In *The Orville* episode, "Pria," we learn that the ship can travel upwards of ten lightyears (ly) an hour. Like the *warp factor* scale used in *Star Trek*, this is a measure of a ship's speed. To determine which ships are faster, whether the Orville is faster than any of the ships that have borne the name Enterprise, we need to convert the units into a form we can compare. For the sake of ease and convenience, we will compare everything relative to the speed of light, *c*.

## The Orville's Speed

We will assume that the 10 ly hr^{-1} is the ship's maximum speed and that it can go faster in emergency situations. While this unit is more intuitive than Star Trek's warp factor, we still don't have a sense of what it actually means. We know the ship can travel faster than the speed of light but we can't say by how much.

A *light year* is the distance a beam of light travels in one year. We can race the Orville with a beam of light and compare distances to see how much faster the ship is, or we can work out the maths. There are 8,760 hours in a year. We can figure out the distance (*d*) by multiplying the speed (*v*) with time (t).

So if the Orville was to run its engines for an entire year, it would travel a distance of

In one year, the Orville travels 87,600 times the distance a beam of light does. Another way of looking at this is the Orville travels 87,600

*faster*than the speed of light or 87,600

*c*.

## Enterprise NX-01 Speed

The maximum warp speed of the NX-01 is 5.06. We can determine the speed from the formula

where is the speed, is the ship's warp factor, and is the speed of light. Substituting the NX-01's maximum warp into the equation, we get

Under emergency conditions, we substitute 5.2 into the equation and get

## USS Enterprise NCC-1701 Speed

The maximum warp speed of the NCC-1701 is 8.0. Substituting this into the equation and we get

## USS Enterprise NCC-1701D

The warp formula changed with *Star Trek: The Next Generation* to

This only applies for the interval between warps 1 to 9. For warp values beyond nine, speed is derived from a hand-drawn asymtotic curve. This means that there is no strict known formula for warp between 9 and 10 in

*The Next Generation*. This does not mean all is lost. Wolfram Alpha can extrapolate values from the curve published in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual.

### Maximum Warp

The maximum speed of the NCC-1701D is

We see that the maximum speed of the Enterprise-D is 1,649*c*.

### Emergency Warp

Under emergency conditions, the Enterprise-D can travel at warp 9.6 for approximately 12 hours.

This works out to be 1,909*c*.

## USS Enterprise NCC-1701E

The maximum warp for the Enterprise-E is 9.995. Plugging this into Wolfram Alpha, we get

We see that the Enterprise-E maximum warp is 14,597*c*.

## Results

Ship | Maximum Speed/c |
Emergency Speed/c |
---|---|---|

Orville | 87,600.00 | |

NX-01 | 127.26 | 140.61 |

NCC-1701 | 512 | |

NCC-1701D | 1,649 | 1,909 |

NCC-1701E | 14,507 |

The Orville is by far the fastest ship compared to any of the Enterprises.

*
Also published on Medium. *

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