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Airwolf (1984–1986)

TV Series  |   |  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 5,722 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 11 critic

As part of a deal with an intelligence agency to look for his missing brother, a renegade pilot goes on missions with an advanced battle helicopter.

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1986   1985   1984  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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The series has been revamped with an all new cast. The brother that Stringfellow Hawke had been looking for during the original series has finally been found and is now the new pilot of the... See full summary »

Stars: Barry Van Dyke, Geraint Wyn Davies, Michele Scarabelli


Complete series cast summary:
 Stringfellow Hawke (55 episodes, 1984-1986)
 Michael Coldsmith Briggs III / ... (55 episodes, 1984-1986)
 Dominic / ... (55 episodes, 1984-1986)
 Caitlin O'Shannessy (44 episodes, 1984-1986)


Airwolf is the most sophisticated helicopter imaginable (flies halfway round the world, outruns jet planes). Stringfellow Hawke is its pilot, essentially blackmailing a secret US agency into finding his brother (lost in Vietnam) while he flies dangerous assignments for "The Firm." Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

22 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blackwolf  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(58 episodes)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


After the show was canceled the chopper was sold to a German firm. Airwolf - as a Bell 222 - flew as an air ambulance. On 9 June 1992 it crashed during a thunderstorm, killing all three crew members. See more »


Dominic Santini: [after they've flown Airwolf into the Upper Atmosphere] Now, would mind telling me why the hell we did that?
Stringfellow Hawke: I just wanted to see if it could be done.
See more »


Referenced in DVD-R Hell: Tequila and Bonetti: Street Dogs (2015) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the last intelligent suspense shows!
11 February 2002 | by (Alexandria, VA) – See all my reviews

AIRWOLF, which debuted as a heavily promoted CBS movie of the week in January 1984 (and continued as a weekly series until July 1986); was well written, produced (CBS kicked in a great deal of money for its production) and acted. It was a thinking person's action (and espionage) show, that truely emphasized personal relationships over technical gimickery. Every week Stringfellow Hawk and Dominic Santini (J.M. Vincent and Ernest Borgnine) fetched the ultra high tech AIRWOLF helicopter from its lair in the California desert to do the bidding of Archangel (Alex Cord) of the CIA to do one thing or another, though not usually until the last third of the episode which gave time to build a story amongst the players. The stories mostly centered around SoCal, but occasionally AIRWOLF took a trip overseas (curteousy of USAF tanker support) to fight a cold war type battle. Like most show's, the best episodes were in the first two seasons. However, by season three AIRWOLF started to look tired. By that time Jan Micael Vincent's alcholism problems caused serious production delays (in several 3rd season episodes Vincent is noticably intoxicated), such that CBS ultimately canceled the show; though not with out giving Vincent ample attempts to straighten himself out. The show still had legs, and was taken over by the USA Network (shot in Canada on a much tighter budget) for a fourth season with a new cast (Barry Van Dyke stepped in as Hawk's long lost older brother St John Hawk) to carry on the CIA's "chores". For the USA show's; cold war espionage was the theme of most of the stories as oposed to the CBS show's getting involved more in current events and family interests of Hawk's and Santini's. I liked the show alot, and was fortunate to have recorded many when USA rebroadcast them. It is of interest to note that Jan Michael Vincent went from a per episode salary of $250,000 (for the 58 CBS episodes 1984-1986) to now (2002) near poverty, and is living in a minimum security re-hab type jail, due to several arrests for public intoxication.

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