iTunes Link: Plane Finder
Plane Finder provides real-time flight information for the UK and Ireland along with a growing list of other locations in Europe, the US and Australia. Needless to say this app really came into its own during the recent Icelandic volcano ash crisis.
The app picks up the ADS-B feeds used by all commercial aircraft to transmit their identity, location, altitude, speed, destination and more. Just zoom in (way in in the case of Heathrow, which is usually solid black from the large volume of air traffic) and touch on an individual plane to get its ID, route and altitude. Touch again to get additional information. From here, further navigation takes you deep into hardcore plane spotter country, with links to Google web and images searches for the aircraft type.
We found Plane Finder to be highly addictive. Wonder where that one is going... Oh, Oslo. Where's that one coming from? JFK. It's just the thing for aviation enthusiasts who wouldn't be caught dead parked up at the end of the runway at Gatwick, as well as for those who would.
We loved playing with Plane Finder and can't wait for the next volcano to erupt in Iceland. We recommend trying out the free version first to see if you're at risk of becoming an Airbus bore.