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Delta Flyer

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Delta Flyer
Type : General purpose interstellar craft
Unit Run :
Delta Flyer1 - Destroyed2
Delta Flyer3 - Active
1 have been lost in all.
Commissioned : 23751 - 23763, class remains in service
Dimensions : Length : 15.1 m4
Beam : 8.5 m5
Height : 3.74 m4
Decks : 16
Mass : 102.2 metric tons
Crew : 16
Armament : 6 x Type IV phaser cannon, total output 1,500 TeraWatts
4 x Photonic missile launcher1 with 18 rounds
Defence Systems : Unimatrix shield system, total capacity 108,000 TeraJoules
Light Parametallic Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TNG scale) :
Normal Cruise : 6
Maximum Cruise : 6.8
Maximum Rated : 7.2 for 12 hours.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 30
Torpedo Firepower : 40
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 35
Shield Strength : 40
Hull Armour : 4.5
Speed : 376
Combat Manoeuvrability : 17,210
Overall Strength Index : 82
Diplomatic Capability : 1
Expected Hull Life : 75
Refit Cycle : Minor : 0 year
Standard : 0 years
Major : 5 years


Designed and built by the USS Voyager's crew, the Delta Flyer is intended to be a multi-purpose vessel along the lines of a heavy duty shuttle or Runabout. The craft incorporates many systems unique to a Starfleet design - a result of the Borg technology Voyager has experienced on its journey home.

The hull of the Delta Flyer is highly aerodynamic, and is composed of tetraburnium alloys with parametallic plating. The warp nacelles are variable geometry1
, reflecting Voyager's own warp drive system.6 The layout is fairly conventional - a large cabin occupies the front portion, with the engineering section aft feeding nacelles to port and starboard. The EPS conduits in the plasma manifold are isomagnetic1, minimizing power losses and increasing engine efficiency. There is a small cargo bay and transporter system installed in the flyer, along with the various systems usually associated with a vessel of this type. The area where the Delta Flyer differs most from Starfleet designs is in the defence systems. The unimatrix shielding was developed by Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, while the weapons array developed by Seven of Nine is based on Borg technology and includes photonic missiles.

While most of the Delta Flyers control systems are conventional, the helm controls are based on those of early to mid 20th century aircraft - a choice made by Lieutenant Paris for aesthetic reasons. Paris also wanted to add dynametric tail fins to the nacelles, claiming that an intimidating look would deter attackers, but he was overruled.1

A vessel like the Delta Flyer is a good example of Starfleet's recent policy of allowing Starships the freedom to develop their own shuttle designs - although in this case Starfleet naturally had no say in the matter. The Intrepids were one of the first ships designed to produce field-replicated and field-designed shuttles, and Voyagers success in producing a vessel of this size and capability is further proof that Starfleet's policy is the correct one. On the Flyer's first mission it successfully rescued an advanced probe from deep within a gas giants atmosphere,7 and was subsequently a valuable asset for Voyager.6 However, the Flyer underwent its share of mishaps; in 2375 the vessel crash-landed on a hostile planet after encountering a severe ion storm8, and in 2376 the Flyer was briefly inside a subspace ellipse.9 The ship was badly damaged again in this year when a dark matter life form attacked it, but was able to escape without any fatalities.10

Unfortunately, 2376 proved to be the Flyer's final year in service. Towards the end of the year Captain Janeway led a mission to infiltrate a Borg cube using the flyer, and it was detected and destroyed by the alien ship.2 A replacement was subsequently constructed, which incorporated several upgrades.3

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 VOY 5 Extreme Risk
2 VOY 6 Unimatrix Zero, Part 1
3 VOY 7 Drive
4 Speculative Scaled off the Flyer's beam and scale diagrams
5 Speculative Based on a comparison of the Flyer to Voyager's shuttlebay door in 'Extreme Risk'. Assumes a beam of 133 metres for Voyager and a width of 9.5 metres for the door as per scale diagrams
6 Various Voyager episodes
7 VOY 4 Concerning Flight
8 VOY 5 Once Upon a Time
9 VOY 6 One Small Step
10 VOY 6 Good Shepherd
Series : VOY Season 5 (Disc 1)
Episode : Extreme Risk
Series : VOY Season 6 (Disc 7)
Episode : Unimatrix Zero, Part 1
Series : VOY Season 7 (Disc 1)
Episode : Drive
Source : Speculative
Comment : Scaled off the Flyer's beam and scale diagrams
Source : Speculative
Comment : Based on a comparison of the Flyer to Voyager's shuttlebay door in 'Extreme Risk'. Assumes a beam of 133 metres for Voyager and a width of 9.5 metres for the door as per scale diagrams
Series : VOY Season (Disc )
Episode : Various Voyager episodes
Series : VOY Season 4 (Disc 3)
Episode : Concerning Flight
Series : VOY Season 5 (Disc 2)
Episode : Once Upon a Time
Series : VOY Season 6 (Disc 2)
Episode : One Small Step
Series : VOY Season 6 (Disc 5)
Episode : Good Shepherd


Built during Voyagers "Extreme Risk", the Delta Flyer is basically an enlarged and improved shuttlecraft. The dimensions are estimated from visual comparisons of the Flyer and people standing next to it, or with Voyagers shuttle doors. If anybody has more official numbers for the ship I'd love to hear them!

The flyer seems to be a little larger than a runabout - she is roomy and fast enough to do short interstellar trips, but seems to lack the largish rear compartment of a Runabout. Instead the extra volume appears to have been given over to bigger and better shields and weapons. All of the canon (yellow text) details on the specs page come direct from "Extreme Risk", although I'm not 100% sure whether the parametallic hull plates were used as well as or instead of the tetraburnium alloys. The flyer was stated to have a "Borg-inspired" weapon system, and Tuvok's unimatrix shielding - the latter is presumably also based on Borg tech, although it's hard to say.

In part the Flyer seems to me to be an acknowledgement on the part of the creators of just how many shuttles Voyager has lost over the years - not only do the crew admit on screen that their shuttles have not been up to the job, but by making such a big deal of the flyer we can be fairly sure that the writers are not going to be blowing it up any time soon!

The timeline for the building of the Delta Flyer is not completely certain - Paris said he could have the ship done in a week, given that he had already done considerable work on the design. How much initial work he did is open to question - I can easily imagine him fiddling around on something like this in his spare time over the course of years. On the other hand, the design was sufficiently incomplete that several fundamental design factors were suggested in the initial meeting on the flyer and as of the first design meeting on the ship they hadn't yet done the thruster specs and hadn't decided on the basic hull materials or shape. In addition, the episode indicates that they were able to finish the flyer about 36 hours ahead of schedule. Given all this, I don't think it is unreasonable to suggest that a typical starship could complete a project like this from scratch in around two or three weeks - call it a month at the outside. This is a shot in the arm to the extensive speculations I have made in the write ups for the Type 9, 10 and 11 shuttles regarding Starfleets gradual move toward allowing ships to work on just this kind of thing as a matter of normal routine.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 60,382 Last updated : 2 Jan 2009