Trivia / Airwolf

  • Downer Ending: A post-series variation of the trope. While many of the aircraft featured on the show are still flying in various roles to this day, the Bell 222A’s used as Airwolf, as well as its on-screen rival, Redwolf (or Airwolf II), suffered sad fates:
    • The flying Airwolf was registration (or “tail number”) 'N 3176 S' (serial number 47085). After Season 3, the aircraft’s external modifications were removed. It was repainted, and sold to a German firm, with the tail number D-HHSD. On June 6, 1992, while being used as an air ambulance and flying in heavy fog and developing thunderstorm, it impacted a mountainside and was destroyed, killing its 3 crewmembers.
    • The non-flying “mock-up”, was tail number N 9988 K (serial number 47001, the first production Bell 222A). This was used for nearly all interior filming as well as some exterior shots when needed during Season 1-3 (Yes, sorry to say - the flying Airwolf never had the rear command center installed), as well as ALL the filming of Season 4 as the production couldn’t afford the flying Airwolf. After the series conclusion, the mock-up was then broken up, and any usable parts sold to other available 222’s.
    • Airwolf’s “evil twin”, Redwolf (or Airwolf II), was tail number N 1074 T (serial number 47015). In April of 1987, while on a post-maintenance flight over Texas, the drive system for the main rotor failed, causing total loss of control. It then impacted the ground, killing 2 crewmembers.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • CBS had the series made more domestic and much lighter in tone after the first season, insisting on a female character being added and Hawke's somewhat dark and troubled nature being toned down.
    • Season 4 was made for the USA Network, which as a cable channel in 1987 and even after taking the series to Canada, could not afford to keep any of the original cast. Dominic Santini was killed off (using a body-double since they couldn't afford even a few moments of Ernest Borgnine), and since they had the money for a few minutes of Jan-Michael Vincent they had String appear, but be critically wounded so he couldn't fly anymore. Archangel was said to have been "reassigned overseas", and Caitlin was never mentioned or seen again.
  • The Other Darrin: In the first series, St. John Hawke (when he appeared in flashbacks) was played by Christopher Connelly. When he became a main character following USA's re-launch of the series, he was played by Barry Van Dyke.
  • Science Marches On: Archangel's comment to String that they'll never know if a Vietnamese-American boy in one episode is really St. John's son (and Stringfellow's nephew). DNA fingerprinting had just been invented in 1984 and was still new and not entirely well known or trusted, and DNA paternity testing wasn't really done much until the 1990's. Now that DNA testing has become a widespread thing that comment seems really redundant.