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The Phoenix

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Humans
Class Name : The Phoenix
Type : Experimental warp ship [1]
Unit Run :
Phoenix - Destroyed [1]
1 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : April 5th [1]
Dimensions : Length : 27.5 m [2]
Beam : 16 m [3]
Height : 3.4 m [3]
Decks : 1 [1]
Mass : 80 metric tons
Crew : 3 [1]
Defence Systems : Light Monotanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Warp Speeds
(TOS scale) :
Just capable of breaking Warp 1 barrier. [1]
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : -
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : -
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : 0.31
Speed : -
Combat Manoeuvrability : 10
Overall Strength Index : 2
Diplomatic Capability : None
Expected Hull Life : Single Mission


Perhaps the most famous Starship of all time, the Phoenix was the first Warp capable vessel launched by Humanity. History records that Zefram Cochrane created the ship in order to fulfil his vision of a united humanity reborn from the ashes of World War III and reaching out towards the stars. His intellect, idealism and heroism where widely regarded as being one of the great focal points of the latter half of the twentieth century.

In 2373 The Borg launched their second invasion of Sector 001. Although this attack was defeated, the Borg launched a vessel back in time to 2063, ten years after the Third World War. They planned to stop Cochranes flight and assimilate Humanity at a low point in history when there would be little resistance. Although the Enterprise-E was able to follow and destroy the Borg vessel, the Borg did manage to inflict many casualties on Doctor Cochranes team and damaged the Phoenix herself. The Enterprise sent engineering teams down to the surface in order to repair the damage and ensure that the warp flight was a success.

Unfortunately, the Zefram Cochrane who greeted the Enterprise crew was a very different man from the historical figure. Prior to his warp flight Cochrane was in fact a cynic and habitual drunk who created the Phoenix in order to generate a personal fortune. When told about his role in the future Cochrane attempted to back out of the flight, but was coerced into taking part by Enterprise personnel. The Phoenix launched on schedule on the morning of April 5th 2063.

While in flight, the Phoenix was detected by a passing Vulcan explorer ship. The Vulcans had been aware of Humanity but had classified them as being too primitive to be worth contacting; when they realized that Humanity had discovered the secret of faster than light travel the Vulcans sent a survey ship down to the surface to meet with Cochrane, marking Humanities official First Contact with alien life. [1]

Although it is not possible to be certain of the accuracy of historical records regarding Doctor Cochrane himself, it seems that his flight had a profound psychological impact on him. The man who returned to Earth certainly remained something of a hell raiser, but even ignoring the historical hype his subsequent actions do appear to reveal a person who had realized just what kind of a future Humanity could create for itself. Certainly he never amassed any fortune from his fame, although he certainly had the opportunity to do so. Instead he poured all the profits from his invention back into the Earth itself, rebuilding infrastructure destroyed by the war and promoting peaceful coexistence among all Humanity.

The Phoenix herself was, ironically, launched on the nose of a nuclear missile. The crew for her first flight consisted of Doctor Cochrane, Commander William Riker and Lieutenant Geordi La Forge - although only now can the true identity of the two Starfleet crew members be revealed! [1] The ship used a fusion power plant to power a pair of single coil warp nacelles which could push it to slightly above the speed of light. Her historic mission comprised two warp flights, each of some thirty seconds duration, taking the ship out into (relatively) deep space and back. She returned to a landing near the original launch site later in the day; the Phoenix never flew again, and is now one of the most popular exhibits in the Smithsonian Institute.

Several of Doctor Cochrane's subsequent test ships had a very high component commonality with the Phoenix, but the rapid development of warp technology rendered her obsolete within weeks of the flight. Nevertheless, her place in history is secure alongside the likes of the Wright Flyer and the Saturn V. [1]

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek : First Contact
2 Star Trek Encyclopedia Based on the scale diagram.
3 Star Trek Encyclopedia
Film: Star Trek : First Contact
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Comment : Based on the scale diagram.
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia


Well, most of this is direct from 'First Contact' of course. The sizes are from the scale diagram in the Encyclopedia 2nd edition, although the picture in there is so small there's likely to be a good 10 or 20% margain of error. The strength indicies shouldn't be taken too seriously of course, but I suppose twenty thousand Phoenixes MIGHT be able to snuff a Galaxy class by simultaneously ramming it or something... well, maybe not.

The idea of the Phoenix only making one flight is based on the fact that the missile which launched her didn't seem to be re-useable. I suppose there's no real reason why the Phoenix couldn't have made several flights - or even hundreds - but record breakers like this tend to be one-off deals so I went with that.

The description of Cochrane's apparent transformation is based on his in screen reaction to the warp flight, along with the fact that many real-life astronauts seem to be profoundly affected by their own experiences. And given Trek's fundamental philosophy, I'm sure it all worked out for him in the end.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 57,712 Last updated : 23 Aug 2021