The other day I was watching the original series after just finishing a book on the development of jet fighters. Immediately on seeing the good old brick shuttle I though something along the lines of "holy cow that things must handle like a misshapen brick when flying through a planets atmosphere. Promptly I began to think how many ships in science fiction in general have very bad aerodynamic shapes that would not work well in an atmosphere. I then began to wonder how these craft would be capable of flying through a planets atmosphere if they were so horribly streamlined. The only explanation I can think of has to do with shields. Specifically the idea that formed in my head was that perhaps a shuttle or Starfighter. Depending on the universe. Could configure its shields to make the ship more aerodynamic. Perhaps by forming a bullet shape around the vehicle which the air would strike rather than the ship itself. Thus allowing for a very boxy and clunky ship to still manage to take off and land in a planets atmosphere without being a major pain in the backside to fly. I'm not sure if any universe has dealt with such a concept, given the wealth of science fiction universes, and Trek in particular, I would not be at all surprised if such an idea has already been developed. But hey I had an idea and thought why not write something about it.