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Helicopters

Jan Michael-Vincent as Stringfellow Hawke - Airwolf TV seriesAirwolf - Futuristic helicopter (black & white Bell 222) seen on the aviation action adventure AIRWOLF/CBS/1984-86/USA/1987. The helicopter "Airwolf" (government file No. A56-7W) was designed to be the ultimate flying machine. Its capabilities included a cruising speed of 300 knots; climbing ceiling of 82,000 feet; onboard computers with topographical and vehicle identification data banks; four 30mm front mounted machine guns; two 40mm wing cannons; and bottom launched heat seeking missiles (Hellfire, Redeye, Copperheads, Sidewinder, Phoenix, Maverick, & Shrike). To avoid duplication, Airwolf's design plans were stored inside it onboard computers.

When Airwolf's creator/designer, Professor Moffit (Charles Henry) stole the craft to sell to a foreign government, an ultra secret group called "The Firm" assigned former Vietnam veteran pilot Stringfellow Hawke (Jan-Michael Vincent) to recover it.

However, when he got it, he refused to give it back until the US War Department stepped up their efforts to find his brother who had been listed missing in action in Vietnam. Hawke hid Airwolf in a large mountain crater in the Southwest desert area called "The Valley Of The Gods."

A mysterious man in white with a cane and eye patch called Michael Archangel (Alex Cord) negotiated the recapture of Airwolf, all the while, however, using Hawke and Airwolf for a variety of secret missions.

Ernest Borgnine as Dominic Santini - Photo courtesy of the Airwolf TV series The only others who knew of its location were Hawke's employer, Dominic Santini (Ernest Borgnine), a veteran helicopter pilot and employer of Hawke, and later in the series Caitlin O'Shannessey (Jean Bruce Scott).

During the 1985 fall season, a supped-up twin version of Airwolf premiered. Called Redwolf, the dynamic duplicate sported a black top, a red underbelly and was equipped with a laser cannon. In an apocryphal air battle, Hawke, piloting Airwolf, destroyed Redwolf .

The USA Cable network continued the series with a cast of four new actors when CBS dropped the show in 1986. This revised program featured Stringfellow's long-lost brother, Saint John Hawke (Barry Van Dyke), Dominic's niece, Jo Anne "Jo" Santini (Michele Scarabelli), Major Mike Rivers (Geraint Wyn Davies), and Archangel's replacement, Jason Locke (Anthony Sherwood) now working for "The Company."

TRIVIA NOTE: Aerial shots of Airwolf were achieved by filming a large scale and a downsized miniature. Stunt man Reed Rondell was killed January 18, 1985 when a helicopter crashed during the filming of one episodepilot Scott Meyers survived.


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