A starship used as a testbed for many of the features that went into the design of Galaxy-class starships.
It was Commander Riker's first assignment, as an idealistic ensign under then-Captain Pressman. In 2358, those two, and only seven others, fled into escape pods when the ship was lost — although a faked story of a core breach by some in Starfleet Intelligence covered up that it had been a failed test of a covertly developed phasing cloak, which was outlawed by the Treaty of Algeron in 2310. Those responsible were court-martialed once the secret was revealed when the ship was rediscovered years later in the Devolin system on stardate 47457.1.
The vessel was named for Greek mythology's famous winged horse who is supposed to have sprung from the severed neck of Medusa.