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I'm currently working out a loadout for my Vulture, which is a very light ship with high class (class 5) thrusters. It's a very light ship, weighing in at less than 500 tons at the absolute heaviest (in a very, very ridiculous setup).

Class 5E thrusters have an optimal mass of 560 tons, so even at its heaviest, the vulture is still well within that optimal range. Is there any real benefit to putting 5A thrusters on this ship?

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Yes. Optimal mass is what the module was "designed" for. If your mass is exactly the same as the optimal thruster mass, your flight model will be precisely the flight model of the ship. If your mass is less, you will get an improved flight model. (Source)

In other words, class A thrusters will be more maneuverable in every single case.

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    The word "optimal" is misleading. It should be called something more like "calibrated" mass. Mar 17 '15 at 17:12
  • To clarify, it just makes your ship change speeds faster, hence, more maneuverability. Not a big deal for ships that aren't going to be combat-oriented, but for a Vulture, it's mandatory to get the highest-grade thrusters.
    – user109166
    Apr 28 '15 at 21:27

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