I upgraded to the gold version of the app called Flightradar 24. They call themselves the facebook of aviation 🙂
FR24 uses the ADS-B out (called extended squitter) of commercial airplanes. Here one FR24 station receiving the signal is enought to track an airplane as it constantly sends its GPS location, speed, altitude, etc…
The airplanes of Aéro Sport are capable of doing the same but is is not activated on LX-AIO and LX-AIE. For the other club airplanes our transponder is not capable of ADS-B(ES).
On the other hand FR24 uses a process called multilateration (a bit like triangulation used for navigation). In order to figure out where the Aéro Sport airplanes are, the system needs at least 4 stations receiving the signal simultaneously. Multilateration position is calculated based on the time difference the signal needs to get to the different stations. Station time stamp quality differs widely based on the quality of the type of station. Coverage differs widely throughout Europe and station density is quite sparse in eastern Europe.
In order to maximize the chances of tracking me (at least partially) on our journeys on FR24, one tries try to fly as high as possible in order to maximize the range of our signal, effectively improving the chances that a larger number of stations can send data to the servers.
Here’s a screenshot I retrieved from our flight from Montpellier towards Fayence some days ago in the LX-AIO