I watched the Airwolf pilot as a 15-year old way back when it premiered, as well as the series that followed for a couple of seasons. I remember the show as being of the same cheesy calibre of The A-Team and Knight Rider, but rewatching the pilot a couple of days ago revealed my memory, at least of the series opener, was unfair. Writer/director/producer Don Bellisario delivers a crisp 90 minutes or so of action-adventure that's pretty grounded in reasonably extrapolated technology, and main character Stringfellow Hawke has a deeper, richer backstory than I recalled, strengthened by a dark, tragic turn at the episode's climax, one with real and unexpected emotional weight. The action is solid, the direction and editing crisp, the special effects excellent for the era, and the plot, though simple, holds up, with believable geopolitics reflecting the times. This is a surprisingly mature offering.
Does the rest of the series maintain this higher-than-expected calibre? I really don't remember, but revisiting Airwolf's origin story was a pleasant surprise.