Preferred Blue Thunder to Airwolf, simply as Blue Thunder actually looked as if it could do the things it was meant to do in the show, while Airwolf looked like it ought to be ferrying oil workers out to offshore platforms. I even prefered the TV series of BT to Airwolf, but that was only through twenty years of gold tinged nostalgia. I finally re-watched Blue Thunder the TV series last year and it stank. It was cancelled after only 12 episodes, and you can see why. By the final episode, they decided to turn it into Airwolf, when the CIA came in and commandeered it for a mission in South America, Dana Carvey was ditched from the cast, and a babe brought in as co-pilot. The only good things about it was Bubba and Ski.
Airwolf the TV series was much more typical of the era, a tech heavy action show, best served by the Cold War, but it got horrendously routine very quickly.
Of course Blue Thunder wins the battles of the movies hands down. The Airwolf movie was just the pilot episode re-edited, the actors brought in to ADR some swears into the dialogue to up the rating. Utterly lame. Would you believe that it's been released on Blu-ray in the UK? It's the world's only Blu-ray transfer of what looks like a videotape source.
Blue Thunder had naked yoga! And a whole commentary on the Big Brother society before it even became an issue. Blue Thunder was less a hero vehicle in that movie as it was a distillation of the social message of the story.