From fully integrated Design-Build new hangar construction projects to facility expansions and renovations, there are a number of fundamental design and construction elements critical to the successful delivery of a hangar project. At first glance, hangars appear to be fairly straightforward - nothing more than a large spanning space to store and repair aircraft. Truth is, there’s much more to it.
Aircraft hangars ultimately house some of the most sophisticated machinery built by man. Some aircraft hangar design projects are complicated by their sheer scale, while others are defined by the conditions surrounding the job-site.
1. Debris management
Foreign object debris (FOD) has a tendency to become foreign object damage if not properly controlled. FOD will lead to foreign object damage if the accumulation of small rocks and other debris is not meticulously guarded against throughout every phase of the construction process. Inside the hangar, engines are sometimes tested for hours at a time, requiring interior spaces to be kept completely free from all debris as well. Considering that the contractor is directly responsible for any damage stemming from FOD, a containment strategy is a step worth taking.
2. Making the most of available square footage
Regardless of the overall size of the hangar, spatial structure is critical. And maximizing that spatial structure is a product of the design team working closely with the owner as well as the mechanical and maintenance crews who procure and service the aircraft. This is especially important in establishing an efficient work space and optimal work flow around the aircraft for repairs and maintenance.
3. Accounting for ultra-heavy loads
Every aircraft are putting enormous amounts of pressure on the concrete surface of an aircraft hangar. It’s vitally important that design specifications account for prolonged exposure to such pressures.
Designing for wheel placement, parking loads and entry/exit paths must all be planned for in the design of the hangar layout.
4. Watch the grade
This one holds true regardless of the size of the aircraft a hangar will house. Whether it’s the propeller on a small prop plane or the turbine on a Pratt & Whitney turbojet engine, aircraft of all types sizes have components which hang low relative to the fuselage. Bottoming out would undoubtedly prove to be costly. Wing mounted engines are especially vulnerable to any variations in grade.
5. Planning electrical throughout
Considering all the aircraft and personnel frequently traversing the hangar. Outlets connected to rafters and scaffolding or banks of them concentrated on islands situated throughout the floor plan may be necessary.