Sandown airfield on the south-east of the Isle of Wight continues to develop its facilities with the addition of six new hangars.
Purchasing an aircraft hangar requires forward planning, research and an understanding of the critical factors. Here we detail some of the guiding factors to take into account when purchasing a hangar.
1. Size – Beyond the aircraft dimensions; allow space for manoeuvre and comfortable personnel access. If the aircraft width is close to the structure of the hangar, floor guides can be used to ensure the aircraft is moved with a minimal margin for error. Hangar depth should be specified at a minimum of 1 – 2 meters longer than the aircraft, allowing for any plane handling equipment. If a trolley will be used to move the aircraft consider if the tail will dip or raise when being manoeuvred in and out of the hangar.
2. Location – Position of a hangar at a specified location is essential; avoid facing a hangar into the prevailing wind, this may make it difficult to use the doors and can put substantial internal pressure on the hangar. When selecting the site and position for your hangar check for drainage. In some cases you may need to form some preventative measures; on a grass strip, a French drain can be created on the uphill edge of the hangar, if the ground is likely to become saturated, consider a ground retention matt or groundsheet to limit transpiration. For a site with tarmac or concrete pad review how the surface deals with heavy rainfall, water clearing and diversion interventions can often be simply implemented.
3. Internal environment – Aircraft need to be stored in a dry and well-protected environment, low UV levels are important as ultraviolet light can damage aircraft over time. If uncontrolled, condensation can become problematic as moisture will corrode delicate components, condensation can be controlled with ventilation and insulation. Consider the internal environment as a practical space to work – a light, well-ventilated space with an open structure will provide the perfect ground base for care and servicing.
4. Ground fixings – Hangars are large structures often exposed to harsh weather conditions, so making sure the appropriate ground fixings are specified is very important. Gain as much information as possible on the ground ahead of specifying your ground fixing type. This can involve reviewing existing documentation from the airfield/ airstrip, excavating a test hole for a grass strip or carrying out a test drill for an existing concrete pad or tarmac strip.
5. Structural Calculations – Commercial airfields will often require structural calculations that consider local conditions; these should be carried out by a structural engineer, familiar with this type of building.
6. Planning – Always site-specific; we recommend speaking to a local planning consultant, in most cases, there is no charge for an initial discussion. Drawings can be supplied to inform applications.
7. Construction – Depending on an individual’s ability and support network a hangar can be self-installed, installed with the support of a contracted foreman (to support existing or local labour force) or a specialist, sub-contracted installation team can be employed to carry out the works.
This guide aims to inform the initial enquiry process. At McGregor Hangars we are very aware that each site and application will have its own unique set of requirements. If you have any additional questions about your future hangar, proposed site, supply and installation then please don’t hesitate to contact our sales team.