A thought about Romulan warp drive...

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Tiberius, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Given that the Romulans are an offshoot from the Vulcans, and also given that the Vulcans use rings as their warp nacelles, could this explain the double-wing design of the Romulan warbird?

    [​IMG]

    If the top and bottom of the wing make a ring, could this be the warp nacelle?

    The inhabited parts of the ship could be the beak at the front, the horseshoe at the back and the connecting structure that goes between. The entire wing, top and bottom, could be the wrap-around warp nacelle. The actual pods at the wing tips could be a part of the warp system, or maybe just the impulse engines.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's an interesting idea. Instead of a perfectly circular ring, a somewhat swashed oval.

    :)
     
  3. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I've viewed the dual-hull design of the D'deridex-class warbird to be influenced more by politics than by any propulsion system. I think the Romulans wanted to build the biggest and most intimidating starship they could and chose a design that was huge in the sense that it had an enormous length, beam, and draft, but due largely to a giant hole in the center.
     
  4. Santa Claws

    Santa Claws Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It strikes me as kind of unlikely, since it's the only Romulan ship we've seen with that kind of structure in 200 years of history. As well, the pods on the wing tips look pretty much identical to the pods on the Romulan science ship and scout ship from the same period... and those must be stand-alone warp nacelles, since neither of them have a ring.

    But I guess anything's possible! :) Maybe they decided to use a warp ring for nostalgia or something, and it didn't work out well, so they didn't design any more ships with them. Or perhaps since the D'deridex is so incredibly large, a ring is the only way to generate a sufficiently large warp field, and the other ships don't have rings because they're smaller and don't need them?
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Only if you ignore the designer's intent.
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The same "designer's intend' that resulted in the D'deridex not being given any impulse engines?

    :)
     
  7. Manticore

    Manticore Manticore, A moment ago Premium Member

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    I prefer to think of it as the natural extension of the D7s that the Romulans got in the 23rd century. If you think about it, modern Romulan ships have more in common with them than with the old-style "flying saucers" that they used to fly.

    I also like to think that the hole is where the singularity is.
     
  8. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I once read something that speculated that the odd design was so that there could at times be cloaked ships within the gaps.
     
  9. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, the scoutship/science ship had upper and lower wings as well:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Santa Claws

    Santa Claws Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ Hmmn... where'd that ortho come from? It doesn't look particularly accurate compared to this screen capture from Memory Alpha. There it looks like the front of the "wings" just have some kind of panels, just coloured dark. And the image I linked to doesn't have those yellow glowy bits at all.

    I don't think I can directly link to images on Ex Astris Scientia, but on this page, if you look at the image labelled "Romulan science ship - details", the bottom-left image shows that there's no space between the top and bottom of the wing structure on the science ship version either.
     
  11. zDarby

    zDarby Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    To give the scale of the volume between the wings, you could handily fit three Ent-Bs in there.
    Hell!! You could fit an Ambassador in there but you'd never get her out again. :rommie:
    But the refit Excelsiors could enter & exit easily, as long as the one amidships waited her turn.
    This, by the way, is with a length of 1041 meters, not the 1200 m sometimes quoted.

    Edit: Indeed, a Galaxy class could fit within the wings. It'd be a very tight fit and you'd need to cut her out, but she'd fit. Though a Galaxy-X would not...Unless the D'deridex were 1200 meters long.
    Two New Orleans classes would fit, or two Springfields. (Wolf 359 vessels)
    Much more interesting (to me) is that two McKinley stations would fit handily as well, if their arms were folded up. Indeed, if you were careful about how you stacked them, you might get away with four: two to starboard, two to port.
    Indeed, if either top or bottom wing unlocked and hinged, you could tote some serious hardware in there, installing it ready-to-go.
    With tractor beams holding your cargo from all sides, it's not going anywhere until it's time to deploy.
    That would make a seriously capable and formidable beast.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  12. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Hmm, I found the version I posted in just a quick google search, and I thought it was accurate. Might have been for one of the computer games maybe? In any case, you are right.

    Perhaps the on screen version has the upper and lower wings, and they just put the impulse engines in between, which is why it looks solid. :p
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, when you think it through, the Romulans made much more efficient use of space than the Feds. Had they left the upper or lower "wing" out of their design, the ship would have looked much like an average Federation or perhaps Klingon warship; now there is much more useful volume in the ship for the given outer dimensions.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I don't get this.

    If they had filled in the space between the wings, they'd had massively increased the amount of space available, and yet not increased the vessel's dimensions. When you have carved out the entire center of your ship, I don't think it's very efficient at all. Federation and Klingon ships at least don't carve big holes through the center of their ships.

    Also, given that the only parts of the waarbird that we ever saw with windows are the beak and the horseshoe at the back, it looks like only a fairly small part of the warbird is actually habitable.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But they do! That's the thing you easily miss if you don't think it through... An empty, wasteful space is an empty, wasteful space even when it isn't surrounded by structures from all directions.

    There is a whopping big empty space between the nacelles of every one of the Enterprises, just like there is one between the nacelles of the Romulan ship. But the Feds don't even put a ski-box on top of that space, so they use the volume much less efficiently than the Romulans.

    There are select few Federation ships that don't carve this giant cavity in between the nacelles; the Nebula class is one of the very few major designs not to have this feature. But funnily enough, every Romulan design other than the D'deridex places hull elements directly between the nacelles: the old Bird of Prey (or whatever), the scoutcraft, the science vessel and even Senator Vreenak's yacht all have the nacelles flanking the hull, rather than a cavity.

    By that token, Kirk's TOS ship did not have any crew facilities in the saucer section...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Can't really say that I see that. If the Romulans truly wanted a more efficient design, then I think they would have opted for a tighter, more compact configuration that would have required less materials to build with.
     
  17. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, what about the TOS Klingon battlecruiser, aka the D-7? That long, skinny neck is barely wide enough for a single turbolift tube (according to the McMaster blueprints) -- hardly an efficient design for moving men and materiel between the main hull and the command bulb. And it's a terribly vulnerable weak spot -- an enemy could cleanly separate the bulb from the neck with one good phaser blast.

    But the thing looks so damn cool.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What could they make tighter or more compact, while retaining these external dimensions (which is the very point)?

    Starfleet generally agrees with the Romulans that it's not a good idea to put things between nacelles. But Starfleet wastes the space above the nacelles of an Enterprise-shaped vessel, while the Romulans do not. Apart from that, the D'Deridex and the Enterprise are pretty much the same vessel, even if the primary hull of the Romulan ship is a lump and the primary hull of the Starfleet ship is a saucer (again a design with a poorer volume-to-maximum-dimensions ratio).

    Pushing the nacelles closer together might be an option for reducing one maximum dimension - but Starfleet doesn't go for it. And since Starfleet keeps the nacelles widely separated, Starfleet ships are free to have primary hulls that reach out in the same maximum dimension direction. By that logic, the Romulans could have a beamier primary hull, too. But they put hull volume into the upper and lower "pylons" or "wings", thus at least reaching parity with the Starfleet configuration and probably doing better.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Not the same thing. The Fed warp nacelles may have nothing between them, but think of it more as a flat wing that has been turned up at the end, like the little winglets we see on so many jetliners today. The Federation ships aren't wasting space any more than jetliners are.

    We saw the big window on the top of the bridge, thereby establishing that people worked in the saucer. We flew through it in the very first shot in Trek ever.

    And there are a few windows on the saucer anyway.
     
  20. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, it's the external dimensions that's the issue. I don't believe it's absolutely necessary for the D'deridex-class to be as big as it is (I suggested it was done mainly for political reasons or for intimidation value).

    The Galaxy-class starship is presumably as big as it is to have the onboard space necessary for a wide variety of missions which might require significantly increasing the ship's complement or the construction of new onboard facilities. With the D'deridex-class, its habitable sections are spaced out by a giant hole in the center. Either fill in that hole to increase the habitable volume of the ship or decrease the size of the hole--if not eliminate it altogether--to avoid having to build excess hull.