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Thread: Anaconda Thruster Comparisons (A7 vs D7)

  1. #1

    Anaconda Thruster Comparisons (A7 vs D7)

    Introduction

    The utility of thruster upgrades has long been debated in E and I found that there simply wasn't much information out there. While some testing had been done on several ships, the methods used were not as exhaustive as they could have been and as such may have resulted in some misinformation. Wanting to get to the bottom of the matter, I devised a series of tests which should measure most of the relevant characteristics of the flight envelope of a given craft, then applied these tests to the Anaconda in order to compare the utility of A-class thrusters against D-class thrusters (the only two sensible options as far as I'm concerned).

    While I'd like to have the time to conduct further tests on different engine sizes and craft, these tests were very time consuming due to their rigorous nature, taking about 6 hours to complete per engine compared. Since I likely will not get around to further tests, I've included below an outline to the procedure and the operational definitions for the different metrics used. Hopefully this data will be of use to someone.


    Method

    I endeavored to measure engine performance on a fully combat fit Anaconda with a uniform mass. Between the two engine types, all other equipment remained constant, and the only mass differences between the two tests were the mass differences between the two engines. The mass of the Anaconda with D7 thrusters was 1,284 tons, with A7 thrusters 1,332 tons.

    Pitch, Yaw, and Roll speeds were measured in the following conditions for all pip assignments (0-4 pips): Flank Speed, Optimum turn throttle, Flight Assist Off + Flank Speed, and Flight Assist Off + Optimum turn throttle. Additionally, Pitch turn speed was measured along one extra metric which is often useful in increasing pitch (though seldom utilized for Yaw or Roll), Afterburner Boost + Flight Assist off. These measurements were recorded in degrees/second.

    The strength of the thrusters' facility for applying negative thrust was estimated by measuring the time required to decelerate from Flank Speed to zero, and converting that metric into negative meters/second.

    Procedure

    A series of ten 360 degree rotations were timed for pitch and roll in all conditions. The number of ten turns was selected in order to cut down on the influence of human error on the results. Upon beginning the first turn the stopwatch was begun. Ten complete turns were counted in sequence aloud as the craft's nose passed a fixed, invariable point (a star system 14ly away which was selected from the navigation menu). Upon completion of the 10th turn, the stopwatch was stopped, and the time recorded. After the data was fully collected, a formula was applied to determine the number of degrees per second the craft's bow had traversed.

    In the event that the craft's nose did not pass the fixed point exactly during any test, the data for that test was discarded and the test repeated. In the event the data appeared anomalous, the test was repeated and compared to the original data. If the new data was reasonably close to the old, the original data was accepted, and if the new data was not reasonably close to the old a third test was conducted. The nearest results of the third test were then used and entered into the spreadsheet. (Note that this last scenario happened only on one occasion: TTTTFAOffFull)

    You may have noticed that thus far I have only discussed Pitch and Roll. Yaw, being much slower and less succeptible to human error in measurement was recorded in similar fashion, but only two full turns were measured for the sake of expediency.

    The facility of thrusters to cancel motion was captured in two ways, one of which I found to be relatively useless but is included in the data for the sake of completeness.

    The first (useless) method was to measure the distance traveled from a nearby object during boost. The craft was parked next to a Nav beacon (selected from the contacts menu), and the distance to the nav beacon was then recorded, and the craft rotated until the nav beacon was directly behind. From 0 speed, boost was applied once, and the final distance to the nav beacon less the original distance once the craft had come to a rest was recorded. I found that this distance did not vary by pips or by engine type.

    The second (useful) method was to record the time required to achieve null speed from flank speed at pips 0-4. The flank speed at a given pip configuration was divided by the number of seconds elapsed between zeroing out the throttle and reaching null speed

    Guide to Reading the Spreadsheet
    A number of acronyms were used for brevity. I've translated them here.

    TTTTFull - Time to Ten Turns (pitch) at full throttle

    TTTTOpt - Time to Ten Turns (pitch) at optimum turn throttle

    TTTTnullFAFull - Time to Ten Turns (pitch) at flank speed, flight assist off. Throttle was zeroed immediately after FA was switched off.

    TTTTnullFAOPT - Time to Ten Turns (pitch) at optimum turn speed, flight assist off. Throttle was zeroed immediately after FA was switched off.

    TTTTnullFABoost - Time to Ten Turns (pitch) at boost speed, flight assist off. Throttle was zeroed immediately after FA was switched off.

    TTTRFull - Time to Ten Rolls (roll) at full throttle

    TTTROpt - Time to Ten Rolls (roll) at optimum turn throttle

    TTTRnullFAFULL - Time to ten rolls (roll) at full throttle, flight assist off. Throttle was zeroed immediately after FA was switched off.

    TTTRnullFAOpt - Time to ten rolls (roll) at optimum turn throttle, flight assist off. Throttle was zeroed immediately after FA was switched off.

    TT2YFull - Time to two yaws (yaw) at full throttle.

    TT2YOpt - Time to two yaws (yaw) at optimum turn throttle.

    TT2YnullFAFull - Time to two yaws (yaw) at full throttle, flight assist off. Throttle was zeroed immediately after FA was switched off.

    TT2YnullFAOpt - Time to two yaws (yaw) at full throttle, flight assist off. Throttle was zeroed immediately after FA was switched off.


    Results & Discussion

    While it's difficult to plainly state the differences between the two engines in words (I advise looking at the spreadsheet for details), I found, in general the A7 thrusters were roughly 8% better averaged across all conditions.

    The A7s pitched 1.8 degrees per second faster, on average than the D7s. They also rolled 4.5 degrees per second faster, and Yawed .65 degrees per second faster. They applied ~.69 m/s more negative thrust (a 7.6% increase over the D7s).

    Further, and not particularly related but worth mentioning, I found that FA off turns (averaged across all conditions and both engines) tended to increase turn rates by .43 degrees/second. The turn speed increases were greatest in pitch, and lesser in both roll and yaw which brought the average increase down quite a bit. The average pitch rate increase of FA off across both engines and all pips at optimum turn speed was a whopping 1.89 degrees/sec on average. So if you need to pull a hard turn, kill that flight assist.

    Overall, I found that the 8% turn rate increase was not sufficient in my mind to justify tying up another 2.28 MJ of power, and I downgraded back to the D-class, though I encourage anyone to make their own decisions after looking at the data.



    Spreadsheet Link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

  2. #2
    Nice sets of data, and well presented.

  3. #3
    Thank you very much for this, good Sir! Repped.

  4. #4
    so, looking at those stats there isnt much difference between them. Okay, A7 is a bit better, but costs like 51mil vs 1.9mil

  5. #5
    Well done CMDR Noodles, repped.

    I see no real need to upgrade from the D7's I have installed now. They're nice and light too = increased jump range over the A7 Thrusters.
    Certainly for trade-fit 'condas, the D7 thruster set is sufficient.

  6. #6
    Originally Posted by [HJ]-RedRaven View Post (Source)
    I see no real need to upgrade from the D7's I have installed now. They're nice and light too = increased jump range over the A7 Thrusters.
    Certainly for trade-fit 'condas, the D7 thruster set is sufficient.
    Agreed, ive been using D7 for a long time now. Some of the equipment is insanely priced, it shouldnt ramp up in price as much.

  7. #7
    I'd also be interested to know how the A6's stack up against the D7's.
    Stats are a little bit better on paper at a slight increase in cost.

  8. #8
    Really excellent testing - thank you so much! Very clear-headed to test the actual real effects on flying in-game, rather than against some arbitrary stat that may or may not make an enormous amount of difference.

    Another significant difference that can be tested (and has also been hidden behind the arcane veil of a 5-step grading system which seems to be applied to almost everything in game) is the health of the module, which from what I've seen is related to its mass. Are D thrusters significantly easier to shoot out than A thrusters? As I understand it, B thrusters are the toughest - D being lightest suggest they would be the easiest to knock out. This could potentially be very expensive to test and would need a wingmate who is trusted implicitly - so that might not be practical.

    Thank you, this is really great stuff!

  9. #9
    What was the mass of your ship during the tests (possibly just link the build). The optimal mass for the D7 thruster is somewhere around 50% greater than a lightly equipped anaconda, which might be why there's so little difference. Ships which are closer to the optimal mass might perform differently.

    What is also relevant is that the extra 8% will allow the A7 anaconda to out-turn a D7 anaconda, which can result in significantly better 1v1 performance.

  10. #10
    Impressive! Good work CMDR!
    Thank-you, this is the kind of data I was hoping for for a long time.

  11. #11
    Sorry for the late replies, I'm an American and we sleep while you guys are awake.

    @JonathanVB - The mass of the ship was 1,284 Tons with the D7 thrusters, and 1,332 tons with the A7. That 48 ton difference was exactly the tonnage difference between A7 and D7 thrusters. All other things were held constant. Both loadouts were significantly under the optimum mass threshold for both thrusters.


    @Jesters09 - I actually do plan on testing the A6 thrusters next week! I recall trading with a set of D6 thrusters and I never felt a difference when I upgraded to the D7s. If the A6s perform close to the D7 (hopefully better) I would definitely use them.

  12. #12
    Did you measure time to stop, and that better thrusters mean the ship "drifts" less?

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by CMDR Noodles View Post (Source)
    Sorry for the late replys, I'm an American and we sleep while you guys are awake.

    @JonathanVB - The mass of the ship was 1,284 Tons with the D7 thrusters, and 1,332 tons with the A7. That 48 ton difference was exactly the tonnage difference between A7 and D7 thrusters. All other things were held constant. Both loadouts were significantly under the optimum mass threshold for both thrusters.


    @Jesters09 - I actually do plan on testing the A6 thrusters next week! I recall trading with a set of D6 thrusters and I never felt a difference when I upgraded to the D7s. If the A6s perform close to the D7 (hopefully better) I would definitely use them.
    Nice one Noodles, I'll keep an eye on this one, I think its only 3mill between the 2 too.

  14. #14
    In the research i did (various small ships tested, post in the ships sub) i found that a higher rated thruster out petforms a higher class thruster at the same mass/optimum ratio (A4 vulture at 64% mass/optimum is better than C5 at 63% M/O)

    Would it be alright if i add your rotation speeds to my thread as i'm going to update it with more ships this week and can't afford a conda?

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by Carro View Post (Source)
    Did you measure time to stop, and that better thrusters mean the ship "drifts" less?
    I did measure time to stop, in fact! You can see this in the data sheet under the heading FTAS (time elapsed from flank speed to all-stop). This data was then converted into "negative thrust" (also in the data sheet), measured in m/s.

    Whether or not this is a precisely accurate test of the ability of the thrusters to counter motion is up for debate, but it was the only testable idea that I could come up with. I had brainstormed a few other ideas but they would have proved impractical and possibly no more valid.

    Originally Posted by Cliffson View Post (Source)
    In the research i did (various small ships tested, post in the ships sub) i found that a higher rated thruster out petforms a higher class thruster at the same mass/optimum ratio (A4 vulture at 64% mass/optimum is better than C5 at 63% M/O)

    Would it be alright if i add your rotation speeds to my thread as i'm going to update it with more ships this week and can't afford a conda?
    Sure, if you like

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