Rotary Action logo by Mike Pepper utility helicopter A GUIDE TO HELICOPTERS  
HOME  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Airwolf emerges from canyon
the Lady goes supersonic
Airwolf vs HX1

Airwolf star (1984) - intro film for TV series starring Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine as former military pilots in possession of a stolen US super-helicopter. With its turbo-thrusters, Airwolf can exceed mach 1, and it carries atomic bombs (the 'pilot movie' sees Airwolf nuke a battleship) in addition to the more frequently used anti-aircraft/ tank missiles and built-in machine-guns. Shadowy US security agency 'The Firm', led by white-suited Archangel (Alex Cord), allowed our two heroes to keep Airwolf in exchange for their expert help flying secret missions for the government.
Airwolf in desert hideaway
This action show was terrific fun - with its keen sense of humour and plenty of thrilling airborne espionage on a weekly basis, using a Bell 222A helicopter. 1st class production values and exemplary aerial photography set new high standards for rotary action on TV.

The 2nd season added an ex-policewoman pilot (Jean Bruce Scott) to the regular characters, and she eventually got to fly Airwolf when the hero was injured. My favourites among an extraordinary variety of flying stunts include Airwolf reaching near orbital altitude to freeze the virtual villain of Moffet's Ghost out of the onboard computer, Airwolf versus another super-helicopter in episode HX1, and Airwolf II - which sees our heroes engage the superior Redwolf helicopter (fitted with a laser cannon) in a dogfight... but it's piloting skill, and not advanced technology, that wins the day.
Airwolf main cast

Airwolf swoops down
low-flying turn
Airwolf vs Hughes 500

"Airwolf was a Bell 222A, tweaked with a bunch of bolt-on goodies. Following the end of the TV series, Airwolf was stripped down, repainted, and sold to Germany as a medevac unit. Later, it was struck by lightning while rushing a burn patient to hospital, and lost." - NATHAN DECKER

HX-1 in Airwolf TV series
Second season episode HX-1, showcases a prototype attack helicopter (a specially adapted Sikorsky S-76) that's stolen by villains and is, inevitably, used in a flying duel against Airwolf.

Bell 206 in Airwolf

Santini Air's 206 JetRanger
Airwolf also featured a Bell 206 JetRanger (pictured left) owned by Santini Air, and often used as a flying taxi whenever the heroes needed to reach the Airwolf helicopter's desert hideaway for an urgent mission.

The sci-fi action of Airwolf reached a new level with third season episode Airwolf II, which features a new 'replacement' attack helicopter (Redwolf) armed with a laser weapon.
Redwolf in Airwolf TV series

Santini JetRanger in Airwolf
The Bell 206 JetRanger, with distinctive 'Santini Air' stars-and-stripes livery, operated from its own company hanger at the local airport.

Airwolf misson helicopter
On supersonic rescue missions, the Airwolf helicopter used its stealth capability and superior weapons in surprise attacks against various international enemies, but it was very often just a fast vehicle for transporting the heroic pilot to a combat scene.

Hughes 369 gunship in Airwolf
The most frequently seen helicopter antagonist in episodes of Airwolf was the Hughes 369 (MD 500) Cayuse, or 'little bird' gunship version.

Larry Jolly and Airwolf model
These 2 behind-the-scenes pictures of the flying Airwolf models courtesy of Larry Jolly Miniature Productions.
Airwolf with its miniature version

Andrew Probert produced designs for Airwolf, creating numerous sketches and drawings, and his work on props, graphics, and storyboards all helped to establish that Airwolf was not simply a gadget used by the hero to solve problems or fight enemies; the helicopter became a principal character ('The Lady') in this action series.

Airwolf computer graphic

See below for examples of Airwolf designs, plus a behind-the-scenes photo of the actual Bell helicopter's remodel and refit work in prep for making the TV series...
Andrew Probert, design artist

shows Airwolf weapons deployment

Bell 222A helicopter in workshops
Airwolf rocket and missile pod

Airwolf retractable guns

Airwolf combat ready

Airwolf toy
Toys and models of the Airwolf chopper have been made to various scales in die-cast or plastic kit forms. Most are very rare now as collector's items. There are also several types of radio-controlled flying Airwolf models available.

Very best of the diecast models is Airwolf by Japanese company SGM-08 (highly detailed at 1:48 scale), which includes a battery-powered motor for the main/ tail rotors. It was produced in a pristine original, and a weathered version (see 2 photos below).

Airwolf diecast model
Airwolf weathered model

Airwolf blu-ray boxset