Watch planes on macOS, save recordings, watch replays and share them with friends. All without the internet. Use a USB RTL-SDR or "DTB Tuner" to see nearby planes.

Read about how to setup Max Planes here.

Max Planes decodes the data from ADS-B transponders and plots the data on a map. Connect a USB device (an RTL-SDR or "DVB Tuner") and run a BEAST server (such as Dump1090 Mac Server) in order to view this data. Connect to another computer running dump1090 to also view that data. There is no need for the internet to view live data from planes, everything can be collected locally.

See things you otherwise can't with normal plane spotting apps. You can see the altitude and squawk (not position) of planes in the spotting list on the left of planes with Mode C only transponders.

You can watch multiple data sources at once, save recordings as a file and rewatch them later. Send them to friends and they can re-watch them.

Possible Configurations

To watch planes live you need a USB radio receiver to use as a data feed. It doesn't need to be plugged into the computer you use to watch planes with as long as you can connect to that computer with a network connection.

If you need help setting up the app please email support for help!

Some possible configurations are:

USB on macOS

You can use Dump1090 Mac Server on macOS to run the server. Select "localhost" to connect to your computer.


USB on macOS via network

If you enable Network Discovery in Dump1090 Mac Server then computers on the same network will see that computer in the "Connection" dropdown menu in Max Planes.


USB on other OS via network

Almost all other operating systems can run dump1090. Type in the hostname or IP into the "Configure…" panel to connect.


Dump1090-64 Dump1090 Mac Server

Dump1090 Mac Server is a free and open source standalone Mac App for running dump1090 BEAST format servers, like the one Max Planes needs. Network discovery makes the server visible to other computers via Bonjour.


Just plug in a USB dongle, launch the app and click Start.

download_gradient Download Dump1090 Mac Server for free


Here are some tested configurations known to work you may want to use. If you have tested your own configuration please email support to have it added to the list.

On macOS you can download Dump1090 Mac Server which is a fully contained, dependency free, easy to use dump1090 server. Alternatively you can get dump1090 from MacPorts or community Homebrew taps.

HardwareOperating SystemServer Software
NooElec RTL-SDR USB Dongle + Mac
macOS 10.13 / macOS 10.14
dump1090, dump1090-mac or Dump1090 Mac Server
NooElec RTL-SDR USB Dongle + Raspberry Pi 2
Generic RTL-SDR USB Dongle + Mac
macOS 10.13 / macOS 10.14
dump1090 or dump1090-mac or Dump1090 Mac Server

Flightradar24's Pi24

Flightradar24's Pi24 is compatible with Max Planes, however it requires some extra configuration to enable port 30005.

  1. Connect to your raspberry pi with SSH.
  2. Run this command to stop Flightradar feeding: sudo systemctl stop fr24feed
  3. Edit the /etc/fr24feed.ini file;
    Find the line with procargs="..." and add the --net option to it.
    If you can't see the line for procargs, add one at the end of the file as such:

  1. Restart Flightradar feeding feeding with the command: sudo systemctl start fr24feed
  2. In Max Planes connect to the Raspberry Pi using the Raspberry Pi's IP address and port 30005.

Some versions of Flightradar24's Pi24 may have a read-only /etc/fr24feed.ini file. Use sudo to allow editing the file.

If you get stuck with this please reach out to support, we can walk you through the process.