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Old October 24 2012, 02:48 AM   #1
Brainsucker
Lieutenant Commander
 
Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

It is about the three ship classes. Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class. What are the different? Why making three different Ship Class if they are basically the same? ( I have read Memory Alpha and Beta and surprise that actually Miranda Class is not inferior to Constitution Class. Previously, I thought that Miranda Class was a monkey model for Constitution Class, or at least the cheaper version of it. But when I see the spec, I was surprise that Miranda actually has the same number of weaponry to Constitution, if not better / stronger. At least they have pulse phaser)

For Constelation Class, why would they put 4 warp nescele (or whatever it is) when the performance not even better than the 2 warp Nes... errr Engine starship like Constitution.
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Old October 24 2012, 03:39 AM   #2
SchwEnt
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Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constellation Class

That's something about a lot of the Star Fleet ships.

Don't get me wrong, I love all the different classes including Constitution and Federation and Saladin and Miranda and Constellation and more.

But after a while, how many kitbash variations of saucers/nacelles would the fleet really need? I'd think that many missions and requirements can be fulfilled by the existing ships without having to make new classes with, say, the nacelles arranged at a different angle.
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Old October 24 2012, 03:56 AM   #3
Dukhat
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Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Brainsucker wrote: View Post
It is about the three ship classes. Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class. What are the different? Why making three different Ship Class if they are basically the same?
Because in Star Trek II, the Reliant needed to be a different style of ship, so that when she was in battle with the Enterprise, you could easily see which ship was which. The Reliant was originally going to be the same class as the Enterprise until they realized that that wouldn't work for the above scenario.

For the Stargazer, it simply came about because someone got the idea that the yellow kitbashed desktop model built for background decoration in Picard's ready room was actually his former command. They were going to use the TMP Enterprise for the Stargazer as well, but Greg Jein ended up building a studio model based on that desktop model.

For Constelation Class, why would they put 4 warp nescele (or whatever it is) when the performance not even better than the 2 warp Nes... errr Engine starship like Constitution.
How do you know the performance isn't better?
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Old October 24 2012, 09:37 AM   #4
Timo
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Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Indeed, since the one thing that we witness varying in otherwise identical ships is the engine placement, we would do well to speculate that there are definite advantages and disadvantages to having the engines "up" - and different, perhaps completely opposite advantages and disadvantages to having them "down".

One logical assumption would be to credit "engines up" with high top speed, because the various Enterprises are quoted with speed records. "Engines down" might provide better cruise economy or something. And perhaps the fancy Intrepid would have engines up for her reputed high top speed, but would relax them to the lower position at earliest opportunity because that consumes fewer resources?

Any modelmaker also knows how much more fragile the Enterprise is in comparison with the Reliant. Perhaps going for the fragility provides an advantage, but one Starfleet can't afford for the bulk of its forces, because fragility is bad for survivability and the maintaining of fleet strength. The "engines up" ships could all be silver bullet vessels for special applications, but this would by no means necessitate giving them the best and heaviest armament. Perhaps the special application is one less likely to involve weapons fire than the standard application for which the "engines down" ships are used.

Fans have come up with endless rationalizations for the differences in witnessed and dreamed-up ship classes, all of them pure speculation or at best conjecture. My personal set here:

Constitution is a fast Miranda. Miranda is a more survivable Constitution, built in somewhat larger numbers and made more affordable by leaving some of the weaponry in an optional module. Otherwise, the two are built for the same generic purposes, and Starfleet continues to build such pairs of designs in all eras.

Constellation is the last hurrah of the technology of that era, before Excelsior comes along. Because the old stuff isn't up to snuff and can't be made better, Starfleet installs more of it: four warp nacelles, two impulse assemblies, a thicker saucer with two topsides. The gapfiller isn't built in great numbers because Excelsior is such a success, but its "all-frills", "bells, whistles and a church organ to boot" design gives it some longevity when at least part of it remains useful despite the passing of time.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old October 24 2012, 10:48 AM   #5
MacLeod
Admiral
 
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Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Brainsucker wrote: View Post
It is about the three ship classes. Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class. What are the different? Why making three different Ship Class if they are basically the same? ( I have read Memory Alpha and Beta and surprise that actually Miranda Class is not inferior to Constitution Class. Previously, I thought that Miranda Class was a monkey model for Constitution Class, or at least the cheaper version of it. But when I see the spec, I was surprise that Miranda actually has the same number of weaponry to Constitution, if not better / stronger. At least they have pulse phaser)

For Constelation Class, why would they put 4 warp nescele (or whatever it is) when the performance not even better than the 2 warp Nes... errr Engine starship like Constitution.
When did we see the Miranda class with pulse Phasers?
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Old October 24 2012, 12:06 PM   #6
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

The twin-mount phasers on the rollbar are sometimes classed as pulsephasers.

The Miranda-Class is obviously more durable and adaptable than the others, seeing as how it outlasted the others and has been shown in many different roles (combat, science, supply) with different styles (rollbar, sensor arrays).
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Old October 24 2012, 12:14 PM   #7
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

The twin-mount phasers on the rollbar are sometimes classed as pulsephasers.
They do fire pulses in ST2:TWoK, but so do all other phasers in that movie. I don't think they would be seen firing in any other movie or episode again?

One could argue they would have been somehow better than the other phasers on that ship, because Khan chose to use them and them only in his first attack against Kirk. But one could also argue they were the weakest beam weapons aboard Khan's ship, which is why he chose them for his attempt to capture Kirk alive for proper torturing.

The Miranda-Class is obviously more durable and adaptable than the others, seeing as how it outlasted the others
Well, the Constellation also continued to serve.

Perhaps the issue is solely one of production numbers: there are plenty of Mirandas because many were originally built, a few Constellations because a moderate number were built, and virtually no Constitutions because very few were ever built.

Many if not most of the Mirandas we see in the TNG era have high, five-digit registries, while none of the Constellations do. But that doesn't mean that Miranda would have been the only one to see renewed production in the early 24th century. Possibly the other two classes also did, but again in much smaller numbers, so sheer chance would result in us missing all of these in TNG and DS9.

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Old October 24 2012, 12:16 PM   #8
throwback
Captain
 
Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

The Constellation-class starship had the most shuttlebays of any ship seen to date. This ship had seven of these bays - three on each side and a main bay in the front. When I consider that a larger ship like the Enterprise had three shuttle bays and five hangers (storage of shuttles), I have to ask myself, what percentage of the internal volume of a Constellation-class starship wasn't devoted to shuttles? And what effect did have this on the ship's performance? (Information on the existence of and number of hangars was from an Okudagram first seen in the third season of TNG.)

According to the illustration that accompanied an article written by R. Sternbach, the Constellation-class starship was equipped initially with the Surak-type shuttle. The diagram depicted two of these shuttles sitting snugly in the bays.
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Old October 24 2012, 12:43 PM   #9
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Hmm. In my little perverseverse, the Constellation is a through-deck cruiser, similar to the ships of that designation in Ships of the Star Fleet. The registry NCC-1974 would be back-to-back with the through-deck cruiser registries from that book, too!

Essentially, though, it would be another way to circumvent the Organian peace treaty. It would be an all-new four-nacelled capital ship, similar to the three-nacelled dreadnoughts, but built under another title and treaty quota, with a few trivial characteristics (numerous but very shallow shuttlebays) to pay lip service to the treaty definition of that quota. Essentially, a sneaky way to get more dreadnought-style prime combatants even though the treaty sets a limit and the Excelsior program is badly delayed.

Sure, she's also as fast as this type of technology can make her, and there's something to using her for reconnaissance like in the Sternbach backstory. And this is indeed how the "series production" ships, those that no longer have "CD range" registries but rather 2500 or 2800 range ones, are designated and justified.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old October 24 2012, 02:15 PM   #10
blssdwlf
Commodore
 
Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Just my 2 cents:

The Constitution seems to be least flexible when it comes to cargo space and modularity. She seems to be the fastest with the speed records and that jibes with the Enterprise being sent first to deal with Organia and other troubles spots, including intercepting V'ger. Also, that makes her a good choice for fast delivery of small to medium amounts of perishable or time-sensitive cargo.

The Miranda appears to be the middle of the ground in cargo capability with the two rectangular shuttle doors and spacious interior volume that isn't constrained by the cigar shaped engineering hull. She might be cheaper to build since it really is a single hull (no separate engineering hull). The nacelles are slightly different than the Constitution's. With the rollbar attached carries the same number of phaser emitters + 2 more torpedo launchers aimed to the rear. Without the rollbar, she carries 4 less phasers and 4 less torpedo launchers. The class seems to do well with additional devices strapped on like the Soyuz-class.

The Constellation has the most cargo flexibility as the entire primary hull appears to be geared for easy access by shuttles and cargo with multiple doors. The 4 nacelles, that are smaller than the Miranda's and the Constitution's, could be devoted to giving her average top speed but better ability to move around her increased mass when loaded with cargo without straining.

IMHO, the Mirandas survived the longest as a solid flexible design. The Constellations went a decent run but that extra cargo space advantage got superseded by the introduction of larger (and faster) ships. The Constitutions were also replaced by faster ships and more advanced ships.
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Old October 24 2012, 03:00 PM   #11
Timo
Admiral
 
Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Constellation nacelles are smaller? It looks to me as if the only thing missing is the fin mounting the RCS cluster.

Timo Saloniemi
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Old October 24 2012, 03:10 PM   #12
Albertese
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Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

The aft end of the nacelles are squared off instead of the tapered end of the Connies and the Mirandas. This ends up making them shorter, but they're not smaller in cross-section.

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Old October 24 2012, 10:47 PM   #13
Unicron
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Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

throwback wrote: View Post
The Constellation-class starship had the most shuttlebays of any ship seen to date. This ship had seven of these bays - three on each side and a main bay in the front. When I consider that a larger ship like the Enterprise had three shuttle bays and five hangers (storage of shuttles), I have to ask myself, what percentage of the internal volume of a Constellation-class starship wasn't devoted to shuttles? And what effect did have this on the ship's performance? (Information on the existence of and number of hangars was from an Okudagram first seen in the third season of TNG.)
You know, it's interesting that I never noticed that on the model before. I was tempted to say I didn't think some of the blocky parts on the model were intended to be shuttlebays, but looking at the screencaps from "The Battle" supports the idea of seven bays (3 on each side and one forward, labeled "4"). Perhaps one could say these are not necessarily all for shuttles but perhaps cargo bays? Or modular spaces that can serve either function?

Here are some pics:

Starboard bays (1-3)
Port bays (5-7)
Nose bay (4)
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Old October 25 2012, 02:04 AM   #14
TheRoyalFamily
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Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Perhaps the Constellations were fast transports of some kind, maybe for troops.

Connies look to be more long-range exploration/science ships. A major secondary hull obviously isn't needed for warp travel, but the connies use a lot of space for that. Would free up the saucer for labs, sensors, and crew quarters, and a bunch of room for cargo necessary for long tours. The single-hulled ships might not be so long-ranged - but they also wouldn't need as much major maintenance, and would get more frequent tune-ups and the like, so they would last longer.

Of course, there could still be Connies and Constellations about, we just haven't seen them. Star Trek Online still has them, and that's set 40-50 years after TNG. There are, however, more modern-looking variants on both (and the Miranda, too), so, at least in that game, each has a special niche to occupy, whatever that is (the Miranda is basically cannon-fodder, like in DS9). (There aren't a ton flying around, as they're all low- to low-mid-level ships.)
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Old October 25 2012, 05:00 AM   #15
Xerxes1979
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Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Constellations dispaced Constitutions because as the Federation grew greatly in size between TOS and TNG the need to run at high warp for longer periods put more stress on the nacelles.

For an equivalent tonnage the Constellation class was a better medium cruiser. Excelsiors took the battlecruiser role as they became availble yet something was still needed on the shorter range general purpose duty roster which would explain why Mirandas still were in service.
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