Cost-efficient aircraft hangar for Pilatus PC-12
When you think of private aircraft, the name Pilatus usually comes to mind. Having been in business for nearly 80 years, Pilatus has delivered over 3600 private airplanes worldwide.
Known for their performance, reliability and operational flexibility, the Pilatus PC-12 has gained quite the reputation in the market. The large cabin, low operating costs, high speed, and meticulous Swiss engineering have contributed to mass sales internationally.
While most airports offer on ground hangar services, our client required own easily relocatable hangar, as a cost-effective way to ensure the quality of maintenance and protection of their aircraft. The fast-moving nature of their business model could not be held up by unavailable hangar space at different airports. Therefore, our customer sourced a solution that would not keep their Pilatus PC-12 attached to a particular airport hangar and would be easily transportable to their next service destinations.
Equally as important as the aircraft itself, having the right hangar to house and repair an aircraft is vital. Safety and regular maintenance are of the utmost importance for any aircraft and usually come with a hefty price tag for the facility rentals. On top of finding a suitable place, construction costs are very high due to security risks.
Getting a construction permit for a new facility at a civil airport is extremely challenging, as land is not allowed to be purchased. Strict security and safety requirements from civil aviation authorities, require hangar design to be carefully crafted on the territory of the airport. Such restrictions include flame retardant materials of industry standard and automatic foam firefighting systems.
Special oil-based lubricants and various aggressive chemicals are used during maintenance. These chemicals often lead to rust and chemical damages of traditional metal facilities. Aviatech hangars are entirely made from high-quality PVC which easily withstands these damages.
Keywords: construction permit, flame retardation, security risk
In just 43 days, the 22 meters wide and 25 meters long (550 m²/5920 sq. ft.) hangar was ready for shipment in a single 20″ sea container, allowing rapid delivery to Bethel, Alaska. The sea container left behind acts as safe storage when the facility is not required.
Following extensive R&D and engineering, Aviatech developed a unique fastening solution that allows securing the hangar to any surface using either ballast or anchors. This requirement came due to the airport authorities’ common requirement of leasing and not purchasing the land on which the hangar is erected.
The inflatable structures are made from high-quality nonflammable PVC, meeting all the current aviation standards in terms of fire redundancy. Additionally, the fire detection system enhanced the security level. To ensure safe and comfortable working environments for the personnel, Aviatech supplied additional items required for the aircraft maintenance, including the ground power unit (GPU), heating system, cranes and tools.
As standard, the inflatable hangar had advanced modular LED lightning (200 LUX), 19 meters wide and 7 meters high automatic gates, autonomous power back-up systems (16 hours lifetime during power outages) and telematic system allowing remote access to the hangar data over a cellular network.
The additional security requirements evolved the standard training session, in which the Aviatech supervisors facilitated. The standard training was given to 15 of the customers’ staff, further including a health and safety module due to the heightened risks.
Knowledge transfer and practical exercises along with erection and packing took place at Bethel airport in Alaska.
“We knew the most cost-effective, long term solution to personal aircraft ownership would be to acquire our own hangar. The Aviatech team made this process easy and seamless, helping us in meeting all of the security and safety requirements specified by civil airports.”
The Pilatus PC-12 is a single-engine turboprop passenger and cargo aircraft manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft. Developed in Switzerland (1991), the primary market for the aircraft is corporate transport and regional airline operators.
The PC-12 is the best-selling pressurized single-engine turbine-powered aircraft in the world and has been for several consecutive years, with over 1,500 deliveries of this model (As of June 2017).
With over 2,000 employees at its headquarters, Pilatus is one of the largest employers in Central Switzerland. Pilatus provides training for over 130 apprentices across 13 different business functions. This youth training initiative has always been a very high priority at Pilatus.