|Maximum gross mass||2500t|
|Main thruster accel||6g|
|Retro thruster accel||3g|
|Hyperdrive ranges||Class 5: 4.22|
Class 6: 6.08
|Standard drive||Class 8|
The Panther Clipper is viewed throughout the galaxy as the wealthy person's dream machine, the ship to own when all you care about is getting rich, and then getting richer still. Tales of single Panthers purchasing an entire planet's stock of essential food, thus condemming the population to certain starvation, are undoubtedly apocryphal but are an indication of the kind of influence this ship can wield. Its agility is questionable, its speed almost laughable, but you rarely see Panther owners parting with these craft; the riches they have accrued would permit them to buy a faster, more exciting craft whilst keeping the Panther for those times when the Cr balance needs a hefty boost.
The first notable aspect of the Panther Clipper is, of course, its sheer size; only the Griffin comes close. This has two benefits; firstly, its cargo capacity allows the owner to purchase huge amounts of cargo each time they dock in a well-stocked system, thus ensuring that large profits are made on the basis of volume of trade. Secondly, the ship is big enough to house every offensive and defensive weapon available, while still having room for umpteen shield generators. So the Frontier pilot who wishes to improve their Elite or military ranking will find this an ideal ship to do so in. True, there's no finesse involved; simply wait for your victim to blunder into your line of fire and wipe them out with your LPA.
Another notable feature is the large number of crew required to fly the ship, 12 in all. If you've recently upgraded from a smaller ship, you may find yourself stuck in dock for a while, waiting for crew to advertise their presence for you to hire. Once you've got them, the weekly wage bill rises accordingly.
Many Panther owners don't even bother filling their front or rear gun mounts and instead throw plasma accelerators onto the turrets. They know the ship is too slow to keep a fighter in the gun mounts' sights. Or, as many do, just fly along as though the fighters weren't even there...Pirates aren't the best pilots and a Panther takes a whole lot of space. A Krait hitting a hundred shield generators is like an Arcturan mosquito splatting against the front visor of a hoverbike.
At first, it may seem as if the Panther Clipper has no weakness, but this is far from the truth. Being the biggest ship currently available on the open market means it is also the slowest. Main thrust is a mere 6g max, meaning traversing the space between your hyperspace egress point and the nearest starport can take days or even weeks longer than a speedier craft, a major consideration when you have tight deadlines.
By the same token, hyperspace ranges are severely limited, even with the larger engines fitted. The result of this is that a jump that may take a smaller craft a couple of days to make may take a Panther a full week. Indeed, the journey may require more than one jump, adding yet more time. In short, don't use this ship if you're hoping to meet a tight schedule!
The Panther Clipper is the ultimate ship to own, provided you use it to its advantages. You'll get much more fun flying smaller craft, but if your business is cargo profit or no-brainer combat to improve your Elite rating, keep working until you can afford the 2.7 million credits you need to buy one.