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  Reply # 1085797 9-Jul-2014 15:27
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Cauusseee the topic has not been edited.

Or later linked to the 5 other 'google loon' / 'google ballon' theads present

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  Reply # 1085799 9-Jul-2014 15:32
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The HBAL callsigns show as 'Google Project Loon' in FlightRadar24




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  Reply # 1085805 9-Jul-2014 15:38
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This one is nearly out of range, and isn't showing a callsign currently (maybe related to range), but the details clearly show it as being Loon. Registration is 'GOOGLE'





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  Reply # 1085810 9-Jul-2014 15:45
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Also this one has appeared, showing the callsign





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  Reply # 1085814 9-Jul-2014 15:51
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That will be the leader of the bunch coming past again.

The names are only applied to the descriptions etc as the dbase guy sees them, in the case of the last few when I pointed out the release to one of the admins in Germany with family in the far north :)

The normal allocation of that hex code Is reserved, so they have to be added manually and likely change with every release



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  Reply # 1086161 10-Jul-2014 03:40
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HBAL218 has just crossed the coast over south Westlland heading east - zero altitude (?) and 79 km/h. I find it fascinating that you can release a balloon like this and it does a circumnavigation and comes back to almost exactly where it was launched.

Edit: Zero alt was on FR24. PlaneFinderHD shows it at 65,300 ft which makes more sense.

I'm looking at these on iPad, using apps. With FR24, you can't set a filter for these as aircraft type. On PFHD, there is more flexibility but with a filter on, it won't show anything above 60,000 ft. FR24 with filter on is limited to 46,000 ft.

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  Reply # 1086200 10-Jul-2014 08:55
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Yea, we have still not worked out why they show 0, when most the receivers like DVB sticks and MOde-s beast like I have report correct alt

It use to be anything above 50 was ignored on FR24, as thats the commercial ceiling. Got it increased with the introduction of these guys, but it seems to still have issues reporting it between some ranges

Another one in range off the west coast, rest all passed below. Think this is the 2nd bunch launched about the 30th or so. Stuck in the roaring 40 polar vortex. Normally they head north however.

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  Reply # 1089949 16-Jul-2014 13:41
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Those of you in AKL may want to get the binoculars out.

Yesterdays launch set are making their way past now, with another lot on the way

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  Reply # 1089966 16-Jul-2014 14:02
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How do these flights end?

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  Reply # 1089970 16-Jul-2014 14:07
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I see one of them has just drifted past the approach path to AKL international airport. If its altitude readout of 648ft is correct, that may have made them unpopular.
On its current trajectory it looks like it's going to fly right over the Auckland cbd (or just west of it).




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  Reply # 1089972 16-Jul-2014 14:08
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Many now heading north along West Coast, South Island, and also up AKL way

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  Reply # 1089978 16-Jul-2014 14:15
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gzt: How do these flights end?

A few weeks ago one came down near coastal north Canterbury, at the time it was initially reported as a plane crash and I believe a helicopter was sent to the area. It was later identified as a loon balloon.

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  Reply # 1090027 16-Jul-2014 15:08
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Dingbatt: I see one of them has just drifted past the approach path to AKL international airport. If its altitude readout of 648ft is correct, that may have made them unpopular.
On its current trajectory it looks like it's going to fly right over the Auckland cbd (or just west of it).


Naaahhh, as I pointed out earlier some funky reporting. It will be 64,8xx. They don't bounce 0-600-60,000+ in seconds like it keeps showing. Most are all above 56,000.. unless crashing like that other one did :)

Because of the height you should get a good view from nearly anywhere within about a 60K radius of its location, especially nearer sunset as the sun drops, they light up like wee lights/UFOs.

I await the calls/media article tomorrow reporting them :)

As for where they end up. The last lot have circled the globe and gone past, last seen heading to more northern orbit

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  Reply # 1090181 16-Jul-2014 18:09
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>As for where they end up. The last lot have circled the globe and gone past, last seen heading to more northern orbit


Theres one from an earlier group crossing over lower part of PNG that's currently visible.

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  Reply # 1090353 17-Jul-2014 08:30
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Oblivian:
Dingbatt: I see one of them has just drifted past the approach path to AKL international airport. If its altitude readout of 648ft is correct, that may have made them unpopular.
On its current trajectory it looks like it's going to fly right over the Auckland cbd (or just west of it).


Naaahhh, as I pointed out earlier some funky reporting. It will be 64,8xx. They don't bounce 0-600-60,000+ in seconds like it keeps showing. Most are all above 56,000.. unless crashing like that other one did :)

Because of the height you should get a good view from nearly anywhere within about a 60K radius of its location, especially nearer sunset as the sun drops, they light up like wee lights/UFOs.

I await the calls/media article tomorrow reporting them :)

As for where they end up. The last lot have circled the globe and gone past, last seen heading to more northern orbit


Yes. I guess that is why I questioned the validity of the altitude readout. Is that a problem with the transponder they are using, or the radar's ability to interpret it? If it is the transponder, then that presents problems with TCAS conflicts with the aircraft in the vicinity.
Be nice if FR24 could change the symbol from a swept wing jet to something more appropriate like a sphere when the tag has HBAL in it.




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