Prospects often ask me when their investment in active winglets will show a return, to which I say, “immediately.” This answer rarely satisfies anyone; however, it reveals one of the most interesting aspects of the business: the process of making connections and establishing priorities with a prospect to determine a return. With more than 100 sets of active winglets in our ever-growing family, there is a multitude of reasons people have chosen to make this investment. Such a large spectrum of customers means different priorities and concepts of what a return looks like.
In fact, I rarely use the term return on investment when discussing our ATLAS® Winglet System with fellow operators, which might seem unnatural in a business sense. However, the decision to install active winglets goes beyond a simple ROI based on net cost and fuel savings over time – this technology is an investment engineered to MULTIPLY your benefits over time, making it an obvious and sustainable modification that any CitationJet owner should consider. Not only are these benefits immediately recognizable, but the winglet system is afforded at full resale value as well.
Determining ROI on various aircraft modifications is quite subjective, especially considering longevity and relevancy of products like onboard Wi-Fi, paint, avionics, or interior upgrades. I like to ask prospects what they consider “payback” on these investments. Take the aforementioned onboard Wi-Fi for instance; as a charter aircraft owner, you could consider a $150,000 Wi-Fi system an investment essential to the nature of your business - with the understanding that the technology will age and the resale value of the modification will be 25% or less of the original cost. While you might be considering an investment like that to raise your charter premiums and allow more options for a variety of customers, most modifications simply do not show a complete return and begin to depreciate immediately.
Tamarack winglets do not fall in this category, instead of yielding complete resale value upon installation, according to VREF and other valuation companies. Our winglets create direct value by saving fuel, extending range, increasing payload, and other hard benefits – plus we add softer value increases like safer, smoother rides, and increased ramp appeal. The sustainable benefits of the technology create additional value, returning up to 33% fuel savings per trip for the CJ. Thus, I consider active winglets to serve multiples on your investment with every fuel dollar saved. For instance, a Tamarack modified CJ can fly four-hour missions while the flat wing CJ can only fly three-hour missions. In fact, we have had customers upgrade their CJ with active winglets instead of purchasing a CJ2 for performance benefits. That is what I consider an immediate multiplier on an investment.
Another example; a Tamarack customer routinely flies his milk run from Bozeman, MT to Carlsbad, CA, but on his first Tamarack CJ winglet trip, he landed with 1400 lbs. instead if his usual 700 lbs. – that is a big difference and about $500 fuel savings per leg. Real Savings! We have CJ customers flying home to Long Beach from the East Coast with only one stop; others are flying from Telluride on a 35-degree day at 1,000 lbs. higher TOW than before!
This paints a picture showing why I consider an investment in active winglets entirely different than a simple return benefit. The exciting all-around advantages of purchasing and flying Tamarack Winglets present a wonderful opportunity inclusive to any interested operator. I am always more than happy to answer any questions and discuss the real-world benefits of investing in an ATLAS Winglet System. Please reach out here or call (208) 255-4400 to learn more - and make sure to stay tuned for a new upcoming series of Tamarack “ROI” case studies!