First Flight and the Franklin

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by Syd Shanshala, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. matthunter

    matthunter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Back to the Franklin's armament being substandard for a ship of the Romulan War era compared to NX-01... two points:

    1) Earth isn't the UFP at that point, they don't have limitless resources so perhaps the rollout of more powerful weapons like photonic torpedoes wasn't fleet-wide?

    2) Perhaps Franklin DID have both spatial and photonic torps like NX-01, but the photonics are more prone to degradation of the warhead (particularly if there's an antimatter component) and thus weren't usable when Kirk took her into battle?
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The very fact that NX-01 still shipped the spatial torpedoes in S3 and S4 shows that they were worth something. Indeed, many a time Archer only specified "torpedoes", so perhaps these were the default and they were saving the photonics for the rainy day? But I could easily see photonics requiring lots and lots of special support hardware that just plain doesn't fit aboard all ships.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Commodore Commodore

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    Interestingly, while the connection has obviously become ingrained enough in all our minds, and may have even been "confirmed" by some "official" reference sources, and was in all likelihood Pegg's intended inference in Beyond, the name "spatial torpedo" was never actually applied to the NX-01's pre-and-post-photonic ones on screen. The only time the term was used in an actual episode was in "Minefield" (ENT) when Malcolm talked about "a Triton-class spatial torpedo" being the closest point of comparison, in his experience, to the Romulan mine. He never said that was the same kind they had on Enterprise.

    By the point the Franklin was lost, she was definitely a UFP ship. It's on her dedication plaque. But as we see and moreover are explicitly told on DSC in the case of the Shenzhou's transporters, ships that are already old—as the Franklin would be—don't always get upgraded with all the latest tech as time goes on, even as elsewhere in the fleet the obsolete versions have been or are being phased out.

    Also, could this be as utterly simple as the Franklin having indeed been upgraded with photonic torps, yet retaining the older spatial ones as NX-01 did, and her complement of the former had simply been exhausted by the time she crashed on Altamid, leaving only the latter available to Kirk and company?

    -MMoM:D
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  4. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So the Franklin having spatial torpedoes doesn't date the ship.

    That's what I was sayin before.
     
  5. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Commodore Commodore

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    Being cited as "the first Earth ship capable of Warp Four" is what dates her. And it was no mistake, at least not per the intent of the production team. She was conceived and designed as a pre-NX-01 ship, her higher registry—which is neither a "problem" unique to her, nor necessarily need be any at all—notwithstanding. She just disappeared later, after changing operational authorities at least once, and possibly more than once, in the course of her career. I guess I've forgotten what exactly we're arguing about here?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  6. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    We weren't arguing. I had said a few pages ago, when someone else said something about conflicting timelines, that I personally place the Franklin after the NX-01, in me mind. So anytime between 2150 and the birth of the Federation.
     
  7. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Commodore Commodore

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    But why exactly? I just went back a re-read every post of yours in this thread, and it's still not clear to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  8. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Because unless the Franklin is the NX Delta itself, and was completely rebuilt, I see the NX-01 as the first ship to go warp four. If they had these MACO ships that could go as fast as the NX-01, why did the latter go out into the Expanse alone, needing to make room for MACO on board. Or even after they'd been in the Expanse, and Starfleet Command had no one to call upon that could assist Captain Archer.
     
  9. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You seem convinced that warp four would suffice. Why is that? You also insist that warp X for the other, well-established Starfleet ships would not suffice. Why is that different from warp 4?

    It just seems so fruitless to make up a reason why something that IS in Trek SHOULDN'T be in Trek. Especially if the argument is "we saw the heroes, and since they exist, there cannot be anybody else in the universe or it would detract from them".

    TImo Saloniemi
     
  10. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Commodore Commodore

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    The NX-01 had explicitly already gone Warp Four by the time of "Broken Bow" (ENT), and hadn't yet reached Warp Five, but no one was calling her the "first Warp Four ship" or making it out that she was already a success of historical magnitude. They acted as if she was still yet to prove herself that, even though she was expected to.

    It took seven weeks at Warp Five to reach the Expanse, and it was almost 2000 light-years across, per its eponymous episode.

    If they were using the old "warp factor cubed" formula of the TOS writers/directors' guide—though maybe they weren't, can't remember how that all worked out in the final analysis—then Warp Five was 125 times the speed of light while Warp Four was only 64 times the speed of light. That's a big difference.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...Would a ship designed to break warp four in an attempt to perfect the warp five engine be capable of running at that speed for seven weeks?

    Odds of that would be much better if the engine that first reached warp four wasn't in the record-breaking or R&D business but an honest attempt at separately creating an engine capable of warp four. We don't know which sort the Franklin used to be. But "part of Henry Archer's great achievement" would speak more loudly against her being capable of going to the Expanse.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You think the expanse was less than 17 light years from Earth?

    At that distance and 2000 light years across, it would cover a significant arc of Earth's sky.
     
  13. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Commodore Commodore

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    Heh, I quite obviously suck at math, and so did the writers more often than not, but it doesn't change the point that there's been suggestion that the difference between successive warp factors is not negligible, nor constant as one goes up the scale. There's no reason to think that Warp Four would serve just as well as Warp Five for the NX-01's urgent purpose in this case, nor anywhere near so.

    (It's all made up, anyway.)
     
  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We do learn the Xindi Council sits exactly 50 ly from Earth. The "thermobaric barrier" probably sits between them and Earth. So seven weeks at warp five amounting to just 17 lightyears is probably pretty close to the truth.

    We have to contrast this to the fact that while within the Expanse, Archer usually ran into things that were about five lightyears away, and then sailed there within the confines of the episode, at most in a few days. At those speeds, he would have covered 17 lightyears in a single week.

    But warp speed has always been variable. The inconsistency doesn't negate the evidence that the Expanse is at the very most 50 ly from Earth. Of course, it's also quite invisible, and might well cover all of Earth's night sky for all we know.

    Covering the distance from Earth to the Expanse never was the mission, though. The mission was to comb the vast Expanse for the Xindi weapon. It was for this that the high speed was needed, and because of this that Archer was willing to risk all sorts of insane shortcuts.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  15. The Mighty Monkey of Mim

    The Mighty Monkey of Mim Commodore Commodore

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    I'd generally be the first to point out that we should always be very cautious—perhaps these days more than ever—about going by appearances in determining starship design lineages in-unverse, but in this case I'll go ahead and venture the observation that the Franklin certainly looks right at home coming in between the "Warp Delta" and the NX:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (Not necessarily to correct scale.)
     
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  16. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ...I guess it's also possible to see the Warp Delta (Chris Bennett novels say Ganges class) as the intermediate step, seeing how she already features that all-important Blue Dome.

    Personally, I prefer to think that Starfleet at this pre-transporter era had two main lineages of ships: saucers for Pure Space and lifting bodies for transatmopheric applications. Even though we see NX-01 excel in atmospheric flight, there could be something to Scotty's insistence that the Franklin wasn't specifically built for it.. Just like the cargo transporters werebn't built for people, but performed just fine when pressed to it.

    But the Franklin does have huge wings. Quite possibly the "stabilizers" that needed a minimum speed in order to be effective?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  17. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Archer's log states that Enterprise was at warp five for seven weeks to reach the Expanse. This was after a course correction from going to Vulcan from Earth, to instead heading directly for the Expanse. Even if one doesn't suggests actual distances and speeds in terms of light, the basic understanding seems to be that Warp Five is roughly twice the speed of Warp Four. Even if Franklin was a MACO ship and ready to high tail it out to the Expanse with Enterprise...it take twice as long to reach it. Enterprise was already hot on the trail of the weapon's designers before Franklin would have even reached the Expanse. And while it is possible Franklin could have caught up eventually, if they could locate Enterprise, it seems unlikely until very late in the story arc, when Enterprise has been crippled and can't make Warp five anymore.

    It should be noted that the Andorians were able to not only catch up with Enterprise, but got home and to Earth long before Enterprise even could attempt to make it there.
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And Andorians go toe-to-antenna with Vulcans who have ships capable of sustaining warp 6.5 at least for a while.

    Then again, the Xindi were worried about the possibility of other Earth ships in the Expanse. Not all their supposed sightings need to be attributed to the "E2" duplicate; Earth might have sent several champions, most of which perished simply because they were not fast enough to reach targets of relevance (such as a source of trellium-D) or puttered aimlessly around until Archer solved everything, then spent an embarrassing year or so returning to Earth after the big "Home" celebrations.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Arriving just in time for the Romulan War.

    There seems to be a mix of opinions on if the Intrepid also has a Warp Five engine, or even a Warp Four engine instead of being a Warp Two starship. Earth, by itself, seems like it have a hard time fighting the Romulans is Earth only has a handful of Warp Four and Warp Five starships, since it take too long to build up a sizable force to counter any offensive. Though if you already have the Warp Two and Three starships present for defense, the Romulans have to come to you. But at some point Earth and her allies must have pushed the Romulans back enough to warrant a treaty ending the war and establishing the Neutral Zone, the Earth stations near it, and the Romulans "officially" secluding themselves from what would be Federation territory for just over a hundred years.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Many things are left open about the two other prominent UESF starship types, the Intrepid and the Delta. Relative performance is one, numbers built is another - but here "Twilight" might offer some ideas, as both types not only fight alongside NX-01 but also fly alongside her in convoy escort. While keeping company to explicit warp 2-minus transports doesn't tell much about warp performance, it does suggest that there were more of those ships than the two plus two seen in "Storm Front II", because Archer's convoy was but one out of "several". If this convoy warranted one of each type, then others probably did, too. (And if there were only two ships of Enterprise's class available, then the third and further convoys might have received more of the other two types to compensate, there being no indication that the convoys had a hierarchy of importance.)

    Nevertheless, we only get minimum numbers there. Starfleet wanted to build three sisters to Enterprise, despite the hypermodern engines; we could well deduce that they built at least four of the predecessor type as well, initially, and perhaps further batches if the Warp Five project got delayed. I mean, if they built those ships at all, there supposedly was an operational need for them, and Starfleet wouldn't "wait till Henry Archer is finished" before engaging in mass production.

    Then there are those Steamrunners in "Storm Front II". Deliberately in the far background, they are left ambiguous in exact identity - but their existence cannot be doubted, and their size seems to match that of the Intrepid and the Enterprise. Perhaps parallels to the former, perhaps even older models? Earth ships in any case, with very high probability, as we see the red ramscoop glow and the blue deflector glow and the two nacelles and the flat shape. And then there's the Franklin, never established as a one-off, although we can't tell if the smaller size translates to smaller or higher numbers.

    If we want, then, we can provide Earth with a starship fleet dozens of cruisers strong at a minimum, and will have to explain ourselves if we go below that minimum. But how high a maximum can we dream up without running into trouble explaining the absence of the rest?

    "Reaction time" saves us from most of the explaining. But only if we assume those other ships are elsewhere not only in "Zero Hour" but also in "Storm Front II", they must have been quite distant from Earth. Where? Starfleet doesn't hunt pirates. It doesn't have convoys to escort. It isn't fighting anybody else but the Xindi. It doesn't even have off-Sol starbases. Or is one of these claims in error?

    On the other hand, I wouldn't worry about the Romulan War much. It may have been fought between Romulus and Vulcan for the most part, with Earth just a sideshow.

    Timo Saloniemi