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Strange Group Of 10 Aircraft On Flightradar

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:34 am
by Argentina
Flying now over Argentina, about ten aircraft (?) appear to move in direction NW-SE, along Patagonia.
All of them are identified by HBAL and a number
Flying very high at 65353 ft, and moving too slowly (40-60 kt)

http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL223/3babde5
http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL221/3bab9f4
http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL220/3bae1f6
http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL219/3bae653
http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL226/3ba7e8d
http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL227/3ba7bd1
http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL225/3ba7010
http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL218/3ba3814
http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL224/3ba79c2

Does anyone have idea of what they could be?

Thanks!!

RE: Strange Group Of 10 Aircraft On Flightradar

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:39 am
by BreninTW
They're balloons of some description -- very possibly Google Wi-Fi balloons.

RE: Strange Group Of 10 Aircraft On Flightradar

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:41 am
by Argentina
Quoting BreninTW (Reply 1):
They're balloons of some description -- very possibly Google Wi-Fi balloons.

Thanks Brenin! Had no idea they could be tracked in Flightradar

RE: Strange Group Of 10 Aircraft On Flightradar

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 1:12 pm
by oly720man
Looking at HBAL219 and HBAL220 today, approaching Buenos Aires

http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL219/3bae653
http://www.flightradar24.com/HBAL220/3bae1f6

it is interesting that their mode-S hex codes, 700074 and 700075 are in the hex block allocated to Afghanistan (700000 to 700FFF).

http://www.aerotransport.org/html/ICAO_hex_decode.html

On FR24 if you type 700 into the top search box on this page it finds all records with 700 in them

http://www.flightradar24.com/data/

this includes 700043 to 700050 that are listed as Google Project Loon - Helium balloon.

http://www.google.com/loon/


Back to HBAL219 and 220. I wonder where they were launched from since they come in from the Pacific over Chile. Unless they've flown in a big circle with the prevailing winds

RE: Strange Group Of 10 Aircraft On Flightradar

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 3:49 pm
by starrymarkb
They are Google Balloons - they have a Mode S transponder so are visible on FR24 - I believe the plan is to have a full ring of them right the way round the world.

RE: Strange Group Of 10 Aircraft On Flightradar

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:31 pm
by Sketty222
There's more info on them here

http://www.google.com/loon/