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Old August 24 2013, 09:14 AM   #106
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Timo wrote: View Post
But taken literally, transwarp is "beyond warp", "the next thing after warp".
No, that would be "superwarp".

Taken literally, transwarp is really "between warp" or "through warp" as such. Sort of like how trans-sonic flight describes velocities both slightly above and slightly below the speed of sound.

Taken literally, transwarp is a drive system that would supersede impulse power and allow the warp drive to propel the ship at any arbitrary velocity, completely ignoring conventional concepts of "warp factors" or the difference between sublight and FTL.

It's more likely that "transwarp" is a lot more esoteric than any of us give it credit for: could be that Excelsior isn't that much faster than Enterprise after all, but the transwarp drive allows it to instantly jump to an arbitrary warp factor (or an arbitrary velocity between warp factors) without having to build up acceleration over time.

Which is why all sorts of completely unrelated FTL drives can be "transwarp" at the same time, or at various points of history.
See above: if "transwarp" is a defined scientific concept instead of a drive type, then a "transwarp drive" is a system that can operate without having to "up shift" through any definable warp factor. It's velocity is a constant floating point dependent on spacial density and energy factors that render conventional definitions of "warp factors" either arbitrary or inapplicable.

Which might explain why the TNG engines designs cannot reach warp ten. Conventional warp drives can, but a transwarp drive, unlike a conventional warp drive, can do fractional warp speeds (say, warp 5.65) for extended periods of time without becoming unstable. Which means if you ignore Threshhold (please!), it could be the case that transwarp drive is an engine that finds it fairly easy to reach and sustain warp nine -- and a couple of fractions above warp nine -- while a much more powerful conventional warp drive could still reach that same warp factor, but not fraction or more less without severely straining itself.

Which, also, would explain why the Pasteur is capable of velocities up to Warp 13. In the All Good Things timeline, some big propulsion breakthrough has allowed for higher warp factors to become possible with conventional warp drives again.
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Old August 24 2013, 09:54 AM   #107
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Praetor wrote: View Post
Albertese wrote: View Post
Also, as to R2-D2 having black panels, it's the same reason as why the Imperial officers sometimes have black rank insignia instead of blue: the blue color gets chemically stripped from the film stock when they used blue screen to optically composite images. In fact, that's why blue is the color for bluescreen; blue was the top layer of film color, so most easily removed, also, there is very little blue in a human face, so it's the easiest color to work around. But little blue panels like on R2 and those rank pips, become transparent on that film layer and the black space background shows through. If you read George Lucas's novel of Star Wars you may notice that Luke's X-Wing was originally supposed to be Blue 5 rather than Red 5. But the compositing process using bluescreen would have not worked with blue striping on the model, so they changed it to Red.

I imagine this is why the Excelsior was photographed to appear as gray as possible also, for fear of the blue parts turning transparent (and therefore black) in the final print.

--Alex
Fascinating explanation... thanks for that, too.
Fascinating...but incorrect!

I don't know what "top layer of film" means in this context.

Blue screen was used in film because bright blue turns black when run through a red filter, allowing the creation of solid black mattes (silhouettes) when printing to high-contrast black-and-white film. You create positive and negative mattes which allow only sections of the footage to be exposed onto a new piece of film when run through an optical printer.

OTOH green screens are most commonly used for digital composting for a number of reasons, including the practical one that green has greater reflectance than blue so it takes less light to effectively light a green screen. Also, in some video formats—if you separate the RGB channels on digital video—the information in the green channel is frequently the brightest and sharpest, and thus the easiest with which to get a clean matte.

As to Star Wars, yes, Luke's group was originally "blue" and not "red", In fact, if you watch the shots of the miscellaneous pilots climbing into their x-wings, the rebel logos on their helmets are BLUE, not red. . Originally Lucas hoped to use rear projection for the cockpit stuff, but it looked bad so they had to shoot on bluescreen, which likely is the reason for the color change.
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Old August 24 2013, 02:49 PM   #108
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

So, I was reading the Memory Alpha writeup on the design process of the Excelsior model posted by Tomalak in the Oberth thread... which I don't think I've ever actually bothered to read. (Or at least not for a few years.)

Most of it includes things we've discussed in bits and pieces already; the design process of multiple study models arising from multiple sketches, Bill George's Japanese take, the use of the study models in TNG, and a bit more.

One statement stood out to me regarding the changes made for TUC:

Bill George wrote:
"We changed the bridge on the Excelsior model because on this show, the bridge is actually very small – it's the Enterprise bridge re-dressed. The Excelsior was originally built for Star Trek III, where it had a cavernous bridge, and the model had a big bubble on top which I felt was always out of scale. We replaced it with a smaller bridge area which helped the overall scale of the model."
So, for me that more or less proves it: ILM always meant the ship to be bigger than her official 467 meter size. (Granted, the actual bridge would never fit into the smaller dome of the TUC model, but we could, as others have done, pretend it's actually round like that of the Enterprise rather than elliptical.)

And what's more, while the original round dome actually somewhat fits the 467 meter size if we submerge the bridge within the deck, it appears Mr. George felt that original dome was out of scale with the rest of the ship.

After studying Drexler's cutaway more, I've concluded that he made his decks a bit too short. So I think I need to revisit my own original effort if I want to see what the size of the model as scaled would be.

This of course provokes the next logical question: what size is the ship really in the Trekverse, the size that seems to be suggested by the model, or the size that has been accepted?

The problem with this is simple: while the original model does appear scaled larger, most of the modern scaling efforts between the Excelsior and other vessels seem to put the ship fairly close to the official 467 size, particularly in DS9 and VGR. Scenes earlier are, I think, for the most part ambiguous enough we can choose to assume the ship was scaled 467 meters there too. One might propose a "happy compromise" between the scaled size and official size but in fact this gains us nothing.

The main problem with the 467 meter size is the bridge module, in which the bridge simply cannot fit at 467 meters. It is obviously the intention that the bridge module contains the bridge and some sort of windowed lounge aft, so it seems foolhardy to simply recess the bridge into the circular structure around.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Taken literally, transwarp is a drive system that would supersede impulse power and allow the warp drive to propel the ship at any arbitrary velocity, completely ignoring conventional concepts of "warp factors" or the difference between sublight and FTL.

It's more likely that "transwarp" is a lot more esoteric than any of us give it credit for: could be that Excelsior isn't that much faster than Enterprise after all, but the transwarp drive allows it to instantly jump to an arbitrary warp factor (or an arbitrary velocity between warp factors) without having to build up acceleration over time.

See above: if "transwarp" is a defined scientific concept instead of a drive type, then a "transwarp drive" is a system that can operate without having to "up shift" through any definable warp factor. It's velocity is a constant floating point dependent on spacial density and energy factors that render conventional definitions of "warp factors" either arbitrary or inapplicable.

Which might explain why the TNG engines designs cannot reach warp ten. Conventional warp drives can, but a transwarp drive, unlike a conventional warp drive, can do fractional warp speeds (say, warp 5.65) for extended periods of time without becoming unstable. Which means if you ignore Threshhold (please!), it could be the case that transwarp drive is an engine that finds it fairly easy to reach and sustain warp nine -- and a couple of fractions above warp nine -- while a much more powerful conventional warp drive could still reach that same warp factor, but not fraction or more less without severely straining itself.

Which, also, would explain why the Pasteur is capable of velocities up to Warp 13. In the All Good Things timeline, some big propulsion breakthrough has allowed for higher warp factors to become possible with conventional warp drives again.
You know, at first I balked that you didn't try to include the notion of the recalibrated warp scale. But I have to tell you, this probably makes the most sense as an explanation for transwarp as any I have ever read. I keep thinking about that "All speeds available through transwarp drive" line. This would certainly explain it.

Perhaps it's a combination of what you said, and the idea of transwarp being an "overdrive," with differently calibrated warp "gears" that allow the near-instantaneous achievement of any given speed, at the cost of recalibrating the scale.

On the topic of the chasm, I've done another analysis, using two photos of the filming model.



The blue boxes represent the actual structure in the chasm. The light blue line above represents the chasm ceiling. I noticed that the pod itself is about twice as wide as the gap between the impulse engines. There's a bit of relativity at work here, but I think I'm pretty close to how it actually looks. I'm making guesses about what the things are - but I'm envisioning a scenario which drops shuttles from the hangar I've imagined above, then guides them back in for return docking in the pod. Somehow, I'd also like to work in the notion of this being a support staging bay.

Further, in adjusting the contrast to this image, it seems clear that what we're seeing is not a propeller, but rather the outline of the "grabber" superstructure, as well as what appears to be a bracket-like object further inward, very close to the pod.



Incidently, I figured out the real reason the pod is there. If you notice the approved study model that inspired the filming model, the chasm is actually empty. However, it occurred to me when looking at the side view of the model that I used above to interpret the inner structure that the hatch opening for the bottom mounting point for the model actually seems to line up with the pod - and the pod would be just about the right size to receive a miniature support arm. If the chasm was empty, the arm would have to go pretty far inside the ship if you wanted to film it from this direction, if the chasm was empty.

So there you have it: the pod was included in the filming model to receive the stand armature.
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Old August 24 2013, 04:13 PM   #109
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Odd that Bill George refers to the Excelsior bridge module being added with the knowledge the set was going to be an Enterprise redress when the new smaller module was added for Star Trek IV, not VI.

Perhaps they planned to redress the Enterprise bridge back when the plan was to give Kirk and co. the Excelsior at the end of STIV: TVH?


Also: That's truly fascinating about the real life reason for the greebles in the shuttlebay!
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Old August 24 2013, 08:42 PM   #110
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Timo wrote: View Post
Incidentally, what's with the "engineering crew of the Reliant" bit? Do we have a reason to think those weren't Khan's own men?
Sorry, I had assumed that the unedited screenplay in Vonda N. McIntyre's novelization and the other information included there had by now settled "in-universe":

"Most of the [Reliant's] crew had worked on unaware that anything was wrong, until Khan's people came upon them, one by one, took them prisoner, and beamed them to the surface of Alpha Ceti V.
The engine room company remained, working in concert with each other, and with eels.
Out of three hundred people, Khan had found only ten troublesome enough to bother killing."

@ Crazy Eddie

Very good rationalization! I had wondered what "all speeds available through transwarp" could mean until you explained it.

@ Maurice

No blue Alliance "Birds" on the helmets in SW because of bluescreen? I learned something new today, thanks.

@ Praetor

Indeed, after your blow-up the "propeller" now looks like an optical illusion (thank heavens for that!). I take it that the stern view (next to your color schematic) is a genuine one of the NX-2000 model?

Bob
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Old August 24 2013, 09:30 PM   #111
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Now I always thought NX had a submerged bridge, replaced with a more standard, refit type later on.
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Old August 24 2013, 09:44 PM   #112
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

No, that would be "superwarp".
Incorrect. In terms of Latin or English alike, there is no functional difference between super and trans. The first would mean "over" or "above" and could be read in the sense of "beyond", the second would mean "beyond" from the get-go.

See above: if "transwarp" is a defined scientific concept instead of a drive type, then a "transwarp drive" is a system that can operate without having to "up shift" through any definable warp factor. It's velocity is a constant floating point dependent on spacial density and energy factors that render conventional definitions of "warp factors" either arbitrary or inapplicable.
Which is fairly useless speculation, because we already know that transwarp is at least two technologies, two explicitly unrelated technologies - one known to Starfleet, the other only to the Borg.

As used in Star Trek, "transwarp" is just an umbrella expression for drives better than warp, unless and until those have a proper name of their own. Or "until" it gets used as shorthand for "transporting at or into warp" in STXI, which probably means that people in that timeline will not use the same word for describing drives better than warp.

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Old August 25 2013, 01:32 AM   #113
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Well, the Latin root "trans" is more like across or between, "super" is beyond. For example, "transnational" and "supranational" have very different meanings: the first encompassing one country, the second many.

But I see where you're coming from in this context.
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Old August 25 2013, 02:07 AM   #114
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Odd that Bill George refers to the Excelsior bridge module being added with the knowledge the set was going to be an Enterprise redress when the new smaller module was added for Star Trek IV, not VI.

Perhaps they planned to redress the Enterprise bridge back when the plan was to give Kirk and co. the Excelsior at the end of STIV: TVH?
I hadn't realized that it was added for TVH, but that would make tons of sense, actually, given that she almost was the new Enterprise.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Also: That's truly fascinating about the real life reason for the greebles in the shuttlebay!
Well, it's all supposition on my part, but it does seem to fit.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
@ Praetor

Indeed, after your blow-up the "propeller" now looks like an optical illusion (thank heavens for that!). I take it that the stern view (next to your color schematic) is a genuine one of the NX-2000 model?
Yessir, these are the ones I used. If you squint, you can see the NX decals still on it.



Curiously, in the side view I used, doesn't it look like the aft "crew lounge" has already been modified?

Furthermore, if you study the superstructure which I call the "grabber" in this Lakota image, it appears that the superstructure at least was not changed much, and you can see the "propeller blade" greeblies. You can also see the alignment of the stand to the pod a bit in these.



Compare to the structure in the Jein model - the basic structure seems the same, but as one might expect from a smaller model, the greeblies are absent and the detailing is just, well, kinda different.



And, even though I said I wasn't going to really consider the Jein model, I believe it was built to a smaller "corrected" scale.

Consider ILM:



versus Jein:


There are definitely fewer deck rows in the Jein version.

I wonder what the bridge dome on the Jein model looks like? Perhaps it's nice and round and better to scale.
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Old August 25 2013, 02:07 AM   #115
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Timo wrote: View Post
No, that would be "superwarp".
Incorrect. In terms of Latin or English alike, there is no functional difference between super and trans. The first would mean "over" or "above" and could be read in the sense of "beyond", the second would mean "beyond" from the get-go.

See above: if "transwarp" is a defined scientific concept instead of a drive type, then a "transwarp drive" is a system that can operate without having to "up shift" through any definable warp factor. It's velocity is a constant floating point dependent on spacial density and energy factors that render conventional definitions of "warp factors" either arbitrary or inapplicable.
Which is fairly useless speculation, because we already know that transwarp is at least two technologies, two explicitly unrelated technologies - one known to Starfleet, the other only to the Borg.
But we don't know if "transwarp" is the name of the technology itself or the scientific concept it makes use of.

For example, transonic combustion supposedly works by injecting fuel in a supercritical flow; the fuel isn't actually moving at supersonic speeds, but because it moves faster enough to form a bow shock it can avoid some of the pressure loss problems of conventional combustion engines across a range of ambient temperatures. Likewise, pretty much every high-performance fighterplane since about 1961 has been designed with a fuselage and/or wing structure designed to take advantage of transonic flows, and same again for some types of turbofan engines that generate high compression ratios by producing transonic flows near the combustion chamber.

Any one of these could conceivably be labeled "transonic engines" and still have nothing whatsoever in common. The "Transonic Fuel Injector" on a 2018 Honda Civic would be a totally different technology from the "transonic compressor" on a QF-47 UCAV; apart from making use of transonic flow to manipulate pressure differences in a moving fluid, they couldn't be more different.

As used in Star Trek, "transwarp" is just an umbrella expression for drives better than warp
You've been claiming that for years, but there's zero evidence for it. "Transwarp" is a form of vague technobabble with no REAL meaning in the first place, but its use is selective enough that it cannot be considered an umbrella term. Simply put: we have seen too many "faster than warp" drives that were never referred to -- or even compared to -- "transwarp" anything to assume the term is as vague as you think it is. The most glaring example by far is the "Transwarp beaming" of STXI, which STRONGLY supports the alternative explanation refering to a defined scientific concept being exploited.

Or "until" it gets used as shorthand for "transporting at or into warp"
Incorrect again. The first time Scotty mentions transwarp beaming, he's discussing an attempt to beam living objects from one PLANET to another. The second time it is ever even used, it is used by Khan to beam from Earth to the Klingon homeworld; no "at warp" involved.

This is an explicit case where "transwarp" refers to some sort of relativistic effect related to but not SUPERIOR to warp travel. Scotty mentions "think of space as the thing that was moving," which gives you a clue right there: "transwarp" refers to a type of relativistic motion WITHIN the warp field, sort of a "warp within a warp." In this sense, a transwarp conduit would conceptually be a long, continuous warp field within which starships can travel using their own warp drives, experiencing a substantial boost (kinda like the relays from Mass Effect).

Excelsior's transwarp drive could very easily be a full-scale application of Scotty's invention, which would explain why Admiral Morrow wanted Scotty to take over Excelsior's engineering department. It also explains Scotty's skepticism about Excelsior's transwarp drive; he knows more about transwarp theory than anyone else in Starfleet, but the young upstarts who came up with it didn't even bother consulting him.
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Old August 25 2013, 02:10 AM   #116
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

I'm trying to think, is there ever an instance of the Enterprise-D or another 24th century Starfleet ship accelerating as we used to see on TOS? (TVH also had the bird of prey accelerating.)

If not, then the idea truly does make sense.

The contrarian in me still wants to make the infinite velocity "jump drive" concept work too.
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Old August 25 2013, 02:36 AM   #117
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Praetor wrote: View Post
I'm trying to think, is there ever an instance of the Enterprise-D or another 24th century Starfleet ship accelerating as we used to see on TOS? (TVH also had the bird of prey accelerating.)
They do this a little bit in "Q Who" where Entrprise jumps to maximum warp and Picard orders "more speed!" at which point Geordi "throttles up" to warp nine, either by releasing a propulsion limiter somewhere or manually tweaking the reactor settings. There's also the chase from "The Survivors" where the phantom Husnok manages to match their acceleration curve perfectly, at which point Picard IMMEDIATELY suspects he's being toyed with; that, to me, suggests Enterprise was only accelerating gradually to overtake the Husnok without overshooting and the Husnok phantom was accelerating to keep its distance without leaving them in its dust.

If not, then the idea truly does make sense.
It makes sense either way, IMO. The difference between a warp drive and a transwarp drive would be that the former can only manage whole number warp factors for long periods of time while fractional velocities are difficult to sustain, assuming they're even achievable. Transwarp drive can achieve any arbitrary number from Warp 1 through Warp 9.XXXXXX, whatever its top cruising velocity really is; the advantage being that a vessel equipped with transwarp drive would be able to match your warp 7 fleeing speed and then nudge forward at warp 7.01 or so, slither up behind you and shoot your engines off.


The contrarian in me still wants to make the infinite velocity "jump drive" concept work too.
That's why we have "quantum slipstream" drive, no? Not to mention the "vortex drive" the Xindi were using a hundred years earlier... that didn't break continuity or anything, right?
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Old August 25 2013, 03:29 AM   #118
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Where was Excelsior assembled? Given the apparent shortness of time between ST II and III obviously not in the orbital San Francisco dockyard because this one had been occupied by the Enterprise at the beginning of ST II (and seems to small to accomodate Excelsior).
FWIW, the Excelsior dedication plaque from STVI does apparently indicate that she was built at the San Fransisco Fleet Yards. link (Presumably someone saw a better image of the plaque than what is included there, since I don't know how you could make out any of the text in that image...)

As Praetor also mentioned, I would assume that the SF Fleet Yards would have more than one drydock.

As to why bring the Excelsior into Spacedock at all... they were going to have the official launching of a brand-new class of next generation starship with a new drive system. There was probably going to be a horde of press, government officials and Starfleet brass all present for the launching. It's probably easier to put them all in that nice lounge with the huge window looking into the docking bay, then it would be to stick them all in shuttles milling about the drydock...


Praetor wrote: View Post
In my TM writeup, I sort of concluded ...snip... that Kirk and Styles were rivals from the Academy.
Well, at least since the Talin IV incident, anyway...
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Old August 25 2013, 06:45 PM   #119
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Timo wrote: View Post
Crazie Eddie wrote:
See above: if "transwarp" is a defined scientific concept instead of a drive type, then a "transwarp drive" is a system that can operate without having to "up shift" through any definable warp factor. It's velocity is a constant floating point dependent on spacial density and energy factors that render conventional definitions of "warp factors" either arbitrary or inapplicable.
Which is fairly useless speculation, because we already know that transwarp is at least two technologies, two explicitly unrelated technologies - one known to Starfleet, the other only to the Borg.
Transwarp is described as faster than warp where "normal subspace limitations don't apply." ("Descent pt1") Since it's a Starfleet definition used to describe the Borg conduits then it's what Starfleet thinks Transwarp is. From "Descent":
LAFORGE: Our current theory is that the Borg have established several transwarp conduits through subspace. A ship, when entering the conduit, is immediately accelerated to an extremely high warp velocity. It's like falling into a fast moving river and being swept away by the current.
PICARD: How fast would a ship travel through one of these conduits?
LAFORGE: We don't know. Normal subspace limitations don't apply to transwarp variables. But I'd say based on the distance we covered during our trip through the conduit, the speed would have to be at least twenty times faster than our maximum warp.
The differences between the Borg pre-generated Transwarp Conduit/Corridor and a ship generating it's own Transwarp Conduit/Corridor apparently is a critical velocity to enter it and that the Borg don't or can't push all the way to infinite speed. The Borg conduits you can enter in as slow as sublight ("Descent") but the self-generated ones you need to accelerate up to it at Warp Speed ("Threshold", "Dark Frontier").

Praetor wrote:
I'm trying to think, is there ever an instance of the Enterprise-D or another 24th century Starfleet ship accelerating as we used to see on TOS? (TVH also had the bird of prey accelerating.)
They do the accelerating at warp speed thing in "Threshold" and "The Survivors".


Interestingly, Voyager's "Threshold" also claims that they made the first Transwarp flight which would indicate the Excelsior's Transwarp engines never worked, not even in testing. She probably could get a very high warp speed but couldn't hit the critical velocity needed for the transwarp drive, IMHO.
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Old August 25 2013, 07:01 PM   #120
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Re: Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Isn't there a VOY ep where Seven is describing Borg transwarp, and says something to the effect that Borg vessels project a structural integrity field ahead of them to prevent the transwarp coils from potentially shearing the ship to death? I don't recall the exact dialogue, but I'm pretty sure it came up since Voyager would have to modify its systems when capturing a Borg transwarp coil.

Edit: Found it on MA. "Inside Man."
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