Working with Civils Contracting Limited, this extension to the existing Hangar 12 at Bournemouth Airport has a clear span of 100m, is 12m deep and 22m high to the eaves. The Main Contractor’s work started on this project in the summer of 2013 and we commenced assembly of the main truss at the beginning of October 2013.
Being a very unusual and local job, it was decided to install a timelapse camera in order to record progress, managed between bouts of the windiest weather experienced since 1987.
This camera takes a photo every 10 seconds and these can then be played back in sequence and roll like a film. The effect is that we can see the action of many days taking place at a super quick pace. Within the space of a couple of minutes, the whole front arch of the hangar appears before your eyes.
With 80% of our work destined for overseas markets it is unusual to have such a project on our doorstep and all REIDsteel staff from the office and works were given the opportunity to visit when the truss had been pre-assembled at ground level, in preparation of the big lift. The chance to get up close and personal with a steel structure doesn’t come along often and gave the staff a taste of what our site teams can achieve with the materials designed, drawn and manufactured at our Christchurch facility.
Once the pre-assembly work had been carried out, it was then time for the 140T truss to be lifted into position, using a 500T and a 1000T crane. Due to the ever-changing weather, the procedure, originally being delayed by two weeks, was then brought forward 24 hours to take advantage of a perfectly still day. With the help of our suppliers, Civils and Bournemouth International Airport, we were given the green light to go ahead with the lift, which was witnessed by the Designer, Richard Callaghan and Draughtsman, Steve Roberts.
Richard Callaghan was on site the day the main lift occurred. He said of his visit to site:
“All personnel were on site early and ready to lift the frame as soon as the light permitted. The complex nature of a lift of this magnitude merited the earliest start possible due to the hire cost of the large cranes which were required for the 140 tonne load.
On the ground, the custom made lifting equipment looked unusually large; but once it was attached to the frame, it looked much smaller. Nevertheless, it was too late for second guessing; the calculations had been checked and re-checked, and, in theory, all was in order.
When the frame was lifted off the trestles and the lifting gear looked solid, I could relax a little. As time went on, and the truss was slowly lifted into place, it was only connecting the frame to the columns which remained a concern. As expected, bolting the frame into place proved a long and laborious process. However, thanks to the hard work and level heads of our team of erectors, the connections were completed.
Once the cranes had started their dismantling process, our team of erectors could enjoy a well-earned breakfast sometime in the middle of the afternoon.
All in all, the day proved to be a success. The lift started promptly, the weather remained calm, the truss was lifted into place safely, the difficult connections were overcome, the client’s representative appeared to be happy and I had a very tasty lunch in the flying club café. However, my overriding memory of the day is that I wish I had worn two pairs of socks!”
By Sales Engineer, Michael Harvey
REIDSteel provided the existing Hangar for Lufthansa Technik Malta (LTM) back in 2008.
A new Maintenance, Refurbishment and Overhaul (MRO) facility was essential to enable LTM to grow their business into a world class company and their original hangar was already restricting their activities for the overhauling of aircraft, from the large number of different fleet operators requiring their services.
The 2008 project consisted of two ‘wide-body’ hangars, together with one smaller narrow body hangar (information relating to this project can be found here). However, by 2013 the aircraft servicing market had evolved and there was a greater demand from the wide-bodied sector than previously forecast.
LTM approached the team at REIDsteel with a brief to adapt their narrow body hangar into a wide body hangar. The scheme had to be cost efficient and provide LTM with total flexibility when it came to accommodating wide and narrow bodied aircraft simultaneously within the hangar.
As with the 2008 hangar, LTM appointed Innovative Architectural Structures (iAS) of Malta, to act on their behalf as Project Managers and Consultants. As a result, it was the tried and tested team that proved so successful in the past, which would be employed to deliver this new scheme.
However, with this project there was a slight twist. REIDsteel were not only employed to design and supply the structure, but we were also contracted to erect the extension too.
Whilst REIDsteel often have a number of Erection Supervisors working overseas, managing separate projects with local contractors and workforces, to erect our structures; sending an entire team overseas was certainly extraordinary.
Another constraint imposed on the design team centred on the existing apron. The new extension was to be constructed on top of this. However the apron constructed in 2008 could only accept shallow excavations, which led REIDsteel to recommend that a fabric curtain type door from Megadoor be used.
This type of door needs less intrusive civil-works than a ground bearing slab-sliding type of hangar door. The Megadoor still requires a certain amount of ground works, as it is essential to take rainwater away from the bottom of the doors.
Not only is there the rainwater running down the outside face of the doors to contend with, but also the rainwater collecting on and running across the apron area. All of this water has to be diverted away from the door zone to help minimise the risk of water ingress beneath the door and across the Hangar floor.
The end result is a very neat and hugely accommodating extension, incorporating translucent door fabric to allow diffused daylight into the hangar. All aspects of this extension work perfectly, including the ridge-vent and wall mounted louvres, which help to provide a comfortable and productive working environment.
The entire project was successfully delivered and erected on time, with LTM’s Project Manager commenting, “Many thanks for the handover last week and for conducting such a smooth running project till the end. It was a very professional job all the way and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to work together again”.
The hangar is designed to house Rizon’s private and business hire fleet so we were all surprised and delighted to discover that it was the venue for a very special music event last week.
Following a day of broadcasting from Biggin Hill to mark the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters Raid, BBC Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary and Jeremy Vine presented a very special Friday Night is Music Night programme live from the hangar.
The amazing story of the raid, which saw 19 Lancaster Bombers, each carrying the ‘Bouncing Bomb’ take off from Lincolnshire to destroy the Ruhr Valley dams was re-told with music from the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Central Band of the RAF.
As well as the music, the story was dramatised and had special messages from veterans and Barnes Wallis’ daughter.
Although acoustics wasn’t part of the spec when we built the hangar, it proved to be a fantastic and atmospheric auditorium. All-in-all the evening was a fitting tribute to the 133 British, Australian,
New Zealand and Canadian airmen who took part in the raid and the 53 who lost their lives during the daring event.
Construction of the aircraft maintenance hangar in Mongolia continues, and the fuselage sealing doors are now in place.
Designed by REIDsteel to fit an Avro RJ85. The fabric ring inflates to create a tight seal around the aircraft body so that maintenance can be carried out on the aircraft without the need for the whole plane to be inside the hangar.
When the seal is not in use, the smaller, outer doors slide shut and seal the hangar.
The project was commisioned by Eznis Airways LLC, and is located in the Capital Ulaanbaatar.
Mongolia is a huge landlocked country, covering an area of over 1.5 million square kilometres. It is bordered by China on the south, east & west sides and by Russia to the north.
Local members of the construction crew
With UK temperatures now starting to creep below zero, spare a thought for our team constructing a REIDsteel designed aircraft maintenance hangar in Mongolia.
Temperatures there have dropped as low as minus 37 degrees centigrade!
At these kinds of temperatures things freeze fast, and the locals have developed some interesting methods for keeping their vehicles in service!
The cold also required some method adaptation for the REIDsteel crew. Materials behave differently, and jobs that are normally straightforward become fiddly when wearing gloves, but if you take your gloves off and touch metal with bare skin it will freeze and stick!
Despite these hardships, the team have done a great job and are due to complete on schedule.
With many planes getting bigger and bigger, some soon outgrow their hangar. However, there is not always the need to build a totally new one – just a new taller tailgate door & housing did the trick when we upgraded a hangar at Bournemouth International Airport to accommodate a Boeing 747-SP which stands nearly a full metre taller than the standard 747.
Friday 30 September 2011 saw the resident 747-SP move into the newly modified hangar at Bournemouth International Airport.
Our original building was designed for FR Aviation to convert VC10s from commercial aircraft into fuel carrying tankers and also had a tailgate door to allow a standard 747 to enter.
The most recent requirement was to house a 747-SP which is, unfortunately, almost a metre taller than a standard 747. The work involved the replacement of the existing tailgate door & housing with a new taller door complete with new pod framework and insulated panels.
All work was completed in time and the 747-SP entered its new hangar with 250mm to spare.