Shpadoinkle Acquires Beijing

After years of renting the gates at ZBAA (Beijing Capital), Shpadoinkle has invested millions of FSE bucks to acquire all 3 lots at this airport! The airport does not have much traffic, but the acquisition has the benefits of reducing costs, generating some FBO service sales, and eliminating the risk that the FBO will be sold (Shpadoinkle – Stability you can count on).

There will not be any changes to our routes, but visitors can expect lower prices and better fuel availability and fuel/supply recycling as part of our globally standardized services

Our bean counters tell me that the FBO will pay for itself in 30 years, probably ? Our very old FBO map graphic (from July 2020) has been updated to reflect this change:

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Record Breaking Revenue MKII (Monthly Transparency Report)

We do transparency reports because we are ethical, and not because of any exhibitionist tendencies and turn ons associated with exposing our internals that may or may not exist.

In the month of April, Shpadoinkle Aviation Holdings and our hub-ops airline Shpadoinkle Airways flew a combined v$4,033,412 in flight revenue. In addition, our ground crew have provided v$54,443 in services to 3rd party operations, and FBO flight operations totaled 959 across our network.

This means that we’ve improved revenue per operation by about 30%, and that is awesome.

DC3 hub ops profitability review

When I leased Shpadoinkle Airway’s DC3, I did it for variety to try to attract pilots. Given the DC3’s higher operating costs compared to caravan ($800/hr vs $500/hr) and slower speed (allegedly, you can go about the same speed if you run it at WEP and pretend the engine is made of titanium). I expected to fly with most of the seats empty, since Shpadoinkle’s Quebec network is only low volume 2 lotters. 8 pax to, 4 pax back. In short, I expected it to do worse than the single engine, fuel efficient Caravan. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized I hadn’t even considered the full implications of 26 seats (that FSE’s DC3 operators have probably known for years):
In a regular 2 lot hub and spoke network that anyone can have without a huge amount of wealth, the set up is as follows:
You have your hub, usually somewhere in the center of the network to minimize distance from the satellites. Then you have your focus airport which is the airport you concentrate all your hub airport’s passenger terminal firepower on. This is the route you fly the most since it will produce the most income/flight, optimally 24 pax in 2 flights or 12 pax/flight. Then with the rest of the satellites, you have a PT capacity of 12 pax total per satellite.
With the 13 seat caravan, if you’re very lucky, and jobs to 2 airports near each other spawn exactly 6 jobs each, you can have 2 satellites together to fly a triangle route. At airport A you have 6 pax going to B and 6 pax going to C. At airport B you drop off the 6 pax going to B and replace them with 6 pax going to A, at airport C you drop off the 6 pax going to C and pick up 6 more pax going to A, then you return to airport A dropping the 12 pax from B and C, delivering 24 passengers in 3 flights or 8 pax/flight before needing to return to the hub. Under optimal conditions.
Under normal circumstances where pax don’t spawn evenly, you have to fly A-B-A-C at an average of 6 pax/flight, which costs time and effort, since in addition to making an extra flight, you will also have go through the process of holding and loading passengers to prevent the wrong pax from occupying the correct pax’s seats.
But with a DC3, you are guaranteed a triangle – even if there is a total passenger imbalance and the 2×12 pax from 2 satellites all spawn at the hub, you can still deliver them all in 3 stops. Under optimal conditions… you can start out with 4×6 pax and visit 4 satellites, delivering 48 pax in 5 flights or 9 pax/flight. Or better, you can start out with 2×6 pax to 2 satellites + 12 pax to your focus airport and deliver 48 pax in 4 flights, or 12 pax/flight.
The only downside is of course, the booking fees.
You won’t get too rich flying 2 lot networks in a DC3, but I made v$23,000 over 4 flights which, while only marginally higher than my numbers flying the Caravan in Shpadoinkle’s Pennsylvania network, took much less effort. Its nothing like the profit you would get flying the DC3 in conjunction with 3 lot property (~$10k/flight on a good day), but considering the very low cost of a 2 lot network, the DC3 gets my full recommendation from a business standpoint.

Fun fact about supplying fuel:

About 1% of Shpadoinkle’s profits come from supplying our own fuel to system-owned rentals that we then rent ourselves, resulting in what is effectively discounted renting.

For the month of March we have already made v$3.3million in flight revenue, and it is estimated that refueling wet rentals that we fly ourselves provided about v$33,000 in savings. For reference, v$33000 will supply a single 3 lot FBO for 73 days, however it requires the sale of approximately 38,000 Gallons of fuel costing approximately v$130,000 wholesale, which in order to achieve such consumption levels legitimately would require either good locations at major airports, or an enormous scale of operations such as what Shpadoinkle has.

In March, Shpadoinkle spent approximately v$500,000 on rental fees, meaning that providing our own fuel resulted in rental savings of about 5%, compared to renting wet without being the fuel supplier.

Again, note that the v$33000 were accumulated through a massive amount of flights likely totalling more than 300 flights (the new edition of FSEreporter will tell, unless Shpadoinkle or licecolon somehow do not make it onto the top 10 list), meaning that on average, only v$100 was saved per flight as a result of FBO ownership totalling v$300k per month in supply costs alone.

In addition, supplying fuel to the system is best case scenario, as the system will always buy at a fixed price (currently $4.19 for Jet A). You will have to undercut the system to sell to players who are few and far between, and unless you are the only provider in miles, players can simply choose to refuse if they consider your prices too high.

Except in specific airports and locales, fuel sales do not a profitable FBO ownership make, but they can ease the cost burden when operating rented aircraft.

Record breaking revenue (monthly transparency report)

We do transparency reports because we are ethical, and not because of any exhibitionist tendencies and turn ons associated with exposing our internals that may or may not exist.

Though the Month of February conspired against us by arbitrarily skimping on the amount of days in the month, Shpadoinkle nevertheless achieved record profits, and flew $3.01 MILLION worth of assignments in OVER 900.0 FBO operations (and 446 flights according to FSE Reporter, putting Shpadoinkle in the top 10 groups by flights in February), a new high for Shpadoinkle second only to what is induced by substances in our contract shipping manifests:

Assignments
Rental expenses ($572,708.29)
Assignment income $3,010,386.00
Assignment expenses $0.00
Pilot fees ($2,016,914.00)
Additional crew fees ($33,072.12)
Ground crew fees ($301,038.60)
Booking fees ($199,921.75)
($113,268.76)
Aircraft operations
Rental income $242,765.69
Refueling 100LL ($353.61)
Refueling JetA ($76,170.69)
Landing fees $0.00
Expenses for maintenance ($12,276.00)
Equipment installation $0.00
Aircraft Ownership fees ($10,621.00)
$143,344.39

Peace

Fly with Shpadoinkluber for up to 88% effective pilot pay [cancelled]

NOTE: Planned forum-based job notification system cancelled due to lack of interest

shpluber2

In January 2017, Shpadoinkle Aviation Holdings flew $1.9 million worth of assignments, which translates into $1.4million in pilot earnings if you flew those assignments instead.
In the spirit of the silicon valley startup that we are, we have developed the revolutionary pilot app “Shpadoinkluber” so you can make this money, instead of us.

All sorts of aircraft are available on site at our FBOs: my 172, my Caravan, 350s, ATRs, DC3s, my Challenger 300, any aircraft you bring.

Shpadoinkluber is not in the business of hiring and dispatching: our mission is to facilitate profit for anyone who discovers and flies our routes. Just like our un-named ground based analog, our pilots are considered independent contractors. Payment is instant, you choose your own assignments and you have no obligation to fly other than the drive to accumulate wealth.

We have locations worldwide, and on average,pilots can expect to earn 70% of their assignment value, with pilot pay between $3000 and more than $12000 per flight, and earnings as high as $20000 per flight hour, depending on factors. Your pay is entirely merit based – if your profits exceed 70%, you get to keep it!

Just look at my earnings sheet from the past 2 days!

shpluber1

Think of Shpadoinkle as an agency: you aren’t an employee and don’t get to log your flight as a Shpadoinkle flight (until FSE can offer net profit based sharing), you don’t get to fly our aircraft for “free” (although our rentals are pretty close), and yes you can find our jobs on your own, but unless you are able to see this page, you need us to provide updates in lieu of scrolling through our FBOs one by one yourself.

In addition, participation is representation, if you don’t like something about us (other than our face), you can give us feedback and let us know where or what you would like to fly when it comes time for Shpadoinkle to expand, among other policy issues.

To join, explore what Shpadoinkle has to offer and get readiness status on our routes, CLICK HERE

See you in the skies, pilot!

The Company Wide Announcement

The following is the transcript of a company wide speech made by Shpadoinkle Aviation’s CEO, that all employees were forced to watch live regardless of time zone:

When I was 5, I told my mom, I said “one day I’m gonna own two 3 lot FBOs in close vicinity to each other in a game called FSeconomy. They won’t be 3 lots due to having a million short runways, and instead they will have proper 10,000ft runways with Cat III ILS and ALSFs on every approach end, with control towers, taxiway lights, and terminal buildings. The FBOs are gonna be situated in a bustling area full of player activity and VATSIM coverage, and in places where I wouldn’t hesitate to fly in real life, and momma, one of these airfields won’t be abandoned and full of craters accordin’ to wikipedia, meaning that it will exist in both 10 year old FSX and in today’s X-Plane for all players to visit.”

That was a childhood dream, and today I am proud to announce that we’ve acquired two 3 lot FBOs within an optimal distance of each other! OK, I’ll admit we didn’t get everything we wanted. But the important thing is that the airports – OR0B and OR0D in FS9/OR31 and ORKK in FSX have long asphalt/concrete runways, are 3 lots with onsite building materials, and we have secured an indefinite high value contract to fly between the two airports so I think we can call that mission accomplished! Now we just need pilots to fly our route that pays about $14,000 in profits per hour long round trip renting system owned aircraft and regenerates daily. In addition, anyone who signs up to transfer there for a local ground position right now will receive a giant incentive package, just type your employee ID in the chat right now, no backsies…

A tale of two sources of income

Its no secret that FSE has tales of pilots burning out in pursuit of the sweet, sweet virtual $. And while that may be true for some people, thankfully (or not) I have a pretty darn boring personality and am perfectly willing to fly a whole bunch of routine jobs to get the spacebucks for the things I want (incidentally, those are also my real life career aspirations).

If you want to “get rich quick” in FSE without joining an established group and without a penny to your name, there is really only one option: All-in jobs. I found that the A321 jobs are always the best jobs because you can always fill up the tanks to full so no need to calculate how much fuel to add, there are more A321 jobs valued at over $10000 than the 737-800 – the other stock FSX aircraft. For each flight I set up my plan from the free flight screen, selecting the runway that closest matches the brg provided by FSE for my starting position, and then on the next page I will set up one or more user-defined waypoints or fixes (depending on availability) to line me up with the destination airport. In general, I only fly all-in jobs using calm/clear weather for obvious reasons. I select full realism settings but I choose to ignore crashes – and while any observer would see that my landings are 95% survivable (come on its a sim) and 80% pretty darn smooth so its not really for the purpose of “touching down” at 10000fpm, but sometimes FSX spawns bushes and trees on the runway, sometimes the sim spawns trees in the glide path, and this one time even with a perfect approach and touchdown my wheels sank into the ground and the plane flipped over for no reason except to spite me.

After setting up the plan, I launch the sim. altitude and speed is set at 27000/340 for trips below 1300nm, and 30000/320 for trips below 1500nm. This ensures maximum ground speed at m0.82 and I know that I can definitely make it with full tanks. No flap takeoffs – max tire speed for 321 is 195kts, and since I’m doing unrealistic direct flights already, might as well climb out at 340/320 kts even below 10000. Once autopilot is engaged, sim speed is increased to 4x, and once the plane gets on course I engage warp 16x (autopilot turn rate is reduced above 16x). Pretty much hands off at this point, the plane will carry enough speed and momentum to climb at 5000fpm the entire way – generally I end up at FL300 with the plane at 220knots – not the end of the world by any means. Then I find the destination airport altitude, and do the math: if I’m at FL270 and the airport is at sea level, and the default fsx a321 descent rate is 1800fpm, then I start my descent 13 minutes out. If the airport is at 7000ft, then I start my descent 10 minutes out. It takes about 10-15 minutes cruising, at which I take go do other stuff. At my descent point, without reducing time acceleration I simply reduce the altitude hold setting to about 2000-3000 ft above airport altitude – more in mountainous regions. If I was going 340kts, I also reduce target speed slightly to avoid overspeeding. Sometimes the obstacles are way higher than expected and I have to turn of time acceleration and take control manually, but generally at this point its hands off again until 10-20nm from the airport, where I reduce speed to 160 knots, put down gear, flaps below 177kts and arm the spoiler, and somewhere on final I take over and land manually. Sometimes when the runway is long enough I land normally, relying on the reversers until 60 knots where reversers disengage and switch to brakes. Other times when the runway is short or when I’m feeling lazy, its full reverse+parking brake until I come to a complete stop. Once the flight is logged, I end flight and repeat the process. The total process takes about 20 minutes per flight, unless I mess up eg. Forgetting to refuel.

Recently I have also been experimenting with FBOs. After buying a bunch of Quebec two-lotters for bargain prices, I set up my trans-quebec route. I also bought a Cessna Caravan which I offer for rent at cost, and advertise the route on the fbo ads page as providing $90000/round trip income (i meant revenue/gross profit) based on my estimations. Seeing that all of my gates were at full capacity, I decided to test my own claims. I started by adding all of the jobs to my group assignments queue, as it was a Shpadoinkle Air route and I wanted to log it as such. Also for the sake of the experiment, I wanted to prevent the unlikely event where someone else took the jobs. Soon, my group assignment queue had mostly green jobs, but a few black jobs as well. Then I tried to add all the flights for 1 way to “my flight” and encountered my first problem: FSE limits jobs to 60, presumably to prevent hoarding, which is all fine and dandy, except my green job settings are all limited to parties of 1, as I calculated that parties of 2 only make financial sense somewhere above 20 passenger flights. It was a pain sorting that out, but eventually the My Flight page was set up, and I filled the plane to 300 gallons. I checked the real weather on the AWC website and found it to be pretty reasonable – nothing preventing me from landing visually at all 10 airports along the route. Plus, since the caravan is so hugely efficient and the routes are so short, the extra fuel burn wasn’t a big deal. Plus, because the caravan is STOL and could probably land on one of those 4500ft runways with a 20 knots tailwind, I wouldn’t have to figure out the best runway to land at either, so I figured in the interest of realism, real world (static) weather it is! For these flights I wasn’t going to do fancy flight planning, so I launched the sim at CYIF – my starting airport – and hit direct to CYHR in the GPS.

It was dawn, and nothing was really lighted except for the runway. I clicked start flight on FSE, full throttle, rotate somewhere in the green arc and lift-off. There was no visual reference outside, so I used the instruments until I was sure I was clear of obstacles. Then I engaged the autopilot to climb to 3000ft, my cruise altitude for this short flight. 4x acceleration on climb out, 16x acceleration once the course line is centered. Since the caravan has no autothrottle, I do 95% of the flight in full throttle, including the descent. At these low altitudes the engine is at its most powerful, so descending at full throttle at vne means a descent rate of 300fpm – which means starting the descent about 10 minutes out. Once I’m close enough, throttle down, autopilot disengage, pitch up, slow to vfe, flaps, maybe a few steep uncoordinated s-turns that would completely freak out any passengers on board to bleed off speed and altitude, then land. Some landings use 1/3rd of the runway, other landings used more than half and I ended up in the overrun area (? Not sure the runway had one) once. Depending on runway remaining, I either take off midfield or do a 180. More than once I forgot to retract flaps before takeoff, but the 800+ horses in the nose more than made up for it. Visibility was not the greatest, it was snowing at times, and even though I had de-icing on I felt that it probably wouldn’t have been the best idea in real life. No terrain collisions thankfully but I did come close once. Once I got to the final airport, it was getting dark in the sim. I reloaded the newest weather and reset the time to morning – current time, and set off back.

So what are the results? I crunched the numbers and *drum roll*…

Quebec Route (as tested)

72710 profit*

Real time: 170 minutes

Flight time: 13.77 hours/18 flights

Profit/flight time: 5280/hour

Profit/real time: 25662/hour

Profit/30/48 period: 158400

*note: this is the profit as reported by the flight logs, which factors in ground crew fees which I do not pay as FBO owner as well as rental fees which I do not pay as aircraft owner, however it is included for the sake of showing what you can earn flying my route. Also note that due to brain flatulence I forgot to load about $4000 of green jobs.

All in jobs (as tested – well executed)

45282 profit

Real time: 104 minutes

Flight time: 11.75 hours/4 flights

Profit/flight time: 3853/hour

Profit/real time: 26124/hour

Profit/30/48 period: 115590

The A321 all-in jobs are great because they are straightforward – you get paid the set price as long as you complete the job. Don’t have to rely on FBO operators like myself to set up good jobs. No need to worry about flying costs since that is covered by the bank, and no need to worry about job availability as new all-in jobs typically respawn within 30 minutes of landing, unlike my green jobs which take a few days to regenerate. There is also considerably less workload, and all-in jobs are much easier to find. All-in jobs are a reliable way to make money, plus it’s the only way to fly a big planes profitably short of being part of a large group!

My Quebec route is great because it is a continuous experience – you’re not teleporting halfway around the world every other flight. My route also yields more income/flight hour, which means that if you want to fly without time compression, you can. As my Quebec route yields more /flight hour, this also means that if you want to maximize income within the 30/48 rule, you’ll want to fly a route like mine. There is also no getting around the fact that the caravan is just a billion times easier to land than the 321, and you don’t have to worry about runway distances or the winds if you decide to fly in real weather. Another thing is you really don’t have to worry about fuel in the caravan, for the entire route I filled up maybe 3 times. Plus, you’ll feel great knowing that you’re making more or less the same income flying a light single as the person flying a big jet.

Ultimately however, I would say that all-in jobs are the better option, simply due to the reliability of their availability. That said, is flying my Quebec route worth it?

yes.

For me.

Because I have access to my FBO overview, I know exactly when all the gates are full and its time to make another run. I don’t pay ground crew fees, which means I save 10% of the income. During the same 14 flight hour period, I’ll make about $30000 more than if I were doing all-ins, and after that’s depleted, I can still do the all ins. However, regardless of which flying you do, both require a significant amount of time dedication – the all ins require about 3 hours of perfect, repetitive flying every 2 days if you want to maximize income. In fact, I would say that the best set up involving private aircraft and green jobs would be 2×3 lotters, spaced 200 miles apart, all gates pointed at each other, with an atr 72-500 on duty. Understandably that’s not very possible given the severe shortage of 3 lotters, much less affordable 3 lotters, however I do have one more trick up my sleeve:

2 2-lot airports, spaced 50 miles apart, with a system owned atr stationed there.

Here are the stats:

7686 profit

Real time: 12 minutes

Flight time: 0.47 hours/2 flights

Profit/flight time: 16353/hour

Profit/real time: 38430/hour

Profit/30 hours period: 461160

Sounds great, right? However the downsides are obvious: you would be hard press to find multiple fbos set up like this, and even more hard pressed to find reasonably suitable aircraft stationed there.