D'deridex-class Warbird Maneuverability

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Captain_Amasov, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Captain_Amasov

    Captain_Amasov Captain Captain

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    I keep seeing this mentioned around that the Romulan D'deridex-class warbird was less maneuverable than the Enterprise-D/Galaxy-class at sublight speeds. Was this actually mentioned in a specific episode?

    I know that they were slower at warp speed, and that the old warbirds encountered by the Enterprise-C were less maneuverable, however I cannot find anything to back up this claim that their latter day counterparts were also the same.
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It does seem that the only episodes to discuss warbird performance are "Tin Man" (which establishes lower sustainable warp speed than for Galaxy, but only if the Romulan engineer is too timid to redline the engines) and "Yesterday's Enterprise" (which establishes that four of the old warbirds are no match for the weapons of an alternate-timeline Galaxy and that any one of them is less maneuverable, supposedly at impulse, than the E-C).

    We never learn much about the later (D'deridex or "Type B") warbirds or their differences versus older models. "Timescape" tells us that their use of quantum singularity powerplants came as news to Starfleet in the aftermath of "Face of the Enemy", but since Romulans are so secretive, QS engines may have been in use for several centuries already... It's a bit surprising that the alternate Tasha knows enough about Romulans to establish the difference in maneuverability, but perhaps Romulans weren't quite as secretive in that alternate timeline?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    They didn't even seem to have an impulse drive.
     
  4. Tribble puncher

    Tribble puncher Captain Captain

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    Probert admitted that when he designed the ship he'd mistakenly forgot to include Impulse engines. I can't remember where I read that, it was years ago.
     
  5. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I actually kind of like that, in that it shows the Romulans pulling ahead of the Federation--the size of the Warbird.
     
  6. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Size isn't everything.
     
  7. Tribble puncher

    Tribble puncher Captain Captain

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    I actually thought that about the lack of impulse engines, that combined with the "artificial quantum singularity" power source implied to me that the romulans just might be a bit more advanced than the federation. it made their ships seem a little more mysterious. plus I don't like the idea of the federation being better than everyone at everything.
     
  8. The Librarian

    The Librarian Commodore Commodore

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    I like that they have the alternative power source as well, not just because it shows they have more advanced science in a particular area but because it acknowledges that antimatter isn't the only potential power source. It might also say something about their respective design philosophies depending on exactly how the singularity system works, ie do you have to feed it fuel or is it more like a nuclear reactor where the whole thing gets swapped out every ten years.
     
  9. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Federation starships have "tail pipes" because they usually power the impulse drive with fusion reactors, those will emit hot gasses and heat which you have to get rid off hence the impulse exhaust we all know.

    Romulans might not power the impulse drive with fusion reactors and thus not have the need for a red/blue hot glowing tail pipe.
     
  10. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which seems to be negated, somewhat, by all that wasted space inside.
     
  11. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You could carry whole starships in that open space. Those could have weapons hot and not have to power the cloak. Or maybe it needs to be open as a resonating chamber
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Federation ships have just as much "wasted" space, in exactly the same place - between the nacelles, aft of the primary hull.

    Timo Saloniemi.
     
  13. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    From "Timescape"...
    TROI: The Romulans use an artificial quantum singularity as their power source. Once it's activated, it can't be shut down.
    It doesn't look like it gets swapped out periodically.
     
  14. The Librarian

    The Librarian Commodore Commodore

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    That's a good point, although it still seems like for maintenance it would have to be removed, probably at a drydock.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Indeed, the point might be that an AQS powerplant needs to be swapped regularly, but since it can't be shut down (echoes of fission reactors of today), there have to be special accommodations to enable the swapping - and one of these is the cavity inside the ship.

    Basically, you activate an AQS, it runs through a life cycle, and at some point you start getting diminishing returns from it - so you dump this still active AQS and get a fresh one, and the dockyards then have to deal with the slowly decaying, active but useless older core.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Romulan engineers could probably replace a ship's "heart" while keeping the old one beating. Maybe the Empire has a "junkyard sector" where they carefully cast unusable singularities.
     
  17. Santaman

    Santaman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I assume they can collapse the old singularity or make it go Kboom at a distance place, problem gone and also you've got some nice fireworks.
     
  18. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe insufficient safety regulations in disposing quantum singularities is what caused the Hobus supernova. :p
     
  19. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Huh - why not?

    If the Romulans only had red matter to deactivate their AQS cores :)
     
  20. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My thoughts on the singularity and how they produce energy.
    Once you have the singularity in place it creates an event horizon where virtual particles that pop into existence don't annihilate themselves immediately because they get separated on this ultimate razor's edge.
    The Romulans then harness those new particles to power their ships.
    It is in a way the exact opposite of an antimatter/matter warpcore.
    If the singularity is self sustaining it would indeed be free energy and grow slightly more powerful over time, since it's mass would increase (allthough probably not in a measurable way).
    Though I don't see how it could be selfsustaining without the mass of a star or an energy input that puts a dyson sphere to shame which Kind of defeats the purpose.