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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old October 6 2012, 07:02 AM   #1
Bry_Sinclair
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TFF Shuttle

I've got a quick question about one of the only good thing that came out of The Final Frontier, the shuttlecraft.

Are they warp capable? I know most of the shuttles of the time are meant to be sublight only, but if you look at screencaps or plans of the shuttle she has a pair of impulse engines at the back (on either side of the aft hatch) in addition to the nacelles.
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Old October 6 2012, 12:31 PM   #2
Albertese
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Given that the TOS shuttle was obviously capable warp speeds, I think it's fair to say that the shuttle in ST5 was as well. The Vulcan shuttle from TMP was explicitly not warp-capable without its sled, and obviously, small stuff like workbees and travel pods aren't warp capable, but I think as a rule shuttlecraft are warp-capable.

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Old October 6 2012, 01:12 PM   #3
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Cool. Thats what I was kind of thinking as well, but I'm sure I read somewhere that shuttles in TOS/Movie era weren't capable of warp. It does seem a little pointless for them not to be.
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Old October 6 2012, 08:26 PM   #4
Timo
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Most TOS episodes are ambiguous on that, but "Metamorphosis" contains the single explicit bit: our heroes in the shuttlecraft observe the Companion cloud first heading towards them at warp speed, then "staying right with" them. This would make very little sense if the shuttle weren't at warp as well; certainly our heroes wouldn't express any sort of "it's staying with us!" amazement or concern if the Companion just performed the approach at warp, then slowed down to the less-than-warp speed they were maintaining.

I'd think anything with nacelles on it should be warp-capable. But the tiny TNG shuttlepods for some reason do not have that capability - or at least the specific craft used by the double Picard in "Time Squared" was said to lack it. (Perhaps it was broken? Or perhaps Riker just meant the shuttle did not have enough warp capacity to do the time travel trick they were discussing?)

As for performance, VOY gives the unseen Type 9 (perhaps the same as the big TNG Tech Manual cargo shuttle?) a speed of warp four. Runabouts seem to max out at warp five. So these much humbler craft should probably be limited to warp two or thereabouts. Mind you, that still appears to be a respectable interstellar speed in TOS and ENT.

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Old October 7 2012, 05:12 PM   #5
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Re: TFF Shuttle

There was also the shuttle used in "In Theory" where they called out the "starboard impulse nacelle".

LAFORGE: Damage to the shuttle's starboard impulse nacelle, Captain.

The TOS shuttles appear to be capable of pretty decent FTL speeds for hopping between nearby systems but didn't have the fuel for extended flight or high speed pursuits. TNG shuttles are more varied in that there appears to be some that are STL-bound although you'd probably need to go through the episodes they appeared in to discern their FTL capabilities.
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Old October 7 2012, 07:41 PM   #6
Timo
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Re: TFF Shuttle

It might of course be that warp drives are expensive but surprisingly modular - and one can be installed inside the nacelles of a shuttle in a matter of hours, or taken away, and most shuttles make do without it.

Shuttles that were explicitly said not to have warp:

-Type 15 pod in "Time Squared"
-Type 7 shuttle in "Q Who?" (but we later saw that one doing interstellar journeys)
-Type 10 shuttle in "The Sound of Her Voice" (but we supposedly saw that one doing an interstellar journey in the dream sequence of "The Search")

It might be best to just invent excuses for why each of the statements was in fact a special case and each type in fact is capable of warp "normally".

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Old October 8 2012, 05:49 PM   #7
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Going on a long mission in a glorified cargo van with few if any personal amenities (like, um, a bathroom?) is not a wise idea. I think that alone would preclude using warp capability beyond very short jaunts unless it were an emergency. It really takes something like a Runabout before it makes sense.
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Old October 9 2012, 09:17 AM   #8
Mytran
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Actually, I would argue that the lack of space and personal ammenities would make some sort of FTL a neccessity, to shorten otherwise appalling journey times even within a solar system!
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Old October 9 2012, 02:20 PM   #9
Crazy Eddie
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Re: TFF Shuttle

^ Like Geordi's shuttlepod from "Mind's Eye". That might be another datapoint that impulse power alone is capable of FTL travel, though.
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Old October 9 2012, 02:36 PM   #10
Timo
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Re: TFF Shuttle

It should probably count for something that we never see warp streaks from the window of a shuttle, due to this being too difficult to achieve by affordable VFX or SFX techniques, until VOY comes along.

In TOS, that might not tell us anything much. But in TNG, explicitly warp-capable shuttles might still be assumed to be in impulse transit when the view from their portholes or windshields shows them to be at what impulse normally looks like.

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Old October 9 2012, 05:59 PM   #11
SchwEnt
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Re: TFF Shuttle

TFF isn't unique in this respect. It has the two outboard nacelles as well as the upper hull engines. TOS Galileo also had two nacelles and an additional engine on the upper stern of the craft.

I'd assume the capabilities would be similar. If you wanna believe they're warp-capable or sublight only, well, you can decide.
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Old October 9 2012, 06:13 PM   #12
Crazy Eddie
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Re: TFF Shuttle

Timo wrote: View Post
It should probably count for something that we never see warp streaks from the window of a shuttle, due to this being too difficult to achieve by affordable VFX or SFX techniques, until VOY comes along.

In TOS, that might not tell us anything much. But in TNG, explicitly warp-capable shuttles might still be assumed to be in impulse transit when the view from their portholes or windshields shows them to be at what impulse normally looks like.
Well, most backstage sources suggest the Type-7 shuttlecraft is equipped with a warp core to power those nacelles, so if it isn't warp capable it must be pretty damn fast.
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Old October 9 2012, 06:27 PM   #13
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Re: TFF Shuttle

I think the idea that impulse is a FTL technology is highly dubious. It does have to involve relativistic effects and require some sort of compensation for them, because the speeds approach FTL (remember the Warp .5 comment from Kirk in TMP? That was on impulse was it not?) That's about as close as you can call impulse to warp.

The Final Frontier shuttle was different from previous shuttles because it was a redressed shuttle from TMP. It was a budgetary issue which made it more anachronistic, although you could argue that at that time-period, more TNG-like tech was bleeding into Starfleet (like the Okudagrams that really got their start at the end of Trek IV which was before TNG even debuted). Most Trek fans, when asked about shuttles back in the day, would tell you they were not warp capable, or if they were, it was very limited and impractical compared to starships, and might not have been standard equipment.

The whole idea of a shuttle was to provide a backup for transporters to ferry people and things to and from planets and starbases. They were never meant for anything more than that and it was only later on in the TNG era that they started adding more amenities to shuttles (like the DS9 runabout) so that they could act more like long-range RVs.

The story idea behind a shuttle was to provide a more fragile means of transport to heighten the drama, as we saw in the Galileo 7 episode. This way, if for whatever reason the crew had to be left stranded on a planet, even with a fully functional shuttle, they would not be able to make it back to civilization. It was a glorified rowboat.

The problem with TNG in general is that the technology became so much better and more infallible that the risk of space travel was almost completely lost. Shuttles not only got warp, but weapons systems, shields, mini transporters, and even bunks. They just became miniature starships, and it just was the wrong direction to go.
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Old October 9 2012, 06:34 PM   #14
Crazy Eddie
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Re: TFF Shuttle

mos6507 wrote: View Post
I think the idea that impulse is a FTL technology is highly dubious. It does have to involve relativistic effects and require some sort of compensation for them, because the speeds approach FTL (remember the Warp .5 comment from Kirk in TMP? That was on impulse was it not?) That's about as close as you can call impulse to warp.
That would probably work to your advantage. Geordi's shuttle trip to Risa may take six months under impulse power, but for him it's only been six hours. Unfortunately, by the time he gets there he's used up about twenty years worth of vacation time and has to go right back on duty.

Seriously, though, that's a common misconception. Strictly speaking, the relativistic effects only apply while you are traveling at high speed, and even then only from the perspective of an outside observer. Those effects disappear and turn out to be illusory after you decelerate.

The Final Frontier shuttle was different from previous shuttles because it was a redressed shuttle from TMP.
Either way, it still possessed similar features as the Galileo from TOS, which was ALSO shown to be capable of FTL velocities if not outright warp speed. I doubt the TFF shuttle would be any different.

The whole idea of a shuttle was to provide a backup for transporters to ferry people and things to and from planets and starbases. They were never meant for anything more than that...
The MEANING is immaterial, they were frequently USED for more than that on regular basis, and those uses require them to be capable of faster-than-light travel.
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Old October 10 2012, 05:58 AM   #15
T'Girl
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Re: TFF Shuttle

mos6507 wrote: View Post
The Final Frontier shuttle was different from previous shuttles because it was a redressed shuttle from TMP.
Nope, brand new, never used before design.

The whole idea of a shuttle was to provide a backup for transporters to ferry people and things to and from planets and starbases. They were never meant for anything more than that ...
The pursuit of the Enterprise by a starbase shuttle in Court Martial indicates that TOS era shuttles are definitely capable of warp speed equal to the Enteprise itself, although not for protracted periods of time. Lesser speeds could see shuttles traveling between star systems.

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