41 user 10 critic


1:17 | Trailer
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.
1,894 ( 352)




3   2   1  
1986   1985   1984  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Complete series cast summary:
Jan-Michael Vincent ...  Stringfellow Hawke 55 episodes, 1984-1986
Alex Cord ...  Michael Coldsmith Briggs III / ... 55 episodes, 1984-1986
Ernest Borgnine ...  Dominic Santini 55 episodes, 1984-1986
Jean Bruce Scott ...  Caitlin O'Shannessy 44 episodes, 1984-1986
Learn more

More Like This 

Airwolf (TV Movie 1984)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A scientist who has created a super helicopter has defected to Libya and taken the machine with him. A secretive government agency hires an ex-Vietnam War pilot to go to Libya, steal the chopper and bring it back.

Director: Donald P. Bellisario
Stars: Jan-Michael Vincent, Ernest Borgnine, Alex Cord
Airwolf (1987)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The series has been revamped with an all new cast: St. John, the brother whom Stringfellow Hawke had been looking for during the original series, has finally been found and is now the new ... See full summary »

Stars: Barry Van Dyke, Geraint Wyn Davies, Michele Scarabelli
Knight Rider (1982–1986)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A lone crimefighter battles the forces of evil with the help of a virtually indestructible and artificially intelligent supercar.

Stars: David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, Richard Basehart
The A-Team (1983–1987)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Four Vietnam vets, framed for a crime they didn't commit, help the innocent while on the run from the military.

Stars: George Peppard, Mr. T, Dwight Schultz
MacGyver (1985–1992)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The adventures of a secret Agent armed with almost infinite scientific resourcefulness.

Stars: Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar, Bruce McGill
The Fall Guy (1981–1986)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The adventures of a film stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter when movie work is slow.

Stars: Lee Majors, Douglas Barr, Heather Thomas
Street Hawk (1985)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A desk bound cop secretly fights crime as the test pilot for a prototype combat motorcycle.

Stars: Rex Smith, Richard Venture, Joe Regalbuto
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a severely injured test pilot is rebuilt with nuclear-powered bionic limbs and implants, he serves as an intelligence agent.

Stars: Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks
Magnum, P.I. (1980–1988)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The adventures of a Hawaii based private investigator.

Stars: Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley
Blue Thunder (1984)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An advanced prototype police helicopter and their ground support crew battle crime.

Stars: James Farentino, Dana Carvey, Sandy McPeak
CHiPs (1977–1983)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The adventures of two California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers.

Stars: Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox, Robert Pine
Remington Steele (1982–1987)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The cases of a female private detective partnered with a former thief who assumes the role of a fictitious detective in the business.

Stars: Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan, Doris Roberts


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


A New Kind of Weapon. A New Kind of Hero.


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


G. Gordon Liddy' s acting debut was for this show. See more »


Airwolf's hiding area is in Nevada, whilst Santini Air is in Los Angeles. Despite this, Mr. Hawke or Mr. Santini have no trouble getting to the hiding area in a very small amount of time, often within an hour. See more »


[Opening Narration, to the series]
Narrator: This briefing is from file A56-7W. Classified Top Secret. Subject is, Airwolf. A Mach 1+ attack helicopter with the most advanced weapons system in the air today. It's been hidden somewhere in the Western United States by it's test pilot Stringfellow Hawke. Hawke has promised to return Airwolf only if we can find his brother, St. John, an MIA in Vietnam. We suspect that Archangel, deputy director of the agency that built Airwolf is secretly helping Hawk in ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the Italian version Hawke's surname is "Stradivarius". See more »


Featured in Jan-Michael Vincent Is My Muse (2002) See more »

User Reviews

what Airwolf laid ground for
16 November 2008 | by cynvisionSee all my reviews

I think a lot of reviews look at this series and complain about recycled footage without taking into account this series was before effects computers. It's a large way humbling just how that and video changed TV and movie production in just a few short years. Years where Airwolf 'coming ahead of its time' by just three years or so, the show suffers for trying to do things with pre-computer-age film technology. I have to think they did more hours filming Airwolf cruising around the southwest than the studio suits thought they needed and budget complaints prevented more because it wasn't until season three that stuff got notable as repeated. Like things happen with the Stargate series and Cheyenne Mountain exterior for *six seasons*. It would have continued if HD tech didn't prompt needing a new set of Cheyenne exteriors shot. As with Stargate SG-1, if Airwolf had kept a driving force behind it's direction from the start we well could have seen a new round of footage. And probably with newer cameras of the day, too. But it was not to be. The budget item kept getting dropped. By season two the writing was on the wall that it just wasn't going to be needed.

Besides suffering from a divided series vision and objective where some shows were fluff and some writing actually had a message and a way to drive it home, Airwolf series was as much a victim of small-studio Hollywood limitations. As X-files suffered Vancouver-itis, Airwolf suffers from outdoor locations being a bit too southern California or blatantly the Universal back lot to pull off Russia, Germany or the snowy waste of Northern Alaska. And the show had to fake glaciers, volcanic explosions, Mexican deserts, and Russia and night flights time with refilming existing film with filters. With scale models and wind machines. People tugging on strings and pushing buttons. The old fashioned way. Like thirty years of TV before it. In time to make a schedule. So someone better get off their backs! They made that flying prop look gooood.

I think people also slam the believability factor without considering audiences back in 1984 weren't all that sophisticated. They didn't question if the Road Runner and Coyote cartoons had proper physics. Those were fun because it didn't. Consider that the Airwolf show (all TV shows) was a one-off, once a week thing to catch on TV and not see again unless you had one of them new, expensive VCRs. People saw shots once and the human mind filled in any mistakes. And people didn't have the Internet to hop onto and find out choppers don't surpass X knots of speed. The Boob Tube was the source of news and entertainment everyday. And people would simply believe it if the pretty scientist lady says it turns off the blades and acts like a jet.

Then they go on about how the Bell 222A was a dog of a ship to fly around. And when they weren't making it look like a Travel California tourism film, they made that thing look like a barn swallow dogging cats on a lawn. That's true magic! The ability to turn that worked up Bell into The Lady people still fill Internet boards discussing so seriously. I just don't think we have the same kind in the present day. At least not in this age of 'reality' TV... It got young people interested in helicopters and general aviation. And maybe just a touch of science? I almost can't call it an action show. It's a science fiction show actually set on the planet Earth. You really just have to roll with it without there being cell phones and fax machines and personal computers. The hero can't type a letter, but can redirect a sidewinder. He and his mentor actually get their hands dirty and fix aircraft and basic electronic circuitry. About the only show I can think of as its descendant is Heroes for bending the "they can't do that" suspension of disbelief like Airwolf did. And now all TV adventure shows/cop shows are done with a bit more attention to how long it takes to fly and drive places. To way more medical science, bombs, physics and laptops than people in 1984 ever cared to think about... As a result from shows like Airwolf and Nightrider. And who knows? Maybe fifteen years from now people will be slamming Heroes the same way?

11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 41 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »


Official Sites:

Official soundtrack site





Release Date:

22 January 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lobo del aire See more »

Filming Locations:

Monument Valley, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(58 episodes)

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Recently Viewed