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British Hangars

Type C Aeroplane Shed

The Type C aeroplane shed (often called the "C Type") is perhaps the most famous hangar in the UK, familiar from photos and films of the WWII era. They were much larger than the Type A and B sheds, due to being designed to house future large aircraft such as heavy bombers.

Type C sheds were quite varied in construction and appearance, with the initial 1934 design giving great consideration to ensuring the hangars blend in as far as possible with the surrounding landscape (e.g. by being clad in local brick or stone). Reinforced concrete was used from 1936 to provide better protection from enemy bombing. An austerity design was introduced in 1938 which used less materials, for example by reducing the height of the shed and using a steel roof structure instead of the previous mainly wooden design. The basic structure is a steel shell, with steel stanchions supporting steel-framed roof girders forming a ridge-and-valley roof. Large glazing panels are provided in an attempt to provide plenty of natural daylight illumination. Early examples have gabled roofs, but this was superseded by a hipped design in 1935. Clear span is 150ft, clear length is 300ft and clear height is 35ft (reduced to 30ft in the austerity design). The doors consist of six leaves, each constructed of two steel panels with a gravel filling to a height of 20ft to protect against bomb splinters.

Remaining examples can be seen at Bassingbourn, Bicester, Binbrook, Church Fenton, Coltishall, Cranfield, Debden, Gosport, RAF Hullavington, RAF Leuchars, RAF Lossiemouth, Middle Wallop, RAF Mildenhall, Newton, RAF Northolt, Norwich Airport (Horsham St. Faith), RAF Scampton, RAF Shawbury, RAF Waddington and Wattisham.


Photographs

Type C aeroplane shed, RAF Coltishall
Type C hangar at RAF Coltishall. 16 September 2005. © Nick Challoner.

Type C aeroplane shed, RAF Coltishall
Type C hangar at RAF Coltishall. 16 September 2005. © Nick Challoner.

Type C aeroplane shed, RAF Coltishall
Type C hangars at RAF Coltishall. 16 September 2005. © Nick Challoner.

Type C aeroplane shed, RAF Coltishall
Type C hangar at RAF Coltishall. 16 September 2005. © Nick Challoner.

Type C aeroplane shed, RAF Northolt
Type C hangar at RAF Northolt. 11 June 2006. © Nick Challoner.

Type C aeroplane shed, RAF Northolt
Type C hangar at RAF Northolt. 11 June 2006. © Nick Challoner.

Type C aeroplane shed, RAF Northolt
Type C hangar at RAF Northolt. 7 June 2009. © Nick Challoner.

Type C aeroplane shed, RAF Marham
Type C hangar at RAF Marham. 15 February 2007. © Nick Challoner.


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