There's an apparent aricraft with the callsign "AVRORA" that shows up on FlightRadar24. It's the subject of several threads on Reddit, but nobody seems to have figured out what it is.
The track initially looks like a standard trans-pacific route, but it's not. There's only two segments, one in the Arizona desert, and one off the coast of the Russian Kamchatka peninsula. There's no data for the path in-between (which is just an interpolated great circle).
The Kamchatka location just shows up as occasional sporadic results, over several days, with very low air speed.
The Arizona segment is very different, a steep slope and several tight turns of a 0.5 mile diameter circle at about 26 knots
(These tracks are extracted from the raw JSON files using a custom Python script)
What could this be? I think there's a few options, in no great order
- ADS-B Spoofing - i.e. not a real object, but some deliberate attempt to fake a track
- ADS-B Glitches - perhaps some test that's leaking noise, maybe specific to FR24
- An experimental aircraft - something like a long range solar-powered surveillance drone
- Two aircraft - One in Arizona, one off Kamchatka
- Some combination, or something else.
That would explain the slow speed in Arizona, but it's not clear if this aircraft even physically is yet capable of flight, let alone across the pacific.
Somewhat in support of this option is the presence of what looks like a 5-mile long, 0.5 mile wide runway close to the Arizona track.
Minimal support for the spoofing/testing hypothesis comes from this unsupported post:
AVRORA mystery solved!
well i was watching a documentary when i saw avrora appearing in it they said it was a test done by a flightradar24 developer i couldn't find a clip tho :
'How do aircraft get track'
i think that is what it is called
Testing makes some sense, but then what's with the rather specific Arizona track?