10 Nov 2013


As a kid, there was a helicopter that you could see in the air from time to time. It was this one, combined with re-runs of M*A*S*H, that led me to believe that all helicopters were basically exposed steel frames with a clear bubble cockpit. As I got older, the TV show, Airwolf, pointed out that not all helicopters look like this. Even though it was a modified civilian helicopter, it looked very cool and modern compared to the basic and skeletal Bell-47. Fake rocket pods, other attached film props, and visual & sound effects made it even better.
So here I am, decades later, sketching a helicopter, that still looks a lot like Airwolf. While the TV star was a Bell 222, this one before me is an AgustaWestland AW109. Even years ago, as an avid watcher of the show, I had to look that up. The overall body-shape is very similar, and to me, it's close enough. When I was reading about it on the internet, I read that the actual vehicle in the series had a brief stint as a charter helicopter and then, in Germany, also became a rescue helicopter. Unfortunately, it crashed on its way back to base after an otherwise successful mission when it was caught up in a storm. While it is a risk here that an accident could happen too, this one has very safe specifications. After all, the response team here is a very capable crew piloting 2 decades of flight technology improvements, such as GPS and night vision. The real stuff this time... not TV trickery!

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