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Old September 29 2008, 01:11 PM   #1
Warped9
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My non-Trek starship....

Perhaps almost a year ago I started work on a non-Trek concept. Unfortunately real life intruded and shelved the project for a while. But now I'm trying to get back on track so here we go again.

I've modified it since the earlier version, but mostly in the top structure area, to give the design add visual length even though I haven't changed the actual length overall. For those unfamiliar with this design of mine it is for a 29th century fast relativistic starship that can cruise at .9999c. Size is meant to be somewhere between 700 and 900ft in length.



If it looks a bit empty on the top it's because I have yet to add the various sensor arrays that will fill out the upper section. I also have to add the swing-out* port and starboard sensor arrays as well as assorted windows and surface detail. When complete I'm working with someone to have the design modeled in 3D and then animated.


*(note: when the ship is in cruise mode above .6c then the port & starboard sensor arrays swing in rearward--protected by the bulk of the main hull--and out of the stream of potential impact with interstellar debris. The sensors are still operative in cruise.)
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Old September 29 2008, 04:33 PM   #2
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

Very very streamlined design. It looks like it's going .9999c already, even though it's standing still

It's sorta got a unique presence y'know. Like, you could clearly pick it out of a lineup of starship designs.
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Old September 29 2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
It's sorta got a unique presence y'know. Like, you could clearly pick it out of a lineup of starship designs.
Thanks. i was kinda aiming for that. I did study various aircraft, naval ship, automotive and even motorcycle designs for inspiration in various aspects and overall concept. I think it evokes an aircraft look without actually looking like an aircraft. I think it also has a bit of retro feel to it in evoking some of the things we've seen on science fiction book covers over the last thirty years or so. In fact much of my inspiration came from various SF novels I've read over the past few years. I definitely wanted to get away from the conventional industrial like style we've been getting for the most part on film and tv since Star Wars in 1977 as well as the general Trek look.

I also hoped for a touch of alien-ness to it. My thinking is that anything sufficiently advanced from the far future would look somewhat alien to our contemporary perspective.

The ship's designation is C.R.V. Eagle after humanity's first manned vehicle to land upon another world.

Herkimer Jitty wrote: View Post
Very very streamlined design. It looks like it's going .9999c already, even though it's standing still
When I read up on the physics and math of relativistic travel in regards to extreme time dilation I came across some speculation on what such a ship might look like. The general idea was something streamlined and dart like because at those speeds all the interstellar dust and such begin to exert something like an atmospheric pressure on the hull equivalent to the Earth's atmosphere at about ninety miles altitude. Thus my justification for a streamlined design albeit with some artistic license.
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Old September 30 2008, 02:12 PM   #4
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

Here is the earlier version of this design in the early stages of 3D modeling to illustrate an artistic interpretation of fast relativistic flight at .9999c.



There are some obvious detail changes such as a larger upper structure. Here is a conceptual sketch of the previous version. Note the intended sensor arrays protruding from the top and port and starboard sides.

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Old September 30 2008, 10:42 PM   #5
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

Wow! very nice and well thought out images. the style reminds me of the Andromeda from the series of the same name. It has that same sort of flow line to it.
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Old October 1 2008, 12:59 AM   #6
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

I really like it!
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Old October 1 2008, 01:46 PM   #7
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

The design went through an evolutionary process. And the design changed as my story concept evolved.

I began with an FTL starship that (from current perspective) was somewhat more conventional than I like to admit. It was basically an upside down saucer hull with a short boom like midsection to a triangular shaped aft hull. Above and below were two sail/wing like structures roughly analogous to the Trek like warp nacelles. The general idea was that the two "sails" were akin to something like two huge Casimir plates that formed a hyperspace bubble for FTL flight. I soon dismissed that design in favour of something more distinctive.

The next stage I took a different approach. It was still a FTL starship, but I sketched out a '50s era rocketship shape, laid it on its side and began playing with it. Eventually I ended up with something I quite liked while still retaining the hyperspace sails setup.

What pushed the design closer to its present form was the evolution of my story concept. I sketched out a loose timeline up to the early 26th century where my story was then set. While doing that I speculated about an earlier era when fast relativistic ships were used to reach stars within about twenty light years of Earth before the advent of FTL starflight. Something about this really intrigued me even as I read up on the physics behind relativistic flight. I admit it also kind of tied in to the references of the Earth/Romulan war mentioned in TOS' "Balance Of Terror."

Eventually I decided on going for a more SF literature type of concept: a universe where there are no FTL, ships can reach 99% or so of light with advanced and exotic negative energy/gravity drives and people live to about 120 or so years. And finally I pushed the setting to the 29th century.

By the 29th century something calamitous has happened to Earth and humanity is based primarily on Alpha Centauri. We have surveyed or explored most stars out to twenty light years and now we're going further after colonizing two or three other worlds, some of which require terraforming. Because of the lack of Earth like worlds found and the calamity befallen Earth fresh in memory humanity is intent on establishing itself elsewhere to ensure our long term survival. In eight hundred years we've found all manner of complex life, but only up to animal like form. But no alien intelligence...yet.

The Eagle is one of the first in the next pioneering era pushing beyond twenty light years. Its fast relativistic drive means years long voyages are only a few days to weeks long for the crew due to extreme time dilation. And even weeks long transits can pass quickly since the crew are adapted to natural hibernation. Finally, although the ship can take a protracted time to reach its targets the crew can communicate with home practically instantaneously because of the quantum particle entanglement communications system. An irony that echoes the days of early telegraph and radio here on Earth.

Earlier ships went on cruises of 10-40 years duration such that the crews could return within the lifetime of those they left behind. The crew of the Eagle will be on a voyage of 150 years or so that will visit many star systems. These starnauts are knowingly sacrificing a "normal" planet bound existence, much like the ancient mariners of our history that left their homes for months to years on end, and in a time when the average expected life span was much shorter than today.

With all that in mind I set out to refine the design into its current form as seen at the beginning of the thread.
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Old October 1 2008, 03:52 PM   #8
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

Your timeline sounds interesting. Did something happen to stop technological advance at some point? Scientists are talking about being able to double human life spans today. I would think in 900 years we should be living longer than 120.
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Old October 1 2008, 04:54 PM   #9
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

My thinking was the average lifespan would be about 120, but the upper limit could be up to about 140-150. People would be young and vital for much longer than today and old age wouldn't be usually so debilitating. This would also serve to make relativistic starflight more acceptable.

There's also the notion of how much can technology advance and that it doesn't always advance in a perfectly linear fashion. With the exception of lacking a FTL drive and a transporter the Eagle could be as advanced or more so than anything else we've seen in SF on film and tv. Also setting the story 800 years ahead allows for plenty of time for interesting things to happen rather than trying to cram a lot of momentous history in a much shorter time span, particularly when you consider how vast even local space is while taking more of a rare Earth approach to complex life in the galaxy.
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Old October 1 2008, 06:39 PM   #10
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

I was just thinking a 120 year average sounds a little low for 800 years of medical technology, considering they are talking about 140 years being a possibility based on current research. Unless there was a dark age or two in there, 800 years of advancement should look like magic to us in most respects.
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Old October 1 2008, 06:48 PM   #11
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

sojourner wrote: View Post
I was just thinking a 120 year average sounds a little low for 800 years of medical technology, considering they are talking about 140 years being a possibility based on current research. Unless there was a dark age or two in there, 800 years of advancement should look like magic to us in most respects.
Well in 800 years there could have been something like a futuristic dark age.

Mind you with an extended lifespan and relativistic travel a starship crewman could look about 35-40 yet actually be about 60-70 biologically and be near 200 chronologically. Now ain't that somethin' to try wrapping your head around? (-: In a sense these folks become something like time travelers into the future. Upon their temporary visits home they see futures those they left behind can never see.
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Old October 2 2008, 02:05 AM   #12
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Mind you with an extended lifespan and relativistic travel a starship crewman could look about 35-40 yet actually be about 60-70 biologically and be near 200 chronologically. Now ain't that somethin' to try wrapping your head around? (-: In a sense these folks become something like time travelers into the future. Upon their temporary visits home they see futures those they left behind can never see.
Oooh, neat. So, even futuristic Earth can serve as fodder for story potential. Are you writing this as a series of short stories, or what?
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Old October 2 2008, 12:00 PM   #13
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

^^ I'm actually working on the first story as a novel. The basic story is humanity has explored much of the space within twenty light years, has found a great diversity of life, yet no alien intelligence even after 700 years (my backstory is that humans didn't get out of our solar system until the very late 21st or early 22nd century).

This has resulted in the intensity of an ages old debate between those who are now convinced that we are somehow divine and that humans must be the only intelligence in the universe and those who maintain that because of the diversity of life found then other intelligence must exist in the universe, quick to point out that a twenty light year bubble of explored space is still insignificant in the scale of the galaxy and the universe.

But the first story of the Eagle is that it encounters two alien intelligences: one ivery intelligent and yet technologically equal to something like Cro Magnon level humans (while still being very alien) and one highly advanced beyond the 29th century level.

Fact is I've got about twenty story ideas for this universe with about twelve of them being solid. They could be done as a series of short stories, but I drool at the thought of this done as a series. Imagine a TV season that actually spans about 100-150 years in story time because of years of travel time between major story events. I even have an idea of a space war scenario as a followup, a war lasting decades because of the time involved in star-to-star travel.

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Mind you with an extended lifespan and relativistic travel a starship crewman could look about 35-40 yet actually be about 60-70 biologically and be near 200 chronologically. Now ain't that somethin' to try wrapping your head around? (-: In a sense these folks become something like time travelers into the future. Upon their temporary visits home they see futures those they left behind can never see.
And my lead character is indeed in this situation as he's been a "ghost" or starship crewman for around two hundred years as measured by the real time calendar.
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Old October 4 2008, 04:37 PM   #14
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

There are two main hurdles I'm working on at present. The first is the detailing of the upper sensor and communications arrays as well as the port and starboard sensor arrays. There is also a measure of surface detailing I'm working out.

The other issue is scale. This issue depends greatly upon how big my shuttlecraft are going to be. Two basic types are carried aboard the ship: two or three standard sized shuttlecraft that areabout the zize of a Learjet executive jet and at least one larger shuttlecraft for heavier transport of equipment for whenever the crew will be establishing extended surface survey of a planet (perhaps a few weeks to some months), thus eliminating shuttling from surface to orbit all the time.

One executive jet design that has caught my eye is the Cessna Citation X. I love the way it looks particularly at certain angles and that feel is something I'd like to capture in my design of my standard shuttlecraft.

The hangar area for these vehicles is at the aft end of the ship. They are stored in a hangar set forward of the launch/landing bay. Unlike in Star Trek it is only the appropriately smaller launch bay that is depressurized for launch and retrieval of shuttlecraft as opposed to the entire hangar area.

I'm even giving thought to the layout as well as design and aesthetic style of the ship's interior areas. Like the exterior I'm aiming for something of a genuine and rather exotic far future look as opposed to the industrial look we've had in film and Tv seemingly forwver (or at least since Star Wars in '77).
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Old October 6 2008, 02:47 AM   #15
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Re: My non-Trek starship....

I'll try to find some early concept sketches and drawings to illustrate the evolution of this design.
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