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The Autobot shuttle is a multi-stage transport used by the Autobots around the 2005 era. Though they have a tendency to explode if you look at them wrong, the Autobot shuttles enjoy a good reputation due to their excellent safety rating. You can crash them, shoot them, set them on fire, blow them up, but the passengers will almost always walk away uninjured.
The Autobot shuttle can take off horizontally with the aid of retractable thrusters on its belly that lift the ship on a ground-effect cushion before it can get up enough speed to generate lift. The shuttle uses anti-gravity pads for landings. It can also be launched vertically with the aid of a gantry.
Autobot Shuttles are considered antiques by the Beast Era.
The E.D.C. has also been known to use this type of shuttle.
In the Marvel comics, the Ark slowly morphed into something resembling the Autobot shuttle- and the Autobot shuttles looked like the Ark. *sigh*.
The shuttle has a modular design. Adding modules on to the front section expands the shuttle's range and abilities. The addition of a small lifepod means it's possible to detonate 1/2, 3/4 or 4/4 of the ship and still survive.
The rear section of the Autobot shuttle contains the Main Stellar Drive for interstellar travel as well as the main propellant engines.
The 'conning tower' of the rear section contains a secondary navigation center.
The rear section also houses a cargo hold.
The middle section of the Autobot shuttle houses a set of backup engines partially protected by blast-away armor when connected to the stellar drive. When separated, fold-out ailerons provide a measure of atmospheric maneuverability.
The middle section houses some crew quarters, and a medical repair bay equipped with life support machines to repair simple problems, and a Lifeline Cybernetic Diagnostic Module to work in tandem with a medical technician on more complicated problems. The repair bay is versatile enough to perform anything from a simple tune-up to a complete retrofit procedure.
An Autobot Transport Gunship forms the foremost module of the shuttle.
This section's function is to keep the occupants alive in a tight situation; it excels at short-range space combat, but is not designed for traveling interstellar distances.
The Lifepod module is capable of carrying several Transformers a short distance, keeping them alive in time for rescue or putting down on a nearby planet. It lacks a communications system, which is pretty darn weird.
Though airtight, this lifepod has no life support system, leaving humans with just the air trapped inside it to breathe. Presumably this defect has been addressed in the E.D.C. version of the Autobot shuttle.
The Lifepod can hold six normal-sized Transformers... if they're friendly.
Shuttles in Fiction
Despite the large number of shuttles in Transformers fiction, none of them have ever been given a name, and it's likely that all shuttles are nameless.
Madman Transformers comic
- The shuttles were used in the Autobot evacuation of Cybertron in the year 2001.
The Transformers: The Movie
- The shuttle hijacked on its way to Autobot City. Orange with light-gray accents.
- The shuttle commanded by Ultra Magnus whose main section was destroyed by Galvatron's ship. Orange with dark red accents. This is presumably the same shuttle Optimus Prime brought to Autobot City.
- The shuttle with Kup, Hot Rod and the Dinobots that crashed on Quintessa. Orange with dark gray-blue accents.
- A human shuttle was used to make a kamikaze-run on Cybertron's central power facility in Five Faces of Darkness, Part 4 before a full-scale planetary invasion. This shuttle was painted in the E.D.C.'s signature white-and-blue colors.
- The shuttle Rodimus Prime used in Dark Awakening. Orange with white and light-gray accents.
- Two separate shuttles were used to travel to Junkion in Legacy of Unicron! Orange with white and blue accents.
- Optimus Prime used a strange variant of the Autobot shuttle in Dreamwave Armada issue 10. It has many features typical of the Autobot shuttle, but also many features found on the Ark, such as gunnery turrets, and may represent a major design variant. Blue with red and gold accents.
- An Autobot Transport Gunship was used to travel to the moon in Dreamwave Armada issue 10, and was later destroyed by Megatron's Solar Scalpel. Orange with no accents.
- ↑ Thrusters seen in TF:TM.
- ↑ Anti-gravity pads mentioned in Marvel UK #149
- ↑ The shuttle was piloted from the conning tower in Marvel UK #149.
- ↑ Life Support Machines mentioned in Marvel UK #149
- ↑ Lifeline module seen in Wreckers #2
- ↑ The front module was explicitly named in Dreamwave Armada issue 10.
- ↑ The pop-out guns were used in The Legacy of Unicron!
- ↑ Sonic warheads were used in Dreamwave Armada issue 10