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?


Said HST has exposed jet engines that would be ripped off in flight thus engines would be housed in main body of plane to be accurate for engineering. See more »


The handset on the passenger telephone has a port for a cord at the bottom, yet there is no cord between it and the cradle. See more »

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User Reviews

I didn't know enough to laugh.
25 July 2013 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

When I saw this premier on TV I had high hopes that Dykstra would unleash his miniature wizardry on a made for TV movie. I mean, afterall, Star Wars? Star Trek? Battlestar Galactica SFX credits? We all had high hopes. Then the movie aired.

Well, to be honest, I don't recall much other than thinking that this was an extension of the Airport Franchise, only the first Airport film at least had some dramatic teeth in it. The subsequent sequels, even one with George Kennedy at the controls of a Concorde, seemed to get ever moreso dreary. Well, Starflight is no different, but, some, and I do emphasize SOME of the FX are decent enough.

The truth of the matter is that as per a previous reviewer, kids were savvy enough to know that planes couldn't reach suborbital velocities with the technology as it was explained. Heck, I think even reasonably educated adults probably had a few "huh" moments going for them as the drama unfolded.

The shooting style, the acting, the cast, the music, even launching the space shuttle, I could give all of that a pass, even seeing Lee Majors in this thing. But, when they put in the "one thing" that would save them, that's when I finally changed the channel. I think this film aired once more that same year late at night, or the following year during the summer, but, to the best of my knowledge, it never saw the light of day again.

If you're bored, need some airborne disaster action on your TV or computer monitor, then maybe give this thing a single viewing, but don't say I didn't warn you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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