History Of Helicopter Simulations

- Past, Present And Future -


Background

This website was originally intended to be just an article, to be put on one of my other websites and/or to published at SimHQ. My initial name for it was going to be Combat Helicopter Simulations - Past, Present And Future. Afterwards I thought that perhaps I should do an article with little or no text and just have screenshots from the various helo sims, this would have been called Helicopter Simulations In Pictures. Finally, I settled on what you see here in front of you.

I originally called this site History Of Combat Helicopter Simulations, but then decided on just History Of Helicopter Simulations as I may include civilian/mixed heli sims later on.


Notes:
* Only the 'serious' helicopter simulations are listed here, and all sims have 3D graphics or appear 3D using 2D graphics. There are no 'sims' that are arcade top-down perspective nor are there any 'sims' that are merely arcade side-scrollers or shoot-em up's.
* Only 'built from the ground up' sims are listed, and no games that just feature helicopters or mods for first-person shooters are included.
* Some screenshots may have been reduced in size and/or quality to limit filesizes and do not represent the full quality and detail that is available in-game.
* All screenshots are for the PC (Windows) versions of the games unless otherwise stated.
* All screenshots are of the original (unmodded) versions of the games (official patched versions class as original) unless otherwise stated.
* All screenshots are by the webmaster unless otherwise stated.
* Box shots may be added at a later date.
* Developers and release dates listed are for first versions/releases only. Subsequent release details not specified.
* Where games have come out in the same year, I have listed them alphabetically.
* Key: (Developer / Year of release / Platform)


1980's


Super Huey UH-IX (Cosmi Corporation / 1985 / Amiga, Apple II, Atari 7800, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS)

Tomahawk (Digital Integration / 1985 / Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, DOS, ZX Spectrum)
Image#1

Gunship (MicroProse Software / 1986 / Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, PC-98, ZX Spectrum)
Image#1 / Image#2

Infiltrator (Chris Gray Enterprises Inc. / 1986 / Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, DOS, ZX Spectrum)

Super Huey II (Cosmi Corporation / 1986 / Commodore 64, DOS)

3-D Helicopter Simulator (Sierra On-Line / 1987 / DOS)
Video: 3-D Helicopter Simulator Demo

Apache Strike (William C. Appleton (for Mac) / 1987 / Commodore 64, Apple Macintosh, MS-DOS)

Infiltrator II (Chris Gray Enterprises Inc. / 1988 / Commodore 64, DOS, NES)


1990's


LHX: Attack Chopper (Electronic Arts / 1990 / DOS, Genesis)
Image#1 / Image#2 (both from Sega Genesis)

Gunship 2000 (MicroProse Software / 1991 / Amiga, Amiga CD32, DOS)
Image#1 / Image#2
Video: Gunship 2000

Gunship 2000 Scenario Disk and Mission Builder (MicroProse Software / 1991 / DOS)
Add-on disk for Gunship 2000.

Thunderhawk AH-73M (Core Design Ltd. / 1991 / Amiga, Atari ST, DOS)

ATAC: The Secret War Against Drugs (Argonaut Software Ltd. / 1992 / DOS)

Comanche: Maximum Overkill (NovaLogic / 1992 / DOS)
Image#1 / Image#2
Video: Comanche: Maximum Overkill in DOSBox

Steel Talons (Atari Games / 1992 / Atari ST, Genesis, Lynx, SNES)

Comanche: Global Challenge (NovaLogic / 1993 / DOS)
First add-on for Comanche: Maximum Overkill.

Comanche: Over The Edge (NovaLogic / 1993 / DOS)
Second add-on for Comanche: Maximum Overkill.

Comanche CD (NovaLogic / 1994 / DOS, Macintosh)
Compilation of Comanche: Maximum Overkill (base game), Comanche: Global Challenge (add-on), Comanche: Over The Edge (add-on)

Apache (Digital Integration / 1995 / DOS, Macintosh, Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2

Comanche 2 (NovaLogic / 1995 / DOS, Windows 3.x)

Ka-50 Hokum (Simis Limited / 1995 / DOS)

Werewolf vs. Comanche 2.0 (NovaLogic / 1995 / DOS)

Das Hexagon-Kartell (ASCARON Entertainment GmbH / 1996 / DOS)
Image#1 / Image#2 / Image#3 / Image#4 / Image#5 (thanks to warthog77 for the screenshots)

HIND: The Russian Combat Helicopter Simulation (Digital Integration / 1996 / DOS, Macintosh, Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2

Jane's Combat Simulations: AH-64D Longbow (ORIGIN Systems / 1996 / DOS)
Image#1 / Image#2

Jane's Combat Simulations: AH-64D Longbow: Flash Point Korea (ORIGIN Systems / 1996 / DOS)
Expansion pack for Jane's AH-64D Longbow.

Jane's Combat Simulations: AH-64D Longbow (Limited Edition) (ORIGIN Systems / 1996 / DOS)
Budget edition of Jane's AH-64D Longbow.

SimCopter (Maxis Software / 1996 / Windows)
Video: SimCopter

AHx-1 (Pixel Multimedia / 1997 / Windows)

Comanche 3 (NovaLogic / 1997 / DOS, Windows, Windows 3.x)
Image#1
Video: Comanche 3

Jane's Combat Simulations: Longbow 2 (ORIGIN Systems / 1997 / Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2
Video: Longbow 2 Battlefield Action

Jane's Combat Simulations: Longbow Gold (ORIGIN Systems / 1997 / DOS, Windows)
Compilation of Jane's AH-64D Longbow and the expansion disk Flash Point: Korea, in addition the executable is now Windows compatible.
Image#1 / Image#2

Comanche Gold (NovaLogic / 1998 / Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2
Video: Novalogic Comanche Gold Demo

Enemy Engaged: Apache/Havoc (Razorworks / 1998 / Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2

Jane's Combat Simulations: Longbow Anthology (ORIGIN Systems / 1998 / DOS, Windows)
Compilation of Jane's AH-64D Longbow, the mission disk Flash Point Korea, and Longbow 2 in one package, with an abbreviated manual.

Team Apache (Simis / 1998 / Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2
Video: team apache

Gunship! (MicroProse Software / 1999 / Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2


2000's


Enemy Engaged: RAH-66 Comanche versus Ka-52 Hokum (Razorworks / 2000 / Macintosh, Windows)
Image#1 (unknown source; with community updated AH-64D cockpit) / Image#2

Ka-52 Team Alligator (Simis / 2000 / Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2
Video: KA-52 Team Alligator - Start-up and take-off

Search And Rescue 2 (InterActive Vision / 2000 / Windows)

Comanche 4 (NovaLogic / 2001 / Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2
Video: Comanche 4 mission w/ Logitech Force 3D

R/C Helicopter: Indoor Flight Simulation (Aqua System Co., Ltd. / 2001 / PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox)

Search And Rescue 3 (InterActive Vision / 2001 / Windows)

Apache Air Assault (InterActive Vision / 2002 / PlayStation 2, Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2
Video: Apache Air Assault 'The Training Camp'

Red Shark (G5 Software / 2002 / Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2

Red Shark 2 (G5 Software / ? / Windows)

Search And Rescue: Vietnam MED+EVAC (InterActive Vision / 2002 / Windows) Image#1 / Image#2

Search And Rescue 4 (InterActive Vision / 2003 / Windows)

Super Huey III (Webfoot Technologies / 2003 / Windows)

Apache Longbow Assault (InterActive Vision / 2004 / Windows)
Video: Apache Longbow Assault - Decoy

Fair Strike (G5 Software / 2004 / Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2

Flight Sim: Chopper Havoc! (Abacus Software / 2004 / Windows)
Expansion Pack for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 & 2002

Black Hawk (Abacus / 2007 / Windows)
Black Hawk is an add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator X and FS2004 and lets you fly Black Hawks, Sea Hawks, Pave Hawks, and Jay Hawks.

Enemy Engaged 2 (Gameyus Interactive / 2007 / Windows)
Video: Enemy Engaged 2 "Marine Attack" hardcore

Mission: Blackhawk (Abacus Software / 2007 / Windows)
Add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator X

Whirlwind Over Vietnam (G5 Software / 2007 / Windows)
Video: Whirlwind Over Vietnam

Digital Combat Simulator: Black Shark (Eagle Dynamics / 2008 (Russia), 2009 (North America) / Windows)
Image#1 / Image#2 (both unknown source)
Video: DCS: Black Shark - English Version

Apache: Air Assault (Gaijin / 2010 / PS3, X360)

Take On Helicopters (Bohemia Interactive / 2011 / Windows)
Video: Take On Helicopters - Launch Trailer!

Digital Combat Simulator: Black Shark 2 (Eagle Dynamics / 2011 / Windows)
Really just an upgrade for DCS: Black Shark.
Video: DCS: Black Shark 2

Take On Helicopters: Hinds (Bohemia Interactive / 2012 / Windows)
Video: Take On Helicopters: Hinds - Launch Trailer!

Combat-Helo (Tricubic Studios / 2012? / Windows)
Image#1 (from Combat Helo Dev Blog)


And while not strictly a simulation, who could forget the legendary...

Desert Strike: Return To The Gulf (Electronic Arts / 1992 / Amiga, DOS, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Game Gear, Genesis, Lynx, SEGA Master System, SNES)


Links

MiGMan's Flight Simulation Museum - for a complete archive of all sims, not just helicopter ones

CoolROM.com - ROMs and Emulators for games consoles

The Old Computer - Emulators and ROM files for PC abandonware and games consoles (Note: to download files you must be a Registered User)
    - Direct link to the ROMs section
    - Direct link to PC Abandonware for MS-DOS


Sources/Credits

Information: GameSpot / MobyGames
Screenshots: My own and where stated.
Video: YouTube

Thanks to warthog77 for telling me about ATAC: The Secret War Against Drugs, Das Hexagon-Kartell and Thunderhawk AH-73M.


Know a sim I haven't got listed? E-mail me

Please, if you want to send me links to videos then I only accept English language ones and if text appears in the video it must be in English. Videos should ideally not have added titles or voiceovers either. Thanks.


Comments

"Nice idea!" -- Para_Bellum

"very cool! I do not fly helicopter sims, but I think that people documenting game genre developments/evolutions is so fascintating!!" -- Patrocles

"Nice list. Oh, so much Helicopter Sims/Games in the past..." -- EagleEye[GER]

"found your website and i have to say: GREAT work!" -- warthog77