A hangar is a closed structure to hold aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 or spacecraft
A spacecraft or spaceship is a craft or machine designed for spaceflight. Spacecraft are used for a variety of purposes, including communications, earth observation, meteorology, navigation, planetary exploration and transportation of humans and cargo....

 in protective storage. Most hangars are built of metal, but other materials such as wood and concrete are also sometimes used. The word hangar comes from Middle French hanghart (“enclosure near a house”), of Germanic origin, from Frankish *haimgard (“fence around a group of houses”), from *haim (“home, village, hamlet”) + *gard (“yard”)."

Hangars protect aircraft from weather
Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather refers, generally, to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate...

 and ultraviolet light. Hangars may be used as an enclosed repair shop or, in some cases, an assembly area. Additionally, hangars keep secret aircraft hidden from satellite
Spy satellite
A spy satellite is an Earth observation satellite or communications satellite deployed for military or intelligence applications....

s or spyplane
Surveillance aircraft
A surveillance aircraft is an aircraft used for surveillance — collecting information over time. They are operated by military forces and other government agencies in roles such as intelligence gathering, battlefield surveillance, airspace surveillance, observation , border patrol and fishery...


Aircraft storage halls on aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s and ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

s are also known as hangars.


Carl Richard Nyberg
Carl Richard Nyberg
Carl Richard Nyberg was the founder of Max Sieverts Lödlampfabrik, then one of the largest industries in Sundbyberg, Sweden. Nyberg was born in Arboga. After school he started working for a jeweller and later he moved to Stockholm and worked with various metalworks. He later got work at J. E...

 used a hangar to store his Flugan
Flugan was an early aeroplane designed and built by Carl Richard Nyberg outside his home in Lidingö, Sweden. Construction started in 1897 and he kept working on it until 1922. The craft only managed a few short jumps and Nyberg was often ridiculed, however several of his innovations are still in use...

in the early 20th century.

In 1909, Louis Bleriot
Louis Blériot
Louis Charles Joseph Blériot was a French aviator, inventor and engineer. In 1909 he completed the first flight across a large body of water in a heavier-than-air craft, when he crossed the English Channel. For this achievement, he received a prize of £1,000...

 crash-landed on a northern French farm in Les Baraques (between Sangatte
Sangatte is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department on the northern coast of France on the English Channel.Like many place names in French Flanders, the name is of Flemish origin and means "gap in the sand".-Engineering:...

 and Calais
Calais is a town in Northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's capital is its third-largest city of Arras....

) and rolled his monoplane
A monoplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with one main set of wing surfaces, in contrast to a biplane or triplane. Since the late 1930s it has been the most common form for a fixed wing aircraft.-Types of monoplane:...

 into the farmer's cattle pen. At the time, Bleriot was in a race to be the first man to cross the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

 in a heavier-than-air aircraft, so he set up headquarters in the unused shed.

The Wright brothers
Wright brothers
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

 stored and repaired their airplane in a wooden hangar they constructed in 1902 at Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 for their glider
Glider aircraft
Glider aircraft are heavier-than-air craft that are supported in flight by the dynamic reaction of the air against their lifting surfaces, and whose free flight does not depend on an engine. Mostly these types of aircraft are intended for routine operation without engines, though engine failure can...

. After completing design and construction of the Wright Flyer
Wright Flyer
The Wright Flyer was the first powered aircraft, designed and built by the Wright brothers. They flew it four times on December 17, 1903 near the Kill Devil Hills, about four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, U.S.The U.S...

in Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, the brothers returned to Kill Devil Hill only to find their hangar damaged. They repaired the structure and constructed a new workshop while they waited for the Flyer to be shipped.

One of the largest hangars built was for the former Soviet Air Force. Other large hangars are Suvarnabhumi Airport Terminal
Suvarnabhumi Airport
Suvarnabhumi Airport , also known as Bangkok International Airport, is an international airport serving Bangkok, Thailand. It was officially opened for limited domestic flight service on 15 September 2006, and opened for most domestic and all international commercial flights on 28 September...

 in Thailand measuring 885x295x115 feet, Hangar One at Moffett Federal Airfield in the United States measuring 1,133x308x198 feet and the Filton Aerodrome
Filton Aerodrome
Bristol Filton Airport or Filton Aerodrome lies on the border between Filton and Patchway, within South Gloucestershire, north of Bristol, England. The airfield is bounded by the A38 trunk road to the east, the former London to Avonmouth railway line to the south and the Old Filton Bypass road to...

 in Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, measuring 1,155x115x263 feet.

Airship hangar

Airship hangar
Airship hangar
Airships are sheltered in airship hangars during construction and sometimes also for regular operation, particularly at bad weather conditions. Rigid airships always needed to be based in airship hangars because weathering was a serious risk.- History :...

 (also referred to as "airship sheds") are generally larger than conventional airplane hangars, particularly in terms of height. Most early airships used hydrogen
Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

 gas to provide them with sufficient buoyancy for flight, so their hangars had to provide protection from stray sparks in order to prevent the flammable gas from exploding. Hangars that held multiple craft of this type were at risk from chain-reaction explosions. For this reason, most hangars for hydrogen-based airships were sized to house only one or two such craft.
During the "Golden Age" of airship travel (starting in 1900), mooring masts and sheds were constructed to build and house airships. The British government built a shed in Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 for the R101
R101 was one of a pair of British rigid airship completed in 1929 as part of a British government programme to develop civil airships capable of service on long-distance routes within the British Empire. It was designed and built by an Air Ministry-appointed team and was effectively in competition...

, and the Brazilian government built one in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

 :pt:Hangar do Zeppelin for the German Zeppelin
A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship pioneered by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century. It was based on designs he had outlined in 1874 and detailed in 1893. His plans were reviewed by committee in 1894 and patented in the United States on 14 March 1899...

s. The largest airship hangar, at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was founded in 1898 by Frank Seiberling. Goodyear manufactures tires for automobiles, commercial trucks, light trucks, SUVs, race cars, airplanes, farm equipment and heavy earth-mover machinery....

 in Akron, Ohio
Akron, Ohio
Akron , is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Summit County. It is located in the Great Lakes region approximately south of Lake Erie along the Little Cuyahoga River. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 199,110. The Akron Metropolitan...

, was used for the construction of the USS Akron (ZRS-4)
USS Akron (ZRS-4)
USS Akron was a helium-filled rigid airship of the United States Navy that was lost in a weather-related accident off the New Jersey coast early on April 4, 1933, killing 73 of the 76 crew and passengers on board...

 and USS Macon (ZRS-5)
USS Macon (ZRS-5)
USS Macon was a rigid airship built and operated by the United States Navy for scouting. She served as a "flying aircraft carrier", launching Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk biplane fighters. In service for less than two years, in 1935 Macon was damaged in a storm and lost off California's Big Sur coast,...

. Its length was 1,175 ft (358 m) and its height 200 ft (61 m).

The US Navy established ten "lighter-than-air" (LTA) bases across the United States during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 as part of the coastal defense plan. Hangars at these bases are some of the world's largest freestanding wood structures. Seven of the original seventeen hangars still exist, with one of them now housing the Tillamook Air Museum
Tillamook Air Museum
Tillamook Air Museum is an aviation museum located south of Tillamook, Oregon at Tillamook Airport . The museum is housed in a former military blimp hangar, called "Hangar B", which is the largest clear-span wooden structure in the world...

 in Tillamook, Oregon
Tillamook, Oregon
The city of Tillamook is the county seat of Tillamook County, Oregon, United States. The city is located on the southeast end of Tillamook Bay on the Pacific Ocean. The population was 4,352 at the 2000 census...


An alternative to the hangar is a portable shelter that can be used for aircraft storage and maintenance. Portable fabric structure
Fabric structure
Fabric structures are architecturally innovative forms of constructed fibers that provide end users a variety of aesthetic free-form building designs...

s can be built up to 150 feet wide, 100 feet high and any length. They are able to accommodate multiple aircraft at once and can be increased in size and even relocated when necessary.

Sheds built for rigid airships survive at Moffett Field, Lakehurst Naval Air Station, Base Aérea de Santa Cruz (Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

):pt:Hangar do Zeppelin, and Cardington, Bedfordshire
Cardington, Bedfordshire
Cardington is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Bedford in Bedfordshire, EnglandPart of the ancient hundred of Wixamtree, the settlement is best known in connection with the Cardington airship works founded by Short Brothers during World War I, which later became an RAF training station...


Structures and sizes

Hangars need special structures to be built. The width of the doors have to be large, and this enables the aircraft entrance.
The bigger the aircraft are to be introduced, the more complex structure is needed. According to the span of the hangar, the sizes can be classified:

Size -Span (meters)
S - Less than 30 m
M - 30 m – 60 m
L - 60 m – 90 m
XL - 90 m – 120 m
XXL - More than 120 m

The XXL hangars are built for the biggest aircraft in the world: Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 A380, Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

, etc. These size hangars are the most complex to build. An example of this can be seen here:

See also

  • Cargolifter Hangar (airship hangar over 100 m high)
  • Tee Hangar
    Tee Hangar
    A Tee hangar is a type of enclosed structure designed to hold aircraft in protective storage. Typically constructed of metal, they are primarily used for private aircraft at general aviation airports because they are more economical than rectangular hangars...

     (primarily used for private aircraft at general aviation airports)
  • Bellman hangar
    Bellman hangar
    The Bellman Hangar was designed in the United Kingdom in 1936 by the Directorate of Works structural engineer, N. S. Bellman, as a temporary hangar capable of being erected or dismantled by unskilled labour with simple equipment and to be easily transportable. Commercial manufacturing rights were...

     (temporary hangar designed in the United Kingdom in 1936)
  • Bessonneau hangar
    Bessonneau hangar
    The Bessonneau hangar was a portable timber and canvas aircraft hangar used by the Royal Flying Corps during World War I.-History:In about 1908, the Bessonneau hangar was designed and manufactured by the French rope and canvas manufacturer Etablissements Bessonneau, headed by Julien Bessonneau and...

     (portable timber and canvas hangar used during World War I)
  • Blister hangar
    Blister hangar
    A blister hangar is an arched, portable aircraft hangar patented by Miskins and Sons in 1939. It is made of wooden or steel ribs that are generally covered in steel sheets. It does not require a foundation and can be anchored with iron stakes.-References:*...

     (arched portable hangar patented in 1939)
  • Airship hangar
    Airship hangar
    Airships are sheltered in airship hangars during construction and sometimes also for regular operation, particularly at bad weather conditions. Rigid airships always needed to be based in airship hangars because weathering was a serious risk.- History :...

  • Military building
    Military building
    A military building is any structure designed to house functions performed by a military unit. General types include:* Administrative Facilities* Ammunition Storage Facilities* Commissary Facilities* Correctional Facilities* Fortifications* Hospitals...

  • Underground hangar
    Underground hangar
    An Underground hangar is a type of hangar for military aircraft, usually dug into the side of a mountain for protection. It is bigger and more protected than a Hardened Aircraft Shelter ....

External links

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