At what size point do you transition from being a Shuttle / Runabout / StarShip?

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by KamenRiderBlade, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    There's obviously some sort of boundary marker within most Space Faring species / groups.

    At what size points do you transition from the categorizations of Shuttle > Runabout > StarShip
     
  2. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Shuttles are short to mid-range support craft with few amenities if any.
    Runabouts are long-range with sustainable living amenities.
    Starships are bigger and have lots of people. ;)
     
  3. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    I was thinking more in terms of physical dimensions.
     
  4. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    I dunno. What’s the size difference between a frigate and destroyer in the US navy?

    (Answer: it changes over time)

    I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules for size (or for that matter, mass) in terms of starship classification, no matter what decades of Trek RPGs and fanon resources tell us. To further muddy the point, for example, there’s been little evidence that the “mission scout” in ST Insurrection was or wasn’t a runabout, nor that the actual shuttle from the same movie wasn’t one either, despite being a similar or larger size AND having basically the same amenities in the cockpit (transporter, four stations, etc.). Same goes for the Captain’s yacht. IMO, in this case it comes down to function over form (and attributes thereto).

    Mark
     
  5. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Oh. :alienblush:

    Dunno.
     
  6. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree there’s nothing concrete. Fleet charts may give you some ideas of ranges.
     
  7. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Judging by their hull numbers, runabouts are classed as starships. They are likely the smallest ships to hold that title in Starfleet service.
     
  8. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    If you go by the StarFleet Shuttle Chart, it means <= 50 meters is a "Shuttle" by their definition / inference.
     
  9. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's the size of the largest shuttle we've seen so far, and it's an unusual one. Maybe that warp sled can attach to larger craft and isn't always a shuttle. In which shuttlebay would you park it?
     
  10. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Why assume size is the defining criteria?
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "Runabout" is such an unusual designation for something naval (and so obscure in-universe that Joseph in DS9 "Paradise" has never heard of it and thinks it's all-new, to which O'Brien eagerly nods) that I'd prefer to think an organization choosing to use that one will also use a dozen other obscure words for craft of that approximate ilk. So between "shuttles" and "ships", there will be all sorts of "sloops" and "cutters" and "barges" and, as we already know, "yachts".

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was going to say the same thing originally, but then I remembered that Nog seems to disagree.

    "I've heard of Cadets getting command of a runabout or a shuttle, but not a starship."

    Doesn't preclude official classifications stating otherwise of course, just worth noting. :)
     
  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The definition of "starship" is elusive enough, even at this day and age...

    And the real world offers plenty of precedent for weirdness. Say, the German Navy's new Braunschweig corvettes are arbitrarily declared "Schiffe", "ships", despite failing to meet the key criterion of having a crew large and complex enough to warrant an executive officer; USN submarines stubbornly remain "boats" despite outbulking, outperforming and outcrewing quite a few surface "ship" types; etc.

    A runabout might well warrant a registry in some applications but not in others. And, say, the humble Type 6 shuttlecraft donated to Scotty in "Relics" might become a starship with its own registry once ceasing to be a Starfleet auxiliary. (Although it sounds to me as if the heroes are just giving the engineer a ride without a chauffeur, or with a mere AI as one - once Scotty finds his new slot in life, the shuttle will dutifully return.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm going to assume everything has some sort of NCC code, since Shuttles would be mass produced, you need some form of ID on them visually. That means the NCC code would function like modern day license plates / ship names on maritime vessels. Some form of unique identifier, regardless of which mothership it normally docks too.
     
  15. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    That's the kicker, we need a "Maximum Size" for shuttle craft so we can have a well defined Shuttle Bay sizes.

    Especially StarFleet ones.
     
  16. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Maybe not size, but power maybe a defining thing of classes. Most shuttles are battery powered and only capable of low warp, assigned to ships,stations,etc. Runabouts are self powered, either by a fusion core, or an antimater warp core. That includes small personal ships that are self sefiscent from a mother ship, and capable from going from system to system. A starship has a larger power core, and a large crew that services it.
     
  17. Spot261

    Spot261 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Did no one ever tell you guys size doesn't matter?

    Ok, how about a starship is a vessel with the capability of acting as a docking base for another vessel but not docking in one itself, a shuttle is a vessel which can dock but not act as a dock whereas a runabout is their bastard offspring?

    Does that seem sensible?
     
  18. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    When you design docks / hangars, you generally need to know how big the average vessel that is going to dock into it is.

    Ergo standardized shuttle size range or upper maximums.

    You look at automobiles today, there are standardized sizes for a very good reason.

    Same with Boat classes
     
  19. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think there is anything resembling standardization in boats - after all, they don't need to fit in anywhere. Except perhaps on trailers if that's their gig, but there's no particular "step" in the boat size continuum at standard road or railroad gauge. Boats exist primarily for the limitless seas... And, perhaps more imortantly, there always has to exist a size ever-so-slightly bigger than the preceding one so that the customer can keep up with the Joneses.

    Shuttlebays in Trek don't appear standardized, either. The one in TOS is way too big for the shuttles of TOS, and would be fine for the DS9 runabouts. The one in ENT is snug for the particular auxiliaries of that ship, but for that very reason useless for most ENT auxiliaries. Etc.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  20. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Commander Red Shirt

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    https://www.boaterexam.com/boating-resources/boat-size-classifications.aspx

    According to Federal & State exams, there apparently are classifications by length.
     
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