# Q: shield vs whaling harpoon

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by dorkbert, Dec 28, 2018.

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Thanks.
I looked it up, The Outrageous Okona. When Picard talks about the nav shields alone stopping lasr fire, the ship is moving. (He asks them to reduce speed shortly after that.) Also putting a dent in this one, even if the Enterprise was explicitly shown to always have nav shields active, it doesn't mean a Bird of Prey operates the same way.

2. ### FormerLurkerCommodoreCommodore

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I'm still marveling at the poster who said the BOP with its armored hull couldn't fly through an atmosphere without getting torn to pieces by particulates, when thousands of airplanes and jetplanes with skins like a soda can do exactly that every day.

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Thick Tritanium alloy hull vs primitive harpoon.. eh.. it will bounce of while making a metallic sound?

4. ### UssGlennFleet CaptainFleet Captain

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I would assume that power to navigational shields is directly proportional to the speed the ship is going. Bird of Prey is sitting still, so power is minimal. Plus, there may be an energy threshold, Light passes through unimpeded after all. Calculate Mass x Acceleration for solid objects. The Harpoon is hefty but is going relatively slow. In practice, if you turn a nav deflector on while sitting on the ground, a person should be able to walk onto the ship unimpeded. Harpoon would be around 100 lbs, not sure how fast it was going.

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To be fair, the BoP did fly, in atmosphere, from San Francisco to Alaska within a couple of minutes. Call it 2,500 miles in five minutes, makes it 30,000 miles per hour, or a bit less than twice as fast as the space shuttle orbited, and that's definitely fast enough for friction to be a problem.

I'd figure the Klingon ship is still fly-by-wire, though, and would automatically dial down the shields to "nothing" at a dead stop in flight mode even if the ship had just been traveling at apocalyptic speeds.

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The materials being used are not the same. If transparent aluminum is six times stronger than it's 20th century counterpart, surely the metals used in ship construction are also more resilient than what we use today.

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At speeds like that, it doesn't matter if the ship is indestructible without shields. It's traveling nearly as fast as the meteor that exploded over Russian back in 2013 (which was not as big as a Bird of Prey). It'd leave a blinding fireball streaking up the west coast of North America just from igniting the air it was traveling through. The shockwave would've incinerated the whaling ship when they came to a stop over it. Just to travel at those speeds, there'd have to be some crazy deflection going on to prevent massive environmental damage.

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Rule of funny. I wouldn't read anything more into it than that.

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We have never quite heard it stated that capacity could be boosted by shortening range, although I guess this is still a possibility.

More probably, it would be a matter of targeting. The heroes don't really know where the whales are, except very approximately. They also don't know how fast they can complete the transport. The whaler does the precision locating for them, and also poses an immediate threat; dealing with it without firing main disruptors seems prudent.

I always get a kick out of the whalers speaking Finnish, the one language not commonly found in the profession as Finland is the one Nordic country totally lacking access to whale waters and thus no real history in the business... Getting two Finnish sailors on the same whaler and not speaking, say, Norwegian would take some doing. Plenty of folks of Finnish descent on both sides of the Bering Straits, though, although I gather few retain a command of the old language. In the end, not only would nobody believe their story about flying saucers - nobody would understand it!

My gripe with a harpoon going Kling! against Klingons might be that it ought to go Kaboom! instead. Whoever heard of non-exploding harpoons nowadays? Isn't the fuze is supposed to be an impact one?

Timo Saloniemi

10. ### FormerLurkerCommodoreCommodore

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To be equally fair, Sulu probably flew a ballistic trajectory, essentially a 70 degree angle up, and whichever angle back down, completing the trip in half that time, yet at less than a third that speed. Since the BOP is designed for interstellar spaceflight, it probably has a thicker skin than an SR-71, the fastest known jet (there may well be others faster, but their existence isn't proven). Thus, friction may generate some heat, but those inside probably won't be aware of it, and it is unlikely to affect performance.