12 ways Fabric Makes sense for  Aircraft Hangars

    May 14, 2018 | Tension Fabric Structures, Aviation

    Fabric structures have a faster ROI than steel buildings in commercial and military aviation applications. This advantage means that some of the best airplane hangar designs, cargo processing facilities, shade shelters and LAMS are built with fabric.

    By combining the proven engineering of a rigid steel frame with the benefits of fabric, Legacy Building Solutions creates the ideal fabric structure for the aviation industry.

    Group 4 Building Rating

    Due to their inherent fire resistance, fabric buildings are rated as Group IV structures by the National Fire Protection Association, which governs all commercial building applications. Steel buildings are classified as Group I, II or III — requiring additional fire suppression equipment at the building owner’s cost.

    ExxoTec™ PVC fabric cladding is classified as a fire-resistant building material. The fabric cladding quickly melts away from flame, allowing heat to vent outside and minimizing or eliminating structural damage. Smoke and heat will vent out the hole created in the building, significantly reducing damage to the building and contents.

    See the other benefits of ExxoTec™ fabric.

    The Legacy building system can also help a business recover from a fire more quickly. Because the building is constructed with individual fabric panels, only the damaged panels must be repaired — saving on the cost and time loss of repair after the fire.

    Non-Conductive Building Material

    Unlike steel, fabric is not a conductive material. The thermal conductivity of building materials refers to their propensity to transmit and magnify the outside conditions into the building. Highly conductive buildings experience extreme temperature swings, making the building hotter in summer and colder in winter.

    Non-conductive fabric helps maintain a moderate interior environment. This causes fewer temperature swings, and it creates a more comfortable environment year round.

    While fabric itself does not add insulative R-value to the building, insulated fabric buildings are available for applications that require it.

    Roof Installed Without Penetrations

    In a steel building, the roof is attached with thousands of fastening screws. Over time, the movement of the steel can cause the holes created by these fasteners to grow and form leaks.

    Using Legacy’s patented attachment system, fabric roof panels (typically 20 feet wide) are attached to the building using a keder rail. Each panel is welded together to create a waterproof, sealed exterior membrane.

    The system also uses horizontal mechanical tension to stretch the fabric to the recommended level, keeping it taut and preventing any friction for the life of the building. This system provides regular support and tension for the fabric both vertically and horizontally, which is critical to ensure a wrinkle‐free finish and a long fabric life.

    Expedited Design and Construction for Faster ROI

    As a vertically integrated company, Legacy controls all aspects of building design, manufacturing and construction. This means one contractor controls the process from start to finish, and there is no time lost translating building specs between the designer and builder.

    In addition, fabric panels are installed in about one-third the time of steel sheeting. This expedited process means the building can be completed in an expedited time frame and operational well ahead of time frames seen with other construction methods. With faster occupancy, the building owner realizes a faster return on investment with a fabric building.

    Clearspan to 300+ Feet Wide

    Fabric structures on a rigid steel frame combine the design flexibility of pre-engineered metal frames with fabric cladding, which is lower in mass than steel structures. This allows for a column-free interior 300 or more feet wide by any length.

    Accommodate any aircraft wingspan and vertical stabilizer configuration with a column-free interior designed around your requirements. Add space for interior offices, maintenance equipment, racking and cargo. You can even build a hangar with living quarters with our custom approach. Our team partners with you to engineer a building that’s wider, taller and longer to fit your specifications.

    Manufacturer Installed

    All Legacy buildings are installed by our factory-trained installation crews. Installers are on the road 12 months per year, traveling to worldwide locations for safe, efficient building erection.

    Learn more about Legacy’s fabric building installation system.

    Using this method, installation crews have a direct link to the manufacturer. There is clear communication with the building owner and the manufacturer throughout installation. Installers have the experience to accommodate unforeseen site issues or last-minute change orders.


    As business operations change, so do your building needs. Fabric buildings are relocatable, expandable and reconfigurable.

    During relocation, fabric panels are slid out of the keder rails, rolled up and transported to a new location. Without small holes to be realigned in the new location, the portable aircraft hangar may be relocated multiple times with no loss of quality.

    With the ease and reliability of rigid frame design, it is also possible to expand a fabric building or to attach it to an existing structure. A sealed flap connects two buildings for a weather-tight finish.

    Nearly Maintenance-Free

    Save time and money in the long term with a rugged fabric structure designed without paint, siding or shingles – keeping the focus on your business and aircraft, not on the building. Fabric buildings require almost no maintenance.

    In the event of accidental damage or extreme weather conditions, fabric panels are easily patched by the building owner or by experienced installers.

    Superior Acoustics

    Unlike steel, which reverberates and magnifies sound, fabric dampens squeaks and sounds. This creates superior sound quality inside for a more pleasant environment.

    Natural Light

    If the building is not insulated, work inside a fabric building using energy-efficient natural light – allowing you to save on ongoing energy expenses and maintenance requirements.

    Climate Control and Air Quality

    Maintain a comfortable and consistent interior with a sealed building envelope. Add ventilation and HVAC equipment to supply air turns and temperature control as needed.

    Insulated fabric buildings are available with fiberglass batts to R-30. Flexible fabric seals tightly around fenestrations and minimizes air leakage, resulting in a less drafty, more comfortable building.

    Kickstart Construction

    While there are a wide range of building material choices available in the aviation industry, fabric stands out for its desirable characteristics. When you compare fabric buildings to steel structures, the advantages are immediately obvious. Fabric provides a versatile storage option in aviation, whether you’re housing a single aircraft or an entire fleet.

    Ready to get started on a fabric hangar or aviation structure? Contact us today, or register for our next webinar: Benefits of Custom Buildings for Aviation