The Enterprise display in Washington D.C.
About these photos
This was a real adventure in photography. The Enterprise model was suspended in the entryway to one of the museum galleries approximately 12 feet off the floor! The only way to get close to it was by placing the camera on a fully extended tripod then holding it overhead with arms completely out stretched and wait for the timer to go off. A friend of mine would stand some distance away and tell me if I had to tip up or tip down to center what I was shooting. Not the best method of taking records shots. So if the framing of these shots seems a little odd, well it was the best we could do while shooting blind!
Model Dimensions as Built
According to the publication "Star Trek Giant Poster Book" #10, the dimensions of this model are as follows: saucer diameter 60 inches, overall length of engine pods 72.25 inches, distance from centerline to centerline of engine pods 38 inches and the length of the lower engineering hull (minus the antenna at the front) is 49 inches.
The Question of "Scale"
Since we know the dimensions of the big model "as built" and we know what the dimensions of the Enterprise are supposed to be, we should be able to work out its scale by dividing the actual model dimension by the full scale dimension, right? Well... OK, the studio draftsmen are usually trained as architects and as such, always work with established scales such as; 1/8th inch to the foot, 3/16ths, 1/4 inch, 3/8ths, 1/2 inch, and 3/4 of an inch. A drawing was probably produced at the same scale as the model to be built which theoretically means that we should be able to convert the above scales to their decimal equivalents then divide the actual model dimension by those numbers until we hit upon the one which most closely matches the full scale number. Lets give it a try...
The engine pod would be the easiest
to get an accurate measurement of from the model so we will use that as
a test figure. The engine pod is supposed to be 504 feet in length
(or 2 feet longer that the spacecraft "Discovery" from 2001 but that's
another "scale" story). Considering the models relatively small size
compared with the full scale dimensions we will start with the smallest
scale; 1/8th inch to the foot. 1/8th is .125 in decimal numbers so
divide 72.25 (the model dimension) by .125 to arrive at the full scale
number. We get 576 feet. This is very close to 504 which leads
me to believe that other scales will be widely off the mark, lets test
it by trying again. The next largest scale would be 3/16ths of an
inch to the foot. That is 72.25 divided by .1875 or 385.33 feet.
This number is far too short so the actual scale must be 1/8th inch to
the foot or 1/96th scale. At that scale the full size dimensions
work out to be: saucer diameter = 480 feet, engine pod length = 576 feet,
distance from centerline to centerline of the engine pods is 304 feet and
the length of the engineering hull, minus the antenna, is 392 feet.
Since the distance between the engine pods is revealed to be exactly the
same as that given in the Enterprise dimension sheet this further validates
1/96th as being correct. This also indicates that the Enterprise
proportions must have been changed after the published publicity drawing
was made (see the "drawings" page).
The poster book also gives the overall length as 134 inches which would
be equal to 1072 feet. This dimension is suspect however, as are
some of the others, simply because without plum bobs and having the model
in a level attitude it would be difficult to measure these accurately.
Please contact me if you have comments about these images or corrections to the information presented here via E-Mail.