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Old September 24 2012, 12:25 PM   #31
Timo
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

I rather think it would be a good idea to have a variety of ships carrying the prefix of a cruiser design series as this would create confusion among your adversaries (since deception isn't compatible with UFP standards).
...It would be even more clever to use a completely nonsensical registry system, and to change the pennants more often than the crew does laundry. Which is as good an explanation as any for the weird registries and registry changes we witness, come to think of it.

The logical extension of that is the realization that whatever the number of starships like Kirk's at the time of "Tomorrow is Yesterday" (or at least its unseen 23rd century "framing story"), "only twelve" is not it! And of course United Earth Space Probe Agency has got nothing to do with Kirk.

(Quite possibly, Starfleet doesn't exist, either, and all our heroes are Klingons in disguise, whereas all Klingons are Earthlings in disguise. But that's not absolutely certain yet.)

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Old September 25 2012, 04:49 AM   #32
Mantyclause
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
Granted, Enterprise's NX-01 and Columbia's NX-02 somewhat muddies that argument, but it could be counter-argued that that's what they did for a while in the 22nd century, and went to an NCC-??00 style in the early 23rd century for a limited period of time.
Different Starfleet. The 22nd century Enterprise was an NX class starship, and the first one in the fleet, hence NX-01. The Columbia was the second, and thus NX-02.
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Old December 13 2012, 08:49 PM   #33
FatherRob
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

137th Gebirg wrote: View Post
It could be argued that, during this particular time in Starfleet's history, they used an "NCC-??00" serial number in registries to designate an experimental or prototype model of the class, with incomplete systems or a test-bed platform, whereas anything with an "01" would be the first production ship of the line, fully functional with all the bells and whistles.

This would be akin to using an "NX" in the registry later on.

This argument could fit nicely in the established continuity, as well as resolve the apparent conflict between MJ's statement and FJ's designs.
My logic has some similarities, but is also different. If we accept that the ship is Constitution class, then USS Constitution was built up as NX-1700 and served as the testbed and proof of concept article for the Star Fleet. The Enterprise was the first operationally commissioned ship of the series, thus 1701. After the operational ships came out, the Constitution was retrofitted with improvements based on its testing (improvements initially installed in production hulls) and, when put back into service, the ship was fully operational, and was given the NCC registry.

Now, all that being said, it does not explain away the Constellation which is pretty clearly intended to be of the same class as the Enterprise but has a lower number. My solution to that one is as follows (and works, as long as you ignore ST:IV onwards!):

A previous Constellation (Hull number 1017) was destroyed. To honor its service, Star Fleet carried forward the hull number to a new-build 17th class ship. In this case, instead of thinking of the NCC number as the hull number, it makes more sense as a transponder number (i.e., navigational contact code).

Either way, I have to make some choices about my own fleet make-up theory soon, as I intend to start building my idea of a fleet in scale with my TOS Enterprise model... and I have to decide how to handle the numbering issues.

Rob+
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Old December 13 2012, 09:54 PM   #34
Spike730
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

They should've changed 1017 to 1702 for TOS-R. Or kept the registry and made it another class.
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Old December 13 2012, 11:32 PM   #35
Praetor
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Two points that I feel the need to reiterate.

One, is that it shouldn't be omitted that the reason why Jefferies picked 1701 wasn't for meaning, it was rather because '1' '7' and '0' are easily identifiable from a distance. As others have indicated, the 17th class, model 01 thing was after-the-fact.

Two, is that the obvious reason that the Constellation was 1017 was that it just reorganized the AMT kit stickers. Why they didn't just go with 1710 is beyond me. I assume whoever put the model together just didn't care, or realize. Jefferies probably hadn't dreamed up his rationalization yet. Alternatively, they may have felt that 1017 was more different from 1701 than 1710, and wanted to make clear that the wrecked ship was not the Enterprise.

I am grateful there are so many ways to rationalize away weird Constitution registries. I am personally fond of the visually undiscernable subclass suggestion.
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Old December 14 2012, 10:05 AM   #36
Robert Comsol
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Praetor wrote: View Post
"One, is that it shouldn't be omitted that the reason why Jefferies picked 1701 wasn't for meaning, it was rather because '1' '7' and '0' are easily identifiable from a distance. As others have indicated, the 17th class, model 01 thing was after-the-fact."
I'm not aware there is any proof for the "after-the-fact" theory. On the contrary, the genuine production sketch from the production period is a clear hint that the Enterprise was indeed the "first bird", the "first in the series":



Again, the entire "NCC-1700" (= USS Constitution) business was an invention of Greg Jein made to fit a pet theory of his which then was adopted by Franz Joseph Schnaubelt.

Where Greg Jein's own theory fell apart was the moment he assigned registry numbers beginning with "16" to the Constitution Class (not considering that the starship status flat screen in "Court-Martial" might simply be displaying "starships" that are still awaiting essential upgrades, including those of the 16th design).

IMHO, the logical conclusion would have been to assign the registry number "NCC-1600" to the USS Constitution (or "NCC-1601", had he been aware of Matt Jefferies' production sketch, then).

Bob
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Old December 14 2012, 04:31 PM   #37
Albertese
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

I'm still convinced that that particular drawing is from the 1977 Phase II materials rather than the 1964 Star Trek pre-production.

But we've been around this bend before...

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Old December 14 2012, 11:34 PM   #38
Praetor
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
"One, is that it shouldn't be omitted that the reason why Jefferies picked 1701 wasn't for meaning, it was rather because '1' '7' and '0' are easily identifiable from a distance. As others have indicated, the 17th class, model 01 thing was after-the-fact."
I'm not aware there is any proof for the "after-the-fact" theory. On the contrary, the genuine production sketch from the production period is a clear hint that the Enterprise was indeed the "first bird", the "first in the series"
I believe the quote in the Star Trek Sketchbook by Jefferies specifically states this story, along with (paraphrasing) "...later I decided the Enterprise design was the 17th cruiser design, 1st production model." I can dig the book up and check it later.

To be clear, I'm not saying that the '17th, 1st' rationalization coming later invalidates it. I'm merely saying that if we're going to acknowledge the real-world author's intent for something, we should acknowledge the full story.
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Old December 15 2012, 09:17 AM   #39
Robert Comsol
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

@ Praetor

No need to dig the book up because the exact quote is in my introduction to this thread.

First, Matt Jefferies gave a real life explanation for the choice of numbering (probably also inspired by the registry number of his Waco airplane).

"Afterwards", he provided the in-universe explanation. I read this "afterwards" as "right after" and not "decades later".

@ Albertese

I don't see any design characteristics that would rather indicate this to be a design sketch for the Phase II project. On the contrary, the "J" of the Jefferies signature is the "J" from the 1964 production sketches while the "J" of he Phase II sketch from "6-77" on the opposite page in the Sketchbook is a simpler, newer version.

But regardless: If the creator / designer of the Enterprise felt this starship to be the first of its kind, I consider him to be the ultimate authority on the subject - and not Greg Jein or Franz Joseph Schnaubelt.

Bob
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Old December 17 2012, 06:32 PM   #40
B.J.
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
First, Matt Jefferies gave a real life explanation for the choice of numbering (probably also inspired by the registry number of his Waco airplane).
Not likely, especially since he didn't get the plane until a year after TOS ended.
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Old December 17 2012, 09:41 PM   #41
Darkwing
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

Personally, my explanation for the 1600-series clones and the "12 like her" line is this:
The 1600-series ships (and the 1017 Constellation) have been refitted to externally indistinguishable specifications. Internally, some have more or fewer weapons, sensors, automation, etc. Pike had a crew of 200, because he was a standard GalEx Heavy Cruiser, with a standard mission profile. So his ship was fitted out with the equipment he'd need, and a crew big enough for that job. A MiliOps Heavy Cruiser of the same type would have a larger crew (say 300?), more individual phasers, fewer labs, etc. When Kirk got Enterprise, she came out of a refit that gave him a ship loaded for bear - 400 crew and all the bells and whistles. You have to save volume somewhere, so he has fewer phasers and photon torpedo banks, but more sophisticated models - like carrying an M-16 while the Pike had the equivalent of 8 bolt-action rifles. The simpler model is larger, takes up more space, and has more redundancy. It's the tradeoff. Kirk's ship is part of Independent Ops, and can go anywhere, perform any mission. So, since only 12 or 13 are fitted out and assigned to Independent Ops, there's your "12 like her". But the NCC-1664 Excalibur can easily be a Baton Rouge subtype that's been refitted and refitted until it matches the Constitution class externally. Or as was suggested above, NX-1700 was a prototype, and still testing out the limits of the design, so 1701 was the first production model. And since a lot of designs get scrapped in design or testing, NX-1600 was a failure, and as more 17-series ships were needed, unused 16-series numbers were used. 18-series couldn't be used, because until (or if) NX-1800 is designed and built, we would be poaching their numbers.
Overall, though, I just don't see the need to follow the 17-01 logic slavishly. It's a kinda cool thought, at first blush, but once you start really trying to apply it, it falls apart and locks you in too much.
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Old December 17 2012, 11:44 PM   #42
Robert Comsol
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

B.J. wrote: View Post
Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
First, Matt Jefferies gave a real life explanation for the choice of numbering (probably also inspired by the registry number of his Waco airplane).
Not likely, especially since he didn't get the plane until a year after TOS ended.
Really? The Virginia Aviation Museum says otherwise http://www.eaa231.org/Museum/WacoYOC/WACO.htm

And could private pilots back in the Sixties just pick their favorite airplane registry number? "NC 17740" can't be coincidental.

Bob
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Old December 18 2012, 02:16 AM   #43
blssdwlf
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

I think BJ is correct. Matt Jefferies was interviewed and he is asked about NCC-1701 at the 5:18 mark. He didn't get the plane until after TOS went off the air and claimed it was not the source of the numbering.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax1y8HNCjBw

However, he does confirm (or re-confirm) that the numbers were picked to be easily recognizable and it was the 17th design and the 1st bird, etc.

Interestingly, by his thinking, the Constellation being the 10th design would suggest the basic saucer + secondary hull + nacelles had been around for a long time
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Old December 18 2012, 10:59 AM   #44
Robert Comsol
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
"Interestingly, by his thinking, the Constellation being the 10th design would suggest the basic saucer + secondary hull + nacelles had been around for a long time "
Not necessarily, IMHO. Assuming the yellow production sketch is from the early beginnings (which I think it is), Matt Jefferies suggested the A-ppendix to be applied to ships that had undergone modernization or modification, not (yet) as a commemorative appendix to honor the achievements of a previous ship (like NCC-1701-A in ST IV).

Therefore the USS Constellation's registry number could simply honor the achievements of a previous cruiser (unknown 10th design) without the necessity to wear an A-ppendix, as this kind of nomenclature hadn't be established yet by the time of TOS.

Bob
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Old December 18 2012, 01:57 PM   #45
Timo
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Re: NCC = Not Constitution Class?

At the time this putative rule was devised, Starfleet was not yet established as a century-old organization. To the contrary, many things about the Federation and its space navy appeared new - not so new that Kirk would have been field testing warp drives or phasers or transporters, but not so old that there would have been half a dozen generations of Kirks in the service yet. Quite possibly, then, all the cruiser types from 10 to 17 would have been introduced within a decade, perhaps a decade and a half before the TOS era and a decade and a half after the founding of the service, and the same manufacturer would have churned out these identical hulls so that another could equip them with slightly varying but contemporary innards.

It would only be later that Starfleet would gain in years, making it tempting to spread the 17 types evenly across a whole century (or, say, the first 70 years of it, with the last 30 reserved for the already evident type 18 and possible higher ones). But by that time the concept of the first two digits identifying the ship type would have been kicked out of the airlock, too.

"NC 17740" can't be coincidental.
Well, no. But "17740" certainly can. And Jeffries would have gotten the NC from generic aviation facts, not from any specific aircraft.

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