Star Citizen

Ship max speed testing in heavy atmosphere [3.12.1]

I got curious about how fast ships can go in atmosphere on the PTU, tested a bunch out, and took some notes. I'm posting here in case anyone else is interested in how their favourite racer or box runner stacks up.

My testing method was to fly down to Microtech SHO-18, get myself to 1000 meters off the ground, align to zero degrees on the horizon, and use the keyboard to go straight forward until the ship reached a max atmo speed. Then I repeated this in a different direction to make sure wind wasn't giving me a boost. After that I tried turning at top speed in each ship, although I forgot to write down turn behavior in some early tests such as the Warden and Bucc.

Disclaimer: In some of the early runs I was a bit less careful about the altitude, assuming that anything under 1000m would be the same behavior, but this turned out not to be the case — 700m vs 1000m could result in up to 6 m/s loss of speed, so atmosphere seems to get denser all the way down. I retested a number of the early runs again at 1000m, but it's possible a few of the numbers may be slightly off due to this. If you run a test yourself and get a different 1000m Microtech result please let me know.

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Aegis Avenger Titan – 230

  • Rolls instead of turning at high speeds

Aegis Vanguard Warden – 220

Anvil Arrow – 348

  • Requires banking at high speeds, but does so easily

Anvil C8X Pisces – 262

  • Capable of almost a full turn at top speed without banking, unlike other small ships

C.O. Mustang Beta – 245

  • Requires banking at high speeds. Banking felt inconsistent and jerky.
  • Has a tendency to nose up during level flight

C.O. Mustang Gamma – 265

  • The same as the beta, but cannot turn its nose down at top speed

Drake Buccaneer – 272

Drake Cutlass Black – 200

  • Nose drops constantly and requires correction
  • Capable of partial turns without banking at full speeds. Gently rolls at the end of the turn.

Drake Herald – 356

  • Requires banking at most speeds, not just top speeds, and struggles to begin banks

MISC Razor – 292

  • Requires banking at high speeds, but does so easily

Origin 100i – 274

  • Has a tendency to nose up very slightly over time
  • Forward afterburners have incredible heat tolerance, making it far faster to enter and exit atmosphere than other small ships
  • Capable of a partial turn without banking at high speeds. Gently rolls while doing so.

Origin 125a – 275

  • Same as the 100i. Notably has almost identical heavy atmo speeds despite higher SCM and cruise speeds.
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Origin 300i – 246

  • Gently rolls by itself when turning at high speeds

Origin M50 – 310

  • Requires banking to turn at high speed, but does so easily
  • Slight difficulty nosing down at high speeds

RSI Constellation Andromeda – 243

  • Capable of full speed turns without banking

In the box runner category, the Herald keeps its title for unmatched straight-line speed at 356 m/s, which was unexpected given its disregard for proper wings, engineering principles, or safety standards. The 100-series also showed much higher than expected top speeds regardless of model at around 275 m/s. Combined with its excellent afterburner performance it might have the top spot for rapid trips to and from the surface. The Pisces also performed well at 262 m/s and had extremely beginner-friendly turn behavior with an easy-load ramp.

For racers, the M50 outperformed the Razor at top speeds at 310 m/s and 292 m/s respectively, although it pushed back when nosing down. The Gamma predictably performed worst of the bunch, with not only a lower top speed of 265 m/s but also much more difficult and unpredictable maneuvers.

Elsewhere the popular Avenger Titan and Cutlass Black showed disappointing top speeds of 230 m/s and 200 m/s, respectively, with even the notoriously sluggish Constellation capable of 243 m/s. Meanwhile the Arrow showed off its incredible aerodynamics, topping out at a blistering 348 m/s, well ahead of even the dedicated racing craft.

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Source: reddit.com

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