Games about flying a helicopter are something very unique to the 1980s and early 90s. From arcade shooters to first-person simulations, you have it all.
One of the earliest helicopter games was Dan Gorlin's Choplifter! for the Apple II. It was a simple 2D side-scrolling game, but the graphics and its realistic action made it feel like a movie. This inspired the development of Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf. It was a less linear game with multiple objectives across isometric levels. Another popular side-scrolling arcade, Silkworm, featured a helicopter and a jeep, a great example of co-op gameplay.
Games like Gunship were more aimed at simulation. You would sit in a detailed cockpit of an AH-64 Apache helicopter. You would need to move around the obstacles carefully. And select appropriate weapons depending on your targets while evading enemy fire. The details made it the best 8-bit combat flight simulator ever.
When it was released in 1992, Comanche: Maximum Overkill became the new standard for helicopter simulation. Games became more cinematic and action-packed. But still contain a tremendous amount of realistic detail, just like the classics.