Starship questions

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by somebuddyx, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. somebuddyx

    somebuddyx Captain Captain

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    Just a couple of random questions I've been thinking of.
    • When do you think the second Excelsior-class ship was launched and do you think it was the Enterprise-B?
    • Are there any contemporary ships to the Ambassador-class starships that use similar designs, like how there's the Constitution/Miranda or Galaxy/Nebula?
    • Was the Ambassador-class the replacement for the Excelsior-class or was there another major capital ship in between them?
    Cheers.
     
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  2. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think there were probably a number of Excelsior-class ships already in service by the time the Enterprise-B was launched.

    As far as a "sister design" to the Ambassador-class, I don't think we ever saw one onscreen, but that doesn't rule out the possibility of one, IMO.

    I like to think the Ambassador-class was the result of the (then) new technologies that were around at the time, but it wasn't necessarily a replacement for anything. It could have just been the newest and biggest design at that point in history. It could be argued that it was quickly superseded by the Galaxy-class, though, but that's only my speculation there.
     
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  3. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    My view is that the Enterprise-B and Ambassador type vessels are variations of the Excelsior design, and in the Ambassador's case a lot of upfitting was done--not a refit per se, but new builds of vessels that took the Excelsior capabilities a little further. The fact that the Exclesior has such a long secondary hull undercut and the Ambassador is more filled out largely supports this in my mind. In such case, it is possible that, since the Enterprise-B and Ambassador could be closely related to the Exclesior class, then ships like the Centaur and other Excelsior (kitbash-style) variants reflect the type of ship that you are wondering about and looking for.
     
  4. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Unfortunately there are no canon answers to your questions. But we can speculate.

    1. Besides the Excelsior NX/NCC-2000 herself, there were at least two ships with registry numbers close to her: The Hood NCC-2541 and the Repulse NCC-2544. While the Hood's registry was retconned later to be a much higher 4XXXX number for some odd reason, the Repulse's number is still the same. So she could be a candidate. However, I believe that the Enterprise-B was in fact the second Excelsior class ship off the line. Why? Because I always felt that once the original Enterprise was decommissioned in TSFS, the plan was to make the next Excelsior class after the prototype to be the Enterprise-A. But after the circumstances in TVH, the plan changed and Kirk was given another ship (renamed the Enterprise-A) to fly around in while the Excelsior class Enterprise was being constructed (which would now be the "B.")

    2. The closest we got to another contemporary ship to the Ambassador class was Rick Sternbach's concept art for the Pegasus (which consisted of an Ambassador saucer and secondary hull (without the neck) with underslung nacelles on pylons dropping down from the saucer bottom. Unfortunately the VFX department went with the Grissom model instead.

    3. The original Andrew Probert design (seen as wall decoration in the first few seasons of TNG) was absolutely meant to be a mid-point between the Excelsior class and the Galaxy class. When they had to make significant changes to the design for the model shown in "Yesterday's Enterprise," that sort of went out the window. But I think the producers still considered it to be the mid-point.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
  5. somebuddyx

    somebuddyx Captain Captain

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    1. I love that idea about B originally being the A, I may have gotten that from you in the past sometime but that's in my headcanon now. It makes sense, especially if the A was a renamed older ship, as to why it gets canned about 7 years later.

    The reason I've been wondering this is because I've been thinking about an alternate universe where the 1701 was retired early, which changes the launch dates for all all the other Enterprise ships that came after it. So the A could be an Excelsior-class, the C is a Nebula class and I was wondering about the B being some Ambassador-type looking thing or a predecessor.

    And I love that Probert Enterprise-C design. I went on BigBadToyStore earlier and ordered the Eaglemoss version. It would be cool if that was a canon variant to the Ambassador-class, like how the Excelsior and Enterprise-B are variants.
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And some random takes:

    1) I think the Excelsior program was a go regardless of what would happen to the transwarp experiment: the transwarp test ship was a fully realized combat and exploration vessel with all the usual visible doodads, rather than a barebones technology demonstrator, and Starfleet no doubt had a lot invested in it. Several might have been flying around during the TOS movies, many in fact doing their rounds well before NX-2000 because they weren't tasked with this esoteric testing.

    Nevertheless, I'd like to think of the program as "experimental" in the sense that it wouldn't get assigned five hundred and fifty consecutive NCC numbers outright. That is, I'd like to think Starfleet was doing consecutive batches at the time, but NX-2000 might at best be accompanied by NX-2001 after which there'd be this hop to NCC-2540 or something, with only about a dozen Excelsiors around originally, and perhaps just a couple during ST4.

    For the geeky fan take, NCC-2544 starts conflicting with the upper end of the so-called Belknap strike cruisers of Ships of Star Fleet fame - amusingly followed by a Belknap variant called Excel at 2545! FWIW, the next Excelsior is USS Roosevelt, NCC-2573, from an obscure yet onscreen TNG Okudagram...

    2) I see the Ambassador as part of the family of ships that includes the Excelsior and a wide range of similarly sized as well as smaller ships utilizing that saucer and nacelle design. The Ambassador is merely the big brother, the Excelsior the medium workhorse, and the assorted DS9 kitbashes are examples of smaller designs, scaled according to their Miranda kit parts (esp. bridge structures) rather than their Excelsior bits (say, the saucer of the Centaur actually has all-new portholes appropriate for the smaller size).

    The Ambassador thus doesn't necessarily have a nacelles-down counterpart - but perhaps it's the Excelsior that does, in this family of ships. The TNG era is different in that the Galaxy, the big kingpin ship, is the one with the ubiquitous counterpart, while the midsize workhorse may be the Akira which in turn lacks a nacelles-up companion... If the Ambassador "really" did have a "Miranda" or "Nebula" to go with it, I'd think we would have seen it already, since part and parcel of that deal is great numbers in comparison with the nacelles-up ship.

    We have seen way more Excelsiors than her nacelles-down counterparts, FWIW. But we could argue one of the DS9 kitbashes is a natural "Excelsior Miranda", even if we still can't be sure we would actually have spotted that one on screen even once...

    3) See above: I don't think there was any "in between", nor any "predecessor/successor" relationship. Rather, I think these are two parallel ships in a family, preceded by the TOS movie family that has the TMP nacelles and variants of the TMP hull (Constitution, Miranda, Constellation, Sydney, the Jupp kitbash from DS9) and then followed either by a family of angular ships such as the Steamrunner and the Saber, or then directly by the Galaxy family (Galaxy, Nebula, Akira, the Wolf 359 kitbashes). And my personal preference is for direct following by Galaxy, with the other two ST:FC ships just random deviations, perhaps special "planetary assault" ships for the "marines" or whatever.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The second Excelsior-class ship will always be the bizarro USS Ingram NCC-2001 to me.
    I've seen some fan kitbash designs remaking the Nebula or Miranda with Ambassador-class parts.
    I think it's meant to be the generation between Excelsior and Galaxy, although endless re-use of available models, stock footage and the odd choice never to bring back the Ambassador class in DS9 makes it seem like they only ever built 2 or 3 Ambassador-class ships.
     
  8. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    They reused the model for the USS Yamaguchi in "Emissary" but later found that it had sustained some damage to the nacelles and was no longer considered usable for other live action ships (Generations being one project it was considered for). So that episode marks the model's last appearance.
     
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  9. USS Firefly

    USS Firefly Commodore Commodore

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    That is really a shame, the Ambassador grows on me through the years
     
  10. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    I see the NCC-25XX ships as coming before the Ent-B. I think the Ent-B was a class variant. We only know of two of them in canon, but there likely were more. I see the normal Excelsior as being a replacement to the Constitution Class and the Ent-B variant to be an enhancement for a particular purpose. So I think Ent-B was in the works as an early Excelsior, but was not the second. I figure that if the tech manual has the build time for a Galaxy at 10 years, that a century earlier the build time was less for the smaller ships. I figured 5 for Constitution Class and maybe 6 for Excelsior. So between 2286 and 2293/4 they can have started and finished several ships so the Ent-B launch should have been preceeded by several other ships, probably all in the 254X range. The Ent-B might have originally been intended to be one of those. The timing works.
     
  11. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Please stick around for the end of this long post for an interesting thought on the original poster's question ;)

    If we take the approach once suggested by Jefferies regarding many systems being under the hatches, we might not really know how active the ship was. (We don't know that there were really phasers emitters under the yellow balls, or just the empty yellow balls, for example). This is sort of like how the NX-01 was built with the theory that tech was kept under hatches so that stock footage could be re-used even if new tech was added.

    That being said, your overall point to the paragraph that Starfleet would be unlikely to have built its (possibly) biggest and most advanced ship as a testbed without still being able to re-use the architecture, even if transwarp failed, makes sense. I don't agree that there could be many or even any other Excelsior-class ships in service with higher registries at the time of ST:III, though. As you might expect, I say this for the dramatic reason that the crew seemed to recognize the Exclesior, know what it was, and expressed some feelings about the unusual-ness of the new design.

    I mostly agree with this. When I brought up the Centaur, I meant to suggest that in my view it was built with Exclesior-era tech, even if it is smaller, and could still correspond to the Miranda in the sense of being a more compact ship with ventral-mounted nacelles.

    Good points, and I agree that the Galaxy-family ought to be next after the Excelsior for two reasons: 1) the designs are similar and the Niagara actually had Galaxy-style nacelles and an Ambassador-style body 2) Ships like the the Steamrunner and Sabre, and especially Akira, have nacelles that look as if they could be Galaxy-style, just with more re-enforcement and amour, making them a progressive step towards the arrowhead-saucer family of Sovereign and Intrepid, etc.

    So here's my big conjecture:

    Early Starfleet ships running from somewhere around from 1017 to 1764 had similar saucers and secondary hulls that were modular and interchangeable across generations. So if 1017, a ship of some other class, had a saucer survived a catastrophic separation, then it could be combined with a replacement secondary hull that makes it look like a Constitution-class. This interchangeability lasts through most of the 23rd century, into the TOS movie ships.

    Enter the new generation of ships, with modules based around the Excelsior design, who are no longer compatible with the most old modules in this way (nacelles and roll-bars excepted). Transwarp not withstanding, crews from the older ships would have a reason to be slow to trust such equipment.

    Later, the Galaxy represents yet another step towards newer modules, but these still have some similarity to Exclesior designs, like blue vents around the nacelles, and so on.
     
  12. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I always assumed that the Enterprise-A was another Constitution class ship already in service (the U.S.S. Pathfinder NCC-1782, say, just to pull a random name and registry number out of my butt) which was then renamed and re-registered solely as a reward to Kirk for his actions in TVH. And once the Enterprise-B was completed, the Enterprise-A was decommissioned and then recommissioned back to the Pathfinder (since other than some minimal damage from Chang's BoP, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the ship.)

    I myself disagree with that idea, only because there is so much that's different between the two designs that they really shouldn't be lumped into the same class (as opposed to the differences between the Excelsior and the Enterprise-B, which were minimal in comparison.)

    You see, this always annoyed me. I'm sure Greg Jein could have easily repaired whatever damage befell the Yamaguchi and it could have continued to be used in the future. But some idiot decided to just crate it up. Plus, didn't Jein still have the mold for the model? I wonder why they didn't just make another one.

    To add to that, I also believe that the Lakota was actually the former Enterprise-B, which was decommissioned and then recommissioned as the Lakota when the Enterprise-C was launched. Considering that in spite of an abundance of Excelsior class ships seen in TNG, DS9 and VOY, the ONLY two variants we ever saw were the Enterprise-B and the Lakota. We also never heard anything canon about the fate of the Ent-B, while other Excelsiors continued to remain in service through the 2370's. Having it be destroyed relatively early doesn't sit well with me when the Ent-nil, the Ent-C, and the Ent-D were all destroyed too. I would never want to serve on a ship named Enterprise if that were the case...
     
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  13. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Then again, the name Enterprise was left to fallow for two decades between the C and the D. Might indeed be there was a hefty jinx on it.

    Would there have been one on the name in the early years of Starfleet, too? Archer's ship seemed significant enough to the early Federation, in a not obviously negative way. Or was the name put on hold because of that positive significance?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  14. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Captain Captain

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    The only reason the Enterprise-D was destroyed because of lack of security inspection on Geordi and his hacked VISOR after being captured as PoW. His VISOR revealed the frequency of the Shields to the Klingons. And the fact that they weren't using constantly rotating Shield Frequencies is another security fault.

    That battle against the Duras Sisters should have been VERY one sided if their internal security was up to snuff.

    That's a VERY hard lesson to learn at a VERY high price for StarFleet.
     
  15. yotsuya

    yotsuya Captain Captain

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    That is certainly a valid idea. A one off design variant and it is perfectly in keeping with modern navy practice. Ships do get renamed, especially when the name is wanted elsewhere. Either that or scrapped.

    I personally think that Scotty's dialog in Star Trek V seals the origin of the Ent-A as a brand new ship. Build by monkeys as Scotty said. That it was not well made and that Scotty got it and kept it running is a tribute to him, but the design was old and the ship was trouble so they decommissioned it rather soon. I like to take actual US Navy practice when considering what Starfleet might do and the setup of a faulty new ship being one of the last of the class makes it a ripe candidate for decommissioning and the retirement of several of her crew. Especially after such a successful mission where the ship was heavily damaged. A good note to end on.
     
  16. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The admittedly non-canon Star Trek Technical Manual stated that the Galaxy class project had already been envisioned around the 2340’s (when the Ent-C was destroyed), so it’s possible that the choice to wait until the project was complete 20 years later and name the ship then was intentional.
     
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  17. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Which is essentially what's happening with the USN Enterprises at the moment (but not 20 years).
     
  18. Unicron

    Unicron Boss Monster Mod Moderator

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    In looking at the details about the model's history on Memory Alpha, I get the impression that it was decided not to continue using the model because of the assumption that the Ambassador was an older design that had been supplanted by the Galaxy. No CGI model was ever made, and the later appearances of the physical model were mainly stock footage from "Yesterday's Enterprise" and "Data's Day." Which is slightly ironic, because the second time the model was seen with minor modifications (as the USS Zhukov) was later repeated for the USS Endeavor along with the YE footage, even though that version lacks the modifications. It seems that the physical model itself was rather fragile, which matches with the limited timeframe that Rick Sternbach and Greg Jein had to construct it for YE.

    More generally, I agree with you. It would have been nice to see more Ambassadors in the series.
     
  19. Dukhat

    Dukhat Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That isn’t quite how things work, though. When an expensive studio model is built, the intention is that it will be filmed a lot to cover the costs. They even renovated it after its first use as the Enterprise-C. The intention very much seemed to be that they were going to use it as the new guest starship that the Excelsior was formerly used for.

    Even when Jein built the Stargazer, a ship not even close to being a contemporary of the Galaxy class, the model was used three more times to represent other ships.

    That’s basically what happened with the Jein Excelsior he built for VOY’s “Flashback.” That model was specifically built because they couldn’t use the original model because of the Ent-B modifications. But after that episode it appeared many more times as a guest ship until it was scanned as a CGI model.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019 at 9:48 PM
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Why? Just use Enterprise on the first ship that becomes available when the C bites it. Surely Starfleet would have a "worthy" ship sliding out of the construction dock at any random timespot, unless we assume Starfleet thinks it can make do with building only "unworthy" ships every now and then.

    It's not as if the twenty-year span from program onset to launch was somehow unplanned, in terms of what the manual tells...

    Timo Saloniemi