Flight-Data SQL Archive

The historical search at flight-data.adsbexchange is currently down until further notice.

Let me make it clear that donations rarely exceed $1,000 USD per month across all of ADSBexchange.com.

ADSBx hopes to bring it back to the public with a more cost effective solution that is secure, monitored, and potentially a subscription model. If you are hosting a receiver sending data and use is not commercial, a feeder will get access at no cost ( usage within reason ).

We will investigate if ADSBx can extend the feeder historical search to 2+ years of data and maintain affordable infrastructure and storage.

There will be a hard cap on usage to prevent abuse by commercial organizations pretending to be enthusiasts.  Limits are the only way we can offer enthusiast tracking in its entirety for no cost.

Remember ADSBx already offers the following feeder access points.

  1. FREE unblocked and unfiltered graphical global tracking via Global UI Map
  2. FREE unblocked and unfiltered global REST API

Those feeder features are not available on ANY ADS-B site. 


Let’s learn by example!

Calculation for 1 day of data equivalent from ADSBx vs FlightAware worked out below.

1 request every 5 seconds = 17,280 per day at $0.002 per API request = $34.56 USD

But WAIT .. FlightAware charges 1 API request per every 15 aircraft returned.

If say ADSBx tracks on average 6,000 aircraft (peaking at 10,000+ and on  low end 5000). 

So, let’s price it like FlightAware.

6000 aircraft divided by 15 Aircraft per API request = 400 average API up charges per request

400 API up charges times 17,280 api calls a day times $0.002 per api call = $13,824 per day!

And that’s using the LOWEST COST for the FlightAware API.

Perhaps you should ask FlightAware for unfiltered and unblocked global data.  OH WAIT … You can’t! They filter and block data! They even filter the data they send back to your feeder!

Well at least they give you a FREE API?  .. What? … No? … hmmmm

How about global map with all tracked aircraft, including VIP, police, government, private, and military? … What?  … No? …. hmmmmm

You are getting a real ‘$89 value’ for that feed you are sending to FlightAware or FR24 aren’t you?


Let’s get back to why you are reading this page.

Please remember the costs below do not include all the volunteer time and effort to make it work.  Nor do they include the occasional contract database admin to fix the rare issues that could not be corrected by ADSBx volunteers. Nor have I detailed any of the ingest infrastructure and cloud infrastructure that is running at data centers around the world.

The ADSBx historical search is routinely abused by hedge funds, commercial entities, and other for-profit entities.  The unavailability of the historical database is one of those cases. 

Over the last few months ADSBx has had many inquires from such entities.  The response was not positive when these entities were told they must support ADSBx for access to the data.  A few, ADSBx later discovered, were already using the data in violation of ADSBx terms.

After looking at usage patterns on AWS, it appears that someone may have decided to data mine the historical search starting in July, in violation of ADSBx terms and because they did not want to support ADSBx through a data lease for commercial purposes.  They generated billions of read IOPS at AWS and Terabytes of bandwidth usage.

Around the same time ADSBx was making headlines for aircraft tracking nefarious entities, we noticed the flight-data was running slow.  We thought it was a temporary increase due to publicity, Cloudflare was placed in front and the PostgreSQL was scaled to compensate. This increase in resources simply increased the rate at which usage could burst and sustain.  This snowballed into a massive AWS bill.

Why did this happen?  If your database server runs a query that needs to read or write data to the disk you will use I/O requests. AWS bills for those I/O requests.

The ADSBx AWS normally functions on a ‘low’ cost r4.xlarge, but the storage size is ever increasing – which simply makes AWS unsustainable for ADSBx in the long term.  The bill for the storage will need continue to grow to accommodate new data in the database.

Let me make it clear that donations rarely exceed $1,000 USD per month across all of ADSBexchange.com.


August:  $12,281.56 AWS TOTAL

September: $13,158.96 AWS TOTAL