Where Is the Original “Airwolf” Helicopter Now?

Carsten Frenzl/CC-BY 2.0

The original helicopter from the TV series “Airwolf” was destroyed in a crash in Germany in 1992. The helicopter was being used for medical ambulance purposes at the time.

The helicopter in the series starring Jan-Michael Vincent was a Bell 222, the last of the 222A series, and it was registered as N3176S. The model was revolutionary in its day and featured a light alloy structure and twin 650 horsepower engines.

The show ran for 55 episodes between 1984 and 1986 and an additional 24 episodes in 1987 with a different cast. In the show, the “Airwolf” helicopter is portrayed as being a highly advanced machine capable of outrunning jet planes and flying halfway around the world. In actual fact, the Bell 222 was modified for the show to include what looked like sophisticated weaponry. Vincent’s character, called Hawke, works as a pilot for a shadowy organization called The Firm as he tries to find his brother who was lost in Vietnam after the war there ended in the 1970s.

By 2010, reality had caught up with the series in that several experimental high speed helicopter prototypes, capable of speeds up to about 310 miles per hour, began to be tested in the United States and Germany.