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Television series
German title Airwolf
Original title Airwolf
Country of production United States
original language English
Year (s) 1984-1986
length 45 minutes
Episodes 80 in 4 seasons
genre Drama , action series , crime , science fiction
Theme music Airwolf Main Theme
idea Donald P. Bellisario
music Sylvester Levay
First broadcast Jan 22, 1984 ( USA ) on CBS
first broadcast
April 22, 1986 on Sat.1
Jan-Michael Vincent
Stringfellow "Huckleberry" Hawke
(Seasons 1–3)
Ernest Borgnine
Dominic Santini
(seasons 1–3)
Alex Cord
Michael "Archangel" Coldsmith-Briggs III.
(Seasons 1–3)
Deborah Pratt
(seasons 1-3)
Jean Bruce Scott
Caitlin O'Shannessy
(Seasons 2-3)

Airwolf is an American television series about a secret, supersonic attack helicopter  - a visually modified Bell 222 helicopter - and its pilot and takes place during the Cold War .

Originally produced for CBS by Universal Television and Belisarius Productions, the series consisted of three seasons with a total of 55 episodes, with the pilot being a two-hour double episode.

The series was created by the successful producer Donald P. Bellisario , who also uses other well-known formats such as Kampfstern Galactica (1978 together with Glen A. Larson ), Magnum (also together with Glen A. Larson), Back to the Past ( Quantum Leap ) , JAG - Produced on behalf of the Honor and Navy CIS .

Already in the second season, however, differences arose between CBS and Bellisario, because the television station wanted to introduce a female figure on the one hand and to make the series more family-friendly despite more action. From the third season, Bellisario was finally no longer available and CBS got out due to significantly increased production costs.

A fourth season, also known as Airwolf II , was produced by the USA Network in Canada from 1987 and consisted of 24 episodes. Due to cost savings, the actors and the basic theme were changed.


Dr. Charles Henry Moffet developed the combat and reconnaissance helicopter Airwolf on behalf of the CIA , but steals it during a demonstration, where he led the development team around agent Michael "Archangel" Coldsmith-Briggs III. murdered. Only Archangel and his assistant survive seriously injured, and Archangel hires the former CIA employee and Airwolf test pilot Stringfellow "Huckleberry" Hawke to bring the helicopter, which is now in Libya, back to the United States. Hawke is actively supported by his foster father and friend Dominic Santini, the owner of the airline Santini Air. After the agent and lover Hawkes smuggled into Libya by Archangel, Dr. Charles Henry Moffet was painfully murdered, Hawke pursued, and eventually kills him in a gun battle.

Hawke and Santini fly Airwolf to the United States, but do not give the miracle helicopter back to the CIA, which is only referred to as "the company" in the series, but hide it in a remote cave in the Valley of the Gods . Hawke does not want to deliver the helicopter until the company finds and frees his brother Saint John, who was missing in the Vietnam War, but in the meantime also flies it on secret missions on behalf of Archangel. Individual agents of the company try again and again to get hold of Airwolf, the "Lady", but with Archangel's help Hawke can thwart any attempt. Hawke also often uses the helicopter to solve private problems.

In the second season, Caitlin O'Shannessy joins the crew, who previously saved Hawke's life with Airwolf. Caitlin was a helicopter pilot with the police, eventually found a new home at Santini Air and at times also piloted Airwolf.


Stringfellow "Huckleberry" Hawke

His character is called Huckleberry Hawke in the German dubbing. He was a US Army combat and rescue pilot during the Vietnam War . Hawke is the pilot of the Airwolf and was also the test pilot of the helicopter from around 1977 to 1983 . Since Moffet dies in the pilot, Hawke is the only one who really knows about Airwolf afterwards. Some people say he's the best pilot in the world - and he can fly anything that has wings. He lives in a lonely forest hut that can only be reached by helicopter, plays the cello passionately and is an art lover. Hawke is seen as solitary and sometimes appears stoic to outsiders, but also has a rather idiosyncratic sense of humor. Because of past disappointments and losses, he finds it difficult to develop relationships with other people. The only person Hawke fully trusts is Dominic Santini. According to Santini, he has exceptionally good cooking skills.

Dominic Santini

He is Hawke's fatherly friend, he was the best friend of Hawke's father and took care of him after his father's death. Santini operates the small airline Santini Air and is co-pilot and weapons technician for the Airwolf. Like Hawke's father, he served in the US Air Force , including in World War II and the Korean War . Unlike Hawke, Santini is a very open and warm-hearted character, who, however, also likes to fool around.

Michael "Archangel" Coldsmith-Briggs III.

As an agent of the CIA he works there for “the company” - a division of the CIA . Archangel (in German " Archangel ") sends Hawke and Santini on secret missions with Airwolf. In return, this Hawke helps find his brother Saint John, who has disappeared in Vietnam. Archangel was the Airwolf project director. Most of the time it looks cool and matter-of-fact, but sometimes also shows its soft core.


She is Archangel's right-hand man in the CIA. She can fly a number of different planes and is almost always by Archangel's side. In addition, she has five PhD degrees in aircraft construction, electrical engineering, microbiology, French literary studies and psychology.

Caitlin O'Shannessy

The former police helicopter pilot was rescued by Hawke during a mission (in the episode: Manhunt in Texan ). As she was fired from the police, she applied to Santini Air and was initially hired as a pilot. She is later trained to fly Airwolf herself.

Charles Henry Moffet

He was the ingenious, but also insane, inventor of the Airwolf super helicopter . His character shows sadistic and inhuman traits. Since he steals Airwolf in the pilot film and brings it to Libya, "the company" turns to Airwolf test pilot Stringfellow Hawke, because he is the only one besides Moffet who can fly the helicopter. Moffet is killed by Hawke, but has a guest appearance in the second season, as Moffet built in a kind of anti-theft device in Airwolf , which speaks by means of video messages recorded by Moffet, and takes control of the Airwolf systems .


Role name actor Voice actor Main role
Supporting role
Stringfellow "Huckleberry" Hawke Jan-Michael Vincent Wolfgang Condrus 1-3
Dominic Santini Ernest Borgnine Wolfgang Völz 1-3
Michael "Archangel" Coldsmith-Briggs III. Alex Cord Joachim Kerzel 1-3
Marella Deborah Pratt Monica Bielenstein 1-2
Caitlin O'Shannessy Jean Bruce Scott Katja Nottke 2-3
Charles Henry Moffet David Hemmings Rolf Schult Pilot film Episode 2.3

Airwolf II

Television series
German title Airwolf (unofficially Airwolf II)
Original title Airwolf
Country of production United States
original language English
year 1987
length 45 minutes
Episodes 24 in 1 season
genre Drama , action series , crime thriller
idea Donald P. Bellisario
music Sylvester Levay
First broadcast Jan 23, 1987 on USA Network
first broadcast
February 1, 1991 on RTLplus
Barry Van Dyke
Saint John Hawke (Season 4)
Michele Scarabelli
Josephine "Jo" Santini (Season 4)
Geraint Wyn Davies
Major Mike Rivers (Season 4)
Anthony Sherwood
Jason Locke (season 4)
William Bruce Davis
Newman (season 4)

After CBS got out at the end of the third season, USA Network created a fourth season with 24 episodes from 1987, which is also referred to as Airwolf II , because both the actors and the basic topic were changed due to cost savings.


Santini is killed in a bomb attack, Hawke disappears from the hospital, and Archangel is transferred somewhere in the Far East. They are replaced by Hawke's brother Saint John, Airforce Major Mike Rivers and Santini's niece, Josephine. Jason Locke becomes the new liaison agent to the CIA.

At the end of the first episode of season four, Saint John meets his injured brother in the hospital. After the two met again after more than 17 years, they disappeared from the hospital. Shortly before the episode ends, Saint John returns to the cave with Airwolf without Hawke, where he tells Locke, Mike, and Jo that he still had something to do. In this scene, Saint John gets out through the copilot's door, which indicates that his brother was previously in the commander's seat. Saint John later mentions that he has a brother somewhere who looks for him every now and then.


Saint John Hawke

From 1969 to 1987 he was "Missing in Action" in Vietnam in the US Army. He was separated from Hawke during a mission and captured by guerrillas. Hawke was also captured but was released. However, Saint John was not found. It was not until 1980 that a unit was found by "Company" Saint John, but the unit was eliminated only a short time later by Major Bouchard, and Saint John and other prisoners of war were taken prisoner again. Major Bouchard intended to trade Saint John von Hawke for Airwolf. However, this went wrong for years.

Major Mike Rivers

As one of the best pilots in the US Air Force, he was recruited by the company in 1987 to get Airwolf out of his hiding place, since Hawke had meanwhile almost been killed in a bomb explosion and Santini had died. He, Locke and “Jo” Santini freed Saint John from Bouchard's hands. However, he and Locke did not reveal the hiding place of Airwolf because the project had been terminated after the theft by Moffet and the helicopter in the desert was safer than at the "company". Rivers is able to fly Airwolf without any introduction.

Josephine "Jo" Santini

She is Dominic Santini's niece. She takes over Dominic's place in Airwolf after the bomb attack and passes on Santini Air.

Jason Locke

He is an investigative agent with the CIA and takes over the position of Archangel when he disappears on a mission in Asia. Unlike Archangel, Locke also flies Airwolf.


Role name actor Voice actor Main role
Saint John Hawke Barry Van Dyke Andreas Hosang
Gerhard Marcel (CIC video)
Josephine "Jo" Santini Michele Scarabelli Juana-Maria von Jascheroff
Traudel Sperber (CIC-Video)
Major Mike Rivers Geraint Wyn Davies Udo Schenk
Wolfgang Jürgen (CIC video)
Jason Locke Anthony Sherwood Ronald Nitschke 4th
Newman William Bruce Davis Peter Neusser
Holger Mahlich (CIC video)



In the series, only the minimum of special effects - generous for action series - was used and the human and political plot was emphasized. As a result, the helicopter never acted as an end in itself. As a "child of its time", Airwolf makes use of the usual clichés from the Cold War , about terrorists and good versus bad. Also Hawkes Vietnam -Trauma is typical for US television this time, as in the series Magnum observed.

Originally Airwolf planned in 1984 as a TV movie, but then one from the television series created, aired from 1984 to 1987 a total of four seasons. The title melody and large parts of the background music for the series were composed by Sylvester Levay . The music is dominated by atmospheric synthesizer pieces, as they were typical for the 1980s.

In contrast to the first three seasons, the fourth season, also for cost reasons, was filmed in the television studios around Vancouver in British Columbia ( Canada ). This can be seen mainly in the bad weather: While the first three seasons usually play in dusty deserts, Airwolf now flies over rainy, North American jungles. For cost reasons, however, many aerial recordings from the first three seasons and computer animations were used. The Airwolf helicopter was also pretty battered, materially and mechanically, due to the many stunts of the first three seasons. Due to the reduced budget, it was also not possible to convert a second Bell 222 and use it for filming. The series never finished and ended after the 79th episode, although a fifth season was still planned. The question of what would become of Airwolf was never answered after the last episode was a perfectly normal episode. Universal only approved a budget of $ 10 million for season four, which is roughly $ 400,000 per episode.

Twenty years after the series was completed, a team led by Steven W. Stull worked in the United States to build a new Airwolf based on a Bell 222A with serial number 47042 and registration number N414WW. Work began on April 6, 2006. The finished, non-motorized New Airwolf was exhibited in a helicopter museum and auctioned on the Internet on May 17, 2008 for $ 60,000  . It is still unclear whether the new model, like the original, will appear in a film or television series as a remake of the original from the 1980s or play a leading role.

Original helicopter

Model of the Airwolf in the Tennessee Museum of Aviation

The Airwolf is an optically modified version of the Bell 222 (serial number 47085, N3176S). He received dummy jet engines and weapons on the stub wings, a dummy rocket launcher under the fuselage and some additional metal sheets that made him look more martial. These additions were in no way functional; the deployment of the weapon bays was always filmed using separate props. On the machine gun dummies z. B. the spark plugs are visible, which ignite a gas mixture flowing out of the muzzle to simulate muzzle flashes for the audience. The design of the Airwolf was developed by Andrew Probert, where he first tried out his ideas on a prototype of the Bell 222 (serial number 47001) bought by Bell and adapted it to the FAA guidelines.

After the end of the series, the helicopter was used by Universal Studios - without the add-on parts - in other TV productions. He was then sold to Germany. Until 1992 he flew at HSD-Luftrettung under the identification D-HHSD as an intensive care transport helicopter and finally crashed on a mission flight on June 6, 1992: After a little girl was flown from Berlin to the Cologne University Hospital, the machine got caught on the return flight a thunderstorm. The machine finally crashed over the wooded area of ​​the municipality of Bestwig in the Sauerland. After more than an hour, the rescue teams were only able to recover the bodies of the three inmates.

Top speed (fictional)

  • Max. Speed ​​with rotors: 300 knots (555.6 km / h)
  • Max. Speed ​​with "turbo": max. Do 3
  • real: 278 km / h (Bell 222)

In the episode Airwolf's toughest test , Hawke has to do  eight cruise missiles at Mach 3 (original statement by Hawke: "...  eight times in a row and over 2000 miles (× 1.6 = 3200 km / h, approx. Mach 3) per hour ...") shoot nuclear warheads to save Washington from a nuclear disaster. Santini is worried about the strong vibration that Airwolf may break up. A higher speed was neither mentioned in the series, nor would it be correct, as sometimes claimed, to ascribe a top speed of Mach 4 to Airwolf, when at Mach 3 (English original, German dubbing "greater Mach 2") it is already far from its limit has exceeded. Also in the Eagles episode with the X400, which itself had a top speed of Mach 2, Airwolf could barely keep up. When Hawke asked for more turbo boost, Santini responded with an indignant "Forget it, we're already 30 percent over it!" However, one must also note that Airwolf can depend less on speed and performance than on acceleration other aircraft.

Statement from Marella in the pilot film: " 9.6 seconds after ignition, Airwolf can exceed Mach 1 from a sea level to 65,000 feet " ( 9.6 seconds after ignition, Airwolf can exceed Mach 1, from sea level to 20,000 meters).

Statement from Hawke in the episode Half-Pint : “ When I push a button, we'll be doing Mach 1 in six seconds! (If I press the start button, we'll be at Mach 1 in six seconds!).

Weapons (fictional)

Airwolf has a total of 14 weapon systems:

  • Laser cannon in the bow (only used in the fourth season with Airwolf and in season 3 Eps. 2 with Redwolf)
  • Guided missile starter: ADF Pod, three tubes in the fuselage, retractable, loaded with Hellfire , Redeye and Copperhead
  • four 7.62 mm Browning M1919 (.30cal) machine guns in the wingpods on the fuselage
  • two 40 mm automatic cannons in the wingpods on the fuselage
  • four AIM-4 Falcon launch bases in the side of the fuselage floor (only used in the fourth season)
  • Paveway bombs in the fuselage (never used in the series)
  • Sunburst / Flares / Chaff on the side (anti-missile bait)
  • six more weapon systems

Standard payload (fictitious)


The first three seasons of Airwolf received a few awards, but the fourth season was empty. A detailed list can be found in the IMDb .



In Germany, CIC Video released two episodes as a compilation on a cassette. These are:

  • Airwolf - An Unbeatable Weapon (Pilot)
  • Airwolf - Mission Airwolf
  • Airwolf - The fight
  • Airwolf - a new friend
  • Airwolf - The wonder weapon
  • Airwolf - to life and death
  • Airwolf - Airwolf in Action
  • Airwolf - Death from the East ( Airwolf II - double episode Störfall in Stavograd )

radio play

The following radio play cassettes have been released in Europe :

  • The abduction
  • Where did all the kids go?
  • The defectors
  • The lookalike
  • The death of the mongoose
  • The missing brother
  • Curse on Airwolf
  • The trap
  • countdown has started
  • Manhunt in Texas
  • The $ 2 billion deal
  • Late revenge or vengeance is never too late
  • Who pays double the ransom
  • In the hands of the Mafia
  • Setting a trap for the wolf
  • Secret mission Laos
  • Airwolf is exposed
  • Innocent behind bars
  • Pay or Die
  • day of reckoning


The soundtrack for the series was released on CD by ZYX Music . It contains eleven synthesizer tracks from the group The Wonderweapon , which imitate the original music of Sylvester Levay.

DVD and Blu-rays

From June 28, 2007, the first season in German dubbed version on DVD was sold by Universal. On September 27, 2007, the second season Part 1 (3 DVDs) was released and on January 31, 2008 Part 2 of this season followed. The third season Part 1 (3 DVDs) was released on June 5, 2008 and was completed by Part 2 on September 11, 2008.

On April 14, 2014, all 55 episodes of the first to the third season were released on Blu-ray Disc in the original language.

On May 15, 2015, all episodes (79 + pilot film) were released in a Blu-Ray disc box, both dubbed in German and in the original language.


In 1990 the edel company published the 98-page companion book Airwolf on behalf of RTLplus : The book - The big book about Airwolf by Claudius von Zolkov. In addition to the introduction of the main actors and some color photos, it contains information about the helicopter and the fictional armament as well as the episode guide for the first three seasons. - ISBN 3-927801-07-0

Web links


  1. The original series ran from 1984–1986 for three years with a total of 56 episodes. In 1986 another 24 episodes followed with other actors.

Individual evidence

  1. German dubbing files: Airwolf series detailed view . In: . Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  2. a b c d Airwolf in the German synchronous file
  4. Awards