Archie was constructed by Dan Dreiberg thanks to his knowledge on aerodynamics. It stayed in the Owl's Nest and would go out through a unused subway tunnel that Dreiberg had converted, and exited from an abandoned warehouse building, which he owned.
Nite Owl's Crimefighting Career
As Nite Owl II, Dreiberg used Archie throughout his costumed adventurer career. Nite Owl II used it to travel to Nelson Gardner's mansion during the first Crimebusters meeting. In 1977, Nite Owl II and the Comedian used Archie to quell the riots in New York City.
Events of Watchmen
In 1985, Dreiberg and Laurie Juspeczyk have the crazy thought of getting it out, subsequently rescuing the occupants of a burning tenement. The ship also plays a significant role in Dreiberg's plan to free Rorschach from prison. Later, Rorschach and Dreiberg travel to Antarctica in it to confront Adrian Veidt.
Watchmen (TV series)
Dreiberg founded and secretly ran MerlinCorp, which supplied him and Juspeczyk with gadgets to help them fight crime, as well as equipping various weapons, vehicles, and other equipment to law enforcement agencies across the United States, including law enforcement Owlships similar to Archie. Dreiberg's designs would continue to be manufactured even after his arrest in 1995.
It resembles a giant owl's head, it had the power to fly, hover and submerge under water. It is designed fully in curves and without corners, with concealed vents and turbines, so as to be radar invisible. It has central and rear entrances.
Dreiberg complained that it always gives a lurch when starting up, and couldn't manage to fix it.
Though Archie was a formidable weapon in the Nite Owl's arsenal, it was susceptible to engine seizure when the engines were subjected to freezing ice: shortly after finishing their investigation in New York City, where Archie was submerged in a river for several hours, the water contained in its housing freezes quickly upon arrival in Antarctica. The engines stall, forcing a crash landing. Nite Owl and Rorschach are forced to finish the journey on Dreiberg's hoverbikes.
It was outfitted with defensive and offensive weapons:
- Screechers that emitted a powerful high-pitched sound which could distract or pacify enemies.
- Blowers that produced concealing fog (from dry ice).
- Radiation Shields
For offensive capability it had
Archie also contained several facilities inside.
- Many screens linked to several external cameras.
- Computer with a public address system.
- Water sprouts for the windows.
- In-ship music stereo.
- Coffee machines (behind a panel on the starboard wall)
- Movable pilot chairs.
- A portable "steering column" which can be plugged into receptors around the ship, like the cockpit or (when need be) on its roof so that the ship can be piloted from the exterior.
- Compartments for equipment, like hoverbikes, or closets with additional suits.
- Extendable ramps from the rear exits.