The Original 1966 BATCOPTER is Grounded — and Man, I Miss It

The classic Bell 47 helicopter is currently out of commission…

The coronavirus pandemic is a severe public health crisis that has destroyed thousands and thousands of lives and devastated the economy. It is a grim situation.

So I don’t mean to make light of it by writing about something as whimsical as the original 1966 Batcopter, which has been grounded from its annual summer tour because events have been cancelled across the country.

But the thing is, one of the ways we cope is by looking for the brighter things in life and sadly, an annual visit to Batman’s greatest flying machine is off the table.

2015: My son Sam and me, with owner Eugene Nock preparing for takeoff.

For years now, I’ve traveled to the State Fair Meadowlands in New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from New York City, to say hello and hang a bit with the Batcopter’s owner, Eugene Nock and his traveling troupe of a family. I’ve had the pleasure of flying in serial no. N3079G a number of times now and I’ll tell you, it’s pretty much the only thing that helps me conquer my fear of heights.

Nock and his charming family typically travel the country to fairs and air shows, sometimes offering rides, sometimes just being part of the festivities. Either way, it’s a wonderful experience for any Batman ’66 fan — or general Batman fan for that matter.

My view from inside the Batcopter, flying above the Meadowlands in 2015. That’s my knee right there.

Eugene says that the Batcopter is safe in its Florida hangar, getting cleaned and inspected regularly, awaiting the day when it’ll be able to take flight again.

“I have spent many years in New Jersey and New York during the summer,” he said. “Many, many events. I very much miss New York City and my pals in Jersey.”

And the Batcopter doesn’t travel just to the real-life Gotham City’s metropolitan area. In a given year, it’ll go to places such as Wisconsin, Indiana and elsewhere.

At least we can still watch the Batcopter in the 1966 movie and in episodes of the show’s second and third seasons. That’s pretty dang cool.

But not nearly as cool as seeing it up close — or even better, strapping in and taking flight.

2021 will be the TV show and movie’s 55th anniversary, so here’s hoping life is back to a semblance of normal by then.

Meanwhile, stay safe, keep your distance and wear a mask. Because that’s what Batman would do.


— I Rode in the Original BATCOPTER — and It Was Everything I Hoped. Click here.

— What It’s Like to Own the Original 1966 BATCOPTER. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. It’s sad how the current pandemic is disrupting everything around us. Still, you have to admit that the Batcopter from the old “Batman” TV show is pretty cool.

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  2. I hope someday I will have a chance to give my husband a chance to make a dream come true to ride in the batcopter. Sadly adam west passed away before he could meet him, but riding in the batcopter would be an experience of a lifetime.

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