Special to Bullet News
Organizers today announced that the original Batcoper that was used in the 1966 Batman film will be at Niagara Falls Comic Con this summer. The helicopter is still in service and will make its way down to the Convention Centre all the way from Florida.
“To be able to get the original Batcopter up to Niagara Falls is a rare treat for fans of the film and aviation buffs alike,” said show co-owner Chris Dabrowski. “Show goers will have an opportunity to get their picture taken inside the original screen used helicopter, as well as a replica of the Batmobile, which will also be at the event.”
Lee Meriwether will also be in attendance at the Con. Meriwether is well known for her portrayal of Catwoman in the 1966 movie, replacing Julie Newmar, the usual actress for Catwoman in the television series.
In the movie, Catwoman, disguised as Soviet journalist “Miss Kitka” helps the group of villains kidnap Bruce Wayne (Adam West) and pretends to be kidnapped with him, as part of a plot to lure Batman and finish him off with another of Penguin’s explosive animals (not knowing that Wayne is Batman’s alter-ego).
“The film was intended to act as a catapult to generate interest into producer William Dozier’s proposed Batman TV series, but was actually filmed after the first series was aired,” said Dabrowski. “I don’t think there is any other franchise from the 60s that is as popular today as Batman is for fans. It never gets old and generates new fans regularly to this day.”
The Niagara Falls Comic Con is at the Scotiabank Convention Centre June 8 and 9. Tickets are $20 per day or $30 for both days. Visit www.nfcomiccon.com for tickets and more information.
The first appearance of the Batcopter was in the 1966 film, and unlike the Batmobile, the Batcycle and the Batboat, it was not intended for use in the 1960s television series, due to the lack of budget to create such elaborate vehicles.
The helicopter is based on the Bell 47, which was designed by Bell Helicopter Textron in 1941. The Batcopter was a G3B-1 model, which had previously been used in Lassie Come Home and ABC News. To make the model look more like a superhero vehicle, it was fitted with canvas-covered tubular frames and was painted red. The head of a bat was painted in the front while the Batman symbol was painted on the side.
After production of the movie, the Batcopter was returned to its original owner and was repainted to look like all the other helicopters owned by the company and was used for various purposes over the years, such as covering the 1968 Super Bowl.
Today, the helicopter owned by the President of NockAir Helicopter, Inc., Captain Eugene Nock, who restored N3079G to complete Airworthy condition,. Nock will transport the helicopter from his home base located in Longboat Key, Florida to Niagara Falls for the Con. The helicopter makes regular appearances at events across North America.