Renaissance class U.S.S. Aries

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Dukhat, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hello,

    I'm writing up an essay about the conjectural Starfleet vessel classes in the Encyclopedia, and I'm hoping someone can help me with a tidbit of info about the above ship, which is referred to in the TNG second season episode "The Icarus Factor."

    Now, having see the original first-run episode when I was 16 (I'm 35 now), I could have sworn up and down that either Picard or Kyle Riker referred to the Aries as "a small scout ship" or something similar. However, upon watching the DVD of the ep a few days ago, it turns out that nothing of the sort was said. As a matter of fact, the only reference to a description of the ship was given by Picard: "...a relatively insignificant ship..." (compared to the Enterprise).

    So was I just hallucinating nineteen years ago, or were there any other references to the Aries being a small scout ship somewhere else?
     
  2. Cronos6939

    Cronos6939 Captain Captain

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  3. JNG

    JNG Chief of Staff, Starfleet Command

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  4. James Wright

    James Wright Commodore Commodore

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    The ship seen at trekships.org looks like the Intrepid class in hull configuration, that's just my opinion!
    Thanks.

    JDW
     
  5. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm glad you posted that design, because I want to explain how wrong it is :-)

    Seriously, I completely respect the guys at ASDB for their work on these conjectural classes, but my essay contains a conjectural timeline of starship design construction, and I can tell you that the Rennaissance class would not look like that.

    First, that particular design came about because one of the early TNG comic books featured the Aries. In it, the ship was very small (perhaps that was where I got the idea it was a scoutship from?), and although it was a saucer/engineering hull/nacelles on each side of the engineering hull as depicted in this design, the comic book art was very crude and the ship would look different from one panel to the next. Someone got the idea that the Ambassador class hull was what it was supposed to look like, but I can vehemently state that that was not so (I saw the comic myself). However, that's what stuck, and that's what the ASDB guys used as their template. And really, all it is is an Ambassador class ship with its nacelles on the side instead of on upward-curving pylons.
     
  6. Huntingdon

    Huntingdon Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    They got the Ambassador class idea from the TNG Tec Manual I think. It states that the Galaxy type escape pods were incorporated in to the last of the Renaissance class, which puts it in the pre-Galaxy era aka Amabassador style. We've not really seen any Ambassador era ships so the Renaissance makes sense if they were being built through that time.

    If your essay conjectures a different timeline - have you made allowance for the Renaissance class being built right up to the Galaxy era?
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I'm fond of the idea that the Aries comes from the same class as the Centaur commanded by Captain Reynolds in DS9. The registries for those two vessels are very similar. Both appear to be small and "insignificant" vessels - the Aries as per Picard's words, the Centaur because she can barely offer resistance to a single Jem'Hadar battlebug.

    Also, the configuration that uses identifiable Excelsior-style components but combines them with Miranda elements (mainly the bridge and torp pod) that alter the scale to something much smaller than Excelsior looks very attractive for an "insignificant" ship in that registry range.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Here's some relevant points that my timeline makes (remember, this is conjectural based on registry numbers):

    1. Because the Antares, Apollo, Hokule'a, and Wambundu classes are all in production around the same time as the Ambassador class (2313-2317 or thereabouts), I speculated that they are all variants of the Ambassador (the timeline goes into greater detail about this).

    2. Between 2320 and 2329, we see a huge upsurge in Excelsior and Miranda class ships (and their variants, the DS9 kitbashes). This is also the time when the Istanbul, Merced, and Surak classes are in production (Timo, I originally felt the Centaur was a Renaissance class too, but now I feel it would rather fit better as a Merced or Surak class). So the Ambassador class design lineage is effectively stopped in favor of designs incorporating the Excelsior parts. Why? Who knows? But that's what the registries say.

    3. The big turning point in the timeline is 2329, when duotronics are replaced by isolinear chips in starship computer systems. I logically speculate that this is when the older Excelsior designs are stopped in favor of newer designs incorporating the newer technology.

    4. Because Renaissance class production continued for the next eight years after 2329 (The Hokkaido was built in 2337), I speculated that the Renaissance class was in fact one of the first new vessel designs to incorporate the iso-chip technology, and therefore be a newer style of vessel than the older Excelsior and Ambassador classes. I also speculated that the term "Rennaissance" was used just for this new technological advancement.


    Personally, I think the Renaissance class is the true "intermediary" step between the Excelsior class and the Galaxy class, registry- and timeline-wise. But by the time of the Enterprise-D, the class hadn't been in production for decades, and was considered (by Picard anyway) to be insignificant.:)
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    To be sure, the Drake previously offered to Riker was considered a "light cruiser", allowing us to say that the Aries wasn't bigger than that. Perhaps Starfleet would even decide to offer Riker a lesser ship the second time around, to show him that refusal wasn't without consequences?

    Of course, the third ship Riker is offered, the Melbourne, is either an Excelsior or a Nebula - so either "huge" or "kazoink-kababoom-mindbogging-gigantic".

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  10. Tigger

    Tigger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Then again, I have read comments by TNG production staff who have designated the Nebula class as a light cruiser, so evidently a Federation light cruiser can still be pretty big. ;)
     
  11. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think it's the size of the ship that matters, but rather its mission profile. You could be the captain of a huge massive freighter, but all you'd be doing is hauling freight. The Drake, light cruiser or not, was an old ship only capable of warp two, which would make its missions considerably limited. But the Aries seemed to be capable of deep-space exploration missions, so I don't think it was a "step down" for Riker. And the Melbourne would certainly have been a feather in his cap.
     
  12. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I found a page with a picture scanned from the comic. The ship is actually the Hornet, not the Aries, but it's still supposed to be the Renaissance Class:

    http://startrek.wikia.com/wiki/Renaissance_class

    As you can see, the art is incredibly crude. How someone went from that to this is quite a stretch:

    http://www.trekships.org/renaissance.htm

    But even so, this depiction really doesn't suit what we know of the class, mainly, that she is a deep-space explorer. Usually, ships having that type of mission profile tend to be quite large (The Excelsior, the Enterprise-D, etc.), so that the ship would be well-stocked with equipment, supplies, etc., for such a long and far journey.
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    We could argue that the Voyager was perfectly capable of deep space missions, too, though. It would just be a matter of endurance: some exploration vessels would be geared towards longer missions (and perhaps deeper space) than others.

    Certainly this comics/ASDB take on the Renaissance class would follow the trend of the intrepid deep space explorers being of the "Enterprise configuration", with two hulls and two out- and perhaps uprigged nacelles. Of course, we have nothing to support the idea that this really is a trend; for all we know, ships of Miranda or Nebula configuration are just as capable and optimal for deep space exploration, and we merely fail to hear of significant explorer captains who would have used those vessels.

    One point of interest here: "Icarus Factor" never quite confirms that Riker would get a fourth pip when promoted to the command of the Aries. If he is to command that vessel at Commander rank, then the Aries might be relatively small, smaller perhaps than Rice's light cruiser Drake which gave her young commander (or required of him) the fourth pip.

    Sure, the word "promotion" is bandied about - but it need not imply increase in rank, as O'Brien was also promoted at transfer from E-D to DS9 (they use that word in "A Man Alone") yet did not change his collar pips. And sure, Riker is supposed to be called Captain when in command of the Aries - but again, that tells us nothing, as he'd be called that even if his rank were Lieutenant.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm with Timo regarding the Centaur representing the design of the Renaissance. It's one of the ASDB designs I was least happy with, but it was set in stone before I joined so not I could do about it.

    I would of course dispute the idea that the Antares and Hokule'a are Ambassador derived, just because the few known examples have registries that overlap. But then you all know my take on those designs anyway. Though of course I would agree to the Apollo being an Ambassador stablemate.;)
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I love your design on the Antares to bits - and I wonder if the Centaur isn't filling a somewhat similar niche for the "Excelsior generation" of starships...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hey, let's have a Flare Forum party at the TrekBBS!:lol:

    Seriously, though...

    Timo: You're forgetting that the Aries already had a first officer of the Commander rank: Cmdr. Flaherty. So unless they were going to be co-captains, I'd guess that Riker would get that fourth pip.

    Reverend: Believe me, nothing would make me happier than to see new, original designs for the conjectural classes (kinda like what you did for the Antares). However, I based my conjectural designs on several factors, of which the registries were only one.

    1. The curious lack of more than one or two Antares, Hokule'a and Wambundu class ships in operation, going along with the curious lack of Ambassador class ships, as opposed to other vessel classes, at about the same time.

    2. Between the mid 23rd century and the mid 24th, most major vessel classes had variants of the "classic" design for their era. For example:

    a. TOS Connie = Hermes/Saladin, Ptolemy, Federation (and yes, I consider the FJ designs canon).

    b. TMP Connie = Miranda, Constellation, Connie DS9 kitbash

    c. Excelsior = Centaur DS9 kitbash, Curry/Raging Queen DS9 kitbash, 3-nacelled DS9 kitbash.

    d. Ambassador = ?

    e. Galaxy = too numerous to mention.

    The Ambassador is the only major class with no known variants, but with four conjectural classes built around the same time. Hence, using Occam's Razor, I guessed that they were the Ambassador's variants.


    Also, I'm still of the opinion that the Centaur design would not be right for the Renaissance class if only because it would make more sense as a new design rather than an Excelsior kitbash. I do agree with what you said on Flare that Andrew Probert's original Ent-C design (or more specifically, your take on it) would fit better as the Renaissance class. But I'm glad we agree on the Apollo!:)
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  17. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You rang? :D
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I'd argue that the Ambassador is merely the largest member of the Excelsior family of ships, with the same sort of saucer profile, the same open-top nacelles (which only make a comeback in the Sovereign family, this time without the side "field windows"), and the same rounded deflector.

    And Commander Flaherty could have been of LtCmdr rank. :)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And I would counter-argue that besides the saucer profile, the open-top nacelles and the round deflector, the ship is completely different than the Excelsior. But your hypothesis would certainly explain why there are no Ambassador variants. However, it wouldn't explain why the shipbuilders started with the Excelsior, upgraded to the Ambassador, but went back to the Excelsior in a major way later.

    I put it to you, Mr. Okuda: Just why was the decision made to have Ambassador class ships with registries of 2XXXX, and Excelsior class ships with registries of 4XXXX? In early TNG, all the Excelsiors had low four-digit registries, but by DS9 they had these huge five-digit registries in the 40,000s!
    Why? Why this madness??? ;)
     
  20. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In TNG, it seems to pretty much be the backbone of the fleet. I would imagine the registry issue is because Starfleet kept building Excelsiors. Why replace a perfectly reliable design? Indeed, as with all ship classes, no two have the exact same internals, so as you keep building them, they stay up to date with technology and building methods, and the Excelsior seems vaunted and reliable, so no need for a replacement for quite a while.