FAQs about Steel Airline Hangars

Published March 9, 2018 by Whirlwind Team

steel airplane hangar

Are you an airplane enthusiast interested in constructing your own steel airplane hangar? You probably have a lot of questions so take a look at these Frequently Asked Questions about steel airline hangars. Maybe your answer is here.

Is a Steel Airplane Hangar Expensive to Build?

Expensive is a relative term. However, a ballpark figure based on a couple of configurations and sizes may give you an idea of what you need to budget.

  • Including the cost of the foundation, price per square foot averages between $15 and $25.
  • Customizations can raise the price to around $40 per square foot.
  • Adding insulation will bump the price up a little more, although it may be worth it in areas where it gets very hot or cold.

Cost also varies based on the building style. Rigid frames cost more than arch frames. None of these prices includes the cost of purchasing or leasing the land for your hangar.

How Long Will It Take to Assemble the Hangar?

A pre-engineered steel hangar takes very little time to erect once the foundation is ready. Pre-engineered and pre-fabricated metal buildings are designed and fabricated at the manufacturer’s facility using automated processes to increase the precision and quality of the fit.

All the fastener holes are pre-punched or pre-drilled. Every member is cut to length. Parts of the frame are pre-assembled or pre-welded if needed. The entire building is inspected to ensure all parts fit together correctly. All fasteners and accessories such as doors and windows are included in the building solution delivered to your site.

What about Insurance Costs?

Insurers love steel. Since metal is durable and extremely resistant to damage, insurers usually offer lower rates than if your hangar was constructed of other materials.

Will a Steel Airplane Hangar Protect My Plane from High Winds?

Yes, it will. Metal roofs are designed and rated to resist winds up to 170 mph. The entire hangar resists buckling. As long as the primary frame is properly anchored to the foundation, your plane should be safe.

Will Heavy Snow Cause the Hangar to Collapse?

No. Steel structures are very strong for their weight and are designed to resist the loads imposed by snow.

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Won’t It Be Noisy In a Rainstorm?

The metal panels of the roof are typically installed directly onto a fiberglass insulation or foam rigid board underlayment, which deadens some of the sound. Increased insulation can also make it quieter inside as well as save you on energy costs.

Won’t Rust Be a Problem?

No. The metal used in pre-engineered buildings is factory coated with Galvalume(R) or something similar to protect it from corrosion. Unless the coating is scratched or otherwise damaged, your steel building will not rust.

Since all the members and panels are pre-cut, you should not see rust on the edges either.

Can Steel Airline Hangars Get Mold?

No. Steel is an inorganic material that does not allow mold to grow. On the other hand, if the insulation or any interior drywall or other material becomes damp, mold may grow there.

What about Pests? Can They Chew a Hole in the Building?

Again, no. So far, no metal eating insect, bird or animal has been discovered. However, if the building is not properly assembled and sealed, a few may find their way inside through cracks and other small openings.

It Seems Like Earthquakes Are Becoming More Common. Can a Steel Hangar Withstand the Shaking?

The metal and foundation can be designed for seismic loads. In most instances, your metal airplane hangar will not become damaged. If it does, it is unlikely to collapse onto your airplane; the steel members may bend, but they will not break.

metal airline hangar

How Much Maintenance Does a Steel Hangar Require?

Steel structures require very little maintenance. Unless a repair is needed, the only maintenance you need to do is clean gutters or wash the exterior walls with water and mild soap. Each year, check for an occasional loose or missing fastener and place new sealant around the new fastener and openings.

Can I Add an Office?

Of course you can add an office. Pre-engineered steel buildings are designed to your specifications. You can design added space for storage, a walled office and anything else you may need such as a workshop or maintenance bay.

What Type Of Door Can I Install?

Hangar door designs include bottom-rolling doors and bi-fold doors. You can install a small motor and an electronic opener on many of them for convenience. You can also install a walk door or personnel door, so you don’t have to open the big doors to allow in customers or making a visit to the hangar without taking out your plane.

What Makes Steel So Great For Airplane Hangars?

Besides its durability, steel is also the only material you can use to create a clear span building without supports. You can build a hangar up to 300 feet wide or more without columns interrupting the space. It’s also easy to expand a metal building. You can take out an endwall or sidewall, erect new framework and install panels that match the rest of the building.

Can I Change the Appearance of the Exterior?

Yes. You can install almost any architectural covering you like to match surrounding buildings, blend into the background or make your hangar stand out. You can have coverings like brick, stone, wood, concrete or almost any other texture or appearance.

If you elect to leave the steel visible, you have a wide array of colors that can be applied to the panels and trim at the factory. Your trim can be painted to match or contrast with the panels. If you elect to install gutters, you can have them matched to the building as well.

Did we answer all your questions? It's great to be able to have your own plane, whether it's a business or just a hobby. However, that plane cost a pretty penny. You need to protect it and a steel airplane hangar is a cost-effective home for your plane.

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