Location: The fine line between continuity and fanwank.
Re: Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!
Oh, what the hell. Next chapter.
Chapter Three - Design
New work began on SV-20, in tandem with the development of transwarp drive. The designs for the class evolved greatly from the original configuration conceived in the late 2260s. The first design brief of 2266 called for a ship “superior in every way imaginable to Starfleet’s current design,” meaning the Constitution. Beyond the literal, Dr. Tokogawa was largely uncertain what “superior” meant for his design. The original Starfleet specifications called for a ship at least 350 meters long by 150 meters abeam by 60 meters deep. Obviously, SV-20 needed to be bigger and faster than Constitution, but this in itself posed a serious dilemma. With any ship design, the bigger the ship got, the proportionally larger powerplant and nacelles it had to have; the more substantial warp systems it had, the bigger the ship had to be. Finding a balance was always quite a dilemma, no less so here due to the impatience of this particular design mandate.
The initial design, SV-20A, completed in 2268, was quite unconventional in design. It featured a saucer-shaped primary hull in line with a flattened, stepped engineering section. A horizontal “wing” supported four twin warp nacelles, two mounted above and two mounted below each at the end of the wing. Warp power would have been provided by a horizontal intermix chamber. Impulse engines were mounted aft, between warp nacelle pylons. The warp nacelles looked radically unique but were nearly the same size as those that would be installed aboard the refit Enterprise. The ship also featured an unconventional navigation deflector “pod” mounted on the ventral side of the engineering hull.
The design evolved into SV-20B in 2270. SV-20B was similar, but even more unconventional. The overall ship was more flat and stretched out. It was equipped with four warp nacelles, but each nacelle was approximately 30% larger. The impulse engines returned to the saucer section, in separate housings on either side of the engineering hull connection point. The impulse deck itself was mounted atop the dorsal spine, between the engines, with a domed, exposed deflection crystal assembly. While the transwarp criteria introduced the next year would ultimately prompt designers to pursue a more conventional design direction, Starfleet was still very interested in the previous design work done, and asked Dr. Tokogawa to hand over his designs for use on a number of other projects. SV-20B itself served as inspiration for the design of the SV-19 Constellation Class Deep Space Cruiser project that was in work. The Constellation team would seize the promising four-nacelle configuration as its direction. With further work, the final design would see first production as U.S.S. Constellation, NX-1974, in 2284.
Design SV-20C (created in 2272) was the first SV-20 design intended to incorporate transwarp drive, and with the inclusion of the Transwarp Development Project, was the first to bear the code-name Excelsior. It was basically a two-nacelle version of SV-20B, with refinements to the nacelle pylons, impulse systems, and the addition of a distinctive transwarp housing at the ship’s aft. However, this design was rejected as Starfleet requested a vessel that was more conventional. It seemed despite Morrow’s advocacy of the project, he was still afraid of what the reaction and results would be for the already controversial SV-20 project. The ASDB was only too happy to comply.
Design SV-20D (created in 2273) very much resembled a futuristic Constitution. She had a round saucer mounted atop an elongated, curved engineering hull by an interconnecting dorsal. It mounted two pairs of fore and aft torpedo launchers, and radial phaser banks on the dorsal and ventral of the primary hull (akin to the Constitution refit designs). Her transwarp nacelles were 40% larger than the nacelles of the Enterprise, mounted to the dorsal engineering hull spine by inwardly curved pylons. Additionally, the intermix chamber and matter/antimatter injectors were moved to a vertical orientation. The SV-20D gained a great deal of praise and performed admirably in field flow simulations.
In the same year, more members of Starfleet Command came around to Admiral Morrow’s way of thinking, due in no small part to the V’Ger crisis, in which even the refit Enterprise was helpless to defend Earth from a massively powerful Threat Vehicle. Bureaucrats used to sitting behind their desks had been given the rare opportunity to practice taking refuge beneath them, and none liked it. Skeptics and militarization opponents pointed out that the crisis was resolved through diplomacy rather than force, but many were still quick to throw their support behind the SV-20 project as a result of the incident.
With streamlining and other modifications, SV-20E was born and gained final approval by late 2274. The transwarp nacelles were increased in overall length by a third, making them mere tens of meters shorter than the entire Enterprise. The ship’s overall shape was extremely curvilinear, with surfaces either curved or flattened as defined by transwarp field analysis. System design briefs were sent to various facilities throughout the Federation as the design team undertook the charge to turn SV-20E into reality. Armament and impulse drive design elements were soon delivered. Crew requirements were pinned down at a maximum comfortable compliment of 900 and a standard operational crew of 750, with a maximum evacuation capacity of 1,500. By the end of the year, the spaceframe design was approved for construction. Many felt that Dr. Tokogawa had given the design a distinctly elegant Japanese design flair.
"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." - Q
Last edited by Praetor; March 24 2009 at 04:39 AM.
Reason: Revised text