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

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Old January 4 2014, 01:39 AM   #1
Tribble puncher
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I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

In anticipation of getting my eaglemoss Akira class ship this month (or next month, whatever)...I went and looked up some info on it, and have found alot of conflicting things (I know right?), different lengths, 15 torpedo tubes (why?), and that it was originally designed to house fighters or somesuch, when even if the length of the ship is 464 meters (which I think is the larger size estimate, some have been as small as 270 meters or something.) I just have a hard time Imagining this ship being a better "carrier" than a Galaxy or a Nebula Class ship, seeing as they both have absolutely massive main shuttlebays. Federation Peregrine Fighters aren't the smallest sci-fi fighter out there after all. I can kinda get with the gunboat thing, even though 15 torpedo tubes seems VERY fanwanky to me (I NEED the federation to have all the bestest ships ever!) Is there any official statements by the designer as to the tubes and the whole being a carrier thing? or is this speculation on the fans part? and if this ship is a carrier..where is the front hangar door? I don't see it...
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Old January 4 2014, 02:17 AM   #2
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

Yes, that's all from Alex Jaeger, the designer. I have no problem with it, I like it, in fact. But I assume that those 15 tubes are slow, simple, robust tubes. Think of it like this: Il Duce in Boondock Saints wears a vest with a bunch of pistols, while most folks would carry a submachine gun. I figure the Akira can fire 15 torpedoes at once, at degraded fire control, but usually fires 3-5, just like the Galaxy & Sovereign do, but they put all 3-5 through one tube. This gives the more combat-intended Akira more back up capacity than the more exploration & multi-mission oriented Galaxy & Sovereign. And think of the Akira, not as a super-carrier, but as a Light Aviation Cruiser - like the Soviets, who built cruisers with a flight deck to add some aircraft. Figure your Akira is intended to bring a good punch and a little back up with a few fighters.
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Old January 4 2014, 03:38 AM   #3
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

I guess if it was intended to be a carrier...I would still think it would be bigger than the Galaxy or the Sovereign...But if thats what the designer intended, then thats what it is...I just think its a poor design
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Old January 4 2014, 03:51 AM   #4
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

I agree with you, Tribble puncher. Something like this seems more like what a carrier design should look like to me. Although I do like Darkwing's description and explanation of the Akira as a Light Aviation Cruiser (Or in this case, maybe Light Auxiliary Vessel Cruiser?)
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Old January 4 2014, 04:16 AM   #5
Darkwing
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

Thanks for the good words. And I used the real world term to make my idea more clear, so yes, in trek it'd be more like you put it. I just didn't like it when people dismissed Jaeger's idea and tried to figure out how it could be what he said.
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Old January 4 2014, 07:50 AM   #6
C.E. Evans
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

I always thought of the Akira-class as a heavy cruiser with about two or four torpedo launchers (15 just seemed way too fanboyish for me and I never bought into the idea of it being a carrier with dozens of fighters for the same reason). Sometimes even an original designer can get carried away, IMO...
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Old January 4 2014, 07:59 AM   #7
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
I always thought of the Akira-class as a heavy cruiser with about two or four torpedo launchers (15 just seemed way too fanboyish for me and I never bought into the idea of it being a carrier with dozens of fighters for the same reason). Sometimes even an original designer can get carried away, IMO...
Exactly, we have existing ships that are better carriers or battleships....Bigger Shuttlebay?= Nebula, Torpedo Cruiser?= Nebula. The Akira just based on the looks of her looks like a Miranda MK II, smaller versatile cruisers meant to be fielded in large numbers, probably as a replacement to the excelsior. really if the designer wanted it to be a viable carrier...it should have been over a thousand meters long, of course it would have upstaged the ent-e in the battle scenes in first contact, so that couldn't be permitted.
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Old January 4 2014, 08:32 AM   #8
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

The Akira is roughly the same size of the Nebula, and if the majority of the Upper two decks are devoted to shuttle/fighter operations, it would be fine. I have always assumed that the fifteen launchers were more like micro-launchers and they were used as anti-fighter emplacements.
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Old January 4 2014, 10:14 AM   #9
Darkwing
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

Remember, too, "carrier" doesn't have to mean "Trek equivalent of Nimitz super-carrier".
15 micro-torp launchers doesn't give it any punch, and I'd think phasers would be better for point defense, anyway. The only way I can see 15 as not being out of line is if they're slow to reload, simple, robust, and stacked for redundancy. If it gives them the same output as most other ships, but they can lose more tubes before being unable to fire, then it's not unreasonable. If Jaeger meant that they really could fire 15 times as many torpedoes as anyone else, then I'd have to say that's unreasonable. If it fires *5* times as many torpedoes, then it's JUST a torpedo cruiser and can't be some kind of baby carrier in addition.
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Old January 4 2014, 12:16 PM   #10
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

15 torpedo tubes (why?)
Why not? The TOS Enterprise had at least 6 (going by dialogue, not the one FX shot they endlessly reused), the classic movie Enterprise at least 4 (wall plaques), the Nemesis Enterprise-E had at least a dozen and the Megasizeprise in the latest movie had 72. 15 sounds reasonable for a combat-oriented vessel.
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Old January 4 2014, 12:29 PM   #11
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

Along with Darkwing, I always assumed that the 15 launchers were mostly there as being simple, direct fire models instead of the "shotgun" style launchers that the Galaxy class generation use. They're also angled in ways that make the launchers appear to be geared toward engaging multiple targets in some sort of saturation fire mode.

The CGI model is kinda weird on the placement of the torpedo tubes.

There's anywhere from 2 to 4 launchers on "flank" of the saucer that faces directly to the sides, and another single launcher that's located on the engineering hull. In addition you have openings for 4 forward launcher bays, and 2 rearward facing ports that have 3 tubes each. Then there's at least 2 more openings on the "under" side of the pod. That adds up to something between 17 and 19 launchers, which is consistent with Alex Jaeger's statement that there's 15 photon and 2 quantum torpedo tubes on the Thunderchild model.

The torpedo tube pod is supposed to be modular and replaceable and Alex Jaeger also later noted that the "carrier" is more for carrying shuttles, workbees and runabouts than "fighters".

I think the best way to rationalize it is that Akira is meant to be both versatile and easily configurable for different mission profiles. So the emphasis on having a larger number of auxiliaries on board with the "through deck" saucer (with most of the saucer volume dedicated to storage and hangar space) is to make it really easy to swap mission payloads in the form of shuttles and runabouts.

The torpedo tube pod plus the side facing launchers suggest they're meant to basically spray torpedoes in different directions in independent firing modes, so maybe the ship is designed to engage a lot of small targets at once using a large number of single firigng torpedo launchers. Perhaps this was because Cardassians were using big numbers of Hideki style ships and during the Dominion War the prevalence of large numbers of Jem'hadar attack ships meant that having the ability to lob torpedoes in a lot of directions at small targets was a boon.

There's 8 in the saucer plus the "pod" which has at least 9 openings for torpedoes. Jaeger stated in a later interview that the ship CGI model has 17 total launchers, totalling 2 forward firing quantum torpedo launchers,
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Old January 4 2014, 02:39 PM   #12
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

Come on fellahs (heh), let's get some pictures here! I like pictures.
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Old January 4 2014, 08:47 PM   #13
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

Tribble puncher wrote: View Post
I guess if it was intended to be a carrier...I would still think it would be bigger than the Galaxy or the Sovereign...But if thats what the designer intended, then thats what it is...I just think its a poor design
If we look at modern aircraft carriers, they come in a vareity of sizes. From the large US carriers like the Nimitz Class to the smaller Invincible Class carriers that were used by the RN.

And if go back to WWII we had the fleet carriers and the smaller escort carriers, that were used later in the war to escort the Atlantic convoys.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escort_carrier
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Old January 4 2014, 10:40 PM   #14
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

Ah, the Akira class...

On the one hand, its a sort of fanboi wannabe supership produced for a franchise that could not handle superships in any way shape or form, so the entire concept was dead on arrival. The giant "weapons pod" between the impulse farings was drawn with seven forward torpedo tubes, which ILM simply ignored and drew the torpedoes just coming from a random spot in the middle of all of them (which blows my mind to think of it: they KNEW it was a weapons pod, but they still didn't bother to put the torpedoes coming out of the actual tubes ). The features intended to be doors for a through-deck shuttlebay are too small for standard shuttles, let alone any known fighter the Federation has ever used. Last of all, the only time we see the Akiras, there are no fighters in the area; the only time we see the fighters, there are no Akiras in the area.

On the other hand, the concept itself is basically a non-starter. The whole reason for HAVING specialized high-tech torpedo tubes is so that you do not need multiple tubes to maintain a high rate of fire. As alluded to above, its the difference between a submachinegun and a harness with fifty derringers strapped to it. That single torpedo launcher is generally perfectly sufficient: you can launch one at a time in rapid succession or six at a time in a scattershot. If you're in a situation where you need more than six photon torpedoes in a single volley, you're probably better off surrendering.

As DESCRIBED, Akira is a starship that should be able to perform a Macross Massacre of up to 90 torpedoes in a single volley and should be able to launch a BSG-style fighter patrol to pound the hell out of its enemies. As DEPICTED, Akira is just an enlarged Miranda with a single torpedo tube and a forward phaser bank that goes "Bzzzzaaaaaawwwwww....bzzzzaaaaaaaawwwwww" and that's it. Its a fundamental dissonance between what the FX people want to do and what the designers want to do and the Akira class is born in the mutual ignorance between them.

Similar thing happened for the Scimitar in Nemesis:
Jaegar: The ship has 52 disruptor banks and 26 photon torpedo launchers
ILM: We will render four disruptors and an occasional torpedo.
Jaegar: But... but... 52 disruptor banks...
ILM: Pew pew... pew pew pew... pew... pew pew... How's that?
Jaegar: Couldn't you just show me what it would look like if it fired all 52 of those disruptors at once?
ILM: Well, it does fire about 50 disruptor bolts during the course of the entire film....
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Old January 5 2014, 12:20 AM   #15
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Re: I never got the Akira class as a carrier.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Ah, the Akira class...

On the one hand, its a sort of fanboi wannabe supership produced for a franchise that could not handle superships in any way shape or form, so the entire concept was dead on arrival. The giant "weapons pod" between the impulse farings was drawn with seven forward torpedo tubes, which ILM simply ignored and drew the torpedoes just coming from a random spot in the middle of all of them (which blows my mind to think of it: they KNEW it was a weapons pod, but they still didn't bother to put the torpedoes coming out of the actual tubes ). The features intended to be doors for a through-deck shuttlebay are too small for standard shuttles, let alone any known fighter the Federation has ever used. Last of all, the only time we see the Akiras, there are no fighters in the area; the only time we see the fighters, there are no Akiras in the area.

On the other hand, the concept itself is basically a non-starter. The whole reason for HAVING specialized high-tech torpedo tubes is so that you do not need multiple tubes to maintain a high rate of fire. As alluded to above, its the difference between a submachinegun and a harness with fifty derringers strapped to it. That single torpedo launcher is generally perfectly sufficient: you can launch one at a time in rapid succession or six at a time in a scattershot. If you're in a situation where you need more than six photon torpedoes in a single volley, you're probably better off surrendering.

As DESCRIBED, Akira is a starship that should be able to perform a Macross Massacre of up to 90 torpedoes in a single volley and should be able to launch a BSG-style fighter patrol to pound the hell out of its enemies. As DEPICTED, Akira is just an enlarged Miranda with a single torpedo tube and a forward phaser bank that goes "Bzzzzaaaaaawwwwww....bzzzzaaaaaaaawwwwww" and that's it. Its a fundamental dissonance between what the FX people want to do and what the designers want to do and the Akira class is born in the mutual ignorance between them.

Similar thing happened for the Scimitar in Nemesis:
Jaegar: The ship has 52 disruptor banks and 26 photon torpedo launchers
ILM: We will render four disruptors and an occasional torpedo.
Jaegar: But... but... 52 disruptor banks...
ILM: Pew pew... pew pew pew... pew... pew pew... How's that?
Jaegar: Couldn't you just show me what it would look like if it fired all 52 of those disruptors at once?
ILM: Well, it does fire about 50 disruptor bolts during the course of the entire film....
I like the look of the Akira, it's a cool looking ship. But I guess it will be a miranda replacement in my own personal world. The Miranda was a robust design, The Akira seems to me like a continuation of that design lineage but a little more multipurpose, and probably much better crew accommodations.
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