Famous Jets From Blockbuster Films

29 Nov, 2021 | News

In feature films, jets bring a sense of adventure, action, and, depending on the film’s context, a sense of elite prestige. As viewers, we get a taste of this experience from the comfort of our living rooms.

Over the years, there have been plenty of films made about aircraft, or with an aircraft as a major feature of the film. While today many aircraft scenes are computer-generated, you’ll find that even modern films still feature real aircraft. So hop on board, because today, Adagold Aviation takes a look at some of our favourite examples of real-life jets that have been featured in films over time. Let’s get started.

Casino Royale

This 2006 instalment of James Bond transforms a Boeing 747 into the ‘Skyfleet S570’. Casino Royal sees a fictional aviation company, ‘Skyfleet Aviation’, launch a new prototype aircraft – the Skyfleet S570. To create this aircraft, a Boeing 747 was repainted. Structural modifications were also made; in place of the aircraft’s outer two engines, twin inner engines and external fuel tanks were used.

The actual Boeing 747 jet was previously used as a British Airways Boeing 747-200, registered G-BDXJ. This aircraft operated with British Airways for 22 years and was later sold in 2002 to European Aviation Air Charter, then later to Air Atlanta Europe. In 2005 this well-used aircraft retired from flying and made its transition to film; with Aces High Limited purchasing the jet for film use. The Boeing 747 used in Casino Royale now resides in Dunsfold, UK, and has featured in a range of other productions and ads.

Tomorrow Never Dies

Unsurprisingly, Bond films can’t just feature once on this list of famous jets from blockbuster films. The 1997 Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies, is another iconic film featuring aircraft. In fact, this movie showcases several Aero Vodochody L-39 Albatross aircraft. A key scene is where Tomorrow Never Dies’ Bond, Pierce Brosnan, takes off from a ski jump, using an L-39 jet. Several more L-39’s features in chase scenes throughout the film.


One of the biggest 2020 movie releases was Action/Sci-Fi movie, Tenet. This film includes a scene where a Boeing 747 crashes into an airport and the building explodes. But this scene wasn’t computer-generated. The organised crash was real. After consideration, the film’s producers concluded it would be cheaper to buy an airframe and crash it, instead of using miniatures or special effects.

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson

Another memorable aircraft film based on an iconic story has to be Sully: Miracle on the Hudson. This film portrays the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ incident of 2009. This incident saw an Airbus A320 land on the Hudson River in New York. The film depicts this miracle landing, along with the events following the incident.

Of course, the cast and crew of the film were not going to recreate the Hudson landing. But Director Clint Eastwood needed the scene to look and feel as real as possible. He combined footage of the actual Hudson River landing with studio footage.

For the film, two Airbus A320s retired from flying were purchased to be used as static sets. A lake at Universal Studios was then used to film the crash and rescue scenes. This footage was combined with ferry scenes shot on the Hudson.

Air Force One

Harrison Ford plays the US President in the 1997 film, Air Force One. His character becomes involved in a hijack onboard. For this film, the producers hired a real cargo Boeing 747-100 from American International Airways.

The plane was then repainted in full Air Force One attire, and used for in-air and external filming. Incredibly, the stunt sequences the aircraft performs in the film are real. A clever filming technique was to film the higher-risk scene where the aircraft veers off the runway, almost crashing into another aircraft, at half speed. This made the final cut look faster than it was in reality.

Top Gun

One of the most iconic jet movies has to be Top Gun. All the shooting for this film was done from the ground. For this aviation film, active military F-14 aircraft were used for filming. A Northrop F-5 aircraft was used as the enemy ‘Mig-28’. Plenty of dogfights feature in Top Gun, with the F-14 being the main aircraft featured in the movie. Interestingly, during the training missions of the film and the dogfight scenes, the sound effects used for the radar warning and the targeting system sound almost the same. But, in reality, these sounds would be completely different. This is to ensure the pilot has no doubt as to what is going on.

Bring your private jet dreams to reality with Adagold Aviation

While Adagold Aviation flights don’t come with the action and adrenaline of a Hollywood movie, they certainly make every guest feel like a movie star. Our private jet charter flights take the stress out of travel, and make for irresistible, luxurious jet-centric experiences. To book your private charter, don’t hesitate to contact our helpful team today.

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