- “Either airplane designs are getting uglier, or it's that duck!”
- ―Taurus Bulba seeing the Thunderquack flying around his ship
The Thunderquack is Darkwing Duck's second major mode of transportation. Anywhere he can't get in the Ratcatcher motorcycle, he gets in the Thunderquack. It's often used for airborne patrols of St. Canard as well as a means of global transport.
The Thunderquack was originally built by Launchpad McQuack, as an homage to Darkwing Duck before he'd ever met the mighty masked mallard. It first appeared in the second half of "Darkly Dawns the Duck", though it is referenced in the first half when Launchpad tries to convince Darkwing not to take the biplane because he has something much better in the next hangar over. And is it ever resilient! Despite being crashed by Launchpad on virtually every landing, the Thunderquack just keeps coming back for more.
Befitting Launchpad's unique skillset, the Thunderquack has some truly unique features. Its in-flight maneuverability is unparalleled, able even to outfly living birds of prey such as Tantalus the condor. The TQ can also hover motionless and accelerate vertically like a helicopter or harrier jet. The Thunderquack is also notable for its incredibly quiet ride, as people can have conversations within feet of its running engines with little difficulty.
In addition, it has a generous interior, with two front seats for pilot and observer (usually Launchpad and Darkwing) and a rear bench which seems to be capable of seating up to six. The canopy can be opened in flight without apparent risk of structural damage as well, making it an ideal vehicle for mid-air rescue.
The TQ is also unique in having a powerful onboard computer. At one point it was so powerful that Darkwing Duck attempted to back up his entire crime database to it, to be accessed on the go. While this may technically have been possible, a malfunction resulted in Launchpad swapping personalities with Gosalyn and Honker.
While the Thunderquack lacks any true offensive weaponry such as guns or missiles, it is not without teeth. Literally, the beak-like nose of the TQ can open up to bite a target, or to reveal an internal bay from which heavy items like a grappling hook or the Hoverquack assault chair can be deployed. It is also outfitted with search lights and tricycle landing gear. (even though Launchpad rarely finds a use for the latter)
The Negawing: (fan name) Negaduck has his own version of the Thunderquack, schemed in his usual black, yellow, and red paint scheme. Its wing fairings, canopy, and grimacing jet intakes are more aggressively angled. It's not clear if the Negawing comes from the Negaverse (Negaduck is also seen to drive a massive Nega-Ratcatcher and own a Nega-Yacht) or if it is something he purchased/stole in the regular universe.
Darkwarrior's Thunderscud: (fan name) In an alternate future, Darkwarrior Duck still needs to get around by air. However his craft is far more fearsome than the stealthy Thunderquack. Featuring four massive jet engines, a top-mounted canon, numerous external antennae for surveillance of the citizens of St. Canard, as well as a massive internal bay for missiles and machine guns, the Thunderscud is often escorted by Darkwarrior Drones.
The Spacequack: (fan name) Seen only in "When Aliens Collide", the Spacequack had the same general configuration as the Thunderquack, Negawing, and Thunderscud, but was much larger, with severely raked wings and tail, and bulging "eyes" over its cockpit, as well as an airlock in the front of the beak.
- Just as Batman's Batwing (or batplane) is generally designed to reflect his insignia or motif, so the Thunderquack is designed to resemble Darkwing and his many gadgets.
- A notable exception is in its color scheme. While the Ratcatcher, the Darkwing sub, and the Gasgun; as well as many parts on the inside of Darkwing Tower are cast in purples, The TQ and the Spacequack are painted in shades of red. It might be that these vessels were built by Launchpad, where as the bike and sub were built by Darkwing himself.
- D-2000, or Didi, once was installed into the Thunderquack, making it fully autonomous. This was also the only time the TQ was said to have an offensive weapon, a powerful laser in the beak-bay.
- Darkwing Duck never learned to fly (pilot) himself; and so without Launchpad, or the massive automation of Darkwarrior or the D-2000, Darkwing's Thunderquack would sit unused.
- Honker and Gosalyn once tried to command the Thunderquack to rescue Darkwing Duck from the Bigfoots, only to succeed in launching it without them on board when the ejector seats fired.
- Gosalyn once recycled the jet engines of the Thunderquack, leading to the short lived creation of the Nutquacker.