- "We can turn left..."
- —Lisa Park
The Ancient shuttle has a shape closer to that of traditional Tau'ri design than previously seen alien shuttle-craft. It is shaped similar to Destiny itself, having an elongated nose section and wings where the engine mechanism is housed. It is larger than a Puddle Jumper, and has seats for a total of seventeen people; five crew and twelve passengers. The ones docked with Destiny when the expedition boarded the ship had faded paint, but they are later shown to be mostly gray with red highlights, while the interior is mostly light blue with gold trim.
The forward area contains the cockpit of the vessel with all control functions and three main viewports. In the cockpit are three chairs: the pilot's chair with the flight control interface, the supplemental navigation control area and the supplemental weapons area. Behind the supplementary controls are the main weapons and navigational control systems, with basic stool-like seating. The aft area is the passenger and storage area with bench-style seating, six on each side, for a total of twelve passengers. The benches have over-the-shoulder safety harnesses for the passengers to protect them from turbulence. The ship is accessed via the door at the rear, which when docked externally with Destiny opens into an airlock. No other entryways are presently known. There are three shuttle landing pads on Destiny.
The ship is capable of sublight speeds but not faster-than-light travel. Its sublight speed is also inferior to that of Destiny itself. It has two forward-firing energy weapons mounted in the wings, which appear to be of equivalent power to Destiny's anti-fighter turrets. It has energy shielding for defense, and a stealth mode which has yet to be demonstrated. (SGU: "Air, Part 2", "Light", "Space", "Visitation")
The controls, displays and indicator lights are all accompanied by Ancient text. Because not all expedition members can read Ancient, English translations have been written on pieces of white tape and placed above the controls.
From the pilot's chair, the pilot has access to most (if not all) of the ship's systems, allowing the vessel to be flown by a single person if need be. Directly ahead are the piloting controls, such as thrusters, inertial dampeners, autopilot, pitch/yaw, and landing gear. Above these controls are the navigational radar and a display for Destiny's jump countdown, as well as life support indicators such as oxygen level, internal temperature, and pressure. On the pilot's right side are weapons systems such as manual override, targeting and counter measures. On the left side are the ship's power systems.
In supplemental navigation, two displays give readouts for various systems such as stealth mode, long range and wide spectrum sensors, and diagnostics. The supplemental weapons area provides access to main weapons, proximity indicators, shields and thrusters.
When the Tau'ri discovered the Destiny in 2009, they discovered one of the two shuttles had a broken window that the ship's air supply was leaking out of. An energy shield had been automatically erected to contain the atmosphere, but lacked the power to completely seal the breach. The airlock door was also malfunctioning, making the shuttle impossible to seal off except from inside the cockpit. Senator Alan Armstrong, having already suffered major internal injuries and believing himself to be beyond help, volunteered to do so. He closed the shuttle door and the rest of the oxygen within the shuttle was siphoned into space. He died of asphyxiation. (SGU: "Air, Part 2")
A short time later, Lt. Matthew Scott, with the help of Dr. Adam Brody and a few others, began investigating the second operational shuttle. Scott made rubbings of the labels for each control and Brody translated them into English. Though Scott had no real flight experience, he expressed interest in being the first to fly the shuttle, which he would later do when it appeared that Destiny would collide with a Star. Scott was selected as the pilot to take the shuttle and a group of select survivors to the nearest planet (although he subsequently had to race against time to dock with Destiny before it returned to FTL after it was revealed that the ship was merely recharging its power supply). (SGU: "Darkness", "Light")
When the Nakai attacked Destiny, Scott and MSgt. Ronald Greer piloted the shuttle in battle against a squadron of Nakai fighters launched from a Nakai mothership, successfully destroying several vessels before they retreated to the mothership. They were recalled when it was discovered that Chloe Armstrong had been taken aboard one of the fleeing ships. After Colonel Everett Young's attempt to use the Long-range communication device to rescue Chloe failed and he ordered the mothership destroyed, Scott attempted to take the shuttle out to rescue her, only to be cut short when the Destiny jumped to FTL. Dr. Nicholas Rush later brought Chloe back using a commandeered fighter. (SGU: "Space")
Some time later, the other shuttle was partially repaired, restoring enough functionality for a one-way trip into a planetary atmosphere. Young piloted it to the planet Eden as a means of providing power and shelter for the people who decided to stay on the planet. It was left there for their use when Young and the military personnel returned using the first, operational shuttle. (SGU: "Faith")
After entering a new galaxy, Rush used the newly discovered master code to drop the ship out of FTL to replenish their food supplies. The nearest planet had a damaged Stargate, which could potentially be accessed later, so Scott led a team to the surface to repair it and gather resources for the crew. However, the shuttle was damaged en route and crashed. The damage was too severe to repair, rendering it incapable of flying, much less leaving the atmosphere. The crew of Destiny was forced to abandon the shuttle on the planet. (SGU: "Aftermath")
When the civilians left on Eden were unexpectedly sent back to Destiny, they arrived in the previously-damaged shuttle that had been left for their use. The shuttle was not only made space-worthy, but was restored its original factory condition. (SGU: "Visitation")
Later, a temporal duplicate of the new shuttle from twelve hours in the future, created when the crew attempted to dial Earth from within a star, was flown by a duplicate of Dr. Nicholas Rush to Destiny, returning the ship's compliment to two working shuttles. (SGU: "Twin Destinies")
Later, after the Novus colony Stargate is severely damaged, both shuttles are sent to the planet to retrieve the colonists and Scott, Greer, Eli Wallace, Camile Wray and Chloe. After arriving at Novus, a team travels in a shuttle to the planet to discover it in volcanic winter and an abandoned city, which the shuttle flies through. The shuttle lands and tries to blast open a fallout bunker, but fails. After the bunker is opened, both shuttles are used to carry supplies from the bunker to Destiny. (SGU: "Common Descent", "Epilogue")
During the Destiny attack on Drones, the shuttles are used to reach a planet to get supplies. Unfortuantly, very little is found. Later, as part of a plan to distract and destroy a Control Ship, one of the shuttles is launched with the shields modified to the frequency of the drones' weapons and remote-piloted by Rush and Eli to draw in the ship with a subspace burst mimicking a Stargate dial-out. The plan works and the drones attack the shuttle. The shuttle is successfully flown to the Control Ship and its engines are overloaded, destroying the Control Ship and leaving Destiny with only one shuttle again. (SGU: "Gauntlet")
|Ancient starship classes|
|Aurora-class · City-ship · Gateship · Transport ship · Science vessel · Shuttle|
- Destiny has three docking bays for the shuttles, suggesting that it had another shuttle at one point. This could have been that the clamps were damaged and the shuttle ripped off during FTL or was destroyed by an attack. Another theory is that the bay is a spare if one of the bays is damaged.