Hello and Welcome to Truth OR Myth, in today’s episode we’re taking a look at the Constitution Class Refit, it’s design and history, to better understand this amazing design.
Beautiful in design, Made to continue pushing the boundaries of Federation Knowledge, the Constitution Class refit quickly took its place in Starfleet History as a ship of the line.
In the late 2260s, Starfleet began to feel the dangers of Space Exploration. The Original Constitution Class, launched in the early 2240s had lived up to its design, being both the jewel in Starfleet’s crown and being able to handle any situation that might arise in its travels.
However, by 2266 on, The Class itself would lose almost half its ships. Destroyed in various encounters in Deep Space, Starfleet quickly realized this class was outdated and with the return of the USS Enterprise, the first of the Original Constitution Class Starships to return from its 5 year mission of Space Exploration, Starfleet began to consider replacing the class with a new starship line that would hold the most advanced Starfleet technology created to date.
After much debate, Starfleet decided that instead of a new design being the test bed for all this tech, they would take the Hero Ship USS Enterprise, refit her, and make her the Federation Flagship, this was PR Genius.
The design itself would hold the original Shape of The Constitution Class although some of the lines would be changed to better fit in some of the new tech this design would carry.
Starfleet’s development in Warp Drive had a recent breakthrough with the invention of the Vertical Warp Core. This new Core would be incorporated into the design and the old warp engines would be detached and replaced to conform to this new way of Warp Travel.
Her standard safe cruising speed was increased from Warp 6 to Warp 7, and her emergency Maximum Speed would be increased from warp 8 to a hypothetical Warp 12, though no canon source can confirm this classes top speed.
To refit, this ship, the superstructure of the entire ship needed to be accessed, and as such the Original ship was completely gutted and basically rebuilt, taking 18 months of redesign and construction to complete.
Tactical systems were improved as well to take advantage of the Warp Core. Phaser Banks, 10 banks with 16 emitters, had a major increase in power thanks to being channelled directly through the warp drive.
Though more efficient, this did mean that ships phaser weapons wouldn’t function if the Warp Drive was damaged or offline. This design flaw was quickly changed to have back phaser batteries that could take over in that event.
The Photon Torpedo Launcher was moved from the saucer section to the connecting plane of the Neck and Secondary Hull and added 2 forward tubes and 1 aft.
Ships shields were also improved, again thanks to the increase in power availability the vertical warp core provided.
This design would also include improved Transporter Systems and Tractor Beam Systems. Though the increase in transporter range and power would lead to a redesign of the room itself forcing the operator to be shielded behind glass to avoid stray energy particles.
The Main Deflector would also become an enclosed unit with a variable power output that could deal with the different areas of SPace the ship could deal with. At Impulse speeds, deflector power would be lowered and the dish would appear orange. And Warp Speeds the Deflector Power would be increased and appear blue in colour.
Another advancement in the class was the addition of a forcefield system on the shuttlebay. This allowed Smaller crafts to exit and enter the bay while the doors were open without loss of atmosphere. The Shuttle bay was actually directly connected to the Main Cargo Bay, which intern became a large open space as opposed to individual rooms.
The bridge design was changed from the modular, connecting consoles of the original design. Though Starfleet would ultimately switch back to that style by the late 2280s, this new layout allowed for a more individualized and specialized console that didn’t necessarily need their own full console.
The main colours of the bridge and the rest of the ship also changed from the standard Primary colours too much more muted and neutral tones.
Though weapons and defensive systems could still be controlled by the helmsman, a dedicated console for weapons control was added to the bridge, where tactical would now be primarily controlled.
Sickbay, science labs and Engineering were also completely redesigned. Engineering, obviously to accommodate the new vertical warp core and ALL other areas of the ship were redesigned to eliminate wasted and unused space.
Sickbay’s systems also became the most advanced medical systems in the fleet. Including the most up to date scanner biobeds of the time.
Recreational Facilities aboard the ship were also redesigned. Gone were the individual rec areas of the original design, being replaced with a LARGE space where the entire ship’s crew could congregate, this would promote better comradery among the crew and also this space could be used for entire ships conference meetings and mission reports.
The Botanical Gardens or Arboretum would also be increased to one large space in the secondary hull. Crew members could take a walk through this area observing different flora and fauna collected by the ship and throughout the entire Federation.
Crew Compliment was increased to around 500 officers and men and crew quarters, though generally smaller, became more useful spaces, utilizing every bit of space in its a new design.
This class would see many improvements over its lifetime as well. In the 2280s all newly constructed starships of this class would see the inclusion of flat-screen panels for ships controls.
These new flat panel consoles would not completely do away with button consoles but would ultimately prove to be a success and replace all button console in future designs.
Colour schemes also began to change again by the 2280s. Gone would be the neutral tones in favour of Blood Reds, Silver, Chrome, Emerald Green and Light blues. Though this gave the ships an appearance of a more militaristic organization, it was, as they say, a product of its time.
This class was a beautiful triumph in Starfleet Engineering, seamless merging form and function that would restore the Constitution Class to the Jewel of the Starfleet Crown, making them the most coveted Class of Starship until the late 2290’s when the Excelsior Class and her variants began replacing the class.
But even today, this class of starship is Still the most widely known class, cementing her status in Starfleet History for all time…
Thank You for watching today’s episode of Truth OR Myth, what do you think of the Constitution Class Refit Design? Want to help the channel out with its refit? Well, the link to our Patreon Account is in the description below, thanks again for watching, live long and prosper…
Watch episode 54