This is a fascinating thread. But now that structural supports have started to be introduced I have to ask the question - could it actually work? I mean, assuming a strong enough material, would the "hoops" approach actually have enough rigidly to keep the ship together? Sorry, my mind works in unfriendly ways!
Unfriendly, not at all
And not an unwelcome question. The discussion of this at scifi meshes started with me tweaking a little over the fact that the bulkheads bolstering the nacelle support pylons essentially cut off access to the jeffries tube.
The hoops are essentially the first step in building a framework; There are no crossmembers in place.. no floor joists, etc.
I don't know if they work. They're a long way from done; but, I needed them even if incomplete to troubleshoot other problems.
And that's ultimately what I'm up against now.. fully. FJ drew pretty pictures; but, I keep finding myself having to edit his plans in order to make them work. aggrivation.. lol