The Type 7 shuttlecraft was introduced sometime prior to 2364. They were standard shuttlecraft aboard Template:ShipClass, Template:ShipClass, and Template:ShipClass starships in the mid to late 24th century. (TNG: "Coming of Age", "The Child"; Star Trek Generations)
The Type 7 shuttle was a short to medium range auxiliary craft. Some shuttles were equipped with warp drive and were useful for interstellar travel (TNG: "Samaritan Snare", "Chain of Command, Part I"), while others were restricted to impulse speeds. (TNG: "Q Who") The impulse engine were located at the very aft of the vessel. The shuttles were typically unarmed and had minimal deflector shield coverage. (TNG: "Deja Q", "The Host") They had escape transporters, which could be reconfigured for use as standard transporters if necessary. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II")
The forward cockpit contained two seats, each with a small console and a view out the shuttlecraft window. In the center of the cockpit was a large display which gave navigational information and acted as a viewscreen. (TNG: "Unnatural Selection") The aft area had passenger seating and sensor control. (TNG: "The Nth Degree")
The hull markings were also changed around 2367. Originally, the shuttle had Starfleet pennants along its nacelle pylons, and the full Starfleet registry number of its attached vessel on its rear hull in a narrow italic font, with the shuttle number in large font along the midhull. Later shuttles had the registry number without the prefix in the standard font used on the hulls of starships, the Starfleet pennant along the ship's "belt," and the shuttle number in a smaller font contained within the lines of the pennant.
|Type 7 shuttlecraft|
|Ansel Adams • Clarke • Copernicus • Cousteau • D'Alison • Decartes • Einstein • Feynman • Hawking • Indiana Jones • JF Kennedy • Kotoi • McAuliffe • Sakharov • Tereshkova • Von Braun • Shuttlecraft 13 • NCC-70367 • Unnamed|
The Type 7 shuttle was designed by Andrew Probert during the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and would first be seen in an okudagram appearing in TNG: "The Naked Now", and first appeared as a studio model in "Coming of Age". Unfortunately, the curvaceous hull was too difficult to replicate for a full scale model, resulting in a less than convincing mockup seen in "Unnatural Selection" and "The Host".
The Type 7 was eventually replaced by the Type 6 during the fifth season of TNG. However, the Type 7 reappeared for the sixth season episodes "Chain of Command, Part I", "Chain of Command, Part II", and "Ship in a Bottle". The Type 7 interior set was apparently struck, requiring the Type 6 shuttle interior to be used instead. In "Ship in a Bottle," the rear section of the Sakharov was clearly seen as a Type 6 shuttle while it launched as a Type 7, although this can be explained as simply an error created by the holodeck.
There is a model of the shuttle, exhibited in Europe, which is identified as Pod 09. The name of the shuttle is covered by tape. It is not known if this model ever appeared in an episode. Furthermore, in one of the magazines published by Starlog for the Next Generation, there is a picture of the shuttle Heinlein. Again, it's not known if this shuttle ever appeared in an episode.