One of Europe’s best collections of aircraft, the National Museum of Flight based at East Fortune Airfield near Edinburgh offers visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with a range of amazing aircraft housed in hangars. Built in 1940, the hangars were originally designed to last just a few years – over 70 years later they provide an important link to Scotland’s wartime history and aviation story, but were in need of some restoration!
Unsurprisingly the question of what to do with the valuable collection of aircraft while the hangars were being restored was a difficult one.
With their aircraft hangars out of action for a good 18 months, the National Museum of Flight needed somewhere to storage their valuable collection of planes. The structure needed to be temporary, so that it could be used for the duration of the restoration only. It also needed to be big enough to accommodate a large number of valuable aircraft, and be secure enough to offer the necessary protection for the collection. Finally, the historic nature of the site meant that there had to be a minimum of ground disturbance.
The bespoke nature of the project meant that Spaciotempo’s innovative temporary building design certainly came into its own! Ground conditions meant that anchor pins were not an option, so the 20m x 65m temporary building, was “chemically bolted” to a series of concrete ballast blocks to provide a highly effective and secure foundation, which could be removed with minimum of site disturbance at the end of the 18 month refurbishment period.
Despite bad weather, the Spaciotempo team were able to install the temporary aircraft hangar in two stages. Once the majority of the structure was erected, the aircraft were moved into position inside the structure, before the end gables were added and secured, keeping the aircraft safely tucked away safe inside!
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Who: National Museum of Flight
Where: East Fortune Airfield, Edinburgh
Size: 20m x 65m on a 4m eave
Use: Temporary aircraft hangar
Special Features: Use of concrete ballast blocks for anchorage