The Aircraft Movie Megathread

Dear community,

I had the idea about listing movies which - more or less - prominently feature an aircraft or are about aviation in general a while ago already, and the idea came back with the advent of the current Local Legend, the FOKKER F.VII which was “the main actor” in one of the movies below.

Searching the forum for existing threads about “aircraft in movies” did not reveal any results, so here is my start of the list:

Title: 7500 (IMDb)
About: When terrorists try to seize control of a Berlin-Paris flight, a soft-spoken American co-pilot struggles to save the lives of the passengers and crew while forging a surprising connection with one of the hijackers.
Aircraft Factor: 5/5
Opinion: A German low budget production, but you can tell that the producers are real airplane buffs who put their limited (financial) resources to full effect!

Title: Amelia (IMDb)
About: In 1937, Amelia undertakes her greatest challenge of all: to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by airplane.
Aircraft Factor: 4/5
Opinion: I personally quite enjoyed the movie (on Netflix), if only for its depiction of the airplane. And yes, it’s the Fokker.

Title: Airplane! (IMDb)
About: A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick.
Aircraft Factor: 1/5
Opinion: The ultimate answer to Airport (see next title): everyone wishes that ATC in MSFS would be as accurate as depicted in this movie: “We have clearance, Clarence” - “Roger, Roger. What’s our vector, Victor?”

Title: Airport (IMDb)
About: A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.
Aircraft Factor: 1/5
Opinion: The mother of all “why we are afraid to fly”-movies which kicked off a whole series of “airplane disaster” movies: watch this if slapping panicking old passenger ladies in their face is your thing.

Title: Airwolf (IMDb)
About: A scientist who has created a super helicopter has defected to Libya and taken the machine with him. A secretive government agency hires an ex-Vietnam War pilot to go to Libya, steal the chopper and bring it back.
Aircraft Factor: 1/5
Opinion: I am not sure whether I had ever actually seen the movie, but I watched the series on TV as an 80ies kid. Helicopters landing in Batman-like caves are cool!

Title: The Aviator (IMDb)
About: A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes’ career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.
Aircraft Factor: 3/5
Opinion: History of aviation, depicted in a highly entertaining Hollywood-glamour kind of way.

Title: The Battle of Britain (IMDb)
About: In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the U.K.
Aircraft Factor: 5/5
Opinion: You won’t see such spectacular air battles filmed for real ever again in movie history!

Title: Con Air (IMDb)
About: Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.
Aircraft Factor: 1/5
Opinion: If you ever wanted to land a transport airplane on the Las Vegas strip as a 90ies “action pilot” then this movie is just for you!

Title: The Final Countdown (IMDb)
About: A modern aircraft carrier is thrown back in time to 1941 near Hawaii, just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Aircraft Factor: 2/5
Opinion: Science fiction goofiness of the 80ies combined with Top Gun-alike carrier operations - who could resist!

Title: The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) (IMDb)
About: After an oil company plane crashes in the Sahara, the survivors are buoyed with hope by one of the passengers, an airplane designer who plans for them to build a flyable plane from the wreckage.
Aircraft Factor: 1/5
Opinion: Alpha males stranded in the desert, trying to fix a crashed airplane. There exists also a remake (2004), if you prefer spectactular action crash scenes over Hollywood heroism of the 60ties.

Title: Sully (IMDb)
About: When pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger lands his damaged plane on the Hudson River in order to save the flight’s passengers and crew, some consider him a hero while others think he was reckless.
Aircraft Factor: 5/5
Opinion: A tense depiction of the “Miracle of the Hudson”: as far as I am concerned “as real as it gets”.

Now I deliberately did not list some “Top Titles” about aircraft, so others like you can easily join in and add your favourite aircraft movies. The movie does not have to be entirely about aviation (as the above list illustrates), but it should have at least one somewhat important movie scene where an aircraft plays a “major role”.

Feel free to re-use the above list as template, otherwise simply list your movie names, with a short description and your personal opinion perhaps.

And enjoy the movies - whenever you don’t fly in MSFS! :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Well, from the top of my mind, i’d like to add: The Great Waldo Pepper (1975) IMDB

This movie features biplanes, a couple of triplanes and the times between the two world wars, with quite a couple of familiar faces.

Aircraft Factor: 4/5

It tells the story of the second generation of aviators who, after world war 1, take civilians up into the skies to make a buck and perform stunts for the crowds to show the skill and daring of the airmen. (aircraft were not a commodity back then, they were special, and to see your house from the air was something few people could do or had done) The story then slowly goes to how the warpilots are then hired by moviecompanies to depict the great fights in the skies of WW1.
I’d heard about barnstorming, but i reckon this movie actually depicts these crazy times where one pilot would “try something new” to get their name out there and “be the best”. The rivalry musthave been murder!

Woof ~ Woof & Salute!

Steiny

2 Likes

Twelve O’Clock High (1949) IMDB

A story about the American Airmen in WW2 using the B-17 bomber from a UK Airfield. it’s an honest depiction of what happend during the War, how the allies found how far they could push their crews to the limit and over.

Aircraft Factor: 3/5

It’s not just the aircraft in this movie, it’s also the going on’s on the airfield itself that make this movie very re-watchable and interesting. i mean, i LOVE the B-17, but it’s gotta be flown by an aircrew, that is stationed at an airbase, commanded by the higher ups, with all it’s facilities and men… hence, i gave it a 3/5 as yes, there’s the mighty B-17, but there’s also all the gatherings that surround an astonishing aircraft like this. I love this movie, even though it was made far before i was born, it still hit the spot of “VERY interesting” in my ww2 interest.
Also, watch the Gregory Peck narrated intro/trailer on the imdb page, for todays standards, it’s quite cheezy, but the movie i can garantee you, is not. Enjoy!

Woof ~ Woof & Salute

Steiny

Amelia (2009) IMDB

There is also the Internet movie plane data base (IMDBp)
http://impdb.org/

here are all films with a Fokker F.VII

Category:Fokker F.VII - The Internet Movie Plane Database (impdb.org)

2 Likes

“The first of the few” later redubbed “Spitfire” (1942) IMDB

the story of RJ Mitchell and the development of the Spitfire
Aircraft Factor: 3/5

Like the next title, the spirit of st louis, it all had to start somewhere, from an idea, a feeling of what needed to be done at the time. I like this movie very much, also because of David Niven’s (test-pilot) character. Such an epic actor.

The spirit of St Louis (1957) IMDB

The interesting story of the first transatlantic flight by Charles Lindberg, from his US-mail flight-carreer beginnings to the landing and fame after his epic flight. Even the development of the Spirit of St Louis is featured in the movie. Basically, what it took to think it, make it and fly it.
Aircraft Factor: 2/5

The Eternal Zero *(2013) IMDB

Two japanese teenagers, want to know more about the (WW2) history of their grandfather and slowly the mystery gets uncovered by the stories the old men aquanted to him tell. To some of them, they are opening old wounds, then when finally the story gets told by the old men you, the viewer, are actually “going back in time” and their memories are portrayed in some quite wonderous scenes. It’s all in japanese, so you’d better get the english subtitles and ofcourse, it features the A6M5 Zero *(might be different types, but commonly known over here as the “Zero”) an airplane that was underestimated, untill it turned out to be a great fighter and new tactics had to be thought of to take it down. (think of the Thach Weave) Also the grueling Kamikaze attacks are featured, but now from the Japanese side. It’s an awkward feeling to think from the dealing-out-death-side… but those were some very brave Mofo’s. As the viewer, you get put into the mindset of the pilots at the time. Honor is everything in Japan.

Aircraft Factor: 2/5

Hope the suggestions get you a few hours of entertainment :wink:

Woof ~ Woof & Salute

Steiny

1 Like

Airforce - about a B-17 crew and their adventures on the eve of the attack on Perl Harbour.

Flight of the Intruder - about an A-6 crew that decides to go rouge and bomb Hanoi’s rocket park.

Flight of the Navigator - okay so this one is about a boy and a spaceship …

Spirit of St. Louis - name might not be correct, starring Jimmy Stewart as Charles Lindbergh and documents his life leading up to the flight from NY to Paris

Ooops someone beat me to the above…

Firebirds - Nick Cage pretends to be an apache pilot…

Air America - a true bush pilots saga ;p

Oh yeah I almost forget these

Iron Eagle, dad gets shot down in the middle east, and a boy and his friends launch a all out attack with f-16 stolen from the airforce to rescue him, There are 2 or more of these, but the 1st one was just so bad, I havent tried watching the others ;p

1 Like

Title: The Arrow IMDB
About: The true story of how Canada built and destroyed the world’s most advanced fighter plane back in the 1950s.
Aircraft Factor : 5/5
Opinion: I’ve been in the US Aviation industry for more than 41 years and had not heard the story of the Avro Arrow until it popped up on an obscure streaming service that I have, about 2 months ago. Though the movie itself is not a “Hollywood Blockbuster” it is an incredible story about how Canada invented a fighter plane in the 1950s that had several features on par with todays’s most advanced fighters. Then, because of cost overruns, the project was cancelled when they had a handful of test aircraft already completed. Other nations, upon hearing of Canada’s intent to cancel the aircraft, wanted to place bids to purchase the plane, parts and all of its technology. This embarrassed the Prime Minister so much, since he cancelled the development of the plane on the premise it wasn’t useful for anything, that he ordered all the aircraft, spare parts and design documents be destroyed. They closed the company, almost overnight, in February of 1959, putting nearly 30,000 people out of work. The day became knows as “Black Friday” in the aviation community. Many of the top workers who lost their jobs wound up in the US at Boeing, Lockheed, and the US Space Program. Canada’s loss because the US’s gain, as far as talent is concerned.

You can watch The Arrow on Vimeo. It’s not the greatest quality there, but it’s the easiest place to see it, that I could find.

1 Like

What was the WW2 movie where a crippled plane landed in the desert and had to fight a German tank stalking them ? And it was an intense cat and mouse fight for survival.

Folks - the board is focused on conversations specific to MSFS. Feel free to carry on this conversation on the Official Discord server in either the General or Aviation Channels. Thanks.