Shuttles were a type of starship used to transport personnel and cargo through space, often from one starship to another or from a ship to a planetary body. There were a number of different types of shuttles in the galaxy, including the Imperial Lambda-class T-4a shuttle and the civilian Star Commuter 2000.
Shuttle spacecraft had been in use around the galaxy since at least 32 BBY. The Trade Federation, and later the Confederacy of Independent Systems, operated several different shuttle types. These included the Sheathipede-class Type B shuttle, Sheathipede-class transport shuttle, Maxillipede shuttle, and the Separatist command shuttle. The Sheathipede-class in particular had a remarkably long lifespan. It remained in operation with Separatist holdouts and the the rebellion's Spectres as late as 2 BBY, well after the end of the Clone Wars.
In the final years of its existence, the Galactic Republic operated numerous shuttle types. These included the Eta-class shuttle, GX1 short hauler, H-2 executive shuttle, Nu-class attack/transport shuttle, and Theta-class T-2c shuttle. Darth Sidious also operated his own customized shuttle in the last year of the Clone Wars. Civilian interplanetary transport services, especially those operating in the Outer Rim Territories, made use of Taylander shuttles. The Eta, Nu, and Theta classes all served as inspirations for the next generation of Imperial shuttle craft. The Nu-class continued in service for years, with the Free Ryloth Movement operating a Nu-class shuttle as late as 3 BBY. The Taylander shuttles also had a long lifespan, with Phoenix Cell operating the type as late as 2 BBY. Saponza's Gang operated CSS-1s sometime between 0 ABY and 3 ABY. The GX1s continued in Imperial service as late as 4 ABY.
The Jedi Order also operated at least one shuttle type, the T-6 shuttle, as early as 32 BBY. This class continued to serve until late in the Clone Wars in 19 BBY. The legacy of the T-6's design was not lost upon future ship designers; Quarrie used the T-6's cockpit windscreen and gyro-stabilization system when developing the Prototype B6 in 4 BBY.
After the Clone Wars, the Galactic Empire fielded several shuttle types, namely the Delta-class T-3c shuttle, Lambda-class T-4a shuttle, Sentinel-class landing craft and the Zeta-class Heavy Cargo Shuttle. TIE/sa bombers could also perform shuttle duty on occasion, and civilian shuttles like the Star Commuter 2000 were fairly common. The Sentinel-class saw operation as early as 18 BBY, and continued in Imperial service until at least 0 ABY. The Delta-class was introduced in 17 BBY and saw operation as late as 0 BBY. The Lambda-class was introduced later, around 14 BBY, but served until the final collapse of the Empire in 5 ABY. The Star Commuter shuttles were in use as early as 5 BBY and continued in service as late as 2 BBY.
The Alliance to Restore the Republic operated several UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft, which could be used as personnel or cargo shuttles. These versatile ships served the Alliance well, but all but one of U-wings belonging to the Massassi Group were destroyed at the Battle of Scarif. The craft saw continued use throughout the War. The Alliance also operated at least 1 T-1 shuttle, which Leia Organa and Evaan Verlaine used in a mission to rescue the survivors of Alderaan. The Alliance also supplied Saponza's gang with E-50 Landseer shuttles for quick delivery of medical supplies to the battlefield.
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