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What to look for in a clear span hangar isn’t always spelled out for first-time buyers or renters of tensioned fabric buildings. Going from being a pilot to being an aircraft owner can be one of your life’s greatest achievements – but it can also bring on a series of tough decisions.

clear span hangar

One decision is how to house your aircraft.  Renting space at an aviation facility is one option.  Purchasing your own hangar or renting one are other options.  Whichever way you decide, however, you should be aware of the following crucial characteristics in an aircraft hangar.

4 Things to Look for in a Clear Span Hangar

1.  The clear span is truly large enough for your needs.

First and foremost, you need a large, clear span.  A clear span hangar is a column-free building that allows for ingress and egress with no internal structural impediments.  Your hangar should be “clear span” because it allows for easy movement, maintenance and repairs of your aircraft.

The best type of structure for a large, clear span interior space is a tensioned fabric structure (TFS).  Allsite’s structures come in a variety of sizes, with a clear span width of up to 156′ to accommodate almost any aircraft you might have in mind.

Peak height in Allsite’s TFS is up to 54′ and if you need even more we have  custom solutions that are as cost effective as they are ideal for most aircraft owners’ needs.

2.  There are lots of options for anchoring.

For some pilots, renting space at an aircraft facility means dealing with tarmac or other surfaces that will not allow penetration into the ground with anchoring stakes.  And digging a foundation for a traditional, non-TFS hangar?  Forget about it!  The less impact you make on rented airstrip space the better, and digging foundations is costly and time-consuming.

A clear span hangar from Allsite does not require a foundation, and can be anchored in multiple ways.  Whatever ground type you are dealing with, we will make sure your TFS is built solidly and anchored firmly to the ground.

3.  It has an aluminum framework.

One thing you will notice about modern TFS are their superior construction.  The fabric structures of yesteryear, and many built today, often use steel framework.

There are a few problems with steel framework, not the least of which it is prone to corrosion.  That can mean loss of structural integrity down the line, when moisture causes corrosion and weakens the framework.

Aluminum, on the other hand, is corrosion-resistant, yet still delivers the incredible strength of steel.  Salty air, moisture, and any other corrosion-causing factors in the environment are no problem for aluminum.

What’s more, aluminum is much lighter than steel.  One of the major benefits of a clear span hangar that is a TFS is that it can be relocated if necessary.

The ability to relocate your clear span hangar is made possible by the surprisingly light weight of the TFS.  Once built and installed, your TFS hangar may simply be picked up and moved by a crane and moved to a new location should the need arise. If you need to switch locations completely, the structure is easily disassembled and moved to your new site.

4. It can support your fall arrest system.

Your clear span hangar is not just for housing your aircraft.  You may find yourself performing maintenance or even repairs inside your facility.  That means you may need to have a fall arrest system in place for the safety of you or whoever is working on your aircraft.

Whether you end up installing a positioning bridge aircraft fall protection system or a hangar horizontal lifeline system, you will need a hangar structure that can support the weight.

TFS made with aluminum framework is incredibly strong and stable, and powerful enough to support a fall arrest system.  You may want to install a fall protection system just for completing your pre-flight checks as well as your full phase checks.

From access platforms to overhead rigid rails, a clear span hangar made with aluminum framework supports your fall arrest system with the strength of its beams.  Allsite can even integrate our own fall arrest brackets into your clear span hangar if you would like to opt for that customization.

By choosing a clear span hangar from Allsite, you get a strong, durable, adaptable and completely customizable structure that will serve your needs for years to come.  Give us a call and we can show you even more benefits to choosing a tensioned fabric structure for your aircraft storage needs.

Author Peter Milligan

Peter Milligan is a Business Development Manager at Allsite, with degree in Psychology from Lafayette College and 14 years experience in matching customers with Tension Fabric Structure solutions. Read more about Peter and the rest of our team at

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