To the topic of transwarp momentarily. But first...
Avro Arrow wrote:
As to why bring the Excelsior into Spacedock at all... they were going to have the official launching of a brand-new class of next generation starship with a new drive system. There was probably going to be a horde of press, government officials and Starfleet brass all present for the launching. It's probably easier to put them all in that nice lounge with the huge window looking into the docking bay, then it would be to stick them all in shuttles milling about the drydock...
This was mostly my conclusion, too.
Avro Arrow wrote:
Well, at least since the Talin IV incident, anyway...
What's that now?
Transwarp is described as faster than warp where "normal subspace limitations don't apply." ("Descent pt1") Since it's a Starfleet definition used to describe the Borg conduits then it's what Starfleet thinks Transwarp is. From "Descent":
LAFORGE: Our current theory is that the Borg have established several transwarp conduits through subspace. A ship, when entering the conduit, is immediately accelerated to an extremely high warp velocity. It's like falling into a fast moving river and being swept away by the current.
PICARD: How fast would a ship travel through one of these conduits?
LAFORGE: We don't know. Normal subspace limitations don't apply to transwarp variables. But I'd say based on the distance we covered during our trip through the conduit, the speed would have to be at least twenty times faster than our maximum warp.
The differences between the Borg pre-generated Transwarp Conduit/Corridor and a ship generating it's own Transwarp Conduit/Corridor apparently is a critical velocity to enter it and that the Borg don't or can't push all the way to infinite speed. The Borg conduits you can enter in as slow as sublight ("Descent") but the self-generated ones you need to accelerate up to it at Warp Speed ("Threshold", "Dark Frontier").
You may be onto something.
To me, transwarp has always implied deeper manipulation of subspace; warp ostensibly pushes and pulls the subspace field generated by the ship around it; maybe transwarp pushes the ship so far into subspace so as to create a corridor. And, perhaps, bringing it all around, this allows the use of any warp factor through a transwarp "conduit."
Further, transwarp conduits can be either generated by the ship, or by something external, such as the Borg's hubs.
Interestingly, Voyager's "Threshold" also claims that they made the first Transwarp flight which would indicate the Excelsior's Transwarp engines never worked, not even in testing. She probably could get a very high warp speed but couldn't hit the critical velocity needed for the transwarp drive, IMHO.
But, "Threshold" also establishes transwarp flight to be at warp 10. Now, I'm apt to include what can be gleaned from "Threshold" somehow, lizards aside. Can we somehow marry warp 10 with transwarp and transwarp corridors?
SEVEN: When a Borg Cube enters a transwarp conduit it's subject to extreme gravimetric shear. To compensate, the Borg project a structural integrity field ahead of the Cube. By modifying Voyager's deflector we may be able to do the same.
So therein, coupled with what we saw in "Descent" and "Threshold," I think we have sufficient evidence that deeper subspace immersion has negative effects firstly on the dilithium through which the reaction takes place, and also on structural integrity of the ship overall.
Robert Comsol wrote:
Gave the Blu-ray disc of ST III a spin last night. The supplementaries have an index section related to the ships. One index (Excelsior) said that transwarp caused unhealthy side-effects for the crew.
Is this fanwank or where did this idea come from? I can't remember. Sounds like this was the end of transwarp, though I prefer the idea that the bumpers added onto the Enterprise-B contained technology to countermand such unhealthy effects.
I think that's based on the lizards of "Threshold." If the bumpers had transwarp safety equipment, then why wouldn't all Excelsior
s have them?
First, Styles never specifies any particular warp factor / transwarp factor or speed.
Prepare for warp speed, standby transwarp drive (...) Execute
Since he doesn't specify the speed, and it is understood by the crew that they are now in pursuit of a fleeing ship, this order was essentially "Go fast, and step on the gas until we catch up"
During the failed attempt to reach transwarp, the computer announces: "Transwarp Drive maximum velocity in five, four, three, two, one." The fact that such a notification would be given indicates that speeds, or at least certain speeds, will have SOME interval of acceleration and will not be achieved instantly.
Great point to consider. I think it lines up somewhat with Transwarp = Warp 10.
If he tries to get away with warp drive, he's really in for a shock.
At this point, Enterprise had the lead. Excelsior is likely had not yet cleared spacedoors, and Enterprise punches up to full impulse. Even with instantaneous acceleration, he would not know for sure how much time would elapse between Enterprise jumping to warp and the Excelsior achieving Transwarp. Nor could he know for certain that Scotty didn't pull some miracle to get the Enterprise to here maximum warp faster. In order to catch up with the Enterprise with instant acceleration alone, Excelsior would have to intercept before Enterprise reached her maximum warp. Styles did not seem overly concerned about timing. He WAITED for Enterprise to go to warp before he even put the Transwarp drive on standby. No matter what Kirk did, however fast the Enterprise got to her top speed, Styles *knew* that Excelsior WAS going to overtake her.
This to me tells me above all, Transwarp Drive lets you go faster than conventional warp drive. The continuous variable transmission idea are nice additions, but I the key point driven here is that, as far as any of the characters believed (including Scotty) is that Excelsior can go faster than Enterprise. Period.
I think you're right. It seems like Styles might have planned to drop into transwarp (into a corridor maybe) and then pop out ahead of the Enterprise.
Nob Akimoto wrote:
I always rather liked Graham Kennedy's explanation of at least Federation Transwarp drives being ones that allow the use of peak transitional thresholds that exist beyond current subspace. (Hence factors like warp 13 in All Good Things...)
Interesting - so in this case, it would be yet another recalibration to discover, newer, better peak transitional thresholds?
Interestingly, Voyager's "Threshold" also claims that they made the first Transwarp flight
More specifically, they speak of "breaking the transwarp barrier", but that could well be but a moving goalpost: back in Henry Archer's time, it was Warp 5, then it became Warp 7, and in Janeway's time it's Warp 10 (on the newest scale).
Even more specifically, it's not just the "barrier" aka "crossing the threshold." They do two things:
1. Fly at transwarp (this would be the "first Transwarp Flight")
2. Cross the transwarp threshold aka Warp 10.
Here we can see they accelerate at Warp to the "Critical Velocity" which appears to be after Warp 9:
PARIS: Warp five. Warp six. Warp seven. I've reached critical velocity.
TORRES: Okay. Everything looks good on this end. Fire up the new engines.
Then they switch to the Transwarp drive and accelerate with that. Notice that flying at Transwarp speeds they still have to accelerate to the "threshold".
PARIS: Acknowledged. Engaging transwarp drive in four, three, two... Transwarp on-line. Warp nine point two, nine point three. My vector's drifting.
KIM: Try to stabilise your field symmetry.
PARIS: Got it. Warp nine point six, nine point seven. I'm reading a fracture in the port nacelle pylon.
TORRES: Full power to structural integrity.
PARIS: Warp nine point nine, nine point nine five. I'm approaching the threshold. But the nacelle isn't holding!
A later successful simulation run to the "threshold" aka Warp 10.
PARIS: Warp nine point nine two. The pylons are secure. Everything looks good. Nine point nine seven, eight, nine. Warp ten!
TORRES: You've crossed the threshold. You've done it. And there's been no damage to the nacelles.
Later on in the actual flight we see that he accelerates up at Warp to past Warp 9 and then engages Transwarp which then is used to fly up to the threshold/warp barrier/Warp 10:
PARIS: Cochrane to Voyager. All systems are nominal. I'm increasing speed.
JANEWAY: We'll keep up with you as long as we can.
PARIS: Warp seven, warp eight...
TORRES: How's his dilithium matrix holding up?
PARIS: Warp nine.
JONAS: There's a slight variance in the warp field, but nothing to worry about.
TORRES: Okay. Torres to shuttlecraft Cochrane. You're clear for transwarp velocity.
PARIS: Acknowledged. Engaging transwarp drive in four, three, two...
PARIS: Warp nine point seven, nine point eight, nine point nine.
TUVOK: He's exceeding our maximum velocity. I'm switching to long-range sensors.
PARIS: Warp nine point nine five!
TUVOK: He is approaching the threshold.
PARIS: Engine output at maximum. Velocity, warp ten.
TUVOK: I don't believe so. Sensors indicate that he did cross the warp threshold.
Then we get this dialogue that they made the first Transwarp flight which means Excelsior never made a Transwarp flight.
JANEWAY: You may be interested to know I'm putting you in for a commendation. Regardless of the outcome, you did make the first transwarp flight.
I suppose you could say "Transwarp" is the speed region between extreme high warp speeds and the "Maximum Warp Barrier" like "Transonic" is the speed region right before the speed of sound. Any drive that flies in that speed range could qualify for "Transwarp".
Thank you for this writeup. I ain't even touching what the Abramsverse does with transwarp. Not that I don't care or anything.
From everyone's observations so far, I am starting to see a new pattern:
- Transwarp drive use deeper subspace immersion to push the ship even faster than the conventional range.
- Transwarp drive can either (a) be generated by a starship (requiring the ship to accelerate to the warp 9.9+ range before engaging transwarp drive) or (b) without acceleration, making use of a subspace network of conduits (i.e. the Borg method.)
- Transwarp drive (a) appears to not create a visibile conduit at all.
- Transwarp drive is hazardous to a ship's dilithium and structural integrity. Higher grade dilithium and structural integrity improvements can alleviate these.
- Transwarp drive (a) can be installed alongside a conventional warp drive.
- Transwarp drive (b) requires no special hardware.
- Warp 10 is considered the transwarp barrier. The first successful flight was made by the Shuttlecraft Cochrane, albeit with unforeseen consequences.
- Quantum slipstream is another way of doing the same thing, but may be a compromise between (a) and (b); it appears that it enables the ship to generate its own conduit.
So, I'm now seeing that Excelsior
may have been equipped with a fancy-shmancy new warp core, designed to generate sufficient power to (1) propel the ship to warp 9.9 on the new scale, and (2) power a transwarp drive once it got there. Therefore, the Excelsior
can be both the testbed for a next generation of warp drive, necessary for facilitating the transwarp experiments, and
for a failed transwarp drive. "The Great Experiment" indeed.
I'm uncertain, however, on just what form the failed transwarp drive may've taken. I wonder how the Shuttlecraft Cochrane
's "new engines" would have worked? Presumably, there was some component installed in the nacelles in addition to the warp coils, since reference was made to them shearing off. Perhaps this in tandem with some deflector modifications?