Shuttles were more specialized in the original series. The basic design had the front and rear "Skyfighter" modules serve as bookends for the shuttle transport modules.
Transport Module Type[edit | edit source]
Flight Modules[edit | edit source]
They are the common elements of all shuttles. The cockpit and flight crew are in the front section, and the engine and shuttle crew (technicians, etc.) in the rear. As noted, they are the halves of a Skyfighter.
Loading Bay Module[edit | edit source]
This is an empty bay with doors on both sides, and lack the black pane "windows" on the sides and the landing pads on the underside. For short trips, extra passengers can stand in the bay, but may be dangerous if the shuttle experiences problems in flight.
Cabin Module[edit | edit source]
This is an area for cargo and passengers, identifiable by a pair of black pane "windows" on the sides and a set of landing pads on the underside.
Utility Module[edit | edit source]
This houses important systems such as fuel, thruster controls, life-support, etc. It is identifiable by a single black pane "windows" on the sides that towards the front of the shuttle. For all configurations that use modules, this module always appears at the rear the ship just before the rear flight module. Like the Cabin Module, it also has a pair of landing pads on its underside.
Tanker Module[edit | edit source]
This holds large liquid/gas tanks on both sides of the ship, and is the length of six normal modules. It possesses a set of four landing pads on the underside.
The modular design efficiently tailors shuttles to the specific tasks they serve (e.g. Skyfighters are built for speed and firepower, while Tankers are built to haul heavy loads and are unarmed) while reducing production and servicing costs. For information on specific variations, see their individual articles below.
Shuttle Types[edit | edit source]
Sky Fighter[edit | edit source]
The SkyFighter is the backbone of the Visitor attack force, and is capable of both atmospheric and space travel. The craft is 11 meters in length, 8 meters in width, and about 15,400 kg. The ship holds a crew complement of six, including a pilot, co-pilot, gunner, and three troopers. A small fusion reactor powers the ship and its gravity drive, effectively providing unlimited range. Cruising speed is Mach 3 within a class-M atmosphere, and 20-30% the speed of light in space. The main skin of the ship is composed of a honeycomb of a titanium hybrid alloy, coated with a micro-thin heat-dissipating armor plating. The armaments on a Skyfighter include four 120,000 Joule cobalt lasers, two mounted forward and two aft. Computer navigation and astrogation is provided by an onboard system with redundancy features for autopilot, weapons, and navigation in the event of damage or failure.
Squad Ship[edit | edit source]
The Squad Ship is a simple 4-cabin variant the Transport. (see below)
Transport[edit | edit source]
The Transport comes in either 4-, 8-, or 10-cabin sections configurations, and are used primarily for shuttling large numbers of personnel or ground support supplies. In an 8-cabin configuration, transports are 38 meters long, 10 meters wide, and capable of carrying a crew of 52. Transports are slower than Skyfighters and squad ships, traveling 0.9 Mach within an atmosphere and 10-20% the speed of light in space. Power source, propulsion, and composition are identical to that of the Skyfighter and squad ship. Transports normally do not carry any armaments, although they can be pressed into service as armored scout vehicles with the addition of a high-output weapons pod. Transports are also often fitted with more powerful propulsion units and luxurious appointments for the shuttling of Sirian VIPs, as evidenced in John’s historic first-contact with Earth.
Tanker[edit | edit source]
The Tanker is used to shuttle materials which cannot be efficiently loaded onto transports or squad ships. Tankers are similar to transports in 8-cabin configurations, but tanks replace the inner six compartments. Tankers are 38 meters long and 10 meters wide, and support a crew complement of only four: pilot, co-pilot, one technician, and a safety engineer. Tankers are similar in speed to transports: 0.9 Mach within an atmosphere and 10-20% speed of light in space. Power source, propulsion, and composition are similar to that of the other shuttlecraft. The navigation system is a simplified version, capable of automated control for pre-programmed journeys. Tankers also have reinforced landing gear and structural bracing, as well as pressurized storage cylinder tanks composed of a self-sealing, non-osmotic alloy. Tankers do not carry any armaments.
Notable examples of the Skyfighter was an attack upon a Mountain Camp harboring Resistance and scientists and several Resistance escapes from Motherships, examples of the Squad Ship included Mike Donovan's flight before his turning to the Resistance with Martin in which Donovan found a key, examples of the Transport included John's first contact with Earth with his personal shuttle, and examples of the Tanker included Mike's escape to the Mothership for the first time aboard a Tanker from the Richland Plant.