Shuttlecraft - curved edges on top?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by MarsWeeps, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    I'm curious about the TOS shuttle design and why there are curved areas on the sides that extend above the actual ceiling of the shuttle? Why such a design? Why not have the roof of the shuttle flush?

    See pics for better explanation.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    It looks interesting?
    Trying to make a shoebox a little less bland?
     
  3. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    I thought maybe those curved edges act like some sort of rails to allow the shuttle to "hang" for storage. The only in-universe explanation that I could think of. :)
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Those shapes are there in the earliest concept drawings of the shuttle - that is, once TPTB realized they could not afford a shape other than simple shoebox. Probably a sort of "we can't do wings on this budget but these are their futuristic equivalent" thing.

    It isn't completely unrealistic that such curving would have a beneficial aerodynamic effect. I mean, in reality this specific type of curvature probably won't, but curves like that do reduce power-wasting vortices in modern airfoils. Add a bit of artistic license and there you have it: a flying brick made more stable and fuel-efficient in atmospheres because the curves redirect the airflow at the all-important corners.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because every great utility vehicle has a roof rack option.
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The curves are on the bottom back, too.
     
  7. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    That's probably the basic explanation. The curved extensions of the hull sides make a simple, boxy craft a little less boxy, and they look as if they could have some sort of aerodynamic function for atmospheric flight.
     
  8. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hadn't though of that, but that might be exactly what it is. Like a picatinny rail on a gun, or the clamps that mount a cargo container to a flat bed.

    You could attach phasers, torpedo launcher, sensors, fuel tanks, skis, or just boxes of supplies to the roof.

    The ones on the bottom the same deal. The shuttle could take off, land on top of a cargo container, grab on, and take off again.

    Starting to like this idea Zombie Redshirt.

    :devil: :devil: :devil:
     
  9. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't buy the idea of the edges being used as hitches or grapple structures. I like it, but I don't buy it.

    The curved edges are too subtle for such a purpose.
    If they were real rail-like structures for mounting uses, I think they'd be more pronounced, more substantial, more solid.

    As they are, they do seem more like an airfoil or aerodynamic feature rather than a grapple rail of some kind.
     
  10. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    But since the bow is flat, the shuttle would have to slide onto a container in "R". ;)

    I just wondered today how they moved the cargo containers for Khan & company down to Ceti Alpha V and how a TOS cargo container transporter would have looked like for these containers (http://ottens.co.uk/forgottentrek/designing-the-motion-pictures-cargo-and-shuttle-bays/). Like a Galileo shuttlecraft with an open middle capable of holding 4 containers?

    I don't buy any aerodynamic feature for the curved edges. With the angled in ceiling of the cabin a hangar transport holding plate would slide in nicely.

    Bob
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That sketch is much sexier than the craft we got. The proportions are much better.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Unlikely as it seems, they might have been flown down in the configuration we saw used for space maneuvering, with a flimsy "spine" connecting the pods and with a workbee clamped at the bow.

    That is, the set was built with the "spine" in place, up to and including the mounting for the (missing) workbee!

    It does stretch credibility, though, that the "workbee train" would be capable of such feats. So perhaps we should once again politely but firmly ignore author intent and decide that the bunch of six containers (or, rather, three double-width ones) was beamed down with a cargo transporter, but with the "train" system attached for some unknown reason. Perhaps it distributes power to the containers, and was considered handier than a bunch of cables in that task even planetside? Or perhaps its supposedly feeble maneuvering thrusters can still move the containers across short distances, and Kirk decided to give Khan the option of relocating his camp later.

    We are probably supposed to ignore the fact that Khan's containers are slightly larger than the ones seen in ST:TMP. Perhaps the greater interior height can be explained by Khan kicking out the bottom plates and digging pits in the ground, then placing the bottomless containers over the pits (a fairly standard way to build huts in general)?

    A dedicated cargo shuttle would probably be a wholly enclosed craft, not placing the "rolling door" corrugated surfaces at the mercy of the elements during atmospheric flight...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. mos6507

    mos6507 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah. It almost looks like something for 2001 or the shuttle that brought Kirk to Starfleet HQ in TMP. It might have been a little too sexy compared to what we did see in TOS, though. TOS was a very utilitarian aesthetic, but at least it was stylistically consistent.
     
  14. gastrof

    gastrof Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It seems the structures seen in Star Trek II came, not from the Enterprise (any version), but from the Botany Bay itself.

    That was how Chekov realized who they'd encounter if they didn't get out of there fast. He saw what looked like a seatbelt with the words "Botany Bay" on the buckle.
     
  15. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    How solid they are as a structural feature would depend on what the hull is made of.

    And if they may just be there to guide and align an attachedment on the top, which is then magnatised to the hull.
     
  16. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Perhaps. But if they have tractor beams and magnetized and anti-grav techs, why the need for physical grapple structures?

    I guess I just expect that if they were meant to be physical attachment rails, they'd be more like a solid I-beam rather than slightly curved and tapering edges.
     
  17. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Just because something has to engineered that way today, it doesn't mean it would have to be that way in the 23rd century.


    Advacnes in technology, new stronger materials which can do the same job but me thinner. etc...
     
  18. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I disagree. The cargo pods are clearly TMP Starfleet issue. We must assume that such pods existed on the TOS Enterprise. There are problems with having them be from the Botany Bay. If they were antique pods, then Chekov and Terrel both should have spotted them for what they were more or less immediately. Instead, Terrel notes they are cargo carriers. His surprise is in that there were cargo carriers at all, not that they were antique. Chekov catches on when he sees the "BOTANY BAY" buckle. What's that buckle doing there? maybe it was brought from the old ship before it was cast aside by Kahn and his goons when they had charge of the Enterprise in "Space Seed." But, why would the Botany Bay have labeled belt buckles anyway? Maybe one of the marooned guys made it.

    --Alex
     
  19. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe it's the equivalent of something like this?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    I came up with a cheesy idea: what if the curved upper "tailfins" on the Class F Shuttlecraft were designed that way so the shuttle could be assembled in different configurations? (Here's the cheesy part: remember the "extensional boosting units" used in the SPACE: 1999 episode "The Metamorph"?)

    Maybe the shuttle craft parts come from a "cold storage" parts bin below hangar. numerous shuttle hulls are stored there in pieces, ready for quick assembly. A typical Connie mission could call for four fully-assembled Class F's at any given time, but the parts bin has many more ready for either repairs of the fully-assembled-four or to assemble more in special circumstances.

    Let's say there's a number of different configurations that can be derived from the same set of parts, from travel pods to asteroid prospector scouts to recon party base-camp ships to "fighter" probe-ships. So maybe there's a Class G long-range scout (like in TAS) and also a Class H cargo shuttle. All you have to do is pull the right parts from the bin and assemble them properly; maybe a Class E needs the nacelles attached on top, hence the tailfins.

    If memory serves, the TAS long-range scoutship used by Spock, Sulu and Uhura had a rear hatch. Maybe the tailfins provide a handy slot for that type of scoutship to house its impulse engine to make clearance for the hatch.