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Author Topic: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation  (Read 3448 times)

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2014, 08:32:34 PM »
I haven't really checked the game in about a week and I'm often really neglecting GW1 but last I saw the Il-114s were all making good six-figure profits. Generally they are quite comparable to the ATR series as the much cheaper purchasing/leasing price offsets any concerns about fuel or maintenance. If maintenance does start to get a little too expensive, it usually translates into nice tax returns under the new system so even that can be offset.

Offline pndsc

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2014, 08:55:44 PM »
I haven't really checked the game in about a week and I'm often really neglecting GW1 but last I saw the Il-114s were all making good six-figure profits. Generally they are quite comparable to the ATR series as the much cheaper purchasing/leasing price offsets any concerns about fuel or maintenance. If maintenance does start to get a little too expensive, it usually translates into nice tax returns under the new system so even that can be offset.

Huh. I didnt think that would be the case (on the maintenance & fuel offset by the low lease cost) but I guess I can't argue with experience. Or my prospective spreadsheet. Holy hell thats actually a fair chunk of change with a large number of airframes. I'll probably do a Troxair clone in GW3N then with IL114's instead of ATRs because those things are going to be like bloody gold dust - and tout suite after running a spreadsheet.

Thanks for the info!

« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 09:16:20 PM by pndsc »

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2014, 09:05:04 AM »
Obligatory update: For the first time I am at that point every all-Soviet airline eventually faces where you have all your planes decently scheduled and you can't expand further because there's nothing to use. I am very disappointed that even with multiple airlines placing orders we only got 69 Tu-134As built (43 of which are mine). It really is my favorite Soviet bird with which Ive had the most success for the longest lifespan. I always lose my production lines whenever real life gets in the way for a day or two but it was probably for the best as I was at a point where I was buying them just to buy them. I had half a dozen rusting on the tarmac for almost two years before I got them flying. I could probably have squeezed in a few more without opening another base but oh well. I am scouring the used market every day trying to scrounge up the original Tu-134s before the last of them get scrapped even though they are terrible. I have two so far and there are two left unscrapped.

On other fronts, my IL-14 fleet is passing through the second D-Check period and continues to be as lucrative as ever. Makes me wonder why I am the only remaining operator of the type, they really remind me of my beloved EMB-120s and there's nothing else comparable until those come out in the 80's. Even though I firmly believe I could fly these pistons into the 90's, I have a wholly-owned order of 40 An-28s due in 1978 to take over the miniscule demand prop segment. I'm excited because the An-28 is so unattractive that I have always had them on my AWS bucket list. It's right up there with the Il-62 which I still haven't tried and won't be yet again.

From my previous success as Soviet Socialist Airways, I anticipate the Tu-154 becoming very useful for mid-range international flights that will open up in the 90s so towards that end I may be ordering a few here and there to build up a stockpile. Back then I had about a dozen I either built myself or saved from the scrap heap probably comprising four or five different subtypes. There's a slight advantage there that even though I won't have a use for them for another 15 years, there are still four more variants coming down the pipe and every one of them has commonality.

Statistically things look very good despite my penchant for reckless spending. Top 100 in most categories, A credit rating.

I have pretty much abandoned my other airline in GW1 if it even still exists at this point for lack of time. I still think I did a good job proving once again that the Yak-42D and the Il-114 are perfectly good planes.

Offline pndsc

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #23 on: June 25, 2014, 06:28:36 PM »
I thought I might as well throw in another word of praise for IL-114s which were a very good shout - I think they're probably the best open secret in AWS since so few people order them, I think the only other people to order them apart from me and you are some of the airlines dedicated to aircraft leasing.

My reborn airline in GW1 is making a lot of money using IL-114s from Oslo. I've just blown a large amount of the cash that they've brought in by ordering a lot of An-148s which I know are pretty good in the late game stage. I'm really annoyed that in the meantime the 114 production lines have ended so like you I'm having to lease them and just have them sitting on the tarmac not doing a whole lot - same kind of story with the An-140's.

In GW3 I've got a lot of IL-114s on order that I'm essentially going to use to replace my fleet of old leaky dash sevens and ATRs. They really cant come soon enough as then I can combine the two fleet groups into one and have a tonne of extra range to get some more routes in before I open up a second fleet group for longer range (because the 114's are just that bit too slow).

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2014, 01:42:11 PM »
The An-28 prototype has finally arrived! (ten years from announcement to certification!) Taking over the schedule of one of my Il-14s, it is flying with a 95% LF and an estimated $30k/wk profit. Obviously it isn't covering the commonality costs by itself particularly while I will temporarily have three fleet types but I should have over a dozen in the air by May which should take care of it. My piston Il-14s will be completely phased out before the end of the year. I do expect a short-term drop in revenue over the next year or so while I build up my fleet as these planes are just over half the size of the ones they are replacing and I will have to add additional flights to pull the same demand. In the long run the An-28s should provide a huge cut to maintenance costs (compared to 20 year old pistons) and a significant reduction in staffing as they do not carry flight attendants. Any fuel savings are probably lost in the reduction of seats from 30 to 18 however.

I'm very excited as I have always had my eye on these things as exactly the sort of plane I like to fly, one so undesirable I have never seen anyone try to use it, not even newbies who don't know better.

Offline pndsc

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2014, 04:12:08 PM »
Any updates?

EDIT: Joined GW4. Slightly annoyed that the Yak 42 production line closed already. Got 2 off the used market and put an order in for ten Tu
134's.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2014, 04:49:37 PM by pndsc »

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2014, 07:43:03 PM »
I have 65 An-28s and 72 Tu-134s of various types. Some of the An-28s make as much as $60k per week with very low operating costs. I have been rapidly expanding with a new base and filling out the remaining less desirable routes in the other three. All 50 surviving Tu-134As are in my hands and I won't be letting them go any time soon. I am constantly updating my prices to keep ahead of rising costs and revenues have almost doubled since 1978.

Thanks for propping up the 134B line, I was week to week with it at this point, buying one or two planes whenever I could between An-28 orders. I was getting close to being the lone operator of Soviet aircraft.

Offline pndsc

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2014, 05:29:03 PM »
Well, dont thank me yet. I've set up somewhere that doesnt have all that many routes that will fill a 134 to capacity in one flight.

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2014, 04:04:52 AM »
It's the same in Ukraine but I fly the routes anyway and make decent money. I'm serving pretty much every single airport within a 1000 mile radius of any of my bases. If peak demand is at least 30pax you should be fine.

Offline pndsc

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2014, 10:03:29 AM »
Whats your typical route range? I've done fairly well in setting myself up reasonably centrally in europe but I worry about the longer flights.

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2014, 08:07:12 PM »
Under 500NM generally goes to the An-28s unless demand is large enough for Tu-134s. With the 134s, I have all three types so I will go up to around 1250NM. I also tech-stop 1500NM+ to Tashkent from all four bases because the demand is too good to pass up. Currently experimenting with a few reduced seating extended range 134Bs out of Kiev up to around the 1400 mark because there is no other room for growth there at this point. It's too soon to see if they are viable though.

Since you are stuck with just the 134B, I wouldn't push it much beyond 1000NM unless you think you can get away with tech stopping or the demand seems worthwhile. They will actually out-perform the 134A as far as maximum seats/range up to a point before dropping off sharply. In my experience if you can fill at least 40 seats you should make decent money. Keep in mind that I own most of my planes though so my costs are a bit lower.

In years past I have had no trouble flying Tu-134As and Bs within their regular range limits into the next century. You just have to be sure to keep your prices in line with inflation and rising fuel costs. I was D-checking 30 year old Tu-134s and still making money much to everyone's surprise.

Offline pndsc

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #31 on: July 25, 2014, 09:34:26 AM »
Welp, my airline imploded. Didnt have enough revenue coming in to assign routes to my Tu 134s as they were delivered. :/

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2014, 04:04:10 AM »
Yeah, that can be tricky when you are the only one ordering a certain type of plane. They all come in right on top of each other. At least I've got something to buy on the used market now besides the generally unprofitable original Tu-134s.

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2014, 02:31:17 AM »
If you haven't noticed by now, I took my handful of Tu-154s out of storage and finally got them flying out of a temporary base in Moscow. The experiment worked rather well and turned out to be just in time for the launch of the final variant the Tu-154M. I know from prior experience that the 154 is fantastic on mid-range international routes but I was unable to acquire very many the last time around so I hope to get a good-sized fleet going. All four of my Ukrainian bases should open up to international traffic in 1992 so there should be plenty of use for them after I am forced to leave Moscow.

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #34 on: November 28, 2014, 12:47:40 AM »
It's been quite some time. To date I have proven that the An-28 is incredibly profitable and I managed to build up a fleet of about 33 Tu-154s comprised of three different types. I'm retiring both of them now but they remain perfectly viable in the modern era. The Tu-134 remains my absolute favorite with 98 of them still in service despite about half of them having hit the old age warning at this point. I've used them for thirty or more years in past scenarios and this one has been no different. The only exception has been the new depreciation effect that makes them all start to bleed money for a year or two after reaching 25 until they are completely devalued and resume profitability.

My latest challenge has been dealing with the lull in Soviet aircraft production between the 80's and into the mid-90's. You are basically forced to keep the Tu-134 going for thirty years because there are no comparable replacements until the mid-2000's. The depreciation was seriously cutting into my profits at one point but it did lead to one very nice tax return. At my peak before my new An-38s and Tu-204s began to arrive, I was nearly dead last in average aircraft age at over 17 years. As I said I can now finally retire my An-28s which are all around 18 years old and my Tu-154s which range from 8-20 years old and that has been a big help to the average and my company image but I'm afraid the ancient Tu-134s will remain. Many of the Tu-154s are still relatively young but the Tu-204 is simply much cheaper to operate in every aspect.

I may begin to slowly phase out my Moscow base because Sami doesn't want me there (system was supposed to kick me out but never did) and I had been planning on losing it back in 1992 anyway. That's part of the reason my fleet is so old as I have younger aircraft locked up in Moscow that I thought would have helped me stop flying the junkers years ago. I'm not interested in downsizing though so I have to take it slow and gradually build up my other bases to compensate.

Offline schro

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2014, 01:47:14 AM »
The only exception has been the new depreciation effect that makes them all start to bleed money for a year or two after reaching 25 until they are completely devalued and resume profitability.

I assume you realize that the cause of this is the 3rd D check. You pay for it early in year 24 of the plane's life, and then it must depreciate that entire D check cost over the remainder of year 24 of the plane's life. For soviet planes, I assume that's about two small countries per D check.

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2014, 07:43:37 AM »
Yeah I know the drill. Here are the numbers for a 29 year old 60-seat original Tu-134:
A check: 57 540 USD
B check: 179 810 USD
C check: 2 733 200 USD
D check: 12 227 000 USD

I just recently put it in storage because that D Check was about to hit. I deal with a lot of ridiculous costs but there's no way I'm paying that just to get rid of the plane in a few months anyway.

Offline Troxartas86

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2014, 07:07:01 AM »
I just wanted to say that I am very proud of my allies for making the Il-96 popular and proving it's viability. I wish I could have joined them in actually flying them (I did place some orders) but the demand just isn't there for me. Sami's facebook post about this long ignored aircraft was really awesome to see. I've been here over three years now advocating for Soviet birds and tiny turboprops so this has been a very proud moment for myself and everyone who has ever been crazy enough to join me over the years.

Offline pndsc

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2014, 02:55:26 PM »
I've picked up the game again after leaving in september (woo aerospace masters course!) and its really surprising to see that there are now actually people using some Russian aircraft.

I'm trying to have a stab at using Tu204's around Russia and to the rest of europe/as far as I can fly them (stuffing them full of as many C pax as I can!) and using IL114s to fly to nearer airports in Russia until I can get my hands on some AN148's. Let me know if I'm treading on your toes too much.

I've got a bit of an issue on my hands that I have picked up some MD90s but they're an awkward size for St Petersburg. They're too large for a lot of domestic demand (1.5-2x typical domestic route demand) and either slightly too large or too small (1.3x - 0.8x) for international routes. I need something with a capacity around 80 or so - Ie, the AN158 or the S100 when it comes around, but for the minute I'm stuck with using IL114s on long routes. :/

Offline gazzz0x2z

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Re: Misadventures in Soviet Aviation
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2014, 06:36:26 PM »
I'm very happy of my A148s. In GW3, they were already interesting at 25M, but price went down to 14M or so. Ejets were at more than 50M at the same time. I've bought hundreds of them with my crappy company, and went from 100th place to 59th place in terms of company wealth.

The bad thing is when other people notice them & prices begin to go back up. But at 17M, it's still very good steel to fly. Even when fuel & maintenance costs are 30% costlier than opponents.

 

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