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Q: Beatles Helicopter ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Beatles Helicopter
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Celebrities
Asked by: hackm-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 06 Jun 2002 20:29 PDT
Expires: 13 Jun 2002 20:29 PDT
Question ID: 23450
In 1964, the Beatles were taken by a twin-rotor helicopter to Shea
Stadium. What is the tail number of that helicopter?

Request for Question Clarification by libronaut-ga on 06 Jun 2002 21:13 PDT
Is it vital to have the tail number (which may only be available on an
obscure film clip of the Beatles getting into and then the ride in
said helicopter) or is information on the film clip, which would
probably have the tail number in it, enough?

Clarification of Question by hackm-ga on 06 Jun 2002 22:15 PDT
I'd prefer the number because I'm not sure I could access a film clip.
 I have a photo in the Beatles Anthology book, but the number is not

Request for Question Clarification by huntsman-ga on 07 Jun 2002 00:10 PDT

From the photo, can you describe the general appearance of the
twin-rotor helicopter in more detail: rotor arrangement, type of
landing gear (wheels or skids), shape & number of windows, etc.?

Does it look anything like this Kaman K-1125 "Huskie III" with
side-by-side rotors:

Or does it look more like these Boeing-Vertol models with tandem

I would assume it's a civilian transport. Are there any visible logos,
letters or numbers? What's the paint scheme?


Clarification of Question by hackm-ga on 07 Jun 2002 07:42 PDT
I apologize.  The concert was August 15, 1965, not 1964.  The
helicopter may have been owned by New York Air, which may not exist in
its original form anymore.  It is a civilian Boeing-Vertol type
helicopter with eight windows per side.  Coloring in the picture
appears to be red, blue and white in horizontal bands from top to
bottom.  It landed on the World's Fair building because officials
wouldn't allow it to land in the stadium.
Subject: Re: Beatles Helicopter
Answered By: huntsman-ga on 09 Jun 2002 08:57 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
I must say that your Beatles helicopter question has really Got A Hold
on Me.

Looking for that tail number, I've had a Hard Day's Night. There are
bags under my eyes from The Night Before, and Here Comes The Sun.

I'm So Tired, I don't know whether to say Hello/Goodbye. I try to
speak, but everything comes out "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", and I feel like
a rubber ball.

I haven't had a bath since Yesterday, so Lend Me Your Comb. 

The wife's mad Because I give All My Loving to this darned computer.
She says She's Leaving Home. "Honey Don't," I plead with her, "it's
only A Day In The Life of a Google researcher, and I Need You". I Got
A Woman, my Lovely Rita, And I Love Her, but I don't think she's
listening any more. "You're Going To Lose That Girl", I think to

I need some Help, hackm. Maybe I should chuck all this and become a
Paperback Writer. I feel like I'm working Eight Days A Week and
getting Nowhere, Man. Won't somebody Hold My Hand and Tell Me Why I
keep looking for this obscure Junk? If only the Web wasn't so Helter
Skelter: is it that Everybody's Got Something To Hide? I Just Don't
Understand why it's such a Long And Winding Road.

Sometimes I think It's All Too Much for me to take. I try to tell
myself that it really hasn't taken Any Time At All, and that It Won't
Be Long before I can Shout "Enough!". But then my dark side whispers,
"Yeah, right, That'll Be The Day, probably When I'm Sixty-Four."

Get Back, I say! I'm Getting Better! Even if I'm Crying, Waiting,
Hoping, I won't give up. Deep inside, I Feel Fine, and I can Carry
That Weight! All I've Got To Do is to Act Naturally and keep on
Searchin' (and Searchin', and Searchin', and ...). Ooh! My Soul!

Thank heavens that Google is here to help me sort it all out:
otherwise I'd really feel like a Fool On The Hill.

In Spite Of All The Danger of making you Wait a little longer, I Want
To Tell You that I don't have the tail number yet. But I Need You to
hang in there. Don't Ask Me Why, but I've Got A Feeling that it's
getting closer. With a little luck, In Any Time At All, you can Come
And Get It.

Do You Want To Know A Secret? I've thrown Dear Prudence to the winds,
and have sent this question out to other Beatles fans. With A Little
Help From My Friends, somebody's gonna tell This Boy that number! And
when I get it, I'll Glad All Over. We'll really Twist And Shout then,

But if I should get run over by a Yellow Submarine before that fine
day, I've left behind a Magical Mystery Tour that will let you Think
For Yourself, no matter what happens to me.

Now maybe, Baby, You're A Rich Man and can spare a few bucks. But if
you decide that this is No Reply, and You Never Give Me Your Money,
That's All Right. I'll Be On My Way and You Won't See Me any more.
Some Other Guy can give your question another shot. As for me, I won't
tackle this question again, Not A Second Time.

Just let the Google Answers Team know
(, and
they'll be happy to refund your $6. But in the end, you'll just have
to pay that Money (That's What I Want) to the Tax Man, so why not Let
It Be me? Who says You Can't Buy Me Love? Between the Two Of Us, We
Can Work It Out. Don't Let Me Down, hackm.

From Me To You, it's been great fun, and I hope you'll remember The
Things We've Said Today.


P.S. - I just couldn't resist writing this tongue-in-cheek
introduction: I hope it gave you a few laughs. By now the coffee is
kicking in, and I'll get down to addressing your question a little
more seriously.

What follows are the relevant facts that I've uncovered so far. Check
out the links and enjoy the search: sometimes it's more enjoyable than
the final answer.

Please read on.


On The Beatles' Trail -

To focus more clearly on your question, let's analyze the Beatles'
travels before and after their historic Shea Stadium concert.

Here's how the Fab Four moved around on August 15, 1965:

1. The Beatles stayed at the Warwick Hotel
( in New
York City (

2. A limousine picked them up at the hotel and drove them to the Wall
Street Heliport ( and

From your description, the Beatles boarded a large red, white, and
blue helicopter with twin tandem rotors and eight windows on each
side. You confirmed that it looks similar to the civilian
Boeing-Vertol models that I pointed out earlier
3. The helicopter took off and flew over New York City, doing a little
aerial tour on the way. Apparently John Lennon enjoyed the trip: read
his interview at ( The
helicopter then headed on to Shea Stadium.

Perhaps New York looked like these aerial views
(, taken before the tragic events of
September 11, 2001. Sadly, few people may ever see the city from this
unique vantage point again.

4. Although the Beatles originally planned to land inside the Stadium,
city officials told them to land at the 1964 World's Fair
( and, just a short
distance away.

5. After landing at the World's Fair, they left the helicopter and got
into a red Wells Fargo armored truck, which drove them into Shea
Stadium (
Pretty valuable guys, I'd say.

Climbing onto the stage, in front of a crowd of 55,600 screaming fans,
the Beatles gave a 35 minute concert, singing many of their hits
( which absolutely no one could
hear. Read the article "NOBODY HEARS - 55,000 SEE BEATLES" in a
newsgroup post at:

6. After saying goodbye to the crowd, the Beatles walked off the stage
and into a waiting  white ambulance (perhaps *their* ears needed a
little medical attention). The ambulance drove them back to the Wells
Fargo armored truck, which returned them to the helicopter at the
World's Fair.

7. At the World's Fair, the Beatles reboarded the helicopter, which
then took off and flew them back to the Wall Street Heliport.

8. Landing at the Heliport, they were driven back to the Warwick

And Rock & Roll was never the same again

The Beatles schedule presents several occasions where the helicopter
(and its tail number) could have been photographed:

- Boarding and taking off from the Wall Street heliport.
- Landing and disembarking at the World's Fair.
- Reboarding and taking off from the World's Fair.
- Landing and disembarking at the Wall Street heliport.

At least one of these fleeting moments of history is what we're
looking for.


Looking For Pictures -

Still Images - 

After hours of looking, looking, looking on the Web, using many search
engines (and meta-search engines), I couldn't find any photos of the
Beatles' helicopter.

At one point, my worn-out mouse stopped, dismissed me with a flick of
its tail, and ran behind my monitor. It took some gentle coaxing (and
a little peanut butter smeared on its pad) to get it to come back out.

Then, with a little more consideration for my small friend, I searched
Google's archive of UseNet news groups (,
but still could not find a specific photo reference to the Beatles
helicopter. However, I hope we can warm things up out there.

Video Images -

With all of the news coverage surrounding the Beatles way back in the
60's, the helicopter's tail number must have been caught on film,
which may now be on video.

Since you own the book, you may already know about the "Beatles
Anthology" video collection.  It traces the history of the
world-changing group from 1940 to 1996. The eight-tape set is
available on

The Beatles Anthology Collector's Set (1996)

Depending if you want it new or used, prices range from about $140 to

The video Anthology is also listed on Blockbuster's Web site, but it
isn't available for sale or rent. They do have a list of each tape
with the time range the tape covers:

Blockbuster Video,7378,,00.html?

The Beatles Anthology (series) (1996) VHS  

- The Beatles Anthology 1: July '40 to March '63 
- The Beatles Anthology 2: March '63 to February '64 
- The Beatles Anthology 3: February '64 to July '64 
- The Beatles Anthology 4: August '64 to August '65 
- The Beatles Anthology 5: August '65 to July '66 
- The Beatles Anthology 6: July '66 to June '67 
- The Beatles Anthology 7: June '67 to July '68 
- The Beatles Anthology 8: July '68 to the End 

The portions to review are probably at the end of tape #4, which
covers August 1964 to August 1965, or at the beginning of tape #5,
which covers August 1965 to July 1966.

Unfortunately, I don't have quick access to decent video rental
stores. Otherwise I would have tried to locate and review the tapes

Given the cost of the collection and the number of the tapes -- what
happens if one is lost or stolen? -- it may be hard to find this
series for rent. Check with video stores in your area.

You could also check public and collegiate libraries. Try talking to
the Music Departments at local colleges and universities to see if
they have a copy.

There's one more card we can play.


Let's Ask The Fans -

In case there *are* any huntsman-seeking Yellow Submarines out there,
I wanted to do something that would keep this quest moving along by
itself. Bear with me as this will take a minute or two to explain.

First, a disclaimer. Under Google Answers' terms of use, we shouldn't
reveal any personal information such as our real names or email
addresses. See:

Google Answers: Terms of Service, Item #2

Staying within these rules is always a good idea, so let me explain
what I've done.

Using "huntsmanga", a condensed version of my anonymous Google Answers
"huntsman-ga" nickname, I set up an equally anonymous email address on
Yahoo!. Just like here, no one will know who is really behind the
"" address, and I intend to keep it that way.

Don't bother sending any email to the address because I can't/won't
respond. I like being a researcher and don't want to upset the powers
that be.

Nor is my action necessarily a recommendation for anyone to use Yahoo:
I chose them purely out of convenience. There are many, many other
free email sites on the Web. Notice how many results you'll get for a
Google search on "free email":


Moving on to the next step, I set up an account on the Google Groups
home page ( that will let "huntsman" browse
UseNet news groups (
To set up a Google Groups account, I needed to submit a valid email
address, so I used the anonymous "huntsmanga" Yahoo! address I created

Whew! I don't know about you, but by now MEGO (My Eyes Glaze Over). 

Why did I do all of this? Because I wanted to put your question in
front of the real experts, the Beatles fans, in order to see what they
might know.

Opening my Google Groups account, I posted a message to three
Beatles-related news groups, asking about the elusive helicopter tail
number. My original message has the following header information:

From: (huntsman)
Subject: Need Beatles trivia help, please!

Note the email address, user name (in parentheses), and the subject
line. These are the text strings to watch for while browsing the
Beatles news groups. You should be able to go directly into the groups
by clicking on these links:  (also moderated?)

It may take a while before my newsgroup post finally appears, and a
little more time for responses to start coming in back, but I'll think
we'll see some kind knowledgeable answers turn up there.

Please, pleease, pleeease. 

By the way, there's a mistake in my newsgroup message, which I only
realized after I had posted it. I proposed that the Beatles film "A
Hard Day's Night" was a possible place to see the helicopter. To my
chagrin, I later realized that the film came out in 1964, long before
the Beatles Shea Stadium concert in 1965.

I knew I dropped a fact or two around here somewhere! No matter where
I go, I just can't get away from our old friend Murphy


One More Thing -

... and then it's my bedtime.

I hope you enjoyed my tongue-in-cheek introduction. If I didn't make
it obvious enough, many of the capitalized words and phrases in my
sentences are Beatles song titles, with a few snatches of song lyrics
thrown in for good measure.

Care to count them? As a reference, there's a complete list of the
Beatles songs here:

The Beatles Song Cross Reference

and another list that's a little easier on the eyes here: 

After all of this, I'm going to be humming these tunes for a week.


Search Terms - 

I tried many different words and combinations, but these were the
basic building blocks:

- beatles
- beatles "live at shea stadium" 1965
- helicopter
- "New York City" "from the air" 
- "song titles"
- tail number

and so on. I also used the place names mentioned above. 

After reading your clarification, I did find a few links to "New York
Air" "charter air taxi", but they were all dead ends.
hackm-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Beatles Helicopter
From: sa-ga on 07 Jun 2002 00:34 PDT
Interesting.... you are not refering to this concert?


"The Beatles play Shea Stadium—Aug. 15, 1965

Possibly the most famous concert in rock ‘n’ roll history, The Beatles
performed to a sold-out crowd of 55,600 fans—the largest to ever
attend a pop concert at that time."
Subject: Re: Beatles Helicopter
From: sa-ga on 07 Jun 2002 00:41 PDT
Here ( is
another reference to the concert on 15 August, 1965, which has them
arriving in a helicopter.
Subject: Re: Beatles Helicopter
From: rebeccam-ga on 07 Jun 2002 09:08 PDT
According to the same article cited in the first comment ( ), they
planned to arrive in a helicopter, but did not:

"The Beatles play Shea Stadium—Aug. 15, 1965

Possibly the most famous concert in rock ‘n’ roll history, The Beatles
performed to a sold-out crowd of 55,600 fans—the largest to ever
attend a pop concert at that time. After plans to arrive in a
helicopter were vetoed by New York City authorities, The Beatles
arrived in a Wells Fargo armored truck and performed a set that was
taped for American television. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The
Rolling Stones were in attendance and after the concert, Bob Dylan
visited the band at their hotel."
Subject: Re: Beatles Helicopter
From: missy-ga on 11 Jun 2002 10:50 PDT
Wow.  I'm just going to gawk in quiet astonishment at Huntsman's
incredible intro. That's some talent.

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