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Helicopter Profitability Study

Discussion in 'Helicopter Guides' started by Therkyn, 2 February 2018.

  1. Therkyn

    Therkyn Member

    This is a summary of my studies so far. I only have L2 Helicopters, so its stopped at that. I will update this as we go along, but probably not again until 100 flights for each. The repetition in items seems steady at about 8 different combinations of materials for each flight, so while there may be some narrowing, after 100 it will likely be steady.

    Average Cost assumes only the use of H Fuel at 5 units for 10 coins (2 min). Sparrows remain profitable (though in the 10s of coins per hour) at 18 for 55 coins (10 mins), but that's it. Any higher and even Sparrows are losing propositions.

    As of 28 May 2018:
    For Each Flight - # of flights forming the basis (this will stop at 100), Avg Cost, Avg Profit, Time for flight, Profit/Hr
    Yellowstone: 100 flights, Avg Cost: 42.4, Avg Profit: 7.6 Time: 4 mins, PPH: 114
    Lake Baikal: 52 flights, Avg cost: 55.5, Avg profit: 9.5, Time: 6 mins, PPH: 95
    Snowdonia: 50 flights, Avg cost: 70.6, Avg profit: 9.4, Time: 8 mins, PPH: 71
    Fiordland: 50 flights, Avg cost: 86.0, Avg profit: 9.0, Time: 10 mins, PPH: 54
    Banff: 50 flights, Avg cost: 102.5, Avg profit: 7.5, Time: 12 mins, PPH: 38

    Iguazu Falls: 49 flights, Avg cost: 188.8, Avg profit: -39.8 Time: 15 mins, PPH: -159
    Angel Falls: 31 flights, Avg cost: 247.2, Avg profit: -56.2 Time: 20 mins, PPH: -168
    Victoria Falls: 30 flights, Avg cost: 297.5, Avg profit: -64.5 Time: 25 mins, PPH: -155
    Niagra Falls: 24 flights, Avg cost: 468.8, Avg profit: -108.8 Time: 40 mins, PPH: -163
    Rideau Falls: 23 flights, Avg cost: 693.7, Avg profit: -164.7 Time: 60 mins, PPH: -165

    @WolfAngus hat tip for finding my formula bug in PPH.
    As of earlier (Feb 2018?):
    For those interested, unformatted, here are the related total #'s of items used
    Sparrow: Micro, Gear, Varnish, Sensor
    Yellowstone (13): 16 5 5 3
    Lake Baikal (10): 13 3 10 4
    Snowdonia (10): 15 1 5 11
    Fiordland (10): 10 3 12 13
    Banff (10): 7 7 17 15

    Crossbill: Valve, Pyramid, Swivel, Emerg, Drive, Tail
    Iguazu (10): 3 14 2 6 15 7
    Angel (10): 7 4 4 7 20 18
    Victoria (10): 20 6 22 12 10 10
    Niagra (10): 18 8 34 14 26 22
    Rideau (10): 26 26 39 31 44 21
    Last edited: 29 May 2018
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  2. Thanks for taking the time to do this. It's very interesting. Having gotten fed up and deleting almost everything I could I went back to it resuming with the Crossbill's and then constantly thinking surly I can't be making a profit here but never thought to actually document it like this. (y)
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  3. Good job (y)
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  4. But has to be always a profit out of everything?
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  5. But repairing a broken Goldfinch require to have Repair base at cost of 1.2M coins :arghh::arghh::arghh:
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    LjGibbs likes this.
  6. Mostly I used helicopter to fill up Daily challenge for completing flight sent/completed trips or landing with fuel
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  7. That's what I'm using them for, too. It's nice to have these options for those tasks.
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  8. Excellent work but it’s not all about the amount profit for me.

    The helicopters give you more stars, give good drops on flight items and some extra buildings which give bonus’s for passenger buildings. Yes they do need resources which need regular collecting but it’s all part of the game for me.
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  9. Good point.
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  10. Therkyn

    Therkyn Member

    Dont get me wrong, I'm still 3 starring each and I'll get the buildings in the process of my research. I've already built my L3 parts source to get that part started well in advance. I think what it tells me is that helicopters serve a narrow purpose, stars and buildings. They do not exist to make profit (though havent dont any goldfinch testing). Helicopters have been a rush fuel for daily mission source for a while now. I like the 400 fuel that hangs around, at 15/rush, you can get things done. My crunch is passengers which could be solved, but the 30 min delay isnt so bad. -t
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    Jair Alexander likes this.
  11. @Therkyn Thank you for doing this research - an excellent addition to the forum (y)

    I agree with other posters here, that there is a depth beyond coin profit to running helicopter flights. We probably need to research drops from these flights as well as measuring cost of resources to put them in the air. With the imposed 100 limit on items in the warehouse, an additional resource for collecting flight items is not to be sniffed at. And we need to see how that works with bonuses added to improve those drops. When somebody has the time of course :writing:

    As I wade through the crossbill flights to the waterfall destinations, the frustration of gathering the resources before starting the flight makes the process something of a chore. GIS really need to tweek this to make the helicopter addition more attractive. Maybe a QL for completing each helicopter flight group? :hungry:
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    Jair Alexander and LjGibbs like this.
  12. That's the biggest issue with all the helicopters! It's a serious amount of money.
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  13. My best advice is to complete all 3 stars for each helo type before moving up. When you do move up (for those who can’t use videos) always 3 start the first destination before moving on (I’m pretty sure there aren’t breakdowns on the first destination and you’ll need the items to upgrade the repair base for the next lot of destinations. No need to rush... unless you have the greenies to open more production slots, it’s almost impossible to produce enough items to keep many in the air. I’ve 3 starred the first two types and now have 3 goldfinches running. More often than not, 2 are sitting on the ground.
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    Husam and LjGibbs like this.
  14. I have 4 goldfinches but i cannot fly the 4 i just send 3 every few days the fly items make me crazy taking a lot of time and its random sometimes from one item i need 8 it is hard and the break down 4 hours or use items you save.
    The good thing i am doing is complete 3 stars before move for the another destination.
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    Bob69bob likes this.
  15. WolfAngus

    WolfAngus New Member

    Interesting, but I don't get how you calculate your profit / hour.
    Considering 3 choppers and no downtime.

    Yellowstone => 4 mn / flight => 15 fl / hr / chopper => 45 fl / hr => 8 profit / fl => 360 profit / hr
    (I think it's not possible to run 3 of this flight at the same time, cause of refuel time, you need 2 mn by flight). So max profit is for 2 choppers => 240 profit / hour

    Lake Bairal => 6 mn / fl => 10 fl / hr / chop => 30 fl / hr => 6.7 profit / fl => 201 profit / hr

    Snowdonia => 8 mn / fl => 7.5 fl / hr / chop => 22.5 fl / hr => 13.8 profit / fl => 310.5 profit / hr

    Fiordland => 10 mn / fl => 66 fl / hr / chop => 18 fl / hr => 11.4 profit / fl => 205.2 profit / hr

    Banff => 12 mn / fl=> 5 flight / hr / chop => 15 fl / hr => 8 profit / fl => 120 profit / hr ! (I'm agree with you on this one)
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  16. Therkyn

    Therkyn Member

    Hi @WolfAngus,

    Well, at first I was thinking this was just a problem with one v. three helicopters. And then I went and looked, the formula for time did not update from Yellowstone on down, instead it copied yellowstone's calc. So that's fixed now, thank you, I acknowledged you in the table as well. As far as max PPH w/ refueling, I hadnt considered that, an interesting concept that you cannot actually keep up. Given the general lack of profitability, I rarely run my helicopters unless I'm behind in flights sent/received for a day and need some quick numbers. I am still awaiting an extra million to blow on goldfinches... I've made 100 of each of the L3 items in preparation.

    Thanks again, -t
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  17. teraph

    teraph Member

    I agree that normally the profit is marginal, as most of the return is eaten up by the resources required to send. However, if you are working with a bonus like alliance first class, the larger costs mean the 50% extra coins are significant and they are all profit. Helicopters do require more time but, if one is in the game already, they can provide another income stream.
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  18. teraph

    teraph Member

    I tried putting the alliance First Class bonus effect into a spreadsheet. I think the results are significant. I used the cost estimates from @Therkyn . I did round off the display of some of the results. My spreadsheet also included a time delay, added to the flight times, to allow for turn around time and take off or landing animations. With that delay set to zero our numbers matched pretty closely.

    The results for a Business Class bonus would have been amazing but it doesn't affect helicopters. I didn't try the Sky Captain bonus yet but, from the way I read it, it may help here too. It's not in the spreadsheet but, if you add the cost of fuel to speed up a flight, the flights under a bonus are still profitable in coins. This is not even counting the non-coin benefits of the flights.

    Just for fun, I tried to put the results into a BB code table. My apologies if it doesn't display well.

    Lake Baikal.9.595.42420
    Iguazu Falls.-39.8-159.35139
    Angel Falls.-56.2-169.39118
    Victoria Falls.-64.5-155.52125
    Niagra Falls.-108.8-163.71107
    Rideau Falls.-164.7-165.100100
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  19. Let's give my experience with heli after complete 3 stars in all destinations.
    Unfortunatly I loose my spreadsheet while flying Crossbill and don't have anymore information for Iguazu falls, Rideau Falls and Sparrow destinations.

    Items for Heli flights are not exctly random. Each destination have 7 possibilities of items needed. I'm showing in tables bellow all informations for each destination.

    How the table works

    Item needed to fly - Itens produced in Resource Base, Mechanical Plant and Hi-Tech Plant
    Total item needed - How many item I need to complete all flights
    Most used item - Show you what item you need more production
    #1, #2, #3,...#7 - Each possibility of item needed
    How many itens you need for each possibility - doubts?
    How many times happened - How many times each possibility happened in total flights

    The number on right downside in table is the total flights

    Ex. See Angel Falls table
    Did 49 flights.
    On possibility #1 you will need 2 valves, 2 drives and 2 tail rotors.
    On possibility #2 you will need 2 pyramid cones, 2 parachutes and 2 drives
    After 49 flights, 8 times the possibility #1 happened.
    After 49 flights, 6 times the possibility #2 happened.
    After 49 flights used 30 Valves.
    After 49 flights used 66 parachutes.
    The most item needed to produce is Drive with 23,1% of total item needed





    Goldfinch Destinations





    Attached Files:

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  20. upload_2018-8-1_17-32-38.png

    Now is easy to calculate if profitable or not
    Ex Mont Blanc
    Did 144 flight that give me 1400 coins each flight = total 201.600 coins
    A radio set use 3 microcircuit and 2 vanish = (3*10 coins + 2*20 coins)*620 radios used = 43.400 coins
    A grounded light use 3 microcircuit, 1 vanish and 3 sensors = (3*10 + 1*20 + 3*27)*421 light used = 55.151 coins
    A skid use 3 gear and 3 vanish = (3*15 + 3*20 coins)*420 skids used = 44.100 coins
    A wind cone use 1 microcircuit and 4 sensors = (1*10 + 4*27 coins)*399 cones used = 47.082 coins
    A swash plate use 1 micro, 3 gear, 1 vanish and 1 sensor = (1*10+3*15+1*20+1*27)*393 = 40.086 coins
    A shield maker use 1 micro, 2 gear, 2 vanish and 1 sensor = (1*10+2*15+2*20+1*27)*333 = 35.631 coins
    Total spent = 265.450 coins

    If you consider just flights Mont Blanc was not profitable for me but I don't know how many collections I completed to say exactly how many coins I get nor how many extra items too.
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