12 Seconds. That’s how long the first airplane flight lasted in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903, where the Wright Brothers changed history – and captured the imaginations of generations to come – on the sands of the Outer Banks. Around this same time, United States Steel Corporation, leading U.S. producer of steel and related products, was founded by mergers and acquisitions led by industrial magnates Andrew Carnegie, Elbert H. Gary, Charles M. Schwab, and J.P. Morgan.
It’s no coincidence that two such significant American events happened so close together – after all, American was experiencing tremendous growth and change. Steel construction and aviation are still tied together in many ways. Steel, LLC has had the honor and privilege to work on several aviation and aerospace projects over the years. Here are a few highlights:
Nellis Air Force Base F-35 Maintenance Hangar, Las Vegas, Nevada
At the time of construction, there were no maintenance hangars in the US specifically designed for the F-35A. At Nellis Air Force Base, a maintenance hangar was needed to maintain 24 aircraft and train 150 personnel on maintenance systems. Steel, LLC provided 318 tons of structural steel for the construction of the braced frame structure. This framing consists of custom fabricated long span trusses allowing for 22,000 s.f. of clear hangar space with no columns. The hangar’s new features include climate control and overhead crane access to allow for more efficient engine maintenance.
NASA Vehicle Assembly Building, Cape Canaveral, Florida
Steel, LLC was part of this renovation and modification of the VAB including ten new engineered steel-framed platforms with nearly total configurability into the support systems (gas lines, power and lifting and access equipment). These will surround the spacecraft and provide access for testing and processing. The platforms have been designed to move in and out, and translate up and down as needed.
Dulles Jet Center, Dulles, Virginia
Four new aviation hangars were developed for the Dulles Jet Center to replace hangars damaged by snow storms. The new state-of-the-art hangars were constructed between existing buildings after removal of the damaged hangers. The replacement hangars total 160,000 square feet supported by 1,200 tons of structural steel and offer high-efficiency radiant heat, energy management systems and automated climate control for jet owners.
Steel, LLC’s aviation and aerospace projects have been some of our favorites and most rewarding. If you’re interested in learning more about how steel can benefit your next project, please get in touch with one of our experts today.