The x-38 blasts thru time to start work on Enterprise


The X-38 dropped from the B-52 carrier ship

The X-38 dropped from the B-52 carrier ship


hard-lined concept for the tiny shuttlecraft

hard-lined concept for the tiny shuttlecraft


first major pass of the craft

first major pass of the craft


final approved rough

final approved rough

Based on Nasa’s X-38 the shuttlecraft for Enterprise was to be a quick, small, and very cramped little ship. This one didn’t go for much more than the above sketches.  What was nice is that it eased thru the approval stage quickly because the main torture was being given to Doug’s Enterprise and the Sulibon Helix ship,,, OOOOHHHHHH those thoughts bring back much pain!!!! The craft was a lot of fun to throw down on paper and it is one i wished there would have been more time to work on. It went thru a variety of different wing configurations and body thicknesses. after the roughs were approved they Went to Mighty Fritz who started everyday with a comment about Mazzithera Cheeeeeeeeezeee. Fritz had the tough job of designing the plans and overseeing the construction. Two shuttles were made for the show and side by side in the bay they were nick named the flying clogs. Oh Yah dot iz goot.


Found this lurking in the dark corners of my computer so here is an add on for the shuttle pictures.

here are the roughs for the awakening #84 showing the modifications to this frumpy lil craft

here are the roughs for the awakening #84 showing the modifications to this frumpy lil craft

14 Responses to “The x-38 blasts thru time to start work on Enterprise”

  1. 1 Lee
    April 30, 2009 at 6:20 am

    I like seeing your passes of it with more surface detail, it makes it look more real – I thought the less features on the full-size set model detracted from its realism, it didn’t look like something that was going to take off at any moment.

  2. 2 Freak
    April 30, 2009 at 6:26 am

    Sweet great to see what gave you the oringal idea behind this shuttle.
    It’s not one of my fav’s but it some how works.

  3. 3 aratriel
    April 30, 2009 at 6:40 am

    man, you rock!!!
    really, thanks for keep us flying so high!!!!!
    greetings from Venice (italy) 🙂

  4. April 30, 2009 at 6:40 am

    The design of those Shuttlepods is just great – it just screams reality. It’s cool how the dropped fins were later added for the appearance of the modified shuttle in “Awakening”.

  5. 5 DeanneM
    April 30, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Always fun to see the inspiration and the progression of the designs! I agree with Lee that the set models don’t look very impressive, due it seems to the lack of details on the front and the fins retracted (see doug’s blog post from 4/16 – the one where John commented that he was thinking about a meatloaf sandwich while working in the shuttle bay – deep thinker! 😉 ).

    It’s nice to see one fully deployed in action, thanks again to Jörg (got it right this time).

    In case anyone hasn’t seen it, a new experimental CRV is in the works (I’m sure there’s more than one) and you can take a look at it at this link. It is ESA’s IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle) and it will test in 2012 using flaps and thrusters for maneuvering.

  6. 7 Jonathan Burke (TrekBBS' Praetor)
    April 30, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Awesome! I especially love how the first version feels wider and more arrow-shaped, but I can understand with the launch bay concept narrower would be better. I don’t think the smoothness of detail on the physical prop detracted from the realism – I think it actually added to it. And I love that bubble canopy. You were definitely channeling Master Jefferies on this one, John. 🙂

    The one thing about the final shuttlepod that I never really liked were the ‘switchblade’ retractable setup for the wings. It looks in the sketches here like you’d played with adjustable-for-flight fold-up wings, which frankly I think make more sense and would have been visually awesome. It would have been super-efficient to have the wings fold up almost flush against the upper hull when it was docked, a la Argo, but without the insets. I am glad you lost the upper wings, though. They felt a bit too aggressive for what these were supposed to be. 😉

  7. 8 evil_genius_180
    April 30, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Man, I love those different passes. Even though you refined the shuttle with each pass, I think I’d have chosen the first one. That’s definitely my favorite, though it would have probably cost too much to build 1 full scale model, let alone 2 of those because of all the details. Not only do I love the X-38 influence but I also see a little of Matt Jefferies’ TOS design in that first pass, especially on the top side edges. 🙂

  8. 9 the bluesman
    April 30, 2009 at 9:29 am


    The shuttle pod is one of my favorite vehicles fro ENT. It looks liek soemthign that can be built in about 100 years, I like the utiltiarian aspect of the ship and even though it ahs a lifting body look to it, it also has the “flying brick” feel to it too.

    And the influences of the X-24 and other lifitng body aircraft is very clear.

    Very nice!

  9. 10 Matt Boardman
    May 1, 2009 at 4:41 am

    “frumpy lil craft” Haha!

    I too was a fan of the shuttlepods and it’s neat to see these versions of it! It’s interesting that the upper wing configuration was lost in the final model/set versions of the shuttlepod.

  10. 11 Si
    May 1, 2009 at 4:56 am

    Did you ever see the series ‘Farscape’? The main character’s space pod looked very similar to the X-38. They both look sooo cool!


  11. 12 shipfisher
    May 1, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Late to the party again.

    How you take present day aerospace vehicles and extrapolate them into the future is wonderful John. Between what you’ve shown us here and in the opening credits article, there’s enough great concepts to provide an obvious family lineage from the X-38 through to the NX-01 shuttlepod, not mention how the X-33/Venture Star flows seemlessly into the “OV-165” – as with many trek fans, I’m big on continuity.

    The artistry and crisp contours of your concepts are unmatched in the industry from what I’ve seen. I’ve note that the only ENT concept we haven’t seen here yet (ie. of those that have appeared previously in low-res, group images on several trek sites) is perhaps my favourite: A proto-NX-01 with a drive section that looks like the NX-Alpha concept with that twin-prong, P-38 feel, and what looks like big impuse engines similar to the Enterprise B version of the Excelsior. Perhaps your keeping it up your sleeve for a NX-01 development pic series?

  12. May 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Sure. The original design based on the X-38 would have looked cooler. And like Jonathan Burke I can see why the shuttles ended up as more boxy and with smaller wings, just to fit into the shuttlebay. But I am also delighted how the final shuttles are credible as less advanced predecessors of the TOS type of 100 years later.

  13. 14 Ben
    June 10, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    I always thought it resembled a bit the X-38 (my fave flying thing ever) and it’s even better to read that the ENT Shuttle was based on it.

    Makes my thankfullness to all you design/creation folks even bigger.

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April 2009

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