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-   -   Defiant - where is the airlock at the front? (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=189031)

MarsWeeps September 23 2012 09:24 PM

Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
When the Defiant docks at DS9, where is the airlock located on the ship? In all the shots I've seen, the front section appears to be a deflector of some type but I don't see any airlock where people can enter/leave when the ship is docked.

C.E. Evans September 23 2012 10:26 PM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
It's directly above the navigational deflector on the upper half of the forward notch (the deflector dish itself is slanted at an angle on the bottom half).

FalTorPan September 23 2012 10:44 PM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
The airlock at the front is... uh... in subspace. Yeah, that's it!

Tosk September 24 2012 04:21 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
There's not really a good spot on the nose where you can say, "There's the docking port!" Add it to all the other things that weren't really defined (or changed later) on the Defiant. Size, tractor emitters, the shuttle bay, armament, docking ports...they were all seemingly kind of made up as they went along. :)

Timo September 24 2012 07:29 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
...Indeed, it's very difficult to tell why that oddly shaped bow exists in the first place!

Backstage books say something about it being a detachable warhead, something you can ram into the bowels of a Borg Cube the way primitive submarines rammed "torpedoes" (simple immobile explosive charges) into enemy warships, and then detonate. And indeed the big bow lump looks capable of separating from the rest of the ship somehow. *

What if the purpose isn't to penetrate and explode, but to penetrate and disgorge boarding parties? Those have proven to be Starfleet's deadliest weapon against Borg Cubes in various TNG and VOY episodes, after all. The bow section then might feature prominent boarding tubes, cleverly hidden behind armored panels just like everything else on that ship.

See the two beige'ish oblong features side by side on the top surface? Now imagine those being the covers for the boarding tubes, hinged either from the forward or the aft end and thus swinging either up or down to become perfectly horizontal and to allow the tubes to telescope out and contact the enemy hull. In regular dockings with DS9, only one of the tubes would extend, and of course would not activate its phaser cutters and cast rhodinium ripping claws...

That would match what we see in the (lamentably in many ways faulty) cutaway drawing or Master Systems Display on the bridge. Namely, this one:

http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/ar...arshipdown.jpg

The ribbed area at the very front of the middle deck is indeed labeled "FWD DOCKING AIRLOCK", even though the lettering is illegible on screen and almost illegible in the DS9 Tech Manual. The idea that there would be two of those side by side is dictated by there being two of those cover plates, plus an obstructing centerline feature.

Timo Saloniemi

* Which is because when this ship was first designed, she was supposed to be much smaller, and the bow was a separable bridge while the two cheek things that currently launch q-torps were lifeboats. But crew evacuation has ceased to be a plausible explanation for these features, and we have seen actual lifeboats and onboard shuttles used instead.

Jimi_James September 24 2012 09:18 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
Here's an MSD of the Defiant created by Doug Drexler, showing where the airlock is.
http://drexfiles.files.wordpress.com...mas_sys_22.jpg

Timo September 24 2012 09:42 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
...Now just ramp that up to show a six-deck, 170 m ship and you have solved most of the mystery.

The other issue is how the DS9 end of things is supposed to work. There are those fancy clamps on both sides of the circular door, precluding rather than facilitating docking. It seems there has to be some telescoping action involved on the part of the space station, too. If the telescoping system is flexible enough, the question of starship docking system configurations becomes rather academic.

Indeed, we have seen a Miranda dock bow first, even though this shape of bow cannot penetrate into the docking port "bay" at all and there is no hull opening anywhere near the bow anyway. Somehow, the station docking system is doing pretty interesting and involved grappling, even if we assume there is no personnel tube being connected and the Miranda docks merely for stability (?), the people moving exclusively by transporter.

Timo Saloniemi

Tosk September 25 2012 04:59 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
I'll admit...I'm still confused about what or where the port is supposed to be on the exterior hull. Is it that long thin strip running along the nose? Would that raise up at the front end and extrude towards the station? I could kind of see that working.

Or is it the whole front end of the nose that opens? Scale is difficult to judge with the Defiant, especially as the show itself is never consistent.

Timo September 25 2012 08:58 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/sc...lector-top.jpg

My bet is for those beige things on both sides of the centerline. These would be hatches covering the two telescoping tubes.

The scale of the ship is quite arbitrary, yes. But those small round portholes in the above image would be in line with the overall idea of this ship being about 150 meters long, give or take twenty - and of those beige things hiding docking tunnels a man could comfortably walk through.

Timo Saloniemi

Tiberius September 25 2012 11:22 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
Quote:

Timo wrote: (Post 7006633)
Indeed, we have seen a Miranda dock bow first, even though this shape of bow cannot penetrate into the docking port "bay" at all and there is no hull opening anywhere near the bow anyway.

Really? What episode? Have you got a screencap?

Tosk September 26 2012 05:47 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
Way of the Warrior.

http://s12.postimage.org/tzmb7y5ux/w...rrior2_790.jpg

Timo September 26 2012 07:59 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
...The fun thing is, this is not a standard Miranda at all, but a kitbash. From the above image, all we can see is that the torpedo "roll bar" is turned around, but the kitbash also differs in having a saucer rim decorated in vague TNG style rather than finished with the standard kit pieces. In theory, then, this "USS Trial" could have a dedicated bow docking port and everything.

This is what the model looks like in practice:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2259700...9368/lightbox/

Timo Saloniemi

Tiberius September 27 2012 01:58 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
I'd say at the very least they probably have some sort of extendable tube that can come out of the saucer.

Timo September 27 2012 08:29 AM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
...Or perhaps the battle nudged DS9 a bit out of place, and USS Trial is just pushing her back to position? ;)

Timo Saloniemi

G2309 October 1 2012 04:20 PM

Re: Defiant - where is the airlock at the front?
 
Who knows for sure. Why do the ds9 pylons curve inwards? Even for multiple small ship docking the manouvering woiuld be more hazardous than if they curved outwards. It's just aesthetics.


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