Selection of Aircraft Hangar Sizes and Styles
- Before you start we’ll need to know some of the following:
- What type of aircraft, or mix of types do you intend the hangar for?
- Do you want nose entry or tail entry? Nose entry can be slightly cheaper but loses flexibility for mixes of types and for storage of tail docking.
- What site dimensions are available. How much apron length? What depth behind the apron? What are the height restrictions on the apron (door) side? At the two sides?
- Is it a paint hangar? (If this is the case it will be better to restrict the volume by shape, partitions and ceilings)
- What area of ground floor workshop is needed (for engines, undercarriage, heavy work)?
- Do you need any upper floor workshop? (For trim, avionics etc)
- What area of office do you need?
- Do you need to have the ability to extend the width, and door width, with no columns? (If you do, then the hangar should be of the cantilever type: and this type must have substantial workshops and office space behind)
- Do you foresee additional bays in the width? Or the length? (This is possible but we must know). Please note that it is not normally possible to increase the height of a hangar or doors after construction.
- How much of the main door do you need to open at any one time?
- Is there space for outriggers on the doors?
- Is cheapness the main consideration or is flexibility in use important?
- Do you need any cranes suspended from the roof? (This is possible but please note that the hangar may need to be higher, and stronger, and more costly, to fit the cranes). We need to know any possible crane requirement before we start work! What are the maximum lifts you will need?
- Please note that it is often better, structurally, to have the hangar the same clear height throughout, which also gives the maximum flexibility in use. Tails may always be jacked in substantial jacking slots inside the roof structure, in many locations around the hangar. There is no huge saving by restricting the spans and heights over parts of the area.
Normal patented REIDsteel Archspan hangars will span up to 200m with no columns inside or in the doors. Cantilever hangars can be 1000m long with no columns. Cantilever hangars need substantial counterweight behind, best provided by multistory office and workshop of about 1/3 of the total hangar depth (but there can be nose slots into this workshop zone).
Spine truss hangars may on occasion be economic where the span is wide (up to 150m) and the depth small (less than 1/3rd of the width). Columns inside the hangar or door give economies in the frame but are a severe restriction on flexibility in use.
It is better to use up apron length with hangar rather than door outriggers. For example if you have 100m of apron length, a full width hangar with an eight slab door will give you 73m clear opening left, right, or centrally. This is much better for you than a 75m hangar which will still use up the 100m of apron with doors and outriggers. In the case where the door opening has to be full width and no outrigger space is available we recommend lifting fabric doors.
You should avoid roof slopes greater than 16 or 17° as they are too dangerous to walk up during construction and maintenance. You should avoid long shallow slopes less than 6° as leaks may occur and life may reduce. A varying roof slope, decreasing towards the ridge may be best. Steep roof slopes should have handrails.
Please remember no one has ever built a hangar and regretted making it too big.