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Submitted on
April 4, 2009
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USS Spirit NCC-70223 by fongsaunder USS Spirit NCC-70223 by fongsaunder
For the Star Trek Universe.

*Senses trekkies heartrate increase*

USS Spirit
Federation Torpedo Frigate.

Introduced in the year 2375, the Thunderbird-class was designed to be built quickly, yet retained high combat ability, to replace the large amount of ship losses during the Battle of Sector 001 as well as the Dominion War. Starfleet Command decided the emphasis in the ship design would focus on speed, manouverbility and armament, with minimal attention to non-combat luxuries. As a result, a very potent and capable warship emerged from the drawing boards, partially inspired by the Akira-class, also a recent design. Three ships of the class were deployed just a year after the design was finalised, and now serve to fill in gaps in the fleet as a result of the recent Dominion conflict.

Engineers designing the Thunderbirds decided upon a Torpedo Frigate classification, noting that the fleet lacked dedicated torpedo vessels. The main flaw in torpedo-based combat, as opposed to phaser-slugouts, is that torpedoes can be intercepted by phaser shots or even counter-torpedoes before they even hit their targets, rendering them useless. To counter this, engineers added ample torpedo launcher mounts onto various points in the ship, including the saucer section and aft rollbar. Furthermore, these torpedo launchers are bolstered by additional triple-tubed rotary microtorpedo launchers, similar to those mounted on Federation Starbases as defence systems. These high rate-of-fire microtorpedoes, rather than firing a single, high-yield warhead, fires many smaller, lower-yield weapons continously, overwhelming the target's defensive systems. In addition to these disposable weapons systems, the Thunderbirds are also armed with the oh-so-common Type XII Phaser systems. An upgrade to the system is also present on the vessel. In addition to the common phaser arrays laid out on strips, the Thunderbirds also have dome-shaped multidirectional phaser mounts, which can fire in nearly any direction, ensuring every flank of the ship is covered.
The ship also possesed an improved dual-layer shielding system, with the outer layer being a pulse-shield, only activating when enemy fire is detected. The inner layer is a conventional regenerative shield, similar to those on most contemporary ships. The ship is also coated in ablative hull plating, which dampens energy weapons fire, as well as reactive armour packs, which can deflect physical damage. Onboard replicators allow both these defensive system to be replaced in a matter of hours, ensuring optimum protection of the vessel even after a battle. The exposed bridge, long an issue of controversy by Federation commanders, is plated with thick neutronium armour, making it one of the toughest parts of the ship. Externally, the ship lacks windows common to most Federation ship classes, opting for a more armoured hull rather than the luxury of spacescapes. However, high resolution external cameras were installed later on to most of the Thunderbirds in service, as creature comfort when more resources became avaliable.

The Thunderbird's other specialty is her speed. Having six high powered impulse engines, the Thunderbird has one of the fastest sublight acceleration among ships in the Federation fleet, allowing it to travel quickly without engaging warp drive. Her warp drive also consists of four heavy duty nacelles, each nacelle having a pair of warp coils. At cruising, she can attain a very fast FTL speed of Warp Factor 9, and can boost to Warp 9.52 for a maximum time of around twelve hours. With her unique nacelle configuartion, she can go to warp even if three out of four of her nacelles are disabled, allowing her to escape to fight another day. Due to the high consumption of deuterium for her hungry impulse engines, larger and more buzzard collectors were installed into all four of her nacelles, ensuring her fusion reactors have enough fuel for impulse power.

Due to the ship's modular design, she is expected to serve in the fleet until even the next century, progressively being upgraded with the latest Starfleet systems as time goes by. Already the three ships in service are proving themselves, bringing Federation firepower to bear when the situation goes awry. Utopia Plaintia Fleet Yards are expected to bring around 25 of these new ships into service, probably more due to it's excellent performance.

Artist Notes:
My virgin Trek Sketchup ship. Feedback is much appreciated. I tried my best to keep in line with Gene Roddenberry's starship design rules. =)

Google Sketchup =) Mm. Ketchup...
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WideFoot Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
 This is amazing!  Please put this on the warehouse.  I'd like to see it in greater detail.  (and add it to my collections)  If it's too big, break it into pieces.  (if you prefer to keep the model private, i understand, but I will be sad)
sumghai Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2012
Waay too cool. Lovin' the toon-like render.
shieldsz Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012
This is awesome! I love concept art created by others who know Star Trek logic and how to freelance :).
chaos-sandwhich Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
love it, like other fan ship's i've seen, she solves many of the issues present in the show's, her amrour and sheilding make her seem to be a powerful focre, dome phasers solve the targeting issue, and the bridge armour plating is a nice touch, i also like the lack of windows as a structural weakness it makes sense to do away with them
TE-Williams Featured By Owner May 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's a hot ship.
Tuishimi Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2011
I like the design! It's definitely different from a lot of the other designs I see on dA. One thing... impulse engines... starships are limited to .25 SOL to avoid time dilation. If they want to go faster than that they jump to warp.
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011  Hobbyist

I never referred to her top sublight speed as such, since technically, all spaceships wouldn't really have a sublight speed limit (barring SOL, of course, and technically, even before that, with fuel efficiencies and all), given enough acceleration time. What "faster" refers to is the ship's sublight acceleration, which is higher compared to ships of her classification and tonnage, allowing her to reach a certain velocity faster than that of other ships of her size. (High acceleration is vital for maneuverability during combat)

In layman's terms, it takes less time for the Thunderbird to achieve (x velocity here) compared to, say, a Miranda-class.
Tuishimi Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011
AH! I should have known! Sorry! :D That makes PERFECT sense now that you said it...
seebee077 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool design. I like the long graceful warp nacelles and clean lines of this ship.
fongsaunder Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010  Hobbyist
Thanks. I might redo it in the future. That jagged saucer kills a little of me inside every time I look at it.
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