I had a couple of questions that were asked earlier, albeit in perhaps the incorrect thread, so here they are in the proper place.
Assuming the 467-meter length of the Excelsior, what are the dimensions of that underhull alcove? Is it really large enough, with enough "floor space", to serve as a shuttlebay? The curvature of the hull doesn't seem to give it a helluva lot of floor...unless they took a page from nuBSG's Pegasus and reverse the gravity plating to make the floor the ceiling.
My apologies if I missed your questions in the other thread.
I will try to work up something to figure out the exact dimensions of that area. Previous assumptions I made were based on faulty conclusions about the arrangement of that inside. Basically, though, what I'm still leaning towards is having the actual curved opening not be the shuttlebay, as much as a stanging area - because as you said, the floor is curved unless we reverse the gravity. (An intriguing notion, although I struggle with balancing it against the fact that we've never, ever seen such a thing done in Trek. Trek ships always seem to have a very clear top and bottom.)
I will work up some dimensions based on the two possible sizes of the ship, both official and inferred from window rows. I think a comparison to the Galileo
-5 is on order, since it seems likely this is the type of shuttle she'd carry.
Also, where is the Excelsior's main shuttlebay? I thought I saw a cutaway some time ago that showed the main shuttlebay to be in the primary hull, forward of the impulse engines but aft of the bridge. But looking at some of the images in this thread, I'm not so sure. I was always of the impression that the shuttlebay in the stern of the secondary hull was just for cargo shuttles only, and not the main shuttlebay.
So, the cutaway of which you speak was done by Mr. Drexler for the Enterprise
-B in "Generations." Apparently there was some confusion as to what the saucer add-ons were. Indeed, that cutaway has several interesting issues.
- The decks are scaled to the window rows, rather than the official 467 meter size
- The saucer add-ons are made shuttlebays (with a cross through inside) even though we see a characteristic red impulse glow from them in the film
- The warp core is not aligned with the "deflection crystals"
- The deflector dish is placed too low
- There's no secondary hull cutout... at all.
- The structure that actually looks like a shuttlebay at the aft end of the secondary hull is actually a cargo loading facility
- The torpedo launchers are placed in the neck, but their placement doesn't correspond with the actual cutouts in the neck filligree detail
- I believe the aft torpedo launchers are instead stated to be the location of the aft tractor beam
There are probably a couple that I'm forgetting, too.
For my part, I assumed that the lower cutout was a predecessor to the large shuttlebay seen on the Ambassador
classes, albeit in an embyronic form. I'm still in the process of revising my thoughts about the cutout, but I'm fairly certain, either way, that the structure at the aft end where a shuttlebay traditionally is, is indeed a shuttlebay. There are other simple ways of providing cargo deck access, and IMO a long conveyor from there to the front area of the hull where the cargo bays apparently are is kind of a waste of space.