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Old January 17 2009, 12:50 AM   #62
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Re: Deck Plans VI: The Undiscovered Bowling Alley


Regarding TOS lifeboats, other than very well hidden TNG type units (which I have some doubts about there are three main alternatives:

1. Inflatable units (as in some TMP fan manuals) to be towed by shuttles.
2. Shuttle bay mounted ejectable units.
Presumably at the inward most area of the bay, presumably ejectable (like Saratoga's in DS9)
3. All turbolifts serve as escape pods, as in the "Enterprise Officer's Manual" (again a fan product).

While I am not a major proponent of TOS lifepods, I do suggest studying all the alternatives before assuming there simply are none. Its even possible that all these methods are available, as would be the 'ship/saucer as lifeboat' scenario.

> I put absolutely no stock in the "naval construction
> contract" feldercarb, especially since it doesn't fit all
> the other registries we've seen.

OK, I'll add that to the "don't agree" list.

> It's a registry number, i.e., about the same as a
> car's license plate number. It has nothing to do
> with any kind of construction contract (why the
> hell would you advertise something like that
> anyway?).

Its a somewhat different way of doing what modern navies would call "hull numbers" (BB-67, etc.), except making it non-type specific. It is a registry, that's what its called, and except in the most extraoridnary of situations (1701A) we never see it change (unless we count TNG slip-ups). A ship is born with it, and generally dies with the same number. It gets the official designation when the project is funded, hence "construction contract" is appropriate.

> What mainly indicates to me that the Constellation
> is of a slightly different, and older, class than the
> Enterprise, is

Well, we agree on a few things. Now others can disagree with that.

Since you disagree with the only premise that might be helpful I could drop the thread here and not provide any suggestions to answer your question. But I'll stick my neck out and provide what I can:

The fan produced "U.S.S. Enterprise Heavy Cruiser Evolution Blueprints" presents two externally identical (internally different) classes, similar to the Daedalus design, with the following NCC/name designations:

1000 Horizon (Class Ship)
1001 Discovery
1002 Santa Maria
1003 Mathew
1004 Gauss
1005 San Raphael
1006 Scotia
1007 Nimrod
1008 Enterprise (Cancelled)
1009 Aurora (Cancelled)
1010 Beagle (Cancelled)
1011 Norge
1012 Meteor
1013 Victoria
1014 Golden Hind
1015 Yorktown (Cancelled)
1016 Half Moon
1017 Constellation
1018 Eendracht (Cancelled)

1370 Archon (Class Ship)
1371 Republic
1372 Independence
1373 Adventure
1374 Resolution
1375 Roebuck
1376 Southern Cross
1377 Vega (Cancelled)
1378 Fram (Cancelled)
1379 Guda (Cancelled)
1380 Challenger (Cancelled)

Inclusion of the known names and registry numbers indicates that these ships "were" converted from this design to the Constitution/Achernar specifications (pilot/production versions, more or less). Normally cancelled contracts are considered to be built as some other class at some point. Today, with our 20-20 hindsight, the overall design is fine but the warp engines seem far too modern (i.e., TOS) for inclusion on such an early design. On the other hand, the spheroid design is seen at the end of TNG in "All Good Things" indicating there is plenty of life left in it, at least for small or auxillery vessels. The Space Flight Chronology gives a completely different design.

Licensed and fan sources have produced their own ideas about the sister ships of the Constellation

1010 Pulsar USS Andromeda website (defunct)
1016 Defiant Star Fleet Battles
(now, thanks to ENT, apparently not the one we were familiar with, but a destroyed/scrapped predecessor)
1018 Goeben Star Fleet Battles
1019 Eximer Star Fleet Battles
1020 Discovery Prime Directive - Federation Sourcebook

Looking at the possibly similar USS Republic (another alleged Constitution class ship with an earlier registry) we get the following the Baton Rouge class as a possible origin:
Baton Rouge (NCC-1300) Internet - Neale Davidson
USS Moscow - Lawrence Miller - Star Fleet Tactical Database Series 2 USS Baton Rouge - David Kroth;t=001395;p=0
Harry - Titan Fleet Yards

???? Baton Rouge
1357 Moscow SFC/FASA/"Woody" on
1371 Republic Canon/Licensed
Converted to Republic/Constitution/Achernar class
1378 Tehran FASA/"Woody" on (corrected swapped #s)
???? Glasgow FASA
???? Hokkaido FASA
???? Savannah FASA
1390-1406 Baton Rouges (17 ships2, 10 will be refitted to Lafayette) Harry - Titan Fleet Yards
1411-1430 Lafayettes (20 ships, 1425-1430 will be refitted to Nordenskjld) Harry - Titan Fleet Yards
1431-1450 Ashantis (20 ships) Harry - Titan Fleet Yards
[Additional information on these last three items would be helpful as the files are no longer available] )
Allegedly the Nordenskjold class from the "Federation Starship Recognition Chart" (by Aridas Sofia & Todd Guenther) is related to the Baton Rouge and has NCC-1427 & NCC-1430 as registries

And the alternative, or related, Republic Class:
(the background images)
Refitted to Constitution (by fan):
Refitted to System Defence Command cruisers:
1371 Republic Canon/Licensed
Converted to Constitution/Achernar class
1372 Reshadije Star Fleet Battles
Converted to Constitution/Achernar class
1373 Ramilles Star Fleet Battles
Converted to Constitution/Achernar class
???? Revenge Star Fleet Battles
Later used as National Guard cruisers
???? Warspite Star Fleet Battles
Later used as National Guard cruisers
???? Tuqareg Star Fleet Battles
Later used as National Guard cruisers
???? Stalwart Star Fleet Battles
Later used as National Guard cruisers

I'm a little spotty on the fine details here, as I can't access any of the source material at the moment. "The Final Reflection" may add a few more names to the list as the Baton Rouge class. Registries aside, the Baton Rouge (Rick Sternbach/Spaceflight Chronology), Republic (Star Fleet Battles), and Constitution classes, as various people have conceived them, are somewhat different types of "starships" despite basic design similarities. The Republic has, I believe, been depicted in comics as a Baton Rouge class. SFB's Republic class is more similar to the TOS Enterprise, but noticibly different. Is it possible that all these designs represent a series of upgrades? I suppose, but its a bit hard to swallow. The "USS Valiant" animated 3D fan film project depicts the USS Valiant as a Baton Rouge class (NCC-1102) using an alternate fan design for the secondary hull (a side view by Sternbach wasn't published). This registry is harder to "sync up" with the others. Retconning it is an option. Graphics from their website also show images of a Mann Class USS Valiant (NCC-1223), presumably an earlier vessel of the name. In comparison to the heavy cruisers of the time the Baton Rouge class is very large, and either represents a battleship, "heavy explorer", or advanced cruiser (somewhat similar to comparing Excelsior to 1701A). The variety of names indicates the latter, though it likely functioned as the former. The primary hull disc is actually larger than that of 1701 (assuming the more common of its size estimates). Woody's 1/1000 Baton Rouge model really was excellent, was different from the other available designs, and assuming that anyone is interested in this topic I'll have to find a place to upload the images.
"Starship Prototype" mentions a Constitution class fore-runner, the Korolev class, and gives a registry number of NCC-367. This is an awfully low number to be a direct predecessor, so either the registry should be considered incorrect and retconned (1367 ??) or it could be considered an early example of a design reminiscent of the Constitution class. Additionally, TNG has a Korolev class and in general class names should not be repeated.
Just a brief mention.

Joshua Bell created the Declaration class based on some of Jefferies concept drawings for 1701. He gave the lead ship the registry NCC-1000, and included several other ships and registries which are all problematic for other reasons (otherwise identified as different classes, perhaps from other eras, or non starships... civilian or otherwise) -- including the Constellation. His design was extrapolated by others into the past and future in the form of variants, one of which uses standard "Achernar" type components (with the name Declaration but a registry of 1031), the other uses a TOS type primary hull, secondary hull somewhat similar to the Daedalus, with Daedalus type engines. Obviously this is a different class than the terran pre-UFP starliner from the Spaceflight Chronology and the ST:TMP rec room images.

We note the LUG RPG's ellipsoid/spheroid primary hull Ranger Class, which may have appeared in at least one TOS novel. It shares the same design lineage of the Declaration class.

781 Ranger (text)
811 Bastion
915 Ranger (artwork)
966 Orleans
982 Sal'koth
1000 Carolina
1035 Explorer
1223 Valiant

The two different registries for the Ranger could be explained away as a second ship being commissioned after the first was lost. The Carolina is often referenced as the ship from "Friday's Child", but my memory is that this was supposed to have been a slow freighter, not a starhip, so the repeatedly made connection seems invalid. These sources also indicate that the Valiant (NCC-1223) is also the same class, which is somewhat reminicent of the Mann class, which a Valiant of the same registry has also been indicated to exist by other sources. Assuming that this isn't all a hodge-podge of confusion over classes, registries, and names, here we can speculate that the USS Ranger is either (1) an earlier design (NCC-781) unrelated to later NCC numbers or classes, (2) a upgrade of the Mann class (explaining the same Valiant's presence in both classes), (3) an independent mid-era class (NCC-915 -- not NCC-315, which appears to be a misreading), (4) Perhaps the Mann, Ranger, Horizon/Archon, early/mid/late Declaration(s), and TOS-depicted Constellation/Republic are all the same class at different stages of various conversions and upgrades. It boggles the mind what the Starfleet engineering staff is asked to do!!!

As correlations, we can look at modern 'Treknology' fan-based designs of similar registy and possibly era as USS Constellation. The Starfleet Museum's ( ) Asia (NCC-945, 991, 1002, 1003, 1004, 1073, 1074, 1105, 1106), Lancaster (NCC-1209 to 1258), and the later Valley Forge (NCC-1463-1506) classes can all be seen as possibly related to Constellation's technology base. Bernd Schneider's offers us the similar Mercury class (NCC-1288, 1296, 1360, 1361, 1362, 1424, 1425, 1426, 1427, 1428, 1440, 1441, 1532, 1533, 1534, 1535, 1576, 1577, 1578). (and offers the similar Explorer class (NCC-943) and presents the Yorktown classes (NX-1470).

Asia (2204 AD) is an advanced technology exploration cruiser, Lancaster (2205 AD) is a medium carrier, Valley Forge (2227 AD) is more military oriented than dual-purpose (defense/research) vessel. The Mercury class (2219 AD) is described as a smaller version of the Asia (making it a medium cruiser version of the research vessel, if we believe the depiction of its decks). The Explorer class (2196 AD -- the date pleads for a retcon), and given its stated length it seems a good contender for something that could be converted to Constitution/Achernar specifications. The Yorktown (2230 AD) seems to be the dual-purpose companion to the more specialized Asia and Lancaster classes, but its extended primary hull is problematical. Once it is date corrected, the large Baton Rouge class is also contemporaneous with these vessels (i.e., 2230s on).

If we assume that the Constellation was a fairly straight-forward conversion of an existing class, what might it have looked like? The variety of the known names associated with the Constellation and Republic could be considered an indicator that this class was named after famous ships and therefore -- like the Constitution class -- was considered a heavy cruiser: this has implications for its overall design. For this class, I would speculate that removing the outer ring of Shaw's Constitution class pressure compartments and the "command blister" (underneath the bridge) would give a logical later "upgrade" path to a ship much more similar to the Constitution class (though other modifications would be necessary) while making it smaller and different. Adding in the engines and secondary hull from the earlier version of the "Declaration" class (NCC-1031) might be appropriate -- but using an Asia class or similar hull might be reasonable as well, while keeping a Constitution class arrangement to the components to differentiate it from the Declaration class. Removing TOS production era details would also be appropriate, and non-class-specific design cues and detailing should be similar to the Starfleet Museum's Asia class (they seem to be from a similar time period). Of the ships described above, the Explorer class might be the best fit.

So, which path is correct? If we go by proximity to canonicity, the Ranger class should be the fountain-head, by merit of its licensed (and somewhat Paramount sheep-herded) roots. If we go by seniority, the Horizon/Archon classes from the "Enterprise Evolution" blueprints would win. If we go by association with design lineage, the Declaration class should win because of its origin in Jeffries' sketches -- with the Baton Rouge in second place (for the Republic) due to its creation by Rick Sternbach. If we go by most logical design for retrofitting the Yorktown or Explorer classes seem the best candidates. Or we can just manufacture one out of thin air.

A secondary issue indicates that many of the more modern sources have emulated Paramount's decision to go with a non-consequtive Jein-like system of registry numbers for classes. as opposed to Franz Joseph, FASA, ADB (SFB, etc), and many "classical" Treknologists that emulated them. This makes determining appropriate registry numbers for specific ships next to impossible, problematic on a class basis, and difficult even on the basis of a given timeline. On the other hand the Franz Joseph placement of DD/SC escorts at 500-600 and Tugs at 3800-3900 can also be interpreted as somewhat capricious in terms of placement in a timeline. Possibly his intention was to have escort vessels be numbered 0-999, cruisers to be numbered 1000-1999 (in keeping with Jeffries' idea of the 17th cruiser design), larger ships perhaps to be numbered from 2000-2999, and perhaps support vessels being numbered 3000-3999. At the least one would suspect that a Vulcan was responsible for the idea. Early Treknologists didn't seem to make this distinction in their own efforts to populate the Star Trek universe, and today's tend to scatter around numbers over fairly wide ranges. As they have been taught to do by the canon. But there are exceptions.

Third, some of today's Treknologists often seem oblivious to what work has come before (and the problem is not limited to fans) and the number of NCC number "collisions" continues to grow. Efforts have been made to explain these as renaming ships, conversions, or changed "Contact Code" numbers but they have largely been unsatisfactory. Finally, to some extent, creators of designs have a tendancy to be over abundant in the proliferation of their individual ships. Franz Joseph was the first to do so: enumerating the original Constitution class, then adding the Bon Homme Richard class, then the dam burst with the Achernar and Tikopai classes, not to mention the hoards of escorts and tugs. ADB actually pruned his list excessively (for example, only a relative handful of tugs survive in their version of the Star Trek universe, as they are tactically advantageous and would cause an imbalance), but went on to be more generous when enumerating its own creations, at least in some cases. FASA created tremendous fleets of many classes of ships, but generally didn't provide full registration lists. Other Treknologists have tended to be more conservative, but with the spread of Trek-based creativity to the internet the problem continues to crop up. Someone might make a very good 3D model of a new ship, and in their description indicate that there are 100 of the things. Which might not be much of a problem in the large scale registry numbers of the TNG era but in earlier periods it becomes more and more difficult to shoe-horn them all in. It becomes increasingly difficult to take the author's assignments of NCC numbers seriously, because of the collisions, conflicts, and contradictions (as discussed in this post). The problem is not limited to fan-based material alone, as *canon* sources contradict each other and seem oblivious to the licensed and purportedly semi-official material they sell to the public.

I had a devil of a time reformatting this after the BBS code got done with it. Its still not back to where I wanted it to be as the board is overriding my formatting (no leading spaces???). I apologize for any errors but I am short on time today.

For what its worth,

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