Why are airlines choosing temporary fabric aircraft hangars during the COVID-19 crisis?

With travel restrictions in place across the globe, the aviation industry is now facing an unprecedentedly low demand.

With many countries closing their borders to all but essential travel, airports have fallen silent and planes have been grounded. Even domestic flights have dropped to record lows, with many countries now opting for local-lockdown restrictions.

This has created a huge logistic headache for the aviation industry, brought on by the extreme excess capacity of aircraft, parts, and equipment.

While the major carriers are greatly reducing their flights across the board, some smaller airlines are making an effort to fill in these gaps in the schedule. This, however, is still contributing to the industry’s logistical issues as they too will need to relocate their operations and equipment.

The aviation industry needs a solution now.

Rubb’s rapid and relocatable hangar solutions

Rubb has specialised in modular, fabric-membrane custom-designed aircraft hangars for 40 years. Rubb Aviation has a proven track record in delivering fast, flexible and cost-effective aircraft hangars to aviation and military organisations to protect their planes and helicopters.

Compared to traditional hangars, Rubb structures are modular designed, which helps to reduce the overall structure weight, and allows for them to be easily extended or dismantled for reuse elsewhere. The framework itself is hot dip galvanized, post production, to eliminate any chance of corrosion. This gives the framework superior protection and durability. This is just one of the reasons why maintaining Rubb aircraft hangars is more economical compared to conventional aviation buildings.

To continue the reduction of overall structure weight, support the ease of construction and to save costs, Rubb hangars are clad with tough PVC impregnated polyester fabric. The membrane is tensioned over the steel structure and anchored to the foundations. The fabric is tested with respect to tensile strength, elongation, tearing strength, bursting strength, coating adhesion and resistance to flexing, according to BS 3424. The fabric is flame retardant and self-extinguishing to BS 5438 Test 2B.

The fabric has a manufacturer’s warranty of 10 years, but Rubb hangars have been in use around the world and have proven to last more than 40 years with the original PVC sheets. Rubb hangars can also be insulated using Thermohall® PVC cladding technology. This comes in a number of thickness options, but Rubb would recommend 150mm Thermohall® for an aircraft hangar, which provides a U-value of 0.25 W/m2K.

Speed is necessary to respond to the COVID-19 situation, and Rubb can deliver on that too. Depending on the size of the hangar, Rubb can complete a project from initial enquiry to fully operational status within a few short months. An example would be easyJet where Rubb supplied a 91m wide, twin span x 60m long narrow body hangar in approximatively 30 weeks. This included foundations, hangar, hangar doors, lighting, electrics, heating, ventilation, and offices.

To find out more, contact our team today and discover the Rubb solution.