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Old August 22 2013, 02:10 PM   #16
137th Gebirg
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

I gathered that several of the doors were for large cargo loading and storage. If Constellations were designed to serve as deep space galaxy exploration vessels on the frontier, as ProwlAlpha said, refits and repair wouldn't happen as frequently, nor would supply for the long voyages. They would probably also need a higher capacity for shuttles if the transporter went out for extended periods of time. Doubling up on engines and weapons over the Constitution class configuration heavily implies redundant backup systems in case drydock facilities are not nearby.
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Old August 22 2013, 04:47 PM   #17
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

It might also be that they bays behind those doors are quite shallow. Perhaps the doors actually hide sensors or weapon systems, rather than cavities for small craft or cargo?

For all we know, the bow door could cover the ship's navigational deflector dish during impulse flight...

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Old August 22 2013, 05:17 PM   #18
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

Good point - it does seem to suffer from Miranditis, with a lack of a forward navigational deflector. Unless, of course, it was one of the myriad greeble danglers on the underside of the primary hull, serving as a new kind of experimental "non-luminescent" deflector. The Image-G model makers seem to have treated that particular feature of starships with a distinctive air of randomness, for some reason.
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Old August 22 2013, 08:20 PM   #19
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

The "deflector" is just a forefield that sweeps aside stellar dust and small objects. That could be generated internally. The big blue glowy thing seems like a slightly different piece of hardware, perhaps a more powerful version needed when you're hitting top warp speeds. Maybe the Reliant and Stargazer could only trundle along at warp factor 8?
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Old August 22 2013, 08:48 PM   #20
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

A bit difficult to insist that the Constellation would be an Excelsior backup plan in that case, I guess.

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Old August 22 2013, 09:28 PM   #21
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

I would say that Constellation was built for a separate mission parameter with a similar feature in speed, but both class leaders were re-appropriated for testing. It would seem a little wasteful to build two of the largest ships in Starfleet just to test them, i would assume that Starfleet has more access to better simulators then we do. Building different styles of starships in order just to test them feels more like early 20th century rather than mid to late 23rd century.
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Old August 22 2013, 09:53 PM   #22
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

Then again, we still can't do aerodynamics virtually. The maths is simply several orders of magnitude too demanding. Oh, we're closer than anybody thought even five years ago, but the designers know the results are faulty more often than not, and prepare room for lead weights, extra vanes and fences, and provide the test schedule with months of fine-tuning of such emergency remedies.

I have no trouble believing that warp dynamics in the Trek future will be too difficult to simulate without the help of at least a few subscale and sometimes full-scale test rigs to provide datapoints...

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Old August 22 2013, 10:43 PM   #23
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

Timo wrote: View Post
A bit difficult to insist that the Constellation would be an Excelsior backup plan in that case, I guess.

Timo Saloniemi
Depends on the mission role. Even the Enterprise-D doesn't race around at warp 9 all the time. The four nacelles of the Constellation suggests endurance and stamina to me, not speed per se. A lot of fans have speculated it means the Stargazer has basically duplicated drive systems - two sets of nacelles, two impulse engines, two warp cores - the idea being you max out one, then switch to the other without interruption whilst the first one rests. Seems ideally suited to a deep space role to me.

The Enterprise-D might be able to hit warp 9.6 for 12 hours, but maybe the Stargazer could fly at warp 7 almost indefinitely?
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Old August 22 2013, 11:23 PM   #24
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
Starfleet may have put a lot of faith and hope into The Great Experiment, but they would also be looking at alternatives (just in case).
Perhaps they were competing bids for the "next generation" starship. They had a few of each built to test out, and eventually went with the Excelsior design.
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Old August 23 2013, 12:52 AM   #25
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

I tend to agree with Tomalak that the four engines might point to endurance. The writeup in the DS9TM that mentions the four-nacelled version of the Defiant pathfinder suggests using alternating pairs of warp cores and nacelles. Perhaps the Constellation was a precursor?

You know, perhaps the Constellation was backup in the supportive sense. Maybe Starfleet realized it would be a while before enough Excelsiors were online to supplant the Constitution class, so Starfleet split out some design directives - let's say, deep space patrol and reconaissance - into another class brief that ultimately became the Constellation.
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Old August 23 2013, 02:19 AM   #26
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

Personally, I would say that Constellation was developed first due to sharing the same technology as the Constitution and the Miranda.

Again, these are not small ships, so building them just to use them as test beds is rather wasteful.
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Old August 23 2013, 11:50 AM   #27
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

Depends on the mission role.
But the one thing we know about the Excelsior is that she was supposed to be fast. The Constellation couldn't be an "insurance" design for Starfleet's great experiment at fastness unless she were designed to be fast, too.

Personally, I would say that Constellation was developed first due to sharing the same technology as the Constitution and the Miranda.
But the point would be, at any timepoint X, any organization would have the option of using old technology or new technology. And most would choose to use both, since new has a great probability of failing, even if old is known to have reached its limits for sure already.

The Soviet Union built the Slava using old solutions in armament, electronics, propulsion and layout, quite simultaneously with the brand-new Kirov - not because it was cheap to build ships "just in case", but because it was hugely expensive to do so. Had Kirov failed, vast sums of money would have been spent on nothing, which would be massively worse than spending 2 x vast sums on at least something!

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Old August 23 2013, 12:59 PM   #28
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

Timo wrote: View Post
Depends on the mission role.
But the one thing we know about the Excelsior is that she was supposed to be fast. The Constellation couldn't be an "insurance" design for Starfleet's great experiment at fastness unless she were designed to be fast, too.

Personally, I would say that Constellation was developed first due to sharing the same technology as the Constitution and the Miranda.
But the point would be, at any timepoint X, any organization would have the option of using old technology or new technology. And most would choose to use both, since new has a great probability of failing, even if old is known to have reached its limits for sure already.

The Soviet Union built the Slava using old solutions in armament, electronics, propulsion and layout, quite simultaneously with the brand-new Kirov - not because it was cheap to build ships "just in case", but because it was hugely expensive to do so. Had Kirov failed, vast sums of money would have been spent on nothing, which would be massively worse than spending 2 x vast sums on at least something!

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You can't use what the Russians did during the Soviet as a good comparison to the UFP. Especially, when both designs are considered failures by Western analysts and both designs were outdated by the time they were actually put into production. The Kirov was designed in response to the USS Long Beach, while the Slava was intended to replace the Kynda/Kresta, but they very long construction times, so only three were built over a period of two decades, with a four one still uncompleted.

A better comparison would be the Freedom LCS vs Independence LCS.
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Old August 23 2013, 01:30 PM   #29
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

Timo wrote: View Post
Depends on the mission role.
But the one thing we know about the Excelsior is that she was supposed to be fast. The Constellation couldn't be an "insurance" design for Starfleet's great experiment at fastness unless she were designed to be fast, too.

Timo Saloniemi
Absolutely, I agree. I don't think the Constellation was a back-up, I think it had a different role. A deep space explorer, capable of operating over long distances and being relatively self-sufficient.

The Excelsior is a different kettle of fish; an experimental, breakthrough drive system built for speed and power. I do see her as a replacement for the kind of jobs we saw from the Enterprise in TOS and later TNG: police actions, ferrying diplomats, hosting conferences, and sometimes exploring the galaxy.
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Old August 23 2013, 02:59 PM   #30
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Re: Constellation Class: Excelsior "back-up" plan?

Indeed. And one might think it was incredibly successful, given the high numbers of Excelsiors we saw, compared to low numbers of other "nacelles up" ships such as the Ambassador and Galaxy classes.
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