Five characters from Cheers (1982); Norm, Cliff, Frasier, Lillith and Rebecca, made appearances on the show. No characters from Wings crossed over to any Cheers episodes, though Thomas Haden Church played an unrelated character on a Cheers episode prior to being cast on Wings.
Prior to joining the cast as a regular, Tony Shalhoub had appeared in an earlier episode (Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places) as Antonio, but was employed as a waiter in that appearance. In a later episode/clipshow Antonio says he worked as a waiter when he first arrived on Nantucket.
The aircraft in the opening and closing credits (N121PP) is still in use with Cape Air Airlines of Hyannis, Massachusetts. One of Cape Air's primary destinations in its New England operation (they also operate in Florida, the Caribbean, and Micronesia) is, in fact, Nantucket. This particular aircraft exclusively serves the New England market, so on any given day it is probably flying in and out of Nantucket. When filmed for the credits, 121PB was in the livery of the now-defunct Express Air of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Shortly after the filming, it became the property of Cape Air and has been used in that airline's service ever since. Prior to Express Air, it was in service for Provincetown-Boston Airlines which went out of business the year before Cape Air started.
Thomas Haden Church left the series when cast in the FOX Sitcom Ned and Stacey (1995). Lowell was written off by having him enter the Witness Protection Program after he saw a Mob hit. Brian Haley replaced Church as new mechanic Budd Bronski, but was written out of the series without explanation after only one season.
The character name Carlton Blanchard, played by William Hickey (I), was taken from a character in the movie Wings (1927), where he was played by William Hickey (II). (Coincidentally, William Hickey (I), who appeared in this series, was born the year the movie was released.)
David Angell, who was a writer and creator of this series, died on 9/11 when his plane was hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center. Rebecca Schull, who plays Faye, starred in "United 93", which tells the story of the hijacking and attempt by the passengers and crew of the flight to retake the plane on 9/11.
Tony Shalhoub's father and mother's names are Joe and Helen, matching the two lead characters in "Wings". Additionally, his father's brother's name is Brian, the same as the show's character Joe. Coming from a NY theatre background and unfamiliar with the then year old program, Shalhoub was unaware of this until he saw his audition script.
Wings only ever received a grand total of three Emmy nominations. One for Outstanding Makeup in 1996, and the others in 1992 for guest stars Kelsey Grammer (playing Frasier Crane) and Tyne Daly (Tim Daly's sister) for her one-episode appearance as Mimsy Borogroves.
One of the producers, Roz Doyle, passed away from breast cancer in 1991. In homage, Roz Doyle became the name of Fraiser's radio producer in the hit series, which takes place in the same "universe" as Cheers and Wings, and has the same core creators.
Kevin Conroy was considered for the part of Joe. Conroy would soon go on to do the voice of Batman in the 1990's animated series and related projects. Tim Daly would go on to provide the voice of Superman in a crossover/companion series related to Conroy's Batman projects.
The license number of Sandpiper's plane is N121-PP, hence why they always used the call sign "Cessna Nevada 1-2-1 Papa Papa" when referred to on the radio. This is the registration number spelled out using the phonetic alphabet. However, "N" is "November" in the phonetic alphabet.
Stock footage of the Sandpiper Cessna featured three different planes. The numbers were N121PP or "Nevada 121 Papa Papa'"(the one always given by Joe or Brian over the radio), N121PB and N160PB. The latter two are never spoken of.
In one episode, Helen is watching home movies of one of her childhood birthday parties. Young Brian is seen wearing a T-Shirt saying "STAR TREK LIVES". Steven Weber would later guest star on an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993), and Tim Daly's father James Daly guest starred on the original Star Trek (1966) series. The "Star Trek" series, like "Wings", were all produced by Paramount Television (the original series began as a Desilu production).
Veteran actress Tyne Daly, sister of Tim Daly (Joe Hackett) makes a guest appearance in Season 3, episode 6 as a wealthy woman who briefly uses Joe's brother Brian as her boy toy. Tyne received an Emmy nomination for her performance.
Amy Yasbeck's real-life husband John Ritter guest starred in one episode as Casey's ex-husband Stuart. It would be the third (and final) time they'd play each other's spouses, after "Problem Child" (1990), where they initially met, and "The Cosby Show" (1984) episode, "Total Control" (1991).
Though some of it can be seen through the open door, the inside of Roy's office is never shown. The same goes for his house. The gang gathers in his backyard on one occasion, but that's as close as the audience ever gets. Both locations, however (as well as his car: a purple El Camino, which is also never seen) are repeatedly described in great detail, with emphasis on Roy's gaudy and often inappropriate tastes.
In the early seasons, Lowell is a husband and father, and lives on a houseboat. His wife, Bunny, makes several guest appearances throughout the series, but his children - one of which is named Lowell, Jr. - and his houseboat (though frequently mentioned) are never seen.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
During the island's "off-season," the time when tourism is low, many of the characters take side jobs to make extra money. There is an entire episode dedicated to this premise, but Joe's off-season jobs are highlighted most frequently throughout the series. During the off-season, he has used his plane to: deliver pizzas from Boston to a wealthy resident on the island, carry containers filled with bass to dump in lakes for fishing (at which he was unsuccessful), and charter his business out - during which he wore his formal pilot's uniform and hat - for an untethered chimpanzee and his drunk handler.