Aircraft – Our most exciting acquisition is a new Embraer ERJ 145, a regional jet airliner with capacity for 50 passengers! Getting a “large” jet airliner has always been a goal that I’ve sidelined due to correctly prioritizing FBO acquisitions. The FBO market has been not very good for the past few months so with the help of some personal flights and passive profits (more on that below) I’ve saved up enough to snag one of these puppies. I would have liked an ERJ 170+ series with the under wing engines (I’m a real boy!) but the FSE Board of Director has made its position on larger RJs very clear – allowing ownership was a “mistake” and future large RJs will only be considered for all-in jobs.
Repositioning – We’ve stationed the ERJ at KSJC and moved some other aircraft around: the ATR 42 is now on the KMAF-KHRL route, and the ATR 72 has been repositioned to the ZWWW-ZMBS route, where its 68 passenger capacity has the highest chance of high utilization due to rich amount of system passenger jobs.
Profitability – For the past few months, the DKL network has managed to turn a passive profit, thanks to ground crew fees from high value cargo jobs and the pilots who fly them. This is great news for our shareholders (me), but whether it is good for the fseconomy economy as a whole for FBOs to be so profitable is yet to be determined. My network was not profitable just 7 months ago, but my network is also heavily biased toward large airports located at nation/state capitals, so my experience is not representative of every FBO owner. So with these caveats – FBOs have become better investment vehicles than the money sinks they were in the past, at least for me.
Network Changes – After being on the market for months, the FBO at ZJSY has finally found a buyer. We’ve also expanded the FBO at NZOH to the full 3 lots at great cost. My profits have been reinvested in increasing the fuel reserves at our FBOs, and I’m no longer considering liquidating the Antarctic FBOs. Our current 7 continent, 44 FBO network will stay the way it is for the forseeable future.
The One Map – FSE now has a new feature, The One Map. It’s pretty cool that FSE has moved to an Open Street Map based platform where the map doesn’t have “development purposes only” watermarks. The downside is the old aircraft map link no longer works. The FBO map link still works however.
Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) – is released! It’s pretty cool, and the best features are 1) photorealistic default scenery (of course) and 2) the AI copilot that can complete an entire flight unassisted. It’s a demanding game though, my Ryzen 3900x/ RTX 2080ti can barely handle it – but it appears better optimized than X-Plane. I personally haven’t yet tried to fly MSFS 2020 with FSE.
There has been a massive influx of activity as a result of the MSFS (2020) release, although I do not foresee a proportional increase of profit. The biggest effect of additional sign ups is reduced job availability and increased use of my rental aircraft, the latter of which I’m happy to see. I’m waiting to see if/how the FSE BoD plans to increase FSE’s capacity, both in terms of real life infrastructure and virtual properties/jobs.
The MSFS MSRP is pretty steep so I’m happy to stick with the base version offered by the xbox game pass- an excellent value if you plan to play more than one game from their offering of many AAA titles. I have not tried to mod the game yet, but I know from my attempt to rip the Hearts of Iron soundtrack that the Game Pass installation folder is locked down and difficult to access.
Covid – this virus has bigly delayed my RL development but I’m getting back on track. If nothing else bad happens in the next month or so (lol) I could be getting a shiny new rating