I was thinking of an idea based around the shapes of spaceships in Star Trek based on technological advances. I was thinking that the best theoretical shape for a warp-capable vessel would be a teardrop shape for the hull with a ring around it for a warp-engine. Depending on the exact specifications of the ship and the required equipment (thrusters, impulse-engines for example), the shape would not necessarily be perfectly along these lines, but as close as possible. As technology improves in the storyline, the new vessels take on changes with form following function. The structures that would undergo changes would of course be the following. I: Warp Engines II: Hull/Pylons III: Navigational Deflector I: Warp Engines Firstly: The ability to produce engines that would generate powerful warp-fields that are further out from the ship that subject the hull to less tidal forces and allow ships to take more liberal shapes and configurations Secondly: The shape of the ring could remain as such like how the Vulcans did in ST:ENT, or can transition progressively to nacelles. For example, the ring could alter into a ring with nacelle-like structures spaced evenly along the ring. These structures would produce the bulk of the field, with the distribution structures in the ring to smooth out the field. This would allow the individual nacelle like structures to be replaced without having to remove the whole ring. The ring can become flattened with two nacelles at the tips, similar in shape to the Romulan Warbird. Eventually the distribution ring could fade away or be retained as a hull-structure and beefed up as necessary (wings on the Romulan BOP, D'Deridex, Klingon ships, etc) with the warp engines becoming nacelles which can generate and evenly distribute the whole warp-field effectively. The complexity of the system would be more complex, but the nacelles could be much more easily replaced, and installed. Three or four-nacelles could be more useful as a better distribution can be produced, eventually two or even one could do the job so long as the field could cover the whole vessel. II: Hull/Pylons Firstly, the hull would start out as close to a tear-drop as possible in most likelihood with provisions for navigational deflectors, thrusters, impulse engines, and what else the design requires. Secondly as warp engines are produced that can produce a larger warp-bubble subjecting the vessel to less extreme tidal forces, the vessel can take on simpler shapes which permit greater room such as a more cylindrical shaped structure, this can allow for more fuel, more reactor room, more space for cargo, and a shuttle bay. Also, the forward hull can enlarge into a bigger section similar to the spherical hull on the Daedalus class allowing more crew, fuel, storage space. This circular spherical structure can technically flatten and widen to varying degrees into a larger lenticular (flying saucer) shape if necessary. Thirdly the ship can eventually become a twin-hulled (or multi-hulled) configuration with one hull designed to separate into a self-propelled shielded lifeboat. In most practicality the command and control areas, sick-bay, crew-quarters, impulse-engines would best be located in the detachable section. This would leave the warp-engines, the primary engineering area, the warp-engine reactors, and shuttle-bays, on what would now be called the secondary hull. The vessels primary navigational deflectors could be mounted on the primary hull, or on the secondary hull, though some form of nav-deflector (back-up or primary) should be mounted on the secondary hull. As for pylons, this would largely revolve around the engine design. On an annular warp-ring, the pylons would connect the hull/secondary-hull to the ring, on designs that would involve nacelles, they would also be connected to the primary-hull in a similar fashion. Pylons or booms could also be used on twin-hulled ships to connect the primary and secondary hulls such as is used on the Daedalus and Constitution-Class starships. III: Navigational Deflectors This can be located almost anywhere on the front of the vessel. More often than not, it's located right in the front. Some ships have auxiliary deflectors however (such as the Constitution Class) What do you think?