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Aridas & MastercoM: Interesting Points From Another Topic 
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There were a few things raised in Jayru's "Odysseus" thread the past few days that I wanted to talk about further, but didn't want to hijack his topic any further so I'm starting a new one. Addressed mainly to Aridas to start, but feel free to respond anyone, please.

aridas wrote:
Ahkyahnan wrote:
What I meant for example would be the State Of The Fleet section, which kind of takes the discussion of Lehman's 600 ship fleet (up from a post-Viet Nam low of 400 ships) and morphs it into Valdemar's 1,600 ship fleet (up from a post-Kznti Incursion low of 1,260 ships).


I had a feeling this is what you were referring to, and that's why I felt qualified to reply. That's one of the sections that I wrote...


Wow, I didn't know that. I mean I certainly knew you two and others worked together on designs and concepts for the FRS, Star Station Aurora, Starship Design and so on, but I always thought the drawings and unique text in SotSF were all Todd's baby. Saw later where you mentioned writing in Ships Volume Two also.

I'm curious, what other sections did you write, and who directly contributed what?

aridas wrote:
A typical task force would include a carrier or several through-deck cruisers (a large embarked craft capability) and at least two heavy frigates (each with firepower and a smaller embarked craft capability) for use in screening the main elements.


Is this one of those concepts that further developed after publication? Reason I ask is that Ships seems to indicate there are only 12 through-decks (6 of them older ships) and a few carriers. ('Course you can always feel free to add my carriers to supplement your numbers. :) ) You mention 'several through-decks' so I was curious if there were supposed to be more than what was listed.

Also, again obviously being highly interested in the shuttlecarrier/shuttlecraft side of things, how did you guys view the role of small craft in fleet operations? What kind of craft did these ships embark and what was the strategy for operating them? How large were they? Stuff like that. The role of carriers has been debated among fans over and over, and I'm very curious what you and Todd's take was on the subject.

For example, the U.S. Navy's carrier strategy has always been built around ground/surface attack aircraft, escorted by fighters & electronic warfare aircraft. In addition the fighters provide combat air patrol to protect the carrier group, supplemented by anti-sub aircraft as well. All of these aircraft are roughly the same size, and also of note their weapons are often the exact same missiles/torpedos operated by much larger ships and submarines (as opposed to micro-weapons or something). How does this compare with the strategy you guys envisioned?

Please note this U.S. Navy example is just that. As you know from my own writings, I believe carriers & shuttles in Trek would perform numerous roles in addition to combat. (Or at least the smaller ships would.) Please feel free to discuss those missions and shuttle types as well where possible.

I know these are a lot of questions, but I wanted to followup on them while they might be (re)fresh(ed) in your mind. Thanks!

Mark

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16 Sep 2009 12:06
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Let's take them a little at a time as I have the time to write. For now we'll stick with SotSF Volume 1, okay? :)

I remember writing the part about the 600 ship fleet -- that whole section. Was that the "State of the Fleet" section? We differed on it some and Todd edited what I wrote a wee bit. Things like "T Seka Arno" becoming "T Sela Arno" (for reasons obvious to fans of Dorothiea Hundley's acting work in the 1970s and 80s). I was very interested in politics, so I developed the political background for what was going on in that reality. Todd was better versed on the naval details, so he'd edit and elaborate there. And certainly the ships themselves were his work -- I'd contribute comments, but doing all those sections on starship classes just about killed him. So I offered to help him with the big finale Belknap section. I drove to Massachusetts and we bunked together for two weeks, hashing out the sketches I'd worked on. My original idea was acetate overlays a'la a medical book, but that proved too expensive. Todd was frequently against tying details down to claims that were too specific. I did the Belknap systems illustrations and worked with him on the details. I can recall the two of us debating for several days just how much power it would actually require to level the surface of a planet, in order to give some specificity to the claims of the ship's weapons capability. In retrospect I have to admit I believe he was right in the majority of those arguments -- I'd never tie the fleet down to any number of ships if I was writing that today. Thank God he saved me from the initial claims I made in the text -- 6000 ships, IIRC. And the actual phaser power and rate of photon torpedo reload necessary to level a planet... jeez.

I think I contributed some to the text of several of the ships in the cruiser section. I certainly share responsibility for the idea that Achernar was the ship as depicted in the FJ plans, using Mandel's refit design for Endeavour (Paul Newitt had sent that illustration to me), including the Phase II refit (I'd gotten those Jefferies plans from Newitt as well). Todd refined the Phase II design as well as incorporated some proposed detailing Andy Probert shared with us. That was all an outgrowth of what I was doing with McQuarrie's illustrations and the Ariel, and using Jefferies own sketches to flesh out the predecessor Horizon-class. But the idea of covering all those cruisers in a book like that? That was a part of a dream of Todd's that stretched back to the 70s and was revived in a proposal to Pocket in the 90s. He wanted to cover all the various types of cruisers as well as the 13 specific ships in the Constitution-class. While he did some of that in SotSf, I don't think he ever really got to do that original "dreamed of" book the way he wanted. I can only imagine THAT would have been one wild volume.

The whole idea of through-deck cruisers was Todd's. He invented it as another direct application of the real-navy proposal from the UK. How he conceived of the shuttlecraft in that context, I can't recall. I know that when I developed my conception of what was going on in the Avenger-class heavy frigates, those big hangar doors and all that machinery on the upper hull above them that looked like atmospheric processing and venting gear... that stuff just cried out "enhanced embarked craft capability" to me. So I came up with the Killer Bee after seeing some doodle sketches by my collaborator John Trotta and talking about the idea with Andy Probert (that's when he didn't mind being called "Andy" instead of "Andrew" ;) ). It was not really meant to be a fighter per se. It was an assault pod. In retrospect it's kind of a daft idea -- their role should be handled by remote controlled drones or AI attack craft or something similar. But I had the idea of a two-part craft that had the job of weakening an enemy's shields (the original idea being the screens would be "stung" with the tips of those nacelles, overloading them and leaving them susceptible to close in attack accompanied by the incoming barrage from the home ship.

The notion of these assault pods intrigued me and led me to thinking about the use of shuttles as troop carriers for landing operations. All of a sudden you begin to see the need for enormous ships that can carry either hundreds of troops and/or a thousand or more refugees/ colonists/ evacuees etc. These troop shuttles led to the big platform I envisioned in Ariel.

So, I envisioned drones along with manned and unmanned assault pods on the attack end, and shuttles playing the LCT/ LCVP/ LCM (landing craft) role. Assault operations would also involve manned and unmanned mechs and "starship trooper" like "star divers" (I think that's what I called them... sky diver=star diver, get it?). In this context the killer bees overload planetary or starbase shielding to permit access by incoming fire and the assault force. The shuttlecarrier thus becomes one part LST and one part carrier -- sort of a spaceborne Amphibious Assault Ship with fighter capacity. Hell, that's sort of what the SCS was supposed to be, wasn't it? :lol:

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16 Sep 2009 17:36
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Yes, I must say that "The Ships of the Star Fleet' is tour de force, for ST. It is a real pity that you guys never completed the work.

This work is what I think of when thinking about an updated FRS. It is a standard hard to beat.

The original Horizon class, is quite something, in concept.


16 Sep 2009 17:53
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John N. Ritter wrote:

The original Horizon class, is quite something, in concept.


Do you mean as I described it in the Heavy Cruiser Evolution Plans?

Or as I elaborated upon it in recent years?

A few people expressed some displeasure on the other FRS site about my latter-day elaborations/alterations of the Horizon/Archon story.

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16 Sep 2009 18:02
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As descibed in the heavy Cruiser Evolution plans.

I can see essentially the same design being expanded in numbers, when the first flight was found to be too few.

Yes, I will afree that your artistic talents have improved with the years passing, this is good. It is expected.

I am still analysing FRS. It is a bit thin still, it needs more written meat to it.


17 Sep 2009 12:13
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I didn't dump the original portrayal as printed up in the HCEP. I realized that I showed a ship supposedly as built in 2190 with a nacelle supposedly developed in 2218. I also realized the idea of Horizon and Archon being outwardly identical but Archon being somehow bigger made no sense. So I went with the idea that instead of being outwardly identical, they were outwardly quite similar. And that the illustration with the 2218 nacelle was a later refit of the ship.

Horizon in 2293:
http://home.comcast.net/~aridas/horizon-launch.jpg

Horizon in 2240:
http://home.comcast.net/~aridas/horizon2240.jpg

Archon in 2200:
http://home.comcast.net/~aridas/archon-launch.jpg

Archon in 2240:
http://home.comcast.net/~aridas/archon2240.jpg

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"...here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -Thomas Jefferson, 1820


17 Sep 2009 19:22
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Okay I don't think I was exacting enough.

You talant has definatly improved over the years. This is good. It is far better than I could do.

But I think you have been over thinking a few things.

Going back to the original work, which is fantasic by the way, you had very little space on which to work. So you keep things 'simple'.

This is a direct reference to the concept of "K. I. S. S.". You know that concept.

It is true that designers would try out variuos ideas, but by the time of the Horizon class, this should have quited down to a very great extent. It should have smoothed out by the time of the Horizon class. At least at the visable level.


What would be changing is far more subtle in nature.

To show this, you must go into the interior spaces. Walk down a corridor down a Horizon class, and then walk down a corridor of an Archon class - same two decks, same two corridors, and the experience will be different. But there is a more profound difference between the two. The computers, they can even be the same model, assuming that that are A. I. the time between the two classes, will make for quite profound differences in proformances.

I get this from the statement found in 'The Making of Star Trek" to the effect that galaxy travel is fully perfected. As opposed to being 'merely perfected', as opposed to 'less than perfect'.

What I am saying is that there should be little difference between the Constitution class, and the Horizon class.

What are the differences? Well to start with, the time barrier is broken. Another is Duotronics. Equipment is more reliable on the later ship class.

Where would there be radical differnces between succeeding ship classes? In the early days. The first fifty years in particular. Why? Lack of knowledge, and experience with being out there. So the rate of change would be very great. Why? Two reasons. The first being that humans would see solutions, and attempt solutions with out regards to 'reality'. The second is that the computers could search for the best solution on their own with the latest data.

In other words they would have the time to do a proper search, but would be waiting on more data.


18 Sep 2009 12:12
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I agree that the evolution from the perfect form of the sphere as a primary hull -- probably a reflection of necessity, first to pressurize, then to shield, finally to hang out there in the open at warp speed -- would probably be more gradual. I love the way Masao has portrayed it, with my only real issues being his portrayal of the evolution of warp drive. I make a great big leap and say it hinges on the application of new materials in the construction of spaceframes in response to new stresses created by radically improved means of warping space. Dualobe nacelles using rubindium crystals to refract and dimension negative energy give way to circumferential nacelles using first lithium and then dilithium.

I was trying to model the change after wooden framed, blunt nosed prop planes giving way to sharp jets at first built from aluminum, then titanium and later composites. Faster speeds demanded aerodynamic forms and greater airframe strength.

The thing that I was never happy with was going from great big spherical hull straight to a rather elegantly shaped saucer. So I've tried to fill in with various experimental and production, small, flattened sphere primary hull ships. Horizon back in 2190 still makes sense in that kind of evolution. But by 2200 I'd think some of the changes I have portrayed in the other ships would have made their way into the Archon design. So, I should either jigger the date for Archon, or alter its primary hull somewhat.

So I guess I agree with you in concept, just not in the particulars you cite. If the enginery significantly improves and the materials are there to provide new forms to accommodate the higher stresses, then the forms will change. I guess we just disagree over the idea of enginery significantly improving in one lurch by that date.

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18 Sep 2009 14:27
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Or better jigger the Constitutions dates.

You have originally the Horizon class in the 2190s if I remember correctly...

Then you have the time barrier to work with. It is for certain that the Constitutions were built after the disappearance of the S. S. Columbia.

Let us say that the Constitutions were built most definately afterwards, and that their design was to accomodate the needs of moving past the time barrier.

The Consitution's design was for two reasons, the first beingg able to past the time barrier, and the second to minimise the need for deflectors. That is streamlining. There is at great speed resistance to objects moving, that is space isn't a true vaccum.

Now about the first reason; Eveything you see about the design must have some reason. In this case the design helps shpae the warp field. It has "influence" upon the warp field. In other words the design isn't invisable to the warp field. It is there, so the designers had to deal with it.

Not only that, but the warp nacelles themselves have influence. In other words think of a multi-lens telescope.

The Explainition for the older designs is that while they could, the designers that is, the 'best ' shape overall, there were some aspects that weren't needed, due to the limited mission profile of the earlier ships. That is, there was no need for a "properly" streamlined ship due to the fact that the range over which these ships like the Horizon, it wouldn't be much of an issue.

But on the post breaking of the time barrier ships it becomes an issue. At least for those high performance ships.

Now about the propeler driven aircraft. Remember that before WW II, the engineers came up with constant speed props. This was a radical for its time, change.

If you look at today's air craft such as the Cessna 150 - 172 series, you will see fixed props. But if you go up to a twin engined aircraft, the props go from being fixed, to constant speed. Why? Because it is more efficent to to have and "infinite" number of prop designs availible.

My point? The right design for the intended need.


18 Sep 2009 18:51
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well, on the subject of variable-pitch props...

http://home.att.net/~C.C.Jordan/P-38K.html

makes you wonder if/how historical patterns would repeat themselves... ; )

imagine a p-38 with 12 carbon-fibre curve-blade ducted fan prop package... <whooosh>

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19 Sep 2009 01:51
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