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AIRWOLF by bagera3005 AIRWOLF by bagera3005
Airwolf is the title character from a 1980s American television series. The aircraft itself was a modified Bell 222 twin-engined light helicopter owned by JetCopters Inc. and built by Bell Helicopter Textron.

The flying Airwolf helicopter was actually a Bell 222. The Bell 222 has two Lycoming turboshaft engines, a streamlined shape, and is available with either retractable undercarriage or fixed skids. It is usually flown single-pilot (optional dual controls are available), and can be configured for corporate/executive, EMS or utility transport missions. The aircraft can be configured for accommodations of up to 10, including pilot.

The airframe used for Airwolf was serial number 47085 (registration number N3176S). The Bell 222, sometimes unofficially called a Bell 222A,[1] was the fifth-to-last built before the 222B was released. During filming of the series the helicopter was owned by JetCopters Inc. in Van Nuys, CA.[citation needed]

After the show was cancelled the modifications were removed (now owned by a private collector) from the actual helicopter. It was repainted and eventually sold to the German helicopter charter company, Hubschrauber-Sonder-Dienst (aka HSD Luftrettung and Blue Helicopter Alliance), and given the registration number D-HHSD.[2] While operating as an air ambulance the helicopter crashed in a thunderstorm on June 6, 1992,[3] killing its three passengers.[4]

A new, full-size replica of the Airwolf helicopter was created for display in the Helicopter Headquarters museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee that opened in August 2006, using a non-flying Bell 222, and molds made from the originals used in the show.[5][6] The museum was unsuccessful, and has offered the replica for sale through eBay.[7]

The Airwolf helicopter

Airwolf was painted Phantom Gray Metallic (DuPont Imron 5031X)[8] on top, and a custom pearl-gray (almost white) on the bottom, in a countershaded pattern. The craft was also fitted with various prop modifications, such as "turbo jet" engines and intakes, an in-air refueling nozzle and blister cowling on the nose, retractable chain guns at the wingtips, and a retractable rocket launcher, known as the "ADF Pod" (ADF standing for All Directional Firing, as the pod could rotate 180 degrees to fire at targets at the sides and rear of the copter) on its belly.

The look of the modifications was designed by Andrew Probert,[9] and they were first applied to the non-flying mock-up (built from the body of the very first Bell 222, serial number 47001[10]). From this mock-up molds were made so that parts could be made to FAA specifications before they were added to the flying helicopter.

After the first season, the producers were advised that "chain guns" is a registered trademark of McDonnell Douglas, and they were not referred to as such again. Other modifications were implied with Foley and sets; the interior sets were of a fantastical high-tech nature, and there were implied "stealth" noise-reducing capabilities with creative use of sound effects.

The concept behind Airwolf was a super fast and armed helicopter that could "blend in" by appearing to be civilian and non-military in origin- A "wolf in sheep's clothing." Airwolf's insignia patch (also designed by Probert[11]) as worn by the flight-crew was a snarling wolf's head with gossamer wings that appears to be wearing a sheepskin complete with the head of lamb over the wolf's forehead. Airwolf is sometimes referred to in-show as "The Lady" by Santini and Hawke.

In the show, Airwolf was an armored, stealthy aircraft. It could perform impossible maneuvers and stunts, including traveling at mach speeds (the theoretical maximum speed of a helicopter is significantly below Mach 0.5, or half the speed of sound), flying upside down, and flying into the stratosphere. Some of these impossible capabilities are explained in the show by such features as auxiliary turbojet engines like those of a jet fighter (visible at the roots of the landing gear sponsons), rotor blades that can be disengaged for supersonic flight and a lifting body fuselage (a seemingly plausible claim given the shape of the Bell 222).

Sound effects were also associated with many of the aircraft's abilities. When Airwolf bolted across the sky in "turbo boost" mode, one would hear it "howl like a wolf" as it made a glass-shattering sound effect. When sitting idle, the aircraft made a mechanical trilling sound, and while hovering the rotor blades made a ghostly wind drone.

The weapons were state-of-the-art, with machine guns that could rip apart tanks and bunkers. The belly missile pod could fire a variety of rockets, including Air-to-Surface Mavericks, Hellfire and heat-seeking Sidewinders. When fired, these rockets usually glowed like a laser bolt or "photon torpedo" from Star Trek. Airwolf was also equipped with an advanced computer system which could identify and track aircraft and ground vehicles. It could display 3D wireframe models and schematics of its targets. The communications system could eavesdrop on radio and telephone conversations, tap into and foul up computer systems, jam enemy transmission frequencies and disrupt ground-based electrical systems. The stealth systems were capable of rendering Airwolf invisible to radar, as well as producing multiple radar returns (Demonstrated in the "Moffett's Ghost" episode). The weapons system could be tied in with the communications system to lock the missiles onto any monitored electronic system. Though never used in the show, Airwolf was also capable of carrying "nuclear-tipped Shrike missiles".[citation needed] In the first episode, a nuclear Bullpup missile was launched from Airwolf against an American destroyer while the helicopter was being used by its in-story inventor, Doctor Charles Henry Moffet.

In one episode ("Airwolf II"), Airwolf had an evil twin, the Airwolf II, also known as Redwolf. The Redwolf was built by The Firm to replace Airwolf, but was stolen and flown by an egotistical test-pilot rival of Stringfellow Hawke's called Harlan Jenkins. Redwolf differed from Airwolf in that its underbelly was painted red (where Airwolf' was painted pearl-grey). It was also equipped with a powerful laser weapon. By the end of the episode, Redwolf was destroyed by Airwolf. Season 4 also featured a similar copter to the Redwolf, known as the Scorpion. This copter was also destroyed by Airwolf (though the footage of the dogfighting was recycled from the "Airwolf II" episode).


Airwolf vs. Bell 222
Bell 222 "Airwolf"
Crew 2 (pilot & copilot) 2-3 (pilot(s) & weapons technician)
Passengers 5–6 1-2 (non-crew may use the copilot seat
and/or a seat behind the technician's seat)
Length 49.54 ft (15.1 m)
Height 11.68 ft (3.56 m)
Weight 4,555 lb (2,066 kg) unspecified
Speed 149 mph (240 km/h) 345 mph (555 km/h) conventional
Mach 1.5 with turbo thrusters
Mach 2 max speed
Range 373 mi (600 km) 950-1450 mi (1529-2334 km)
Ceiling 12,800 ft (3,901 m) 11,000 ft (3,353 m) unpressurized
89,000 ft (30,482 m) pressurized
Power (x2) 618 hp (461 kW) unspecified
Airwolf's “Design Specs”
(See talk page for sources)
Speed 300 knots/555 km/h (conventional)
Mach 1.5 (turbo thrusters)
Mach 2 (max speed)
Range 950 miles (armed crew of 3)
1,450 miles long range (crew of 2)
Midair refuel capable
Flight Ceiling 11,000 feet unpressurized
89,000 feet pressurized
Wing Guns[12] 30 mm Cannon (×2)
.50 BMG Chain gun (×4)
Firing up to 40 rounds per sec.
AGM-12 Bullpup missiles (×2)
AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles (×12)
AIM-95 Agile missiles (×4)
AGM-45 Shrike missiles (×?)
M712 Copperhead shells (×?)
FIM-43 Redeye missiles (×?)
AGM-65 Maverick missiles (×?)
AGM-114 Hellfire missiles (×?)
Red Laser
Defense Sunburst anti-missile Flares (×10)
Bullet-proof armoured fuselage
Learning flight/combat computer
Radar/Radio Jammer


* The ADF pod's missile tubes were only large enough to carry the Redeye missiles (FIM-92 Stinger is the modern equivalent). For example, Airwolf is about 13 meters long (42 ft), and a typical Maverick, Shrike or Sidewinder missile is about 3 meters long (10 ft), about 1/4th the length of Airwolf. Actual 40 mm cannon would be about the same size, which is why aircraft, especially helicopters, do not carry them, except for small, short range 40 mm grenade launchers.

* In Andrew Probert's original concept sketches, the AIM-26 Falcon (about 6 feet long with a 2 feet wingspan), was proposed to be mounted in hatches on either side of the ADF pod. The idea was rejected by the studio. While these capabilities were never displayed in the series, the proposed features could explain the scripting of larger missile capability. However footage in the pilot clearly shows a "large missile" (i.e. greater length than the practical limit of the ADF pod) being fired from the ADF pod (the Bullpup missile fired at the US Destroyer). A possible but also highly unlikely explanation would be that Airwolf uses tailor made versions of these missiles. Waist guns, just aft of the camera section, were also rejected, due to practical reasons.

* With a fuselage height of about 2 meters (6 ft),it is dubious that Airwolf could carry the larger fin missiles such as the AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-12 Bullpup, and the proposed AIM-26 Falcon, which had wingspans of about 0.6 to 0.9 meters (2 to 3 ft). Storing these internally, let alone 12 large AIM or AGM missiles, instead of the smaller Redeyes, would mean no crew areas, and would exceed the practical limit of the fuselage, let alone the ADF pod. Ammunition feed from the fuselage, through the turbojet engines, then through the landing gear, to the guns in wing stubs, no matter what size caliber, was equally dubious.
AIRWOLF was originally conceived and designed to look like an extraordinary executive helicopter-- nothing more. This would allow it normal airport exposure without people suspecting or comprehending its true military capabilities. It is, as its insignia suggests, a wolf in sheep's clothing.

AIRWOLF is a long-range supersonic multi role helicopter. It's an aerodynamic lifting body with a rotor system, driven by twin turbines, capable of propelling it to three hundred knots. This rotor system can be disengaged to ignite two turbo-thrust boosters, which can increase AIRWOLF'S speed to exceed mach two from sea level to 85,000 feet. AIRWOLF can rapidly slow itself by employing a reverse thruster system. Also, in some instances, AIRWOLF can deploy a drag chute (when the rotors are not engaged) which issues from a compartment in the tail.

AIRWOLF'S basic construction is of epoxy composites-reinforced with boron and graphite fibers. The crew compartment is additionally protected with honeycomb-structured lead paneling. Other major components are made of "rapid solidification aluminum castings", helping to keep the weight down. This is all skinned with ultra-thin energy-absorbing (bullet-proof) shielding.



The center of each landing gear wheel contains a small high-torque electric motor capable of propelling the aircraft on its own.


AIRWOLF'S powerful main rotor creates a hazardous downwash situation distressful to other close-flying aircraft and is capable (at low altitudes) of actually blowing over cars.


Crew members are automatically (and constantly) "monitored" for physical and neurological stress via a small device on the left side of the flight suit chest piece (physical), and through the helmet (neurological).


Creates air suitable for respiration. This enters the cabin systems from the engine- where it has been purified by heat. It is then filtered for hazardous particles and cooled for breathing.

The cabin (which is fully pressurized) can be instantly vented should the atmosphere become contaminated. Flight suit systems automatically take over if there is a cabin pressure failure.


Fine-tunes the engine at all times and prescribes optimum engine adjustments for most efficient operations. Works with the pilot through his throttle settings (tells him what to do).


Fiber-optic cable supplants electrical circuitry as the data link between computers and flight controls.


Located behind Santini, this area is normally utilized to support the "missile loading rack" that supplies the ADF pod. With this rack removed, the bay can be used for personnel transport (4-crowded), a small dirt bike, supplies to be dropped, cargo, extra fuel units, some new weapon or a sky-diver. An overhead winch and cable provides rescue capabilities, supply pick-ups, etc., while hovering.

NOTE: Entry and exit to this area are via AIRWOLF's rear doors-with access to crew compartment.


In an emergency, flight command can be transferred from the cockpit back to the Electronic Data Command Center. In other words, AIRWOLF can be piloted by Santini - in the rear.

A radar-jamming system that sweeps ahead of the aircraft.


Monitors all in-coming missiles.


After scanning a target, TADS matches its computerized information and displays it to the crew.


Every aircraft broadcasts an I.D. code which is picked up by the I.F.F. The computer identifies it and displays the code next to the appropriate radar image.


Forward sweeping system that constructs an image of what's ahead for the pilot in poor visibility.


Incorporates the most advanced type of radar called: 'SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADAR". (No information available)


Incorporates the Global Positioning System - G.P.S. (Navstar satellite)

Detects and discriminates various heat levels of targets. Reads anything from infrared to ultraviolet.


This system scans the target and discriminates various levels of atomic or molecular density. Once the computer "understands" the structure, it can produce an image of from any angle.


High to low frequency detection, wide/narrow reception, reception, locking and tracking ability.


Day and night sensitivity, zoom with limited pan and tilt, target locking and tracking ability.


Monitors all broadcasts and media: radio, TV and CB. Target locking and tracking ability.


Virtually every function and system can be 'recorded" (audio/visual) on AIRWOLF'S new COMPACT disc SYSTEM. This is a laser-disc system, utilizing a five-inch disc. While on playback, the system can be scanned or freeze-framed and can present several levels of information simultaneously, simply by skipping between multiple tracks (or bands) on the disc. If a "hard copy" is desired of particular information, the operator (pressing the appropriate button) can obtain an instant transparency or print that issues from the machine.

SUNBURST DECOYS - Flares ejected rearward to attract heat seeking missiles.

CHAFF DECOYS - Canisters ejected 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/starboard).


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.

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 casings ejected from these weapons are recovered and retained until landing.

MISSILES: ADF Pod-launched

HELLFIRE -- 6 Short-raged air-to-surface.

REDEYE -- 12 Short-ranged air-to-air.

COPPERHEAD -- 6 long-ranged air-to-surface (tank-buster). These are carried in the loading-rack which is mounted in the rear bay of AIRWOLF. They are gravity-fed into their launcher: The ADF Pod (located: centerline underbelly).

NOTE: The ADF Pod is now capable of 180 degree rotation port/starboard. This provides the ability to fly past a target and fire laterally at it. To reload, however, it must return to its normal forward position.

NOTE ALSO: The ADF Pod cannot be deployed at speeds above 300 knots.

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
Add a Comment:
FiretrontheHedgehog Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Airwolf FTW.
Sharklover74 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
cool I love that show
guardmn Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2014
Chiletrek Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014
 This is amazing diagram of my very favourite helicopter of all times!. I am even so glad that the Coast Guard in my city has a variant of the model (the one with the rotor inside the tail fin).

 Thank you for making this drawing and sharing it! :happybounce:

 Can I use this drawing if I eventually make a 3d model of Airwolf?

 Keep it up!
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
just credit my line art
Chiletrek Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014
 That would be no problem :) .
Fastmax Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014
Nice piece. Overall, you've got some great works here throughout your gallery pages.
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Zeonista Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013
Heh, good memories from my wasted youth. :) The best attack helicopter out there, bar none!
VictorHugo Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
nice! love this TV show, have the mp3 theme on my PSP along with Knight Rider!
Leathurkatt-TFTiggy Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah yes, The Lady we all know and love. **grins** String had a special touch with her but Dom had a unique understanding of The Lady. Talk about one hell of a team.
Mirk217 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2011
Beowulf-BX Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2010
The Theme song is in my head man lol
wolf786 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009
The maximum speed of airwolf as seen in season 1 episode 10, is 2.50 Mach which is equal to 2500 knots per hour. The Airwolf was flying at 1.09 Mach which was equal to 1090 knots per hour. With the same ratio its speed is 2.50 mach or 2500 knots per hour at maximum.
Phaedeaux Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2014
"Knots" means nautical miles per hour. "Knots per hour" is a rather small unit of acceleration.  The series was fun, but they never did explain how the aircraft could go supersonic without ripping the rotors off.
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
yes i just posted what they had listed
Czaendermajer Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2009
that is amasing . i rate 1600/10 ^__^
zimchar Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
Awesome! Excellent job!
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
thank you
zimchar Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
Your welcome! Great job on the detail BTW.
chili19 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009
i followed the serie. god i loved it
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009  Professional Interface Designer
i own all 3 of the good seasons
chili19 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009
lucky...i only own three of four seasons of Knight rider
blazeboy16 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2009
wow.... i love airwolf and this is great *favs*
josephcaesarsd Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2008
Wow, that's a long description!

Clearly a great piece of research.
Jason-FH-Art Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the childhood nostalgia. Awesome work and research.
Roguewing Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, this brings back the memories.....

Dom's "Lady" in all her glory.
MasterOfPointillism Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2008
Now this is research!!!! [link]
Thanks for giving me hope in my fellow artists! A great job on one of the best helicopters that I've ever seen.
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2008  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks you love the all of my gallery hop you take a look
MasterOfPointillism Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2008
For someone who lives in Ohio, you sure have broken English ....
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2008  Professional Interface Designer
A.D.H.D. my typing sucks math an design are my Strong points
MasterOfPointillism Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2008
Ah ... your typing is getting better already!
bagera3005 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2008  Professional Interface Designer
I also stayed up all night doing airwolfs design
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