Why Bother moving the Nacelles?

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by Tom, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We all know that Voyagers warp nacelles angle up when it goes to warp. I have always wondered why don't they just stay at that angle all the time, why do they have to go back down. If there not in warp, then there not it use so why not leave them upright. Does it somehow get in the way of the Impulse engines to leave them angled? I'm not sure if this was ever mentioned on screen. The obvious behind the screen answer i'm sure is that the producers thought it was cool, so they had them do that.
     
  2. Finn

    Finn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Apparently, it has an effect on the formation of the warp field in a way that it doesn't harm subspace (or something like that), after those events of the TNG episode where heavy warp traffic was threatening a nearby star system. Silly yeah, but. And I don't think its canon, but I think someone came up with that years ago.
     
  3. HaplessCrewman

    HaplessCrewman Commander Red Shirt

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    My (totally unsupported) view was that the moving warp engines was Star Fleet's solution to the "warp drive causes pollution" problem introduced in the late TNG episode "Force of Nature".

    Well, evidently I am not the only one to come up with this idea.

    http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Variable_geometry_pylon
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  4. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But why not just leave them angled though, unless they do accully move back and forth while at warp to adjust the field and we just don't see that. Also we don't see this with other class ships (in the dominion war and such).
     
  5. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You're exactly right. And I've said this for years...
    It's not that the nacelles have to be "up" for warp drive
    (as you say, just leave them up).

    It's more like...why do they need to be lowered for impulse?


    If the nacelles need to be in the upright and locked position for warp speeds, just build them fixed in that position.

    If they need to be moved down, then that must be for impulse speed reasons, and what's the reasoning there?

    Aw hell...it's just a case of wanting the ship to do something kewl and having moving nacelles.

    The warp/impulse/whatever excuses are up to us to imagine.
     
  6. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well the other things i can think of is that the impuse engines are on the pylons vs other ships that have them on the hull so maybe something about them not working right at the upward angle. Also maybe something with the bussard collecters in the front of the nacelles.
     
  7. RyanLevy

    RyanLevy Commander Red Shirt

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    maybe it was a matter of a quick-redesign towards the end of the construction. If Voyager was being built with stationary warp nacelles and then the events of Force of Nature happened, a quick redesign could be worked in to allow for movable warp nacelles, without impacting performance or a lengthy re-design.
     
  8. Meredith

    Meredith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would have loved to see some crew member working in the nacelle pylon get squished to a pulp in the hinge mechanism as the ship unexpectedly dropped out of warp.

    Would have made some good drama.
     
  9. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The may also need to be down for some type of stabilation of the ship, keep in mind to that Voyager can land on planets so it may also relate to atmosperic stability.
     
  10. B_L_T

    B_L_T Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The nacelles move because of the variable warp geometry. It was a way to get around the subspace damage that conventional warp drive causes. The nacelles shift position while the ship is at warp, they need to contstantly move in order to adjust to changing spacial and subspace conditions

    It was later found that the variable warp geometry could be achieved with fixed naceles such as on the Enterprise E
     
  11. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Is there on screen canon to support this?
     
  12. B_L_T

    B_L_T Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    No, unfortunately there was no screen canon to support this. It is widely accepted fanon
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    We could speculate that the nacelles indeed move, just a tad, when the ship shifts from Warp 2 to Warp 3 to Warp 4 and so forth. And we fail to see this movement on screen because it's so slight. This "variable warp geometry" could then make some sort of sense.

    But it would still defy reason why the nacelles would be built to swing in a giant arc when they only need to move those near-invisible fractions of degree in order to do the job.

    It seems more logical to assume that the swinging has got something to do with balancing the ship for planetary landings. However, that, too, is problematic: why do the nacelles swing down for sublight even when the ship is nowhere near planets?

    Perhaps it's not the position of the nacelles that is important for adjusting the warp field? Perhaps it's the very movement itself? That is, perhaps the Intrepid class enjoys superior acceleration to warp because it squeezes its nacelles together at the moment of engaging warp. After that initial squeeze, the position of the nacelles is of no relevance - it's only the initial flapping move that matters. And thus of course the nacelles go down when dropping out of warp, so that the ship is immediately prepared for another flap.

    Many modern Trek ships have their nacelles at an angle, so such a position may be advantageous overall. Few have flapping pylons, though - in addition to Intrepid, the Yeager kitbash from DS9 looks like it would also have this feature, but that's pretty much it. Perhaps the swing-pylon design was a grievous error, something that never worked the way it was intended? Perhaps it was originally assumed that the nacelles would go up a little bit for Warp 1, a bit more for Warp 4, a lot for Warp 7, and to the upper max for Warp 9.975. It would make some sense, then, to configure the ship so that impulse drive corresponded to the lowermost position. However, this failed to work, and now the decision to have impulse configuration dependent on lowering of pylons turned out to be disastrous. Starfleet couldn't lock the pylons in the single working position now, but had to tell its captains to utilize the two extreme positions, one for all warp, one for impulse.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. Vic Sixx

    Vic Sixx Commodore Commodore

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    I thought Voyager was meant to mimic a Klingon Bird of Prey which likewise has moveable wings. Or at least the Federation version, small size vessels. A Bird of Prey likewise has to move it's wings to land and fire weapons, and go to warp. But I'm with the because it looks cool class, I doubt the producers thought that much about it.
     
  15. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm pretty sure Rick Sternbach has stated that the real-world reason Voyager had moving warp nacelles is that the producers wanted the ship to have visual interest and so wanted something on it to move, so he came up with the idea of variable warp geometry and the idea that they would indeed move tiny amounts while the ship was in warp. In his original designs, the field windows on the engines would hinge outward. There are sketches floating around somewhere that Mr. Sternbach did that show the Voyager in a form very near its finished form with fixed-wings and the nacelles hanging slightly below. I guess the producers liked the folding result since John Eaves even played around with incorporating this into his design for the Enterprise-E but it was ultimately dropped.

    Personally, I like the idea that the warp field is already forming when the nacelles fold, and that it's the 'squeeze' that affects the ship's acceleration abilities. I do agree that it's probably something that made the Intrepid class special that wasn't useful enough to incorporate into other ships.

    :rommie:
     
  16. Rick Sternbach

    Rick Sternbach Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The variable warp geometry was only one of maybe five different things that were proposed. The producers simply had this frustrating habit of wanting to see lots of other bits even after the first, most obvious solution shone brightly. A close cousin of the moving pylons was a long door on the nacelle that would expose the coils to space, but the doors ended up looking like drag brakes, so I didn't pursue them with much interest.

    Rick
    www.spacemodelsystems.com
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    I rather like the final choice of moving pylons, as opposed to what might have been... It's just too bad that the "different angles for different speeds" thing wasn't done. Then again, it might have been difficult to do, as multiple different pieces of stock footage would have been needed for the multiple speeds the ship might travel in, and there would have been inevitable mismatches.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Invoke the master's name and he shall appear. Thanks for the info, Mr. Sternbach! Out of curiosity, what were the other three proposals, if you recall?
     
  19. Rick Sternbach

    Rick Sternbach Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Lessee...extendable sensor boom, drop-down loading ramp, and fold-out radiators. I think that was about it. As it was, we got the pylons and the feet. :)

    Rick
    www.spacemodelsystems.com
     
  20. alpinedigital

    alpinedigital Ensign Newbie

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    I think the simplest explanation: They return to a level position because it would be easier for people doing maintenance work.