The PCL 27 was 800 meters long, with fully three-quarters of the length of the hull taken up by a massive container housing capable of carrying up to 160,000 metric tons of cargo. The Maxwell & Son terraforming company used ships of this class to carry prefabricated colony compounds through Hyperspace and deposit them on target planets, in a procedure later imitated by the Empire with its prefabricated garrison bases.
The PCL 27 had a class 3 hyperdrive and an atmospheric speed of 350 kph. Under normal circumstances, a ship of this class carried a crew of 60, with supplies for six months, but it could be operated by as few as ten personnel.
In later years, ships of this type were found in a variety of roles. During the Battle of Sluis Van, Grand Admiral Thrawn sneaked a force of cloaked TIE/LN starfighters into the shipyards inside the hull of a PCL 27 by the name of Nartissteu. Another ship of this class was the Black Lotus, converted by the Camarina Connection to serve as a mobile drug laboratory.
Behind the scenesEdit
The PCL 27 originates in an entry on the Black Lotus in the September/October 1995 issue of the French RPG magazine Casus Belli, supplied with an illustration by Fred Blanchard, illustrator on the comic adaptation of Heir to the Empire. This magazine predates by several months the appearance of a ship of this type in issue 6 of the comic in March 1996, but it appears that the background material has never been translated into English, and hence remains ambiguously canon.
In the original Heir to the Empire novel, Wedge Antilles describes the ship at Sluis Van as an "A-class bulk freighter", but no canon source has expanded on this phrase, and it is thus impossible to say whether this is an alternative designation for the "PCL 27", or a more generic term used for several types of broadly comparable freighters.