Ships Long range Explorer fun - Orca?

Recently I've been on a bit of a long-range sightseeing kick. I have a number of ships which can do this comfortably, but I choose the Orca. As I said above, SK ships are the ultimate in elegance and refinement. But beyond that, the Orca is a very capable ship. Among its virtues I would list

-- Wonderful view through the massive single-pane canopy
-- Excellent supercruise performance, especially pitch and yaw, roll not so much
-- Good jump range
-- Generous optional slots, particularly for mission profiles like this. My config is maybe a bit barebones, but for other commanders there are plenty of slots to fit what you want
-- Fast
-- Runs very cool (mine does anyway)
-- Beautiful, with sleek lines. It's a ship that looks the part of luxury transport. When an Orca arrives at the platform, the attendants snap-to, the carpet is rolled out and the gawkers shunted aside.

Here's the ship as I flew it on the last mission, one of those long-range Famous Explorer jaunts.


Normally it has a class 3 GFSDB in it to free the biggest slots for cabins, but with only a single cabin needed for the mission I swapped in a class 5 for a couple more jump ranges. Good jump, rather fast and runs very cool. Supercruises at 14% heat. Of course it's engineered to do so, but that is frosty. The Orca is a great ship found near the bottom of popularity lists. But Orca pilots like this, such a ship can not be trusted to any old commander :)
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I kept your supercruise assist, if you really want it. I prefer docking computer in that slot. The point defense is for guardian sites and the mining laser for guardian beacon and emergency materials collection from asteroids. Never ended up using it for that though.

Also, you turn off FSD booster when using AFMU.

Edit: Just noticed this thread is old news. OP finished both contemplating and making the trip by now. Why...
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Edit: Just noticed this thread is old news. OP finished both contemplating and making the trip by now. Why...
it’s much appreciated! Haven’t started the Colonia haul yet, but do have the Orca for exploring - got distracted with the exploration data / ammonia worlds CG to secure the enhanced surface scanner (which is brilliant). Appreciate further grist to the build mill for when I’m ready for those 22kly...
I finally got around to visiting Colonia last spring. Its a good hop, and a strike though on the bucket list. Not sure I'll ever return, but I'm glad I did it.

I also unlocked all the engineers while I was there. If you do go I recommend making sure you have all the requisites and invites done before setting sail. That gives you an additional four pinned blueprints and that's a good thing. I didn't take the Orca, though I considered it. I flew the DBX instead.

My goal on the outbound leg was to try and find a virgin route to get as many first discoveries as I could. Lots of commanders have the same idea of course, and it seemed to me that most who talked about it said the flew down (as the galaxy map defaults). So I flew up, and out to starboard about 45 degrees. After climbing for about 1,200 light years, I then heeled to port and pointed it towards the core. At about the 1000 light year from Sol mark I began finding undiscovered systems. Vast fields of them, dozens of jumps in a row where no one had visited before. Stitching my commander name across the galaxy is what first drew me to Elite, so I was loving it.

According to EDSM, these were first discoveries for the trip out and back

Systems: 558
HMCs: 1276
Rocky: 957
Icy: 1032
Earth-like: 9
Water World: 76
Ammonia World: 11

And a few more stats

Distance Flown: 53,296
Jumps: 887
Systems: 854
Scans: 6,699
Exploration Data: 536 million

My actual exploring was selective, it could have been much more, but I needed to find a balance between fast and fastidiousness. It's a trip that everyone should make at least once.
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