15 Movies about Airplanes and Aviation?

by Mr Vilen

A lot of things can happen on an airplane. You might fall in love, catch a criminal or even get into an all-out war with snakes!

We are talking about movies that take place inside the airport. They seem to make for some exciting scripts.

Think about it because every actor and actress has their setback during filming, which makes each scene more realistic than any other set out there.

With cinema becoming more popular, there are many movies about planes to choose from. But which one will make you feel like taking flight?

Whether it’s an aviation enthusiast or someone dreaming of their next trip for a dreamy holiday paradise, here is our list with the Top 10 Most Enjoyable Movies About Aeroplanes!

Top Best 15 Movies about Airplanes and Aviation

It’s not easy to narrow them down to just 15, but here are some best airplane movies for anyone interested in aircraft and flying!

1. Top Gun (1986 – dir. Tony Scott)

This film made a star of new young actor Tom Cruise and featured many jet aircraft and spectacular flying sequences.

The memorable theme song by Kenny Loggins (“flying to the sun, blinding in a crystal sky”) still evokes images of fast jets and speed, as do the powerful pictures from the opening credits.

The film is about an elite group of naval aviators or ‘Top Guns’ at a US Navy Fighter Weapons School. Cruise plays the role of ‘Maverick,’ and Kelly McGillis plays Charlotte, who is assigned to instruct him.

Will he be able to overcome his recklessness and live up to his potential? Watch and find out!

2. Pearl Harbor (2001)

This epic war film stars Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale, Cuba Gooding Jr., Jon Voight, and Alec Baldwin, to name just some of the actors involved in this blockbuster.

Despite being accused by critics everywhere for its overuse of special effects and a somewhat dissatisfying ending, the storyline alone is enough to keep you gripped from the beginning until the end.

The film follows two best friends through their childhood to adulthood as they train to become pilots in World War II.

Their lives are then irrevocably changed when the Japanese air force attacks Pearl Harbor, and one of them becomes involved in a love triangle with two nurses on the home front.

3. Air Force One (1997)

This American action drama stars Harrison Ford as US President James Marshall and Gary Oldman as Russian terrorist Ivan Korshunov.

Air Force One with 129 passengers on board and holds them hostage in an attempt to start a Third World War between America and Russia.

This movie will keep your heart racing from start to finish.

4. Flight of the Phoenix (2004)

Starring the ever-stunning Oscar-winner, Dennis Quaid, this movie tells the story of a group of survivors stuck in the desert with little chance of survival after their airplane crashes on takeoff.

They must work together to build another aircraft before exhaustion and heatstroke take over. John Davis, a successful film producer, make this film.

5. Amelia (2009)

This American drama film has come highly recommended by fans of aviation movies and fans of famous aviator Amelia Earhart herself.

Yes, she was recently proven to have survived her run-off course landing in 1937 before being captured by Japanese forces who thought she was a spy!

The film premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival and starred Hilary Swank as the young Amelia Earhart faces sexism in a male-dominated flying field.

6. The Aviator (2004)

The Aviator won four out of its eleven Oscar nominations at the 77th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Alan Alda, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Cate Blanchett, who plays Katherine Hepburn.

This movie tells the life story of aviation pioneer and movie mogul Howard Hughes from childhood to adulthood through his eccentricity with airplanes.

The film is believed to have been inspired by the 1995 book ‘Howard Hughes: Hell’s Angel’ written by Charles Higham, containing many references to Hughes’ crash landing in Lake Mead.

7. The High and the Mighty (1954)

The classic film follows an Eastern Airlines captain who must overcome a potentially deadly health issue as he struggles to keep control of his airplane after it sustains damage from a bird strike.

This movie will make you think twice before taking your next commercial flight, starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, and Robert Stack!

8. The Blue Max (1966 – dir. John Guillermin)

This film has a stellar cast, including George Peppard as ambitious German infantry officer Bruno Stachel; James Mason as aristocratic World War I flying ace Ernst Kessler; Ursula Andress as waitress-turned-model Marie Helena Sch623.

Karl-Otto Alberty as Austrian air ace Count von Klugermann, and Jeremy Kemp as Captain Fritz Wendel bearer of the Blue Max medal.

The film tells the story of combat pilots on both sides of the Western Front during World War I. A young German officer, Bruno Stachel, deserts his family and has a promising career as a concert pianist to become a fighter pilot in the German air force.

He is accepted into Jasta 11 based on his flying skills but soon becomes an arrogant and ambitious loner who is not popular with his colleagues at first.

Gradually he earns their respect for his exceptional flying ability and apparent indifference to danger, as well as the favor of commanding officers Priller and Lohrmann.

But when Marie Schumacher – apparently engaged to another man – starts seeing him more often, she attracts attention from Kessler – one of Germany’s most famous flying aces.

Bruno risks disgrace by fighting Kessler, who falls in battle on his friend Priller’s tail. Stachel is wounded on the Russian front and reassigned to reconnaissance duties before being awarded the Blue Max for twenty victories on one day.

At the film’s end, he returns home to join his family business after the war but fails to settle; he soon leaves them again to rejoin the air force as an airline pilot – still lonely, still obsessed with flying, and perhaps with Marie Schumacher too…

9. The Dawn Patrol (1938 – dir. Howard Hughes)

This World War I aviation drama features some of the best aerial photography ever captured on film.

Filmed before the United States entered into World War II, this classic drama of two Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilots on the Western Front was made about 80 years ago and showed great attention to detail in its flying scenes.

One of the most famous scenes is that showing a flight of SE5a’s taking off into fog while “The Dawn Patrol” marches unheeded on the soundtrack: “To seek out and destroy the enemy; that is your duty.

Starring Errol Flynn as Captain Courtney and David Niven as Lt Scott, both were real-life aviators who had survived aerial combat with distinction. Errol Flynn also produced and co-wrote the screenplay.

The film is about two Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilots assigned to a defense squadron on the Western Front during World War I. Courtney is the flying squadron leader; Scott is his new charismatic replacement.

They are an odd couple who fall for Priscilla ‘Pris’ Duvall, although she only has eyes for Courtney. She’s stuck in their dull old French village because of her father’s career as Professor Duvall.

An aircraft designer works with the top-secret development program at a nearby airfield called RFC Headquarters – or ‘Ruffec.’

Meanwhile, Courtney leads a flight of dedicated but weary veterans nicknamed ‘The Dawn Patrol.’ When they ask for relief, Courtney is told there are no replacements, so he trains his rear gunner, Corporal ‘Dusty’ Miller as a pilot.

Miller becomes an excellent replacement but struggles with his new responsibility and is killed during his first patrol. The Dawn Patrol considers resigning in protest until Courtney persuades them otherwise.           

10. Flyboys (2006 – dir. Tony Bill)

Jennifer Decker as Rosalie Walker; James Franco as a barnstormer and reluctant fighter pilot Raoul Lufbery; Jean Reno as Captain Joseph Landry; David Ellison as 2nd Lieutenant.

Jimmy Reed; Tyler Labine as Samson Posey; Timothy Bottoms as Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell; James Franco as Lt. Henry ‘Indiana’ Daingerfield; David Ellison as 2nd Lt. Jimmy Reed; Tyler Labine as Samson Posey; Timothy Bottoms as Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell

Based on the true story of America’s first air aces, this is another film about World War I.

This tale follows several American volunteers who join the Lafayette Escadrille, an elite group of early fighter pilots fighting in France during 1915-1916 before the US entered WWI in 1917.

The squadron (nicknamed “Lafayette Escadrille”) was initially composed of 40 members, mostly Americans with only French citizenship and without any official rank or status but considered part of the French Army.

They were fighter pilots, providing escorts for reconnaissance planes and blimps, but initially flew Nieuport 10s, with excellent maneuverability but weak engines. The squadron upgraded to Nieuport 17s in April 1916, which were slightly faster than the Nieuports they replaced.

The Flik included three-dozen French officers and nearly 200 enlisted men plus about 20 American volunteers who joined the French Foreign Legion separately before February 6th, 1916, when they officially became part of the Aviation Militaire.

11. Battle Of Britain (1969 – dir. Guy Hamilton)

This classic movie features some fantastic flying scenes by real Spitfire aircraft amidst dramatic aerial battles over London throughout July and August of 1940.

It’s not just about the pilots but also about the support staff in keeping these planes in the air.

The name Battle of Britain refers to an aerial campaign of the Second World War during the summer and autumn of 1940 over Southern England.

Germany had conquered most of Europe by early June 1940, but Britain was refusing to surrender.

Adolf Hitler hoped he could destroy RAF Fighter Command and force Britain to make peace; if his Luftwaffe failed, Germany would be facing a long war with no major allies and eventually an invasion across the English Channel.

12. Journey To The Center Of The Earth (2008 – dir. Eric Brevig)

Journey to the Center of the Earth: Brendan Fraser as Trevor ‘Trev’ Anderson; Josh Hutcherson as Sean Anderson; Anita Briem as Hannah Ásgeirsdóttir; Jean-Michel Paré as Hensley; Gunnar Helgason as Sigurdsson A straightforward adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic.

A geologist, his nephew, and their mountain guide are accidentally transported to the earth’s center when they fall into a deep crevice caused by an earthquake in Iceland.

It’s not just about flying but also about all the characters involved in running these massive aircraft carriers based in England.

Their job was hazardous because if any one of these ships didn’t return to base, it meant hundreds of young men had lost their lives in the war.

13. Air Force One

The film’s high-energy action sequences and witty dialogue is a perfect balance to its steamy romance.

Ford plays the president of the United States, who terrorists have targeted for capture or death after they successfully seize control over Air Force One while on the route from Washington DC via New York City (in this instance).

As always, we get to see our favorite actor act out an unforgettable performance as he takes down bad guys one by one with skillful precision!

14. Catch Me If You Can:

A man who impersonates an airline pilot, a bank robber, and a fraudster is all in Frank Abagnale Jr.’s life.

This underrated Steven Spielberg film stars Leo Dicaprio as the real-life FBI agent Carl Hanratty attempts to capture him for crimes committed using Pan Am Airlines tickets. He never actually took flight training.

Along with unexpected friendships formed from people being honest when they should have been lying, vintage 1960s aviation details are scattered throughout, making any fan happy!

15. Airplane! (1980)

Airplane! was a spoof on the Airport series and an Avataar of Joisey movie called Zero Hour!. Things go wrong after meal service when it’s discovered that one dish is sickening passengers and pilots.

A flight attendant must land the plane herself with help from her traumatized war veteran partner, who has been avoiding combat all these years because he saw too much death in Korea.

The movie feels like Saturday Night Live had hijacked this feature film by putting out some hilarious dialogue which includes lines such as cheezy gags then you’ll see what kind z fun there can be!”


If you are interested in the world of airplanes and aviation, this list will be perfect for your next binge-watching adventure. If you like this post, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.

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