Shuttles were more specialized in the original series. With the basic design, the front and rear "Skyfighter" modules serve as bookends for the transport modules other designs. Transport modules include:
- The Flight Modules are the core of the ship. The front end holds the cockpit and flight crew. The rear end holds the engine and shuttle crew (technicians, etc.). As noted, they are built from the hull of a Skyfighter.
- The Loading Bay Module is an empty bay with doors on both sides. Is identifiable by the lack of black pane "windows" on the side, and lack of vertical thrusters on the underside. On short trips, extra passengers can be added if they stand in the bay, but this is highly dangerous if the shuttle should experiences any problems inflight.
- The Cabin Module is an area for cargo and passengers Is identifiable by a pair of black pane "windows" on the side, and a set of vertical thrusters on the underside.
- The Utility Module house impotent systems needed to run a shuttle (fuel, thruster controls, life-support, etc.). Its is identifiable by a single black pane "window" on the side that faces towards the front of the shuttle. For all configurations that make use of modules, this module always appear at the rear end of the ship. Like the Cabin Module, it also has a pair of vertical thrusters on its underside.
- The Tanker Module holds a large liquid/gas tank on each side of the ship. It is long enough to take-up six normal compartments. It mounts a set of four vertical thrusters on the underside.
Shuttles are not configurable, as the overall design needs to handle the missions they are built for (e.g. Skyfighters are built for speed and firepower, while Tankers are built to haul heavy loads and are unarmed). The modular look was to keep the production time and costs down, and to make them easier to service. For information about them and their appearances, please see their individual articles below.
- The SkyFighter is the backbone of the Visitor striking 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.
- The Squad Ship is a simple 4-cabin variant the Transport. (see below)
- 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.
- 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.