Queen’s final flight sets all-time flight tracking record

The flying of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin by a Royal Air Force (RAF) C-17 Globemaster III from Edinburgh Airport to RAF Northolt on September 13 set a new flight tracking record, website Flightradar24 has said.

Within the first minute of the aircraft’s transponder activating, six million people attempted to click on the flight carrying the Queen. This huge amount of website requests put unprecedented strain on the platform.

There were 4.79 million people following the flight’s progress on the Flightradar24 web and mobile app services and a further 296,000 using its YouTube live stream.

The actual number tracking the C-17 will be higher with people following it on other flight tracking systems available to the public. The aircraft chosen for the flight was ZZ177 which used the callsign ‘Kittyhawk 01R’.

The jet took off from the Scottish airport at around 5.45pm local time. After just over an hour in the air, it landed at the London RAF base just before 7.00pm, where among those waiting to greet the flight were Prime Minister Liz Truss and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.

Flightradar24 states that its previous record was 2.2 million people when the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi flew to Taiwan in August.

The RAF C-17 Globemaster III carrying the Queen’s coffin departing Edinburgh Airport.
The RAF C-17 Globemaster III carrying the Queen’s coffin departing Edinburgh Airport. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022 / A/CPL Ciaran McFalls RAF
Pallbearers from the Royal Air Force Regiment carry the coffin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II off the C-17 at RAF Northolt.
Pallbearers from the Royal Air Force Regiment carry the coffin of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II off the C-17 at RAF Northolt. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022/Cpl Tim Hammond
The hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin drives past the Globemaster III heading to Buckingham Palace.
The hearse carrying the Queen’s coffin drives past the Globemaster III heading to Buckingham Palace. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022/Cpl Victoria Goodall