The Excelsior - uncovering the design

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by yotsuya, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. publiusr

    publiusr Admiral Admiral

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  2. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    You can see through the rooms to the far side, especially the walls curving away from parallel to the "camera" at the edge of the saucer. That line is the port-side rim of the saucer, like if we'd chopped the ship in half and were looking straight through it, not just a core-sample of a paper-thin slice along the centerline.
     
  3. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I didn't think it as a paper-thin slice as we would see the guts of equipment rather than whole parts of them. However if it is the port-side rim of the saucer shouldn't those vertical structures or bulkheads have an angle to them to match the curvature? You can see the bridge retains the curvature of the outer hull. The vertical lines instead suggest that those exist down the centerline of the ship, IMHO.
     
  4. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder if some of the Next Gen era Excelsiors should be retroactively Excelsior II class? Or was it a massive refit of the remaining ships plus others post-war?
     
  5. Peregrinus

    Peregrinus Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Perhaps. Point stands that there's no way to reach that lower rim deck from the coreward section of that deck -- one has to come down from the deck above. That yellow bit of equipment may or may not fit in the available space, if it is indeed supposed to be where the undercut is. If it is supposed to represent something out toward the rim, that's bad visual rhetoric on the part of the MSD. And, further, I have no idea what the ship might have on the forward port (and, presumably, starboard) quarter of that deck that would resemble that piece of equipment.
     
  6. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    That's been my interpretation. Pretty much any Excelsior we didn't see with our own two eyes could be an Excelsior II (or an Excelsior Ib, for that matter), especially the ones in with registries higher than 42000.* Heck, forget about the illegible "Measure of a Man" computer screen and assume the Excelsior mentioned in "Interface" was the Ex-2 class-ship.

    Checking MA, likely candidates for Excelsior IIs that were there all along are the Charleston (NCC-42285) and... wow, that's it. More if you count ones whose class and registries only came from the Encyclopedia or BTS ship-sheets. The Archer (NCC-44278), Al-Batani (NCC-42995), Grissom (NCC-42857), and, let's throw in Sarek (no registry, but it would've had to have been commissioned in the late 2360s at the earliest, and while the three canon Ex-2s we have are all NCC-420##, it seems unlikely they would've just built fourteen or fewer of them then switched back to the old model, so it would make sense for there to be ones with much higher registries than those).

    *Though, a lot of 42000+ Excelsiors were seen on-screen, so it's possible both classes were still in production at the same time for a while. Which is wacky, but is it any more wacky than registry numbers leaping backwards or forwards by the thousands and occasionally tens of thousands? Maybe in Vulcan and Andorian, the Excelsior I is translated in the sense of "higher," and Excelsior II is translated as "packing material," or vice-versa, so it's less confusing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2023
  7. Mres_was_framed!

    Mres_was_framed! Captain Captain

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    That's hilarious, in addition to being a great point!

    Anyone have thoughts on what should be in the undercut, aka "trench"? It seems "bluer" than the rest of the hull, so I always thought it was something like sensors or shields, but could it be part of the transwarp system? It is certainly bluer on the model kit box. What would be in the undercut in the Enterprise/Constitution classes?

    Do plans of either the "older" 2250's Enterprise show it with only one deck in the saucer rim at the edge? If so, it could lend credence to the idea that the version of the ship for 203 people did not have the lower deck in the saucer rim, and that adding a lower deck on the rim was part of "expanding" the ship to carry a crew of 430. (I know that niether the Ryan Church or John Eaves designs have an undercut.) That would explain why the ship has an undercut, as equipment or crew quarters were added only where they wanted to put them, and the unneeded space was left alone.
     
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  8. Peregrinus

    Peregrinus Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    In the Constitution, Enterprise, and Excelsior classes and all the other designs based around those saucers, there is no obvious and visible reason for the undercut. There's gotta be some engineering or warp-dynamics reason to not just make that a contiguous deck. It adds complexity, and I can't believe Starfleet engineers would do that needlessly. At least, not at that point. Later on, when manufacturing techniques advance that they can include more of form as well as function, they can throw in all the complexity they want. The Star Trek version of the pointless added weight of the tail fins on a '57 Chevy or the rotating cockpit of the B-Wing in Star Wars.

    Worth noting that while the Ambassador and Galaxy classes (and their derivatives) don't have saucer undercuts, the Intrepid class does, of a sort.
     
  9. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm guessing warp-dynamics. Here's an interesting thought; What if the reason for the wedge-shaped window-cutouts on the Intrepid, Galaxy, Sovereign et al. are a more modern version of the undercut, slipping little channels into the shape of the hull only in the precise places where they're needed, and explaining why the lower saucer windows aren't all floor-mounted or all inside wedges to allow better viewing angles?
     
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  10. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm not a fan of TOS Under-Cutting of the Saucer.

    I prefer the TNG era of "Filling out the Saucer"

    Even the Flat area on the Ventral side of the TNG era is kind of pointless and wasted opportunity for more internal space.

    Within a Finite Shaped Warp Bubble, you should Min/Max internal Area/Volume for your StarShip since that is the one feature that is hard to gain after you finish your StarShip design.

    Given most Warp Bubbles are some form of Ovaloid in 3D space, you want to maximize internal volume within the pre-definied volume, this way you're not wasting any possible space.

    Impulse engines and future Hyper-Impulse engines already allow superb STL acceleration despite the mass of the vessel.

    At FTL, Mass doesn't seem to really matter, the volume of your Warp Bubble is the aspect that matters and seems to affect power consumption, the larger your Warp Bubble, the more energy it takes to propel your StarShip.
     
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  11. Ithekro

    Ithekro Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What about retroactively making the cutout on Excelsior a leftover detail from when they first designed the ship. Starfleet might have had this design on the board for a while. Maybe even as early as the end of the Klingons War. Meaning that the cutout could be related to what was going to be the ships original super speed drive....the Spore Drive prototyped on USS Discovery. When that project ended, they started looking for alternatives, but the cutout for the counter rotating bits on the saucer remained.
     
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  12. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Or the undercut is to help with aerodynamics for when the saucer is separated and making a landing on a planet. I've seen one or two diagrams of aircraft flying disk designs that had a small undercut. Whether that is the original intention, who knows... :)
     
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  13. Peregrinus

    Peregrinus Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I had wondered over the years why Andy had put some of the ventral saucer windows in insets, and not others -- and why none of the dorsal saucer windows likewise. I could buy that... Ish. I'd ass some markings or waveguides or similar to at least hint at such a purpose.

    I did think the ventral saucer bulge could have faired better into the flat. I like that the warp-field diagram shows the 'bubble' pulling in below the leading edge of the forward lobe, so that would be a warp-dynamic reason to not just have a regular ellipsoid.

    I both like and hate that. On the one hand, good to take the possibility into account. On the other hand, it'd be creat if it weren't a high enough probability to impact the regular functioning of the ship with such a built-in design feature.

    And I'd have a hard time accepting that for the Excelsior, given its ventral trench's right-angled corners and sidewalls. Not very evocative of a lifting body...
     
  14. publiusr

    publiusr Admiral Admiral

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    That ring might be phased array or something…
     
  15. KamenRiderBlade

    KamenRiderBlade Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    [​IMG]

    What seems to be wasteful is all that Aft StarDrive section that isn't used and left to "Dead Space".

    The USS Voyager / Intrepid Class got it right, the "Trident Arse" design where the Star Drive protrudes back further was the correct use of space IMO. More StarFleet ships need a "Trident Arse" and the cut-out on the aft underside of the StarDrive should be pushed all the way back and inverted, if the Warp Field is going to even out anyways, you might as well assist it by making a smoother and curved out bottom aft section.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    From everything I can tell, when your Warp Field is that close to the hull @ 0.1 Millicochranes, it doesn't really matter, it's just dead space that you haven't used.
    The size of the Warp Nacelle's Warp Fields seem to have a far more substantial impact on the shape available to fit inside.

    That's probably why the Ross Class works as well as it does.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2023
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  16. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes. That is one of the details I have been following. And it is more complicated than most make it look The inner and outer sides of the trench are different heights. So in profile, you can see a step. This is one reason I have stuck with the 467m length. I put a deck across the trench and then the outer part can have mixed applications. Some areas can have a sunken rec area and others can have sensor equipment.

    In the case of the TOS and TMP (and similar designs), I consider that area to be an exension of other aspects of the interior (part of the rec deck, theater, gyms, etc) or to be equipment locations that are not often accessed, such as sensor arrays and other science or ships systems.

    I created the drawings with the intent that they be used by anyone wanting to make an accurate model (CG or physical). So go for it. If you want the best versions I have, PM me your email address.
     
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  17. Peregrinus

    Peregrinus Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    In the case of the Excelsior, I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who has studied it as thoroughly as you have. I'd noticed that about the outer and inner ventral-saucer hull. One other thing I'd wondered about you might be able to answer. If one overlays the central ventral saucer with the upper saucer of the TMP Enterprise, how closely do the contours line up? It wouldn't surprise me in the least if they used the basic saucer shape they started with to make the Reliant to make the basis of that part of the Excelsior model.

    Now, even if the contours match, I'm not going to go so far as to say that can be used to scale the Excelsior... but if one were to attempt that, purely academically, based on the saucer diameter of the refit Enterprise, how long would that make the Excelsior?
     
  18. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    This is pretty much my feeling as well. Buckner's kitbash, after Gary Hutzel asked him to modify it specifically to scale it down relative to the Jem'Hadar bug, is clearly a different class of ship than the larger in-scale-to-Excelsior Centaurs we saw in Prodigy, which also have quite different surface detailing and lack of the same components the original filming model had. It's no different from 'Yesterday's Enterprise' where we saw the scout ship-sized BoP and the larger K'Vort class cruisers in the same episode. However, since neither version has a canon class name, but that the U.S.S. Centaur was mentioned by name in DS9, I would make the smaller ship the actual 'Centaur' and the larger versions just generic ships despite them all being labeled with the exact same name and registry number as the smaller version.
     
  19. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the original intention by Matt Jefferies was simply to create visual differentiation on the underside of the saucer: A brightly lit (which it had to be, due to the SFX tech) flat underside would have been less distinct from the lowest deck structure, but shadows caused by the undercut help break that area up.

    As for an in-universe explanation? I have thoughts... ;)
     
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  20. yotsuya

    yotsuya Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    We all have thoughts. The NX-01 is where my thoughts took flight. All the saucers through the movie era don't really have a usable deck on the lower deck at the edge. So I thought this was an ideal place for sensors and science equipment. They just made the hull cover them for protection. Franz Joseph noted several places where the hull was designed to allow signals to pass through easily so I just put the two together and figured that ring is either the lower part of something accessed from above or packed with equipment that might occasionally need service but that scans through the hull.
     
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