|History :: Airfield Hangars|
> Units and Formations
Updated: 3 Mar 08
Hangar design had an extremely significant impact on aircraft design; as an example the Air Ministry restricted the maximum wingspan to 100 feet at the time of design of the Stirling so aircraft could fit inside the then-standard hangar. For details of a comprehensive guide to British airfield buildings :: click here
A Great War portable wooden and canvas hangar. 4 types of Bessoneau were created by Julien Bessoneau in France from 1910, of which the most common measured 20m x 24m. The RCAF Station High River website has some excellent photographs :: click here. For a history of the original hangars and their designer in French :: click here
Belfast truss hangar
A permanent, timber-trussed hangar with wooden concertina-type doors at each end. These were made in single, double or multiple bay and well-preserved examples are at the Duxford air museum (see website). The single-bay hangar measure 170 ft long x 100 ft wide, with multiples of the width. The early hangars' use of Belfast trusses is closely related to civil dock warehousing from the 1890s.
Type C hangar
The Type C hangar is characteristic of the Expansion Phase. Good example Type C hangars are at RAF Hemswell; photographs are included on this site. They are sometimes refered to as "Austerity hangars" and were the largest 'type' constructed by the RAF.
Type B1 hangar
Type T2 hangar
The austere T2 hangar is chacteristic of the utilitarian design of wartime construction on airfields. Photographs of a Type T2 Hangar at RAF Grimsby (Waltham) and at RAF North Killingholme are included on this site. The hangars at RAF Barkston Heath are now used for warehousing and are visible from the public road.
Type J hangar
The Type J hangar of the later 1940s can be seen at RAF Elsham Wolds.
The blister hangars were the expedient of wartime. Minimal in design.
Butler combat hangar
The Butler combat hangar was a feature of airfields with an American presence. For example, 6 of these were constructed at RAF North Witham to accommodate engineering works. A picture is included in "Paths in the Wood" :: see RAF North Witham Books.
Books about the Various Airfield Hangar Types
British Airfield Buildings of the Second World War (Graham Buchan Innes)
British Airfield Buildings: The Expansion and Inter War Periods (Graham Buchan Innes)
Paths in the Wood: A complete history of RAF North Witham (Martyn Chorlton)
Other sources of information
The Control Towers website has many photographs hangars and outbuildings at many of the listed stations around the UK.
> RAF history in Lincolnshire
> The command structure
> Airfield information
> Other historical pages
History of the RNAS on the Fleet Air Arm Archive
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