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Flight tracking site crashes as millions log on to track Queen’s final voyage

Queen Elizabeth II’s final flight from Edinburgh to the Royal Air Force’s Northolt base near London has become the most tracked flight in history for tracking site Flightradar24.com.

The popular website crashed as more than 5 million users logged on to watch the flight’s movement in real time via the site’s radar tracking monitor.

The RAF’s Boeing C-17A Globemaster III took off from Edinburgh at 5.20pm on Tuesday, taking an hour and 12 minutes for the trip south.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 13: RAF C17 aircraft carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II takes off from Edinburgh Airport on September 13, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The coffin carrying Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II leaves St Giles Church for Edinburgh Airport where it will be flown to London and transferred to Buckingham Palace by road.  Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022 and was succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.  (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

RAF C17 plane carrying Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin takes off from Edinburgh. Photo: Getty Images

Flightradar24 said 4.79 million people watched the flight on its website and mobile app, and another 296,000 tuned in through its YouTube channel.

The website said on its blog that despite preparing for a large influx of users during the Queen’s last flight, the site went downhill as demand exceeded capacity.

“Seventy years after her maiden flight as Queen aboard BOAC Argonaut ‘Atalanta’, Queen Elizabeth II’s final flight is the most watched flight in Flightradar24’s history,” the communications director said. by Flightradar24.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 13: Pallbearers from the Royal Air Force (RAF) Queen's Color Squadron carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard of Scotland, onto an RAF C17 plane at Edinburgh Airport on September 13, 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The coffin carrying Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II leaves St Giles Church for Edinburgh Airport where it will be flown to London and transferred to Buckingham Palace by road.  Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022 and was succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III.  (Photo by Paul Ellis - WPA Pool/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

Royal Air Force (RAF) Queen’s Color Squadron pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II onto RAF C17 aircraft at Edinburgh Airport. Photo: Getty Images

“We expected a large influx of users, but this immediate and massive spike was beyond what we had anticipated. Approximately 600,000 users were able to successfully track the flight before performance degraded.”

“In total, we processed 76.2 million requests related to this flight alone, meaning any user action, such as clicking on the flight icon, clicking on the aircraft information in the left box or adjust the settings.

Even though our rig suffered under such a heavy load, Queen Elizabeth II’s last flight from Edinburgh to RAF Northolt is by far the most watched flight of all time on Flightradar24 and is likely to remain at the top for a long time to come. “

Upon arrival at Northolt, the flight was greeted by British Prime Minister Liz Truss, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and a military honor guard.

The Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lands at Royal Air Force Northolt, London on Tuesday September 13, 2022. The Queen's coffin is flown back to RAF Northolt, an air base in London , and taken to Buckingham Palace.  (Ben Stansall, pool photo via AP)

The Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lands at Royal Air Force Base Northolt. Photo: AP

The number of users tracking the flight more than doubled from the previous record, set just last month when 2.2 million people logged on to track US President Nancy Pelosi’s flight to Taiwan.

The Boeing C-17A Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft, typically used for transporting troops and equipment. The Royal Australian Air Force has eight of the four-engine aircraft, which can carry up to 137 tonnes and have a range of over 10,000 kilometres.

The plane first became operational in the 1990s, but Boeing stopped production of the plane in 2015.

According to the London Telegraph, the plane which carried Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin, registration ZZ177, was used to evacuate thousands of people fleeing the Taliban from Kabul, Afghanistan last year and was also used to transport aid and arms to Ukraine.

Several aviation fans on social media have also pointed out that, appropriately, when the registration number of the plane is upset, it says LLIZZ.

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