^IIRC Sternbach always said that the red glowey bit isn't a reaction thruster like a rocket so much as an engine/reactor exhaust vent like the one on your car.
Fascinating suggestion! But after Praetor
posted this script excerpt - "A mid-sized Federation Science Vessel approaching at impulse power
." - it seems to suggest somewhat that what we saw was the "impulse power". (Well, should the "mid-size" remark require a salt shaker, this might also apply to the rest of this line.
The idea that impulse engines used reaction thrust never made much sense to me anyway. I mean I'm no rocket scientist, but I imagine the sheer mass required to accelerate a ship up to .5C in anything less than a few months would be ridiculously impractical.
Quite a can of worms, but we probably have to deal with it, regardless whether we like it or not (BTW, encouraging that I'm apparently not the only one who suspects this could be a pre-TOS ship, thanks for mentioning it).
I see you have superimposed some lines on the VFX shot to suggest conjectural deck levels.
How tall do you estimate each deck and what were to happen if you allocated some more space at the bottom for antigrav and other components necessary for atmospheric flight and touchdown while still maintaining an equal height deck level for the remaining interior space?
I'm not speaking for Mr. Probert as he is most assuredly and very able to do that for himself, should he feel this to be necessary.
I was stating truthfully what he had tried to accomplish over the years (to dissociate himself from the altered design), mentioned two reasons why this had obviously become necessary, and expressed my personal doubt that he supposedly considered the design (he tried to disscociate himself from) "true".
I consider the background models including the wall sculpture to be canon (they were onscreen), you don't, so we agree to disagree. However, noticing your obvious interest and the time and energy you seem to invest hunting down hard-to-see background models, I can't help but wonder whether you consider these to be canon or only those you personally like?