In the 1983 film Blue Thunder, Roy Schneider plays a LAPD helicopter pilot who gets his hands on Blue Thunder - a new prototype helicopter designed for surveillance as well as urban assault missions. Schneider's character must outwit corrupt government forces who wish to use the helicopter for their own purposes, given that it is one of only two such prototypes to exist. In the climax of the film, the antagonist (Malcolm McDowell)

comes after Blue Thunder in a modified Hughes 500, and the two engage in an aerial dogfight that Schneider wins due to Blue Thunder's advanced features.

Afterwards, he destroys Blue Thunder, feeling that such a powerful vehicle cannot fall into the wrong hands. And this leads me to my question... what happened to the other prototype?

  • 2
    Do they say in the film that there's two prototypes?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 6, 2017 at 21:00
  • 1
    The wikipedia page for the TV series says it was based on the film, but doesn't say whether or not it took place after the events of the movie (i.e. - a sequel). If so, then the one in the series would have to be the second prototype, given the fate of the one in the movie.
    – Omegacron
    Jul 6, 2017 at 23:36

1 Answer 1


I cannot find any reference to a second helicopter in the original 1983 movie.

Indeed, all of the references are in the singular... "it" instead of "them", "a prototype" rather than "prototypes".

The only reference to a second prototype appears, as far as I can tell, only on the movie's Wikipedia page and there is no source/reference for this assertion.

It may be that this is inferred from the existence of the Blue Thunder TV series which, essentially, re-invents / re-imagines the movie premise.

There is no indication in the first episode of the TV series that this is a sequel and indeed covers a lot of the same ground (using footage from the movie) as the start of the movie.

It seems likely that there was only a single prototype helicopter constructed else it would have been logical for Cochrane (the villain) to use that, instead of the Hughes 500 he actually does, to take on Scheider's character.

It should, perhaps, also be noted that destruction of the physical helicopter would in no way stop another bring built. Construction plans and schematics would have been retained by the military to easily move the project along.

  • Thanks for the answer - the question itself may be based on a false assumption, which is the downside to wikipedia articles.
    – Omegacron
    Jul 7, 2017 at 16:48

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