What's in the Excelsior/Enterprise-B/Lakota shuttlebay?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by King Daniel Beyond, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I've often wondered about the Excelsior hanger bay, seeing murky blue shapes inside in the closing shots of STVI and elsewhere, but only recently did I find these awesome shots of the actual Excelsior/Enterprise-B/Lakota model:

    http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/kg-1701b-lakota-reference-048.jpg, http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/kg-1701b-lakota-reference-039.jpg, http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/kg-1701b-lakota-reference-049.jpg

    So what is this? It looks like some sort of freighter parked inside. The bay also appears to be open to space.

    Here are many more pics of the model (and other Trek ships) here: http://www.modelermagic.com/?p=2932.

    Also, looking at those tiny windows and that miniscule bridge dome (with windows around indicating surrounding rooms NX-01 style, and a lounge behind Enterprise-D style), the Excelsior must be far bigger than it's supposed 467m. We're talking 750+ meters.

    Awesome model, btw:techman:
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The cavity in the secondary hull may or may not be a shuttlebay. It lacks doors, and the only time it has had that blue "forcefield" glow that might indicate airtightness was for NCC-2000 in ST6:TUC.

    Perhaps the space originally held some vital transwarp gear, and this was ripped out when it failed to meet specs, and the cavity was put to some other use. After all, we never see what is in this space in NX-2000; the camera only hits this spot when the ship becomes NCC-2000, several years later.

    That weird thing looks like it is meant to clamp something (those aircraft landing strut greeblies). Might be towing hardware, or a means to carry heavy assault barges. Or then the ship is equipped for self-repair, and this thing unfolds to become the vessel's very own spacedock.

    Doesn't look like the thing is intended to ever fly out of that cavity; it's rather too well integrated to the support structures of the cavity for that.

    I wonder if the CGI Excelsiors have anything comparable in there?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. AstroSmurf

    AstroSmurf Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always assumed that area was for cargo. The little clamps and arms could be used to feed the containers into the storage bays.

    But if we really wanted to know someone could contact her designer, Bill George, and ask him.



    And I am moving this thread to the Tech Forum. I think you would get better answers and discussion there.
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It's labelled "main shuttle bay" on the Enterprise-B MSD.
    I'm pretty sure they've just got a flat blue panel - the Excelsior CG in "The Changing Face of Evil" (that is the one with the astroid base and the defence platforms, right?) was very low detail. When you see an Exclesior flip over, mortally damaged, you can see that there's no detail at all on one side of the engineering hull (which is odd... I always thought the texture would just be mirrored on the other side:shrug:)
    Good point!
     
  5. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That is perhaps the best explanation. A dropship could go there and slide back a bit..
     
  6. bryce

    bryce Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I do wonder what it was *meant* to be on the original Excelsior? I assume some part of the Transwarp machinery...

    I think it was only made into a hanger deck it ST:Generations.
     
  7. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    It was only made into a shuttlebay in the MSD of that movie. And that MSD doesn't necessarily match the exterior of the ship particularly well. (For example, the torpedo launchers are in the wrong places!)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  8. Albertus

    Albertus Lieutenant Red Shirt

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  9. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    I thought the hollowed-out area described above was the arboretum?
     
  10. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Do starships have arboretums/ae/whatever in the usual case? We have only ever heard of the TOS and TNG Enterprises having those.

    The shuttlebay-like thing at the extreme stern of the Excelsiors is also used as a ventral detail at the stern of the Ambassador class (the later appearances of it anyway), in close proximity to another blatant stern shuttlebay. Could be that a bay of this size and shape is specifically intended for cargo loading and offloading, with the help of those workbee-towed container trains we see in the movie era. And the "real" shuttlebay of an Excelsior might then be elsewhere, possibly in the ventral cavity discussed above.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  11. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    According to the MSD from "Generations", the shuttle bay takes up a large chunk in the aft primary hull. Haven't looked at a top-down schematic of the Excelsior in some time, so I don't know how much room they really have up there with the impulse engines and all. I was of the understanding that the "shuttlebay" at the tip of the secondary hull was only for cargo.
     
  12. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The ST:GEN display has several inaccuracies, such as the placement of the torpedo launchers (we know the forward ones aren't on the deck suggested in the display) and the navigational deflector (which is roughly on decks 22-25 when the movie says deck 15, and too high up in comparison with the model). And the deck structure shown is somewhat dubious anyway, and not in harmony with most ideas of the size of the Excelsior class.

    But yes, it appears to show nothing but a workbee cargo train in the aft bay, although that bay does have enough room for shuttles, too.

    OTOH, it doesn't show a shuttlebay in the ventral cavity, but rather a set of aft torpedo launchers (for which there's no obvious external opening) and then a deck structure that seems to be at odds with the very existence of the cavity.

    The shuttlebay that is shown in that MSD appears to lie in the centerline of the ship's saucer and neck, as it is seen extending down below saucer level into what must be the neck. At odds with this necessary centerline placement is the label "Main Shuttle bay P/S", which might suggest that the new add-on boxes are the two halves of that MSB. But the top-down view calls them the "Impulse Reaction System" instead... Too many contradictions to my taste.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  13. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Come to think of it, I don't know if I'd want to visit an arboreteum that was only protected by a blue force field from the vacuum of space. One minute you're walking amidst trees and flowers and butterflies, and the next minute a power failure sucks the whole kit and kaboodle out the ass end.
     
  14. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    I would not be a very happy xeno-botanist.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...One would also think that a shipboard arboretum would be the last place onboard to have portholes that open to space, quite regardless of whether those are covered by forcefields, transparent aluminum, or plain glass.

    The plants would have no use for starlight. They'd roast in the occasional bout of intense sunlight from a nearby star, though, or at least their rhythms would be thrown to chaos by the total lack of rhyme and reason in the variation in such light. They wouldn't enjoy the view, either (at least most of them wouldn't).

    And if the idea was to provide the crew with a combined entertainment facility that had both parklands and starlight, why not provide the latter in a more realistic manner - by installing a fake canopy of projected stars to provide the illusion of walking under the sky of a world? If there are just a couple of portholes in the walls or the ceiling, those could just as well be viewscreens instead. That way, they'd provide more versatile entertainment.

    To be sure, we've never seen an arboretum that would be open to space. That is, none of the interior sets in TOS or TNG suggested the presence of a porthole, and the exterior of the TOS movie ship was never photographed closely enough to reveal what was behind those big windows in the ship's underbelly.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. SicOne

    SicOne Commodore Commodore

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    Isn't there an arboreteum in the refit-Constitution-class, where there's five big windows on each side in the lower secondary hull?
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Yep. In the closing shot of TMP, the outline of trees are visible in the windows.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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  19. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Yep, or that's where the SF Engineers moved the glowing spinners on the TOS nacelles to have them glowing in engineering hull instead ;)

    We know from looking at the physical model that is what's there but from what's been up on the screen it's impossible to tell with the different angles and the slightly frosted glowing windows :D
     
  20. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I always thought the undercut of Excelsior was rather extreme. Instead of just proposing a small drop ship goes there in the small cut out, imagine if a "Complete Excelsior secondary hul was shaped like the Oberth/Grisson. Continue the curve of the secondary hull up just under the tail, terminating just below the aft torp tubes.

    This long smooth pod could invert and land, looking like a curvy wedge on the ground.

    BTW: Nice drawings of Excelsior here:
    http://subodeon.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=ships&action=display&thread=2023&page=5

    Misc
    http://www.modelermagic.com/?p=27335
    http://www.modelermagic.com/?tag=star-trek
    http://www.modelermagic.com/?p=15430
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011