Oberth Class – the missing link between Enterprise and Reliant

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Robert Comsol, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here is one interpreatation of the internal arrangement of this class of ship:
    http://ussthagard.com/Thagardtour.html

    they are using the 120 meter length of the ship. they solved the turbolift problem to the pod with a spherical turbolift car that would be able to negotiate the sharp angles of the pylons.
     
  2. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    It's a good site, but that's going to extraordinary lengths to get around a design issue which never should have existed in the first place!
     
  3. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^^
    Sure, but when life gives you lemons...
     
  4. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Correction: Based on the size comparison acronym "F.S.V." and the annotations in Cinefantastique i had thought that F.S.V. stood for "Federation Survey Vessel".

    However, the dialogue in ST III (watched the scenes last night for re-evaluations) clearly refers to "Federation Science Vessel", which has to be the correct and only interpretation of "F.S.V.", obviously.

    The actual footage (first fly-by scene of Grissom) confirms your observation. It's clearly visible that the top part of the saucer sits on a thin layer of the upper sled (the difference in color/brightness is noticable).

    But now, the whole thing looks like some sort of "landing" pad to me (think helipad) upon return of the saucer from its mission. The helipad allusion is emphasized by the total absence of discernible structures at the underside (except for two or three "landing" lights. Also notice the clear separation line (right photo) between the saucer module and the sled.

    The landing pad could also serve as a protective cover (during interstellar flight) for the atmospheric flight components at the bottom of the saucer module!

    You do not need to. I was merely illustrating that it is absolutely not farfetched or improbable to assume that the Oberth Class was a pre-TOS Starfleet design, mostly based on name of the study model (come on, every layman during that time would associate "Valiant" with one of the two pre-TOS ships of the same name), the low registry and the saucer sitting literally flat on the rest of the ship, a design suitable for a ship where the saucer module could detach on a regular basis.

    (I'm past the folly of my youth to attempt "missionary" work.
    And definitely not at a public online platform requiring no credentials - :rofl: - revolves around Star Trek - :lol: - and discusses pseudoscientific treknological issues - :guffaw:)

    @ Praetor

    "NCC-1373" was stated by Kirkin the onscreen dialogue of "Court Martial".

    I have no issues about being asked why NCC-1701 is Starship and Enterprise Class (on the contrary), I just emphasized "further" discussions on this subject should not derail this thread. ;)

    Regarding my doubt that the "whole" Horizon could have landed (and not just the sphere) you essentially agreed because you just wondered how the Enterprise's "saucer" (the equivalent to the Oberth's sphere) - not the whole ship - would have landed.
    My take: 3 landing legs, the two triangular ones at the saucer's underside and a third one concealed by the dorsal (i.e. between the energizers on Deck 7).

    Bob
     
  5. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fixed that for ya. ;)

    Thanks. I could not remember the episode.

    Agreed.

    Makes sense. I seem to recall that Drex once speculated that the dorsal itself was the third landing leg.

    I suppose this is the obligatory point for me to pimp the cross section that I helped LCARS24 make that I mentioned earlier:

    [​IMG]

    (This isn't the final version, but rather an intermediary that happened to have labels.)

    It's been a while, so I can't remember all our discussions off-hand. We were trying to create the definitive 120 meter version of the ship. You'll note we made the saucer recesses escape pod bays. We also did not try to squeeze the turbolift shaft into the pylons, but we did put the warp core down below.

    In hindsight, it might not be that way on every ship... some ships might have the reactor up top. We can justify this based on older configurations vs new, or in saying that having the reactor in the mod allowed the ship to have a more powerful reactor.

    We also theorized that the corrugated panels on the sides of the pod were bay doors, which allowed for either mission-specific hardware or cargo to be loaded. Similarly, the "shudders" atop the saucer would be able to be opened, for swapping modular science labs and other compartment types. The aerodynamic pod front conceals a navigational deflector, and there is also an aft sensor array, fitting for a science ship.

    I believe we concluded that most engineering functions would be highly automated, with almost all the crew up top, but that there would be some accommodation for additional engineering crew (a small compliment) down below. I think we also concluded, partly just to be different, that there are no turbolifts. At all.

    The ship has a single probe/torpedo launcher, mounted aft in the only real logical location that seemed possible. It did not seem logical that a research ship would have no probe launcher at all, and an aft launcher with a small compliment of torpedoes seemed to make sense too; surely a small ship such as this would run like hell from enemy ships, and therefore be firing in defense. In hindsight, I might've put one at the bow of the pod, too.

    Part of me still likes the notion of a variant of the ship designed as a cutter and equipped with more weapons, of which there have been some fan designs that replace the pod with a Miranda-style torpedo pod.

    It is of course only fair to also present this for discussion:

    [​IMG]

    This site also has an interesting take.

    The more we discuss the little gal, the more I am torn between the pod being integrated as part of the ship, and not.

    I could easily see the horizontal pylon, nacelles, and saucer separating from the pod and struts and flying independently, much in the same way a saucer would separate on a Constitution class ship. (I imagine the nacelles themselves to be ejectable in an emergency.) The facilities of a starbase would be able to wholly swap the pod and struts for another package for a given mission.

    Then again, there are certain virtues to having the pod be integrated and just mostly be an empty chasm that can easily hold whatever. Having the warp core down below would also seem to fit with standard Starfleet design thinking, even if having the nacelles so tucked in seems confusing. Yet, Starfleet didn't appear to always be concerned about having the reactor in a dedicated hull: consider the Miranda.

    Come to think of it, the tucked in nacelles are a feature shared somewhat by another ship... DS9's Defiant.
     
  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    That was Geoffrey Mandel's Officers Manual. What broke this camel's back, IMHO, was that they envisioned the lower sensor dome to extend like the one of United Planets Cruiser C-57D in Forbidden Planet.

    I spotted this the other day on Google picture search and felt this was the best take of the vessel I've ever seen. Great work! :techman:

    I like the lifeboat idea, but it's the recesses that don't feel right to me.
    And this especially applies for the bow recess.
    I really think the saucer module should / would only have two decks.

    :techman: and :techman:. Heck, they have uncomfortable and long Jefferies crawlways on the Enterprise-D, thus to have any turbolifts aboard this small vessel would be a rather odd thing, IMHO.
    But wouldn't the entire horizontal nature of the engineering pod rather suggest a horizontal engineering / warp core?

    Thought-through rationalizations, I love it. I only wonder if an aft sensor array might be somewhat redundant. Frankly, I never liked the tiny impulse drive, seems way to small. Are we sure we can exclude that the engineering pod's stern is not a particle exhaust nozzle?!?

    I concur, but accomodation for the engineering crew looks redundant. In general, I take the total absence of any features reminiscent of windows as a strong hint that the engineering pod is only accessed when absolutely necessary.

    I would have never thought of that, what a great idea and explanation! The first analogy that came to my mind, was a bee. What the ship does is not too dissimilar from what a bee does and it can only sting once when in self-defense. No forward launcher please, phasers should be sufficient. ;)

    I digress because this kind of vessel rather invokes associations with a sailing boat ("science vessel") than a torpedo boat, though, of course the vessel might also operate in such capacity should the need arise.

    As the TNG-upgrded Oberth Class vessel seen at the end of ST VII I feel that this is essentially the way it would have looked like.

    But to sell this as the Grissom (i.e. an Oberth Class from Kirk's era) there should be some adaptations, IMHO:

    • matter-antimater reactors in the caps of the warp nacelles
    • impulse "platform" / "wing" deuterium acquisition storage
    • antimatter pods in engineering pod with sensory equipment (and not much else)
    • horizontal warp "coil" plates from nacelles' bow to stern. The depiction of TNG warp coils would look too retroactive and judging from the exterior view the warp plates appear much longer than suggested in the schematic. ;)
    Bob
     
  7. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's a study model for the Excelsior.

    I never mentioned anything about the ship's age. I said that it's registry number was the lowest canonically known Constitution class number.

    Instead of adding parts to the Reliant model in an effort to show an even older ship that was decommissioned 80 years before (which IMHO made the ship look more advanced, not less), they could have just used the TMP Enterprise to represent the Bozeman. That way the decommission date would have made sense, and we'd have seen a true Connie in TNG.

    Or we could just say that the Horizon looked nothing like that desktop model.

    That model was just a conjectural design for the Daedalus class, based on a preliminary design for the TOS Enterprise. But honestly it looks far more contemporary to TOS than it does to the era of ENT, because of that.
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I'm aware of that. My point was that for a supposedly late 23rd Century design - regardless whether it's the study model for the Excelsior or the Grissom - I couldn't help but notice the obvious retro style of the warp nacelles' stern.

    It's a good thing they slept a couple of nights over and came up with the Excelsior we saw on screen (definitely late 23rd Century design, IMHO).

    Nevertheless the Excelsior study model strikes me as a suitable candidate to imagine a starship design prior to the Baton Rouge Class, maybe 10th design series...

    Okay, it's the lowest registry number ever displayed on a starship that looks like a sister ship of the Enterprise.

    I don't see why the Bozeman was supposedly older than Reliant. But I think I understand what you're trying to imply from a TNG point of view, considering the Miranda Class (older) is still around while the Soyuz Class (later) is not.

    From a production point of view, a Constitution Class starship ("Connie" refers to the Lockheed Constellation airplane, Gene Roddenberry served on as a pilot!) would have been the last thing we should have expected. The E-D travels back in time and general audiences would have mistaken any Constitution Class starship for Kirk's Enterprise.

    I know that with Andrew Probert's genuine Ambassador Class design (displayed on the conference lounge wall of the E-D) it's a complicated issue (though I feel by ignoring it and failing to come up with a good in-universe rationalization Trekkers deprive themselves of one of the greatest starship designs ever, IMHO :rolleyes:).

    With the Daedalus Class it's anything but complicated. Unless you choose to ignore the retroactive canon of the TNG era, it's there, has been seen and photographed in detail and not been contradicted by a design proposal that came after it.

    So to me it looks like rock-solid canon.

    Bob
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The thing here is, a tabletop model of a starship named Horizon has been seen - but not associated with either the Daedalus class, or with the episode "A Piece of the Action", in any onscreen way.

    Not that it couldn't be either or both, though. It looks large enough to meet the "Power Play" specs for the Daedalus class (if we disregard the noncanon idea that it is mere 103 m in length), and the TOS episode does not give any specs of note. OTOH, ships in the immediate post-Romulan War era might be on their way out of Starfleet after just a few years of service, allowing a ship with a registry in the NCC-100 range to disappear long before "A Piece of the Action" and a new one of that name to be introduced.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Besides the decommissioning date, the Bozeman also sported a bridge module based on the Phase II Enterprise refit.

    The apparently you were not aware that the original plan for "Cause and Effect" was that the Ent-D would meet a TOS Connie. That idea was rejected, not because they thought people would think it was Kirk's Enterprise, but that it would have been cost-prohibitive at the time to build an all-new TOS Connie model just for one episode, since it wouldn't have been able to be used as a future "guest" starship in later episodes. Luckily by "Trials and Tribble-ations," that hurdle was conquered.

    While the overall shape of the ship is technically canon, and I heartily agree with you about the greatness of the design, Probert himself went on record that Sternbach's design is the true Ambassador class. I happen to like both designs about as equally.

    Timo is correct. The desktop model is labeled "Horizon" with a registry number of NCC-173. However, we do not know either the true design of the Horizon from "APOTA," nor it's registry number. For all we know, that ship is a 23rd century successor to the original Horizon. Heck, for all we know the ECS Horizon from ENT was pressed into Starfleet service. The producers did slip in an in-joke there, with Travis's brother having a book called "Chicago Gangs" ;)

    Remember, as I stated before, that model was built for the Enyclopedia as a conjectural design for the Daedalus class. But as with Zefram Cochrane's ship and the early Romulan ship, the design can be invalidated by on-screen evidence. My onscreen evidence is ENT, where the NX-01 and her sister ships look nothing like that desktop model, so it's hard for me to rationalize that a ship that looks very TOS would have been built alongside the NX class.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
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  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...OTOH, I have no trouble believing the Oberth and the Excelsior were built side by side - they look completely unalike simply because they were designed for completely different roles.

    The sphere-and-can vessel, whether Daedalus or something else, could well be a "second-rate" vessel similar to Oberth, lacking the saucer hull because she's not a combat starship, and lacking the blue windows from the warp engines because she's not a warp five thoroughbred.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Unless you want to make me believe that pigs can fly I have to ask you to present evidence.

    Over the past years Andrew Probert has repeatedly tried to dissociate himself from any allusions and suggestions (e.g. Star Trek Encyclopedia) he might have anything to do with the Sternbach/Jein Enterprise-C design.

    His Ambassador Class design is totally different, came first, depicts the Enterprise-C, and was apparently sanctioned by Gene Roddenberry, otherwise it would not have made it to the wall display.

    As far as I know Andrew Probert still feels strong about his original design and doesn't think too much of the BUFF that tried to replace and erase his design from "history".

    :rofl: I don't think it's "fascinating" how you are trying to give this thread a 180° spin, but "interesting" it is.

    The same desktop model was used for the USS Essex ("Power Play") that served during the same era as the USS Horizon from "A Piece of the Action".
    The artists and producers of TNG and DS9 established both ships to have been members of the 22nd Century Daedalus Class, so that's what we know with no need for second-guessing. :)

    Bob
     
  13. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    Just out of curiosity, do you have more info on Probert's feelings about the Ambassador concept? I realize that's best suited for its own thread (it would make an interesting one), but I wasn't aware before that there were issues between his original concept and the model that Rick Sternbach originally built. Perhaps one of them could shed some light on that.
     
  14. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I remember reading this when Tobias Richter finished the CGI model. Lots of fans were talking about how Probert's design was the "true" Ambassador class, which prompted him to issue a statement saying that wasn't true. I have neither the time nor the interest in searching for Probert's quote, so if you want the evidence you're going to have to look for it yourself. Or if you're friends with the man, you can ask him yourself.

    I wasn't the one who brought the subject of the Horizon up. I was just adding to the discussion already in progress, so why you think I'm spinning the subject around is a mystery to me. But, whatever.

    If you meant that the photo of the model was used to represent the Essex in the Encyclopedia, ok. But that's not canonical evidence that the Essex looked like that. Unless there was a diagram in "Power Play" that showed what the ship looks like, then its design is still a mystery.

    Again, in the Encyclopedia only, not canonically shown on screen. And while yes, the Essex is indeed Daedalus class, we still don't canonically know what that class looked like.
     
  15. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    "Over the past years Andrew Probert has repeatedly tried to dissociate himself from any allusions and suggestions (e.g. Star Trek Encyclopedia) he might have anything to do with the Sternbach/Jein Enterprise-C design."

    That's the essence of what he wrote me a couple of years back.

    Part of that necessity to disscociate himself was, of course, that the Star Trek Encyclopedia suggested that the VFX model and design featured in "Yesterday's Enterprise" was based on Andrew Probert's original design, which it isn't (Probert's Enterprise-C is an evolution link between the Excelsior and the Galaxy Class, the Enterprise-C on screen VFX model rather strikes me as some kind of evolution link between Kirk's and Picard's TV Enterprises).

    And it didn't really helped that the Reeves-Stevens erroneously described his Ambassador Class (matte) painting as a pre-production sketch for the Galaxy Class Enterprise-D in The Art of Star Trek, which it wasn't either :wtf:

    Although I'm tempted to start a thread on this, I'm afraid it would create dissent. One of the "official" excuses had been that the Star Trek Art Department no longer had the original Probert drawings to use as a guideline.
    This is - pardon me saying so - bullshit! The proportions and basic design outline of Probert's Enterprise-C were still on display on the conference lounge wall for everybody to see and acknowledge.
    Maybe that's also one of the reasons why this sculpture wall (with its beautiful maritime allusions) was discarded and destroyed prior to TNG's Season Five - to prevent audiences and fans from noticing the discrepancies and asking uncomfortable questions?

    @ Dukhat

    Apparently you're referring to the Ships of the Line article and the comments section. Unfortunately Drex Files has ceased to exist (:(), but I also posted a couple of comments there until the very end and read Andrew Probert's replies. But I don't recall one that suggests what you stated here. It seems to be somewhat out of context, and before we have some new myth-building at the expense of Andrew Probert I couldn't help but to intervene.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I had forgotten about this little but possibly crucial detail that could hint a solution for a credible rationalization.

    The one thing we never learned about Reliant was whether she had been a refitted TOS-style Miranda Class or a totally new design utilizing the brand-new components of the Enterprise's refit.

    I stated that I believe the "NCC-1831" on the starship status chart from "Court Martial" to be an early, possibly unintended, hint that Miranda Class ships (18th Federation starship design) already existed during the TOS era.

    The 19th design (Soyuz Class) could have already been the first one combining TOS (or "Phase II post-TOS designs) and TMP Enterprise elements.
    In simpler language, ships like the Bozeman could have been the first to go with the new upgrade elements (but still in the need for further refinement).

    Ships like the Enterprise and the Reliant benefitted from refined upgrade packages (or a more substantial upgrade than the Soyuz Class), but eventually only the Miranda Class turned out to still have a bright future ahead, because it was a more versatile and multi-purpose design (than the Enterprise) and its upgrades had been more substantial or better (than the Soyuz Class). :)

    Bob
     
  17. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I seem to remember Mr. Probert's comments about treating the wall display as the "real" Enterprise-C. I seem to also recall him suggesting that his design might have been the appearance of the original U.S.S. Ambassador.

    Why are we talking about the Ambassador anyway? :rommie:

    I'll buy that - and maybe it was those very interim features that doomed the Soyuz class so early? Or, maybe the Soyuz class was an offshoot of the "original" design, meant for a special, urgent purpose, who was even more easily done in by her interim features?

    I might agree with Timo that the Oberth as presented in TSFS and beyond could represent a technological level around the movie era or before, so perhaps it's a midstep along the lines you suggest the Soyuz to be.

    OTOH, we should consider refits in general. Something about the Enterprise refit was special, I think. Others have suggested that it was perhaps a testbed for a whole new class; i.e., older ships with "prefit" (TOS) tech were not upgraded, but rather replaced with new models.

    I'm not sure whether I subscribe to this theory yet, but it is worthy of note that the Excelsior and Miranda's appearances did not change appreciably in the same way the Enterprise changed from prefit to refit, nor have we seen any real similar degree of change in any other starship model. Now, it's possible that indeed there were other refits of Enterprise scale that went unseen, but why nothing for the Excelsior and Miranda onward? Is it them that's special, or the refit of the Enterprise?

    My tangential point here is, we have no explicit reason, based on what's onscreen, to assume that the Oberth was ever refit into its known configuration. Based on this, we are left essentially with a debate over its age. This leaves us examining her features and registry, and also the longevity of the design.

    Relatedly, I think we must consider our position on production intent in canon. It was the intent that the model in Sisko'sready room represented the Daedalus class. While indeed it has not been established onscreen ("first tier" canon or whatever you want to call it) it was indeed author intent. It was indeed on screen - which to me makes it Second Tier and acceptable until something First Tier invalidates it... and somehow, I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

    (That said, any ship other than Essex need not be Daedalus class, of course.)

    Why are we talking about the Daedalus anyway? :p
     
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  18. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not taking anything out of context. I was telling you what I remember reading, and I stand by what I wrote. It could have been on Drexfiles, it could have been on Trekmovie, I don't remember. But what I do remember was what Probert stated. Whether you believe me or not doesn't really concern me.

    I believe Mr. Comsol brought it up.;)

    I understand the intent, and I won't argue about that, as that's absolutely what the producers intended. But right along with that Daedalus model in Sisko's ready room was another model of the Nebula class Melbourne. The intent at the time of that model's creation was that the Melbourne was Nebula class, but the later reality turned out different. All I'm saying is that things like desktop models and display screen information should be taken with a grain of salt as far as true "canonicity" is concerned.

    I believe Mr. Comsol brought it up.;)
     
  19. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I do agree with you there - but OTOH, there's no reason to not take it and run with it a bit, if only because there's nothing that directly contradicts the Daedalus as with the Melbourne. Now, I'm not about to dig through the pile of rejected Jefferies sketches and identify every ship type ever mentioned, but if it's been on screen and hasn't been contradicted, I don't see any harm.

    The problem with the Oberth is not that it is already a can of worms - but the other cans it opens. Look at all the different topics that have sprung from it, ranging from starship longevity to the nature of Starfleet registries. The problem is, no one issue related to the Oberth we've identified is enough to really cement it one way or the other, sadly.

    Speaking of which, does anyone recall how the TSFS script describes the old girl? I found this.

    Mid-sized Federation Science Vessel. If you really want to pick a nit, it doesn't even call her a Starfleet ship.

    And, 120 meters would be midsize between the Enterprise and nothin.' Interestingly, it seems to assert there are ships smaller than her and also seems to define her specific role.
     
  20. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The ship was crewed by Starfleet officers, so it makes the Grissom a de facto Starfleet vessel.

    And, BTW, to show the actual seriousness with which ILM views all this stuff, read this quote from an ILM model maker from ST IV:

    So a member of ILM's model building staff in charge of renaming and re-regging the models thinks that the Grissom was a small shuttlecraft. :lol: