Excelsior Technical Manual - Revived!

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Praetor, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Those are really awesome, Nimitz CO, thank you. :)

    Inspiring enough to make me kick myself in the pants and get back to work. Tomorrow. :p
     
  2. Nimitz CO

    Nimitz CO Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  3. RapidNadion

    RapidNadion Commander Red Shirt

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    I continue to thoroughly enjoy the technical manual, Praetor. I know I'm a little late to the editing party for the last chapter, but I did have a small suggestion. I wonder if you'd consider avoiding use of the term "dorsal" to describe the necklike structure connecting the primary and secondary hulls. I don't know where that use of the term originated, but it's always irked me as it's (AFAIK) a completely improper use of the word. How about "interhull" as an alternative?

    Also, you may have described your reasons for this in greater detail, but if so I missed it: it was a little disappointing to hear just how much void space there is in your Excelsior design. IIRC, most of the aforementioned interhull and secondary hull are full of a whole lot of nothing. Is this to keep the ship's mass in line with a previously-established figure?

    I can't wait until we get to the nacelles. Please tell me you're going to spend at least a good chunk of a chapter on field grills and flux chillers! :)

    BTW, hats off to Nimitz CO for the development project mission logos and the cover design. Seeing the "possible cover" was the first thing that made me believe I could actually see this thin in print one day -- even if it was just a limited run for the folks on this BBS. I know I'd buy one, Praetor. (And if that happens, consider me at your disposal to record an audio version -- long-form voiceover is what I do.)

    Looking forward to more of this wonderful work.
     
  4. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They're fantastic. The only comment I'd make is the "Workhorse of the Starfleet" tag - surely "The Great Experiment" is more fitting?
     
  5. Nimitz CO

    Nimitz CO Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Thanks Tomalak for the nice complement, I chose "Workhorse of the Starfleet" as the motto for the class emblem to reflect every Excelsior Class vessel in service. I'm using the motto "The Great Experiment" for the USS Excelsior NX-2000 logo (hopefully I'll have that up in a day or two) that they were using during the Transwarp and shakedown trials, before it was changed to the operational emblem when it was taken off of experimental status and issued her perminate NCC number when the motto of ship was changed to "No Matter Where You Go, There You Are" :techman:
     
  6. Nimitz CO

    Nimitz CO Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  7. ShinRa Actual

    ShinRa Actual Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I haven't had time to sit and read through all six pages here, but a few things I noted and wanted to drop some thoughts on, so apologies if they've already been hashed to death;

    re; Transwarp failing or not.
    I personally like to stick with the 'common' theory that it didn't quite pan out, but on the flip side to reinforce the fellow who mentioned the Ent-A's Okudagrams mentioning Transwarp, the old Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise mentions in it's last chapter about the Ent-A (...which was appearently named "Ti-Ho" previously -shudder-) that the -A had Transwarp as well.

    re; Length of refit
    Rather than attempting to come to some conclusion on the length of one large refit, have you thought about most of the changes not being the result of one refit, but several? Excelsior in many ways can compare to Battleship North Carolina; North Carolina was the first Battleship built in almost 20 years, and incorporated a lot of new experimental technology. As a result, her shakedown period was considerably longer than the following Battleships of the period, and she gained the nickname of "Showboat" because she was constantly shuttling back and forth between sea trials and yard periods. Considering Excelsior is the pathfinder for all manner of new technologies, it's more likely that her first few years in service were similarly spent working out all the kinks, with technology that didn't pan out being removed as needed, and other changes being done similarly. Certaintly there isn't as much major structural changes between ST3 and ST6 compared to the TOS and TMP Enterprise to warrant a single refit lasting more than a few months, if that long. However, having the ship going through ongoing testing and parts swapping for those years is definately plausible, especially if the class concept goes through some kind of role change.

    I am curious, since I haven't seen any mention of it thus far, but is there any link between the tech manual you're writing, and the "Space Control Ship" history that was in the Ships of the Starfleet book that came out in the 90s?
     
  8. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, time to pick this back up. :)

    Hopefully you'll be pleased with some clarifications that I made in this revision, then. I realized that I may have been making it sound like most of the ship was empty, which I didn't intend to be the case. A lot of the interhull (;)) is empty because it previously contained transwarp equipment (cooling and other support systems, mostly) that was ripped out when that proved a failure. So that leaves a lot of space for 'future expansion' which I'm thinking might have proved beneficial to the design's survivability.

    And yes, I've conceived the 'hollow volume' of the secondary hull as being a concession to keep the ship's mass in line with engine power. I've also decided, to accommodate the various incarnations of that 'pod' within the volume that the entire shuttlebay 'gondola' is swappable. Most ships have a shuttlebay there, but other ships might have an engineering support bay, cargo bay, or what-have-you.

    Naturally. ;)

    Yeah, my hat is really off to Nimitz CO. His good work has actually made me feel like this might actually be a finishable product! :p

    Ooh, good to know and thank you very much on all counts. Even if it never gets published, we might have to do an audio-book form for kicks. ;)

    Yeah - there's no such thing as hashing to death in my book! :)

    And, I have purposefully avoided trying to contradict information regarding the Enterprise-A as much as possible, so people can believe what they want to. I know that the TNG TM and related publications suggest that the E-A was the old Yorktown, and some like Mr. Johnson, suggest it was the Ti-Ho. I prefer that the E-A was a new-build testbed, because I think it just makes more sense with the on-screen evidence. It might have been called Yorktown or Ti-Ho. My only purpose was to establish 1) it was a new build that proved unsuccessful, both explaining the E-A's early retirement and why Starfleet would favor Excelsiors instead of refit Connies, and 2) that it was not the original Yorktown.

    So in the long and short of it, the E-A may indeed have had transwarp when she was first cobbled together. Somehow I imagine that by the time the old crew got their hands on her, the transwarp drive would have either been reconfigured or refit into standard warp drive - maybe even by Scotty himself.

    That, actually, is quite along the lines of what I was thinking, although I hadn't realized the extent to which the North Carolina compared to it. It was my belief that all that time she appears to spend sitting in Spacedock in TSFS-TVH-TFF not only had to do with the failure of transwarp but also with working out the kinks as you suggest. (And, being from North Carolina, and having been aboard the North Carolina in Wilmington, I must say she's a fine ship.) Perhaps I should inject the Excelsior history with a bit more U.S.S. North Carolina flavor.

    Actually, I do plan to acknowledge it. It has its own appendix at the end of my tech part. There was a throwaway reference to it in the history section, which was hopefully vague enough for anyone to ignore, that NCC-2001 went from being slated to be Enterprise to Ingram, which was an attempt to make a 'Space Control Ship' out of what was quickly becoming a 'failure.' And that is basically my take on it - that Ingram was built to quite different specifications and formed its own subclass.

    Of course, given that we never saw them on screen, it's my belief that they were less successful than the Excelsior, and, being even more limited in role, met with the same problem that dreadnoughts did (i.e., not having anything to do) and hit the chopping block in the early 24th century as a part of the decommissioning/disarmament concessions to the Klingons.

    But again, my point is that there's hopefully enough wiggle room to accept what you want to. I want to stay as close to canon as possible but I don't want to purposefully step on anyone's toes. :)
     
  9. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And now, without further ado:
     
  10. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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  11. ShinRa Actual

    ShinRa Actual Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    My personal opinion (and my adherance to the old salt's opinion on renaming a ship) is that the Ent-A was a new ship, and definately not the Yorktown mentioned in STIV and TOS before that. That being said, she may have been ordered with another prospective name before it being decided to change the name to have another Enterprise in service ASAP. (such as Yorktown, Lexington, and Wasp during WWII)

    Scott's Guide only covered the TVH Ent-A as I recall...is there any mention of Transwarp on the TFF Graphics anywhere? If not, the Transwarp stuff being removed may have been part of the reason of the -A's...less than stellar condition during TFF.

    Having driven from Florida to NY many times, I've been to see the Showboat several times (and other memorials). North Carolina is one of the best ones to visit, imho.

    Ingram was, a copy of the configuration can be found over at the old SSDB; http://shipschematics.net/startrek/images/federation/heavycruiser_ingram.jpg
    The implication I got from the old SotSF book was more along the lines that Excelsior was the one that was the 'modified' version, which would explain why the Ingram has a slightly more 1701-Refit style to it. Another fanon book series that tried being a continuation of the SotSF books stated that Sulu was involved in having Excelsior refit from a fast Battleship into a more exploratory-minded ship (I can try and find the links to those if you're interested) which helped the class move beyond the failed Transwarp Battleship project into the more general purpose ship they evidently became between ST6 and TNG.

    I actually put that forth as a theory for why the -A was withdrawn from service a while back; The arms reduction treaty with the Klingons mandated removing ships from service. While the -A herself was fairly new...the design was old (dating back 50 years if you consider it a direct lineage to 2245). In the end run, Starfleet would probably want another new Excelsior (or other new type) in service than keeping the -A.
     
  12. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly where I'm at. :)

    I also believe she was built from parts pares left after the refit program was completed - much as the space shuttle Endeavour was, only incorporating Excelsior-level tech.

    The Okudagrams for the TVH set mentioned transwarp, and 'Mr. Scott's Guide' seemed to suggest that transwarp was a success because of it. TFF removed the transwarp references from the graphics, presumably reflecting TNG's recalibration of the warp scale. In fact, I imagine that's why it was decided transwarp failed - they wanted to revamp the system anyway.

    That's good to know. I really want to visit some more. :)

    I'm sort of opposite thinking about it - for me, the Ingram was an attempt to take the basic shape of the Excelsior, imbue it with refit-level (and therefore theoretically 'safe') tech, and produce a Space Control Ship as a way of salvaging the research that had gone into it. For me, Excelsior was meant to be a traditional heavy cruiser and replacement for the Constitution class all along - it was the people trying to make the Space Control Ship that wanted it to be something else, and ultimately sort of where the Ambassador comes from later on.

    That's actually almost exactly what I have going on - the Klingons and Federation agree to disarm, and the Federation agrees to only have x number of heavy cruisers, and decides it is best to decommission the old Connies and sequentially replace them with Excelsiors, which was what they were probably going to do anyway. (They are also forced to decommission all battleships/dreadnoughts - which ultimately gives rise to the Ambassador and Galaxy - battleships/dreadnoughts in power, but with an entirely different purpose.)
     
  13. ShinRa Actual

    ShinRa Actual Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Found that link for the SotSF inspired manuals....

    http://www.asdb.net/asdb/

    There's a few documents that focus on the Excelsior, one is an article on the ship's 50th year in service, and there's a SotSF style entry in their SotSF edition
     
  14. Tomalak

    Tomalak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I like to think that the Khitomer Accords did result in genuine concessions from the Federation. It also neatly explains why we don't see any Connies in the TNG era (the BoBW wreckage aside), even though you can't move for the contemporary Mirandas. Maybe the bits and pieces left over from those Connies resulted in the Constellation class, which would work as a cheaper counterpart to the Excelsiors for the deep space jobs.

    And ironically, the destruction of an Ambassador-class ship by their mutual enemy resulted in the full alliance between the Klingons and the Federation.
     
  15. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, I tend to think that the good spirit of those concessions, while initially forced, did take full hold of both parties by the time of the Enterprise-C's destruction.
     
  16. CTM

    CTM Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Praetor - any word on when we might get the next update? You've done a great job so far, and I'm just waiting to see more ;)
     
  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thanks, CTM. I should have mentioned sooner that real life has gotten in the way a bit. I hope to get back to it relatively soon. It's definitely not forgotten. ;)
     
  18. regemet

    regemet Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    A thought for much later why not put an appendix at the end of all the varients and Dominion war kitbashes and include the Ingram
     
  19. thedude

    thedude Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Great work, Preator. This was a great way to spend a Sunday morning. Although I'll admit I skipped over all of the grammatical nitpickings by a certain poster ;-)

    Anyway, I can't add too much at this point, but I will grab all my tech manuals I've accumulated over the years and see if I can add something... but I do have one thing I'd like to add...

    There was some confusion regarding the size of the "starfleet" itself. I did a little bit of research, and I'd like to cite actual historical precedence for the size of a fleet...

    Currently, the US Navy has a fleet of approximately 400 vessels. This includes active ships, ships on reserve, and ships under construction. The known registered ship count breaks down as follows:

    Given those numbers, and the fact this count is for a single nation on a single planet with a couple million crewmen, it is certainly feasible that the Federation, with 150+ member planets, could certainly have a fleet of 800+ Excelsior class vessels... afterall, space is INFINITELY larger than the oceans and seas of Earth.

    It's also feasible, that given the scope and scale of the Federation at the time of the Excelsior-class, ships could be rather spread out, as I'm sure Starfleet stations multiple vessels at each port of call, similar to what the US Navy does. And remember too, just because the canon of Trek has focused heavily on Starfleet in San Francisco and construction of ships around Earth, it is certainly conceivable that Starfleet has auxiliary development and construction facilities spread throughout the territory controlled by the Federation.

    Furthermore, it would be believable that given the wealth of resources of 150 member planets, and Starfleet could be constructing HUNDREDS of vessels at a single time, given the fact that the US Navy, with their limited resources, has between 10 and 15 vessels under construction at any point in time (obviously great accelerated during wartime).

    For reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_ships_of_the_United_States_Navy

    Once again, great work, and I hope I can help contribute to this fantastic document!

    But now it's time to go play golf :-)

    EDIT: From the TNG Technical Manual published in 1991:

     
    Last edited: May 31, 2009
  20. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Thank you for suggesting that. Indeed, I have rough drafts of those already. ;)

    Thanks for the compliments and those facts, thedude.

    I'm actually hoping to get back to work on this in a couple of weeks - I have to send my HP off for repairs, so maybe when that comes back. :)