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Q: What happened to the helicopter used on "Airwolf"? Also, where are the two cars used on "Knight Rider" (the 1980s version and the 2008 remake)?

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Author: 
Adam Thomlison / TV Media

"Airwolf" never quite reached the popularity that "Knight Rider" did, and you can tell in the stories of the vehicles.

Though Universal shelled out for at least five copies of the car in "Knight Rider" (named KITT in the series), there was only one "Airwolf" helicopter (granted, helicopters are quite a bit more expensive than cars, even Trans Ams).

And though the fate of the Knight Rider cars is fairly happy one, the fate of the helicopter is quite a bit grimmer, though appropriately heroic.

The chopper flown by Jan-Michael Vincent's character in the 1984-86 action-adventure series "Airwolf" was a Bell 222 twin-engined model (modified to look tougher, of course). When the show concluded it was sold off for use as an air ambulance in Germany.

It was in this capacity that, according to a German news article, it was flying near the village of Berlar in the northwest, returning to Berlin after airlifting a severely burned eight-year-old girl to a hospital in Cologne. It was flying through a severe storm and crashed, killing all three passengers -- the pilot, a paramedic and an emergency physician.

In a simpler, less spectacular fashion, the cars from the original "Knight Rider" series were simply sold into the high-priced memorabilia world.

British newspaper The Independent ran an article in 2007 about one of the black 1982 Pontiac Trans Ams being put up for sale by a California used-car dealer for a whopping $149,995. Another is part of the collection at the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, England, while a third was at one time at least part of the collection at the Kruse Automotive and Carriage Museum in Auburn, Ind.

At least one of the Ford Mustang Shelbys used as the revamped KITT in the 2008 series is still around, in the hands of classic-car collector Tom Day in Corona, Calif. And though the model is actually called the GT500KR, the KR stands for "King of the Road," not "Knight Rider."

The number of KITTs that were made is the subject of debate. One story has it that Universal had more than 20 cars commissioned for use in the original series, and that all but five were destroyed. Perhaps out of respect for the leaner nature of the 2000s as compared to the excessive '80s, there were reportedly only three Mustangs made for the update.

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