Does More Nacelles = More Speed?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by austen_pierce, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    After ST2009, I started thinking about the Kelvin and her top speed since she is a single-nacelle vessel. I believe she is a Warp-5 vessel. In TOS, Enterprise and others have two nacelles and are capable of speeds up to Warp-8 (and 9 in a pinch). Later we see ships with three nacelles, most notably the Enterprise-D from "All Good Things". Does having more nacelles equate to a speed boost? Have we ever seen a ship with four or more nacelles?
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Four nacelles - USS Stargazer.

    I suspect the Kelvin was a warp 8 ship, simply because her design is inspired by FJ's Destroyer/Scout (albeit much larger, and with a secondary hull added atop), and that was capable of the same speeds as the Enterprise despite having just the one nacelle.
     
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, Picard's old ship Stargazer (Constellation Class) and several of her sister ships, the Cheyenne Class (background model in Wolf 359 graveyard) and the first prototypes for the Excelsior from ST III.

    Whether that improves maneuverability or speed is probably a subject others would like to comment upon.

    Bob
     
  4. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    I took it as, the more nacelles you have, the longer you can handle warp situations. Where scout ships have one or two nacelles, cruisers and battleships have two or more.
     
  5. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always assumed that more nacelles meant greater distance rather than greater speed. Not all 3/4 would be needed to maintain the warp field, but the combinations of which were in use could be switched around thus easing wear and tear on the warp coils allowing the ship to travel further before needing repairs/refit/replacements.
     
  6. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The way i always took it was more Nacelles = able to travel at higher speeds for a longer time. I would guess the trade off is higher overall power usage at a lower cost in maintenance.
     
  7. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I've always figured it was more of an endurance thing than a speed thing. More warp nacelles give you a more stable warp field, and are able to sustain the field for longer periods.
     
  8. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Perhaps instead of speed, more nacelles provide more torque (or whatever the equivalent in space is). Our 18 wheel trucks here have huge engines, but they typically cruise at lower speeds and accelerate slower than a typical car. But they can haul a huge payload.
     
  9. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I've looked at the number of nacelles being dependent on the particular design and its engine type (I don't think all starships have a one-size-fits-all engine). Some designs may need three or four nacelles, while others can get by with just one. Two, though, likely is the most common number but some designs (like the Klingon Bird of Prey) don't need nacelles at all and can achieve warp via another system.
     
  10. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always figured the four nacelle design was something they played with but never could get to work efficiently as a two nacelle design. Picard described the Stargazer as underpowered on a few occasions, so either the design was incredibly power draining or their current technology couldn't efficiently power all four of them along with everything else. The ship was never mentioned as breaking any speed records or anything.

    Not to mention there are twice as many things that can go wrong when someone starts shooting at your ship or some other dangerous situation that can damage the ship presents itself.
     
  11. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    I always thought the three nacelle ships looked slick, the extra nacelle the equivalent of a racing stripe :).

    I agree with the observations that extra nacelles also increase the likelihood that something will go wrong, whether mechanical or hostile.
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Funny, I do not. It's good to have spares in case you need them. Maybe that's the enigmatic purpose of the third nacelle. ;)

    Esentially I don't think the nacelles are related to speed but rather to payload and therefore power.

    I assume that the prominent purpose of the Miranda Class in the 23rd Century had been to transport up to 4 cargo containers (basically Starfleet's "workhorse"). Freed from transport duty you'd have a formidable frigate kind of vessel (no engineering hull to drag along like the Enterprise) capable of continuing service into the 24th Century.

    Constellation Class (e.g. Stargazer, Hathaway) may have been designed to take over transport duties from Miranda Class but already in the late 23rd Century required more power to do an adequate job (hence 4 nacelles).

    Bob
     
  13. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    I've seen it suggested in some sources, chiefly Jackill's work, that having extra nacelles can give you an increase in both speed and power. Some of his three-nacelled vessels, like the dreadnoughts, were said to have speed comparable to a destroyer and be faster than they might appear at first glance. I wonder how the overall design can affect the shape of the warp field and how much difference that would make.
     
  14. Saturn0660

    Saturn0660 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd agree with most of that. It's funny that Jackill is pretty spot on with most of his work, IMO. I get the feeling he played tons and tons of SFB. I think be bases much of his work on that game. And it's a great game.
     
  15. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    I have no familiarity with SFB, so I wouldn't know. :D
     
  16. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Were there any episodes that showed a ship still able to go to warp or maintain warp when one of their nacelles are damaged? If a damaged nacelle prevented warp speed then having 4 nacelles would probably be more of a liability than a benefit in combat.
     
  17. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    NX-01 Enterprise in "Twilight," Voyager in "Year of Hell."

    I think in both instances the ships weren't capable of reaching their top speeds.
     
  18. Masao

    Masao Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The way I look at it is that speed is dependent on the strength of a subspace field distortion, measured in cochranes, and the mass you're trying to move. The distortion you can create depends on the mass and efficiency of your warp coils and the amount of energy you can pump into them. If your warp coil and plasma conduit engineers are crap, your largest coils are small and inefficient and can't handle a lot of energy; the resulting field distortion is small. On the other hand, if your engineers are good, they can build a single nacelle with big, efficient coils that can take a lot of energy; so, the nacelle creates a powerful distortion. Not all nacelles are created equal.

    So, with a given field distortion, I'd imagine that the speed you can reach depends on the mass you're trying to move. Endurance depends on how much fuel you have. It's all arithmetic!
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2013
  19. Tiberius

    Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, more nacelles means more speed.

    On a related note, this:

    [​IMG]

    is faster than this:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I thought Endurance depended on Shackleton?