Farentino stars as pilot Frank Chaney. He is essentially the same character Roy Schieder played in the movie, but without the psychological hangups.
The "Blue Thunder" helicopter - the real star of the show - is a 1973 French Aerospatiale Gazelle. The chopper, plus its ground unit van, is manned by ex-pro football stars Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith, is equipped with all kinds of electronics gear and computers to sniff out crime. And enough armament to stop it on the spot, if necessary