Lex Petros: Constitution Class

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Constitution Class

As an ardent Trekker, I still am fond of the Constitution class starship. Born in the 1960s, the design parameters, even going through a refit has not lost its character. It was made to traverse into the unknows with a fulsome compliment of crew and equipment.

The redesigned USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (2255) (3rd ship from top) can't be said to have departed from its previous permutations. Compared to the pilot version (2254-2264) and the largely identical original Constitution class starship in The Original Series (TOS) (2264-2268) the change are substantial (1st ship on top). One stark similarity is the saucer section compared to the Refit version NCC-1701 (2271) and NCC-1701-A (2nd ship from top). Constitution Class heavy cruiser with a maximum warp capacity of factor 6.

The saucer section follows suit with its predecessor, the Refit version on screen. The stardrive section on the other hand boast twin, augmented nacelles with spinning Bussard collectors, slightly balooned front, a huge collector and tapering down toward the aft section with a brightly lit tip. But still, I miss the surreal blue glow emanating from the side of the nacelles like in the TNG series. Gives the ship somewhat a livelier persona.

But I do like what they did with the navigational deflector which on screen, seemingly deploys or wides out as the vessels transitions into warp, suggesting that the unit is energizing and expanding to discharge a deflector field wide enogugh to 'sweep' space dust and meteorites away from the path of travel. A fellow trekker of mine, Kenny Gordvyn pointed this out to me. To my amazement, his talent for spotting details have not faltered over time. He mentioned also the nacelles aft tips do moves as if an afterburner on a ramjet.

For me perhaps, the only feature of the new ship that doesn't augur well with me is the straightened out pylons supporting the nacelles, just like the TOS version . I've always thought tthat he swept-back design of the pylons made the ship looked like an arrow coiled against bow, just waiting for the archer to release the tension. I suppose for me, it gave the ship a more dynamic and forward-moving look. But then again, the purpose of this movie is to potray a break in continuity from the franchise as we've known it to be.

The pictures above are no doubt taken of the Playmates toy, by reason yours trully have not found many good screen shots of the ship yet. Further, I thought the long exposure in those pictures are a good way of highlighting the new features of the ship.


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