Aircraft Registration History

We have reworked the way we store aircraft data and consolidated our aircraft database.

As you might know, each aircraft may change multiple operators throughout its lifetime. The same aircraft may be known under different tail numbers and airlines at different moments in the past.

Earlier, we stored each aircraft registration as if it were a separate airframe. Also, we weren’t able to keep more than one record per tailnumber or Mode-S address. So if a tail number or address were ever used by more than one aircraft, we kept the most recent usage only and discarded the historical record.

From now on, we support keeping registration (tail number) history separately from a specific airframe. This includes the periods of validity of registration. With AeroDataBox API it’s now possible to get an insight into historical aircraft registrations.

This way, we have introduced the following changes to our API:

  • [UPDATED] API endpoint: Single aircraft (by tail-number, Mode-S, or ID)
    This endpoint was originally designed to return a single aircraft per requested tail number, Mode-S identifier. Since from now on it is possible that there could be more than one match per tail number or Mode-S identifier (think of historical records), to prevent breaking changes, this endpoint will resolve an aircraft best suited your request.

    More info:
  • [ADDED] API endpoint: All aircraft (by tail-number, Mode-S, or ID)
    If you want to receive all aircraft ever used a tail number or Mode-S identifier, not just the best one, this new endpoint is going to help you!

    More info:
  • [ADDED] API endpoint: Single aircraft registration history
    If you want to learn about all registrations which an aircraft had in the past, you should use this endpoint.

    More info:
  • [ADDED] Parameter “withRegistrations”
    Sometimes you may need to receive both airframe information and its registration history. Subscribers of ULTRA and MEGA plans are now able to append a query string parameter withRegistrations=true to their calls to “Single aircraft” and “All aircraft” API endpoints to receive all the info in one go and avoid making additional calls to “Single aircraft registration history” endpoint. This feature is also available for testing in BASIC plan.

Please note that our API remains a best-effort API. Working on the database is an constantly ongoing process requiring lots of manual data entry work. Although a lot of effort was invested to consolidate aircraft records, we primarily targeted commercial airliners. You may still bump into old records that are recognized as independent airframes while in fact being registrations of one and the same aircraft. This applies to light and general aviation aircraft especially.