Pre-Federation galactic survey starship, Bonaventure-class, registry number NCC-10281, the first starship equipped with warp drive. The ship was launched in 2115, and on
its third voyage, the S.S. Bonaventure became lost in the region of
space known as the Delta Triangle, a location where a large number of mysterious disappearances of
starships had been recorded since ancient times by different civilizations all over the galaxy. On
stardate 5267.3, the Bonaventure was discovered in the alternate universe of Elysia along with all of the other starships lost in the Delta Triangle region over the centuries.
Bonaventure-class vessels were smaller than Constitution-class ships like the
Enterprise, and had bulkier, less efficient warp nacelles.
("The Time Trap").
The Uniforms & Insignia page within this site has a section devoted to starship insignia patches including the S.S. Bonaventure's insignia.
(Size comparison between Bonaventure and the Enterprise).
(Note: The date of the launch of the Bonaventure is conjecture.
In the original series episode "Where No Man Has Gone Before" which took place in 2265, the U.S.S. Enterprise crew
mentions the S.S. Valiant which was launched a hundred years before (2065), on a deep space exploration mission.
The expedition is lost and is eventually swept out of the galaxy. The ship is nearly destroyed while trying to return
across the energy barrier at the outer edge of the galaxy. In the transit, some crew members gain dangerous ESP powers.
So the Valiant is a warp-driven vessel launched in 2065.
In the animated episode "The Time Trap" which took place in 2270, after seeing the S.S. Bonaventure
in the sargasso sea of ships, Scotty says, "Captain, there's the old Bonaventure. She was the first ship to
have warp drive installed." Then Spock added: "The crew's descendants may still be living, Captain." The
Bonaventure looked similar to a Constitution-class ship, and had similar markings. Spock makes indirect
reference to the era in which the Bonaventure had been launched when he said "The crew's descendants may
still be living, Captain." If the Bonaventure was lost as late as 2199 (70 years before the episode) then
given the longer life expectancy in the 23rd century, Spock probably would have said that "some members of
the crew could still be living", since crewmembers in their early 20's in 2199 would be in their 90's in
2269. If we assume that by "descendants" Spock meant at least grandchildren, not direct offspring of the
crew, then the Bonaventure could have been lost no later than 2149 or so to ensure that living offspring of
the crew would be very unlikely (age about 120 years if born just after ship was lost).
So far, we can say that the Bonaventure was lost sometime after 2063 (launch of Phoenix), but before 2151
(launch of Enterprise), and definitely not later than 2199.
In the animated episode, "The Counter-Clock Incident", McCoy says about Sarah April, "Jim, I didn't realize
how many of the tools I use in sickbay were designed by Sarah." To which Sarah replies, "As the first
medical officer aboard a ship equipped with warp drive, I'm afraid I had to come up with new ideas all the
time." We can see that there are sufficient examples of inaccurate pronouncements of "first starship," so
we may be able to suggest that the Bonaventure was not "the first ship to have warp drive installed", but
perhaps the first with "modern" warp drive which may be a warp 2 engine. This allows us to place it after
the Valiant's launch. In the movie STAR TREK: First Contact we learn that in 2113, the first united Earth
government was established, and in "Broken Bow," the premiere episode of Enterprise, we learn that in 2119,
the Warp 5 Complex is established to create technology that will allow humans to safely explore deep space.
The Bonaventure would most likely have been launched after Earth's world government was established
(2113), but before the Warp 5 complex was dedicated (2119). Thus, the Starfleet-appearing markings (the
red stripe) on the hull could be the united Earth insignia which was later carried over into the Starfleet
markings (a fitting homage to Earth - the founding member of the UFP). So 2115 could be the date when the
Bonaventure was launched.)