An interesting thought. Evidently the designers of the TMP refit weren't overly concerned that the shuttlebay extended beneath the where the support pylons connect to the secondary hull. With that in mind then why couldn't the TOS shuttlebay do the same?
Recall the only detail of the shuttlebay's fore bulkhead are the drawings in TMoST and FJ's Constitution blueprints and tech manual. That fore bulkhead is never actually shown onscreen in TOS. Yeah, we see it in TFF, but I would discount that since the TOS E is a completely different ship.
Well, while it is true that we never saw the forward bulkhead in TOS, Jefferies had intended it to be there and had a specific length of flight deck in mind. It is one of the data points I've collected together in my research.
Granted, my research is based on how Jefferies saw the Enterprise rather than what was seen on screen (in TOS) or listed in canonical sources (all screen references in Trek?), so I don't expect anyone to follow my lead on this... but I thought I'd throw it into the mix (along with my very early sketch of the shuttle facilities
Looking through this thread, it is interesting that anyone would want to impose aircraft carrier standards on the Enterprise shuttlecraft facilities when there are far better (closer) models within the navy.
When I was growing up in Coronado, the ships that most people noticed were the carriers, which were interesting for me because it gave me a sizing reference. But when looking at operations like the handling of small craft, I thought that the command ship USS Coronado
was a better comparison. Granted, the flight deck of the Coronado
is more than twice the length of the one on the Enterprise, but at the time it was the best real world comparison I had on hand (for limited small craft operations).
Just thought I'd share some thought on the topic.
I'd like to take that thread of looking for a different model and say you need to look at a Ticonderoga
class cruiser as your model for air ops for the big E. A Tico
can only operate one of it's two birds at a time as the deck is only large enough for one aircraft. The other is stored in the hangar or airborne.
You don't need to handle your support craft quickly as that's not your primary mission.
I would imagine that embark/debark of the shuttles happens in the hangar and they are launched form the landing bay which would be two seperate but connected facilities. How they are placed in the hull is still up in the air.