I appreciate the value given to ILM/George intent, but I can't help pointing out that there's a very specific piece of Starfleet
, in-universe intent that we have to consider, even if to dismiss it as an outlier.
Namely, the Excelsior
is capable of (just barely?) squeezing out of Spacedock Earth, a consideration that would probably have been foremost in the minds of the actual in-universe designers of the ship. Granted, Spacedock scaling is easily fudged one way or another thanks to the absence of truly identifiable "standard" detail, but we do get a very clear comparison shot of a Constitution
-refit squeezing through the very same hole; this should count for something.
Alas, it seems to preclude Excelsiors
much greater than 500 m in length, mainly due to height issues. Unless we assume the great ship tilted her bow up and stern down when emerging... And even that gives rather little margin.