Hangar building

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Derswede

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My father decided he wanted two 60' x 60' hangers. Bought a bunch of trusses from a contractor, we cut I-beams, welded up the support plates, drilled to match the trusses and raised them with a tractor, a borrowed crane and poured our own concrete, etc. The "Contractors" were us kids, so we were always on time. Could not do that today, you would probably get arrested for "child abuse" or some nonsense. I learned a lot, can still stick weld with an old tombstone arc welder, know how to move heavy objects, etc. Not a classic education, and always wondered what other people did during summer break, If we were not pulling some old bird out of a barn somewhere, we were working on one of the airplanes or the hangers. Photo shows some detail below.

Seriously, tho, building your own hanger is possible. I will be building one for my Hawk at a local field. Free if I leave the structure whenever I am finished flying out of that airport. 5 telephone poles, 4 salvaged beams (Steel) to span the poles, and then a tin roof over a 2" x 4" x 14' framework. 14' deep, 28' wide, most will be recycled material. Should take a couple of weeks when it starts cooling off. On private property, off the beaten path, not visible from the road. A dozen farms in the area, the locals don't mind, and there has not been a building inspector in that area for a dozen years.

Derswede

Hanger1.jpgHanger2.jpg
 
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dwalker

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I have had a slightly different experience with middle Tennessee contractors lately. After the contractors that built my 16x36 shed in two days made huge ruts in the space between my driveway and gate, had my driveway extended.
The first concrete guy I picked missed two appointments- he did call to reschedule- before simply telling me he was simply too booked to even get over to look at my job. Next company on the list was already working in my area, sent over an estimator/sales guy that had to reschedule once due to rain. He gave me a job window, and they had thier crew at my place on time, had the ground dug, leveled, and concrete poured and done the same day. Might have even been done by lunch had the concrete pump truck been scheduled to arrive earlier.

I was going to start construction on my steel building while building a trio of cottages at my acreage, but construction costs went out of sight and now that they are drifting down i cannot find a crew that is not booked out for months and not taking new work.

Now LANDSCAPERS I have had nothing but trouble with, they have too many jobs and not enough people. One of the more honest companies told me they had trucks and equipment sitting idle with no one to run it.

I honestly hope when/if I build a hangar the costs are ore reasonable, and I already know I will be my own contractor for it.
 

Rhino

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Actually, you bring up a good point. Most contractors around here do comment that they have too much work and can't get any help. I understand that completely. I just wish they didn't promise to show up and then disappear or refuse to answer calls.
 

Pops

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Where I live the only inspection is for a septic system. Nothing else. I bought a 48'x60' Steel hanger kit complete with a 44' electric bi-fold door. My wife and daughter helped set the steel beams as I ran the tractor with a boom on it. I set the 44' door by myself. I put up the steel siding on the walls by myself. Stack drilled the sheets for the screws laying on the ground. Some neighbors came and helped to put the long one piece roofing sheets on the roof for me to screw down. Almost forgot, I did all the work digging for the footers and forming for the concrete and installing almost 2K' of hot water tubing in the floor. Had a concrete contractor pour the floor. Local concrete contractor who has done all the concrete work for many hangers on the field. Excellent company in every way.
 

Rhino

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Well, I got that too, but the broken back sounds better. :)
 

cluttonfred

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Anybody have any good plans or kit sources for affordable DIY hangars for homebuilt planes? I am very familiar with bow-roof sheds that can handle hurricanes if done right, but the plans I have only go up to about 20' wide so not suitable as a hangar unless you have folding or removable wings.
 

TFF

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The in-laws farm shop was built by my father in law’s dad. It would be a great hangar. I don’t know if he welded the trusses or not, but the purlins are made from 250 lb bomb racks. Welded together, it looks like a box beam. Totally looks natural. Probably 100 welded together up there. There are all sorts of “surplus “ projects out there.
 

ddsrph

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Tullahoma, Tenn
Rhino
I hear you. I live just down the the street in Moore county. I do everything possible myself and dread the thought of having to use a contractor for the reasons you mention. Christopher equipment has helped me avoid many contractors. To those who say you can be irresponsible and be a successful contractor needs to look around here at the Mexican crews who are eating the locals lunch. I have hired three over past few years and they run their business differently than what I have experienced in the past.
 

Rhino

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On the positive side, it passed final inspection and I started painting the interior last night. Many bugs are now a permanent part of my hangar.
 

ddsrph

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Clutton Fred
We seem to have a lot of Mexican subs in our area. I have found and used three myself over the past few years. All did great jobs, showed up on time, and did the jobs the way I wanted them done. That has not always been the case with some of the local subs I have hired. One of the three in particular who has a concrete pouring and finishing crew has done much work for me on my long driveway and outbuilding pads.
 

Bigshu

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Now LANDSCAPERS I have had nothing but trouble with, they have too many jobs and not enough people. One of the more honest companies told me they had trucks and equipment sitting idle with no one to run it.
This is because they won't pay enough to make that kind of work desirable. If you can make the same money with an easier job, why wouldn't you? When I was in high school, lots of my classmates had parents who were manual laborers, and easily supported their families on those (often Union) wages. Not today. Same with flying. When I was starting out, planes rented for $14/hr, and the CFI was $20. Gas was about what it is now (this was during the mid 70's, so OPEC was playing price games). Look at what homebuilt airplanes were supposed to be buildable for. I've got old magazines that boasted of complete aircraft for under $2K. Using old VW power mostly, but whether wood, or tube and fabric (not many all metal), They were commonplace. The time frame for building was often years, both because of it being a hobby, and the suppliers not catering too much to "homebuilders". Now you can get quick build kits, all match hole drilled, and it can still take a long time to get parts and service. We tolerate it in aviation, but chafe at it in other areas of life.
 

dwalker

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This is because they won't pay enough to make that kind of work desirable. If you can make the same money with an easier job, why wouldn't you? When I was in high school, lots of my classmates had parents who were manual laborers, and easily supported their families on those (often Union) wages. Not today. Same with flying. When I was starting out, planes rented for $14/hr, and the CFI was $20. Gas was about what it is now (this was during the mid 70's, so OPEC was playing price games). Look at what homebuilt airplanes were supposed to be buildable for. I've got old magazines that boasted of complete aircraft for under $2K. Using old VW power mostly, but whether wood, or tube and fabric (not many all metal), They were commonplace. The time frame for building was often years, both because of it being a hobby, and the suppliers not catering too much to "homebuilders". Now you can get quick build kits, all match hole drilled, and it can still take a long time to get parts and service. We tolerate it in aviation, but chafe at it in other areas of life.

I am not sure if that is really accurate. My brother had a landscaping business for several years and his employees made a lot of money over the summer. Decades ago, my college room mate and his friends would get summer jobs working in landscaping and make enough money over the summer that even after all the partying and other stuff they could pay thier tuition for the year and buy their books, with a couple months rent thrown in until they were able to find part time gigs. The ones that had tuition paid used the cash they made to buy nice cars or whatever. I feel like there is a very different mentality in play these days. Instead of scores of college kids that look at a summer job landscaping or working construction as an opportunity to make good money while staying in shape and still having time on the weekends to go stupid things, what I see is a lack of motivated youth that have been told that having a job in school leads to poorer grades etc. When they do work they have minimum skill/wage jobs at fitness center counters or department stores and complain about how they have no money...
Even so, landscapers here is not a low-pay minimum wage job, those guys get paid pretty well. Just a lack of people that will do the work

As far as homebuilding aircraft, I think the world has changed since I first subscribed to Kitplanes in about 1986. It is harder to go out and get a "home improvement" loan to finance the cost of a kit. Labor cost to produce actual kits have risen, along with material costs. Performance expectations are much, much higher, and build time patience much, much lower. IMHO I hope for a resurgence in homebuilt aircraft amongst our youth, assuming building methods such as resin infusion, 3D printed molds, and other options become more accepted and available. More people know how to TIG weld than ever, so I would really love to see Sonerai and Bearhawk style aircraft become more prevalent. VW engines would be GREAT to come back into fashion, but that key relies on reliable delivery and user friendly experiences.


Since i am going through my PPL now after having left off in 1991-2ish, I can say I do miss the much cheaper cost of instruction. I feel like there is much the EAA and CAP could do with not a tremendous amount of effort to make low-cost flight instruction available to pretty much anyone who wanted it. Maybe not back to the $65 and hour I was paying back in the day, but if you could get the plane and instructor at 75 or 80 an hour that might open some doors.

Neat points, great discussion about building a hangar for sure.
 

TFF

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If a training plane is properly insured, about $20 a flight goes to that fund. Instructors don’t make anymore money today; a school that has employed CFIs instead of moonlighting ones will want about another $20 for their health insurance and stuff. Everything else that has to be payed for is what makes it cost, if it’s a business.

If you got a buddy that will put you on his policy, you paying the difference, is not too expensive. Having a buddy is the bigger problem.
 

Bigshu

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Jun 7, 2020
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Having a buddy is the bigger problem.
Sad but true. If you build a hangar though, they will come. It's really too bad the smaller privately owned public fields won't allow new hangars to be built. I'd be willing to do a lot of different financing deals to just have a place on an air field. The number of airparks available in the midwest is very low, from what I can see. Anyone know the best source for plans if you wanted to build your own, as opposed to having a crew come out and erecting a steel building?
 

rv7charlie

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Pocahontas MS
If you don't have to deal with city/county inspectors, pole barns are dirt simple, if you use metal purlins instead of trusses. You can get 50' spans easily. Single pitch roof, highest in front. 4x4s, old power poles, etc set in concrete for uprights. If you're serious, I'll do you a sketch when I'm back at a computer.

I added a 30' span 50' deep lean-to on my existing hangar with no assistance, except delivery of the 32' long roofing. 50' span would probably take 2 people to handle the purlins.

Hangar door can be diy, too.
 
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