Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 5.06.29 PM.png


Customer: Naval Air Stations– Kingsville, TX & Meridian, MS

Application: Military Hangars

Project Dimensions: 57′W x 50′L x 23′ H

Project Overview: The Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas, is a training ground for student pilots, with a fleet of T45 Goshawks that are used to instruct Navy pilots to land on aircraft carriers. On the tarmac, the aircraft are subjected to intense sunlight, a heat index that can reach 103°F and other natural threats, such as hail storms. This weather exposure hastens the deterioration of the planes’ exterior finishes, interior fittings and electronic components, resulting in significant maintenance and repair costs. The glass canopies over the cockpits are particularly susceptible to damage.

Challenge: Shelter Structures’ challenge was to design, build and erect 18 custom fabric aircraft hangars in just six weeks, so that work was completed in time for a previously scheduled air show featuring the Blue Angels. Because Kingsville is located in an area where hurricanes are a possibility, the semipermanent structures also needed to withstand hurricane force storms. A major challenge during the assembly phase was Kingsville’s frequent strong, gusty winds, which often forced the installation work to temporarily shut down.

Solution: Shelter Structures created individual open-air fabric aircraft hangars that provide each plane with critical protection from the elements, while allowing easy access for maintenance and fueling. The shelters lower cockpit temperatures by 80 degrees in the summer sun. Their translucent fabric covers allow natural light in, eliminating energy costs associated with traditional metal buildings.

Shelter Specifics: Each aircraft hangar, measuring 57’6”W x 50’L x 23’H, is built to withstand sustained winds of 110 MPH with the fabric cover on, and 150 MPH with the cover off. Their rugged 28 oz. fabric offers a lifespan of 15 to 20 years in this demanding environment.

Results: Robert Coleman, CIV NAVFAC SE, PWD, the Quality Assurance Evaluator on the project, was extremely pleased with the quality of the shelters and particularly with the knowledge and dedication of the installation crew. “I have never dealt with a contractor so committed to excellence and to the job,” he says. “They were well synchronized – just a great team working together.” To meet the tight deadline, the crew would return at 11 p.m. or midnight to finish work that had been shut down earlier due to high winds. “They even finished three days ahead of schedule,” says Coleman. “I didn’t think it could be done. They had total, 100 percent dedication.”

The Kingsville Naval Air Station was the pilot project for this type of semi-permanent aircraft hangar installation, and was under scrutiny from every level, including site visits from two Admirals. The fabric shelters have since been successfully replicated at the Naval Air Station in Meridian, MS (another 18 hangars).

Shelter Structures is proud to announce that we have completed the design, manufacture and erection of 36 military hangars for the US Navy. The aircraft hangars, 50 feet long, 57 feet wide and 23 feet high, are protecting the Navy’s T-45 Goshawk trainers. These aircraft are used in the final phase of training Navy pilots to land on aircraft carriers.

Working closely with the Navy Training Command, we developed military hangars to meet their design demands for tight clearance requirements and mandated certification for 130 mph wind loads.

Weather exposure creates significant aircraft maintenance and repair costs. Constant sunlight causes deterioration of exterior finishes, interior fittings and electronic components. Our shelters can lower cockpit temperatures by 80 degrees in the summer sun. These shelters also provide protection from hail which could otherwise severely damage aircraft skins. The translucent fabric covers allow natural light to be used, eliminating energy costs associated with traditional metal buildings. We have been building fabric shelters for the US military for several years and are proud of the confidence they have placed in us with their order for the first aircraft hangars for the Navy. We look forward to more collaborative projects in the future.