Tuesday, May 19

The Noble Lineage of Ships Named Enterprise

I thought about naming this post “Ring Around the Starship,” because that’s kind of where this most recent obsessio– – er, project – began….

Genesis of this Project
Around the beginning of May, while browsing the Internet I came upon this intriguing product for sale:
Sold on Etsy, by “Blue Fire Engraving,” for $35
[at the time of this writing [
LINK]). 
Sold on Etsy, by “Blue Fire Engraving,” for $35 [at the time of this writing [LINK]). I considered purchasing it but hesitated, not just because of the price for another piece of wall art my wife would probably not let me hang in the “public” parts of the house but also because I immediately perceived there to be at least one glaring omission. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), a “ships wall” is depicted as part of the recreation deck of the newly refitted U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701. Among a series of ships on that wall was a memorable ship which is absent from the plaque. A quick Internet search confirmed my memory via the article, “Enterprise Lineages on Display,” at the web site Ex Astris Scientia [LINK]. Five pictures depict in sequence:
  • A sailing ship.
  • An aircraft carrier “of the World War II era.”
  • The U.S. Space Shuttle.
  • A ship sporting a long central hull with two large rings near the stern, identified in the article as the “XCV 330 … actually based on an early design by Matt Jefferies that could have become the Enterprise NCC-1701.”
  • The pre-refit Constitution class U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701.

Dialogue in the movie explicitly states that all these ships were named Enterprise. Obvious to anyone familiar with history, however, that “ships wall” was not exhaustive in its depictions. There were, as depicted on the aforementioned plaque, not one but two US aircraft carriers named Enterprise – the World War II-era CV-6 and the modern nuclear aircraft carrier CV-65, launched in 1961 and by all accounts the ultimate inspiration for Gene Roddenberry’s ultimately settling on that name for the ship in the first Star Trek television series just a few years later (1964, “The Cage,” the first pilot episode). And, of course, since 1979 several successors were added to the lineage of starships bearing that name – the alphabet-series beginning with NCC-1701-A introduced at the end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), NCC-1701-D introduced in the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (“Encounter at Farpoint,” 1987), NCC-1701-C subsequently in that same television series (1990, “Yesterday’s Enterprise”), NCC-1701-B in the motion picture, Star Trek: Generations (1994), and NCC-1701-E in the following movie, Star Trek: First Contact (1996). All of these were depicted on the plaque – but not the distinctive “ring ship.”
That same article continued to examine other such ships walls, which I list below:

The Second Ships Wall appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation through the fourth season (1990-1991), including the episodes “The Last Outpost” and “Coming of Age,” in the observation lounge of the Galaxy Class NCC-1701-D: 
  • Nuclear aircraft carrier CVN-65
  • Pre-refit Constitution Class NCC-1701
  • Post-refit Constitution Class NCC-1701 (or, I would submit, the successor ship Constitution II Class NCC-1701-A, but it really doesn’t matter – they look pretty much the same)
  • Excelsior Class NCC-1701-B
  • Ambassador Class NCC-1701-C
  • Galaxy Class NCC-1701-D

Some minor differences in detail between the -1701-B and -C as shown on the wall and what would eventually appear in the movie Star Trek: Generations (1994) and appeared in the third-season episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” respectively, are discussed in that article but are, in my opinion, inconsequential.

The Third Ships Wall appeared in the movie, Star Trek: First Contact, on the Sovereign Class NCC-1701-E:
  • Pre-refit Constitution Class NCC-1701
  • Post-refit Constitution Class NCC-1701 (or, I would submit, the successor ship Constitution II Class NCC-1701-A)
  • Excelsior Class NCC-1701-B
  • Ambassador Class NCC-1701-C
  • Galaxy Class NCC-1701-D
  • Sovereign Class NCC-1701-E
Lily Sloane: You broke your little ships.

The Fourth Ships Wall, in Star Trek: Nemesis, on the Sovereign Class NCC-1701-E, depicts essentially the same selection as in First Contact, albeit displayed in a different configuration. (See a pair of articles referenced therein, both by John Eaves [longtime Star Trek production designer] at his blog, Eavesdropping with Johnny: “the golden enterprise” [sic] [LINK] and “more on the golden starships” [sic] [LINK], as well as a more comprehensive survey, at Star Trek.com, “GUEST BLOG: The Lineage of Ships That Bear The Name Enterprise” (12 Dec 2013) [LINK].)



And, finally, the Fifth Ships Wall – Star Trek: Enterprise, on the NX-01, in the Captain’s Ready Room, consisting a series of really cool-looking pencil or charcoal sketches rather than models.:
  • A sailing ship
  • CVN-65
  • Space Shuttle
  • NX-01

The “ring ship” which had hitherto showed up only on the ships wall of Star Trek: The Motion Picture did, however, get some love from Star Trek: Enterprise, appearing in paintings on the wall of the officers’ club at Starfleet Command as well as in Admiral Forrest’s office at various times during the series.

I do not like the Abrams-verse movies, so am disregarding them.

Long and short, combining the various ships walls into an obvious sequence, with reference to the wall plaque, yields the following “ships named Enterprise”:

Designation/Description
Appearance(s)
Wall art plaque
Sailing ship
Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: Enterprise
Four such ships
WWII Aircraft Carrier
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Yes
Nuclear Aircraft Carrier
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Enterprise
Yes
U.S. Space Shuttle
Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: Enterprise
Yes
Ring Ship
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Star Trek: Enterprise, in separate paintings)
No
NX-01
Star Trek: Enterprise
Yes
Pre-Refit NCC-1701
Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Nemesis
Yes
Post-Refit NCC-1701 or new NCC-1701-A
Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Nemesis
Yes, specifically the NCC-1701-A
NCC-1701-B
Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Nemesis
Yes
NCC-1701-C
Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Nemesis
Yes
NCC-1701-D
Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Nemesis
Yes
NCC-1701-E
Star Trek: First Contact and Star Trek: Nemesis
Yes

Every ship that ever appeared on any ships wall thus made it onto the Blue Fire Engraving wall art plaque, plus some when it came to the Napoleonic-era sailing ships, the “tall ships” – except the ring ship.

If I was going to have such a piece of art adorning my wall, it would be complete. I started rooting around on the Internet to see if there were other such available and found nothing. I did find an identical cutting board (?! – [LINK]), also for sale on Etsy from the same vendor. But no other etching, plaque, or poster, or whatever. I did, however, find images of several closely related but different lineage sheets which I eventually tracked back to a collection of scans of various blueprint sets and “technical manuals” for various ships in the Star Trek universe posted at the web site C-X1 Cygnus-x1.net “A Tribute to Star Trek” – a massive “Star Trek Blueprints Database” [LINK]. Specifically, associated with blueprint sets for several different ships that have appeared on screen, designer Monte R. Johnjulio includes the following or something very similar:

[LINK[Specifically, sheet 12 from the set, Starfleet Vessel U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-B:
General Blueprints and Specifications
 [LINK])
That one is pretty cool, but not really of the resolution I would like to print out a 11x17" or so poster, nor did it have the tall ships. I’ve always liked the fighting ships of the Napoleonic Era, the Age of Sail, the age of Captain Horatio Hornblower, which books I read long ago in part because one of Roddenberry’s various descriptions of Star Trek was “Horatio Hornblower in Space” (and actually started rereading just last year when I finally broke down and used some gift cards I received from my in-laws for Christmas to purchase the Gregory Peck movie as well as the Ioan Gruffydd TV series). There apparently does not exist a comprehensive sheet detailing the lineage of the Starship Enterprise from its remote predecessors during the Age of Sail to the 24th century. Or there did not exist such until now, because I decided to create my own, more complete version. I cannot say it is absolutely complete, but it is more complete than any other I have seen, and I took the opportunity to include more information about each ship as well – the year it was launched, its affiliation, and its class in addition to is registry number, whatever and wherever applicable, all displayed to roughly the same scale (which the plaque is not). Research turned up several more candidates for inclusion as well, extending the lineage at least back to the beginning of the 18th century as well as introducing another spaceship that I felt compelled to work right into the middle of the sequence.

The Research
Here, in order, are the ships that I found. As usual, I began this project with a flurry of Internet searches that I did not thoroughly document. I also had to make some decisions along the way that I will attempt to explain if not justify here. For the Star Trek ships I mainly used two closely-related encyclopedic websites, Memory Alpha [LINK] and Memory Beta [LINK], covering information from official, “canonical” productions in the various Star Trek series and movies (Alpha) and from “extra-canonical” licensed novels, comic books, and so forth (Beta), as well as the Wikipedia article, “Starship Enterprise” [LINK]. For the historical ships, I consulted the Wikipedia articles “HMS Enterprise” [LINK], “USS Enterprise” [LINK], and “List of ships of the United States Navy named Enterprise” [LINK].
Non-Wikipedia articles covering both historical and science-fiction ships include D. S. Smith, “We Started It All, Captain Kirk, or, The Life & Times of the First USS Enterprise,” (1990) [Archive.org LINK], and David Wells, “A History of Ships Named Enterprise,” The STArchive (2001) [LINK].

I also came upon the following book: Arnold E. van Beverhoudt, Jr., These are the Voyages: A History of the Ships, Aircraft, and Spacecraft named Enterprise (Lulu.com: Updated Second Edition, 2013). The website that was the original basis for the book has been stripped bare with referrals to purchase the book. I did, and it is wonderfully comprehensive to the publication date. Van Beverhoudt’s History does contain starboard profile drawings of each ship, but not large enough or at anywhere near the resolution I would need for this project.

All those articles and that book collectively should be considered the sources for the following information. I will only specifically note crucial points of discussion.

Here are the various vessels I found….


Year[1]
Registry, formal name, and Class
Type
Affiliation: Polity and Service(s)
Notes
1
1705-1707
HMS Enterprise
24-gun Frigate (6th Rate)
Sea
Kingdom of England Royal Navy
Captured from France, originally L’Entreprise
2
1709-1749
HMS Enterprise
44-gun Frigate (5th Rate)
Sea
Kingdom of Great Britain[2] Royal Navy
First newly constructed Enterprise
3
1743-1748
HMS Enterprize
8-gun sloop
Sea
Kingdom of Great Britain Royal Navy
Captured from Spain
4
1744-1771
HMS Enterprise
44-gun Frigate (5th-Rate)
Sea
Kingdom of Great Britain Royal Navy
Renamed from 1693 HMS Norwich
5
1774-1807
HMS Enterprise
28-gun Enterprise class Frigate (6th-rate)
Sea
Kingdom of Great Britain Royal Navy

6
1775
HMS Enterprize
10-gun tender
Sea
Kingdom of Great Britain[3] Royal Navy
Captured by Americans, but see notes under “Culling the Fleet”
7
1775-1777
Enterprise
24-gun Sloop-of-war
Sea
United Colonies of America[4] Continental Army[5]
HMS George, Captured by Americans
8
1776-1777
Enterprise
8-gun Schooner
Sea
United Colonies of America Continental Navy
Captured or purchased privateer
9
1799-1823
USS Enterprise
12-gun Schooner
Sea
United States of America Navy
Upgraded to brig
10
1831-1844
USS Enterprise
10-gun Schooner
Sea
United States of America Navy

11
1861-1863
Enterprise
Hot air balloon
Air
United States of America (Union) Army Balloon Corps

12
1874-1909
USS Enterprise
Steam-Powered 6-gun “Screw-sloop”
Sea
United States of America Navy

13
1917-1918
SP-790
Enterprise
1-gun motor boat
Sea
United States of America Navy
Non-commissioned S[ection] P[atrol] craft
14
1919-1946
HMS Enterprise
E-class light cruiser
Sea
United Kingdom Royal Navy

15
1936-1947
CV-6
USS Enterprise
Yorktown class Aircraft Carrier
Sea
United States of America Navy

16
1941-1945
L-5
Enterprise
L-class blimp
Air
United States of America Navy

17
1961-2017
CVN-65
USS Enterprise
Enterprise class Nuclear Aircraft Carrier
Sea
United States of America Navy

18
1976-1979
OV-101
Enterprise
Space Shuttle
Space
NASA[6]

19
2010-2014
N339SS
VSS Enterprise
Spaceplane

Virgin Galactic

20
2013
IXS-110
Enterprise
Alcubierre-White class starship
Space
NASA / United States Space Force
Conceptual interstellar ship. See notes below re dates of service – 2072-2079 – as well as affiliation.
21
2027-2053
CVN-80
USS Enterprise Gerald R. Ford class Nuclear Aircraft Carrier
Sea
US Navy
See notes below regarding end of service, 2053
22
Ca. 2130s
SS Enterprise
XCV-330
Declaration
Space
United Nations Space Force, UESPA[7]
The Ring Ship. See notes below regarding years of service.
23
2151-2161
NX-01
SS Enterprise
NX/Columbia
Space
United Earth Starfleet, UESPA
2156, underwent refit with outboard secondary hull
24
2245-2285
NCC-1701
Constitution
Space
United Federation of Planets Starfleet, UESPA
2271, underwent refit
25
2286-2293
NCC-1701-A
Constitution II refit
Space
United Federation of Planets Starfleet, UESPA

26
2293-2329
NCC-1701-B
Excelsior II refit
Space
United Federation of Planets Starfleet, UESPA

27
2332-2344
NCC-1701-C Ambassador
Space
United Federation of Planets Starfleet

28
2363-2371
NCC-1701-D Galaxy
Space
United Federation of Planets Starfleet

29
2372-2409
NCC-1701-E Sovereign
Space
United Federation of Planets Starfleet


Culling the Fleet
Now for the most difficult part of this project – back-documenting how I developed the images that I used. I did not necessarily take good notes in the early stages, having no idea that this project would go as far as it ultimately did. Nevertheless, I will attempt to document where I found my images and what I had to do to them to end up with images usable for my purpose.

But first, I had to decide which I needed. I wanted to include as many of the aforementioned ships as I could, although I knew I could not include them all. There are, after all, 28 or 29, depending on what you make of the mysterious discrepancy of numbers 7 and 8. They seem like two separate ships – a 10-gun tender and a 24-gun sloop-of-war, one named HMS Enterprize and one named HMS George, both of them captured from the Royal Navy by the American Colonies and put into their own service – both under the name Enterprise? For the purpose of my chart, I’m only going to include the second, which seems better documented. Still, 28 distinct ships. Way too many to include on any reasonable chart. Applying various criteria and making some hard choices in certain cases, I set about paring the list down to the following:

2 – 1709-1749 HMS Enterprise
  • This was the first newly constructed HMS Enterprise to serve in the Royal Navy.
5 – 1774-1807 HMS Enterprise
  • The second newly constructed HMS Enterprise.
7 – 1775-1777 Enterprise
  • This and the next are included simply because they are the first American ships named Enterprise. Not USS Enterprise, because the US Navy did not exist yet. There is possibly some confusion regarding this one, the 24-gun sloop-of-war called HMS George, which was captured by Benedict Arnold and assigned to service on Lake Champlain. It is much better documented, however, than the 10-gun tender at my “not included” number 6 below. I include it here as the first American Enterprise even though it is a prize of war. Incidentally, although some confusion also exists regarding this ship’s affiliation with the Continental Navy or the Continental Army -- and Wikipedia contradicts itself here – the reasoning that actions on inland lakes did not fall under the Continental Navy’s purview makes sense to me, and furthermore adds a little variety to the chart.
  • Per Wikipedia, “USS Enterprise (1705)” [LINK], this “Enterprise was originally a British topsail schooner (classified as a "sloop-of-war" by the Royal Navy, not to be confused with an actual sloop, which has only a single mast) named George, built at St. Johns (now Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu) in Quebec, Canada.” There is no independent article for the HMS Enterprize (1775), and no information about where it was constructed. I feel this is a clear contradiction by Wikipedia that awaits resolution.

8 – 1776-1777 Enterprise
  • This was an 8-gun British schooner, a privateer either captured or purchased by the Continental Navy and used as a convoy escort and dispatch boat mainly in Chesapeake Bay.

9 – 1799-1823 USS Enterprise
  • This was the first USS Enterprise, commissioned and built by the new United States Navy as a 12-gun schooner, later upgraded to a brig. Most notably, it fired the first shot in the war against the Barbary pirates.
10 – 1831-1844 USS Enterprise
  • This was a 10-gun schooner used in the suppression of the slave trade.

12 – 1874-1909 USS Enterprise
  • This was a transitional ship – a wooden-hulled, steam-driven but fully rigged sloop, hence “screw-sloop.” David Wells [LINK], at his number 14, opines that “This ship's record in some ways resembles that of NCC-1701.” Most notable is its three-year mission surveying the world’s seas, 1883-1886, “contributed materially to the knowledge of the oceans, their currents, and their bottoms.”

15 – 1936-1947 CV-6 USS Enterprise
  • The first “Big E” – the most decorated warship of World War II, the only US aircraft carrier to survive the war from beginning to end.

17 – 1961-2017 CVN-65 USS Enterprise
  • The second “Big E” – a sensation from when it was launched as the largest warship afloat, this was the world’s first nuclear-powered vessel. After considering the name Yorktown, Gene Roddenberry named the Starship Enterprise for this ship.

18 – 1976-1979 OV-101 Enterprise
  • And then, in the mid 1970s, a massive letter-writing campaign convinced NASA to name the first US space shuttle after the fictional Starship Enterprise. The actors and fans attended its unveiling. Unfortunately, it never made it into space, serving as a prototype test vehicle.
20 – 2072-2079 IXS-110 Enterprise
  • Writing this in May 2020, we now get into the speculative and fictional, to varying degrees. Once I came upon this conceptual ship design [LINK] during my research (not for the first time, but not for a long time) I knew I had to include it. If perchance the “Alcubierre” solution to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity can be engineered into what Dr. Miguel Alcubierre himself called a “warp drive” because of the way it envisions the bending of space itself to provide motive force, it would be the biggest development probably in human history, breaking us free not just from the bonds of earth but from those of a single solar system. Not only that, design-wise it fits right in with the otherwise unique Ring Ship XCV-330, even to the fact that both sport a pair of annular rings. Finally, the ring-design aligns with the Vulcan ships occasionally seen in Star Trek, most often in the prequel series, Enterprise. In the table and hence this sequence, I have it listed as 2013, the year NASA scientist Dr. Harold G. White revealed the design. (The class name is based on the two scientists.) 2013 is obviously too early for this lineage, however. Ever since 1996 with the movie First Contact, the date of mankind’s first successful warp flight has been established in Star Trek canon as 05 April 2063, when Zephram Cochrane broke the light-barrier and attracted the attention of a passing Vulcan survey vessel. Nor did I want the IXS-110 to be a failed pre-Cochrane attempt at a warp drive. My postulation, therefore, is that in the years after First Contact, humans emulated Vulcan warp engineering based on the annular warp coils seen on the IXS-110 and the later, much larger XCV-330 rather than the linear warp coils that Zephram Cochrane himself had designed. By the early 22nd c., however, there was a growing perception on the part of humanity (forming part of the backstory of Star Trek: Enterprise) that the Vulcans were intentionally retarding human progress in warp science. Therefore, commencing at some point in the early 22nd c., human warp engineering started exploring different design philosophies, ultimately returning to Cochrane’s configuration in the linear nacelle-based designs ultimately deployed on the NX-01.
  • As to the dating of the IXS Enterprise, it must therefore be post-2063. Furthermore, four years after 2063, in 2067, the “United Earth Space Probe Agency” dispatched the warp-driven long-range deep space probe “Friendship One” (per the 2000 Star Trek: Voyager episode of that name) which bore significant similarities to Cochrane’s Phoenix, including near-identical linear warp-nacelles. Some time must be allowed for engineering philosophy to shift to the Vulcan annular warp rings. I therefore, somewhat arbitrarily place the IXS-110 in 2072. (As to its end-of-service date, there is no way to tell; assuming it to have been an experimental ship only, it may not have been in service for very long. I am arbitrarily assigning it seven years – the “ideal” length of a Star Trek television series. In another place I may reveal a history I have devised for this vessel, connecting to an obscure point of Star Trek history....)
  • As to its operating authority – in this case, one might expect it to be UESPA. The United Earth Space Probe Agency was an early Star Trek name for the NCC-1701’s governing authority, before the terms “Starfleet” and “Federation” had been settled upon. The name was preserved, however, as late as the commissioning plaque of the NCC-1701-B and is usually rationalized as the division of the United Earth government’s space authority devoted to scientific exploration, acknowledging what was a dual purpose for Starfleet vessels – military and exploration. (The Star Trek: Enterprise: Rise of the Federation novels propose a different rationale, that is not necessarily mutually exclusive, and I choose not to elaborate on it here.) In-universe, UESPA existed from at least 2067, however. How is that? Memory Beta, citing the Star Trek prose novel Articles of the Federation, establishes 2130, when the Traité d’Unification is signed between at least a significant number of nations, as establishing the United Earth government. Why, 63 years before that date, was there such a thing as a “United Earth Space Probe Agency”? My answer: 1) Obviously, the idea of a United Earth was around – it already is. 2) I would postulate that in the rush to send such a deep space probe as Friendship One in 2067, whatever body sponsored it (probably the “’New’ United Nations” mentioned in STNG “Encounter at Farpoint”) considered “United Earth” to be as a better “face” for humanity to put out there for aliens once the existence of the latter is known after 2063. So, what was in effect a United Nations organization in this context took the name “United Earth” – and probably influenced the acceptance of that name for the world government sixty-odd years later. The NX-01 was explicitly under the authority of UESPA when launched in 2151; the NCC-1701 remained under its aegis in the 2260s; nevertheless, I don’t think the term is ever used after the 2293 NCC-1701-B, and so I choose to ignore it thereafter. Probably it was folded into the UFP Starfleet.
  • I am not going the UESPA route for the IXS-110, however. I have several, arbitrary to various degrees, reasons for this: 1) It is a NASA design. 2) The United States of America will endure as a sovereign state through the tortuous 21st c. (including World War III and whatever the “Post-Atomic Horror” was, in addition to First Contact) to sign onto the Treaty of Unification ratifying a fully United Earth world government in 2150. I assume that NASA will continue to be around for at least some of that period. 3) This seems to be my only place to acknowledge the creation of the United States Space Force as the eighth branch of the United States military late in the year 2019. So, the co-operating authorities are NASA and USSP. Why not UESPA in a cooperative venture? I’m postulating that Americans will continue to be skeptical of any one-world government and will be among the last three holdouts to ratify the Treaty in 2150, such skepticism possibly only intensified as a result of the events of the early to mid 21st c. So, even though the idealistic initial designers in 2013 dubbed it “IXS” for “International Experimental Starship,” I retain that prefix while supposing it to mean something else.
21 – 2027-2046 CVN-80 USS Enterprise
  • Immediately upon the decommissioning of CVN-65 in 2017 was announced the construction of a successor, the third Gerald R. Ford class nuclear aircraft carrier. She is scheduled to be commissioned in 2027.
  • Years of service: According to Wikipedia she is to be launched in 2025 and commissioned in 2027. According to Star Trek canon, World War III will begin in 2026 and last until 2053. Although considering moving its commissioning date to 2026, I’m going to assume it will be commissioned soon after the outbreak of the war, in 2027, serve throughout, and (arbitrarily) end its service coterminous with the end of the war. Decommissioned? Destroyed in the last battle? It matters not for this chart. [REVISION: After further research attempting to reconcile the many contradictory accounts of Star Trek 20th and 21st-century history, I have decided to account CVN-80 destroyed in the 2046 Battle of the Sea of Japan which turned the tide of the Eugenics Wars phase of World War III. Therein lies another blog post....]
22 – 2123-2145 XCV-330 SS Enterprise
  • The Ring Ship. Regarding dates, in the table I cite “ca. 2130s” per Wikipedia. But I wanted something more specific for the chart. The earliest in-universe visual reference to the Ring Ship is in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “First Flight,” in which retrospective the painting is shown to be in the 602 Club in 2143. So the XCV-330 had to be before that year. Another possibly pertinent date, per Memory Beta citing the Star Trek prose novel Articles of the Federation, is 2130, when the Traité d’Unification is signed, establishing the United Earth government. If the XCV-330 is launched any time after that, the NX-01 Enterprise would lose the distinction of being the first Earth Starfleet Enterprise. That ship’s very existence already takes some of the luster off NCC-1701’s status as the “first Starship Enterprise,” which is only maintainable via the semantic argument that what is meant is that NCC-1701 is the first “Federation Starship Enterprise”; I would argue NCC-1701 is the first “newly constructed Federation Starship Enterprise” and further multiply qualifiers all day long if necessary! Long and short, I don’t want to add another layer to that quagmire, so my argument is that the XCV-330 had to go into service prior to 2130 when the United Earth world government was formed – and presumably the United Earth Starfleet was created. That maintains NX-01’s status as the “first United Earth Starfleet’s Starship Enterprise.” But when before 2130? The ring ship also appears (with a wonderful painting that unfortunately spans the gutter) in the 1979 Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology. Much else established by that book (which made almost everything up from whole cloth) has been superseded by later series, but “ca. 2130s” fits nicely within the time span postulated there for the XCV-330: 2123-2165. Except it does not work to have it still in service when the NX-01 Enterprise is launched in 2151, so I am arbitrarily changing those dates to 2123-2145.
  • I imagine some form of the United Nations to have been the immediate predecessor of the United Earth government. I also suppose that by the early 22nd c., the United Nations would be fielding their own military, probably modelled on that of the United States. Hence, “United Nations Space Force.” This distinct from a nominally civilian UESPA much as the USSF military is today (2020) distinct from civilian NASA.
  • Further note: I am completely ignoring the information given at Memory Beta, s.v. “USS Enterprise (XCV-330)” [LINK].
23 – 2151-2161 NX-01 SS Enterprise
  • Here, we start getting into documented Star Trek history, i.e., canon. Everything becomes fairly straightforward…
  • This is the ship of the series Enterprise/Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005). It began its run without the “Star Trek” name. They thought better of it by the third season. The series told the story of Earth’s first “Warp 5” starship, under the command of Jonathan Archer, and developments toward the founding of the United Federation of Planets. Subsequent seasons reportedly would have told the story of the Earth-Romulan War catalyzing the creation of that body, but the series was cancelled after the fourth season immediately after the UFP predecessor, the Coalition of Planets was founded. Post-season novels have completed that story, however.
  • The NX-01 underwent a major refit in 2056 with the addition of an outboard secondary hull such as every subsequent Enterprise would have. At Admiral Archer's insistence it was reclassified as Columbia Class, in honor of the second NX Class starship, previously lost with all hands. It was never seen on screen, however, and depicting it here would only complicate the chart.
24 – 2245-2285 NCC-1701 USS Enterprise
  • This is actually where it all began, in Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969). Kirk’s Enterprise, although he was only its commander from the early-mid 2260s. His predecessors were Captain Robert April and Captain Christopher Pike. After Kirk’s Five Year Mission (2265-2270), Enterprise underwent an major structural refit to the next generation of warp drive, subsequently being commanded by Kirk and company in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and many subsequent missions before becoming a training vessel. Her final voyages are chronicled in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984).
  • The 2271 refit created a ship nearly identical to the subsequent ship of the same name. Only the pre-refit is depicted here.
25 – 2286-2293 NCC-1701-A USS Enterprise
  • The fame of Kirk’s Enterprise was such that after its destruction (and because of his crew’s subsequently saving the Earth yet again), another Constitution-class starship (The USS Ti-ho according to some sources, according to others the Yorktown, which is the way I am taking here), just completing its own long-delayed refit to the same specifications that Enterprise had received over a decade before, was renamed Enterprise and renumbered NCC-1701-A. It was turned over to Kirk and company yet again. This occurred at the very end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), which was followed by Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1988) and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), which ended with Enterprise-A being recalled for decommissioning.
26 – 2293-2329 NCC-1701-B USS Enterprise
  • This starship appeared only briefly at the beginning of the movie, Star Trek: Generations (1994).
27 – 2332-2344 NCC-1701-C USS Enterprise
  • The starship appeared in only one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “Yesterday’s Enterprise” (1990) – which, incidentally, provides the quotation at the top of the plaque and which I use on this chart. Ironically, the words were spoken by a Picard in a short-lived alternate time-line which was negated by the end of the episode.
28 – 2363-2371 NCC-1701-D USS Enterprise
  • Probably the second most famous Federation Starship Enterprise, commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard for its entire life, as told in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) and its immediate follow-up movie, Star Trek: Generations (1994).
29 – 2372-2409 NCC-1701-E USS Enterprise
  • Finally, the Enterprise-E, Picard’s second Starship Enterprise: Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek: Nemesis (2002).
Here are the ones I chose not to include, with information and notable reasons – beyond the fact that I could not include them all:

1 – 1705-1707 HMS Enterprise
  • It may be the first Enterprise, but it was captured from the French. I reserve the first on my chart to the first newly constructed HMS Enterprise.
3 – 1743-1748 HMS Enterprize
  • It was captured from Spain, but furthermore there was already a native-built HMS Enterprise in service? Why was this prize named “Enterprise”?
4 – 1744-1771 HMS Enterprise
  • This was a much older ship, constructed in 1693, originally named the HMS Norwich, renamed Enterprise … while there was already another Enterprise still in service…?
6 – 1775 HMS Enterprize
  • There is all kinds of confusion here. According to Wikipedia (“HMS Enterprise” [LINK] at HMS Enterprize (1775)), this 10-gun tender was captured by the Americans. But it then links to another Wikipedia article, “USS Enterprise (1775),” another (?) American Colonial Enterprise supposedly captured by the Americans that year, the former HMS George, for which see my included number 7 above.
  • As far as I can determine, there have been only two Royal Navy ships named “Enterprize” as opposed to ”Enterprise”: the sloop captured from Spain in 1743 and the tender captured by the Americans in 1775. Neither appear on my finished chart for the reasons specified. I tried. I really wanted there to be an Enterprize – for the novelty of it but also because in the serial montage of ships shown in the opening credits of Star Trek: Enterprise there does appear an Enterprize. But the name does not seem to be a simple variant in spelling. Moreover, according to Memory Alpha s.v. “HMS Enterprize,” the ship depicted in the opening credits was a galleon – which neither of the historical ships named Enterprize was.
11 – 1861-1863 Enterprise
  • This is a hot air balloon of the United States of America (Union) Army Balloon Corps. I chose not to include simple airships.
13 – 1917-1918 SP-790 Enterprise
  • This was a private yacht bought and deployed on shore patrol, but never actually commissioned into the US Navy. 
14 – 1919-1956 D52 HMS Enterprise
  • I thought long and hard about this one, but ultimately decided not to include it mainly because of space. It was an E-class light cruiser that served with distinction and most notably provided covering bombardment during the 06 June 1944 D-Day Invasion. My rationale for not including it (besides space) is that once the linear progression of service had gone from England/Great Britain to the United States, I did not want to look back.
16 – 1941-1945 L-5 Enterprise
  • After Pearl Harbor, Goodyear turned over this blimp to the US Navy, which used it as a training vessel for its Nonrigid Air Corps, which patrolled coasts and harbors for German U-boats. Important, but….
19 – 2010-2014 N339SS VSS Enterprise

  • This was an experimental spaceplane tested by Virgin Galactic as part of its commercial enterprise (pardon the pun) to create a medium for civilian space tourism. After several successive test flights accomplishing progressive goals toward that end, VSS Enterprise broke up shortly after being released from its mothership for its fourth powered test flight and crashed in the Mojave Desert. Its co-pilot was killed; its pilot successfully ejected and survived, albeit with serious injuries – but became the first space pilot to survive the loss of his spacecraft. Nevertheless as a commercial venture, as important as that is and as much as I support the idea, I don’t consider this ship to stand in the lineage of military and exploration vessels.
Designing the Chart
So, now I had twenty ships I wanted to include. Twenty ships. The plaque had fourteen. The lineage chart shown near the top of this post has ten. So I would need to redesign the whole chart.

I began by printing that lineage chart onto an 8.5x11” sheet of power. I then set about tracing a new arrangement with the added vehicles. I love the quotation used on the plaque, so used it as well, under a title simply saying, “The Noble Lineage of Ships Named ENTERPRISE.” I did try a couple of different arrangements, but settled on a two-column arrangement with the title box at left top and all of the Star Trek ships in the right column. I then scanned the result.

I then used that as a base layer in GIMP for placement of clean starboard schematics, layer by layer, ship by ship. My aim was an 8.5x11" sheet of high resolution that I could print at twice that size should I want. (I do not currently have access to a printer that large.) I settled on 600dpi for the 8.5x11" sheet size, which would make the double-sized image 300dpi. (I have not tested the output of the 300dpit version, but I found the 600dpi version as sharp as I could want when I printed my first test copy (containing representative text in the various sizes as well as a couple of the ships.)

So I created a canvas in GIMP with the settings: 600dpi, 8.5x11” (=5100x6600 pixels). But I needed those clean starboard schematics of each ship.

Obtaining the Illustrations
I am not a skilled draftsman, so there was no question of producing the illustrations from scratch. I decided to find and use the cleanest, highest-resolution line drawings of the starboard profile of these various ships that I could find.

As an aside, Van Beverhoudt’s History does contain starboard profile drawings of each ship in a comparison chart at the back, but the drawings are not large enough or at anywhere near the resolution I would need for this project. So I set about finding alternatives that I could easily adapt. Most were fairly easy to acquire.

A few were more difficult. I had to get various drawings, some colorized, and manipulate them or use them as a base for another tracing in GIMP to produce a clean line drawing.
My GIMP skills are, I will be the first to admit, rudimentary. As I said, I am not a skilled draftsman, nor am I a skilled graphic designer. I acquired what skills I needed like I acquire almost all of my technical skills – as needed, to whatever level I need to accomplish whatever task is at hand. In this case, after playing around with GIMP a number of times over the years, I knew it would do what I wanted when I needed to create a set of high quality maps for my book, as well as manipulate the photographs I wanted to use, outputting them in specified resolution and size to be included in that book. Figuring out how to do those things entailed quite a bit of trial and error, Internet searching, watching Youtube videos, and so forth. I was hampered a bit by not even being familiar with the technical jargon of graphic design, but usually by rewording my request different ways I eventually stumbled upon what I needed. The same unfamiliarity with the jargon sometimes hampered my understanding of what objectively simple instructions I might find were actually saying. But persistence paid off, and I usually figured out how to do what I wanted or found a workaround.

Note that for a few tasks, I still find it easier to use Microsoft Paint, and did so.

Here, in order from the top, are the various ships, text I developed for each, where I acquired the images I used, and a few words about what photo manipulations I had to perform to clean them up. If I kept a separate image of that manipulation, I'll include it as well.

Unfortunately, for many of these ships, I did not adequately document where I obtained my source images. I will explain how I came upon them as best I can remember, and how I processed those into the final versions I ended up using. If anyone can identify the source images and let me know, I will properly credit them.

1709-1749
HMS Enterprise
Kingdom of Great Britain
Royal Navy
44-gun Frigate of the 5th Rate

and

1774-1807
HMS Enterprise
Kingdom of Great Britain
Royal Navy
Enterprise Class 28-gun Frigate of the 6th Rate

For these two ships of the Royal Navy, I could find nothing specific, but I did find the following two images of frigates. They were not together; I matched up their scales as closely as I could to represent a 28-gun and 44-gun frigate and saved the result as this:


As you can see, the 28-gun is of considerably lower resolution. I was able to crop and use the 44-gun as is, but I then used the 28-gun as a base later in GIMP for a full tracing that I then used.


1775-1777
Enterprise
United Colonies of America
Continental Army
24-gun Sloop-of-War
Formerly HMS George, prize of war

and

1776-1777
Enterprise
United Colonies of America
Continental Navy
8-gun Schooner
Former privateer, prize of war

and

1799-1823
USS Enterprise
United States of America
US Navy
12-gun Brigantine-Rigged Schooner

and

1831-1844
USS Enterprise
United States of America
US Navy
10-gun Schooner

and

1874-1886
USS Enterprise
United States of America
US Navy
4-gun Barque-Rigged Screw Sloop

For these five American sailing ships, I found a nice image on a naval historians’ message board, a comprehensive depiction of “The U.S.S. Enterprises (1775-2012),” original artwork by Steve Freeman, (c) 2012. I’m pretty sure I did not get it from here, but it is posted at Imgur [LINK].



I would be proud to hang a high quality print of that image on my wall if such could be obtained. For my purposes, I rendered it in greyscale and used it as a base to trace images of the five ships in question. (To be honest, to save myself a little work, I actually used the same image for 1776 and 1831.)



1936-1947 CV-6
USS Enterprise
United States of America
US Navy
Yorktown Class Aircraft Carrier

and

1961-2017 CVN-65
USS Enterprise
United States of America
US Navy
Enterprise Class Nuclear Aircraft Carrier

Nor do I remember where I came upon these, but I could use them with very little editing - mainly adding beneath the waterline for the first.

CV-6


CVN-65

1976-1979 OV-101
Enterprise
United States of America
National Aeronautics & Space Administration
Space Shuttle Prototype

Given the cultural importance of the US Space Shuttle program, it was amazingly difficult to find a suitable image. I ultimately found the following which I could easily clean up. I did not document the source, however.
Cleaned up:


2027-2046 CVN-80
USS Enterprise
United States of America
US Navy
Gerald R. Ford Class Nuclear Aircraft Carrier

Nor do I know where I found the clean image of the under-construction CVN-80:

But I used it as a based layer to trace a clean line drawing.

2084-2091 IXS-110
Enterprise
United States of America
NASA / US Space Force
Alcubierre-White Class Starship Prototype

This was hard to find, and I ended up taking an unusual route to get what I wanted. No clean blueprints were to be found. The one I found was a true blueprint, of low resolution contained within a PDF advertising their sale a few years ago via a now-defunct website. There were a good number of imaginative illustrations and “beauty shots,” such as these I grabbed from various places (and did not properly document the sources, unfortunately):




I ultimately did find the following colorful wire-frame illustration by one “yard2380” posted at Flickr.com [LINK]. I could not download it; I had to capture it by means of a screen shot:


Using GIMP, the first thing I did was crop the image, then I rendered it as a negative greyscaled image:



At that point, some tracings to harden various outlines plus come panels cut-and-pasted strategically to cover up more obvious “show-throughs” resulted in this, which I knew scaled down to the size it would appear on the chart would be more than enough:



2123-2145 XCV-330
SS Enterprise
United Nations
UN Space Force / United Earth Space Probe Agency
Declaration Class Starship

SOURCE: Lawrence Miller, Star Fleet Tactical Database Series 2 (1992), posted at Cygnus-X1 [LINK]
Sheet 3: Starliners / Exploration Crafts


Cropped


Incidentally, here is Mark Rademaker's painting for the 2011 Star Trek Ships of the Line Calendar:


2151-2161 NX-01
SS Enterprise
United Earth
UE Starfleet / UESPA
NX/Columbia Class Starship

SOURCE: Monte R. Johnjulio Blueprints (2004), posted at Cygnus-X1 [LINK]
Sheet 3: External Arrangement (Starboard/Foreward)

Cleaned up:


According to Memory Beta, the NX-01 underwent a major refit halfway through its service life, adding an outboard secondary hull aft and below the primary hull. Dated 2156, this was after the end of the television series and this ship has never been portrayed onscreen. (Note that the final episode of the series, “These Are The Voyages,” depicting events of 2161 as remembered over 200 years later, does not show the refit, but there are enough other historical inconsistencies in that episode that I feel I can safely discount the discrepancy.) Moreover, depicting both configurations on this chart would add to its complexity and compel other such “doublings.” I therefore only include the original NX-01 on the chart. 
Here is, however, a three-view schematic I found on Reddit, from longtime Star Trek designer and modeler, designer of the NX-01, Doug Drexler: 


2245-2285 NCC-1701
USS Enterprise
United Federation of Planets
UFP Starfleet / UESPA
Constitution Class Starship

and

2286-2293 NCC-1701-A
USS Enterprise
United Federation of Planets
UFP Starfleet / UESPA
Constitution-II Class Starship

For these two original Star Trek Starships Enterprise, Johnjulio’s full size elevation sheets did not work out. For whatever reason, the lines were too fine, such that when I scaled them comparably to the other ships below for the chart and printed them out, the result was visibly “lighter” than those others. I searched therefore for “heavier” drawings that would still be sharp enough for my purposes, and ultimately found them on a single sheet lineage included with his NCC-1701 blueprints. The solution is not perfect, but printed at 600dpi/8.5x11” along with the rest, it works.

SOURCE: Monte R. Johnjulio Blueprints for Constitution Class Starship (2009), posted at Cygnus-X1 [LINK]
Sheet 18: Vessel Lineage

Cleaned up:





2293-2329 NCC-1701-B
USS Enterprise
United Federation of Planets
UFP Starfleet / UESPA
Excelsior Class Starship

SOURCE: Monte R. Johnjulio Blueprints (2003), posted at Cygnus-X1 [LINK]
Sheet 9: Port/Starboard/Fore Elevations

Cleaned up:




2332-2344 NCC-1701-C
USS Enterprise
United Federation of Planets
UFP Starfleet
Ambassador Class Starship

SOURCE: Monte R. Johnjulio Blueprints (2003), posted at Cygnus-X1 [LINK]
Sheet 2: Exteriors (Starboard/Fore/Aft

Cleaned up:


2363-2371 NCC-1701-D
USS Enterprise
United Federation of Planets
UFP Starfleet
Galaxy Class Starship

SOURCE: Monte R. Johnjulio, Blueprints (2010), posted at Cygnus-X1 [LINK]
Sheet 2: Elevation Views

Cleaned up:



2372-2409 NCC-1701-E
USS Enterprise
United Federation of Planets
UFP Starfleet
Sovereign Class Starship

SOURCE: Monte R. Johnjulio, Blueprints (2004), posted at Cygnus-X1 [LINK]
Sheet 2: External Arrangement (Starboard/Forward)


Cleaned up



Assembling the Fleet (i.e., Creating the Chart)
Now came the final task. Having finally collected my finished images, at that point it was simply a matter of assembling them in respective layers on GIMP over the base sketch, making some minor adjustments as I went along (which included scaling them all roughly equally), then including the text layers (for which I used a font I found online, “Jeffereys [sic] Italic,” named for the Original Series production designer Matt Jeffreys who designed the original Starship Enterprise back in 1964, and, Voilà!, the result which can be seen at the top of this post. Printed out on 8.5x11” parchment-style paper in a nice frame:



And, finally, here is a link to the full resolution image at 5100x6600 pixels, in png format [LINK] and xcf format [LINK] (the latter is a huge file]. Here is also an "in-universe" set of annotations about each ship that I printed on the back (yes, I know you can't see it framed, but it's there):



and a link to the png image [LINK] and xcf file [LINK].

A few words by way of sort-of legalese/disclaimer….

Unlike certain others (sellers of a plethora of items including the plaque which was my initial inspiration), I am not offering this for sale. I do not own these images. As I’ve already detailed, it was assembled from images collected from all across the Internet, most of them manipulated to one degree or another, as a project solely for my personal edification. I claim no ownership. I acknowledge the source of as many of the images as I can and will be perfectly happy to acknowledge any others. I make all this, including the xcf image files, available for those who may wish to use it or any part of it as a basis for their own such private project, for their personal edification.

I would ask, further, that no one else take my work and sell it, present it as their own work, or especially present it for sale as their own work. vaj ghu'vam nIH SoH, Hegh!

Thanks for reading, and Live long and prosper!



[1] For the year of launch of each ship, I generally went with what Wikipedia states. In the case of Star Trek, during the Original Series and for long thereafter, it was pretty vague exactly when the stories were taking place. I’m not exactly sure when the 23rd century was settled upon, but even then exactly when was quite some time coming. Various episodes implied anywhere from two to seven hundred years in the future. In 1979 the Star Trek Space Flight Chronology established dates that had Captain Kirk’s Five Year Mission taking place very early in the 23rd century. At almost the same time Star Trek: The Motion Picture implied the late 23rd century. I do not believe it was until some time early in the Next Generations series (debuted 1987) that a hard and fast reference date was given, which along with previously stated times that had elapsed between the time of Kirk and that of Picard suddenly made the broad strokes of the future fall into place. Then, in 1993 came the massive Star Trek Chronology by Michael and Denise Okuda, both of whom were affiliated with production of the movies and series, which for the first time created a pretty comprehensive timeline that has for all intents and purposes become canon, with minor adjustments here and there. Most subsequent information, including that on Wikipedia and at the online wiki for Star Trek, Memory Alpha [LINK], generally use the Encyclopedia or “Okuda” system, which puts Kirk’s Five Year Mission between 2265 and 2270 … or, for all intents and purposes, almost exactly three hundred years from the time the Original Series was made.
As an aside, there are alternative chronological schemes, each with its enthusiastic partisans, but for all the inconsistencies that cannot be rationaiized out of the Okuda timeline it seems to line up best with televised canon, largely because since the early 1990s televised canon has taken it into account. It is, therefore, generally the time-line I am follow. A couple of necessary variations are noted in their place.
[2] 1707: Political union of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain.
[3] The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was not created until the Act of Union in 1800.
[4] Until 09 September 1776, when the Continental Congress formally declared the name “United States” of America, the term in general use had been “United Colonies.” (History.com, This Day in History for September 09). Note also that through the 21st c., only ships of the US Navy are accorded the prefix, “USS.”
[5] Wikipedia is contradictory on this point, in one place saying the Continental Navy, in another saying the Continental Army. It does, however, also rationalize the latter that the British sloop that was captured to become the first American Enterprise was captured and served on Lake Champlain, where the Continental Navy had no purview. I do not know if that is truly the case (Damnit, Jim, I’m a medievalist, not an Americanist!), but I’m going with it just for variety’s sake.
[6] NASA = National Aeronautics and Space Administration, created in 1958 as a federal agency overseeing civilian space activities. There has always been heavy military involvement in NASA activities, however. Only in 2019 was a separate body created to conduct military space activities. 
[7] UESPA = The United Earth Space Probe Agency, the earliest-mentioned organization mentioned in the first season of Star Trek: The Original Series.

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