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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Tech

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

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Old September 2 2013, 03:21 PM   #1
austen_pierce
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Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

After ST2009, I started thinking about the Kelvin and her top speed since she is a single-nacelle vessel. I believe she is a Warp-5 vessel. In TOS, Enterprise and others have two nacelles and are capable of speeds up to Warp-8 (and 9 in a pinch). Later we see ships with three nacelles, most notably the Enterprise-D from "All Good Things". Does having more nacelles equate to a speed boost? Have we ever seen a ship with four or more nacelles?
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Old September 2 2013, 03:24 PM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

Four nacelles - USS Stargazer.

I suspect the Kelvin was a warp 8 ship, simply because her design is inspired by FJ's Destroyer/Scout (albeit much larger, and with a secondary hull added atop), and that was capable of the same speeds as the Enterprise despite having just the one nacelle.
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Old September 2 2013, 03:29 PM   #3
Robert Comsol
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

austen_pierce wrote: View Post
Have we ever seen a ship with four or more nacelles?
Yes, Picard's old ship Stargazer (Constellation Class) and several of her sister ships, the Cheyenne Class (background model in Wolf 359 graveyard) and the first prototypes for the Excelsior from ST III.

Whether that improves maneuverability or speed is probably a subject others would like to comment upon.

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Old September 2 2013, 03:46 PM   #4
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

I took it as, the more nacelles you have, the longer you can handle warp situations. Where scout ships have one or two nacelles, cruisers and battleships have two or more.
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Old September 2 2013, 04:10 PM   #5
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

I always assumed that more nacelles meant greater distance rather than greater speed. Not all 3/4 would be needed to maintain the warp field, but the combinations of which were in use could be switched around thus easing wear and tear on the warp coils allowing the ship to travel further before needing repairs/refit/replacements.
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Old September 2 2013, 04:37 PM   #6
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

The way i always took it was more Nacelles = able to travel at higher speeds for a longer time. I would guess the trade off is higher overall power usage at a lower cost in maintenance.
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Old September 2 2013, 05:13 PM   #7
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

I've always figured it was more of an endurance thing than a speed thing. More warp nacelles give you a more stable warp field, and are able to sustain the field for longer periods.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:06 PM   #8
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

Perhaps instead of speed, more nacelles provide more torque (or whatever the equivalent in space is). Our 18 wheel trucks here have huge engines, but they typically cruise at lower speeds and accelerate slower than a typical car. But they can haul a huge payload.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

I've looked at the number of nacelles being dependent on the particular design and its engine type (I don't think all starships have a one-size-fits-all engine). Some designs may need three or four nacelles, while others can get by with just one. Two, though, likely is the most common number but some designs (like the Klingon Bird of Prey) don't need nacelles at all and can achieve warp via another system.
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Old September 2 2013, 07:43 PM   #10
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

I always figured the four nacelle design was something they played with but never could get to work efficiently as a two nacelle design. Picard described the Stargazer as underpowered on a few occasions, so either the design was incredibly power draining or their current technology couldn't efficiently power all four of them along with everything else. The ship was never mentioned as breaking any speed records or anything.

Not to mention there are twice as many things that can go wrong when someone starts shooting at your ship or some other dangerous situation that can damage the ship presents itself.
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Old September 2 2013, 08:41 PM   #11
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

I always thought the three nacelle ships looked slick, the extra nacelle the equivalent of a racing stripe .

I agree with the observations that extra nacelles also increase the likelihood that something will go wrong, whether mechanical or hostile.
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Old September 2 2013, 10:02 PM   #12
Robert Comsol
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

austen_pierce wrote: View Post
I agree with the observations that extra nacelles also increase the likelihood that something will go wrong, whether mechanical or hostile.
Funny, I do not. It's good to have spares in case you need them. Maybe that's the enigmatic purpose of the third nacelle.

Esentially I don't think the nacelles are related to speed but rather to payload and therefore power.

I assume that the prominent purpose of the Miranda Class in the 23rd Century had been to transport up to 4 cargo containers (basically Starfleet's "workhorse"). Freed from transport duty you'd have a formidable frigate kind of vessel (no engineering hull to drag along like the Enterprise) capable of continuing service into the 24th Century.

Constellation Class (e.g. Stargazer, Hathaway) may have been designed to take over transport duties from Miranda Class but already in the late 23rd Century required more power to do an adequate job (hence 4 nacelles).

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Old September 3 2013, 12:43 AM   #13
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

I've seen it suggested in some sources, chiefly Jackill's work, that having extra nacelles can give you an increase in both speed and power. Some of his three-nacelled vessels, like the dreadnoughts, were said to have speed comparable to a destroyer and be faster than they might appear at first glance. I wonder how the overall design can affect the shape of the warp field and how much difference that would make.
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Old September 3 2013, 02:04 AM   #14
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

Unicron wrote: View Post
I've seen it suggested in some sources, chiefly Jackill's work, that having extra nacelles can give you an increase in both speed and power. Some of his three-nacelled vessels, like the dreadnoughts, were said to have speed comparable to a destroyer and be faster than they might appear at first glance. I wonder how the overall design can affect the shape of the warp field and how much difference that would make.
I'd agree with most of that. It's funny that Jackill is pretty spot on with most of his work, IMO. I get the feeling he played tons and tons of SFB. I think be bases much of his work on that game. And it's a great game.
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Old September 3 2013, 02:07 AM   #15
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Re: Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

I have no familiarity with SFB, so I wouldn't know.
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