A Death Glider is a two-seat fighter craft designed for combat in both space and atmosphere used by the Free Jaffa Nation and Lucian Alliance, and were used formally by the Goa'uld Empire, which was the most prolific ship in their fleet.
The Death Glider is a crescent-shaped vessel with wings stylized to look like that of a bird. The wings curve downward, making their tips the lowest point of the vessel. When stored on a Ha'tak, the wings fold in to save space. The cockpit has room for two people; the front seat is the pilot's chair while the rear position controls the weapons. A single pilot can do both, however. Gliders are piloted by means of a large red sphere. Direct thoughts and spoken words seem to control the craft as long as the pilot touches this device. (SG1: "Into the Fire")
Gliders are capable of both atmospheric and spaceflight. They do not use direct thrust, but rather an inertial propulsion system which negates the effect of inertia on the craft. This also allows them to hover. The maximum speed of the craft is unknown but it is capable of at least mach 3.5 though there is indication of it being capable of higher speeds. The X-301 Interceptor was a retro-fitted death glider and it left Earth's atmosphere at approximately one million miles per hour. Like most space craft, Death Gliders also possess inertial dampeners which protect the pilot from deadly G-forces. However, similar to the F-302 fighter-interceptor, they do not appear to function at 100% while traveling at high speeds. Though not designed for it, Death Gliders can be flown underwater. Due to their design, Gliders need a flat surface to land on, or a nearby mothership to dock with. (SG1, "Descent", "Tangent", "Revelations", "Continuum")
Pilots can enter the glider either by having it lower its cockpit or by having it retract its canopy. They are most often stored in racks with their wings folded in and their cockpit lowered. When deploying they are lowered onto launching platforms where they are shot out of the ship. While they are more often boarded from the racks they can be boarded while they are still on the launching platform.
The armament of a Death Glider consists of two Staff cannons mounted to either side of the cockpit on the underbelly of the craft. These are identical in function to a regular Staff weapon, but much more powerful. They can only fire in a straight line and are of limited range compared to Tau'ri air-to-air missiles. To compensate for this, gliders are equipped a targeting computer. The individual staff cannons have a relatively low rate of fire but gliders can compensate by alternating fire between the cannons. But when engaging targets that cannot be locked on, such as human targets on the ground, gliders are forced to conduct strafing runs. The F-302 proved formidable as missiles have greater range than the staff cannons and without any means of countering them gliders often had to rely on numeric superiority to get into firing range. However, once in firing range, gliders had greater longevity than 302's which often expended their ordinance in the engagement and had to retreat. (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "The Fifth Man", "Lost City, Part 1", "Exodus")
Gliders are also equipped with an external speaker, so as to terrorize targets with threats as well as direct action. They have scanning equipment to detect other ships, while communication is achieved through a small external device placed on the pilot's cheek. (SG1: "The Serpent's Lair")
After Teal'c began a rebellion against the System Lords, a recall device was installed in Death Gliders. This recall device disables all controls and pilots the ship to the relevant System Lord's home planet at maximum sublight speed; unless it happens to be activated in the same solar system, this will almost assuredly result in the pilot dying en route. (SG1: "Tangent")
- Main article: Udajeet
- Main article: Needle Threader
A Needle Threader is a specialized Death Glider constructed by the Goa'uld that can travel through the Stargate in a similar manner to Ancient Puddle Jumpers; however, it provides no automatic navigation through Stargates, and was discontinued after it proved too difficult to master. (SG1: "Into the Fire")
Ring Transportation Death Glider
- Main article: Transport Glider
This variant was seen in Apophis' forces. It was more massive than the standard Death Glider, and its only known design feature was that it possessed its own set of Transportation rings. It is also shown to be capable of carrying several people (Klorel and several other Goa'uld). The craft was capable of physically transforming between death glider and transport ship, having rectangular wings, an extended cockpit, and retracted staff cannons when in the latter. This line of death glider was decommissioned and by the time the Tau'ri began using their stargate, it was only seen once. (SG1: "Children of the Gods")
References and notes
- Stargate SG-1: First Steps: The Stargate Unexplored Worlds Roleplaying Sourcebook
- Stargate SG-1: Goa'uld Death Glider Collector Scale Replica
- Stargate SG-1: The DVD Collection 7
Some issues of The DVD Collection magazine are known to contain errors with respect to the dimensions they provide for spaceships. Dimensions for the same class of ship may vary between issues. The dimensions given in an issue may contradict how the ship visually appears on screen. The dimensions of two ships which appear similarly sized on screen may be given different measurements in The DVD Collection magazines. However, as the DVD Collection Magazines are officially licensed by MGM (and thus considered canon) Stargate Wiki includes them, while noting the apparent discrepancies in instances where they occur. See policy and List of spaceships by size for more information.
- GateWorld's article on
|Goa'uld starship classes|
|Attack ships||Al'kesh · Cheops class warship · Death Glider · Ha'tak · Needle Threader|
|Transport ships||Archaic Tel'tak · Tel'tak · Transport Glider · Troopship|