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The Chaffee-type was a shuttlepod design used by the Federation Starfleet. This class of shuttlepod was carried aboard the Defiant-class starships in the late-24th century.

Technical data

The Chaffee-type shuttlepod had a small cockpit with room for about four people. The primary power grid was powered by the impulse engines. The grid made no use of antimatter. For this reason it was capable of entering areas of subspace metreon radiation that would normally collapse the dilithium matrix of a warp core. The pod also had back-up power in case the impulse power failed. There were also primary and secondary navigational computers. The pod was protected with deflector shields. (DS9: "The Sound of Her Voice")

List of Chaffee-type shuttles


Background information

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual (p. 137) designated this shuttle as the Type 10 shuttlecraft, as suggested by the ship's designer Doug Drexler and was based on the Type 6 shuttlecraft spaceframe, whose RCS thrusters were incorporated into the design. This type of shuttlecraft was equipped with miniature versions of the Defiant-class impulse and warp drive, with a similar armored warp coil assemblies. Shuttles were armed with phaser emitters and micro-torpedo launchers. Systems also included a Danube-class computer core, shields and signal intelligence jamming devices. Other specifications given by the manual are:

  • Accommodation: 4, crew
  • Dimensions: Length, 9.64 meters; beam, 5.82 meters; height, 3.35 meters
  • Mass: 19.73 metric tonnes (unloaded)

The type-10 terminology is also used in Star Trek: Starship Spotter.

Studio model

The Chaffee was born out of necessity when it was discovered that the physical studio model of the original Type 18 shuttlepod had been stolen. [1](X) Effects supervisor Gary Hutzel turned to Drexler to design a new, larger shuttlecraft now to be realized as a CGI model. "When Gary Hutzel approached me about designing a new larger shuttle for the Defiant, I resisted big-time. I had just, and I mean just finished the interior cutaway for Starfleet's armored warship [rem: for the Deep Space Nine Technical Manual]. Now Gary was asking me to find a place for this thing. As I rabidly went through all the reasons why it couldn't be done, I saw it in my head, did a 180, and gushed about how this could be done. Gary looked at me grinning like a little kid, "I knew ya' could do it! Is it done yet?!"", Drexler recalled. [2](X)

Doug Drexler's design sketches of the Chaffee

As for the design Drexler remarked, "I took a cue from Walter "Matt" Jefferies once again when coming up with the concept. The original Galileo shuttle as seen in TOS had the same nacelles as the Enterprise. That way the audience would have instant recognition as to who the shuttle belonged to. The Chaffee carried the unusual looking drum shaped nacelles as the Defiant. I'm sorry we never saw it again. Foundation Imaging did their usual great job showing the Chaffee exiting the mother ship." [3] Drexler made use of the opportunity to give the craft a less boxlike, more sleek appearance, "Truthfully, we all wanted to see a shuttle for the Defiant that suggested greater range, power, and sex appeal." [4](X)

A bit of commotion was caused when it came to naming the shuttle Chaffee. "What I really remember is us getting scolded by someone in the office for naming the shuttle Chaffee. Who do you think you are naming a shuttlecraft after your girlfriend! Now it was time for me to be impressed. Rick Berman jumped in and set the record straight. 'Don't be ridiculous! Chaffee is one of the Apollo 1 astronauts that died on the pad. Approved!'", Drexler fondly remembered. [5](X)

MacDougall's CGI model

Drexler finished up on two design sketches a day later and turned them in at Foundation where Brandon MacDougall fine-tuned the design and turned it into a CGI model. [6] It was MacDougall who gave the Chaffee a scaled down refit-Constitution-class impulse drive/impulse deflector crystal assembly as a subtle homage to that class. [7] MacDougall's model went on to make several appearances in and onto licensed Star Trek print publications, most notably in the Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendars and their book derivative.

According to designer Drexler "I pulled out the LightWave model of the Chaffee and measured it, and it is twenty-six feet long [7.9 meters]." [8](X) Author Larry Nemecek wrote down a length of 25 feet (7.6 meters) based on a May 5, 1998 verbal comment from Visual Effects Supervisor Gary Hutzel, who worked on The Sound of Her Voice. [9]

Drexler's design sketches were later sold on 8 August 2010 as Lot 170 in the Propworx' The official STAR TREK prop and costume auction, estimated at US$100-$200, where they sold for US$360 (including buyer's premium).


The Star Trek: Divided We Fall comic miniseries identifies another type Type-10 shuttlecraft, the Sagan, that was assigned the second Defiant. The Sagan appears in several Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novels.

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