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Old June 3 2013, 06:34 PM   #16
T'Girl
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

I do wonder f there is a important difference between "powered by impulse," and possessing "impulse power."

Just a impulse engine?

A warp drive powered by impulse?

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Old June 3 2013, 06:48 PM   #17
J.T.B.
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Timo wrote: View Post
OTOH, if the cramped bridge interior matches the topside external shape, the ship still ought to have space for hundreds if they are equally tightly packed - and if the machinery inside takes no more room relatively than in a WWII sub. But I'd prefer to give more space to machinery and to trim down the crew a lot, so that Kirk eventually causes the deaths of relatively few people compared to the 430 that would have died in Romulan hands.
Agreed, giving internal space priority to the plasma weapon and cramming the crew in what's left over fits the tone of the episode as well as the WW2 sub "men in a can" vibe. A small crew also works for the secret mission/deniability thing.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
The in/outlets of a WWII submarine serve the purpose of submerging the vehicle (= rendering it "invisible"), therefore I know believe that the holes on top of the Romulan Bird of Prey serve the same purpose, i.e. rendering the vessel literally invisible.
The numerous visible holes on a WW2 sub don't have much to do with surfacing/submerging, they simply allow water to freely flow in and out of the space between the cylindrical pressure hull and whatever external structures have been added around/atop it: The outer hull on a US fleet boat, or the deck and bow structure on a Type VII. The valves for the ballast, trim and diving (negatve) tanks were generally not externally visible or very inconspicuous.

That doesn't mean the "holes" couldn't have that function on the BoP, of course, but the (unfortunate, IMO) ease with which a cloaking device is installed in Enterprse seems to weigh against much specialized structure being necessary.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
I do wonder f there is a important difference between "powered by impulse," and possessing "impulse power."

Just a impulse engine?

A warp drive powered by impulse?
Good question. The distances involved make some kind of warp-equivalent drive pretty much a necessity. But it's also made clear that whatever it is, it's inferior to what Enterprise has, which evens up the odds a little and maintains the analog to the speed/range limitations of a U-boat on electric drive.
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Old June 3 2013, 07:32 PM   #18
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

I just took it that it was hauled over by a Cabbage class, and that it's warp core wasn't powered up--to help the cloak do its job better.
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Old June 4 2013, 03:55 AM   #19
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

I'm not sure how I feel about the "holes" being related to the cloaking device. If that were the case, then why are there so many on the top and edge surfaces but none on the wings or the bottom surface? Also, the only times (that I can recall) actually seeing the actual "cloaking device" was when Kirk stole one during "The Enterprise Incident" where it was a relatively small and surprisingly light object (Kirk carried it easily tucked under one arm, and again in DS9 when Quark and Nog steal one from Martok's ship to smuggle into the Mirror universe to pay a ransom for Zek. In that case, the object seemed bigger than the old Romulan one (judging from how the actors mimed it... since it was invisible) and also seemed quite a lot heavier. Did we ever actually see the cloaking device on the Defiant?

I guess, I'm not sure there's any evidence to suggest that the cloaking device is a huge system requiring a bunch of shipboard infrastructure (though you'd think it would be). Really it seems like it's just a device that makes the shields do something different than usual.

Seems like a lot of little windows for sensors though. And, again, why not have any that point down?

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Old June 4 2013, 04:47 AM   #20
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Timo wrote: View Post
The design isn't a 1:1 carbon copy of an existing Federation starship, since the outpost commander doesn't recognize it. But one wonders... Perhaps the Romulans copied some elements without quite realizing what they were for, this cargo-cult approach explaining the obvious warp nacelles on a ship that fools Scotty into thinking "simple impulse", and the rows upon rows of portholes on a ship where tall people have trouble walking straight.

Timo Saloniemi
Or all along, nacelles = "simple impulse" and warp nacelles have extra greebles on them
I've always liked the idea that the nacelles are the universal impellers that make the ship go and warp and impulse simply refers to the engine that's powering them - and the red bits are simply minor exhaust or radiating units. Sadly, it's not really upheld very well by canon, let alone fanon.
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Old June 4 2013, 12:30 PM   #21
Robert Comsol
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Yes, the advanced "plug in" cloaking device witnessed in the "The Enterprise Incident" suggests otherwise, but if these are not portholes on top of the BoP, then what are they?

@ Manticore

On the contrary, I'd dare to say that your theory is upheld by canon, especially "The Immunity Syndrome" where warp and impulse power were combined to achieve one major forward thrust.

The one thing I cannot get out of my head is the recurring theme of sailing ships in the context of Star Trek. Essentially, the Enterprise has more in common with a submarine in space, so what in space could possibly qualify as an analogy to wind to propel a starship?
In "By Any Other Name" Spock said that the Enterprise is propelled by matter-antimatter reactors (or the energy these provide).

Both matter-antimatter annihilation and nuclear fusion yield gamma radiation which is also abundant in space. Could it be that gamma radiation is the "wind" that energizes the warp engines and to have higher performances you just add extra radiation?

Bob
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Old June 4 2013, 03:26 PM   #22
T'Girl
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Albertese wrote: View Post
it was a relatively small and surprisingly light object (Kirk carried it easily tucked under one arm
The impression I took from that is that what kirk stole was a important component, but not the entire cloaking device mechinism. After Kirk gave whatever it was to Scotty, Scotty then had to attach it to the Enterprise's deflector system to make it do anything.

It couldn't cloak the Enterprise all by itself.

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Old June 4 2013, 07:10 PM   #23
Albertese
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Albertese wrote: View Post
it was a relatively small and surprisingly light object (Kirk carried it easily tucked under one arm
The impression I took from that is that what kirk stole was a important component, but not the entire cloaking device mechinism. After Kirk gave whatever it was to Scotty, Scotty then had to attach it to the Enterprise's deflector system to make it do anything.

It couldn't cloak the Enterprise all by itself.

Right. Which is why I also wrote:

Albertese wrote: View Post
... Really it seems like it's just a device that makes the shields do something different than usual.
...



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Old June 4 2013, 08:49 PM   #24
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Two other thoughts. Re-examining the dialogue from "Balance of Terror" I couldn't help the feeling that the Romulan attack and testing mission was somewhat reminiscent of Dolittle's B-29 Tokyo raid in WWII where they discarded everything expendable to lower their weight.

In one scene the Romulan Commander inquires whether they still have some old style nuclear warheads on board. Shouldn't he know what they have on board or not?

As for "The Enterprise Incident" we learn that the mission is to acquire a Romulan cloaking device or maybe more specific the operating device. Theoretically the Enterprise could have been upgraded with the technology to produce a cloaking effect prior to the mission but still lacks one vital component - the cloaking device.
In essence all Scotty had to do is install the device and throw the switch - which is basically what he did and all his usual lamentations (did Kirk sound bored on the Bridge?!) were just for drama...

Bob
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Old June 4 2013, 11:28 PM   #25
J.T.B.
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Essentially, the Enterprise has more in common with a submarine in space, so what in space could possibly qualify as an analogy to wind to propel a starship?
Nothing. The comparisons to sailing ships aren't worth much beyond the poetic. Can you imagine a starship becalmed, or unable to leave a starbase because the "winds" were unfavorable?
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Old June 5 2013, 10:07 AM   #26
Robert Comsol
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

J.T.B. wrote: View Post
The comparisons to sailing ships aren't worth much beyond the poetic. Can you imagine a starship becalmed, or unable to leave a starbase because the "winds" were unfavorable?
Do we seriously want to deprive ourselves of this poetry? Of course a starship wouldn't entirely depend on the "wind" of gamma radiation and/or dark energy.

Since a starship has its own power source the analogy would rather be one of the mid-19th Century steamships that still had sails and thus could save their onboard supplies if the winds were favorable.

Bob
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Old June 5 2013, 11:53 AM   #27
Timelord Victorious
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Isn't that sort of what the collectors on the nacelle tips imply?
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Old June 5 2013, 11:54 AM   #28
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Or perhaps a Flettner-wing sailing ship...

The thing is, though, the environment never seems to play any role in starship propulsion. Our heroes never discuss "winds" of any sort, or subspace density, or even gravity - unless something catastrophically fails and for a rare once throws the ship at the mercy of the environment.

Sure, perhaps the basics of starship propulsion are to be found in environmental factors, but of the sort that stay absolutely constant (except when they are weekly anomalies driving the plot) and thus never warrant dialogue mention. But anything known to today's physics fails that test... Gamma rays or dark matter density aren't homogeneous and dependable.

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Old June 5 2013, 01:39 PM   #29
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Timo wrote: View Post
The thing is, though, the environment never seems to play any role in starship propulsion. Our heroes never discuss "winds" of any sort, or subspace density, or even gravity - unless something catastrophically fails and for a rare once throws the ship at the mercy of the environment.
Not exactly. TOS did scan ahead for space and energy density (especially if it is something that they might have to fly through) and their "weather scans" spotted things like ion storms, etc. That might not exist in TNG because of different reasons but in TOS (and thus "Balance of Terror") the environment does seem to play a role in starship propulsion.
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Old June 5 2013, 02:40 PM   #30
J.T.B.
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Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Do we seriously want to deprive ourselves of this poetry? Of course a starship wouldn't entirely depend on the "wind" of gamma radiation and/or dark energy.

Since a starship has its own power source the analogy would rather be one of the mid-19th Century steamships that still had sails and thus could save their onboard supplies if the winds were favorable.
If the "space wind" is omni-directional and effectively constant, then the comparison to sailing is pretty much worthless. The mid-to-late 1800s Royal Navy cruisers had to have sail rigs because the early engines weren't fuel-efficient enough to give them the range to patrol the empire. That doesn't seem comparable to anything in Trek.

blssdwlf wrote: View Post
Not exactly. TOS did scan ahead for space and energy density (especially if it is something that they might have to fly through) and their "weather scans" spotted things like ion storms, etc. That might not exist in TNG because of different reasons but in TOS (and thus "Balance of Terror") the environment does seem to play a role in starship propulsion.
But that's different from being propelled by the "weather." A nuclear aircraft carrier tracks the weather ahead, but not because her propulsion depends on it.

Last edited by J.T.B.; June 5 2013 at 04:29 PM. Reason: corrected 1800s/19th century mix-up
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