I recently saw a very interesting documentary film made in 1980 about a narrowly-averted airline disaster in which the flight crew were incapacitated and a retired pilot, with the help of other crew members and experienced ground controllers, managed to land the plane safely.

The aircraft in the film is a 707, though I was puzzled by some of the interior shots, in which I thought it looked much more like a DC-8 (it's been a very long time since I flew in either). The footage of the cockpit was actually quite baffling, and I really didn't recognise it at all.

What exterior and interior features would help identify the particular 707 variant?

The documentary is apparently quite famous, so perhaps someone even knows the tail number. It's simply called Airplane! - very informative, and I learned a great deal about the aviation - highly recommended.

  • $\begingroup$ The DC-8 and B707 are different aircraft families. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 7, 2016 at 21:14
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Did you also notice that the 707 sounded throughout the entire, uh, documentary like it had propellers? $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ I saw that documentary once while in a turkish prison. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if you want to identify the aircraft used in that particular program or in a general sense; if the latter is the case, do try airlinercafe.com $\endgroup$
    – aeroalias
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 15:41

1 Answer 1


Don't know about the interior shots but for the exterior:

In-flight shots use a model, some ground shots use N6723, c/n 18989/492, a TWA 707-131B.

This is from the awesome website IMPDb Internet Movie Plane database

  • $\begingroup$ Apparently, my browser does not like that website, or the other way around. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 0:58
  • $\begingroup$ @SMSvonderTann You can try their main page at imdpb.org. it's a very cool site and folks on here could probably help them fill in gaps $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 1:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .