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Not to be confused with Hunter Black.
"The Hunter is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a top speed of 180mph. Known as the most lethal helicopter in military history, the Hunter is basically a flying tank that can sustain just as much damage as it gives out. Solve that nasty divorce or border dispute in style."
―Warstock Cache & Carry description.
The Hunter is a recurring military attack helicopter appearing in both the 3D Universe and HD Universe. For unknown reasons, it appeared in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories but went unused, and was cut from Grand Theft Auto V.

Design

3D Universe

The Hunter is based on the Boeing AH-64 Apache, more precisely the AH-64A Apache. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, the Hunter is an aesthetically correct AH-64A, though in Vice City Stories, it's technically a YAH-64A, as the helicopter did not formally enter service with the United States Army until 1986. The version featured in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a similar design. However, it omits the co-pilot gunner seat (CPG), uses an eight-bladed tail rotor, and has a canopy that swings open horizontally to the right, like the Hydra jet fighter.

The Hunter is also present in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, although it does not spawn anywhere and can be only obtained through third-party trainers and modifications.

In all its appearances, the Hunter always comes with a dark green color and has a Hughes M230 30mm chain gun mounted on the chin and dual Hydra 70 rocket pods, as well as a set of unusable AGM-114 Hellfire missile racks with four missiles each.

A special Vigilante Mission is available with the Hunter, the "Brown Thunder" mission. Despite being a military vehicle, it does not appear being military-operated in normal gameplay, out of missions or scripted events.

Grand Theft Auto Online

In its Grand Theft Auto Online rendition, the helicopter appears to be modeled after the aforementioned Apache with various elements from the RAH-66 Comanche. On the front, the nose of the Hunter features detailed cameras mounted in similar fashion to that of the AH-64 Apache series and its 3D Universe predecessor, while the canopy now resembles that of the RAH-66 Comanche. The Hunter's front suspension is raised in order to fit the Hughes M230 30mm chain gun mounted on the chin of the craft's fuselage when grounded and is equipped with four Hydra 70 rocket pods, while lacking the 8 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. On the back, the tail boom is briefly seen and has a build similar in appearance to that of the Comanche. The stabilizers have moved to the top of the tail fin and the rotor is removed and replaced with a Fenestron-style fan-in-fin. As an additional note, the engines have been modified slightly too, with the exhaust vents on the rear of them horizontal instead of vertical, as seen in the previous 3D models and its real-life counterpart. In the same trailer, the pilot is seen piloting the helicopter in the co-pilot gunner seat, like in previous renditions.

An alternate version of another vehicle, bearing a resemblance to the Hunter, appears at the start of the Jack Howitzer series. Jack is pursued by two of these in a scene from Loincloth, one of his 80's action movies, therefore the Hunters used appear to be the previous 3D Universe renditions, as a sake of time sense.

Police scanner audio and sounds previously unused for the Hunter in Grand Theft Auto V are now used in Grand Theft Auto Online.

Version History Gallery

HunterVC

GTA Vice City

HunterSA

GTA San Andreas

HunterVCS

GTA Vice City Stories

HunterLCS

GTA Liberty City Stories

Performance

3D Universe

The Hunter is, in all of its appearances, the fastest helicopter in the game. It possesses stellar handling and is easy to control, as well as being a good choice to fly between structures in cities. However, it has a wide turning radius and cannot automatically stabilize at 45 degrees when keeping the control thumbstick forward, as doing so will result in the Hunter getting upside down, losing control and eventually crashing. The vehicle can easily turn upside down when moving at high speeds.

It is highly resistant to damage in comparison to an average helicopter, due to its nature as a combat vehicle.

The Hunter has two sets of weapons, which consist of a chain gun mounted on the chin, and dual rocket pods. This weaponry makes the Hunter a deadly vehicle. The chain gun is autonomous and automatically lock/fire at targets in a 45 degrees radius. The rocket pods will fire two rockets (one from both sides) at once. These are unguided, but the high rate of fire of the rockets and the good handling of the helicopter make the rockets easy to use and devastating. Like the Rhino, the Sea Sparrow and the Hydra, all weapons have unlimited ammunition. Only the set of missiles are unusable.

Grand Theft Auto Online

In terms of speed and maneuverability, the Hunter falls between the Buzzard Attack Chopper and the Savage, being both quick to accelerate and boasting an impressive top speed, similar to its real-life counterpart. This is also alluded to in its Warstock description, stating its top speed as 180 mph. Additionally, it feels more stable than its 3D Universe renditions, and, contrary to its rather large and heavy appearance, it is capable of rotating and changing altitude fairly quickly.

In terms of weaponry, the helicopter is one of the most well-equipped ones in-game. A machine gun modeled after the Hughes M230 30mm chain gun is positioned on the chin of the chopper's fuselage. It is extremely similar to the Valkyrie's cannon, firing devastating explosive rounds, albeit with a slow fire rate and mediocre range. Unlike the Valkyrie's cannon, however, it can now be utilized by the pilot, although the copilot can still optionally take control of it via a camera. A pair of Hydra 70 rocket pods are fitted on either side of the chopper, and are fired in a fashion unique to the Hunter; just like in its former appearances, two rockets (either guided or unguided) will be fired at once with one button press, potentially allowing the player to launch four in the span of one or two seconds. However, there is a brief cooldown before more could be fired.

As a compromise for its considerable armament, the Hunter suffers from weak armor like the other large attack choppers, with continuous small-arms rounds to the chassis eventually causing noticeable damage. As with most helicopters, it will be instantly destroyed by a single grenade, bomb or rocket.

Notable Owners

Image Gallery

3D Universe

HunterAttacking

Tommy Vercetti attacks a Police car with a Hunter.

HD Universe

HunterBeta

The beta Hunter as seen on the Warstock Cache & Carry ad.

Notable Appearances in Missions

  • In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City it makes a single appearance in the mission All Hands On Deck, being used by a French secret service agent, though he only uses the chain gun.
  • It also appeared in Learning to Fly, a race event (Heli Hell) and two flown by NPC in Up, Up and Away! (part of the casino heist mission) from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
  • The Hunter's most notable use is in the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories missions Over The Topand Last Stand, when Victor Vance steals a Hunter (in Over the Top) in order to attack the Mendez Cartel (in Last Stand). It also appears in a previous mission, From Zero To Hero.

Although it isn't considered a mission, the Hunter appeared in a multiplayer match for the PSP version of GTA Vice City Stories named "Might of the Hunter".

Skywolf Mission

Main article: Skywolf

The Skywolf mission is a side mission in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories available after Last Stand, it is activated by simply entering the Hunter at Escobar International Airport. The mission requires the player to use the Hunter's weaponry and destroy a certain amount of targets while flying through some rings. The targets are boats, cars and for the last part, another helicopter. Completion of the mission gets the player a step closer to 100% Completion.

Locations

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

  • Fort Baxter Air Base - Inside the base after completing either Keep Your Friends Close or collecting all 100 hidden packages, which will appear only after a certain percentage of the game is complete. Jacking the Hunter from here without a police uniform is not easy. The easiest way is to fly another helicopter (purchasing the Hyman Condo is the easiest) to the rear of the base (where the Hunter is parked), then slam down and land right next to it, hop out, and then jack it. This must be quick because eventually guardsmen will spawn around the base with M4s, and will shoot the player down.
  • Ocean Beach - At the helipad next to Lance Vance's house after finding all 100 hidden packages and completing Keep Your Friends Close.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  • Easter BasinSan Fierro - On a helipad inside the Easter Basin Naval Station after completing Pilot School with all golds. The player instantly gains a 5 star wanted level upon entering the base and therefore will be engaged by two NPC Hydras firing heat-seeking missiles, which makes obtaining it very difficult.
  • Verdant MeadowsBone County - At the airstrip after getting gold on all Pilot School tests. (Note: When both the Hunter and Leviathan are unlocked at Verdant Meadows, only one of them can spawn at a time. Arrive from the west to spawn the Hunter and arrive from the east to spawn the Leviathan).
  • Used in Heli Hell - the player can keep it if take the Hunter to the aircraft hangar in Verdant Meadows instead of completing the course.
  • May be found with the Skimmer at SFPD's basement.
  • Can be found in the underground parking lot at the LVPD Headquarters but is impossible to get out with it.
  • Can be spawned by inputting the cheat during gameplay.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

  • The Hunter aircraft itself is not available in the regular game, but left over code from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is, and can only be spawned in with a third-party trainer.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Grand Theft Auto Online

Trivia

General

  • The default radio stations for the Hunter are:
  • In GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas and GTA Liberty City Stories, the player is able to play the game's Radio Stations while flying the Hunter. However, this ability was removed in GTA Vice City Stories.
  • The Hunter is one of the fastest helicopters in the 3D Universe and with the widest turning radius, on par with the Sea Sparrow and VCN Maverick/News Chopper.
  • The name "Brown Thunder" is a reference to the 1983 action film Blue Thunder, which centers on a heavily-armed law enforcement helicopter.
  • The Hunter's "Brown Thunder" Vigilante mission is the best way to earn money in GTA Vice City, and third best in GTA San Andreas (after the Inside Track betting trick and using the Rhino in Vigilante missions). The mission allows the player to take-out criminals in a specific time period, earning more time with each successful kill. Once at a high level (level 30 & beyond in GTA Vice City, level 150 & beyond in GTA San Andreas), the money earned can be massive, sometimes over 100K.
  • The in-game chain gun, despite it was intended to be the Hughes M230 30mm chain gun, seems to be very boxy and small for this helicopter in the 3D Universe, due to the low suspension of the main landing gears. However, the Beta Hunter from GTA V (the desert camo one) has a realistic model of the said weapon.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

  • The front wheels are designed in the same orientation. Thus, the black side is on the left side of both wheels and the wheel caps on the right side.
  • Even though the cockpit has the correct two personnel layout, the Hunter has the control stick in the gunner position. AH-64 Apache helicopters actually have control sticks in both the pilot and co-pilot gunner seats.
    • Also, Tommy flies the Hunter from the co-pilot/gunner seat, situated at the front of the cockpit. AH-64 Apache helicopters are actually piloted primarily from the rear of the cockpit.
  • There is no special animation for Tommy when he is flying the Hunter in the game — when inside, he never puts his hands on the stick (cyclic) or the throttle (collective) controls, but rather holds his hands out in front of him, fingers cupped, as if holding an invisible steering wheel. In fact, when turning the helicopter, Tommy actually rotates his hands as if turning the steering wheel of a car, rather than manipulating the stick as he should.
  • The Hunter's machine gun has a firing sound like the M-60, instead of a 30mm chain gun.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

  • There's a visual glitch that might cause the inside of the cockpit to disappear. It often happens when viewing it from the left or right side or the view looking behind the helicopter.
  • Using the turret to destroy any vehicles does not attract police attention, but killing people while grounded using the turret or rockets (unless they hit the ground, a structure, directly at criminals spawned by a Vigilante mission or explode in the air) does attract a wanted level.
  • When entering a Hunter with a Camera equipped, the camera lens will show up when in first-person mode. This is useful, as the camera lens provide accuracy for targets. This also applies to the Hydra.

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

  • Although it does not appear within the game, leftover Hunter files from GTA Vice City are present in the code of the game. With the aid of third-party trainers, a fully functional Hunter can be spawned. It has the same design as the GTA Vice City model but cannot be used for Vigilante missions, nor does is it have a in-game name.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

  • One must be careful when shooting the rockets from the Hunter, because if the helicopter strafes too much, the rockets will hit the chopper immediately after firing, thus, destroying it in the process. Same is true for any Hunters in other games when firing too close to the ground as the splash damage will instantly kill the player.

Grand Theft Auto V

  • In The Simian trailer appearance, the pilot seen is wearing an LSPD flight helmet.
  • The Hunter is also mentioned in the police scanner audio files, but is not featured in singleplayer.

See Also

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