The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 80 (2002) > Issues > Issue 15 > Modern aircraft hangars: A review of the design trends
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Modern aircraft hangars: A review of the design trends

The design, construction and operation of an efficient aircraft maintenance hangar probably represents the largest and most important single investment made by an aircraft operator with regard to aircraft support services. At the heart of this is the design process which, when executed properly, reduces the one-off cost of construction and optimises the ongoing organisational and maintenance costs. The design itself can be challenging due to the requirements of long clear spans, the necessary provision for substantial loads to be suspended from the roof, airport restrictions on building height and the uncertainty imposed by the need to cater for progressively larger aircraft. This paper reviews over 20 different design solutions that have been adopted worldwide for commercial aircraft hangars that cater for both narrow and wide-bodied aircraft. It identifies useful data and design trends, which will benefit the early stages of the structural frame development. Steven J. Luke, BSc (Hons), MSc, CEng, FIStructE, FICE, MISWE, MIHKE, Ove Arup & Partners Ltd W. Paul Howson, BEng, PhD, CEng, MIStructE, MICE, Cardiff School of Engineering, Cardiff University