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The waverider is an atmospheric shuttlecraft in service aboard Federation Nova-class starships. Unlike other auxiliary craft, the waverider is not stowed in a shuttlebay. Instead, is docked to the ventral side of the primary hull, just forward of the ship's primary navigational deflector. (VOY: "Equinox", "Endgame")

Nova class MSD

Nova-class MSD

Although it has never been seen in action, the waverider can be readily identified in the MSD of a
Nova-class vessel. The craft's aerodynamic shape suggests that this craft is designed for operating within a planet's atmosphere, but still possesses both impulse and warp engines, for operations away from the mothership. The Waverider, while designed primarily for use inside a planetary atmosphere, would still need to function as a Starfleet runabout. It is conceivable that a vessel would require such a craft when it is necessary to land on the surface of a planet whose atmospheric conditions make it far too hazardous to use transporters or traditional shuttlecraft. (Star Trek: The Magazine) While in atmosphere, the Waverider can reach speeds in excess of Mach 12. Similarly designed to a runabout, the vessel has a cockpit, a miniature lab, emergency transporter, sleeping facilities, and even a foldaway biobed. (See "Star Trek the Official Starships Collection No. 15.)

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