Talk:Airwolf (helicopter)

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Missile questions[edit]

The pilot mentioned “nuclear-tipped shrike missiles”.
The, season-one, opening credits listed:

  • 2 Bullpup missiles • 12 Sidewinder missiles • 10 Sunburst superfast missiles • 4 Agile missiles

The, season-two, internal controls list three missile types: [1]

  • Copperhead • Redeye • Hellfire

So we know that Airwolf had the following:

  • Sunburst anti-missile Flares (×10)



Leaving the following questions:

  1. What is a “nuclear-tip” ?
    The Shrike is an anti-radar anti-radiation missile, so was “nuclear-tipped” just a dramatic description for the senator during the pilot-episode demonstration, or are we to believe that Airwolf actually had tactical nuke warheads ?
    1. How many Shrikes does Airwolf carry ?
  2. Does Airwolf fire howitzer shells from the ADF Pod, or is the Copperhead something else ?
    1. How many Copperheads / Redeyes / Hellfires does Airwolf carry ?
    2. Does she still have the first-season missiles in season-two ?
  3. Did Airwolf have stealth ?
    Often mentioned by fans, but she still had to fly below-the-radar in the first-saeson.
    1. Did actual stealth get added in seasons 2–4 ?
    2. Or, was stealth used to describe the silent hover/flight mode ?

MJBurrage 13:29, 28 February 2006 (UTC) Updated based on feedback belowMJBurrage 10:32, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm not a military weapons genius or anything, but I have to say, if memory serves me, the first time in my life that I ever heard of a "hellfire missle" came from this show when I was a kid and watched it religiously with Knight Rider and Street Hawk. So yes, I'm pretty sure Airwolf had Hellfire Missiles. I don't know exactly when or where it was mentioned, but I think it's safe to say she had them since they are designed specifically for helecopters (per the Hellfire article). Cyberia23 07:45, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Sunbursts were not missiles, but a type of flare. They usually "pop a sunburst" when a missile was fired at Airwolf. — Pixel8 21:06, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
  • According to my bootleg copy of what I assume to be the tech bible for the series (dated "Oct 11, 1984"), Airwolf is armed with (quote)
Four 30-millimeter machine guns (2 per wing pod).
Rounds fired per minute - variable.
Two 40-millimeter cannon (1 per wing pod).
Rounds fired per minute - variable.
NOTE: Shell casing ejected from these weapons are recovered and retained until landing.
MISSILES: ADF Pod-launched -
HELLFIRE -- 6 Short-ranged air-to-surface.
REDEYE --- 12 Short-ranged air-to-air.
COPPERHEAD- 6 Long-ranged air-to-surface (tank-buster).
[description of ADF Pod and its feed system deleted]
MISSILES: Side-launched -
FALCON -- 4 Long-ranged air-to-air missiles carried two to a side in compartments at either side of the ADF Pod. They are self-guided or manually guided.
NOTE: After launch, any missile can be aborted in flight.
  • Exactly how many Falcon missiles does Airwolf carry and from where do they launch? I'm asking cause I was just the third season episode Where Have All the Children Gone? on SciFi. In the episode Hawke and Dom have to shoot down a MRV missile before it blows up DC, only they come to realize that their going to have to destroy all eight warheads individually cause they can't reach the missile in time before it releases the warheads. And they use Falcons to do so. So that's eight they've got to use, only Hawke missed like three or four times. Meaning he fired eleven or twelve Falcons, all of which came out of the tubes of the ADF. At one time he fired three at once. And yes, I'm positive he fired Falcons cause he asked Dom to arm the Falcons and the switch Dom hit clearly read Falcon. -annonymous 5/23/07
  • They also used Falcon's in the final sequence of second season episode "Firestorm", from the ADF pod.

-anonymous 5/26/07

(end quote)

The "FALCON" is a reference to the AIM-4 Falcon, specifically the AIM-26 Falcon, which was nuclear armed. DocWatson42 09:10, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

  • In answer to the question about stealth, the "tech bible" mentions (under "IN-FLIGHT SYSTEMS"; quote–end quote):
A radar-jamming system that sweeps ahead of the aircraft.
The "DEFENSE SYSTEMS" section (quote–end quote):
Flares ejected rearward to attract heat-seeking missiles.
Canisters ejecte rearward that explode, showering
bits of aluminum to confuse radar-guided missiles.
NOTE: These systems are stored together and launched
from the rear of AIRWOLF's avionics bays (port/stbd).
Venetian blinding the exhaust emissions.
Produces omnidirectional radiation of infrared energy
to disable IR tracking. An automatic system that needs
no missile approach warning. IT snaps on when scanned
by IR detectors.
Produces multi-leveled decoy signals to confuse radar.
"Stealth" is not explicitly mentioned, nor is a "silent hover/flight mode". DocWatson42 08:46, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

"Stealth" is mentioned in the series, however... Airwolf has some stealth features mainly in the form of electronic jammers. The SR-71 also had stealth features, but could be seen on radar. It just depends on the conditions and situation. Airwolf's main advantage is high speed NOE flight to avoid detection. —Preceding unsigned comment added by CK 7684 (talkcontribs) 18:43, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Wing guns[edit]

There was a fan-produced tech manual that gave different details, but the plans shown on-screen state that the machine guns are .50 cal, and the cannon are 30 mm. —MJBurrageTALK • 01:16, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

The fan-produced tech manual, as you put it, was actually created by the show's Co-Producer, Carol Gillson in conjunction with Andrew Probert as a writers' bible. It was re-packed by the Airwolf Fan Club UK during the late 1980s/early 1990s as the 'AIRWOLF BIBLE'. SF 00:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I wonder why everybody keeps claiming that the machine guns are 30mm - they're smaller than the two cannons and look like M1919 machine guns, which would make them .30cal and the discussion would turn out to be a misunderstanding ;-) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).
I think the machine guns are 30mm in the same way that Airwolf is supersonic :) - BillCJ 20:23, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
How true. What should one expect from a TV show where the actors constantly push the wrong (clearly labelled) buttons? Adjusting the radio frequency by turning the chaingun ROF knob... FURFFU! :-)
That was actually down to the shows "action" film editor, Leon Ortiz-Gil not having enough time to edit the aerial footage every week. These were in the Linear Editing days remember. They were under so much pressure to deliver the can to CBS every week that they just didn't have time to check it. Same for the above with the guns-in-guns-out bloopers. It was simply overlooked by Leon, Don Bellisario etc., it was nothing to do with the actors. SF 00:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
The quad machine guns clearly are old-fashioned .30cals like the ones used by the Army as COAX or vehicle-mounted guns prior to the M60, and the cannon muzzles look like on a Bofors gun. I won't even comment on the idiocy of labeling Copperhead as AGM...
The four chain guns are .50 cals (shown on screen many times), they look unusual, because they were custom modified for filming. The actual barrels were hard to see on camera at a distance and so "barrel cooling sleeves" were added to make the barrels look larger. —MJBurrage(TC) 03:53, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

ADF Pod[edit]

I'd like to talk about the ADF pod. All Directional Firing was a great intention and all by Andrew Probert, Charles R. Davis and Gary Lee, but it was never shot doing a full 180 degrees on the show. Only time they ever shot tube-moving footage was by mid-3rd Season, specifically aerials in episodes like 'The Deadly Circle', 'Kingdom Come' and a few others. I'd suggest that the 180 degrees be changed to 90 degrees only and that is all that was ever shot for real. SF 00:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Clearing up the Weapons List[edit]

I am taking this opportunity to clear up not only the weapons list on the article itself, but also a lot of confusion and mi-information. I have read and taken into account the discussions above.

Firstly, the Guns. They are 30mm Chain Guns and 40mm Cannons, respectively. ORIGINALLY, they were .50 cal machine guns and 30mm cannons, this is true. HOWEVER, when the prop guns were deemed to be too small and were enlarged, the ammunition sizes were changed as well, to account for the larger guns. Marella's verbal reference to the 30mm cannons in the 'Pilot' and the original ammo sizes present in the 'File A56-7W' briefings at the beginning of some Season 1 episodes are errors; they were left over from the original script and specifications of the helicopter. The corrected '30mm guns, 40mm cannons' specifications are listed in the 'Flight Manual' which was produced by Andrew Probert and Carol Gillson for Season 2, and are therefore the official sizes.

Season 1:

The missile quantities given in the 'File A56-7W' briefings are unreliable, at best. Again, they are based on the Pilot script and specifications (it is assumed by the Airwolf fan community that the quantities given are what Airwolf was stocked with when it began its demo flight in the 'Pilot'), and are not standard; missile quantities would vary depending on mission requirements. The missile types mentioned in 'A56-7W' do not represent all of Airwolf's weapons, either.

The 'Offensive Weapon Deployment' panel (which was replaced when the instruments were redesigned for season 2) lists the following weapons:

Sidewinder, Hellfire, Shrike, Agile, Bullpup, Sunburst, Paveway Bombs, Air to Air, Air to Surface

The last two are not assigned and are probably mission-variable. Sunburst is grouped with the offensive weapons because originally it was a type of missile, NOT the name of the IR missile decoys (the 'Offensive Wing Deployment' panel which controls the gun pods has a seperate button marked 'Infared Decoys'). The use of the term 'Sunburst' for the decoys was coined during production of the 'pilot'. The other problem here is that the panel is ambiguous and does not give any clue as to which weapons are launched from the ADF Pod and which are launched by other means. There is no reference on the panels to either the ADF Pod or to any other auxiliary bays.

Other notes: The ADF Pod's deployment method (slide open belly door, pod drops into place) is not as originally intended. The original blueprints show that it was supposed to drop out from under the tail and slide along a set of rails to the belly. This is partially evident on the real flying Airwolf. But it was too difficult/costly to do in miniature.

Season 2:

The 'Flight Manual' gives a standard load of:

HELLFIRE -- 6 Short-raged air-to-surface, REDEYE -- 12 Short-ranged air-to-air, COPPERHEAD -- 6 long-ranged air-to-surface

Note, that only these three are named on the ADF Pod panel; presumably an effort to trim down Airwolf's arsenal to make it more believeable, although verbal references to the '14 offensive weapons' continued thanks to the script writers (a holdover from the first season). It is assumed that the three listed missile types can be replaced with other types if needed.

The ADF Pod was only capapble of 180 degree rotation from Season 2 onwards (the Flight Manual is very specific: The ADF Pod is now capable of 180 degree rotation port/starboard); it was not considered in Season 1 due to the original ADF Pod deployment method mentioned above.

Airwolf also has two auxiliary missile bays, either side of the ADF Pod, which carry a standard load of FOUR Falcon missiles (again, these can be replaced by other types). The bays were never seen in the show (impossible to build onto the flying Airwolf, difficult/costly in miniature) but are described in the 'Flight Manual' and are considered canon. (In 'Firestorm', the Falcon missile was launched from the ADF Pod.)

Airwolf has 'Chaff' decoys from Season 2 onwards (in season 1, radar guided missiles were thrown off by manually varying the frequencies emitted by the Radar Jammer)

I am a long-time fan of the show (13 years and counting!) and this information is based upon 'canon' sources and hard research and is considered accurate by the Airwolf fan community.The Legendary Shadow! (talk) 03:49, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

-I have made the relevant changes; removed unreliable missile quantities from season 1 weapons, added in missing weapons and chaff decoys, and missile quantities from season 2. Still need to add refs to the 'Airwolf Flight Manual' for the 30/40mm gun sizes, and the season 3 weapons. I'll do that when I've had some sleep!The Legendary Shadow! (talk) 05:25, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

This Flight Manual appears to have been an official book for the show. I had not heard of it and found some links on it. [2] [3] -Fnlayson (talk) 13:08, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

-The Flight Manual was an official publication made for use by the show's writers. Originally (for season 1), the writers had a 'series bible,' but Andrew Probert had also drawn up a book showing all of the instrument panels and what they do, this was primarily intended for Ernest Borgnine so that he would be able to press 'the right buttons' (neatly undone by shoddy editing!). The leftover copies were quickly snapped up by the writers. SO the Flight Manual was written and produced in a large quantity. It contains large diagrams of all the rear cabin instrument panels (copied from Probert's blueprints) and carries explanations of what they do, as well as all of the Airwolf technical data. There are no diagrams for the season 1 panels avaiilable anywhere (yet), all that exists is the original studio blueprints (and a pile of reference photos).The Legendary Shadow! (talk) 14:29, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

What evidence do we have that the Flight Manual is in any way official? I'm not saying it is not interesting or cool, but I've always assumed it was an unofficial fan production (like so many of the Star Trek manuals). —MJBurrage(TC) 05:10, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Blue thunder[edit]

Anyone thought about making one of these articles for Blue Thunder (helicopter) ? (talk) 15:14, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Ever think about asking that at the TV or Aviation projects (linked above)? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 15:39, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, another editor and I have been working on one, but really haven't haid the time to get it ready for mainspace yet. - BilCat (talk) 16:30, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
What has TV got to do with it? It's from a film. (talk) 04:06, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
The sandbox article is at User:Fnlayson/Blue Thunder (helicopter), and the article's probable mainspace title is Blue Thunder (helicopter). Also, the helicopter was in the TV series too. - BilCat (talk) 04:23, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
It's from both the Blue Thunder movie and brief TV series. Trek, if you will work on it, you can move or copy to your user space. I mainly have it because it looked like Bill was leaving a couple years ago. -Fnlayson (talk) 04:57, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Unit price[edit]

According to article, it is equal to ~$1 billion. Is it true? If yes, then what are the sources of this information?

Airwolf II/Redwolf: Airwolf's "evil twin"[edit]

Airwolf II is an inanimate object of which its actions are entirely at the whim of it's pilot, so therefore cannot be "evil". Spartan198 (talk) 06:33, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Fate of the major helicopters[edit]

In case anyone more experienced with aircraft registration databases wants to verify and add this, Redwolf was later purchased by the University of Southern Alabama and crashed in 1987:

Last time I checked, the Jet Ranger still served as a news helicopter and HX-1 had ended up in Brazil

Airwolf itself was lost in the line of duty when the ambulance helicopter she had been converted into crashed in Germany, but that's already referenced in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:59, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

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