This was a quite a solid little helicopter sim, with good graphics and sound, challenging game play, and a wide range of combat scenarios. The other thing I remember is that it was incredibly complicated to control at first and took a lot of patience to get into.
The reason behind this was that all the cyclic, collective, weapons and targeting controls were all controlled by the 2 button mouse. Holding down or clicking one, or the other, or both buttons on the mouse plus moving the mouse up or down actually activated various functions - as well as the mouse being used as the cyclic without, plus a keyboard full of key commands to boot!!
The main storyline was that you were hired by the US Government from the US Army to fly the new AH-73M prototype helicopter in various hotspots around the worlds. The sim did have quite a nice animated intro giving details of how the operations were started and how you got chosen to fly in them. There were no training missions as I recall ( you could have done with a few for practice with the controls! ) you just went straight into the campaigns.
The campaigns were a very strict complete this mission or lose the war and get sacked from the Army type. It was a shame that all you needed to do was foul one mission and that's it, your pilot career was over PERMANENT! Not a happy event after completing 2 or 3 campaigns!!!
The enemy AI was very, very good and I never quite got to the point of being able to predict what they were going to do next unlike some other Amiga sims I had. The effects of the weapons was very dramatic, with lots of fire and smoke. The overall scenery had the same subtle pastel like shades similar to Falcon.
Thunderhawk - cockpit
The missions in the campaigns varied from basic seek and destroy to acting as shot-gun for troop carrying Chinooks - even pure air-air missions. The enemy airforces were made up of a mix of Hinds, Hokums and Fulcrums - there were probably others, but they escape my memory at the moment.
The selection of ground units was large, with many different types of AFV's, mobile SAM's and AAA. The campaigns ( from what I remember ) included the likes of Central America, Persian Gulf, North Cape and Korea ( I'm sure someone will correct if I am wrong ).
I was one of those ones that grabbed your attention for no real reason once in a while, and you played it to death for a couple of weeks, then it got relegated to the shelf for the rest of the year. It was good, but it didn't quite grab your imagination like the Microprose Gunship sims.
MiGMan thanks Rob "Bomber" Henderson for the recollections.