From The Internet Movie Plane Database
Jodie Foster (Eleanor Arroway)
Matthew McConaughey (Palmer Joss)
James Woods (Michael Kitz)
Tom Skerritt (David Drumlin)
William Fichtner (Kent)
John Hurt (S.R. Hadden)
Eleanor Arroway first became interested in making long distance contacts using an amateur radio when she was very young. Her curiosity continued to grow as she got older and she later became a scientist.
Dr. Arroway traveles to Puerto Rico to work on a project called the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program using the Arecibo Observatory. After years of listening, she finds a strong signal repeating a sequence of prime numbers from the star Vega.
With the help of several nations, the U.S. began constructing a transport using detailed instructions that were discovered in the signals coming from Vega. This caused a lot of controversy which ended with the destruction of the machine and killed many people. However, S.R. Hadden, a billionaire industrialist who lives on his own airliner, was secretly building an identical replacement in Japan.
Looks like a mix between a Boeing 727, Tupolev Tu-154 and a Vickers VC-10.
Registration N388JC, Serial 45568.
A CGI modified version of the Harrier, most noticeably the wingtips.