Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Brainsucker, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Brainsucker

    Brainsucker Commander Red Shirt

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    It is about the three ship classes. Constitution, Miranda, and Constelation Class. What are the different? Why making three different Ship Class if they are basically the same? ( I have read Memory Alpha and Beta and surprise that actually Miranda Class is not inferior to Constitution Class. Previously, I thought that Miranda Class was a monkey model for Constitution Class, or at least the cheaper version of it. But when I see the spec, I was surprise that Miranda actually has the same number of weaponry to Constitution, if not better / stronger. At least they have pulse phaser)

    For Constelation Class, why would they put 4 warp nescele (or whatever it is) when the performance not even better than the 2 warp Nes... errr Engine starship like Constitution.
     
  2. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Constitution, Miranda, and Constellation Class

    That's something about a lot of the Star Fleet ships.

    Don't get me wrong, I love all the different classes including Constitution and Federation and Saladin and Miranda and Constellation and more.

    But after a while, how many kitbash variations of saucers/nacelles would the fleet really need? I'd think that many missions and requirements can be fulfilled by the existing ships without having to make new classes with, say, the nacelles arranged at a different angle.
     
  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because in Star Trek II, the Reliant needed to be a different style of ship, so that when she was in battle with the Enterprise, you could easily see which ship was which. The Reliant was originally going to be the same class as the Enterprise until they realized that that wouldn't work for the above scenario.

    For the Stargazer, it simply came about because someone got the idea that the yellow kitbashed desktop model built for background decoration in Picard's ready room was actually his former command. They were going to use the TMP Enterprise for the Stargazer as well, but Greg Jein ended up building a studio model based on that desktop model.

    How do you know the performance isn't better?
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Indeed, since the one thing that we witness varying in otherwise identical ships is the engine placement, we would do well to speculate that there are definite advantages and disadvantages to having the engines "up" - and different, perhaps completely opposite advantages and disadvantages to having them "down".

    One logical assumption would be to credit "engines up" with high top speed, because the various Enterprises are quoted with speed records. "Engines down" might provide better cruise economy or something. And perhaps the fancy Intrepid would have engines up for her reputed high top speed, but would relax them to the lower position at earliest opportunity because that consumes fewer resources?

    Any modelmaker also knows how much more fragile the Enterprise is in comparison with the Reliant. Perhaps going for the fragility provides an advantage, but one Starfleet can't afford for the bulk of its forces, because fragility is bad for survivability and the maintaining of fleet strength. The "engines up" ships could all be silver bullet vessels for special applications, but this would by no means necessitate giving them the best and heaviest armament. Perhaps the special application is one less likely to involve weapons fire than the standard application for which the "engines down" ships are used.

    Fans have come up with endless rationalizations for the differences in witnessed and dreamed-up ship classes, all of them pure speculation or at best conjecture. My personal set here:

    Constitution is a fast Miranda. Miranda is a more survivable Constitution, built in somewhat larger numbers and made more affordable by leaving some of the weaponry in an optional module. Otherwise, the two are built for the same generic purposes, and Starfleet continues to build such pairs of designs in all eras.

    Constellation is the last hurrah of the technology of that era, before Excelsior comes along. Because the old stuff isn't up to snuff and can't be made better, Starfleet installs more of it: four warp nacelles, two impulse assemblies, a thicker saucer with two topsides. The gapfiller isn't built in great numbers because Excelsior is such a success, but its "all-frills", "bells, whistles and a church organ to boot" design gives it some longevity when at least part of it remains useful despite the passing of time.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    When did we see the Miranda class with pulse Phasers?
     
  6. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The twin-mount phasers on the rollbar are sometimes classed as pulsephasers.

    The Miranda-Class is obviously more durable and adaptable than the others, seeing as how it outlasted the others and has been shown in many different roles (combat, science, supply) with different styles (rollbar, sensor arrays).
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    They do fire pulses in ST2:TWoK, but so do all other phasers in that movie. I don't think they would be seen firing in any other movie or episode again?

    One could argue they would have been somehow better than the other phasers on that ship, because Khan chose to use them and them only in his first attack against Kirk. But one could also argue they were the weakest beam weapons aboard Khan's ship, which is why he chose them for his attempt to capture Kirk alive for proper torturing.

    Well, the Constellation also continued to serve.

    Perhaps the issue is solely one of production numbers: there are plenty of Mirandas because many were originally built, a few Constellations because a moderate number were built, and virtually no Constitutions because very few were ever built.

    Many if not most of the Mirandas we see in the TNG era have high, five-digit registries, while none of the Constellations do. But that doesn't mean that Miranda would have been the only one to see renewed production in the early 24th century. Possibly the other two classes also did, but again in much smaller numbers, so sheer chance would result in us missing all of these in TNG and DS9.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    The Constellation-class starship had the most shuttlebays of any ship seen to date. This ship had seven of these bays - three on each side and a main bay in the front. When I consider that a larger ship like the Enterprise had three shuttle bays and five hangers (storage of shuttles), I have to ask myself, what percentage of the internal volume of a Constellation-class starship wasn't devoted to shuttles? And what effect did have this on the ship's performance? (Information on the existence of and number of hangars was from an Okudagram first seen in the third season of TNG.)

    According to the illustration that accompanied an article written by R. Sternbach, the Constellation-class starship was equipped initially with the Surak-type shuttle. The diagram depicted two of these shuttles sitting snugly in the bays.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Hmm. In my little perverseverse, the Constellation is a through-deck cruiser, similar to the ships of that designation in Ships of the Star Fleet. The registry NCC-1974 would be back-to-back with the through-deck cruiser registries from that book, too!

    Essentially, though, it would be another way to circumvent the Organian peace treaty. It would be an all-new four-nacelled capital ship, similar to the three-nacelled dreadnoughts, but built under another title and treaty quota, with a few trivial characteristics (numerous but very shallow shuttlebays) to pay lip service to the treaty definition of that quota. Essentially, a sneaky way to get more dreadnought-style prime combatants even though the treaty sets a limit and the Excelsior program is badly delayed.

    Sure, she's also as fast as this type of technology can make her, and there's something to using her for reconnaissance like in the Sternbach backstory. And this is indeed how the "series production" ships, those that no longer have "CD range" registries but rather 2500 or 2800 range ones, are designated and justified.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Just my 2 cents:

    The Constitution seems to be least flexible when it comes to cargo space and modularity. She seems to be the fastest with the speed records and that jibes with the Enterprise being sent first to deal with Organia and other troubles spots, including intercepting V'ger. Also, that makes her a good choice for fast delivery of small to medium amounts of perishable or time-sensitive cargo.

    The Miranda appears to be the middle of the ground in cargo capability with the two rectangular shuttle doors and spacious interior volume that isn't constrained by the cigar shaped engineering hull. She might be cheaper to build since it really is a single hull (no separate engineering hull). The nacelles are slightly different than the Constitution's. With the rollbar attached carries the same number of phaser emitters + 2 more torpedo launchers aimed to the rear. Without the rollbar, she carries 4 less phasers and 4 less torpedo launchers. The class seems to do well with additional devices strapped on like the Soyuz-class.

    The Constellation has the most cargo flexibility as the entire primary hull appears to be geared for easy access by shuttles and cargo with multiple doors. The 4 nacelles, that are smaller than the Miranda's and the Constitution's, could be devoted to giving her average top speed but better ability to move around her increased mass when loaded with cargo without straining.

    IMHO, the Mirandas survived the longest as a solid flexible design. The Constellations went a decent run but that extra cargo space advantage got superseded by the introduction of larger (and faster) ships. The Constitutions were also replaced by faster ships and more advanced ships.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Constellation nacelles are smaller? It looks to me as if the only thing missing is the fin mounting the RCS cluster.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    The aft end of the nacelles are squared off instead of the tapered end of the Connies and the Mirandas. This ends up making them shorter, but they're not smaller in cross-section.

    --Alex
     
  13. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    You know, it's interesting that I never noticed that on the model before. I was tempted to say I didn't think some of the blocky parts on the model were intended to be shuttlebays, but looking at the screencaps from "The Battle" supports the idea of seven bays (3 on each side and one forward, labeled "4"). Perhaps one could say these are not necessarily all for shuttles but perhaps cargo bays? Or modular spaces that can serve either function?

    Here are some pics:

    Starboard bays (1-3)
    Port bays (5-7)
    Nose bay (4)
     
  14. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    Perhaps the Constellations were fast transports of some kind, maybe for troops.

    Connies look to be more long-range exploration/science ships. A major secondary hull obviously isn't needed for warp travel, but the connies use a lot of space for that. Would free up the saucer for labs, sensors, and crew quarters, and a bunch of room for cargo necessary for long tours. The single-hulled ships might not be so long-ranged - but they also wouldn't need as much major maintenance, and would get more frequent tune-ups and the like, so they would last longer.

    Of course, there could still be Connies and Constellations about, we just haven't seen them. Star Trek Online still has them, and that's set 40-50 years after TNG. There are, however, more modern-looking variants on both (and the Miranda, too), so, at least in that game, each has a special niche to occupy, whatever that is (the Miranda is basically cannon-fodder, like in DS9). (There aren't a ton flying around, as they're all low- to low-mid-level ships.)
     
  15. Xerxes1979

    Xerxes1979 Captain Captain

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    Constellations dispaced Constitutions because as the Federation grew greatly in size between TOS and TNG the need to run at high warp for longer periods put more stress on the nacelles.

    For an equivalent tonnage the Constellation class was a better medium cruiser. Excelsiors took the battlecruiser role as they became availble yet something was still needed on the shorter range general purpose duty roster which would explain why Mirandas still were in service.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  16. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Are those the re-done FX for TNG or the original ones? The screenshots would suggest that the Constellation is almost as long as the E-D. The close up of the bridge (in the nose bay picture) looks like it has a tiny bridge was stuck on top of the original dome structure suggesting a ship far larger than being a contemporary of the Connies and Mirandas...
     
  17. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    LOL, you know, in all the years I've seen this ship, I've never noticed that the bridge had that extra dome on it until now (and it's there on the original studio model, not added in with CGI). But honestly I don't think it's supposed to be a smaller bridge. It's probably just another doodad they stuck on the model with the other anime kit parts.

    As for the screencaps, I view it as more of a "forced perspective." That is, the Stargazer is actually much closer to the camera than the Enterprise is, and the tractor beam is coming from the Enterprise from an angle instead of being on the same plane as the smaller ship.

    Or, perhaps the Stargazer was one of those super-sized ships from Star Trek '09? :lol:
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    This would make some plot sense in that the ship originally might fly between the E-D and the Ferengi vessel, as part of the hand-over ceremonies or whatnot. Since the later footage is achieved simply by removing the Ferengi ship, the angle of the tractor beam might be taken to remain constant.

    FWIW, the comparison in "Peak Performance" suggests a smaller Constellation, basically conforming to the proper scaling of those LN-64 -style nacelles.

    http://tng.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/s2/2x21/peakperformance203.jpg

    Incidentally, it's fun but sort of unexpected that this ship type indeed seems to have "main" and "non-main" phasers, as the dialogue of "The Battle" would suggest. In addition to the regular twin emitters on the saucer, there are these single emitters closer to the rim!

    And even though these only seem to be part of the real topside, not of the inverted top that forms the saucer bottom, we could speculate that the bottom, never really seen up close on screen, does have them as well - this would be the weapon seen firing in the above wargames shot!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    They didn't just make the standard connie refit primary hull thicker. You can see where the connie disc ends and then there's more diameter still, and the two deck thickness at the outer disc is now what? Five or six deck worth of thickness.

    The constellation with no secondary hull is still much more massive than a connie with it's secondary hull, so twice as many engines.

    :)
     
  20. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    These pics are from the Blu-Ray version of TNG, which I used since TrekCore has been diligently adding those to their galleries. I don't know exactly what may have been done to "clean up" some of the FX shots for the BR discs, but it is fair to say that the numbers on the hangars are far more legible than they are on the DVD screencaps. You can't see any of those numerals clearly, but it seems likely the design intent was for them to be shuttlebays.