Thunderwing was a noble Decepticon warlord.
Unlike most of his faction, Thunderwing had an affinity for the Creation Matrix (traditionally possessed by Autobot leaders). When it was lost with the corpse of Optimus Prime, and Unicron threatened to destroy Cybertron, the Autobots sent search parties across the galaxy to locate the Matrix, which was needed to defeat the Chaos Bringer.
Thunderwing organized a force of his best warriors, including Crankcase, Ruckus, Windsweeper and Spinister to investigate why the Autobots were sending these search parties. When he captured Hosehead, Siren, and Nightbeat on the planet Pz-zazz and learned they were after the Matrix, he became obsessed with tracking the artifact down himself.
Thunderwing finally found it on the moon VsQs, and managed to acquire it after competing with the Autobots Jazz, Grimlock, and Bumblebee. However, while at first Thunderwing controlled the Matrix and used it to attack the Autobots on the Ark, he soon became the pawn of the corrupted Matrix. The Autobots were forced to jettison Thunderwing and the Matrix into space, whereupon they were lost.
Thunderwing's shattered body was reformed by the evil Matrix, and they attacked Unicron during his assault on Cybertron. Recognizing the Matrix as a force for evil and no threat, Unicron dispersed the object's energies and destroyed Thunderwing totally.
Thunderwing was a Mega Pretender, meaning he had an outer shell that could transform, just as his true robot mode could. In and out of the shell, Thunderwing became an attack jet.