Powerglide, unlike most Autobots, can fly under his own power, and it goes straight to his pointy head. Give him any excuse and awaa-aa-aay he goes, dashing off into the stratosphere at 500 mph -- but not in a straight line. No, Powerglide is an aerial acrobat, able to perform stunts other Transformer planes would never dream of. Barrel rolls, tail stands, death spirals, screaming 3200-mph powerdives: none of these are too tough for this Autobot barnstormer, and if he has an audience, be they friendly or enemy, he is guaranteed to put on the air show of their lives.
Yet this seeming frivolity has saved his life countless times in combat. Powerglide is lightly armed with small concussion bombs and a nose-mounted thermal beam, and the former is practically useless in the air. Furthermore, his speed and power, impressive as they are, are vastly outclassed by most aerial Decepticons. Like the flying aces of World War I, Powerglide resorts to dogfighting maneuvers, using his flying skills to confuse and evade the enemy. This tactic works very well.
In fact, Powerglide's skill only aggravates his greatest weakness. He is good, and he knows it, and he misses no chance to show it. If this means he will seek out ever tougher foes to prove his mettle -- then he'll do that, even if it kills him. Some day, it might.
- Italian name: Jumbo
- Greek name: Keravnos (Κεραυνός)
- Hungarian name: Motorszárny (Motorwing)
- Portuguese name (Brazil comics): Planador
- Portuguese name (Portugal comics): Planador
- French name (Canada): Survolo
Powerglide was a brash barnstormer with a penchant for spouting gung-ho sayings like "And awaaa-aaa-aay we go!". He literally appeared out of nowhere to save Spike Witwicky when the boy had been thrown overboard Megatron's spaceship, after the latter's plan to use a clone of Optimus Prime to destroy the Autobots failed.
Bumblebee and Powerglide were sent on reconnaissance mission to investigate some strange energy readings out at sea. Inside the temporal anomaly, they discovered a prehistoric island inhabited by dinosaurs. Powerglide had to save Bumblebee from an aggressive pterodactyl then attempted to repair Bumblebee's damaged jetpack, before abandoning it and flying Bumblebee off the island. Later, after it was decided that the Dinobots should be relocated to the island, Powerglide led the large brutes and Spike to the island. After Spike unwittingly got himself into several dangerous situations, Powerglide flew him back home.
After Megatron demanded Optimus Prime's surrender in exchange for Elita One, Powerglide was among the Autobots who followed him to Cybertron. Once there, he was disbelieving of Starscream's claim that Optimus Prime had been destroyed. During their vengeful attack on the Decepticons, Powerglide met up with his girlfriend, Moonracer, who thought Powerglide was awesome.
Soon after hooking up with Moonracer, he was somewhat smitten with the fleshling female Astoria Carlton-Ritz after saving her from the Decepticons. They went on a date or two, but (fortunately) the only lasting result was a series of flashing lights under his chestplate in the form of a stylized heart. What purpose this served (other than being disturbing) is not immediately clear.
After thoroughly embarrassing himself by accidentally destroying several sets and props in an attempt to show off, Powerglide was among several egotistical Autobots who demanded to be given a role in a movie that Hoist was starring in. Initially, his "role" amounted to crashing into a STORE while in jet mode (supposedly to stop "the crooks"). Soon afterwards, Powerglide and the other would-be-actor Autobots asked Hoist to talk to the Director to get them some "real" acting roles. After reworking the movie into Attack of the Evil Alien Robots, the Director had the Autobots given cheesy alien face masks. Powerglide remarked that the role was "the pits", and that he would rather do the stunt crashes. In a later scene, Powerglide demonstrated his rather wooden acting "skills". Guess he was better suited for stunts.
Powerglide was helping a small group of Autobots fight Trypticon, but to no avail, Until Metroplex stepped in. Powerglide appeared to have been destroyed during a disastrous Autobot attack on the Quintessons led by a resurrected, reprogrammed Optimus Prime. However, he was later among the Autobots who attempted to stop Scourge and Starscream's ghost from stealing Metroplex's eyes, so he must have gotten better. Unfortunately, a blind Metroplex accidentally shot him down, but Warpath saved him.
Marvel Comics continuity
Powerglide was a member of Perceptor's resistance cell on Cybertron during the reign of Straxus. Like most of his comrades, he found more inspiration in Blaster's bravado than the calculated caution of Perceptor. When their untrustworthy scout, Scrounge went missing, Powerglide and his peers fell in line with Blaster's plan to find and rescue him, overruling Perceptor. After much searching, all but Blaster had given up on Scrounge, but Powerglide had stayed to secretly shadow Blaster, allowing the air-capable Autobot to deliver him to safety out of the smelting pool (regrettably leaving Scrounge behind). This act gave Perceptor's small group of Autobots the first good news they had heard in eons, for Scrounge had handed them evidence that Optimus Prime lived.
Further reconnaissance by Blaster and Powerglide revealed startling news -- the Decepticons were building a Space Bridge! As this would spell certain doom for both Cybertron and Earth, a desperate raid on Straxus's Darkmount fortress was launched. This attack was mostly successful, as it leveled Darkmount and ended in Straxus's destruction, but he and the rest of his Autobot comrades had to retreat to Earth over the Space Bridge as it self-destructed. Here they were greeted immediately by a group of humans.
However, the humans, belonging to the anti-robot attack team, RAAT, captured Powerglide and the others with the help of Circuit Breaker. Disassembled, the Autobots were only released after Circuit Breaker was forced to elicit their aid to defeat the Battlechargers.
Following Skids back to the Ark, Powerglide and the others got lost after their guide spontaneously vanished into limbo. Even worse was the reason for the disappearance -- Galvatron had returned to the present. Unlike most of his fellows, Powerglide actually managed to get a good shot in before Galvatron knocked the circuits out of him. After Galvatron was forced into retreat by the vagrant Dinobots, Perceptor's team finally managed to reach the Ark, where they learned of Optimus Prime apparent demise at the hands of the Predacons. Powerglide attended Prime's funeral and assimilated into Earth's depleted Autobot forces, though it was soon revealed that Prime's death was a ruse.When Optimus Prime died (for real) after a digital battle with Megatron, Powerglide observed with the other Autobots as Ratchet failed to successfully repair their fallen leader. After attending Prime's (real) funeral, a criminal known as the Mechanic turned the Ark's new security systems on the mourning Autobots, with devastating results. After Grimlock, Prime's successor, turned out to be a self-interested tyrant, Powerglide was among the Autobots who begged the Blaster to overthrow him, but the mutiny didn't pan out. Later, Blaster and Grimlock battled for supremacy on Earth's Moon, as Perceptor and the other Autobots cheered Blaster on.
Some time after Optimus Prime's return, Powerglide was among several Autobots who responded to Buster Witwicky's distress call near the Decepticons' arctic base. However, this was a trap, and Powerglide was shot down in battle by some Decepticon aerial aces, including Slugslinger and the ever-frightening Buzzsaw. He was identified as deactivated several weeks later.
Dreamwave comics continuity
In the modern era, Powerglide was a member of one of the later-formed Autobot resistance cells on Cybertron, in communication with Smokescreen and Tracks along with several other Minibots. He participated in the final insurrection which threw Shockwave and his Decepticons out of power on Cybertron. Afterwards, he was assigned to Bumblebee's command and traveled to Earth on a supply run aboard the starship Orion. Their simple supply mission ended with heavy combat against the amazingly-powerful clone, Sunstorm. The Autobots, in a fit of temporary insanity, decided to ally themselves with Starscream in order to deal with this threat. Powerglide might have raised a complaint to being assigned to guard their new "partner", but Starscream betrayed them and deactivated Powerglide's unit so fast, it's hard to be sure he even had a chance to speak up.
- Powerglide (Mini-Vehicle, 1985)
- Japanese ID number: C-62
- Powerglide transforms into an A-10 Thunderbolt ground-strike plane. He is notable for being one of the earliest Autobots with an aerial alt-mode. Due to his transformation, Powerglide has more robot-mode articulation than any other Mini Vehicle. His head can turn, his shoulders have what amounts to universal joints, and his elbows bend.
- Minibot Team (Multi-pack, 2004)
- Japanese ID number: TFC-12
- Powerglide was reissued in a "Transformers Collection" six-pack with Bumblebee, Cosmos, Gears, Huffer and Warpath. With the exception of an added factory-applied faction symbol sticker, there are no notable differences between the original and the reissue versions.
- Powerglide (Ultra, 2008)
- Accessories: Chaingun/missile launcher, "thermal beam" missile
- Although now upsized to an Ultra class toy with electronics, Universe Powerglide still transforms into an A-10 (though the nose looks more like that of its canceled counterpart, the Northrop YA-9, probably for licensing reasons). In order to preserve some semblace of realism in his alt mode, however, he is mostly off-white in color, with red trim. His noggin, at least, is still entirely red, and even has an off-center cannon barrel sculpted into it in homage to his original toy, even though here, his head doesn't become the nosecone.
- In vehicle mode, pressing the prominent orange button on the jet's fuselage triggers three electronic sound effects (an engine ignition, a swooping noise and a barrage of machine-gun fire that persists for as long as you hold down the button), accompanied by red LEDs in the turbines and cockpit. During transformation to robot mode, the classic transformation sound effect is triggered as the torso is moved into place; it plays in reverse as he is transformed back to vehicle mode. In robot mode, pressing the orange button triggers the machine-gun sound effect only, with newly-exposed lights illuminating Powerglide's eyes as well as those seen in jet mode.
- In robot mode, Powerglide features a wide range of articulation, and can wield in his hand the thermal missile launcher which mounts under his jet-mode nosecone. In what can only be described as one of the most hilarious homages in Transformers history, Powerglide's chestplate can flip up to reveal the raised image of a heart.
- This mold was also used to make Universe Storm Cloud.
- The Japanese Transformers USA version of this toy is colored in mostly red with white detailing. He apparently retains the same unit-markings as the Hasbro version.
- Powerglide (Ultra Class, 2009)
- Accessories: Chaingun/missile launcher, "thermal beam" missile
- In late 2009/early 2010, Powerglide was re-issued in correct Generation One colors in the United States as a Wal-Mart exclusive. While this version is similar to the Takara "Henkei" version in that it is mostly colored red with white markings, his arms/fuselages are grey like on the 1985 toy, and unlike the previous two Universe toys, his eyes, cockpit window and exhaust ports are translucent blue, not orange. He still retains his light and sound effects.
- Classics Fireflight, a redeco of Legends of Cybertron Jetfire, was originally intended to be Powerglide, but Hasbro apparently could not secure the name.
- Powerglide makes an appearance in one of the five Transformers public service announcements, speaking out against gender discrimination.
- 3200 miles per hour is Mach 4.16, MUCH faster than any real A-10 Thunderbolt II, let alone ANY modern combat jet... not that jet-based alt modes are known for realism.
- He is the only Generation One Transformer with 4 digits on each hand (except in the cartoon).