This class was widely used during the 2360s by Starfleet Academy as a training ship. (VOY: "Drone"; cf. DS9: "Valiant") According to Tom Paris, "they used to shoehorn half a dozen cadets into one of these things for weeks at a time," adding, "you did not want to be around when they opened up that airlock."
They were also part of the standard inventory of Intrepid-class vessels during the 2370s. After listening to the comments made by Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres regarding the compact size of the Class 2 shuttle, Seven of Nine to suggest that someone should "design a new shuttle. Larger, more efficient." Torres thought her suggestion was "not a bad idea." (VOY: "Drone") According to Tom Paris, the decision to construct the Delta Flyer was based on the fact that "Class 2 shuttles just don't cut it in the Delta Quadrant." He added that "we've needed something bigger and better since we got here." (VOY: "Extreme Risk")
Other basic or noted systems included a tractor beam, transporter, inertial dampers, com system, optical scanners, structural integrity field, and a message buoy. (VOY: "Innocence", "Unity", "Hunters")
Described by B'Elanna Torres as "fast [and] maneuverable", their propulsion systems included thrusters, impulse engines, and warp drive. Other components of the propulsion systems included the stabilizer acceleration sensors and attitude control thrusters. (VOY: "Basics, Part II", "Future's End, Part II")
The Class 2 shuttle had a top speed of warp 4. (VOY: "Resolutions") However, following the discovery of a new form of dilithium that could remain stable at a much higher warp frequency by the crew of USS Voyager, the Class 2 shuttle Cochrane reached warp 9.7 in 2372. With the engagement of the shuttle's transwarp drive, it was capable of reaching warp 10. (VOY: "Threshold")
As with other Starfleet shuttles of the era, these shuttles were equipped with shields, and a weapons array consisting of phaser banks and photon torpedoes. (VOY: "Innocence", "Night") The shuttle had a weapons range of at least 20,000 kilometers. (VOY: "Vis à Vis")
Theoretically, the Class 2 shuttle was capable of being modified, over a period of several hours, with Borg developed shields, designed to cut through the gravimetric currents caused by a graviton ellipse. (VOY: "One Small Step") In another more practical case, two of these shuttles were outfitted with refractive shielding. (VOY: "Counterpoint")
The interior consisted of a cockpit with seating for two, with a small cabin in the aft. Overall, it was limited to a crew capacity of approximately six. (VOY: "Drone", "Counterpoint") Class 2 shuttles were often the cause of "Class 2 claustrophobia" for the cadets who served aboard them, as they were, not exactly "built for comfort." (VOY: "Drone") Captain Kathryn Janeway believed it possible to live aboard this type of shuttle alone, for the duration of her trip back to the Alpha Quadrant, on account of having "plenty of rations" with her. (VOY: "Night")
Entry to the shuttle was through a large hatch in the rear of the craft. There were benches for passenger seating in the aft section, parallel to the rear walls, with ample room for cargo, as well as storage space for at least two EV suits. The shuttle's transporter system was also located in the aft compartment. (VOY: "Day of Honor")
The relatively cramped cockpit had two swiveled chairs with approximately 180° of forward control consoles split between the two seats with a small centrally located viewscreen/monitor. The pilot's seat was located on the port side of the cockpit. (VOY: "The Swarm") The chairs were placed on a track which allowed them to access the cockpit's rear consoles, located on the half wall separating the forward and aft compartments. (VOY: "Drone", et al.)
Shuttles of the class
|Class 2 shuttles|
|Cochrane (I) • Cochrane (II) • Dawkins|
- "Basics, Part I"
- "Basics, Part II"
- "The Swarm"
- "Future's End, Part II"
- "Before and After"
- "Real Life"
- "Worst Case Scenario" (hologram)
- "The Gift"
- "Day of Honor"
- "The Raven"
- "Vis à Vis"
- "Extreme Risk" (holographic interior only)
- "Latent Image" (interior only)
- "Dark Frontier"
- "The Disease"
- "Barge of the Dead"
- "Life Line"
- "Natural Law"
- "Renaissance Man"
This type of shuttlecraft was consistently referred to as a "Class 2 shuttle" on-screen in "Night", "Extreme Risk", "Drone", and "One Small Step".
In "Resolutions", a reference was made to a "Type 9 shuttle" that was never shown in the episode, which according to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 145), "Class-2 shuttles included shuttlecraft of Types 6, 8, and 9." However, Rick Sternbach designed this shuttle as the "Type 12 shuttlecraft" (Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models, issue 36, p. 29, 32), where the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual (p. 162) used the similar designation "Type-9A" to indicate a large long-range cargo shuttle.
The design of the shuttle originated from the desire of the art department to introduce a "cool and sleek shuttle", but the opportunity only presented itself when "Threshold" entered pre-production. Sternbach was charged with designing the new shuttle early summer 1995. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 5, p. 85)
"We knew that "cool and sleek" was going to mean long, low and streamlined, but we also had to insure that our actors could stand up inside, so the minimum ceiling height was kept at almost six feet. If we were required to make the speedboat as sleek as, say a Lotus or Ferrari automobile, they'd have to crouch inelegantly to enter their seats," Sternbach remembers. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 5, p. 85)
Working closely with production designer Richard James and set designer John Chichester in order to match interior with exterior, he was able to come up early with a design that approximated the final look of the shuttle, which was very soon dubbed by the art department staff as the "Speedboat Shuttle." The design was a break from the established look for Starfleet shuttles, which until then were variations of the classic box shaped design. Further detailing and refining meant that Sternbach was only able to produce blueprints in November 1995 for forwarding to Tony Meininger's Brazil-Fabrication & Design where the physical studio model was built. Since Star Trek: Voyager was in the middle of the process of transition to CGI, it proved to be the last physical shuttle model built for the show and no full scale mock-up was ever built. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 5, pp. 86-89)
As late as 2008 it was relabeled the Harris (NCC-74656/05), however it is not known if the model appeared under this name in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.  A Voyager shuttle of that name is flown in the Jeri Taylor-penned novel Pathways.
As of 2009, the studio model itself is in the possession of Paramount Pictures, having escaped the 40 Years of Star Trek and the It's A Wrap! auctions, and has been on tour in displays such as the Star Trek World Tour, Star Trek: The Exhibition and Star Trek: The Adventure.