But if all that is untrue, NX did NOT indicate anything about an experimental vessel, as you suggest. Well why wouldn't it?...And if so, what's the meaning of NX as used on Enterprise? NX class? Random letters-class?
Personally, I think that "NX" did indeed initially stand for an experimental vessel just like it does in the Federation Starfleet, but that somebody decided to change their mind about that later on.
And why "NX-01?" Simple. Because the Dauntless
, which was supposed to be an experimental vessel (even though it turned out to be fake), had the registry NX-01-A. To get away from the whole "TOS Enterprise was the first Enterprise" thing, they probably were going to rename the NX-01 the Dauntless
after the formation of the Federation. That's just my opinion, though.
I doubt they were even thinking about the Dauntless
(or chose to overlook it) when they conceived NX-01. And the TOS Enterprise
was only considered the first
Federation starship with the name, but in the largely unknown pre-Federation
era, there was room to insert one (it's even plausible that there was an Enterprise
or two prior
In hindsight, the use of NX as a registry for experimental Federation starships could be looked as something that connects ENT to the later Federation eras as a continuing homage to NX-01 or the NX-class.