Supercruise handling of ships

When I tried the recently released Type-10, personally I was surprised at how bad it handled in supercruise. Otherwise, in my opinion it would make a decent exploration ship. But then the question became: exactly how bad is its supercruise handling when compared to those of the other ships? With no data on this, I set out to make my own. At first, I just stuck to explorer ships, but then I decided to go do multi-roles that are decent at exploration, and having done those as well, I then went to finish the rest as well.
Oh, and I'm posting this in the exploration subforum because in my opinion, exploration is where supercruise handling is the most relevant.
Thanks go to Edelgard von Rhein, Jackie Silver and Satsuma for sharing data from some of the missing ships!

I tested the times a full loop required, supercruising in deep space, at both 50% throttle and 100% throttle. Note that I measured times with a stopwatch, so keep in mind the error from that! I didn't record and time videos, as that would have taken much longer. Also, I've rounded half up.
Oh, and for the record (on methodology), I tested all ships at four pips to engines, but that doesn't appear to make any difference. Neither did using different class FSD-s nor thrusters.

You can find the data on Google Sheets at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cWCUSxvliZ3ly-RRulUeYqZ3hqOyCSRLze0KS1QBiBY/edit?usp=sharing, or here as a BBCode sheet:

Ship nameFSD ClassPitch (50%)Roll (50%)Yaw (50%)Pitch (100%)Roll (100%)Yaw (100%)
Sidewinder
Class 2​
9s​
3s​
30s​
13s​
4s​
46s​
Hauler
Class 2​
11s​
4s​
30s​
16s​
4s​
46s​
Adder
Class 3​
12s​
4s​
30s​
16s​
4s​
45s​
Eagle
Class 3​
11s​
3s​
30s​
15s​
4s​
48s​
Imp. Courier
Class 3​
12s​
4s​
30s​
15s​
4s​
45s​
Imp. Eagle
Class 3​
12s​
4s​
24s​
16s​
5s​
38s​
Viper Mk III
Class 3​
12s​
4s​
30s​
18s​
5s​
48s​
Asp Scout
Class 4​
10s​
3s​
24s​
13s​
4s​
36s​
Cobra Mk III
Class 4​
10s​
4s​
44s​
14s​
5s​
1m 10s​
Cobra Mk IV
Class 4​
15s​
4s​
37s​
23s​
4s​
55s​
Diamondback Scout
Class 4​
10s​
4s​
24s​
16s​
4s​
38s​
Dolphin
Class 4​
13s​
4s​
19s​
19s​
5s​
28s​
Fer-de-Lance
Class 4​
18s​
5s​
30s​
30s​
6s​
48s​
Keelback
Class 4​
14s​
4s​
32s​
22s​
4s​
50s​
Mamba
Class 4​
18s​
5s​
30s​
27s​
5s​
48s​
Type-6 Transporter
Class 4​
14s​
4s​
30s​
22s​
5s​
46s​
Viper Mk IV
Class 4​
14s​
4s​
30s​
22s​
5s​
48s​
Vulture
Class 4​
11s​
4s​
30s​
15s​
5s​
45s​
Alliance Challenger
Class 5​
18s​
5s​
26s​
29s​
6s​
41s​
Alliance Chieftain
Class 5​
18s​
5s​
26s​
28s​
6s​
42s​
Alliance Crusader
Class 5​
18s​
5s​
27s​
28s​
5s​
41s​
Asp Explorer
Class 5​
12s​
4s​
46s​
16s​
5s​
1m 7s​
Diamondback Explorer
Class 5​
14s​
4s​
29s​
18s​
5s​
45s​
Fed. Assault Ship
Class 5​
12s​
4s​
20s​
17s​
5s​
31s​
Fed. Dropship
Class 5​
18s​
5s​
26s​
29s​
5s​
41s​
Fed. Gunship
Class 5​
19s​
6s​
20s​
29s​
5s​
34s​
Imp. Clipper
Class 5​
13s​
5s​
20s​
17s​
5s​
29s​
Krait Mk II
Class 5​
16s​
4s​
36s​
27s​
5s​
61s​
Krait Phantom
Class 5​
16s​
4s​
37s​
25s​
5s​
58s​
Orca
Class 5​
18s​
6s​
20s​
26s​
7s​
31s​
Python
Class 5​
17s​
4s​
39s​
27s-​
5s​
60s​
Type-7 Transporter
Class 5​
21s​
6s​
20s​
33s​
8s​
33s​
Anaconda
Class 6​
25s​
9s​
1m 2s​
39s​
10s​
1m 44s​
Fed. Corvette
Class 6​
17s​
5s​
45s​
27s​
6s​
1m 15s​
Type-9 Heavy
Class 6​
31s​
20s​
1m 2s​
50s​
24s​
1m 44s​
Beluga Liner
Class 7​
19s​
6s​
21s​
27s​
8s​
24s​
Imp. Cutter
Class 7​
25s​
8s​
46s​
41s​
9s​
1m 20s​
Type-10 Defender
Class 7​
30s​
21s​
1m 7s​
47s​
24s​
1m 41s​

I sorted ships by their FSD classes. Personally, I find that a good way of categorising ships for exploration. "If I take this top-rolled FSD, what other ships could I use it in?" But having it as a spreadsheet can help you sort it differently, if you'd like.

Some of my observations:
- With small ships, a lot of the handling is the same. The small differences might simply come from measuring error.
- Based on this, the Cobra Mk III performs better as an explorer ship than I expected. Plenty of internals, excellent forward speed, decent jump range and decent SC handling - and quite cheap.
- The Clipper is a large ship, yet it handles like a small one - or even better than most of those, if you take advantage of its yaw. Plus it's the only FSD class 5 ship that can fit a class 7 fuel scoop.
- Speaking of yaw, those Saud-Kruger passenger ships are surprisingly good at it. I mean, at full throttle the Beluga yaws a bit quicker than it pitches. Must be the wings.
- The Type-10's terrible supercruise turning mainly comes not from its worse pitch rate, but the roll. I'd love to see data on the Type-9, see how it compares to that. But compared to others, it's twice as slow as even the Anaconda, and most ships would complete four loops by the time the T-10 does one.
 
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Hmm, I don't have access to the Corvette (I'm really hoping that the current Core Dynamics CG provides access, but I suspect it won't) but I could look at the others, will take a little while.
(I'm collecting jumponium from one of the brain tree forests then I'll head back to Shinrarta and check these.)

(edited to add)

I'm testing now. Not having access to the Corvette is beginning to annoy me. ;)

(edited again)

My goodness this is boring! :D Kudos to marx for doing so many of them!
 
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Did you use the same thrusters class for every ship (such as "D"). Just curious how "similar" the ships were when you compared them. Not sure how much variability in handling comes from mass, thruster type, etc.
 
@ Jackie Silver: Oh, thanks in advance! Well, it's not exactly riveting, yes, but for me, it did help that I did it all in a good number of sessions, not all at once.
Also, I think it was later confirmed by FD that the CG won't lift the Corvette's restriction.

@ oldmanklc: As far as I can tell, thrusters make no difference here. Just to be sure, I tested it out quick: on an Imperial Clipper, there was no difference in SC between stock 5D thrusters and 6A dirty engineered thrusters. Also, I tried out a Cobra Mk III with a 4A FSD and a 4E FSD. No difference there either.
As far as I can tell, the only way you can modify your SC turning rate is via the throttle.
 
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@ Jackie Silver: Oh, thanks in advance! Well, it's not exactly riveting, yes, but for me, it did help that I did it all in a good number of sessions, not all at once.
Also, I think it was later confirmed by FD that the CG won't lift the Corvette's restriction.
Drat and bother. :D I've done all of them except for the Python which I'll do later when I've regained the will to live. ;) I suspect the accuracy of my results, though.

The FAS has excellent supercruise maneoverability.

Linky.
 
I've done the test for the Federal Corvette. I carried it out very distant from any gravity wells (over 10Kls from the nearest body, which was 55KLs by the time I'd finished) and using keyboard controls, which ensures constant pitch/yaw/roll rate. In each case to reduce errors despite using a stopwatch I measured the time to perform three complete loops. The blue zone as shown on the HUD for the Corvette puts 75% throttle right in the middle so I also carried out the measurement for the 75% throttle setting. I use keyboard shortcuts for the throttle settings to give me 50% / 75% / 100% exactly.
.
raw data (seconds):
50% throttle: pitch 49.77; yaw 135.75; roll 14.83
75% throttle: pitch 61.70; yaw 169.43; roll 16.38
100% throttle: pitch 81.66; yaw 225.02; roll 18.37
.
degrees / sec (to 3 significant figures)
50% throttle: pitch 21.7; yaw 7.96; roll 72.8
75% throttle: pitch 17.5; yaw 6.37; roll 65.9
100% throttle: pitch 13.2; yaw 4.80; roll 58.8
 
That was much quicker than I thought. Thanks! Updated the first post with the data and credits then.
 
I'm concerned that I haven't done a very good job - mine are only accurate to within a second or so, as I was eyeballing the times using a clock. The basic gist should be right though.
 
I'm a big Python fan (which I never would have imagined), so I had to go out and take the numbers for it. These were all taken using a stopwatch and rounded to the closest second, which is probably the best we can do without a good horizontal reference - I used the line of the Milky Way, which has the advantage of being far enough away that the distance I moved in SC during a maneuver wouldn't throw it off, but it has the disadvantage of being a thick line.

Anyways:

Python
50% Pitch: 17s
50% Roll: 4s
50% Yaw: 39s
100% Pitch: 27s
100% Roll: 5s
100% Yaw: 60s

It sounds like fittings don't really matter, but for the record the Python I used had a 5A FSD, 6A thrusters, and no engineering.
 
Thanks! That's all the ships filled out then. Also, to the Google sheet, I added a conversion to speed as well.
Yeah, my estimate for error would have been at least +/- 1s. The purpose was more to compare ships to each other anyway, not to do precise calculations on performance and whatnot. Like Edelgard von Rhein mentioned, I could have done multiple loops, or even better, record and time videos, but both would have taken much more time. Well, perhaps somebody will do more precise measurements sometime, although I don't expect them that to happen.
 
I am reading the post and I still cannot get, if you are guys doing this for pure scientific reason or actual maneuvering capability in supercruise is important in some circumstances?

When I supercruise, it is always dead straight line.. few light years, to get somewhere (or nowhere) but in those cases maneuverability would not matter for me at all :D

Interdiction has actually completely separate mechanics/physics.. doesn't it?
 
Good job on the stats, OP.

Yet despite poor supercruise performance, the T-10 shines at reaching long distances in the galaxy in a short period of time ........ because it runs super cool and can scoop and jump very quickly. There is just enough supercruise manoueverability to achieve this.

That's how commanders were able to reach Sag A and Beagle Point within two days of the ship emerging for purchase!

Supercruise stats don't show that ability.
 
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I am reading the post and I still cannot get, if you are guys doing this for pure scientific reason or actual maneuvering capability in supercruise is important in some circumstances?

When I supercruise, it is always dead straight line.. few light years, to get somewhere (or nowhere) but in those cases maneuverability would not matter for me at all :D

Interdiction has actually completely separate mechanics/physics.. doesn't it?
To hit you with an interdiction tether, someone has to be able to get behind you. If you can out turn another vessel it's easier to delay or prevent the interdiction from ever starting. Conversely, it's also easier to get behind someone and tether them, if your ship is the one that turns better in SC.

SC rotational performance is also important for exploration and is the prime reason I consider the Anaconda a poor explorer...it's annoying and time consuming to do detailed scans without carefully considering routes to minimizes maneuvering needed.
 
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Good job on the stats, OP.

Yet despite poor supercruise performance, the T-10 shines at reaching long distances in the galaxy in a short period of time ........ because it runs super cool and can scoop and jump very quickly. There is just enough supercruise manoueverability to achieve this.

That's how commanders were able to reach Sag A and Beagle Point within two days of the ship emerging for purchase!

Supercruise stats don't show that ability.
It's decent in that characteristic but will never see it in the buckyballing list, 2 days is actually not impressively fast.

When I tried the recently released Type-10, personally I was surprised at how bad it handled in supercruise. Otherwise, it would make a decent exploration ship. But then the question became: exactly how bad is it when compared to the other ships? With no data on this, I set out to make my own. At first, I just stuck to explorer ships, but then I decided to go do multi-roles that are decent at exploration, and having done those as well, I then went to finish the rest as well.
Oh, and I'm posting this in the exploration subforum because in my opinion, exploration is where supercruise handling is the most relevant.
Thanks go to Edelgard von Rhein, Jackie Silver and Satsuma for sharing data from some of the missing ships!

I tested the times a full loop required, supercruising in deep space, at both 50% throttle and 100% throttle. Note that I measured times with a stopwatch, so keep in mind the error from that! I didn't record and time videos, as that would have taken much longer. Also, I've rounded half up.
Oh, and for the record (on methodology), I tested all ships at four pips to engines, but that doesn't appear to make any difference. Neither did using different class FSD-s nor thrusters.

You can find the data on Google Sheets at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cWCUSxvliZ3ly-RRulUeYqZ3hqOyCSRLze0KS1QBiBY/edit?usp=sharing, or here as a BBCode sheet:

Ship nameFSD ClassPitch (50%)Roll (50%)Yaw (50%)Pitch (100%)Roll (100%)Yaw (100%)
Sidewinder
Class 2​
9s​
3s​
30s​
13s​
4s​
46s​
Hauler
Class 2​
11s​
4s​
30s​
16s​
4s​
46s​
Adder
Class 3​
12s​
4s​
30s​
16s​
4s​
45s​
Eagle
Class 3​
11s​
3s​
30s​
15s​
4s​
48s​
Imp. Courier
Class 3​
12s​
4s​
30s​
15s​
4s​
45s​
Imp. Eagle
Class 3​
12s​
4s​
24s​
16s​
5s​
38s​
Viper Mk III
Class 3​
12s​
4s​
30s​
18s​
5s​
48s​
Asp Scout
Class 4​
10s​
3s​
24s​
13s​
4s​
36s​
Cobra Mk III
Class 4​
10s​
4s​
44s​
14s​
5s​
1m 10s​
Cobra Mk IV
Class 4​
15s​
4s​
37s​
23s​
4s​
55s​
Diamondback Scout
Class 4​
10s​
4s​
24s​
16s​
4s​
38s​
Dolphin
Class 4​
13s​
4s​
19s​
19s​
5s​
28s​
Fer-de-Lance
Class 4​
18s​
5s​
30s​
30s​
6s​
48s​
Keelback
Class 4​
14s​
4s​
32s​
22s​
4s​
50s​
Type-6 Transporter
Class 4​
14s​
4s​
30s​
22s​
5s​
46s​
Viper Mk IV
Class 4​
14s​
4s​
30s​
22s​
5s​
48s​
Vulture
Class 4​
11s​
4s​
30s​
15s​
5s​
45s​
Asp Explorer
Class 5​
12s​
4s​
46s​
16s​
5s​
1m 7s​
Diamondback Explorer
Class 5​
14s​
4s​
29s​
18s​
5s​
45s​
Fed. Assault Ship
Class 5​
12s​
4s​
20s​
17s​
5s​
31s​
Fed. Dropship
Class 5​
18s​
5s​
26s​
29s​
5s​
41s​
Fed. Gunship
Class 5​
19s​
6s​
20s​
29s​
5s​
34s​
Imp. Clipper
Class 5​
13s​
5s​
20s​
17s​
5s​
29s​
Orca
Class 5​
18s​
6s​
20s​
26s​
7s​
31s​
Python
Class 5​
17s​
4s​
39s​
27s-​
5s​
60s​
Type-7 Transporter
Class 5​
21s​
6s​
20s​
33s​
8s​
33s​
Anaconda
Class 6​
25s​
9s​
1m 2s​
39s​
10s​
1m 44s​
Fed. Corvette
Class 6​
17s​
5s​
45s​
27s​
6s​
1m 15s​
Type-9 Heavy
Class 6​
31s​
20s​
1m 2s​
50s​
24s​
1m 44s​
Beluga Liner
Class 7​
19s​
6s​
21s​
27s​
8s​
24s​
Imp. Cutter
Class 7​
25s​
8s​
46s​
41s​
9s​
1m 20s​
Type-10 Defender
Class 7​
30s​
21s​
1m 7s​
47s​
24s​
1m 41s​

I sorted ships by their FSD classes. Personally, I find that a good way of categorising ships for exploration. "If I take this top-rolled FSD, what other ships could I use it in?" But having it as a spreadsheet can help you sort it differently, if you'd like.

Some of my observations:
- The blue zone in supercruise isn't static, and 50% is usually outside it. I never paid much attention to this: does it show where your acceleration is best? (For decelerating on approach)
- With small ships, a lot of the handling is the same. The small differences might simply come from measuring error.
- Based on this, the Cobra Mk III performs better as an explorer ship than I expected. Plenty of internals, excellent forward speed, decent jump range and decent SC handling - and quite cheap.
- The Clipper is a large ship, yet it handles like a small one - or even better than most of those, if you take advantage of its yaw. Plus it's the only FSD class 5 ship that can fit a class 7 fuel scoop.
- Speaking of yaw, those Saud-Kruger passenger ships are surprisingly good at it. I mean, at full throttle the Beluga yaws a bit quicker than it pitches. Must be the wings.
- The Type-10's terrible supercruise turning mainly comes not from its worse pitch rate, but the roll. I'd love to see data on the Type-9, see how it compares to that. But compared to others, it's twice as slow as even the Anaconda, and most ships would complete four loops by the time the T-10 does one.
I believe the blue zone is 75% throttle. +rep for the data.
 
I've been trying to make a decision on which ship I should build next for exploring. I have a AspX, but hate sitting in that worn out cockpit for any length of time. It's just fugly. That and I want to be able to take a few more things with me than you can stuff into that little boat. ;)

Using Coriolis I built each of the large ships in a near identical configuration (including basic weps) and discovered that none jump very far in terms of raw numbers (Corvette 21, Cutter 27, 'conda 29Lys). I've gone about 30k Ly or so in a 'conda and absolutely hated that boat. I've not tried any medium-range exploring in the Cutter, but I did notice, in the time that I had it, that it's SC handling was very similar to that of the 'conda. But at least it had a MUCH nicer cockpit. :D I have gone on short jaunts in my 'vette (6-8k Ly range) and found it to handle very much like my Python in SC. And IMO it has the best cockpit of the bunch, although I'd put the Clipper and Cutter as a close second. :)

I was pleasantly surprise to find your spreadsheet numbers overlay almost exactly over the impressions I get from the 'ol but-o-meter. Numbers don't mean much to me, as I am more concerned with 'feel', but that's just me. ;)

So it's looking like the short list is the Clipper, the Cutter, or my Corvette. I won't make my decision based on numbers alone, but they did back up my initial impressions. Thanks!
 
@ Jackie Silver: Oh, thanks in advance! Well, it's not exactly riveting, yes, but for me, it did help that I did it all in a good number of sessions, not all at once.
Also, I think it was later confirmed by FD that the CG won't lift the Corvette's restriction.

@ oldmanklc: As far as I can tell, thrusters make no difference here. Just to be sure, I tested it out quick: on an Imperial Clipper, there was no difference in SC between stock 5D thrusters and 6A dirty engineered thrusters. Also, I tried out a Cobra Mk III with a 4A FSD and a 4E FSD. No difference there either.
As far as I can tell, the only way you can modify your SC turning rate is via the throttle.
Thrusters in fact have no bearing at all on Supercruise speed or maneuverability, this has been confirmed by FDev.

I believe the blue zone is 75% throttle. +rep for the data.
Marx, Kurama is correct here. Best maneuverability in supercruise is at 75% throttle. You can keybind throttle settings to 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% (I use the number keys 1-5 at the top of the keyboard) so you can set an exact 75% throttle without guessing for this purpose.
 
I've not tried any medium-range exploring in the Cutter, but I did notice, in the time that I had it, that it's SC handling was very similar to that of the 'conda.

So it's looking like the short list is the Clipper
If supercruise maneuverability is a big factor for you then it's hard to beat the Clipper - handles like a much smaller ship. Personally I really appreciate the view out of the front/top too.
 
Marx, Kurama is correct here. Best maneuverability in supercruise is at 75% throttle. You can keybind throttle settings to 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% (I use the number keys 1-5 at the top of the keyboard) so you can set an exact 75% throttle without guessing for this purpose.
Of course, key bindings were how I did my measurements too. The blue zone is at 75% in supercruise (I just made a mistake thinking that it moved along with the bar), but from what I've timed, and also what Edelgard von Rhein timed, ships don't supercruise best there. So, I'm not sure why the zone is at 75% in supercruise, but maybe the blue zone then signifies where your acceleration (/ deceleration) is best, to help with making approaches. I didn't try measuring that though.

So it's looking like the short list is the Clipper, the Cutter, or my Corvette. I won't make my decision based on numbers alone, but they did back up my initial impressions. Thanks!
I'd still recommend the Clipper, not just for the SC handling, but also that it can fit a class 7 fuel scoop, to go along with that 16T tank and class 5 FSD. It pretty much devours stars, and with all these combined, you don't need to brake at all while traveling. Out of those three, it's also the best at planetary flight, although you do need to keep in mind that its vertical thrusters are a bit... unique, heh.

On the other hand, the Cutter looks better on the outside, and can carry loads of stuff. Plenty of shields even in the lightest build, too.
 
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First of all, this is really cool! Thanks for doing this type of research!

I'm always a fan of moar data.

Why 50% and not 75% where it would be in between the blue indicator?

What was your methodology for triggering 50% throttle?
 
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