Much like purchasing your first aircraft, finding the right airplane hangar for your needs and budget should involve in-depth research and careful consideration before arriving at a decision. Establishing your basic requirements, assembling documentation from multiple providers and comparing costs is a good first step, but you should think about a few more factors before choosing a specific model or custom design.
Leasing space at an existing airstrip or housing your aircraft on private property can significantly affect the type of hangar you'll be able to implement. Seek out further information about the facility's Airport Minimum Standards to get a better idea of the building use groups, specifications, basic criteria required and any color scheme or design limitations. The FAA also has limitations and requirements based on the location and height of the structure, the recommended distances between rows of hangars and forms that must be submitted and approved by the agency before construction can begin.
Post-and-Beam vs. Clear-Span Designs:
Post-and-beam hangars provide several advantages for T-hangars and rectangular hangars. Even weight distribution and a small frame size means you can make the most of your available airstrip space. However, interior support posts take up valuable floor space and can damage aircraft. A clear-span design is ideal for both small and large aircraft. With no interior support columns, clear-span designs significantly reduce the chance of collisions and accidental damage to your aircraft or your hangar. By distributing weight across galvanized steel arches, truss-arch fabric airplane hangars offer best-in-class snow and wind loads and can be built to any length required.
Integrated Hangar Door Systems:
Hangar doors on tensioned fabric buildings are a bit different than those found in a metal structure. Bottom rolling doors and electric bi-fold doors are both commonly used to open the facility, but each has specific requirements. Your fabric building manufacturer can provide technology and engineering services to help implement the ideal solution.
Bottom Rolling Doors: Designed to put the weight of the doors on bottom rollers, this method requires a built-in track system and guides along the top and bottom of the door. The larger the rollers, the easier the door will move. Weather stripping should be used along the edges of the doors, but the manual mechanism requires a sturdy foundation and strong rolling tracks to support the movement over long periods of time.
Electric Bi-Fold Doors: For large hangars, electric bi-fold doors are the most efficient for aircraft entrance and egress. They also reduce the amount of necessary space, as bottom rolling doors often intrude on neighboring hangar space. Bi-fold doors open and close with no increased footprint and act as a movable wall system rather than a sliding partition. However, the bi-fold doors need a stable and accessible electrical system, meaning they may not be ideal for use in extreme climates or locations with poor electrical infrastructure.