Ever since the USS Franklin concept art debuted here at TrekCore back in January, fans have been curious to learn more about this new ship set to debut in STAR TREK BEYOND this summer.
Along with that, speculation over changes made to the Enterprise herself, most recently seen in May’s second theatrical trailer, have lead some to believe we’ve already seen some new version of that ship, based upon physical differences to the warp nacelles, engine struts, and other features.
Minor spoilers below!
Well, this month’s new Popular Mechanics answers some of those questions directly, featuring a cutaway view of not only the two Federation starships, but the alien Swarm vessels as well – those countless ships seen tearing the Enterprise to bits in the preview trailers.
This illustration reveals several new pieces of information about these ships. First, the one thing many have gravitated to are the Enterprise nacelle struts – they’ve clearly been altered since the ship’s debut, from 90-degree support structures to swept-back nacelle stands, giving the ship a more fluid design.
This was likely part of the post-battle restoration efforts made at the end of Star Trek Into Darkness.
In addition, it also confirms the rumors that the multitude of escape pods seen in the film’s trailers are, in fact, being referred to as “Kelvin pods,” in reference to the ill-fated ship briefly seen the opening of the 2009 Trek film – presumably because that ship appeared to have no escape pods around the bridge (leaving George Kirk without an escape from the doomed vessel), Starfleet now includes them after learning a lesson about crew survival.
The Franklin also gets time in this spotlight (with a handy reference to motorcycle storage, perhaps where Kirk finds the two-wheeled vehicle), and we now have a estimate of where this ship fits in the Trek timeline.
Detailed as “an early prototype ship that was the first to reach Warp 4,” this seemingly puts the Franklin just ahead of Jonathan Archer’s Enterprise NX-01, meaning this ship was launched sometime in the mid-to-late 2140’s.
Lastly, one of Krall’s Swarm ships also makes this artwork, here revealed to be one-man fighter craft clearly designed to penetrate the hull of a starship.
Looks like we’ve just been given a lot more to talk about – and we know you Trek tech geeks are going to be digging over every detail in this artwork.
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!