by Max Brantley
I mentioned earlier that I'd been tracking a report of a new purchase by the Razorback Foundation, which has lately begun "improving" its program to build assets through premium charges on seats at Hog athletic events.
Late this afternoon — coincidentally a few minutes after I followed up unanswered e-mails with FOI requests to the athletic department and the Razorback Foundation — I got this response from Kevin Trainor, associate athletic director for public relations:
The Razorback Foundation is finalizing purchase of a used 2007 LearJet40 for a purchase price of $4.7M.
The jet will replace a 1988 BeechJet currently owned by the Razorback Foundation.
The Foundation anticipates delivery of the Jet in September. At that time, the current BeechJet will be sold.
According to data on-line, these planes can cost $9.5 million new. They seat 7 and have a range up to 1,900 miles at a cruising speed of around 520. I think the Beechjet seats only 4. Got to compete with the big boys.
I was tipped to this purchase by a long-time Hog financial supporter who nonetheless thinks maybe things have gotten a mite on the high-dolllar side up on the hill. I hope to hear more about the need for an upgrade, which will spend up a good percentageof the Foundation's balance.
UPDATE: Trainor has provided some answers to preliminary questions:
The jet was purchased from Bombardier, Inc.
The primary reason for the purchase was to replace an aging aircraft that would require additional significant investments, including an engine overhaul, in the near future and increasing maintenance costs to maintain. The safety of the pilots and passengers is of the utmost importance and with a model nearly 25 years old, a decision was made to invest in a more recent model aircraft. As I believe you cited in one of your previous e-mails, a new model of the LearJet 40 runs for around $12M.
CORRECTION: The original headline gave the purchase price incorrectly. Also, I relied on configurations on some Beechjets listed for sale on the web for seating capacity of that plane. Trainor tells me both the Beechjet and the Learjet are configured to seat 7.