“Alexa, ask Aircraft Radar what’s nearby.”
You can ask it “Alexa, ask Aircraft Radar …”:
Click “Enable Skill” on the Aircraft Radar skill page, or ask Alexa to “enable the Aircraft Radar skill”.
This skill requires your Echo to have an address assigned to it, and you’ll need to give Aircraft Radar permission in the Alexa app to access your address. (Here’s a screenshot showing that configuration in the Alexa app.)
You can ask Aircraft Radar for airplanes that are “nearby,” “around,” or similar words. It looks for aircraft within 40km of you. Aircraft Radar will tell you about the nearest aircraft that match your search. If there are more than a few, it’ll tell you about the first 3 or 4 and then ask you if you want to hear the rest.
You can also ask for just the nearest aircraft — for example, “Alexa, ask Aircraft Radar, what’s the nearest airplane” — instead of asking what’s nearby. This will return only one result, and it’ll include more details (like the plane’s registration number, and the destination airport and a photo, if Aircraft Radar can find those.)
Finally, you can search for jets, helicopters, or military aircraft. So, instead of asking “what aircraft are nearby,” you might ask “Alexa, ask Aircraft Radar what jets are around” or “what helicopters are overhead.”
Be aware that not all airplanes transmit ADS-B data just yet, and not all geographical areas have a volunteer receiving ADS-B radio transmissions from nearby aircraft. Consider running your own receiver and feeding the results to ADS-B Exchange if you want to help improve this skill in your geographical area.
In addition to the time required for maintenance and improvements to this software, I pay for a small DigitalOcean server, which provides a critical caching layer for the Aircraft Radar skill. I also send a monthly payment to ADS-B Exchange.
Please donate whatever you’d like toward these costs:
Aircraft Radar and its supporting services are open-source:
Pull requests and bug reports are welcome.
(Unfortunately, I may not be able to reply to every email I receive.)