In all my time playing Elite, I never knew about this...

"Too fast" is based solely on descent rate. You can go faster at, say, -15 degrees than -45 degrees because the vertical component of your velocity vector is less.

At orbital cruise altitude, ie the blue circle, your descent rate may not exceed 200km/s, as indicated on the HUD. At the drop altitude it may not exceed 5km/s. At any given altitude between those ranges the maximum allowed rate scales according to what I suspect is an inverse square law but haven't tested enough. It is certainly not a linear interpolation.
Hi furrycat, I was wondering when you'd drop in on this conversation! :) (for everyone else, Cmdr furrycat and I recently spent a very pleasant evening in a London beer garden discussing optimal planetary approaches in GREAT detail - I defer to his boundless knowledge in this matter). [yesnod]
 
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I admit I'm not clear what the 6-7 seconds rule is after reading all the responses.

Can somebody please break it down into steps and I'll try to go first;
In supercruise, you can fly at full throttle, until you hit seven seconds distance, at which point you should drop to 75% throttle, and finish the journey.
- SC constantly at 100%
- when you get to 6-7 ls from the target, hit 75%
- you'll be able to exit SC when you get near enough.

Is that correct? I'm asking because the vids posted here show people get near in the blue SC speed, THEN hit 100% and when at 6-7 ls drop to 75% or even 0%, which I'm mostly already doing to cut the ls-Mm drag.
 
Ah, so ETA! Thanks! But until then, you fly at 100% non-stop?
Absolutely ... full speed until you see 0:07 (0:06 when you get good at it) then drop throttle into the blue zone at which point the ETA should remain above 0:06 until your arrive at a safe drop distance. If you see that ETA drop below 0:06 then slam that throttle to zero (again, until you've got the hang of it and want to give the gravity braking stuff a try).

o7
 
Absolutely ... full speed until you see 0:07 (0:06 when you get good at it) then drop throttle into the blue zone at which point the ETA should remain above 0:06 until your arrive at a safe drop distance. If you see that ETA drop below 0:06 then slam that throttle to zero (again, until you've got the hang of it and want to give the gravity braking stuff a try).

o7
And if you running something like VoiceAttack, you get to program it to fire off a hotkey to set you at 75% power when you say: "Verity, approach speed." And she replies "Approach speed set, engine at 75%." *squeeee*



Note: I squeed, not the computer..
 
Sorry if this has already been brought up, but you can also speed up the supercruise part of your trip to a station by positioning yourself such that the deepest part of the gravity well you see is exactly when you arrive at the station. What I mean by this is that as you approach the station, the planet is directly behind the station in your view. The way I do this is to position the station at the very top of my cockpit view, and keep it there as I approach, rotating around so that the planet is just out of the cockpit view directly behind the station.

The negative of this is that when you drop from supercruise, you're usually on the other side of the station from the mailslot. So it works a lot better if you use a docking computer, because you spend less time in supercruise and a little more time letting the docking computer navigate to the mailslot.

Another way to put it, is that the closest approach to the planet happens exactly when you reach the station; if you fly closer to the planet then you're getting deeper into the gravity well and it slows you down way more than you need to.
 
Or you could just rock in at full speed an cut to zero when slow down comes up and start spiraling in to drop momentum,. Gets you there far quicker and requires using some skill that many claim is missing from the whole SC game play.

Pretty much what I do. I also dont mind doing the overshoot gravity turn because it throws off npcs trying to interdict you right before the drop point which is annoying because even if you evadde they drag you backwards thru space to the interdiction point.
 
I'm not convinced that the 'loop of shame' is actually all that much slower. If you pile up to your destination and then break last minute, yes you'll zoom past, but then can return at a more controlled speed and it seems just about as quick as slowing down with speed set for 6 seconds.
Actually, if you see You will overshoot and the loop of fame is inevitable (ETA 0:03), pull throttle to the lower boundary of the blue zone and full pitch hard. Much faster trajectory correction then the loop of shame or reflex throttling to zero and back.
 
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Was there someone holding your throttle back before. Nothing new is achieved if no one thinks outside the box. Full throttle wait until it hits around 8secs, then quickly back off to the blue throttle zone. Ease up until your around 6 secs and you're golden. T
 
I made a comparison video of the different approaches. Jumping from the same system to the same system and cruising to the same station.

At the top left: throttle in the blue zone the whole time.

At the top right: throttle at maximum until 6s then adjusting as appropriate to maintain that ETA. The six second rule.

At the bottom left: throttle at maximum, fly by and loop around. The loop of shame or fame, depending on whether you do it or not.

At the bottom right: throttle at maximum until 5s then loop and pass close to gravity source to slow down dramatically. The gravity braking or racing technique.

Results in the spoiler for those who can't or won't sit through the video.

[video=youtube;gy4zca1yjKw]https://youtu.be/gy4zca1yjKw[/video]
The blue zone approach covered the 238Ls in 2m9s.
The six second rule did it in 1m53s.
The loop of speed took 1m43s.
The gravity braking technique was fastest in 1m26s.
 
I made a comparison video of the different approaches. Jumping from the same system to the same system and cruising to the same station.

At the top left: throttle in the blue zone the whole time.

At the top right: throttle at maximum until 6s then adjusting as appropriate to maintain that ETA. The six second rule.

At the bottom left: throttle at maximum, fly by and loop around. The loop of shame or fame, depending on whether you do it or not.

At the bottom right: throttle at maximum until 5s then loop and pass close to gravity source to slow down dramatically. The gravity braking or racing technique.

Results in the spoiler for those who can't or won't sit through the video.

https://youtu.be/gy4zca1yjKw
The blue zone approach covered the 238Ls in 2m9s.
The six second rule did it in 1m53s.
The loop of speed took 1m43s.
The gravity braking technique was fastest in 1m26s.
Nice work sir, I'll buy you a pint for making that, brilliant.
 
It also worth noting that the gravity braking / racing approach is the best option for avoiding interdictions during approach.
 
It also worth noting that the gravity braking / racing approach is the best option for avoiding interdictions during approach.
And also ... the non-direct arc of the gravity braking approach sits nicely with the avoidance of other gravity wells that might sit on the main orbital plane between your main star entry to the system and your final destination (e.g. the asteroid belt that slowed down a lot of people in the Lavecon race).
 
It also worth noting that the gravity braking / racing approach is the best option for avoiding interdictions during approach.
And also ... the non-direct arc of the gravity braking approach sits nicely with the avoidance of other gravity wells that might sit on the main orbital plane between your main star entry to the system and your final destination (e.g. the asteroid belt that slowed down a lot of people in the Lavecon race).
And don't forget more visually interesting and fun!
 
And here I am doing approaches down to two seconds and it can be roughly 30-40 seconds quicker then anything posted above. Hitting the sweet spot for each ship takes practice of course. Small ships down to 2 second.. something like an AspX down to 3, Anaconda down to 5, the only ship that straight in is the same is the type 9, but I still try to curve around to help line up approaches.

[video=youtube;4YpiPlXd25E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YpiPlXd25E[/video]
 
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I made a comparison video of the different approaches. Jumping from the same system to the same system and cruising to the same station.

At the top left: throttle in the blue zone the whole time.

At the top right: throttle at maximum until 6s then adjusting as appropriate to maintain that ETA. The six second rule.

At the bottom left: throttle at maximum, fly by and loop around. The loop of shame or fame, depending on whether you do it or not.

At the bottom right: throttle at maximum until 5s then loop and pass close to gravity source to slow down dramatically. The gravity braking or racing technique.

Results in the spoiler for those who can't or won't sit through the video.

https://youtu.be/gy4zca1yjKw
The blue zone approach covered the 238Ls in 2m9s.
The six second rule did it in 1m53s.
The loop of speed took 1m43s.
The gravity braking technique was fastest in 1m26s.
Lovely video.

I would also like to note that for the blue zone and six second rule, the planet and station were almost perfectly aligned for a relatively short braking time. If the station had been on the far side of the planet, it would've taken longer.

That is not the case for gravity braking or the so-called "loop of shame."
 
And here I am doing approaches down to two seconds and it can be roughly 30-40 seconds quicker then anything posted above. Hitting the sweet spot for each ship takes practice of course. Small ships down to 2 second.. something like an AspX down to 3, Anaconda down to 5, the only ship that straight in is the same is the type 9, but I still try to curve around to help line up approaches.
Well, except that your timings are from a completely different place - furrycat's is from system entry, you start your timings from ~100Ls from the destination. Taking it as a whole your example seems pretty comparable in timing to the gravity braking one - which makes sense since that is effectively what you're doing, just in a less extreme way for a longer time.

Anyhow, if this is so much faster, it should be pretty easy for you to win most BRC races, right? :D
 
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