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Puddle Jumper
GateshipSpace11.png
Production information
Manufacturer
Designer

Ancients

Technical specifications
Length

8 meters

Height/depth

4.7 meters

Engine unit(s)
Hyperdrive system

Limited interstellar
(Developed by Rodney McKay)

Power plant

Rechargeable power core

Shielding
  • Converted from cloak
    (Developed by the Atlantis Expedition)
Sensor systems

Ancient sensor array

Targeting systems

Mental

Control systems

Control chair

Navigation system

Ancient star map

Avionics

Mental

Countermeasures
  • Ancient shield bypass
  • Cloaking device
  • Stun bubble
    (developed by Michael Kenmore)
Armament

12+ Drone weapons

Crew
  • 1 Pilot
  • 1 Co-pilot
Minimum crew

None

Passengers

20

Other systems
  • Dial Home Device
  • Subspace communicator
  • Inertial dampeners
Usage
Role(s)
  • Shuttle
  • Fighter
Affiliation

Asurans
Lanteans
United Federation of Planets
Starfleet
Michael Kenmore (briefly)

Puddle Jumpers are small spacecraft created by the Ancients. Several of these ships were discovered in various hangars in Atlantis, on Starbase Atlantis and Starbase Atlantis, and are used by the Atlantis Expedition for various purposes. Puddle Jumpers feature retractable thrusters that allow them to travel through a Stargate, as well as powerful Drone weapons for self-defense and a cloaking device to avoid detection. They are operated via neural interface, and so the Ancient Technology Activation gene is required to activate and pilot the ship. 

The name "Puddle Jumper" is a combination of a visual pun on the ship's ability to travel through the event horizon of a Stargate (an action also referred to as "Threading the Needle"), which resembles a pool of water, and a reference to the slang term 'puddle-jumper' on Earth, which means a small plane intended for short distance flights. It was coined by Major John Sheppard, an experienced pilot, who found a serendipitous double meaning when describing the craft. The nomenclature of the ship was immediately protested by Dr. Rodney McKay and Lieutenant Aiden Ford, who preferred "Gateship", although their suggestion was rejected. As such, the name, "Puddle Jumper" stuck and has continued to be used to this day.

The Asurans referred to these ships as "Gateships", possibly indicating that the Ancients also called them that in their language. 

However, the Wraith are shown to refer to them as Jumpers or Lantean Jumpers. 

Design[]

The design of a Puddle Jumper is a small, roughly cylindrical shape with an angled front and rear. The front section contains the cockpit of the vessel with all control functions, four seats for passengers, and a large view port at the front of the ship. The aft section contains a passenger and storage area with a hatch in the back to access the ship.

A Puddle Jumper with engines extended

Similar to the Tel'tak, the craft is split into two sections, the cockpit and cargo hold, with a bulkhead door to separate them. This door is quite strong, capable of holding back the pressure of deep ocean water and retaining atmosphere in space.

Entry and exit to the Puddle Jumper is provided through the use of the cargo bay door in the rear. This door can be lowered and raised in normal operation, or can be jettisoned by use of the emergency release located in the rear section of the cargo bay. A smaller hatch installed by the Federation also exists in the ceiling of the cargo section allowing for entry.

The cargo area also serves for additional seating within the Jumper for more than the flight crew. Jumpers have a limited power supply, but it is presumably rechargeable. The vessel contains an arsenal of Drone weapons and engines pods on both the port and starboard sides.

The Jumpers can be used as bombers by attaching explosives to the bottom of the craft and later releasing them. There are also lights built into the Jumper's underside for seeing underwater. Jumpers going to Starbase Atlantis go into autopilot upon entering a certain distance of the starbase.

Puddle Jumpers are susceptible to electromagnetic fields, which can actually disrupt their systems enough to disable them if the field is strong enough, such as on M7G-677.

Technology[]

Weapon systems[]

The Puddle Jumper's weapon port

The Jumper's weapon systems consist of at least 12 Drone weapons that are housed in the two weapon pods located on both sides. These pods must be extended before the drones can be fired. The drones (like the Jumpers themselves) can be controlled by the pilot's thoughts. Even without a significant power source (such a ZPM like Aurora-class warships) the Drones weapons in puddle jumpers are very powerful: One is able to destroy a building-sized asteroid and a Wraith Dart completely. Furthermore, like all drones, they can strike a target multiple times, for example, only one drone striking 3 times can penetrate the hull of a Wraith cruiser. The drones also have the ability to bypass certain types of shields, notably those of a Goa'uld Ha'tak. Additionally, they seem to be able to seek out key systems; two drones fired at a Ha'tak by a Jumper were able to completely destroy it. Radek Zelenka was also able to modify the cloak on a Puddle Jumper to act as a shield against the pressure of ocean water.

It was theorized by Dr. Rodney McKay that these drones could also be used to pilot the Jumper, although this was never tested. It is assumed that the craft would not be very maneuverable or fast; however, it would require very little power. Eventually, McKay discovered the Jumper's own engines could be controlled wireless through an Ancient Control chair in this way.

Cloak generator[]

Two Puddle Jumpers de-cloak

A Puddle Jumper has no true defensive shields at all, suggesting that it was designed to be an exploration and trading ship. Its only defense consists of an advanced cloaking generator capable of masking the ship to both the naked eye and sensors, much like those on Goa'uld Tel'taks and Al'kesh, although far smaller and more powerful. The Jumper's cloak cannot be penetrated by Wraith, Federation, Goa´uld or Asgard sensors, apart from the sensors of the ZPM powered hive ship and ZPM powered Xindi-Reptilian warship. The cloak conceals the full interior of the vessel and its occupants even if the hatch is open. The Jumper's cloak is not limited to the size of the craft, as it can be extended around other objects.

The cloak of a Jumper re-tuned for use as a shield

However, through modifications the cloaking generator can be altered to act as a shield, capable of withstanding the pressure of the ocean and even one Drone without falling, although this drains the Jumper's power rapidly. The cloaking generator can only project either the cloak or the shield, as both are generated from the same device.

Dr. Rodney McKay was also able to modify the Jumper's cloak to emit an Anti-Replicator field that would destroy all Asurans in range (9 decks of a starbase). Furthermore, Michael Kenmore was able to interface Wraith technology with a stolen Jumper to emit a stun bubble around the ship.

Control console[]

There have been at least three different designs of main control consoles for the Puddle Jumpers. The reason for the changes was never explained.

  • The original console featured many colored panels and knobs which would glow when the jumper was started up by a person with the Ancient Technology Activation gene. Most of the console was brown-colored.

A Dial Home Device on a Jumper, calibrated for the Milky Way galaxy

  • The second Jumper console featured a rigid gray panel without any type of lights. The light colored buttons and dials were replaced with gray sliders and other controls. The control panels on board the Orion and at the center of Project Arcturus were similar. It is implied by Dr. Rodney McKay that these control panels were the Ancient's "latest stuff" - the latest being 10,000 years old. This would indicate that the second Jumper console is actually more advanced than the first, but it is not explained how the team came across the newer design. It is possible that they were obtained from Atlantis' sister ship.
  • The third Jumper console was first introduced in the Jumper stolen from the Asuran city-ship, and has been featured ever since 2381. It appears as a mix of the two previous Jumper consoles with a solid panel but with many small buttons, blue lights and sliders while in the previous Jumpers there were two sticks controlling speed and direction. In this there is one which moves up, down, and side to side for direction and another controlling speed. When moved completely forward it is at zero, and when pulled fully back it is at max throttle. This design has only four bench seats in the rear compartment, as opposed to the first two designs which had six bench seats.

It should also be noted that the Atlantis Expedition members have been seen using the control stick to fly instead of piloting the vessel by mental interface, though the drones were still required to be launched with the mental interface.

Communications[]

The Puddle Jumper utilizes a subspace communications system to facilitate real-time communications between locations, although it is not as powerful as the ones on the rest of the Ancient fleet or the Deep space carriers.

Sensors[]

The sensors of a Puddle Jumper are very advanced and powerful for the size and power of the ship. These sensors are capable of scanning almost half solar system and give information of ships, energy sources and life signs.

Federation equipment[]

A gateship, modified by Rodney McKay, enters hyperspace

A various assortment of items can be attached to a Puddle Jumper, typically on the underside of the vessel, or can be carried. Examples include objects that need to be launched (that can be carried, such as a Naquadah generator), or a grapple.

As the jumpers are used on a regular basis by the Atlantis expedition to explore planets, their jumpers have been equipped with a large amount of Starfleet equipment. All of their jumpers possess plenty of food, medicine, weapons and other supplies on board, suspended over the seats in the rear compartment by rubber netting and behind the seats in the forward compartment.

As off-world teams are likely to come under fire, there is a healthy supply of weapons, and tactical vests on board, including type 3-A compression phaser rifles, type 3-B phaser rifles, type 3-B compression phaser rifles, type 3-E phaser rifles, type 3-E phaser pulse rifles, compound grenade launchers, as well as miniature photon burst and quantum burst launchers and type 2-F phasers. There are lights built into the jumper for seeing underwater. There is also enough equipment in the Jumper, including desktop monitors and tools to fix the Jumper in case of a breakdown.

During the brief time that Dr. Rodney McKay was being accelerated towards Ascension, he designed a virtual prototype for a hyperspace window generator for the Puddle Jumper. At one time, McKay and Dr. Radek Zelenka formulated a plan to use the experimental Jumper's hyperdrive, so the team are able to fly from Starbase Atlantis to Asuras. Unfortunately this took a lot of power and the only way they would have been able to fly it back would be to interface the Zero Point Module they stole.

McKay stated that he and Zelenka were working on fitting Asgard transporters onto Puddle Jumpers, but were only in the early stages.

Time machine[]

The Time Jumper travels through time

Main article: Time Jumper

An Ancient scientist named Janus created at least one Puddle Jumper, known as a Time Jumper, which is capable of Ttme travel by means of a device installed in the cargo hold.

In the main timeline, this experimental technology was banned by the Lantean Council in order to prevent dangers associated with time travel.

A Time Jumper was encountered by the Atlantis expedition in an alternate timeline and Stargate Command in the current timeline.

Control crystals[]

Control crystals

Gateships, like other Ancient technology, utilize crystals to control its systems. These crystals are located in the rear section of the ship behind the bench seats and in panels hanging from the ceiling. As most of the control conduits go to the rear section of the Gateship, it is possible to control the ship from that location as well. The control crystals, such as the one for the cloaking generator, can be removed from a Jumper and implemented on other Ancient ships.

Engines[]

Drive pods of a Jumper extended

Puddle Jumpers are equipped with two anti-gravity drive pods, which may either be extended or retracted during flight. However, the drive pods when extended are capable of propelling the craft at far greater speeds. The engines of Puddle Jumpers also allow the craft to hover silently above ground in one spot. This, in conjunction with the cloak, has proven to be a useful ability in surprise attacks. Puddle Jumpers are also capable of reverse flight. As they are also capable of operating underwater, Puddle Jumpers may also be used as submersibles.

The power of these engines—while impressive for a craft of their size (capable of flying through a star system in 15 hours, about 17000 Km/sec)—is greatly exceeded by that of larger capital ships, such as those of the Daedalus-class, capable of making the same cross-star system trip in a matter of minutes.

Heads up display[]

Heads up display of a Puddle Jumper

Like many of the other on board systems, the heads up display of a Gateship is entirely intuitive. Appearing on the main viewing window of the Jumper, it displays pertinent information about anything the pilot is thinking about. It also activates automatically to display important information to the pilot, such as nearby vessels, weapons fire or anomalous energy readings.

History[]

Atlantis Expedition[]

Starbase Atlantis is equipped with a full hangar of Puddle Jumpers, with the ability to leave the starbase through the retractable roof. They were first used when Major John Sheppard mounted a rescue operation to recover a group of Human and Athosians- including Colonel Marshall Sumner and Athosian leader Teyla Emmagan- from a Wraith Hive ship.

While assisting the Genii in their effort to combat the Wraith, Sheppard piloted a cloaked Puddle Jumper and infiltrated a Wraith Hive ship. After escaping, the Genii betrayed the Atlantis team at gunpoint. However, thinking ahead, Sheppard called on his combadge and two other Puddle Jumpers uncloaked allowing the team to escape. Witnessing the power of the Atlanteans first hand, the Genii sent an invasion force to Starbase Atlantis to retrieve essential supplies, including a Puddle Jumper (ignorant of the fact that the Ancient Technology Activation gene is required for their operation). At the time, another Puddle Jumper was stuck on the mainland during a massive storm that kept it grounded. When the eye of the storm passed over the mainland, Dr. Carson Beckett flew into the upper atmosphere in order to return to Starbase Atlantis to assist Sheppard in regaining control from the Genii.

Sheppard, Captain Kira, Dr. Rodney McKay, Dr. Brendan Gall, and Dr. Abrams later took Jumper One to the far edges of the Lantean system for research. They were able to locate a Lagrangian Point satellite and a downed Wraith supply ship on the satellite-orbiting planet. Landing on the planet, a lone Wraith survivor was able to access the Jumper while Sheppard and his team were investigating the crashed Wraith ship. The Wraith was able to activate a shield around the Jumper through extensive system modification, forcing McKay to determine how to access the shield after the Wraith was killed.

In 2380, a Wraith Dart arrived at Starbase Atlantis to scan it in a prelude to a Wraith incursion. Jumpers 1, 2 and 3 intercepted the Dart to prevent it from reaching Starbase Atlantis, but it was able to destroy Jumper 3 and self-destructed after it successfully scanned Starbase Atlantis, beaming at least one Wraith into the starbase in the process.

The power systems of a Puddle Jumper can be linked to other sources, and McKay was able to connect the power system of Jumper 4 to the Atlantis power grid.

The control systems of a Puddle Jumper can be controlled by an Ancient Control chair for sending Jumpers into unsafe areas. This idea was implemented when Hive ships were over Starbase Atlantis and Jumpers were to be sent at the Hive ships with quantum torpedoes on board. Unfortunately the power supply of the control chair failed just before the plan was to be implemented and the Jumpers had to be sent manually. The Jumper was destroyed, taking a Hive ship with it, but its pilot was saved by the Daedalus.

A Puddle Jumper was used to investigate an Ancient planet with the power source known as Project Arcturus. When the power source began to overload and the outpost's weapon turret started to fire erratically, Sheppard, Captain Kira and McKay had to use the Puddle Jumper to evade the turret's weapon's fire and return to Starbase Atlantis with protection by the Daedalus.

While visiting Olesia, one of Atlantis' Puddle Jumpers was shot down by prisoners on the planet's penal colony. Another Puddle Jumper under the command of Dr. Elizabeth Weir went to investigate and assisted in evacuating the prisoners through the Daedalus transporter during a Wraith culling and rescuing the team of the downed Puddle Jumper, which was retrieved and repaired by Dr. Radek Zelenka.

When Sheppard was trapped in the time dilation field of the planet Cloister, McKay, with Weir, Captain Kira and Beckett, took a Jumper to the planet to launch a probe to investigate the field in order to shut it down.

Testing out a Puddle Jumper's systems after it was damaged, McKay and Captain Hugh Griffin were flying Jumper 6 over Lantea's ocean until its engine failures and crashed into the ocean. After a certain depth, the front cockpit's window broke due to the pressure, and McKay took refuge in the aft area while the officer remained in the cockpit to save McKay. After some time, the Jumper landed on the ocean floor, but the impact fractured the bottom hull and caused the water to slowly leak in. In the meantime, Sheppard and Zelenka were able to figure out how to convert a Jumper's cloak into a shield, thus protecting it from the pressure of the ocean. They were able to locate McKay's Jumper and extend the shield, saving McKay, but leaving his Jumper on the ocean floor.

In exchange for medicine and overall assistance, Starbase Atlantis received a number of Puddle Jumpers that were in stored in a derelict and nearly powerless City-ship. The power core of the Jumpers had long since drained and they were collecting dust, as the people of that planet had neither the technological know-how to restore power or the ATA gene to fly them.

After investigating a planet, Sheppard and his team rescued Phoebus' pod while Jumper 6, under the command of Major Evan Lorne, retrieved the pod used by Thalan.

Around the end of 2381, Starbase Atlantis had around 10 known Jumpers in its possession. During this time, when the Genii coup d'etat was occurring, Starbase Atlantis special ops used a cloaked Jumper to investigate a Genii facility on M6R-867. When Sheppard and his team arrived at the planet in an attempt to acquire a Zero Point Module, they were captured by Cowen who put them up as hostages in exchange for Starbase Atlantis' Jumpers. The imminent coup d'etat allowed Sheppard and his team to be freed.

Following the creation of the McKay/Carter Intergalactic gate bridge, Sheppard took a Jumper to the Midway space station during the first test of the bridge. When the Asurans subsequently took control of Starbase Atlantis, Sheppard's team used a Jumper to return to Milky Way and enter the starbase, gaining access via the sercet Jumper bay.

Uses in the Milky Way[]

SG-1 discovers the Puddle Jumper on Arkhan's world

SG-1, while investigating the Arkhan's world, discovered a single Puddle Jumper after finding monuments with Ancient writing. With his Ancient Technology Activation gene, Brigadier General Jack O'Neill was able to use the Puddle Jumper to destroy the Goa'uld Ares' Ha'tak to prevent an invasion of Arkhan's world. The Puddle Jumper was then taken to Earth for further study.

After reading an article of text, Dr. Daniel Jackson discovered that Ra had a Zero Point Module while he was ruling Egypt. SG-1, along with Brigadier General Jack O'Neill, used the Puddle Jumper they retrieved and went back in time to retrieve the ZPM. Although they retrieved the ZPM, the cloaked Jumper had been partially covered with a dune of sand and was discovered by Ra's Jaffa preventing SG-1 from returning to the present, changing the future.

In the alternate timeline where there was no Stargate Command or Stargate Program due to Ra going back in time to kill Jack O'Neill and his team on Abydos during that mission, after his human slaves had rebelled against him, the Puddle Jumper was found in Egypt and brought to Cheyenne Mountain for investigation. After discovering a video file left by Jackson in the past, gate addresses stated were dialed through the Jumper with no visible effect. However, the alternate Samantha Carter discovered that, after dialing, seismic activity had occurred in Antarctica, signaling the location of the hidden Antarctic Stargate.

SG-1 travels back in time on Chulak; 2995 B.C

With the help of the alternate O'Neill, the Jumper was used to dial and travel through the newly discovered gate to Chulak to locate the alternate Teal'c. Though the two teams that went were kidnapped by Apophis, they were able to escape with help by Teal'c and escaped in the Jumper, traveling through to the past then returning to Egypt. The location of the landed Jumper was the restart of the standard timeline where the uprising against Ra went as normal and the ZPM was found in the normal timeline, thus preventing the real SG-1 from using the Jumper to go to the past.

A Puddle Jumper from Starbase Atlantis was brought to Earth through the Midway space station where it was kept in storage in Stargate Command. It was later stolen by Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard and his team to return to Starbase Atlantis to regain control of it.

Uses by others[]

The Puddle Jumper was commonly used by the Ancients, who would use them to explore other planets and travel around the Atlantis outpost in Antarctica on Earth. A number of Puddle Jumpers were in storage in the Tower. After some time, they lost power and started to collect dust in storage until some were given to Atlantis. The Asurans, mirroring the technology of the Ancients, were able to develop Puddle Jumpers based on those used by the Ancients. One was stolen by the team before the Asuran city-ship was destroyed in order to escape.

In the Asuran copy of Atlantis, the city had a Jumper bay and the Organic Asuran versions of the team took one of these Jumpers to escape the destruction of the city as the city's Stargate was fake and the planet didn't have one. They later used the Jumper to hitch a ride on the Asuran Aurora-class battleship and it was shot down distracting an Asuran cruiser.

The Wraith-Human hybrid Michael Kenmore obtained a Jumper from Colonel John Sheppard's team and used it to escape his cruiser when its destruction was imminent. He later used it to infiltrate Starbase Atlantis where half of it was destroyed by a bomb activated by Dr. Rodney McKay for that very purpose. It is unlikely to be repairable.

In an attempt to save their race, three rogue Tok'ra stole the Time Jumper and kidnaped Doctor Carolyn Lam to pilot it. After following the Tok'ra to 2492 BC, SG-1 were able to recover the Jumper and used it to drive Ra off of Earth once more.

Several Starfleet starships use Puddle Jumpers, including the USS Enterprise-E, USS Intrepid-A and USS Valiant, presumably other Starfleet ships use Puddle Jumpers as well.

Known Jumpers[]

  • Asuran Jumper
  • Escape Jumper
  • Experimental Jumper
  • Jumper 1
  • Jumper 2
  • Jumper 3
  • Jumper 4
  • Jumper 6
  • Jumper 8
  • Michael's Jumper
  • Rescue Jumper
  • Time Jumper

Gallery[]

Ancient fleet
Capital ships Alteran ship · Aurora-class · City-ship · Destiny
Other ships Cruiser · Puddle Jumper · Science vessel · Seed ship · Shuttle · Transport ship
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