Puddle Jumpers are small spacecraft created by the Ancients. Several of these ships were discovered in various hangars in 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 MajorJohn 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 Lt. 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.(SGA: "Rising")
The Asurans referred to these ships as "Gateships", possibly indicating that the Ancients also called them that in their language. (SGA: "The Return, Part 2") However, the Wraith are shown to refer to them as Jumpers or Lantean Jumpers.
The design of a Puddle Jumper is a small, roughly cylindrical shape with an angled front and rear, allowing it to slide perfectly through open Stargates. 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.
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 Tau'ri 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 also carry a portable Dial Home Device to dial addresses regardless of whether or not the Stargate is orbital.
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 gating to Atlantis go into autopilot upon entering a certain distance of the gate.
Puddle Jumpers are susceptible to electromagnetic fields, which can actually disrupt their systems enough to down them if the field is strong enough, such as on M7G-677.
Cloaking Generator Edit
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, Tau'ri, Goa´uld or Asgard sensors, apart from the sensors of the ZPM powered hive ship. 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.
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 Atlantis Drone without falling, although this drains the Jumper's power rapidly. (SGA: "Grace Under Pressure", "The Return, Part 2", "Lifeline") The cloaking generator can only project either the cloak or the shield, as both are generated from the same device. (SGA: "Grace Under Pressure")
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 levels of a City-Ship). Furthermore, Michael Kenmore was able to interface Wraith technology with a stolen Jumper to emit a Stun bubble around the ship.
Weapon System Edit
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 and can strike a target multiple times, for example, only one drone striking 3 times can penetrate the hull of a wraith Cruiser. The drones additionally 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.
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.
External Links Edit
- Stargate Wiki