Robert Comsol wrote:
Please bear in mind that this "heretic" thread of mine has been a test balloon for a blueprint project I'm conducting with a friend of mine where our aim is to reproduce accurate deck plans of Kirk's television Enterprise
as seen in the series and in the original spirit of the 1960's with only little retcon input.
Obviously, we need to label the blueprints properly and the only accurate, palatable approach, as it seems to me, would be:
Classification: Starship (bridge dedication plaque)
Type: (United) Space Cruiser (monitor display from "The Enterprise Incident")
Serial N°: 1701 (Jefferies' production sketch)
I think it's best to leave it up to everybody's individual imagination / preference, whether it should be Constellation, Constitution or Enterprise Class.
That seems reasonable.
An alternate thought to this is that "Starship Class" is a Federation bureaucratic classification like how the AHTS Aiviq is classified as being "Polar Ice A3 Class" although she's a tug and she's the first ship of her class. The Enterprise in TOS could've been classified as being a "Starship Class" (vs "Spaceship Class") and still belong to the Constitution class ships and of a star cruiser type.
This has some merit since in TOS a fellow Federation captain did distinguish the two classifications.
"Breads and Circuses"
MERIK: He commands not just a spaceship, Proconsul, but a starship. A very special vessel and crew. I tried for such a command.
Although, since you are strictly using only TOS and not including the movies or other series that followed, then I'd agree that the Enterprise could have belonged to any ship class, even her own, due to the lack of direct evidence (especially after the director's omission of evidence in "Space Seed".)