Romulan power

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by mike hill, Feb 4, 2021.

  1. mike hill

    mike hill Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Has anyone else noted that the Romulan ship (often called Bird of Prey) in BoT does not have any noticible engine/drive outlet/s, but the two wing mounted nacelles have indented potential outlets/holes at their very rear?
    Now, given my personal theory (accounting for Mr Scott's (in)famous comment) is that Romulan warp is not powered by AM (nor in TOS, QS) but an advanced fusion reactor, then I would believe that each nacelle holds an advanced fusion reactor, powering both warp (fore) and sublight (aft) drives.
    Obviously, other than Scott's line, we have no TOS Canon sources, so it is all just brainstorming.
    But just love to hear your take on this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
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  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The one counterindication there would be that Scotty's own ship has those holes at the nacelle aft ends, at least on occasion. On the other hand, Scotty's ship likewise lacks impulse nozzles, there being no holes, no gratings, no louvres - yet there being red glow on a formerly blank area of the saucer rim when the ship struggles, in the TOS-R version of the adventures...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Out of universe, the Romulan ship in Balance of Terror wasn't a hero ship and wasn't extensively detailed.
     
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  4. mike hill

    mike hill Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    My viewing of the Enterprise shows a solid nacelle end with a grid of smallish holes. Or a solid half sphere end. The BOP seems to have singular large holes (quite rocket nozzle-like to me).
    Again, the Enterprise has at least some sort of structure at the aft of the saucer. The BOP has nothing - just a blank curving hull.
     
  5. mike hill

    mike hill Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I would find it surprising that a rear hull structure which was intended to represent some sort of drive, was left off while multiple small holes (who knows what for!) litter the hull?
     
  6. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    Warp nacelles do not provide propulsion as in no propellant is emitted from the nacelles. There is no need for outlet holes or grills or whatever.

    In-universe by TNG era Romulan ships were powered by a quantum singularity or a miniature black hole. Perhaps this is also the case of TOS era.

    Or, perhaps not. Perhaps this is one of the reasons the Romulans used Klingon design for a time period.
     
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  7. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Nor do Klingon battlecruisers have any visible impulse engines.
     
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  8. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    If impulse engines are gravity drives, then external nozzles are not needed. If impulse power is from fusion reactors, then cooling systems and/or vents might be visible on the external hull.
     
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  9. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    this.

    I doubt there was that much thought put into it, but a cloaked ship would probably want to hide obvious emission sources like visible light and infrared.
     
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  10. ThrorII

    ThrorII Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Scotty seemed to imply that Romulan ship technology was inferior to Federation tech. The fact that Romulans stole/bought/traded for Klingon ships seems to support that.

    The "Simple Impulse" line has caused much debate. "Simple Impulse" doesn't seem to be sublight, unless the outposts shown in 'Balance of Terror' are REAL close. I've mentally reconcilled it to mean "Simple Impulse" was not M/AM conversion engines, but fusion - allowing for low warp speeds.
     
  11. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    re impulse engines:

    The Making of Star Trek
    14 September 1964 notes on "The Cage" from Harvey P. Lynn, Jr.
    p. 95
    59 117 "Switch to impulse rockets"—In a sense, all rockets are impulse rockets. How about, "Switch to rocket power," or, "Switch to emergency power"?

    p. 191–2
    (By way of contrast, the impulse engines can drive the ship only at sub-light speeds, and can be continuously operated for about a month before exhausting impulse power fuel. The entire vessel can operate on battery power alone at sub-light speed for about a week, depending on velocity required.)​

    As to the Romulan ship, as I explained here (link)...

    The whole "simple impulse" thing appears to have come from the idea that the Romulan ship would be essentially a copy of a "starship" saucer hence no nacelles, and this was actually being discussed in notes between Roddenberry and Paul Schneider during the outline stage, with GR suggesting the enemy ship could be a reuse of the saucer from the 11' model with "watercolor" paint that could be easily removed (and even that the Enterprise sets could be redressed to be the interiors).

    No nacelles = no warp drive. So the intent WAS it was sublight only...which of course makes the Romulans no threat to anyone.

    At some point they decided to spend the money for an original ship model, and you can see what appears to be a lingering resemblance to the starship saucer, but they never changed the script to match the model having nacelles hence warp drive. :shrug:

    [...]when they said impulse in TOS they meant sublight, even when it made no narrative sense.​
     
  12. mike hill

    mike hill Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Funny, because on the D7 main hull I can see a large boxy structure with radiator like objects on the fore and both sides, and two large marked panels to the aft of the hull.
    I would consider all that to be a pretty clear indication of some sort of impulse engines.
     
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  13. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Still think the BoP only had impulse drive and rode in a carrier at warp speed.
     
  14. Henoch

    Henoch Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    "Impulse rockets" never made it into filming, only "rockets" in conjunction with a last ditch measure to leave orbit after all other propulsion was dead. I assume they rethought the technology somewhat to make impulse drive less defined such as "rockets" and more mysterious in the series.
    The part about battery power seems counter the first statement about fuel usage unless the impulse fuel is only used in a reactor to make power and is not a propellant needing rocket nozzles, etc. The impulse drive must be reaction-less if it is also powered by batteries. YMMV :).
     
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  15. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    Except Jefferies had dark rectangles painted on the Enterprise impulse deck and there’s no such thing indicated on the Klingon ship. Could it be an impulse engine? Sure. Is it certainly that? No.
     
  16. mike hill

    mike hill Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Do we know 100% what any markings on any TOS ships are for?
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Fact Trekker Premium Member

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    We know the number 7 means 7. :P

    We know the trifoil on the Klingon ship is the Klingon fleet emblem (Jefferies' sketch identifies it as such).
     
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  18. BK613

    BK613 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Given that the statement starts with "by way of contrast" it suggests that a reference to something not in that quote (like the duration of the warp drive maybe?) So you could read that quote as "duration at impulse" separate from "duration on batteries," giving us three operational modes.
     
  19. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Not everyone keeps their genitals in the same place."

    Maybe not all ships keep their impulse drives in the same place?
     
  20. ThrorII

    ThrorII Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    And don't forget, per Kirk's monologue, the Neutral Zone was supposed to separate the planets Romulus and Remus from the rest of the galaxy. A sublight ship when the "Romulan Star Empire" is one system (or a binary system) makes sense. Until you have to reconcile that means Earth fought a war with a pre-warp culture - meaning Earth was the aggressor, which doesn't fit the dialogue of the episode.
     
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