I dig that, Reverend
. The Vulcan Science Academy would no doubt approve.
I'll agree that the reason I bought into the Oberth
being older was primarily the fact of the registry number, and really wanted registries to have some semblance of sequence... however, you are probably right. They were probably inspired directly by FJ's depiction of registries.
And, maybe there was some element of making it sleek when it came to designing her - but I feel like it might be more likely that she was meant to be a simpler, Federation non-Starship. She came about in a unique era - from TOS, we only had the Enterprise-
type ships. It was really the movies that expanded the fleet. TWOK gave us "frigates" in the Reliant
, and TSFS gave us a science ship and the ship of the next generation. As popular as FJ was, surely he was a strong influence? I mean, they did go to all the effort to use his schematics on screen.
And it's worth noting, in early TWOK storyboards, the Reliant
was the same type ship as the Enterprise.