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Old June 21 2013, 04:28 AM   #107
Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Timo wrote: View Post
The trip involved the Romulans leading the Enterprise into the nearest trap they could find which happens to be a comet. Given how fast ships can be at FTL, it is just as possible that the FTL flight passed near a star system and the Romulans diverted to the comet to gain cover.
But therein lies the problem: if travel is fast enough to take you to a comet in a random nearby star system, it is fast enough that the comet cannot act as a diversion: it would take just fractions of a second to go through the tail!
Well let's see. In TOS ships at warp have a slower FTL speed near a star.
- From the time Kirk gives Sulu the go ahead to go get them till the point the Enterprise enters the comet's tail is approx 52s.
- The BOP enters the comet's tail ~21s after Kirk gives his order.
- Kirk is fully expecting to see the BOP on the other side of the tail.
- The Enterprise's time through the tail is approx 28s.
- The BOP's expected time through the tail would have been less than 60s.

Drawn into a star system near a comet, the Enterprise is only twice as fast as the BOP going through the tail.

If the star that gave the comet it's ionized tail was in the same square as the comet and Romulus/Romii orbited it then I think the planetary orbits would cross the neutral zone. But if you think of Romulus and Romii as stars of the Romulan Empire then the star in the square is just a star system outside of the neutral zone.

When the Enterprise was earlier racing over many squares to Outpost 4 she could cross them something like 54x faster than the BOP could cross just one. But still it's not thousands of times faster if it was FTL vs STL though.

Timo wrote: View Post
See the Excelsior from "The Undiscovered Country" and Enterprise from "Where No Man Has Gone Before".
The Excelsior did not span an interstellar distance at impulse in ST6.
As far as we are led to believe they would've gone home under full impulse power.
Sulu: We're heading home under full impulse power.
Timo wrote: View Post
The Enterprise in turn spanned a distance explicitly established to be "a few light days" in "Where No Man Has Gone Before", again not interstellar.
Kirk states that on impulse power trips that would take days would now take years. He didn't indicate that the interstellar trip was impossible.
Captain's log, Star date 1312.9. Ship's condition, heading back on impulse power only. Main engines burned out. The ship's space warp ability gone. Earth bases which were only days away are now years in the distance.
Timo wrote: View Post
Indeed, in the latter case, it was also said that impulse drive cannot take the heroes back home at all, since even the nearest bases are "years" away.
You've got that mixed up. They were certainly heading to the nearest base that was years away. It was the diversion to Delta Vega that threatened to get them stuck in orbit.

Timo wrote: View Post
A ship on impulse drive has never spanned an interstellar distance on screen.
The Romulan BOP spanned an interstellar distance on simple impulse in "Balance of Terror".

And again, the Excelsior and Enterprise were undertaking a slow trip home at impulse power in "The Undiscovered Country" and "WNMHGB", respectively. I would also guess that the crippled Enterprise made an impulse run to cover the remainder of her interstellar journey to the Regula station after getting jumped by the Reliant in "The Wrath of Khan".

Perhaps it bugs you also that other non-Warp Drive identified ships also went FTL in TOS?

Howabout the "Ion Engined" FTL shuttle that chased the Enterprise in "The Menagerie"? Or the "Ion Propulsion" starship from "Spock's Brain"? Or the "Total Converson Drive" of the Doomsday Machine? Or the "Hyperdrive" of the early Enterprise from "The Cage/The Menagerie"?

Would it ease your sensibilities if you thought of an impulse engine as a primitive and inefficient space warp drive? Or just inefficiently powering an FTL drive like Albertese suggests below?

Albertese wrote: View Post
I am increasingly of the opinion that the Romulan BoP does in fact have warp engines, but, rather than an anti-matter reactor, they have a fusion reactor, very much like the Federation uses for Impulse engines. So, in this case, Scotty's line refers to their reactor that generates far less electricity than Kirk's does. "Simple Impulse" in this case would be a colloquial expression that everyone would understand meant a powerful fusion reactor, not unlike their own impulse engine reactors, but far inferior to the M/AM reactors the Enterprise enjoys.
That's pretty reasonable. TOS could've been more specific in identifying FTL drive types whereas TNG everything FTL is lumped into "warp drive" and everything no longer meant to be FTL was called "impulse". IMHO, of course.
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