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NCC-1701 Enterprise (Part 6 WIP)
The warp engines are the primary propulsion units of the Enterprise. This nacelle design is shared between the Constitution class and several other Franz Joseph starship classes including the Saladin, Hermes, Ptolemy, and Dreadnought.
About this creation


An overview of the starboard engine/pylon assembly.



With the hull removed.



With the frame removed.



Bussard collector and warp coils removed.



The transparent red domes are a unique feature of Star Trek starships. They are based on the Bussard Ramjet, a theoretical propulsion technology designed in 1960 by Dr. Robert Bussard. The ramjet deploys a massive electromagnetic field far into the vehicle’s flight path. This attracts free atoms of hydrogen, the most abundant (if thinly dispersed) element in outer space. This is used to fuel a fusion-powered rocket. In Star Trek the hydrogen is converted into an isotope called deuterium and used as fuel for both the impulse and warp engines.



I’ve copied the pattern of Christmas lights and the spinning fan blade that were added to the filming model for the series run. Originally the domes were opaque with a spike.



Behind the dome a series of relays directs the particles to a focal point for storage.



Aft of the Bussard collectors can be found equipment for sifting and storing the hydrogen particles.



See my Grissom WIP Part 1 for a discussion of the warp coils and plasma injection system.



The off-axis field controller assembly. Above are the intercoolers, and a set of subspace field generators are mounted on the tan disk on front.



The grey boxes on either side of each nacelle are maneouvering thrusters. Although not as efficient as a distributed RCS system, they can control the ship’s roll, pitch and yaw at sublight speeds. By vectoring the exhaust forwards they can also cancel the ship’s momentum.



With the exhaust panels removed. Thrusters are only used for stationkeeping, docking, and maintaining orbit.



A close-up from a different angle showing the plasma feeds.



One change I have made from the ship’s TV appearance is to give the inboard nacelle a subtle blue colour behind the grille, or warp field spill port. Matt Jeffries always wanted a blue glow to be present when the ship was at warp. He and Gene Roddenberry were adamant about the engines not being conventional rockets, so the technology had to appear to harness vast, unknown energies. Flames and smoke trails were absolutely forbidden! But the blue glow wasn’t feasible given the limitations of visual effects in those days, so we don’t see it until the refit version in the movies. I like to think it was always there but just not very noticeable.



I have always been bothered by two things about the Constitution design: the relative thinness of the neck, which seems too weak to prevent the saucer from twisting during maneouvers, and the slim engine pylons, which have to support the most massive components of the ship – the warp coils – from a structurally unsound angle. (Sagging engines have been the bane of model builders’ lives for almost fifty years!) Matt Jeffries wanted the engines to be held away from the ship to protect the crew from radiation or accidents, as an indication of how powerful they were.



The four black squares on the inside of each pylon are emergency vents, used to flush explosive plasma if a line ruptures. The green line carries captured deuterium to the main storage tank in the secondary hull. The yellow lines are plasma conduits leading up to the nacelle.



This section, looking aft from the Bussard assembly, shows the catwalks and control stations accessable from the Jeffries tube in the pylon.



And a longitudinal section shows – well, everything! One thing I haven’t built is a separation feature for the engines. On several occasions it is mentioned that the nacelles can be jettisoned in an emergency, and if this were to be done I think it would make more sense at the point where the pylons attach to the ship. But since the saucer is already designed to separate and perform as a lifeboat, I think this is what is really being referred to.



A view through the warp coils looking forward. I think this is my best nacelle design yet, and it’s largely thanks to the many sources I consulted, including some incredible 2-D and 3-D art by various people. So thanks, even if I can’t find their names and credit them properly!


Building instructions
Download building instructions (LEGO Digital Designer)

Comments

 I like it 
  October 7, 2015
Absolutely amazing! I don't know how you manage to build at this scale and not have LDD, or your computer, freak out. Beautifully done and I can't wait to see the ship in its entirety.
 I made it 
  August 24, 2015
If you built this nacelle it would be about 3.76m long.
 I made it 
  August 23, 2015
Found one of my sources: http://www.scifi-meshes.com/forums/showthread.php?80190-Warp-Nacelle-Evelution The others are Doug Drexler's Constitution-class section and a detail of the rare TOS Enterprise cutaway poster.
 I made it 
  August 22, 2015
Quoting Gabor Pauler I would not be Hydrogen atom in this nacelle. Laborous place... Excellent!
Best comment ever! And you're right – you'd be annihilated!
 I like it 
  August 22, 2015
I would not be Hydrogen atom in this nacelle. Laborous place... Excellent!
 I like it 
  August 21, 2015
What a size! That's immense! And considering that's only the little part of the ship, it's even more impressive. Great job
 I made it 
  August 21, 2015
Quoting Navy Person My PC would probably crash if i ever tried to load this up.
This is a relatively small file, only 1.4MB!
 I made it 
  August 21, 2015
Quoting Oliver Becker Magnificent LDD MOC and outstanding outwork and presentation, Misa! It's remarkable that you seem to need no sleep to be so busy... ;) B.t.w. realizing your lxf- files done on a MAC on my Windows system maybe the reason for crashing, I think they are not compatible...
The file itself should be the same, just like a doc or jpg. But I have found Macs to be a lot more robust with these things, as I have never needed a graphics card or extra RAM. Not that I'm a raving Mac fan, they are very expensive, I have just found them to be a lot easier to use and that seems to be worth the extra cost.
 I like it 
  August 21, 2015
Magnificent LDD MOC and outstanding outwork and presentation, Misa! It's remarkable that you seem to need no sleep to be so busy... ;) B.t.w. realizing your lxf- files done on a MAC on my Windows system maybe the reason for crashing, I think they are not compatible...
 I like it 
  August 21, 2015
Wow.....just....wow. The amount of effort you put into these GIGANTIC creations is just amazing..... My PC would probably crash if i ever tried to load this up. Cant wait to see this finished!
 I like it 
  August 20, 2015
mmmmm so tasty to feed on the gloriousness that are your builds
 I like it 
  August 20, 2015
Wow! This is magnificent! All the intricate machinery looks fantastic! That's really interesting about the blue lighting behind the inboard vents. Beautiful job!
 
By Misa Nikolic
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop NCC-1701 Enterprise (Part 6 WIP)Star Trek


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