- For other uses, see USS Altair.
The USS Altair was an experimental Federation starship in the late 24th century. It was designed to be highly maneuverable at warp speeds, but suffered from unacceptably low power efficiency. It was this design flaw that kept the Altair from going into full-scale production. (ST reference: Ships of the Line)
In 2382, the vessel was still an experimental ship. The vessel had to stop at Mars due to engine problems. Esperanza Piñiero and Raisa Shostakova were passengers on the vessel and they were late to a meeting with the Federation president. (ST - Typhon Pact novel: Rough Beasts of Empire)
The Altair remained the only ship of the Altair class. (The Official Starships Collection Issue Bonus Edition 16: "U.S.S. Altair")
In the 26th century, Starfleet, the Klingon Defense Force and the Romulan Republic Navy returned to the Altair design. The class entered production as Cestus-class frigate, used as an auxiliary vessel deployed from Universe-class dreadnoughts. The Klingons and Romulans based the technology of their Craeul- and baSro'-class frigates on the USS Altair and USS Cestus. (STO website: 26 Century Dreadnought Stats!)
An enlarged spaceframe of the Altair was combined with a round saucer section for the USS Congo. The Congo-class was a sister design of the Universe class. (The Official Starships Collection Issue Bonus Edition 16: "U.S.S. Altair")
BackgroundEditThe Altair design originates from one of the proposals developed by Mike Okuda and Doug Drexler for the design of the USS Voyager; Okuda suggested basing the ship's basic geometry on "those V shaped television antennae you see on automobiles" and Drexler worked that design from that. The design didn't make it for Voyager and some years later was rejected again as a potential design for the Enterprise (NX-01). Another two years later the design was worked into engineering hull of one of the proposed designs for the USS Enterprise-J, although this design was not used for the final Enterprise-J model.
Finally in 2006 the Enterprise-J concept engineering hull version of the design was used in the image "Sea Trial, Duty", in the 2007 Ships of the Line calendar. Later in 2006 that same image was reprinted in the Ships of the Line book, with a description by Okuda identifying it as the experimental Starship Altair. Okuda named it in honour of NASA's planned next-generation lunar lander, and Drexler has subsequently dubbed the vessel a member of the Altair-class.
The length of the Altair is 324 meters, width is 256 meters, height is around 38 meters.
- Article on the Drex Files discussing the history of the design.
- Article on the Drex Files with a video of the Altair in flight