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Old March 23 2009, 07:29 PM   #5
Praetor
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Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

kitsune wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
So various talk 'round these parts has made me decide to start working on my Excelsior Technical Manual again after, what, two years?
This sounds like a really fun project! I've been lamenting the lack of a tech manual for the Excelsior class.
Thanks! That's what motivated me to do it.

Praetor wrote: View Post
It is tentatively titled 'Excelsior: Infinite Velocity.'
Why not Excelsior: The Great Experiment?
"Infinite velocity" evokes bad memories of a certain absurd Voyager episode that shall remain nameless.
Heh, then you may not like a certain upcoming chapter, and I was somewhat expecting that. The name was meant to reference the fact that the transwarp drive failed, but that the class itself thrived. I'm not opposed to changing it, it just seemed cute at the time.

Praetor wrote: View Post
An in-universe 'familiarization manual' written to describe the Excelsior as deployed in 2290, replete with cross-sections and deck plans, as well as appendices describing variants and sister/tangent classes.
...
Here's that ole cutaway I mentioned.
If your deck plans are of a similar quality, this is going to be awesome.
Thankya. I can't decide whether I want to do them all in LCARS style on black, or good old black and white like this. Both have their advantages.

The Constitution was a proven deisgn, as all but two of the original 2240s production line were still in service, and during their careers had increased the area of known space by thousands of square parsecs.
Shouldn't that be volume and cubic parsecs? And by the way, parsecs are really awkward units of measure.
I think I lifted that figure from the 'Starship Spotter' book. What do you suggest instead?

Timo wrote: View Post
I suppose the blueprints and manual will be specific to NX/NCC-2000 and not general ones for the Excelsior class? I'd like to limit the presence of Shuttlebay 1 to this prototype ship, as this is the only vessel that features the characteristic blue glow (in ST6), and also as the generic Excelsiors are sometimes viewed from lower angles that reveal the true contents of that cavity (that is, some sort of a generic greeblie that more or less precludes shuttlecraft ops).
Yes, the manual and blueprints will be the U.S.S. Excelsior circa 2290 which I call it's official 'launch' in a finalized flight configuration.

As to the shuttlebay, I'm glad you went ahead and brought this up. I'm of two minds about this. Based on what we've seen of the Ent-B/Lakota version of the original model, I am uncertain whether changes were made to the model in that area. What I am relatively certain of is that the second Excelsior model built by Greg Jein for 'Flashback' (which I believe is the model you mention that is seen from those angles on DS9?) did have quite different details in that area - and even fired a beam of some kind from that area.

My personal inclination is to believe that all of the ships looked like the 'original' and ignore the inconsistency in the second model, unless there's evidence to the contrary that the original model precludes doing so. I think the views of the ship from that angle in TVH and TUC seem the most definitive in suggesting the 'gondola' is a shuttlebay and the hollow volume (which I rationalize as being a concession to reducing the mass of the ship) can act as a forcefield-based staging area for ready-to-launch shuttles.

I'm also open to suggestions as to what this space could be on the other ships if not a shuttlebay.

Also, it seems you are going to treat transwarp drive as an already developed feature to be installed aboard this ship type, rather than treating this ship type as a means for developing transwarp drive. I certainly agree this makes more sense. But if so, we probably have to drop the fandom notion that transwarp was a conceptual failure. It must have been a well-proven success if Starfleet risked installing it aboard this important ship type. Perhaps the installation was something of a disappointment, yes, but the transwarp theory itself must have been valid.

I'd drop the "infinite velocity" angle altogether. It's not stated in ST3, and it's not a feature of Borg transwarp, so it need not really be a feature of Starfleet transwarp, either. Just because the ship's computer says "all speeds available through transwarp drive" doesn't mean that all speeds in existence (from zero to infinite) would be available. It may merely mean that all the speeds for which this ship has been built are currently greenlighted by the internal diagnostics system.
Well, believe it or not I am trying to rectify 'Threshold' with the transwarp depicted as part of the Excelsior. (I know, I know, I'm really asking for it here. ) It's my take that the transwarp drive is basically a 'jump drive' once you hit magic Warp 10, and that the engineers were unable to do do this in their tests but through various political pressures pressed on anyway, and the drive ended up being a revolution anyway.

Rather than address all of your points directly maybe I should go ahead and post the next chapter a little sooner than I originally planned and see if that answers any of your questions/issues. It may well spark more.

Chapter Two - Transwarp

By 2271, the ASDB had been conducting initial design work on SV-20 for five years when the secretive Excelsior Group presented its findings in transwarp research to the Federation Council and Starfleet Command. Transwarp had been a classified research project for nearly a decade by that time. For years, Starfleet scientists had been researching not only developing a more powerful and therefore faster warp engines, but also faster alternatives to conventional warp drive. The story itself has become something of a legend to modern warp engineers and physicists. In early 2261, Doctor Eugene Wesley was working in the Theoretical Propulsion Group researching warp theory. Wesley made a revolutionary discovery about warp velocity; he discovered nine progressively higher threshold leaps in warp field power requirements that did not correspond with the previously utilized cubed warp scale. He also noticed what appeared to be a tenth and infinite warp jump. Dr. Wesley concluded that the tenth warp velocity jump would result in a state of infinite velocity which would allow a starship to exist in all points in the galaxy at once. Therefore, controlling the entry and exit from infinite velocity would allow a ship to instantly jump from any point in the universe to another by briefly entering another dimension. Dr. Wesley envisioned an advanced drive capable of thus propelling a ship, which he termed “transwarp.”

In February 2262, Dr. Wesley presented his classified data to the Federation Council and Starfleet. Although controversial among his colleagues, Dr. Wesley’s work intrigued both the Council and Starfleet, who allowed him to continue with a full research team. The team took the name the “Excelsior Group,” excelsior being from the Latin for “ever higher.” Transwarp was envisioned as the Holy Grail of interstellar travel, but no real promising breakthroughs into generating high-level subspace fields necessary for the project were made. Dr. Wesley and his team were initially given five years to produce concrete results, and had managed to beg for another five, but he and his team were getting more worried and more desperate. Their efforts were also hampered by severe funding cuts by the increasingly skeptical Federation Council.

All this changed in late 2267. On Stardate 5693, the Starship Enterprise discovered the missing U.S.S. Defiant, NCC-1764, near Tholian space. Defiant was trapped in a subspace rift, its crew having murdered one another due to madness caused by prolonged subspace exposure. The phenomenon was termed “spatial interphase” by Enterprise science officer Spock. Spatial interphase was described as a temporary overlap of two dimensions, specifically space and subspace, which resulted in a type of trans-dimensional rift. While the Defiant herself was hopelessly lost, apparently trapped in limbo between dimensions, sensor readings accumulated by Enterprise proved invaluable to the Group’s work.

The interphase produced a level of subspace distortion heretofore unencountered by Federation science. These logs helped the scientists understand why the previous efforts to create a high-energy warp field using available power sources had failed. The destruction caused in controlled environments by these efforts was prodigious and well-documented. The fortunate timing of the Defiant incident has caused some in retrospect to wonder if at the time Defiant was engaged in illicit practical tests of rudimentary transwarp technology. While their relevant period documents remain classified to this day, it seems unlikely that Starfleet would have permitted such a dangerous test on a relatively new starship with a full crew, or that the Excelsior Group would have been capable of orchestrating such a perfect conspiracy. At any rate, the disaster had finally given Wesley and his colleagues what they need to make a breakthrough. New calculations were made and simulations and tests conducted.

While many in Starfleet were initial skeptical of transwarp’s virtues, a champion emerged in the form of Admiral Randolph Harrison “Harry” Morrow. The young, charismatic Morrow had held a fascination with technology and warp development since he served as a supervisor at the ASDB, and long followed Dr. Wesley’s efforts. The young maverick, mentored by Admiral Nogura himself, worked his growing influence to bring around his fellows in the Admiralty, and the Federation Council finally ordered transwarp included as part of the SV-20 project. The Transwarp Development Project was officially born. The project soon came to be known among inner Starfleet circles as “the Great Experiment,” which would be made a household phrase by the Federation News Service.
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