Does anyone know what type of aircraft was used in the new film Plane staring Gerard Butler?

  • $\begingroup$ Can you see a registration/tail number at any point in the movie? If so, it will probably be possible to look up that number and find the type. $\endgroup$
    – Someone
    Jan 13, 2023 at 2:30
  • $\begingroup$ Don't recall seeing one $\endgroup$
    – dean1957
    Jan 13, 2023 at 2:41

2 Answers 2


Short answer: It's an MD-80 which can fly at 40k feet and happens to have a glass cockpit.

Complete answer: Inspect the following images from the filming set and trailer...

image 1

image 2

This is an aircraft from the MD-80 series. This does not seem to be an MD-90 or Boeing 717 since the latter two had visibly different engines.

So case closed? No :-)

Inspect the next two images from the trailer...

image 3

image 4

Yeah, that's not an MD-80 cockpit; this is what an MD-80 cockpit looks like:

image 5

Additionally, the altimeter shows 40,000 feet. MD-80/90 and Boeing 717, all have a service ceiling of 37,000 feet.

But the yoke does look "MD'ish" since the checklist holder does not move with the yoke - a distinctive feature of the MD yokes. Also, the seating layout in the cabin (as seen in the trailer) appeared to be 2-3, which is true for MD-80's.

So it appears that this is indeed an MD-80 - but with several nuances, which is to be expected from Hollywood movies.

Image Sources: First image, Images from the trailer, Real MD-80 cockpit image.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The first cockpit screenshot you show might be from an MD-11 (not sure though, definitely not B717). The second cockpit screenshot is certainly taken from an Airbus (looks like A320/330/340). Typical Hollywood consistency :D $\endgroup$
    – Bianfable
    Jan 13, 2023 at 7:30
  • $\begingroup$ As far as the glass cockpit: From Wikipedia: Later models could be equipped to a higher specification with EFIS displays in place of the traditional analogue instruments, TCAS, windshear detection, etc. An EFIS retrofit to non-EFIS-equipped aircraft is possible. So it seems plausible that there could be a glass cockpit, but I'll take it from those who see it looks like an Airbus that they got the wrong one. $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2023 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ It's more or less standard practice in Hollywood that any time a plane is featured, the inside doesn't at all match the outside. It's highly unlikely they filmed any of this inside an actual plane. This is probably a sound stage made to look like a plane. They know the vast majority of audiences either won't be able to tell or just won't care. $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2023 at 15:47
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    $\begingroup$ @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact That image from airliners.net appears to be an MD-82 that is equipped with the Honeywell EFIS dual displays. They replaced electro-mechanical attitude indicators and HSIs that were in the original MD-80. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Jan 13, 2023 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Jan 14, 2023 at 16:26

After watching the Plane (2023) Trailer, I am sure it is some variant of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80.

enter image description here enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Capt seems extraordinarily stupid, blundering right through the Mother Of All Cells lol. OTOH, if you've read Fate Of The Hunter by Ernie Gann, they would do just that in their DC-3s and hang on for dear life. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Jan 13, 2023 at 6:03
  • $\begingroup$ Do those planes still have stairs between the engines? $\endgroup$
    – dean1957
    Jan 13, 2023 at 13:18
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    $\begingroup$ Rear boarding stairs were an option on these planes. Many were delivered without the rear air-stair. I don’t know which version was more popular. $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2023 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Mike for your answer on the stairs. $\endgroup$
    – dean1957
    Jan 13, 2023 at 15:08

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