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Old October 24 2012, 03:15 PM   #10
Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Just my 2 cents:

The Constitution seems to be least flexible when it comes to cargo space and modularity. She seems to be the fastest with the speed records and that jibes with the Enterprise being sent first to deal with Organia and other troubles spots, including intercepting V'ger. Also, that makes her a good choice for fast delivery of small to medium amounts of perishable or time-sensitive cargo.

The Miranda appears to be the middle of the ground in cargo capability with the two rectangular shuttle doors and spacious interior volume that isn't constrained by the cigar shaped engineering hull. She might be cheaper to build since it really is a single hull (no separate engineering hull). The nacelles are slightly different than the Constitution's. With the rollbar attached carries the same number of phaser emitters + 2 more torpedo launchers aimed to the rear. Without the rollbar, she carries 4 less phasers and 4 less torpedo launchers. The class seems to do well with additional devices strapped on like the Soyuz-class.

The Constellation has the most cargo flexibility as the entire primary hull appears to be geared for easy access by shuttles and cargo with multiple doors. The 4 nacelles, that are smaller than the Miranda's and the Constitution's, could be devoted to giving her average top speed but better ability to move around her increased mass when loaded with cargo without straining.

IMHO, the Mirandas survived the longest as a solid flexible design. The Constellations went a decent run but that extra cargo space advantage got superseded by the introduction of larger (and faster) ships. The Constitutions were also replaced by faster ships and more advanced ships.
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