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Old January 13 2009, 05:56 AM   #1
B.J.
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Cargo ship concept / hardware test

I've had an idea for a class of cargo ships for a while that I needed to sketch out, and I thought it would also be a good way to try out the Wacom Bamboo I got myself for Christmas! It's going to take some getting used to using this thing, but I really like it so far. The image below was done in Corel Painter Essentials, which came with the tablet. In the future, I may use a combination of that, GIMP, and Corel Draw.

As for the cargo ship itself, the idea is that in the pre-TOS era, it's not always cost-effective to use the transporter for bulk cargo, so you've got to physically take the cargo down to the planet. But not everywhere can support a large ship landing on the surface, so the easiest way of landing on the surface is actually landing on a body of water and floating at a port like a modern ship. The nacelles have buoyant bulges on their ventral surfaces to help stabilize the ship in the water, like catamarans. The large radome at the bow is covering the deflector dish, which I figure is fragile enough to need protection if you're constantly going in and out of an atmosphere. The bridge area has some obvious DY-100 cues, and there's a large anti-gravity crane to take cargo out of the top hatches, and two wide cargo doors on each side for roll-off cargo.


So, comments?
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Old January 13 2009, 06:51 AM   #2
Hyperspace05
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

Very cool idea!
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Old January 13 2009, 09:24 AM   #3
Savage Dragon
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

Interesting concept. It sort of reminds me of the old flying boats from the 30s. I'd definitely be interested is seeing some more views.
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Old January 13 2009, 09:34 AM   #4
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

I think you might want to raise the nacelles up out of the water, though. You could even come up with some pylons that had retractable floats in them like the Catalina did.
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Old January 13 2009, 11:25 AM   #5
Savage Dragon
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

I don't see that that would really be necessary. If the nacelles can survive the vacuum of space surely a little water wouldn't hurt them.
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Old January 13 2009, 12:31 PM   #6
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

Umm, but water seeps in while vacuum doesn't. Water causes shorts while vacuum insulates. Water moves heat while vacuum insulates that, too. Water has pressure and mass while vacuum does not. Water carries impurities while vacuum carries nothing. The two environments would appear completely dissimilar...

Judging by the picture, the nacelles could act as their own floats - the lower sections below the lower edge of the ramscoop dome could be waterproof flotation chambers. Some sort of "splashproofing" might be appropriate, though, and would look cool.

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Old January 13 2009, 01:48 PM   #7
Savage Dragon
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

They may dissimilar but both need to be air tight. And water may have pressure but the ship is still pressurized while in space so surely it could handle the pressure form a few feet of water.
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Old January 13 2009, 01:55 PM   #8
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

Outside pressure vs. inside pressure? I'm not sure the same structure would suffice for the two different jobs. Aircraft designed to fly high up in the air don't withstand immersion in shallow water, despite similarly mild pressure differentials, only in the opposite directions.

Then again, there's an order-of-magnitude question here anyway. Starships require some sort of supernatural structural protection in order to withstand the thousands of gees of acceleration involved in impulse drive. This may be through impossibly tough materials, or magical forcefields, or a combination thereof. Any of these alternatives would suffice to make this "spaceboat" capable of withstanding the mechanical stresses of landing in water or residing in it, or taking the pressure of abnormally deep immersion (say, the very bottom of the deepest ocean imaginable).

The big question would be, what would immersion in water do to the systems of the ship, even if structures held up fine? Would thermal management still work? Would there be tiny leaks causing shorts and contamination? Would the magic forcefields take water kindly? Would the advanced materials grow barnacles, or rust out?

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Old January 13 2009, 02:16 PM   #9
Santaman
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

There's the Saunders Roe fighter jet/boatplane, it has a boat hull to land on water, didn't pose much of a problem and there's also the Corvair Sea Dart which also is a jet aircraft that landed on water, neither of those had much problems with the structural part of the problem so I assume that a starship would have even less.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saunders-Roe_SR.A/1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F2Y_Sea_Dart

Also in canon Trek there's the Sydney class starship which has a very streamlined boat-ish hull, I wouldn't be surprised if thats a landing capable ship as well.
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Old January 13 2009, 02:23 PM   #10
Timo
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

Or the Miranda, for that matter. If the TNG shuttles can land on their nacelles, why not entire starships?

Really, once again it's an order-of-magnitude issue. If the ships can do their outer space stuff - warp and impulse accelerations, deflection of space dust - they ought to perform superbly on planetary surfaces. Landing on water should be possible. But so should landing on top of Empire State Building and docking on the TV antenna like an airship would, then hovering there for the next three years. Or flying through Mount Everest to reach the destination faster. Or parking vertically on the aft tip of the starboard nacelle and turning off the engines but leaving the SIFs and artificial gravity on. Any starship worth the name should be capable of all that.

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Old January 13 2009, 02:57 PM   #11
B.J.
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

I think it wouldn't be much trouble to make the nacelle water-tight, even if it's just the bottom half. We've seen shuttles in the water in TAS, and underwater in VOY. Besides, you'd think that it wouldn't be much of an issue, since I'd imagine there's been many warp-capable shuttles that have had to sit out in the rain before.
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Old January 13 2009, 04:02 PM   #12
Timo
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

Those nacelles pose a slight problem with cargo transfer: they keep the ship at a distance from a straight pier or shore.

A couple of obvious solutions to that... Say, have a bow or stern ramp for the ro-ro action. Or have a cargo ramp actually combined with the nacelles and their pylons. You could even have the top of the ship open in two vast halves so that the ship transforms into its own cargo handling pier, allowing local trucks to be loaded and offloaded. The possible interior holds of those hatches would have their gravity pointing up when the hatches are closed, so that they could turn off AG when the hatches are opened and the ship rests in water for cargo transfer ops...

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Old January 14 2009, 12:18 AM   #13
Captain X
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

While there would be an engineering argument as far as strength and all that, my reason has more to do with how it looks, which is to say I kind of like the high wing look of flying boats like the Catalina or the Boeing B314 Clipper.
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Old January 14 2009, 09:18 AM   #14
GodThingFormerly
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

Vewy intewesting. Your conceptual design reminds me somewhat of Dandridge Cole's "Aldebaran" nuclear-powered SSTO vehicle proposal from 1960:



Illustrations by Roy G. Scarfo.

TGT
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Old January 14 2009, 02:56 PM   #15
Santaman
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Re: Cargo ship concept / hardware test

Timo wrote: View Post
Or the Miranda, for that matter. If the TNG shuttles can land on their nacelles, why not entire starships?

Really, once again it's an order-of-magnitude issue. If the ships can do their outer space stuff - warp and impulse accelerations, deflection of space dust - they ought to perform superbly on planetary surfaces. Landing on water should be possible. But so should landing on top of Empire State Building and docking on the TV antenna like an airship would, then hovering there for the next three years. Or flying through Mount Everest to reach the destination faster. Or parking vertically on the aft tip of the starboard nacelle and turning off the engines but leaving the SIFs and artificial gravity on. Any starship worth the name should be capable of all that.

Timo Saloniemi
Oh I even think that a Galaxy can land on a planet and endure at least 3G's without SIF and the like but in the case of the Sydney its design just screams landing capability because it has a flat bottom, the nacelles are out of the way and the impulse powerplant is not only in the perfect spot but also enormous for a ship that size add th streamlined shape and you got a ship which is a natural so to say.
I assume a Sydney would be perfect to start building a settlement, you land it there were you need it, unload it and use the ships equipment to build your settlement, the powerplant will power the whole thing until you've installed the settlements powergrid and then take off and haul in more stuff.

This also goes then for the design B.J. made.

On another note, TGT, very interesting design.
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