Sitting on the terrace on a warm summer evening and looking up at the sky, we often wonder where an airplane is going to fly. Based on the observed flight direction, we can make assumptions, but rarely check if they are really correct. The app Flightradar24 offers the possibility to confirm our assumptions. For this purpose, you just need to target the aircraft with your smartphone or tablet and then you will get augmented reality (AR) information for the flight displayed in the live image (Fig. 1): takeoff and destination, distance to the observer, airline, and type and photo of the aircraft. By tapping on the AR window, more detailed information on the flight times, the distance traveled, and the exact flight route is displayed on a map (Fig. 2). In this way, data of particular physical interest can also be retrieved, namely the aircraft’s current altitude, its speed, its position, the prevailing wind speed, and the outside temperature. This corresponds to a retrieval of measurement data, so that the app can also be used for physical quasi-experiments. At this point, the investigation of the temperature profile of the troposphere will be described. Many further quantitative analyses can be found in Ref. 2. This approach to modeling also provides an example of handling real data in the sense of data literacy.

2.
P.
Vogt
and
L.
Kasper
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“Quantitative Phänomene rund ums Fliegen. Erfassung realer Flugdaten mit der App Flightradar24
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Plus Lucis
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2020
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3.
M. L.
Salby
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Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate
(
Cambridge University Press
,
Cambridge, UK
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