The end of our last war has allowed Eve University to return to our primary purpose of taking new pilots and helping them scale the vertical learning cliff that is EVE Online. One of our traditions is that new members are greeted in Corp Chat with a chorus of "Welcomes!", a few Bunny Gank Tanks and a rouge Beer Truck. Over the weekend, Corp Chat never stopped scrolling!
I had the opportunity to roll out the Orca (USS New York LPD-21) for a little solo work Saturday and a Corp common can op on Sunday afternoon, where we ended up with two Orca's for the last hour.
For solo work, this ship is everything I had hoped it would be. Kaye pilots the Orca, with salvaging Dessie and Hulk in the ship bay. Dee flys a Raptor to web sling the Orca. Jump into system, use the Raptor to do a quick fly by of the belts and pick a spot. Kaye warps the Orca to Dee in the belt, Dee swaps to Hulk and the work shift begins. Takes about an hour to fill the ~135k m3 available. Dock, unload. Rinse & repeat. No can ever outside, much to the chagrin of the Rifter pilot who sat beside me for 15 minutes, popping off in local that he was a "can flippin' mofo, cum 2 steal yur rocks!" That earned him a pat on the head in local in return. ;)
For group ops, the real issue is going to be co-ordinating the haulers so they can keep up. Many of the belts required no repositioning to take down completely and only 1 move was required for the largest belt (22KM range for strips!). At peak, we were generating the equivalent of a full can every 2 minutes (134 sec strip cycle time!). The second Orca as hauler was a good solution. The hauler Orca stood off about 25km and we tractored a can back and forth to transfer. The can Orca has enough buffer storage to cover the trip by the hauler to the station. If you know that you are going to have 2 Orca's you can use 1 with mining links and the other with a different set (say shield links), too.
Some wierd GUI and stacking issues, but nothing too distracting. Kaye is only at Industrial Command Ship 3, so there's still 6% topside available.
Here's a pic: