Flycatcher | Pilots Plus


The Challenge | Pilots Plus

Provide private aircraft pilots and passengers with an easy-to-use tool that gives information about the land underneath their flight plans.


Flycatcher is an interactive application intending to fill travel time in a plane by helping passengers discover areas they fly above. Aimed at nervous flyers & families travelling with children, Flycatcher uses maps & NASA data to educate & entertain.



8 million people fly every day. 1 out of 3 is a nervous flyer. Some of them are first time flyers and among them you will find lots of families travelling with small children. Our application aims to provide a solution to all those who ever wondered: What am I going to do during this travel time?

Instead of treating your flight journey as idle time, discover: Flycatcher


Flycatcher is a GPS-based interactive application that utilises modern technology and a variety of NASA data to provide information to passengers on the areas they fly above 'as they fly above them'. We hope this will be educational and entertaining allowing passengers to relax and enjoy their flight.


Flycatcher is an application available to passengers’ phones. Utilises GPS reversing geo-code to produce a location and then fetch location-based APIs to display useful information about the landscape below the airplane.

We have built a 2D map in a 3D visualisation landscape that moves as device’s latlongs change.

In our example, our algorithm searches a radius of 100km around passenger’s location (real-time) to display information about the biggest city in that area using NASA's population data. Information retrieved varies from most popular activities according to Wikitravel to Flickr images uploaded by users.


Personalise it – allow passengers to save their progress against their e-mail address or flight number and seat.

Gamification – create country quizzes that passengers can attempt to solve. We reward engagement by giving them awards they can unlock within the application. Awards can materialise and vary from points to vouchers in the next flight with the same carrier.

News discovery – passengers discover local news they would not normally come across otherwise.

Educate & Entertain – passengers can learn words or popular recipes for the countries they fly above. They can also discover famous landmarks and observe their changes within years. They can explore the best restaurants or bars.

Offline use - this application uses GPS so it can be used offline. As Wi-Fi becomes available in more airlines in the near future, this application will have richer information

Business model

Our customers are mainly airline companies who want to increase the comfort level of the passengers. We hope that by providing this app, particular passenger groups (like families with young children and nervous flyers) will be more enthusiastic about travelling with this carrier.

Alternatively, we will also explore adding a small price to download the application if you want to use enhanced features (different levels of service)


  • Google maps
  • Open Street Maps
  • OSM Buildings
  • 3D Landscape
  • GPS
  • Python
  • NASA’s population data (GPW)
  • NASA’s images of change
  • Wikipedia
  • Wikitravel
  • Flickr




SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.