I am a little curious as to how a Gryphon class fighter is suppose to land. I have looked it up and I see that the Gryphon (featured in the game Star Trek: Invasion) is a variant of the Valkyrie class fighter that was introduced shortly after the Dominion War. I know this is not really canon, but I still like the idea of having fighter class shuttles in the Star Trek.

I have looked at all images I could find on the internet and I do not see any type of landing gear on these fighters, or how could they even be placed. The logical position to place landing gear on a Gryphon class fighter would not work because torpedo launchers are placed there. Anyways, I was just curious on how they land.

  • Talking about this: google.com/… ? Looks like it would rest on a tripod of wingpoints and its nose.
    – DCShannon
    Aug 11, 2016 at 0:54
  • How does a Gryphon class fighter land? Very well, thank you. Aug 11, 2016 at 14:48
  • @PaulD.Waite - Given that the Gryphon is based on the Defiant, I rather think the answer is, very poorly, which is why we try not to do it.
    – Valorum
    Aug 11, 2016 at 16:09
  • You're assuming that they land at all. But they could be designed to only dock with other vessels. This makes sense if their intended purpose is for battling in space. Less room for landing gear = more room for weapons, thrusters, etc. Aug 11, 2016 at 16:36
  • I thought my answer to this one was nicely referenced. Was there anything else you were hoping for before considering an acceptance?
    – Valorum
    Aug 31, 2016 at 14:47

3 Answers 3


The concept art for the Gryphon-Class fighter notes that the ship is largely modelled on the Defiant-Class ship seen in DS9.

That being the case, it's likely that it simply has the same sort of concealed landing struts that the Defiant enjoys.

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The Federation is an advanced society whose origins in Human technologies means they may be inclined to solve problems the same way we have done so on Earth. Since their military options resemble most Human technologies and given the superior qualities of metamaterials such as tritanium used in the Federation, it does not seem unreasonable there are several ways to move and land such vehicles.

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I am basing my answer on my military experience with modern U.S. aircraft carriers, there could be any number of answers you are not considering:

  • They could simply have landing gear hidden strategically just like any other aircraft have always had. These fighters don't appear to be significantly larger than modern fighter aircraft so they can probably land the same way. I suspect they would prefer more modern facilities but could land on any relatively modern flight deck.

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  • If they are part of a fighter squadron, given the nature of attenuated linear graviton beams or tractor beams and other field-pressor technology used in the Federation, when landing or taking off, they may simply be internally tractored to where they need to be in a fashion similar to the "arresting gear" use on-board aircraft carriers. The specially-calibrated tractor array pulls the ship to where it needs to be in the hanger. Humans need not even be involved, since the ship's AI is likely to be more sophisticated and more capable of the precision needed.

  • Another logical adaptation of pressor-field technology is to consider such vehicles have the capacity for Harrier-like movement. Rather than using their massive engines, they could simply utilize their antigravity and onboard thrusters to direct the ship where they want it. This could be a standard technology on most Federation fighters. Replace rotors with directed antigravity technology (which exists in the Federation deck plating everywhere) and they could be VTOL quite easily.

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Summary: Since they look like air-superiority fighters, complete with wing surfaces, they appear to be able to land on planets with atmospheres so it would make sense they would have landing gear or VTOL capacities, such as the capacity to alter their wing configuration for landing in atmosphere or when tractor technology is not available.


Most blueprints and other such documents rarely show commonplace technology such as landing gear since they are "at rest" technologies which do not show the vehicle's fighting capacity. I can easily see most design schematics simply overlooking this vital technology in an effort to show what is deemed more important, their fighting, defensive and offensive capabilities.

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  • What is the canonicity of those images? I ask because I saw them while I was researching my answer, but they appear to be fan-made wireframes being posted on Deviantart; unusualsuspex.deviantart.com/art/…
    – Valorum
    Aug 11, 2016 at 17:55
  • 1
    They are no less significant for the points that I raised. I was not using them for canonicity, I was using them to explain HOW they would work. A significant difference. Aug 11, 2016 at 18:21
  • I'm not saying they're not useful or that it's a bad answer, just that you might want to advise users that they're fan-made, given that they form the centrepiece of your answer, in the same way that the concept-art forms the centrepiece of mine and is labelled as such.
    – Valorum
    Aug 11, 2016 at 18:25

Even if it doesn't have wheeled landing gear or landing legs, it may not need them, given it's size the bottom hull maybe made of a durable material to withstand landing. Starfleet shuttles land all the time and they have no landing gear they literally land on their nacelles. But presumably are made of durable materials. The Star Trek Technical manual describes the materials used to build the hulls of it's starships. Durable metal foams and ultra hard metal plates .enter image description here

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