The standard dinghy design in the series has a streamlined hull with a curved underside (from which landing gear can be deployed), two protusions either side of the ship just behind the centre, and a spike-like rear. There is a triangular frame on the bow of the ship with two small swept wings attached on either side. Just behind it is an opaque cockpit canopy and behind that is a large sail .
Dinghies have thrusters and propulsion systems, though they primarily make use of their sails, wings and atmospheric currents when flying within a planet's atmosphere. They also have various navigational systems such as compass and radar. A visual display is built into the inside of the canopy. The engine and mechanics work independently of the electronic systems .