Speed of the Excelsior

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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:56 pm

Yes they did.
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Captain Seafort » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:58 pm

So did the Cochrane for that matter.
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Sonic Glitch » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:53 am

Captain Seafort wrote:So did the Cochrane for that matter.

And we all know how that turned out...
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Tsukiyumi » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:13 am

No, we don't.
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:47 am

... That's the Threshold shuttle, right?
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Sonic Glitch » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:39 am

RK_Striker_JK_5 wrote:... That's the Threshold shuttle, right?

The what?
"All this has happened before --"
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:50 am

Okay, I got the joke. :bangwall: :lol:
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Hacklehead » Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:00 am

GrahamKennedy wrote:
Captain Seafort wrote:To add to Graham's point, it's not uncommon for ships' maximum speeds to jump a lot in a short space of time, only to stagnate. Warship top speeds increased from about 15-20 knots if they really pushed it at about 1900 to a bit over 30 knots in the late 30s. They've been stuck there ever since.

Until now with the LCS's which can do 40+.

Actually it's an interesting parallel. There's no inherent reason we couldn't design a destroyer to do 40 knotts - there have been destroyers as far back as World War II that were faster than that, after all. Similarly there's no reason why we couldn't build fighters that can do Mach 4 - again, there have been aircraft that fast around for decades.

But we don't build military things to go as fast as we can make them go. Somebody somewhere sat down and worked out that 30 knotts plus or minus a few was the optimal balance between half a dozen different factors (engine power, fuel economy, hull shape, cost, whatever else), and there it sits. Just as somebody worked out that fighters rarely need to go supersonic and very rarely need to do Mach 2 or more, and so why spend the money to let them do it? it's even more prevalent when you factor in that ships often work in a fleet, so being faster than everybody else is often rather pointless as you all have to travel together more often than not.

Starfleet doesn't really seem to work that way. Every generation of ships gets faster than the generation before, always has. it's like Starfleet would think that a new class that was the same speed as the last is a personal affront or something.


Why would you design a new class of ship if it wasn't better than the old? Unless you have something better you can continue building an existing design so yes it would be an affront to SF to build a new class of ship that did not offer significant improvements over its current inventory.
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Hacklehead » Sun Dec 25, 2011 12:01 am

GrahamKennedy wrote:
Captain Seafort wrote:To add to Graham's point, it's not uncommon for ships' maximum speeds to jump a lot in a short space of time, only to stagnate. Warship top speeds increased from about 15-20 knots if they really pushed it at about 1900 to a bit over 30 knots in the late 30s. They've been stuck there ever since.

Until now with the LCS's which can do 40+.

Actually it's an interesting parallel. There's no inherent reason we couldn't design a destroyer to do 40 knotts - there have been destroyers as far back as World War II that were faster than that, after all. Similarly there's no reason why we couldn't build fighters that can do Mach 4 - again, there have been aircraft that fast around for decades.

But we don't build military things to go as fast as we can make them go. Somebody somewhere sat down and worked out that 30 knotts plus or minus a few was the optimal balance between half a dozen different factors (engine power, fuel economy, hull shape, cost, whatever else), and there it sits. Just as somebody worked out that fighters rarely need to go supersonic and very rarely need to do Mach 2 or more, and so why spend the money to let them do it? it's even more prevalent when you factor in that ships often work in a fleet, so being faster than everybody else is often rather pointless as you all have to travel together more often than not.

Starfleet doesn't really seem to work that way. Every generation of ships gets faster than the generation before, always has. it's like Starfleet would think that a new class that was the same speed as the last is a personal affront or something.


Why would you design a new class of ship if it wasn't better than the old? Unless you have something better you can continue building an existing design so yes it would be an affront to SF to build a new class of ship that did not offer significant improvements over its current inventory.
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Captain Seafort » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:19 pm

Hacklehead wrote:Why would you design a new class of ship if it wasn't better than the old? Unless you have something better you can continue building an existing design so yes it would be an affront to SF to build a new class of ship that did not offer significant improvements over its current inventory.


Define "better". Ship design tends not to advance in leaps but in increments, with major leaps such as Dreadnaught and Forrestal being pretty rare. Everything else is done by making the hull form slightly more efficient, or giving it a different secondary armament, or adding another half inch or so on the main belt, or firing an improved type of shell. They're all better than their predecessors, but they're not huge leaps.

In terms of top speed, making every successive design significantly faster is counter-productive - by changing the ships' speed and handling characteristics it makes it more difficult for multiple different types to operate as part of a cohesive unit. That's why the US Standard-type battleships were all designed for the same top speed, turning circle and hull form.
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Graham Kennedy » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:52 pm

Hacklehead wrote:Why would you design a new class of ship if it wasn't better than the old? Unless you have something better you can continue building an existing design so yes it would be an affront to SF to build a new class of ship that did not offer significant improvements over its current inventory.

It's not a matter of whether it is better, but in what way it is better. For example the S5W nuclear reactor was the powerplant for three sucessive generations of submarine - the Skijack class, the Permit class, and the Sturgeon class. The Navy isn't very forthcoming about submarine performance figures, but since those classes grew from 3500 to 4600 tons on the same powerplant, you can pretty much bet that top speed didn't just stay the same from one class to the next, it actually fell.

So why bother making new classes at all? Because each generation had better sensors, better firecontrol systems, better navigational systems, better quieting systems, better safety systems, improved maintanence requirements, better construction techniques... there's a hundred different ways one ship can be better than another. Each succeeding generation doesn't have to be better in every way, just better overall.
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Hacklehead » Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:31 am

GrahamKennedy wrote:
Hacklehead wrote:Why would you design a new class of ship if it wasn't better than the old? Unless you have something better you can continue building an existing design so yes it would be an affront to SF to build a new class of ship that did not offer significant improvements over its current inventory.

It's not a matter of whether it is better, but in what way it is better. For example the S5W nuclear reactor was the powerplant for three sucessive generations of submarine - the Skijack class, the Permit class, and the Sturgeon class. The Navy isn't very forthcoming about submarine performance figures, but since those classes grew from 3500 to 4600 tons on the same powerplant, you can pretty much bet that top speed didn't just stay the same from one class to the next, it actually fell.

So why bother making new classes at all? Because each generation had better sensors, better firecontrol systems, better navigational systems, better quieting systems, better safety systems, improved maintanence requirements, better construction techniques... there's a hundred different ways one ship can be better than another. Each succeeding generation doesn't have to be better in every way, just better overall.


You are right speed is just one attribute to be considered when comparing ship classes. My point was that introducing new ship classes is always more difficult than just building more of an existing class so you wouldn't see a new ship class unless it brought it something extra to the table (something that couldn't be merely added to an existing class)
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Captain Seafort » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:04 pm

Hacklehead wrote:You are right speed is just one attribute to be considered when comparing ship classes. My point was that introducing new ship classes is always more difficult than just building more of an existing class so you wouldn't see a new ship class unless it brought it something extra to the table (something that couldn't be merely added to an existing class)


Agreed. That doesn't mean that the changes have to be major. A lot of the design changes between dreadnought classes were just details - moving funnels around, redistributing secondary armament, adding a few thousand horsepower to increase speed by a knot or so, firing heavier shells from the same guns. In some cases the changes were so minor that there are arguments over whether or not they even count as separate classes, and they're certainly far less significant than the refits that the QEs and Renown went through between the wars.
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Hacklehead » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:50 am

Captain Seafort wrote:
Hacklehead wrote:You are right speed is just one attribute to be considered when comparing ship classes. My point was that introducing new ship classes is always more difficult than just building more of an existing class so you wouldn't see a new ship class unless it brought it something extra to the table (something that couldn't be merely added to an existing class)


Agreed. That doesn't mean that the changes have to be major. A lot of the design changes between dreadnought classes were just details - moving funnels around, redistributing secondary armament, adding a few thousand horsepower to increase speed by a knot or so, firing heavier shells from the same guns. In some cases the changes were so minor that there are arguments over whether or not they even count as separate classes, and they're certainly far less significant than the refits that the QEs and Renown went through between the wars.


Fewer changes mean less risk - and less reward. Whereas large scale changes can yield major benefits but can also end up being very problematic. The Me 262 was a revolutionary design but did have its share of teething problems compared to the many variants of P51s or the Me109s
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Re: Speed of the Excelsior

Postby Mikey » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:40 pm

The Me262 was a complete, abject failure compared to the Bf109, P-51, Supermarine Spitfire (any Mark,) or almost any other aircraft of WWII as judged by the only criterion that really matters - how much did it contribute. Yay, it had jet engines. Fat lot of good it did. Your original point was that there is no reason to introduce a new class if it did not include a significant increase in speed. Well, as has been mentioned there are MANY reasons to introduce a new class without a significant increase in speed... I would further add, based in part on your example, that there may be reasons to NOT introduce a class in which a significant increase in speed was a prime mover. Aside from the reason that Seafort mentioned - difficulty in integration with extant task groups or fleets - one must ask, "OK, so it's faster - but will it actually help?" As in your example of the Me262, it was a lot faster... but it did sweet F.A. for the war effort.

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