1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

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1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby Skylon » 2012-04-08 09:51am

Not gonna lie, this would have made Las Vegas a necessary stop for me in the 90's.

Has anyone heard of this before?

source: http://www.garygoddard.com/blog/index.p ... e-in-1992/

In 1992 downtown Las Vegas had become a distant second to the Las Vegas Strip. Where at one time, downtown Las Vegas was the center of the action, the increasing magnitude of the Las Vegas Strip, with the expansion of Caesar’s Palace, the Mirage having opened, and with more and more mega resorts on the way, 80% of the Las Vegas market was now on the Strip, leaving only 20% for the downtown casinos and hotels. The loss of business was turning the downtown area into a “ghost town” and something needed to be done quickly. The city needed an attraction – something of enough size and power to bring the people back to the downtown area.

They put the word out and a number of ideas were considered, with only two of the concepts getting down to the finals. One was “THE FREMONT EXPERIENCE”; and the other was “THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE”. THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE was created and designed by Gary Goddard and his team of designers at Landmark – Designer: Chuck Canciller; Illustrator: Greg Pro; Planner: Mac MacElrevey.

The competition called for something that would “become an attraction of such magnitude that it would draw people from the strip,” and ideally it was to also provide “a destination attraction” that would “re-establish the downtown core as the center of the action in Las Vegas.” A major task – one that would be almost impossible to achieve. The other catch was it could not be a hotel or a casino because the other hotels and casinos in the area were going to be paying for this attraction to bring people to THEIR places of business, not to have another competitor down the street.

My concept was to do something so large and so epic, it would fire the imaginations of people around the world. After looking at how difficult it would be to bring people to the downtown core (from the Strip), I knew we had to have something really exciting, dynamic, and without equal. We kicked around a few ideas, and then I came up with something really unique. I went to Chuck Canciller, my lead designer then – and a genius as well – and said, “What if we built the STARSHIP ENTERPRISE – FULL SCALE – on the land at the end of the street. Imagine that…” Chuck looked at me as if I had lost my mind, but by that time he also knew I was serious about big ideas like this. He immediately started working on some ideas.
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Re: 1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2012-04-09 01:20am

Actually trying to build the saucer section, on that scale and unsupported would have been fun engineering wise, I wonder how much it was even going to be habitable, if at all. Five months of studies isn't very long for a project like that.
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Re: 1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby Uraniun235 » 2012-04-10 11:54pm

The article noted that they eventually determined there would have had to be some additional struts built to support the saucer:

(Ultimately we realized we would need to add some supports on the outer edge of the “disc” section due to the extremely high wind conditions in Vegas. For this we created a high tech “scaffolding structure” that gave the ship more of the appearance of being in an open-air dry dock. I have not yet located that sketch, but I’ll try to find it.)
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Re: 1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby Sidewinder » 2012-04-16 10:44pm

As tempting as it is to visit a 1/1 scale model of the Enterprise, I wonder if it could actually be built. It would cost... what, $600 MILLION in 2012 dollars? What if, during drafting, they learned the building materials they intended to use, were too weak, and had to substitute stronger (and more expensive) materials? What if they didn't learn this until AFTER construction began? Do materials strong enough to build a 1/1 scale model of the starship- one that must meet housing and safety codes, considering HUMAN BEINGS will be walking inside- even exist?
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Re: 1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby Imperial528 » 2012-04-17 08:08am

I should think it would be possible, we've made things larger that have to take much more stress (aircraft carriers come to mind.)

Although I would not be surprised at all if it required some form of exterior supports, especially the nacelles and saucer, which if the designers were smart they would disguise as it being in a docking mechanism.

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Re: 1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby Sidewinder » 2012-04-17 10:45am

Imperial528 wrote:I should think it would be possible, we've made things larger that have to take much more stress (aircraft carriers come to mind.)

Aircraft carriers distribute their entire mass on water, i.e., by floating. They do NOT distribute an apparent 60% of their mass on air, like the starship- which, I might add, would place an enormous amount of stress on what's supporting the mass, i.e., the pylons and drydock sections bearing the saucer and nacelles' weight.
Please do not make Americans fight giant monsters.

Those gun nuts do not understand the meaning of "overkill," and will simply use weapon after weapon of mass destruction (WMD) until the monster is dead, or until they run out of weapons.

They have more WMD than there are monsters for us to fight. (More insanity here.)

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Re: 1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2012-04-17 10:56am

Would it not be possible to excavate a large pit and have the secondary hull "below" ground level, with the saucer section and the nacelles resting on the ground?
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Re: 1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby Imperial528 » 2012-04-17 11:54am

Sidewinder, this structure, unlike the aircraft carrier, will be mostly static outside of small movements induced by wind. And I'm pretty sure that the carrier undergoes more stress making a hard turn than a large building would just standing there. It is also worth noting that when an aircraft carrier is in dry dock its mass is all distributed along the bottom.

Furthermore, the sense I got from this is that the majority of it would be hollow, with only certain rooms seen in the show actually being made. If the designers were good, a lot of those rooms wouldn't even have to be put in the same areas they are on the ship itself, further reducing the structural requirements because the rooms can be clustered together to take advantage of existing supports.

For the heck of it I also did a quick bit of math to see how much it would weigh were it built like an office building (I used the Empire State Building as a base). It would have a mass of about 73,240 metric tons, which is about 257,882 tonnes less than the ESB.

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Re: 1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby Uraniun235 » 2012-04-17 05:54pm

Sidewinder, where the hell are you getting your inflation figures from? I really doubt that $150M in 1992USD is equivalent to $600M today.

Eternal_Freedom wrote:Would it not be possible to excavate a large pit and have the secondary hull "below" ground level, with the saucer section and the nacelles resting on the ground?

It would probably be possible, but you'd lose a lot of the visual impact.

Imperial528 wrote:I should think it would be possible, we've made things larger that have to take much more stress (aircraft carriers come to mind.)

Although I would not be surprised at all if it required some form of exterior supports, especially the nacelles and saucer, which if the designers were smart they would disguise as it being in a docking mechanism.
Uraniun235 wrote:The article noted that they eventually determined there would have had to be some additional struts built to support the saucer:

(Ultimately we realized we would need to add some supports on the outer edge of the “disc” section due to the extremely high wind conditions in Vegas. For this we created a high tech “scaffolding structure” that gave the ship more of the appearance of being in an open-air dry dock. I have not yet located that sketch, but I’ll try to find it.)
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Re: 1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2012-04-17 08:36pm

Some of you are really missing the problem. Absolute size doesn’t really matter, at least not on these scales; length of unsupported span does. A ship is basically a box girder filled with bracing internally and supported from the bottom along its entire length. The hanger deck on a Nimitz is only 108 feet wide, and is supported on both sides and by multiple decks above and below. All other open spaces have narrower dimensions. In fact that large open hanger space already generates enough stress that serious enough damage to the flight deck and gallery deck above will lead to structural failure. This would mean the ship splits in half.

The ability of the ship to be long meanwhile, is directly related to the depth of the hull structure. A Nimitz is very deep, the structure runs from the flight deck to the bottom of the hull. Its also worth remembering that an aircraft carrier does in fact have a limited hull live specifically because of the stress, around 50 years with several major overhauls which will replace plates in the worst areas. Smaller higher stress ships don’t last even this long. Large steel buildings are generally expected to last hundreds of years without more than preventative maintenance. Ships, let alone warships also simply cost far more ton for ton compared to buildings, this is for many reasons but one of them is the use of higher quality steels and often better welding methods.

Meanwhile the enterprise saucer section if built full scale would be some 300 feet of span supported at only one end. It is also thin, which is the problem. A large supporting truss structure might be well be able to hold up a span that long from one end, but the saucer is too narrow for that to work well. That's why I am totally unsurprised they figured out they actually did have to support the far end. It would just be too hard getting the required rigidity otherwise, and without rigidity the structure will flex until it fails. Likely while its still being built.
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Re: 1992 Plan to Build the Enterprise in Las Vegas

Postby aussiemuscle308 » 2012-04-21 04:22am

i'd imagine you'd have to have the saucer attached like a crane boom, with counter-weights, etc to transfer enough of the load to other areas. ultimately, i doubt it can be done with current materials.

i'd do the galaxy class saucer section, landed, like in generations.

Aircraft carriers distribute their entire mass on water

yeah, it'd break if you picked it up at one end, keeping it horizontal.
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