Inflatable Hangars

By Jerome Greeer Chandler
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

•Portability. A hangar ships via standard 20 X 40-ft. sea containers, or it can be palletized for air transport. He says it took EADS-Cassidian seven days to deploy, fix and inflate its H-54.

•Environmental advantages. Sanz says fabrication entails “no waste”—no chemicals or contaminant metals. The inflation motors do not demand a lot of energy either.

•Minimum scheduled maintenance. Every six months is the plan. Should something bad befall the inflatable tubes, Sanz says one or two can be “inoperative” and the hangar will still support the load. There would be no need to repair or change the tubes until the next regularly scheduled maintenance event.

While Buildair's product offers some advantages, longevity is not one of them. Traditional metal hangars last 20 years and longer. Sanz says none of the company's hangars have reached their service life, but that life “will be six to 10 years” or more, depending on proper maintenance, and just what it has to weather.

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