Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land (1983)

TV Movie  |   |  Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  27 February 1983 (USA)
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The fictional story of the first "hypersonic" commercial passenger plane, which can make the flight from New York to London in a mere four hours. On the maiden flight of this plane, a minor... See full summary »



(screenplay) (as Robert Malcolm Young) , (story)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Josh Gilliam
Erica Hansen
Q. T. Thornwell
Nancy Gilliam
Bowdish (as George Di Cenzo)
Janet Briggs
Freddie Barrett
Laurie Hansen (as Heather Mc Adam)
Michael Sacks ...
Gary Bayer ...
Pat Corley ...
Joe Pedowski
Mrs. Harvey
Diane Stilwell ...


The fictional story of the first "hypersonic" commercial passenger plane, which can make the flight from New York to London in a mere four hours. On the maiden flight of this plane, a minor disaster occurs resulting in the plane actually leaving the Earth's atmosphere and orbiting around the globe. A lack of heat-resistant tiling prevents the plane from simply re-entering the atmosphere. With oxygen (and therefore time) running out, the crew of the plane and the crew on the ground must figure out a way to return the plane and it's passengers to safety. Written by Afterburner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The first hypersonic passenger plane marooned in outer space helpless ... ready for certain death. See more »


Sci-Fi | Thriller


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Release Date:

27 February 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Starflight One  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie is loosely based on the novel "Orbit" by Thomas H. Block, from 1982. In the novel, a hypersonic plane on a cruise from New York to Sydney excesses its cruise altitude due to sabotage by a revenge-seeking company engineer. See more »


The footage of a rocket referred to as "Delta" is clearly that of the Saturn V moon rocket. See more »

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User Reviews

Silly disaster flick
24 January 2002 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

"Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land" is a silly made-for-TV disaster flick that could have been titled "Airport '83: Trapped in Space". While the film is modestly entertaining at times, it's just too preposterous to believe. The plot: a hypersonic jet takes off for Australia and ends up stuck in outer space by accident. Director Jerry Jameson fared better with "Airport '77", and the cast (Lee Majors, Hal Linden, Lauren Hutton, Tess Harper, Ray Milland, etc.) have done better work than this. Not a real bad movie but not a real good one either. This movie originally aired as a three hour movie on TV; the home video version was edited by about 30-40 minutes and retitled "Starflight One".

** (out of four)

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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