The Beluga Liner has been a long time coming. The ship was first touted in Newsletter #10 back in August 2013 - three years ago!
As you can see it's design has evolved from concept to implementation.
The only other ships we've seen in concept that are not yet implemented are the small passenger ship, the Dolphin and the huge trade ship, the Panther LX. Although we did get a sneak peek at the final Dolphin, but Frontier did not confirm it for 2.2.
So how big is the Beluga Liner?
Frontier don't give out specifications - they let the players grab data from the game, however FDEV did post a photo from October 2014 that showed a whiteboard with the list of ships on it, which (even back then) included the Beluga and the Corvette.
As you can see (with a bit of squinting) the Beluga is the same length as the Anaconda with a narrower body, the Beluga's tail making it slightly longer and a great deal wider.
Obviously this is going to be a large landing pad ship
What's it's role?
The Beluga Liner is primarily a passenger vessel.
Like the Orca, it will be able to carry luxury and first class cabins that other ships won't, so the ship will be required to pursue a career in tourism and luxury travel, the profitable end of the new passenger industry.
The internal slots may also be restricted to cabins rather than other equipment, just as the Orca.
The ship has 6 utility slots and has the following internal module slots:-
- 4 x Class 3
- 1 x Class 4
- 2 x Class 5
- 4 x Class 6
This should give you massive passenger capacity. And maybe some cargo capacity too?
Is the Beluga armed?
It has been confirmed that the Beluga will have five medium hard-points. That would give it comparable fire-power to an Imperial Clipper (I rate fire-power by multiplying the number of hard-points by their class size).
But, in addition to five Class 2 weapons, the Beluga will also have a fighter bay. So it won't be a warship, but it'll be far from helpless either.
How fast is the Beluga?
Well, not very. But a ship that size is not going to be a racer. Sandro said on Tuesday's Lave Radio interview that the Beluga was the same speed as the Hauler, so it will be 200M/s with 300M/s on boost. Now that is faster than an Anaconda and Corvette, but slower than the Cutter. He didn't comment on agility, but we would expect something similar to the Anaconda's flight model as the ships are of similar size.
The ship will come equipped with a Class 7 FSD drive, but because of the Beluga's size, won't give a high jump range.