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Large aircraft in EDDN and radar spotting with Flightradar24

For some time now, I have rediscovered my enthusiasm for airplanes (during my studies, I worked at Airbus and the German Aerospace Center and flew Microsoft flight simulators quite “professionally”) and have been back to Nuremberg Airport quite often.

Unfortunately, there is not really much going on at the moment due to the pandemic and the planes that land and take off are rather unspectacular (in terms of aircraft type and livery). But thanks to our photo and video circle member Christian(, I at least knew about a somewhat special plane that was supposed to land in Nuremberg. As so often, however, this little photo action had some other “effects”….

Boeing 777-300ER United Airlines

A United Airlines Boeing 777-300ER landed at Nuremberg Airport (NUE/EDDN) on Sunday, March 07, 2021. Since it is quite rare that such a “big ship” lands in Nuremberg, I did not miss the landing and take-off the following day. The flight was a charter flight of the US Armed Forces and brought about 240 military personnel from Topeka (Kansas / USA) to Nuremberg, presumably as crew for the base in Grafenwoehr, Bavaria.

The Boeing 777, or Triple Seven, is a twin-engine, long-range, wide-body aircraft designed by Boeing to carry 300 to 550 passengers. It is the largest twin-engine commercial aircraft in the world and, thanks to ETOPS certification, can also be operated economically on intercontinental routes. The variants of the Boeing 777 differ significantly in length and range. The first flight of the basic version Boeing 777-200 took place on 12 June 1994. Comparable to the Boeing 777 are the Airbus models A330 and A350 as well as the Boeing 787. As of the end of February 2021, 1657 of 2031 aircraft of this type ordered have been delivered.

Source: Wikipedia

Here you can see the flight route from Topeka to Nuremberg. The data comes from Flightradar24 (more on that later).

Topeka Regional Airport (IATA code: FOE, ICAO code: KFOE), formerly known as Forbes Field, is a joint civil-military public airport owned by the Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority in Shawnee County, Kansas, seven miles south of downtown Topeka, the capital of Kansas. The airport is located on the grounds of Topeka Army Airfield, later Forbes Air Force Base, a former Strategic Air Command (SAC) facility that transitioned to Tactical Air Command in 1964 and closed in 1973. Most of the base’s former administrative area is now used for offices and an industrial park. The Kansas Air National Guard’s 190th Air Refueling Wing (190 ARW) also uses a portion of the airport as its barracks area and Air National Guard facility; the squadron flies Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers.

Nuremberg Airport “Albrecht Dürer” (IATA-Code: NUE, ICAO-Code: EDDN) is the international airport of the city of Nuremberg as well as the metropolitan region of the same name and the second largest airport in Bavaria. The airport ranked tenth among Germany’s airports by passengers in 2019. The operating company is Flughafen Nürnberg GmbH, the shareholders are the City of Nuremberg (50 %) and the Free State of Bavaria (50 %). After the departure of Air Berlin, the airport operated at a loss for several years, but is now back in the black as one of the fastest growing airports in Germany.

It was very impressive to watch the largest 2-engine passenger aircraft in the world land and take off. The result is among other things a small 15min film.

Filmed with the Canon EOS R5 in 4K and 120 fps, so I had a nice slow motion shot of the Boeing 777-300ER on its way to the runway. Unfortunately, I then hit the “record” button on the camera just before it started, under the mistaken assumption that it would start recording. Unfortunately, I had not noticed that my camera was already running, and so unfortunately only the memories remain from the start….

Of course I also took a lot of pictures, which I don’t want to withhold from you. I also took these with the Canon EOS R5 and the Sigma 60-600mm telephoto lens. Of course there was a lot of other aircraft to see. All pictures of the 777-300ER and what else was going on in Nuremberg on 26.03.2021 are available as usual in full resolution in the corresponding 5bp gallery.

Feeder at Flightradar24

When I sent my dad the pictures of the B773-ER landing, he looked at the departure on Flightradar24. is an online service for real-time position display of aircraft. It is operated by the Stockholm-based company Flightradar24 AB. By means of so-called radar spotting, the signals emitted by ADS-B transmitters are picked up by ADS-B receivers located on the ground and transmitted via the Internet to the Flightradar24 network. Most modern commercial aircraft in civil aviation – and in some cases also in military aviation – are now equipped with such devices. The transmitted position data of the respective aircraft are correlated with further information on aircraft type and route and displayed on a map.

Source: Wikipedia

My father uses Flightradar already for some time if he sits e.g. in the summer in the garden and airplanes over the domestic sour country fly, he looks there gladly once, around which for machines it concerns and he had become curious, what actually exactly behind Flightradar is. Through an interesting YouTube video ( he also knew how you can transmit data to Flightradar24 yourself as a so-called “feeder” and thus become a “radar spotter”.

An interesting project, and Flightradar also provides instructions on how to build such a receiver using a Raspberry Pi. Since my father and I like to try something new technically, we ordered the necessary components (we already had the Raspberry) and are now part of the Flightradar24 community. I’ll do a more detailed post on this here sometime soon. An “explanatory video” is also already being planned. Oh yeah, this is what my cover looks like by the way:

Boeing 747-400 Atlas Air

On Friday the 26.03.2021 I have looked at noon times, which were announced for airplanes in Nuremberg so. And I could not believe my eyes: At 16:29 a Boeing 747-446 of Atlas Air should actually land in Nuremberg.

The Boeing 747, also known as the Jumbo Jet in reference to the elephant “Jumbo”, is a four-engine wide-body aircraft made by the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing, which has been the world’s largest passenger aircraft for several decades since its development in the 1960s. It made its maiden flight on 9 February 1969 and is one of the best known and most widely used aircraft types. The aircraft is mainly used for civilian purposes. Characteristic for the silhouette of the Boeing 747 is its “hump” (upper deck), in which the cockpit, among other things, is located above the main passenger deck. The upper deck was lengthened on passenger versions as they evolved, expanding into an ever-larger second passenger deck that extends across the front third of the aircraft cabin in more recent variants. All variants with a long upper deck have large emergency exit doors in the middle of the upper cabin on both sides. One passenger aircraft has yet to be delivered, and 12 orders are still open for the cargo version (as of the end of February 2021). On July 29, 2020, Boeing announced that it would cease production of the 747. According to a press release, the last 747 will be assembled in 2022.

Source: Wikipedia

Once again, it was a charter flight operated by the U.S. Armed Forces. The turnaround of the machine was then also quite interesting:

Warner Robins Airbase -> Ramstein -> Nuremberg -> Ramstein -> Nuremberg -> Fort Campbell

Thanks to Flightradar you can see the course of the flights on the map.

Robins Air Force Base (IATA: WRB, ICAO: KWRB) is a major United States Air Force installation in Houston County, Georgia, United States. The base is located east of the town of Warner Robins and about 100 miles (160 km) south-southeast of Atlanta, Georgia. The base is named in honor of Brigadier General Augustine Warner Robins, the Air Force’s “Father of Logistics.” Robins AFB houses the Air Force Materiel Command’s (FLZ) Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (WR-ALC), which is responsible for a variety of aircraft, engines, missiles, software, and avionics and accessory components worldwide. It is one of three Air Force Air Logistic Centers, the others being the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma and the Ogden Air Logistics Center (OO-ALC) at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The host unit at Robins AFB is the 78th Air Base Wing (78 ABW), which provides services and support to the Warner-Robins Air Logistics Complex and its tenant organizations. By the way, Warner Robins is also home to the “Museum of Aviation” which honors the history of military aviation. The museum is located adjacent to the air base and contains exhibits on military memorabilia, aircraft and ground vehicles, the Tuskegee Airmen and Operation Desert Storm. It is the second largest museum sponsored by the United States Air Force and the fourth most visited Department of Defense museum.

Ramstein Air Base (short: Ramstein AB / RAB) is a military airfield of the United States Air Force and the headquarters of the United States Air Forces in Europe, the United States Air Forces Africa as well as the headquarters of the Allied Air Command Ramstein, a NATO command authority for the command of air forces. The 603d Air and Space Operations Center at Ramstein Air Base coordinates the planning and control of combat drone operations against suspected terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and drone strikes in Pakistan. The military airfield is located directly southeast of Ramstein-Miesenbach, about ten kilometers west of Kaiserslautern (Rhineland-Palatinate). With approximately 8,225 military personnel, an additional 132 reservists, and 831 civilian employees working on the base in 2014,[8] Ramstein AB is the largest U.S. Air Force facility outside the United States in terms of personnel. Approximately 52,000 U.S. residents live in the entire Kaiserslautern Military Community (as of September 2013).

Campbell Army Airfield (IATA: HOP, ICAO: KHOP, FAA LID: HOP) is a military airfield at Fort Campbell, located near Hopkinsville, a city in Christian County, Kentucky, United States. Formerly Campbell Air Force Base, a U.S. Air Force facility from 1947 to 1959, this U.S. Army airfield has two paved runways: 5/23 is 11,826 by 200 feet (3,605 × 61 m) and 18/36 is 4,500 by 150 feet (1,372 × 46 m). The airfield currently hosts UH-60, CH-47, AH-64 and OH-58 helicopters from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade and MH-60, MH-47 and MH-6 helicopters from the 160th SOAR. It also houses elements of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade.

So I packed my camera and drove to Nuremberg to photograph the landing of the Jumbo on time. It was quite something to see the second largest passenger aircraft (ok, actually the third largest, after the 747-800) land at the seemingly tiny Nuremberg airport. Unfortunately, I was not able to photograph the departure on Saturday morning (around 9:00 am) because the flight was not announced. All pictures of the 747-400 and what else was going on in Nuremberg on 26.03.2021 can be found in the 5bp-gallery.

Another blog post with spotting images from Nuremberg Airport can be seen here.


This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

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