The Aerialbots (called Airbots in Japan and Aérobots in France) are a group of Autobots that transform into aircraft and combine to form the giant robot Superion. They were introduced into the Transformers toyline in 1985 and sold as a Superion gift set, and then sold separately in 1986 in most department stores (e.g., Toys R' Us, Sears, Kay-Bee Toys). Their archenemies are the Decepticon car team the Stunticons.
Transformers: Generation 1
The five Aerialbots are:
The leader of the Aerialbots. He transforms into a Concorde jet. He forms the torso of Superion. He is afraid of heights, because he was built from a low-altitude transport, as opposed to the spacecraft his comrades were made from. Optimus Prime gave him command of the team so that his concern over the well-being of the others would take precedence over his irrational fear. As a result, it was a while before the others accepted him as their leader. His motto is: Don't look down, look straight ahead. He is voiced by Charlie Adler.
He transforms into an F-16 Fighting Falcon jet. He forms the left leg of Superion. A theorist who would rather research and study battles than fight in them, though he is the fastest and most skilled flyer among the Aerialbots, and one of the most skilled flyers among all Transformers. He is arguably the most qualified of the Aerialbots to lead, and serves as an unofficial second-in-command. His motto is: Only by studying the past can we win the present. He is voiced by Laurie Faso.
Known as Firebolt in Japan, he transforms into an F-4 Phantom II jet. He forms the right arm of Superion. He is a reckless flyer who pays no attention to the safety of others as he can get easily distracted by the vistas he sees below while in flight. His motto is: When I'm flying, no enemy is safe - nor friend. He is voiced by the late Jeff MacKay.
Known as Sling in Japan, he transforms into an AV-8B Harrier II jet. He forms the left arm of Superion. He is a self-centered, loud-mouth braggart who likes to take credit for others' work. It is his way of compensating for his severe confidence problems due to being the smallest and slowest of the team. His motto is: I'm even better than I think. He is voiced by Rob Paulsen.
- Air Raid
Known as Air Rider in Japan, transforms into an F-15 Eagle jet. He forms the right leg of Superion. The most impulsive member of the group, he likes to fight Decepticons right up close. His motto is: If you look first, you may not leap. He is voiced by Rob Paulsen.
The Aerialbots also appeared in the accompanying Transformers comic by Marvel, although they had a lesser role. They originally appeared in the UK Marvel Transformers comics in a very odd way - as part of a dream sequence. In previous stories, Optimus Prime had transferred part of the Matrix to Buster Witwicky. During a mission, Soundwave detected this and used one of Bombshell's cerebro-shells to tap into his mind. Buster's vision showed the future of the Transformer race - the combiners. The Aerialbots and Protectobots battled the Stunticons and Combaticons in their various combined modes with Shockwave and Prime looking on. This set the wheels in motion for more combiner teams on both sides.
They appeared in the main continuity in US issue #21, having been created by the power of the Matrix to replenish the recent Autobot losses on Earth. However, when the Insecticons attacked a dam, the Aerialbots were dispatched to investigate, despite the fact that Wheeljack had only completed Silverbolt's mind. They ended up battling Dirge, Thrust and Ramjet. While they emerged victorious after merging into Superion, Silverbolt forcibly disassembled them when they threatened a human under Megatron's control.
When Skids was threatened by the newly created Stunticons, the Aerialbots arrived to save him, and the two teams battled in their combined modes. However, when the mentally unstable Transformer hating Circuit Breaker arrived, the Stunticons made it appear as if they were protecting Skids. Circuit Breaker attacked and disabled Superion, allowing Menasor to easily defeat him.
They were then captured by Circuit Breaker and her Rapid Anti-Robot Attack Team, taken to her lab and then dissected After capturing the Aerialbots she encountered a new problem - the Decepticon Battlechargers Runabout and Runamuck were causing mayhem across America. Using the parts from all the captured Autobots she created a giant Autobot with herself in control, striking a deal with them that if they would co-operate she would let them go. Circuit Breaker then used them to battle the two Decepticons, who were attacking the Statue of Liberty. After defeating the Decepticons with Circuit Breaker the Autobots were released.
The Aerialbots' appearances declined after this, as more new characters were introduced. They were amongst those who battled the Underbase powered Starscream, and were deactivated by his power. They were later resurrected by Grimlock using Nucleon, and fought against Unicron, but were all killed again in Bludgeon's ambush, only to be resurrected once more by Optimus Prime and the Last Autobot. Thy reappeared in the Transformers: Generation 2 comic, battling Jhiaxus' Gen 2 Decepticons in the air above the planet Ethos. Seemingly outnumbered and outgunned, they were saved when Skywarp and Thundercracker led a Decepticon aerial armada into the fray to bail them out - something they found humiliating in itself. They were again in action when Jhiaxus discovered their secret base. In the final battle against the Swarm, Slingshot was one of those consumed, dying alongside Slag. It is unknown if the other Aerialbots survived.
They were created on Cybertron around the same time as the Stunticons as a countermeasure to the new Decepticon car team after the mainly land-based Autobots proved woefully inadequate as a counter. Their first appearance came in the two-parter Key to Vector Sigma, pts: 1 & 2. They were created to combat the Stunticons, after the latter had run rampant over the Autobot cars. To do this, Optimus Prime journeyed to Cybertron, with his troops rebuilding old planes and shuttles into the Aerialbots. Alpha Trion sacrificed himself, merging with Vector Sigma itself to give them life. On Earth, while the Aerialbots quickly proved themselves competent warriors, they also became overconfident and arrogant, with leader Silverbolt failing to keep them in line due to his fear of heights. After a heated discussion over whether they should stay with the Autobots, they battled the Stunticons as they tried to use the key to Vector Sigma that could turn organic matter into metal. The two teams battled as Superion and Menasor. The Decepticon combiner gained the upper hand, but was eventually defeated when Omega Supreme intervened. Silverbolt conquered his fear of heights to keep Megatron from escaping with the Key.
The Aerialbots and Stunticons squared-off again, later in the episode Cosmic Rust, where Superion defeated Menasor in a Combiner v.s. Combiner rivalry. Later on, in the episode War Dawn, they were sent back in time 9 million years ago by the Decepticons in an attempt to lose the Aerialbots forever in the dawn of time. Thankfully, Optimus managed to halt their displacement to the Golden age of Cybertron. At first, they question the motives of the early Autobots. But after a series of events, and seeing Megatron's cruelty in the past, they witnessed death of a young Autobot named Orion Pax, who was rebuilt by Alpha Trion as their leader, Optimus Prime. They become convinced, and finally accept the ways of the Autobots. A subsequent appearance saw them battling the Combaticons, and later their combined form of Bruticus, in the Middle East.
Although the Aerialbots did not appear in The Transformers: The Movie, they continued to put in regular appearances in the third season (unlike many of the season 1-2 cast, who were either killed in the Movie or phased out). In "Five Faces of Darkness", they arrived in a shuttle to save Rodimus Prime (Rodimus held the Autobot Matrix of Leadership and replaced Optimus Prime after Optimus died fighting in the events of Transformers: The Movie) and his group from the destruction of the planet Quintessa. They later went time-travelling once again, when they discovered a Quintesson time machine, and a young Autobot named A-3. Due to time distortions, Superion ended up battling alongside a second Superion, routing the Quintessons. It was then the truth was revealed - A-3 was a young Alpha Trion, and they had just won the first battle in the Transformer rebellion against their masters.
The Aerialbots had many other adventures, returning to the Middle East alongside Prime to investigate the schemes of Octane and Trypticon, thwarting a Quintesson attempt to drive the Transformers into a blood rage using a special transmitter, and going on a solo attack against Trypticon. They were among the first infected by the Hate Plague when a trap was sent for them and Ultra Magnus when they attempted to retrieve the body of Optimus Prime. As a maddened Superion, they engaged the Protectobots in a running battle, with the latter desperately trying not to get infected. However, when merged as Defensor and trying to evacuate a bridge of human civilians, Superion managed to infect them. A small group of Autobots attempted to curtail Superion's rampage, including Blurr, Bumblebee, Kup, Wheelie, and Steeljaw, but were quickly defeated by him, needing extensive repairs before any of them were operational again. Luckily, when the resurrected Optimus Prime released the power of the Matrix, the Aerialbots were cured along with everyone else.
The Aerialbots were among those who reappeared in season 4, in the three part episode "The Rebirth". When the Decepticons once again invaded Cybertron, the Aerialbots were among those who tried to stop them, the Aerialbots fired upon the Decepticons upon their arrival on Cybertron, but unfortunately Galvatron ordered his newest "one robot army" SixShot to take them out. He did so, using each of his alternate modes to defeat the entire team with ease. The Decepticons then later on after the Combaticons had made sure they were defeated, under Galvatron's orders scavenged their parts to construct a super engine to move the planet Cybertron. It is unknown if they survived or not, though one does appear jumping up and down with Bumblebee indicating that they might have survived.
In the Japanese series Transformers: Headmasters, that replaced "The Rebirth" the Aerialbots appeared several times, more often combined into Superion and with Bruticus as opponent.
The Aerialbots had a very different origin in Dreamwave comics, being a group of Autobot jets from Cybertron. In the backstory established in Transformers: the Ultimate Guide, by Simon Furman, they were part of an experiment to duplicate the combined form of Devastator. Later they came to Earth, refomatted into Earth-style forms.
Upon the awakening of Optimus Prime in Dreamwave's first Generation One mini-series, the Aerialbots were among the Autobots summoned by Optimus to rescue the remaining Autobots, who had been turned into mind-controlled weapons of mass destruction by a human arms dealer. During a subsequent battle with the Decepticons in San Francisco, the Aerialbots, merged as Superion, battled Devastator, but lost when the Decepticon Seekers, hit their weak points, forcing them to separate. They then sacrificed themselves to stop an incoming nuclear missile, launched by rogue elements in the U.S. military to eradicate both factions of Cybertronians in one fell swoop.
Later, it was revealed that parts of Superion, including his head, were recovered by the faction of the U.S. government that also recovered Devastator and Scourge, hinting that they were possibly trying to rebuild him.
The Aerialbots also made an appearance in Dreamwave's alternate reality G.I Joe/Transformers series, where they were reconfigured as World War 2 fighter planes. Superion was used as the spearhead of the combined Autobot/G.I Joe attack on the Cobra Terrordrome, but was gunned down by Shockwave's artillery cannon mode.
Devil's Due Publishing
Although the Aerialbots have yet to appear in Devil's Due Publishing's series of G.I Joe vs the Transformers crossovers, they were mentioned in the third seres, as Optimus Prime called on them as back up to stop the Decepticon attack on Capital City - before he was interrupted by Menasor.
Transformers: Classic line contains a repaint of Cybertron Legends Jetfire painted red and named Fireflight. According to Hasbro sources at Botcon 2006 this toy was originally intended to be called Powerglide, but they couldn't get a trademark on that name at the time.
A group of five Autobot combiner jets formed a giant robot called Superion Maximus. Although they had different names in the US, their Japanese names were the same as the Generation One Aerialbots. Here, only the combined mode was shown to have any intelligence.
- Storm Jet (Afterburner in Japan) forms the torso.
- Sky Shadow (Sling in Japan the Japanese name for Slingshot).
- Terradive (Skydive in Japan.)
- Treadshot (Air Raider in Japan, the Japanese name for Air Raid.)
- Windrazor (Firebolt in Japan the Japanese name for Fireflight.)
Originally Superion Maximus was one of the Guardians of the Super Energon at Cybertron's core, alongside Constructicon Maximus and Bruticus Maximus. However, they were then awoken by Galvatron. While Superion refused to join him, Bruticus and Constructicon did, and he could only watch helplessly as they destroyed the one dormant combiner Guardian - his brother. Superion Maximus then joined the Autobots to battle Galvatron's forces. His end came in battle with Bruticus Maximus and Constructicon Maximus. Although he killed Constructicon Maximus, he was at the mercy of Bruticus - until the ghost of his dead brother appeared and distracted Bruticus. Superion Maximus then assumed the blown off limbs of Constructicon Maximus, and killed Bruticus Maximus. He met a tragic end directly after the battle because his wounds where fatal.
Characters named Air Raid, Fireflight, Skydive and Silverbolt all appeared as Autobots in the Transformers: Universe series, but no direct connection is made between them and the original Autobots bearing those names. Although Silverbolt is established to be the Silverbolt from Beast Wars and Beast Machines, the others received no biography and may or may not be the same characters. Air Raid in particular is a recolor of his Generation 2 Cyberjet mold, so he may be the same character.
A recolor of the Japanese exclusive Sixwing was released in Transformers: Universe, whose new name is Superion. Many of his component Micromaster Autobots are named after the Aerialbots, except for Slingshot. In addition two other Micromasters are named Storm Jet and Ro-Tor.
The Transformers: Energon toy of Storm Jet, Windrazor and Terradive were repackaged in Transformers: Universe packaging, but no changes were made to the toys. They have not appeared in any Transformers: Universe fiction.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
|Series||Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen|
Transformers: Power Core Combiners
In the 2010 Transformers: Power Core Combiners toy line, the Autobot Skyburst is the leader of an Aerialbot team, which consists of four aircraft drones. These drones can combine with Skyburst into a larger robot by forming his limbs.
The Aerialbots are Seekers who defected to the Autobots' side.
In War for Cybertron, the Aerialbots are Silverbolt, Jetfire and Air Raid. In the ending,they are shown watching along with Optimus,Bumblebee and Ratchet watching the Autobots leave Cybertron.
- ↑ Transformers: an adult primer // Here's help understanding toy robots, the latest rage, Chicago Sun-Times; December 16, 1986; by Patricia Smith
- ↑ Alvarez, J.E. (2001). The Unofficial Guide to Transformers 1980s Through 1990s Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.. p. 38. ISBN 0-7643-1364-9.
- ↑ Galvatron's Air Attack. Ladybird Books. 1986. ISBN 0-7214-0988-1.
- ↑ TFW2005.com - Official Images from the ROTF Game
- ↑ TFW2005.com - Skyburst
- 80's Hasbro TV commercial with the Aerialbots
- Generation 2 Aerialbots commercial on YouTube
- ToyBin Aerialbots galleries
- Connell, Ryann (December 19, 2007). "Present-hunting parents say domo arigato, Mr. Airboto". Mainichi Shimbun. Archived from the original on 2007-12-21. http://web.archive.org/web/20071221102158/http://mdn.mainichi.jp/culture/waiwai/news/20071219p2g00m0dm020000c.html. Retrieved 2007-12-19.