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Old October 18 2008, 07:02 AM   #1
CuttingEdge100
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Engine Nacelle Question

If you look at the TOS Enterprise, you'll notice the engine-grilles are only located inboard, and not outboard.

According to Matt Jeffries, he said when he designed the USS Enterprise, he wanted the ship to have as little surface detail as possible as he didn't want anything vital or anything that was hard to repair to be on the outside (all the important stuff on the inside) -- for this reason he put the engine-grilles (which apparently were necessary) only on the inside and not the outside so as to reduce the odds they'd be hit.

I'm wondering why in Phase II, and TMP they put grilles on the outside as well? Nice as they looked, that kind of went against Mr. Jeffries' design ideology (which was logical and sound).


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Old October 18 2008, 10:09 AM   #2
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

One may speculate that the inboard grills aboard the original NCC-1701 operated as some form of LOS feedback mechanism to keep the warp engines optimally synchronized/balanced/whatever. As for the NCC-1701 Refit - the Phase II precursor of which was designed by Matt Jefferies himself - the inboard grills retain this function while the new outboard grills serve as thermal control subsystem radiators which replace the dual heat pipe configuration of the previous nacelles.

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Old October 18 2008, 02:56 PM   #3
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

It should be noted that after these two designs (into which some sort of treknological thought may or may not have gone, in addition to pure aesthetic planning), the Trek universe exploded with different layouts for the "warp windows". The Excelsior has the all-around side stripe, but also an open top of sorts. The E-D ditches the open top, but the (designwise later) E-C returns to the wraparound grilles plus open top; the E-E goes for just the open top.

It wouldn't be all that distasteful to think that there are several competing ways to design a twin-nacelle warp engine, with various up- and downsides to each design. The open tops of the E-E and her ilk may well be conceptually similar to the side windows of the TOS ship.

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Old October 18 2008, 03:59 PM   #4
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

Timo wrote: View Post
It should be noted that after these two designs (into which some sort of treknological thought may or may not have gone, in addition to pure aesthetic planning), the Trek universe exploded with different layouts for the "warp windows".
...and that is the point at which I plead orgasmically blissful ignorance of the subject matter thus rendering superfluous my further participation in this thread (unless, of course, the discussion swings back in the general direction of the TOS/TAS/TMP-era).

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Old October 18 2008, 04:50 PM   #5
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

And my biggest complaint, as a graphic artist and lover of big bold graphic design, is that post-TOS nacelles had no place for that cool red pennant and nice big ship's registry.
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Old October 18 2008, 08:26 PM   #6
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

The God Thing,

One may speculate that the inboard grills aboard the original NCC-1701 operated as some form of LOS feedback mechanism to keep the warp engines optimally synchronized/balanced/whatever.
I thought the inboard grilles were some kind of radiator -- I mean they supposedly radiate a huge amount of energy into each other. It would be far more plausible to do the space warping part on the outer part of the nacelle as you'd want the warp-bubble to be as big as possible to encompass the whole ship. That can be done more easily from the outboard...

As for the NCC-1701 Refit - the Phase II precursor of which was designed by Matt Jefferies himself - the inboard grills retain this function while the new outboard grills serve as thermal control subsystem radiators which replace the dual heat pipe configuration of the previous nacelles.
As I said, you'd want to produce the field on the outboard part of the engine as you'd want the biggest and most powerful warp bubble possible. The inner grilles seem to involve radiating stuff -- supposedly they have a huge amount of energy radiating out of them, and they glow in TMP...


Timo,

It should be noted that after these two designs (into which some sort of treknological thought may or may not have gone, in addition to pure aesthetic planning), the Trek universe exploded with different layouts for the "warp windows". The Excelsior has the all-around side stripe, but also an open top of sorts. The E-D ditches the open top, but the (designwise later) E-C returns to the wraparound grilles plus open top; the E-E goes for just the open top.
Actually the Enterprise C design came first... the design was ditched in favor of the Enterprise-D model. The E-C model was then used in the show to represent the "older" Enterprise-C.

It wouldn't be all that distasteful to think that there are several competing ways to design a twin-nacelle warp engine, with various up- and downsides to each design. The open tops of the E-E and her ilk may well be conceptually similar to the side windows of the TOS ship.
Look, there's no rule that said even in TOS that an outboard grille wasn't impossible -- The Klingon D-7's have outboard grilles for example.

The idea that Matt Jeffries came up with was to have as much of the ship unexposed as possible, so the inboard grilles were all that remained.

The possibility that the Enterprise Refit's more powerful engines necessitated the outboard grilles being part of the design is a plausible technical explanation. In the TMP Novelization it was said that the Refit-Enterprise's engines were 6 times more powerful than any other warp engines ever used in space despite how this sounds completely implausible as Tug Vessels would almost certainly have to have incredibly powerful engines (even if not geared for speed per-se) simply for the purpose of tugging whole starships around, and while some things have been written about the Enterprise-Refit having a Warp-8 cruise speed, and a Warp-12 dash, Gene Roddenberry in the TMP novel lists the emergency speed of Warp 9 [/i](As they tried to outmaneuver the V'ger energy-ball/probe)[/i], which isn't really all that high -- in fact in Star Trek TOS they did Warp 9 a few times.

For all I know, with a 1970's knowledge of physics, it may have been found out that the 1960's knowledge was wrong and it wasn't possible to not have grilles on the outside, but I have no knowledge to base this on.


Forbin,

And my biggest complaint, as a graphic artist and lover of big bold graphic design, is that post-TOS nacelles had no place for that cool red pennant and nice big ship's registry.
That was actually your biggest complaint?


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Old October 18 2008, 09:03 PM   #7
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

CuttingEdge100 wrote: View Post
Actually the Enterprise C design came first... the design was ditched in favor of the Enterprise-D model. The E-C model was then used in the show to represent the "older" Enterprise-C.
Nope.
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Old October 18 2008, 10:02 PM   #8
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

Personally I hated the change in look of the ships from TOS to TMP. All that smooth uncluttereed elegance replaced with too much detailed clutter. Personally I think the TOS 1701 is much prettier to look at than the TMP 1701.

I've always kindof thought the inboard couplers on the TOS 1701 were external mounts to pull and replace the warp coils when being overhauled at a Starbase. Idea that a large grip crane would lock onto it and extract the central section of the warp engine as a modulal component interchangeable system. It would be quicker to get a ship up and running by having a quick interchangeable modular component. The ship would be on it's way and the technicians could begin to work on the section that had just been extracted out of the ship. Kindonf like how a muffler and brake shop works in our present day. It definately would make service and maintence quick and easy for the ship with less down time.
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Old October 18 2008, 10:06 PM   #9
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

So kind of a quick-change swapout system? Neat idea... but why stop there? The whole nacelle can come off, and be sectioned.

Maybe the nacelle comes off, and they pull off the end-cap and the middle thing for rebuilding.

Hmmmmmmm
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Old October 19 2008, 03:22 AM   #10
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

CuttingEdge100 wrote: View Post

The possibility that the Enterprise Refit's more powerful engines necessitated the outboard grilles being part of the design is a plausible technical explanation. In the TMP Novelization it was said that the Refit-Enterprise's engines were 6 times more powerful than any other warp engines ever used in space despite how this sounds completely implausible as Tug Vessels would almost certainly have to have incredibly powerful engines (even if not geared for speed per-se) simply for the purpose of tugging whole starships around, and while some things have been written about the Enterprise-Refit having a Warp-8 cruise speed, and a Warp-12 dash, Gene Roddenberry in the TMP novel lists the emergency speed of Warp 9 [/i](As they tried to outmaneuver the V'ger energy-ball/probe)[/i], which isn't really all that high -- in fact in Star Trek TOS they did Warp 9 a few times.
When Andrew Probert designed the new Enterprise for TMP, he had the idea that the engines passed energy between them, and that's why they had the grills. I think he was interested in having an actual visual effect for that, but it wasn't done (probably for cost reasons). My memory's not perfect, so perhaps he can answer better than I can. But this idea also lead to the "rule" that warp nacelles should have line of sight between them, to facilitate their "seeing" each other.
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Old October 19 2008, 04:06 AM   #11
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

Interestingly if I recall the early models of the Daedalus-Class, they didn't have any grilles on them at all...

Maybe the ideology of the Daedalus, like the Constitution was also to have as little things externally-visible as possible. Except the Daedalus was a much smaller vessel and since it never had to achieve warp-factors like a Constitution-Class was, they were able to technologically fit everything in the nacelle with no visible grilles.

By the time the Constitution-Class came, perhaps the extra power output required to propel such a larger ship to such higher warp-velocities required a visible grille, which was as before only placed inboard to reduce the odds of them being hit...

While the USS Enterprise (re-fitted) was more massive than the standard Constitution-class, it wasn't really that much bigger. It also did not have an emergency-speed any higher than the standard Constitution-class either (Warp 9) as mentioned in the Star Trek TMP novel, though it's cruise-speed was higher (Warp 7 instead of Warp 6) which was stated in the TMP movie (Their target cruise-speed was Warp 7 as they were passing Jupiter).

There have been some sources which listed the cruise-speed of the USS Enterprise (Refit) as Warp 8, and the maximum emergency-speed as Warp 12, and despite the fact that in the TMP Novel, Gene Roddenberry stated that the USS Enterprise's new-engines were to produce six-times the amount of power than previous engines, as I said, the USS Enterprise Refit in the movie still had a maximum emergency speed of Warp 9.

Perhaps if the Enterprise was truly capable of cruising at Warp 8 (which was the ships standard maximum speed, warp 9 the maximum emergency speed) and had a Warp 12 maximum emergency speed (which is 999c faster than the TOS-Enterprise's maximum emergency speed, and 3 full warp-factors higher), having outer grilles on the outside might make sense. Some ease of maintenance (having everything on the inside), and reduced odds of nacelle damage sacrificed in order to achieve greater top-speed. Especially when you consider how much stronger the deflector grids on the refitted Constitution-Class (Consider that the D-7M K'Tinga-Class which was much better shielded than the standard D-7, and the original Constitution-Class, who's shields folded immediately under the V'Ger energy-ball attack, yet the Enterprise Refit even after being hit, withstood the energy-ball which hung on for several seconds before finally fading off) were, and that they could significantly reduce the odds of the new nacelle taking damage.

However, if the TMP Enterprise was capable of the same speeds (Warp 9 emergency speed) as the TOS Enterprise, it does sound quite ridiculous to re-design the nacelles in a way that would decrease the odds of maintenance, and increase the odds of taking damage (and considering these guys would be out in the middle of space, with every system being light years away from the others... any warp-engine damage that could take them out of action is simply not acceptable)


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Old October 19 2008, 03:37 PM   #12
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

CuttingEdge100 wrote: View Post
Forbin,

And my biggest complaint, as a graphic artist and lover of big bold graphic design, is that post-TOS nacelles had no place for that cool red pennant and nice big ship's registry.
That was actually your biggest complaint?


CuttingEdge100

Well, that was my biggest complaint, as a graphic artist, just about the nacelles.
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Old October 20 2008, 05:25 PM   #13
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

Undead wrote: View Post
When Andrew Probert designed the new Enterprise for TMP, he had the idea that the engines passed energy between them, and that's why they had the grills. I think he was interested in having an actual visual effect for that, but it wasn't done (probably for cost reasons).




ST:TMP was ruined by a fatal lack of time for post-production, not budget. Creating the visuals proposed by RA&A's Probert and Dick Friesen would have required the fabrication of a second Enterprise miniature, albeit painted black with optical fibers strung between the warp nacelles to generate the necessary lighting passes during motion-control photography.

My memory's not perfect, so perhaps he can answer better than I can. But this idea also lead to the "rule" that warp nacelles should have line of sight between them, to facilitate their "seeing" each other.
It is entirely possible that this rule may have been floating around informally as far back as TOS, but wasn't invoked until Gene Roddenberry's bullshit dispute with Franz Joseph over credit assignment in the aftermath of ST:TMP.

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Old October 21 2008, 02:51 AM   #14
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

My understanding, based on one of Probert's interviews, is that the only genuine Roddenberry Rule was paired nacelles. I've never been entirely clear on exactly what happened between Gene and FJ, as it's been my impression that there is more than one version of events. One version I have heard is that Gene disliked the fact that FJ's designs from the tech manual also appeared in Star Fleet Battles, because FJ retained control of those designs and Gene felt the game didn't represent his vision of Trek very well. He was afraid of how fans might view the game as essentially an official product.

But I don't know if that's the correct version or not, or how accurate it is. It's simply one thing I've heard.
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Old October 21 2008, 01:03 PM   #15
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Re: Engine Nacelle Question

I do seem to recall that Gene wanted a piece of absolutley everthing, by hook or by crook. That's why he wrote lyrics for the theme song. Even though they were never used, it meant he got royalties from it whenever the composer did. If he wasn't getting a damn thing out of FJ's work, he may have been trying to sabotage it.
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