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

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Old April 24 2013, 12:24 PM   #1
Captain_Amasov
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D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

I keep seeing this mentioned around that the Romulan D'deridex-class warbird was less maneuverable than the Enterprise-D/Galaxy-class at sublight speeds. Was this actually mentioned in a specific episode?

I know that they were slower at warp speed, and that the old warbirds encountered by the Enterprise-C were less maneuverable, however I cannot find anything to back up this claim that their latter day counterparts were also the same.
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Old April 24 2013, 01:51 PM   #2
Timo
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

It does seem that the only episodes to discuss warbird performance are "Tin Man" (which establishes lower sustainable warp speed than for Galaxy, but only if the Romulan engineer is too timid to redline the engines) and "Yesterday's Enterprise" (which establishes that four of the old warbirds are no match for the weapons of an alternate-timeline Galaxy and that any one of them is less maneuverable, supposedly at impulse, than the E-C).

We never learn much about the later (D'deridex or "Type B") warbirds or their differences versus older models. "Timescape" tells us that their use of quantum singularity powerplants came as news to Starfleet in the aftermath of "Face of the Enemy", but since Romulans are so secretive, QS engines may have been in use for several centuries already... It's a bit surprising that the alternate Tasha knows enough about Romulans to establish the difference in maneuverability, but perhaps Romulans weren't quite as secretive in that alternate timeline?

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Old April 27 2013, 09:38 PM   #3
publiusr
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

They didn't even seem to have an impulse drive.
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Old April 27 2013, 11:35 PM   #4
Tribble puncher
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

publiusr wrote: View Post
They didn't even seem to have an impulse drive.
Probert admitted that when he designed the ship he'd mistakenly forgot to include Impulse engines. I can't remember where I read that, it was years ago.
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Old April 28 2013, 09:08 PM   #5
publiusr
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

I actually kind of like that, in that it shows the Romulans pulling ahead of the Federation--the size of the Warbird.
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Old April 28 2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

Size isn't everything.
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Old April 28 2013, 09:44 PM   #7
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

publiusr wrote: View Post
I actually kind of like that, in that it shows the Romulans pulling ahead of the Federation--the size of the Warbird.
I actually thought that about the lack of impulse engines, that combined with the "artificial quantum singularity" power source implied to me that the romulans just might be a bit more advanced than the federation. it made their ships seem a little more mysterious. plus I don't like the idea of the federation being better than everyone at everything.
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Old April 29 2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

I like that they have the alternative power source as well, not just because it shows they have more advanced science in a particular area but because it acknowledges that antimatter isn't the only potential power source. It might also say something about their respective design philosophies depending on exactly how the singularity system works, ie do you have to feed it fuel or is it more like a nuclear reactor where the whole thing gets swapped out every ten years.
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Old April 29 2013, 07:22 PM   #9
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

Federation starships have "tail pipes" because they usually power the impulse drive with fusion reactors, those will emit hot gasses and heat which you have to get rid off hence the impulse exhaust we all know.

Romulans might not power the impulse drive with fusion reactors and thus not have the need for a red/blue hot glowing tail pipe.
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Old April 29 2013, 07:48 PM   #10
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

publiusr wrote: View Post
I actually kind of like that, in that it shows the Romulans pulling ahead of the Federation--the size of the Warbird.
Which seems to be negated, somewhat, by all that wasted space inside.
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Old April 30 2013, 12:26 AM   #11
publiusr
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

You could carry whole starships in that open space. Those could have weapons hot and not have to power the cloak. Or maybe it needs to be open as a resonating chamber
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Old April 30 2013, 03:04 PM   #12
Timo
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

Federation ships have just as much "wasted" space, in exactly the same place - between the nacelles, aft of the primary hull.

Timo Saloniemi.
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Old May 2 2013, 02:25 AM   #13
blssdwlf
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

The Librarian wrote: View Post
I like that they have the alternative power source as well, not just because it shows they have more advanced science in a particular area but because it acknowledges that antimatter isn't the only potential power source. It might also say something about their respective design philosophies depending on exactly how the singularity system works, ie do you have to feed it fuel or is it more like a nuclear reactor where the whole thing gets swapped out every ten years.
From "Timescape"...
TROI: The Romulans use an artificial quantum singularity as their power source. Once it's activated, it can't be shut down.
It doesn't look like it gets swapped out periodically.
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Old May 2 2013, 12:17 PM   #14
The Librarian
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
The Librarian wrote: View Post
I like that they have the alternative power source as well, not just because it shows they have more advanced science in a particular area but because it acknowledges that antimatter isn't the only potential power source. It might also say something about their respective design philosophies depending on exactly how the singularity system works, ie do you have to feed it fuel or is it more like a nuclear reactor where the whole thing gets swapped out every ten years.
From "Timescape"...
TROI: The Romulans use an artificial quantum singularity as their power source. Once it's activated, it can't be shut down.
It doesn't look like it gets swapped out periodically.

That's a good point, although it still seems like for maintenance it would have to be removed, probably at a drydock.
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Old May 2 2013, 12:23 PM   #15
Timo
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Re: D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

...Indeed, the point might be that an AQS powerplant needs to be swapped regularly, but since it can't be shut down (echoes of fission reactors of today), there have to be special accommodations to enable the swapping - and one of these is the cavity inside the ship.

Basically, you activate an AQS, it runs through a life cycle, and at some point you start getting diminishing returns from it - so you dump this still active AQS and get a fresh one, and the dockyards then have to deal with the slowly decaying, active but useless older core.

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