Saucers are Overused in Federation Designs

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Arpy, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    Saucers make it easier to draw Star Trek space battles on your school notebook during boredom periods at school.
    The good guys get the saucer and two stick ships and the bad guys get some version of a triange with sticks.

    PEW PEW!!!!
     
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  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's fine to have a little variety, but the simple fact is, Starfleet ships have saucers because that's just what they do. It's just the way it is. Starfleet must like them, and fans expect them, so the ships will have them.

    That said, I wouldn't mind a vertical starship. They'd have to tilt the saucer on its side, but I say go for it! :techman:
     
  3. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's a laziness to its overuse. A creative dearth. I'd like to see more analysis of the original Constitution. Why did Starfleet create a secondary hull after the NX era? Or, forgetting ENT, why did TOS come up with that overall configuration instead of something like a giant rocket or other monohull? What are the in-universe reasons and elaborate new designs from there. I'm not sensing verisimilitude in a lot of designs...I feel a lot are half-considered regurgitations, or a late-era hyperstylizations.

    Something that I don't like about a lot of TOS Era fan-designs is how they beef up the nacelle pylons and neck. This is not necessary for any technical reason, given that all the tech is fake, but they feel they need to make the Incredible Hulk out of Bruce Banner -- thicken out arms and bulge out the traps. To me that's part of the original ship's genius though. Its seeming fragility suggested a strength beyond immediate comprehension. I mean, the thing was the Federation flagship and scourge of Klingon battlecruisers across half the galaxy. It was already entirely structurally robust. If you threw an oil tanker at it, the tanker would probably slice in half like a watermelon thrown at a steel rod.

    With alien ships too, again, that increasingly ubiquitous T shape. I think a lot of sci-fi fans were wowed by the Minbari warcruiser for its unusual vertical configuration. Andrew Probert tried for a vertical design initially with the Romulan warbird. He certainly came up with an unusual design for the Terrelian ship, with its unique engine. We need more of that, more of an effort to make the alien alien and the familiar ring more true. I want to feel like I did when I was first trying to make sense of it all -- dazzled and learning.
     
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  4. urbandefault

    urbandefault Commodore Commodore

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    I think spoons are overused in ice cream parlors and soup kitchens. :techman:
     
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  5. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    Klingons eat ice cream and soup with knives!
     
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  6. Vger23

    Vger23 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Those lazy, creatively bankrupt bastards.
     
  7. Brass

    Brass Ensign Red Shirt

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    Today is a good day to dine!
     
  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The thing is, we know from the alien examples that shape just plain isn't important. It has no functional value as such, and no amount of analysis will plausibly give it any - every configuration can be made to work, and then some. So why not move on to the next important thing, aesthetics? Why not bolster national identity with identifiability?

    ST2 with the Reliant was the final nail in the coffin of making the UFP Starfleet stand out with its diversity, although the conservative fandom and especially Franz Joseph had already done the brunt of the work (every ship has NCC numbers, every hull and engine is not just saucer and cigar but one and the same saucer and cigar). With diversity ruled out as the Starfleet identifying feature, what we have is as good as any. No point in diluting that with Starfleet ships that look Klingon or Romulan or Cardassian...

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  9. GabyBee

    GabyBee Commander Red Shirt

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    Wings are so overused on airplanes. Gosh. And don't even get be started on bi-planes... Those elitist pricks!
     
  10. Draculasaurus

    Draculasaurus Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm quite happy supposing that it has something to do with the efficiency of structural integrity fields.
    When the shields are visible every once in a while, no one complains that they're saucer shaped, it makes sense.
    Same deal with the structural integrity field, they just built the ship to take maximum advantage of it.
    If you want to take the idea one step further, it might also explain why they have secondary hulls as well; A maximum survivability shape where most of the crew are, and an external hull where the high energy business happens.
    It works for me.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But if saucers are good, why does nobody use them? That is, nobody but our heroes? The same goes for every known starship component - warp nacelles, deflector dishes, winglike pylons, long necks, cubical hulls.

    Perhaps by choosing certain design features early on, a culture dooms itself to a certain development path where it must keep on using nacelles or saucers or helixes or whatnot, or then take a massive step back in level of refinement when switching tracks. The cultures that joined to create the UFP probaby ought to have seen that coming, though, and kept on refining their own ideas in parallel. Yet in TNG, only Vulcans have modern ringships; Starfleet at large has none in evidence.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Tom

    Tom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Saucers could have been the result of Zephran Cochrane seeing the Enterprise-E in his telescope and thus influencing the design of ships from that point. Even though he died before the NX-01 was built, he could have had influence on the design at a very early stage of planning.
     
  13. captainkirk

    captainkirk Captain Captain

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    What about the Caproni Ca.60 that had nine wings?
     
  14. GabyBee

    GabyBee Commander Red Shirt

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    Italy should stick to pasta and shitty cars.
     
  15. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    Of COURSE pasta sticks to shitty cars.
     
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  16. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I was always fascinated by the Qomar ships because they *did* use saucers.
     
  17. dswynne1

    dswynne1 Commander Red Shirt

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    That's why I like the Prometheus-class, Daedalus-classes, b/c of their radical style. To bad the Fenlon-class is relegated to FASA.
     
  18. ALF

    ALF Commodore Commodore

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    How about this one?

    [​IMG]
     
  19. dswynne1

    dswynne1 Commander Red Shirt

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    I forgot about the Defiant-class...
     
  20. Arpy

    Arpy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, I mention it in my third post, page one. The thing about the Defiant is that it looks not like just a saucer (the rounded front being most suggestive of), but almost like a singularity-squished multi-hulled Starfleet starship in one. It has "separate" nacelles and deflector assembly, and the rear half looks like it could be a more square-like secondary hull from another ship - the Conestoga or something. It reminds me a little of the Sydney Class transport, or a Runabout or Scout or other overgrown shuttles.

    I think the idea previously was that starships had different components for safety reasons. You had the main ship (the power core) separate from the crew (saucer) and separate from the warping nacelles. Each component had various safety issues with concerns of explosion and energy field reactions, and each could be detached and replaced for whatever reason (new nacelles, saucer sep, etc).

    Before ENT, I imagined earlier starships being more gangly and primitive looking still. The Daedalus was suggestive of that. I imagined earlier ships looking like something out of 2001 or The Martian or Babylon 5.

    By the time the Defiant came along, the tech was advanced enough where it was safe (enough) to squish in as it was. Also, maybe the Defiant gave up a lot to be as tightly-packed as it was. Maybe not just crew and labs and inhabitability, but, looking at the Sovereign and subsequent huge-nacelled designs, mobility advantages too.