview for v#05.01 of the Feedback Snapshot.


Head over to our Official Discord to chat with fellow flight sim community members! Check out our latest community spotlight here.


Video by Speedwoblz

Video by Speedwoblz

Video by Jelknab96

Screenshot by CrazyDoug17

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Screenshot by Snapmatics9160

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Screenshot by ColorfulZeus767

Screenshot by CaseBug92496684

Screenshot by ColorfulZeus767

Screenshot by ColorfulZeus767

Screenshot by CaseBug92496684

Screenshot by CaseBug92496684

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Microsoft Flight Simulator Team