An excellent TESTimonial.My first drive review: (courtesy Ship and Pilot mobi-zine)
The Mercury Star Runner (MSR) is one of the most eagerly awaited public releases from Crusader Industries. It will set the tone for the next few ships that will come out of Crusader’s vast shipyards. Our question: Was the wait worth it?
After taking this ship for a spin around the system, my answer is YES.
Since the ships announcement several years ago, there have been rumors concerning the “official” dimensions, how were they going to fit all that stuff into a ship the size of a Freelancer MAX? The answer is, they didn’t. This ship is significantly larger that initially announced, coming within a few meters of the venerable Constellation series from RSI. as such, we will use that familiar ship as a comparison basis.
So while it’s just a hair shorter than the Connie, the MSR dwarfs the Connie in girth while just about matching it on paper in height, but that doesn’t tell the story either. Much of the height (and width) of the Constellation comes the the placement of it’s massive engines. In reality, the Connie is a slim tube with 4 massive engines, equally powerful retro engines, and a ton of VTOL thrusters strapped to it.
If you were to compare them on paper, it would be very easy to think that the Connie would run away with all the performance benchmarks. After all, it’s slimmer, lighter, with bigger engines. It should be able to go faster, get to that speed faster, and be more maneuverable, all at the same time compared to what some have likened to a pregnant whale. Yet, it is the MSR that runs away the from Connie...literally. It’s top speed is over 200 m/s faster than the fastest constellation, and more than half again as fast at recommended cruise speeds. It also turns fast, and lacks the oversteer that the Connie is infamous for. in fact, the only place the Connie wins is in the VTOL department, where it’s powerful thrusters can help boost it into the air and keep it there without the aide of aerodynamic lifting surfaces.
So, how does the MSR outperform the Connie? Simple, they put in a thruster system that uses more fuel per second...a LOT more fuel. While the Connie‘s fuel can seemingly last for hours and hours, even with aggressive (for a Connie) maneuvering, the MSR guzzles fuel even just going from Port Olisar to Port Tressler. In a Connie, I would expect to pay maybe a 20-30 aUEC to top off my hydrogen fuel for that trip. However, our MSR test of that run resulted in a bill of over 130 aUEC to list the ship from Port O, point it towards MicroTech, and the getting to Port Tressler. That means that the extra cargo you can carry in the MSR over the Connie will be needed to cover the extra fuel used to carry cargos from place to place. However, the MSR will also be able to carry data as well, Once we have an idea what the profit margin look like for that, we will come back and let you know.
Lastly, there is combat. Again, if you just look on paper, you would think the Connie would win. This would be especially true for a single pilot, but again, it comes down to that oversteer, that difference in speed, and the fact that Connie engines seem to detatch from the Hull if a pirate just looks at it. Yes, the Connie can dish out the damage, it only if it can hit what it is firing at. For practical purposes, the MSR has a much better chance at running away from an unwanted encounter, which is what the designers intended.
So, should Connie owners start looking to upgrade to the MSR? While that is up to the individual captain to decide, we would definitely encourage Connie owners to check out the MSR at the IAE 2950, now currently underway in New Babbage on MicroTech at the Tobin expo center. Word is that Crusader is so confident in their ship, they are offering a free 48 hour rental (one per customer) to encourage people to step up to their latest creation.
This is Thalstan from Ship and Pilot Mobi-zine, signing off.
Ugh... a wannabe Luxury ship with the entry point either form the cargo area or from the kitchen/crew compartment? A wannabe luxury ship that has two hight voltage power generator sitting right next the yacuzzi pool ready to fry your guest?Phoenix is definitely worth keeping.