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Dune Wiki
Ordune This article or section refers to elements from Original Dune
There are separate pages for this subject as it appears in the other canons, the reasons for this are explained here


Paul Atreides' ornithopter

The Illustrated Dune - The Sardaukar Warriors (art by John Schoenherr)

Painting by John Schoenherr

Ornithopters, also commonly referred to as 'thopters, were the most common small transport vessels in the Imperium. These aircraft were capable of carrying 6 passengers, 9 if the back seats were removed.

'Thopters were also very versatile. While they were capable of space travel over short distances, these small vessels were mostly operated in planetary atmospheres. Their uses varied from human transport between cities and continents, to light cargo transport across long distances.

'Thopters were often used for military purposes and equipped with weaponry. Usually these weapons were lasguns, but they could also carry small missiles and repeating maula pistols. With the exception of the planet Arrakis, and for heavier cargo transportation, most ornithopters were equipped with shields.

Most 'thopters were winged vessels that were capable of flight through jet propulsion, as well as by mimicking the movements of birds. While the jets were the primary propulsion system, the wings assisted in maintaining altitude, as well as maneuvered the vessels.

Carryalls were essentially large ornithopters.

Known Models[]

Desert-Rigged Ornithopter (Dune CCG, art by Randy Asplund-Faith)

Ornithopter as depicted in the Dune CCG (art by Randy Asplund)

De corgi1984p-1

Dune Book Cover

Ornithopters could appear in many different types including tiny scout or unmanned drone variants, big armored models as well and large carrier wings and troop-carriers.

  • aerial searchers
  • Armored Thopters
  • cargo ornithopters
  • command thopters
  • drone ornithopters
  • escort thopters or smaller guard ships
  • flitter thopters
  • Guard Ships
  • Gun Thopter
  • Hawk Planes
  • mortuary thopters
  • Orships
  • Racing thopters
  • spotter controls
  • scout thopters
  • troop-carriers

Images of ornithopters[]


Video essays[]

Analytical videos on the subject of ornithopters in the Dune universe.

Behind the scenes videos[]

Videos on the portrayal of ornithopters in adaptations of the Dune series.

Real world context[]

Videos on the real world context of the subject, showcasing real world inspirations for this element of the Dune universe.

External links[]