The class was known to operate in two configurations. The standard transport arrangement featured two warp nacelles held on pylons to either side of the ship. In the more prestigious executive shuttle configuration the nacelles were placed more discretely at the rear of the underside of the ship, although the pylons from the standard arrangement were still present, looking more like small wings. (Star Trek Fact Files Issue 30-5: "NAR-25820"; Star Trek Fact Files Issue 30-8: "U.S.S. Jenolen NCC-2010")
In addition to warp drive the class featured a powerful impulse engine. In the executive shuttle configuration it was considered a forerunner to the later Danube-class runabout. (Star Trek Fact Files Issue 30-5: "NAR-25820")
The class had entered service 2279 when vessels of the class were used by Starfleet as executive shuttles for V.I.P. transportation. These vessels were typically used for visiting guests without access to their own personal transports (such as travel pods and captain's yachts). A Sydney-class executive shuttle, NAR-25820, was used, in that year, to ferry the senior staff of the USS Enterprise to board their ship at Earth Spacedock. (Star Trek Fact Files Issue 30-5: "NAR-25820"; TOS movie: The Undiscovered Country)
In 2294, the USS Jenolen, a transport-configured Sydney-class vessel was ferrying passengers to the retirement planet Norpin V when it crash landed on a Dyson Sphere. The Jenolen remained there until the USS Enterprise discovered it in 2369. (TNG episode & novelization: Relics)
In the 2370s the transport-configured Sydney-class vessel USS Nash made regular visits to starbase Deep Space 9, including delivering Department of Temporal Investigations agents Dulmer and Gariff Lucsly in 2373. (DS9 episodes: "Playing God", "Trials and Tribble-ations", et al.)
- The claim that this class is both the transport type of the USS Jenolen and the executive shuttle class comes from both The Star Trek Encyclopedia and Star Trek Fact Files, though seems to be internally contradicted by the latter source. A chart in Star Trek Fact Files Issue 19-1C: "Federation Starship Listings" shows the transport class to be about twice the length of a Danube-class runabout. The page for the USS Jenolen however clearly labels a bridge model, and shows what appear to be windows indicating multiple decks and a much larger ship. The executive shuttle diagrams on the other hand show the vessel to have only one deck, very similar in size to the Danube-class.
- The class' appearance in DS9 reuses the same footage several times and always shows the ship upside down as it docks with Deep Space 9. Star Trek Fact Files Issue 19-10B: "Temporal Investigations" confirms these vessels are Sydney-class vessels.
Appearances and references
- TOS movie: The Undiscovered Country
- TNG episode & novelization: Relics
- DS9 episode: "Playing God"
- ST reference: The Star Trek Encyclopedia
- DS9 episode: "Accession"
- DS9 episode: "Trials and Tribble-ations"
- DS9 episode: "Chrysalis"
- Last Unicorn RPG module: The Price of Freedom
- Star Trek Fact Files Issue 19-1C: "Federation Starship Listings"
- Star Trek Fact Files Issue 19-10B: "Temporal Investigations"
- Star Trek Fact Files Issue 30-5: "NAR-25820"
- Star Trek Fact Files Issue 30-8: "U.S.S. Jenolen NCC-2010"