(ended 1960)
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  • Episode Guide
  • S 3 : Ep 33

    Four Little Indians

    Aired 1/18/60

  • S 3 : Ep 32

    Dead Wrong

    Aired 11/9/59

  • S 3 : Ep 31

    Man, You Kill Me

    Aired 11/2/59

  • S 3 : Ep 30

    Shoot Out

    Aired 10/26/59

  • S 3 : Ep 29

    Hot Cargo

    Aired 10/19/59

  • Cast & Crew
  • Kenneth Tobey

    Chuck Martin

  • Craig Hill

    Pete 'P.T.' Moore

  • Nancy Hale

    Helen Carter

  • Sandra Spence

    Janet Culver

  • Robert Vaughn

    Dr. Robert "Bob" Dixon

  • show Description
  • The Whirlybirds flew into our television sets from 1957 to 1960. Featuring Bell 47 helicopters, Chuck Martin (Kenneth Tobey) and Pete "P.T." Moore (Craig Hill) are the owners of Whirlybirds, Incorporated, a chopper for hire company based in California. Each week, Chuck and P.T. would find themselves called to help the local authorities in search and rescue, or fly a rich bigwig around. And of course, let's not forget the coolest of helicopters, the Bell 47, tail number N975B. The Whirlybirds was another hit series produced by Desilu Studios and ran three seasons in syndication . The show was filmed at the San Fernando airport and Whitman Field in and around Van Nuys, California and was conceived after a show idea from an I Love Lucy episode. Helen Carter (Nancy Hale) was the firm's secretary, replacing Janet Culver (Sandra Spence) midway through the 1st season. The show was the first television series to feature helicopters as it's main focus and inspired hundreds of young people to become chopper pilots. The Whirlybirds was also the place of introduction for Bell's improved model helicopter, the Bell 47J Ranger.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • sounddude

    User Score: 2625


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (13)

    • (After returning his stolen mine claim)P.T. Moore: How does it feel to be a rich man? Walt Elliot: Give me time to get used to it. My leg is throbbing like I was a poor man.

    • Helen Carter: For a famous eccentric, Mr. Jameson appears to be quite normal. P.T. Moore: He is as easy as an old shoe.

    • Chuck Martin: Thanks Marie, you saved our lives. Marie Marco: I killed my brother! P.T. Moore: Well, there is one thing all of this proves. Chuck Martin: What's that? P.T. Moore: We really know how to teach people how to fly. Chuck Martin: We sure do, almost good enough to kill us.

    • Sheriff Bates: As far as we can tell, no other car has been here to have picked them up, only a wind storm or rain can wipe out tracks in the desert, we have had neither. Bruce Tyler, his wife and his two kids didn't leave any tracks. Something very strange must have happened here last night.

    • (while searching for rustlers) P.T. Moore: Frank Devlin himself, the inside man. He even had his own herd rustled. Chuck Martin: As a cover up!

    • Vince Sofield: Wow! Fifty thousand this time. Ellis Parker: Tempting isn't it? That's for amateurs. Take a little, leave a little.

    • Captain Bowers: My men will be here any minute now. Get out of here, all three of you. Dr. John Dixon left behind a nice legacy and I want to keep it that way.

    • Hank Davis: I don't want your money....Jessica. Jessica: What is it? Hank Davis: I don't understand, just don't understand. How is it possible that I ever could have been in love with a thing like you.

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    Notes (29)

    • This was the first pilot episode which was filmed in 1956 at the Iverson Dude Ranch, where many western movies had been made. It was one of four episodes made as pilot episodes to present to CBS Films, which bought them, and the series, for syndication.

    • Johnny Crawford would go on to co-star in the hit TV series The Rifleman as Lucas McCain's son, Mark. He also became a teen idol in the early 1960s when he charted five hits on the pop music charts.

    • This marks the debut of Robert Altman as a recurring director, he would direct eighteen additional episodes throughout the remaining two seasons of the series.

    • Star Trek fans will recognize Majel Barrett in one of her earliest television appearances.

    • Original air date: 24 August, 1959, KHJ TV, Los Angeles, CA. USA

    • Episode copyright date: 19 August, 1959.

    • Original air date: 31 August 1959, KHJ TV, Los Angeles, CA. USA

    • Episode copyright date: 26 August, 1959.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (4)

    • This is the first known episode to feature the familiar Desilu Productions script logo in the closing credits as was also used in I Love Lucy.

    • In the opening sequence when pilots Martin and Moore are shown flying over the city, the Desilu Productions lot (the series' studio) is seen below.

    • This is the first television appearance of Pernell Roberts.

    • This episode, directed by Robert Altman, was nominated for a U.S. Academy Award.

    Allusions (2)

    • Art Masters: There is only room in the helicopter for 4. Chico Parentis: Five (holding up his kitty), el gatito--the cat, he flies too! Chuck Martin: We'll take the little kitty, he'll be a "Flying Tiger", huh? Martin makes an allusion to the famous WW2 Chinese Air Force squadron known as the Flying Tigers who were instrumental in assisting the US Air Force against the Japanese.

    • (P.T. is tempted to open the bag they are delivering to a courier) Chuck Martin: You ought to be glad it is locked, remember Pandora? Chuck alludes to the mythical Greek goddess Pandora whose curiosity resulted in her opening the forbidden jar, unleashing plagues, diseases, and evil upon mankind. In modern times the jar is known as "Pandora's Box".

  • Fan Reviews (2)
  • helicopters rule

    By ronporter735, Apr 09, 2014

  • THE Original Helicopter Show

    By Airwolf222, Apr 06, 2006