If you can’t see the slideshow, you can watch it here.
Update 12/7/16 Another building season is complete. The finished roof is on, and commercial power is to the boiler house. We didn’t get to the door so it will be another winter of cold airplanes.
We have posted information on Facebook about 2017 work teams. Right now we are planning two separate work teams. The first will finish the front wall and hang the big door with other general construction projects. The second will focus on more of the electrical/mechanical aspects of the project. Contact us if you are interested in helping next year!
Update 09/27/15 There was significant progress made on the hangar “complex” this summer. The boiler house is ready to plumb and wire. The garage door for the boiler house should be in Fairbanks next week, and there is temporary heat helping the drywall mud dry.
The hangar itself has walls and the primary roof on it. The next step is to hang the big (56’x15′) door and finish the front wall. Next spring we will put the finished roof on, a standing seam metal roof.
This winter I will continue to wire, plumb and work inside so that when spring comes, I will be ready to do the outside work again. The hangar has already come in handy to do maintenance on both airplanes. I can’t wait until it is warm and lit.
Many thanks to the folks that have helped! We couldn’t have gotten this far without you! We still need some help so if you want to visit us let us know.
05/12/15 We started hanging panels on the hangar today! The Summer construction season is underway.
10/14/14 There is a huge gap in the narrative between May and October, so I thought I would fill you in a little more. First, I am extremely grateful for all the help. There is no way we would be this far without you. From friends stopping by for an hour or two to lend a hand to others of you spending your days off working on this project when you had projects of your own that needed doing and those friends (new and old) that spent a week or two to help get us to the next level. THANK YOU!
The pictures tell the main story but let me fill you in on some of the missing details:
While placing the concrete for the main floor, I took a ride in the ambulance. We were rotating folks off the pad to have lunch, and I was in a hurry to eat and get back to it. You know when your mom would tell you as a kid to chew your food real good before you swallow? It turns out she knew what she was talking about. I had a piece of moose meat fajita get stuck on the way down, and I tried to flush it down with a big gulp of water only to tear my esophagus open. Being an EMT, I was thinking of all the ways this could go bad real fast as I was choking and spewing blood. After leaving the rest of the crew of college friends and Alaska neighbors to finish the 96-yard pour without me, I spent most of the evening in the ER swallowing cameras and all sort of other unpleasant things only to be released and told: “don’t do that again.”
Did you hear that it rained a lot this summer? By a lot, I mean animals were starting to gather two by two and I was wondering if I should have built an Ark. We have had the wettest year on record, over twice the average precipitation. Looking back on it now, it was good that it happened despite all the delays it caused, and it helps compact all the dirt work we had to do. The rain showed us where the standing water issues might be so we could remedy them while heavy equipment was around, and it helped the concrete cure slow. We decided to elevate the foundation a little more due to the drainage issues. The ground slopes away nicely now, and the water can get far away from both the hangar and the boiler house which will help with frost jacking in the winters. Good news is I am still several feet below the maximum height the FAA approved and will not need obstruction lights.
The boiler house size kept creeping bigger and bigger the more we talked and planned. I needed to keep the boilers (wood gasification boiler from Tarm as primary and a used oil boiler as secondary) out of the hangar per fire code. I also needed more room for the 800 gallons of buffer tanks to store heat from the Tarm. So what started out as 12’x16′ box turned into a 20’x24′ building with an 8’shed roof off one side. This extra space will also allow me to keep all the noisy/dirty parts of a facility (like air compressors) separate from the main building.
As you can see from the pictures, I am already using the slab for working on both airplanes. It is so nice to have a hard, dry surface to work. I had the goal of doing the gear change from float to wheels on the Maule in the hangar this Fall. Although it won’t be in a closed in, heated hangar I will be able to use the crane beam in the building to lift the Maule and swing the floats off. The goal was accomplished.
Check back often for more details as I have time to record them.
10/8/14 The skeleton is complete! Winter has moved in, and we have 6″ of snow on the ground, so we are putting the main project on hold until Spring. We were able to get the boiler house closed in and plan to continue with that aspect of the project throughout the winter.
Look for more details of the summer’s progress soon.
5/28/14 Site prep is underway, and the layout for the foundation is going well. The current task is to lay out where the boiler house will be and figure out how much materials will be needed for connecting it to the hangar through a utilidor. I have been adding pictures to the slideshow above, so you can see what progress is being made.
5/20/14 I am still working with the State Fire Marshal on building safety concerns. The current plan is to construct a detached “boiler house” to keep the sources of ignition out of the hangar. This change has simplified a lot of the issues raised but has added complexity and cost to the project.
On a more positive note, we were able to find a great source of “repurposed” foam board for the foundation that is saving several thousands of dollars. That savings will more than likely be absorbed in the concrete cost. I had hoped to work with contractors that are on a local bridge project to get a good deal, but they ran into a few snags. As a result, we will need to pay a fuel surcharge to have it brought down from Fairbanks.
Our timeline has slipped a bit, but we are still making headway. We are working on the foundation now and could be pouring concrete the first week of June.
We are looking forward to seeing some old college friends this summer as they come up to help for a week. Others have expressed, and interest in coming up to help but so far haven’t committed. There have been several folks here in Alaska that have offered to help, keep an eye on our Facebook page for details of when I could use you.
03/18/14 We heard back from the State Fire Marshal’s office and they want to review our plans. They mainly want to know that I have enough exits and review the electrical/mechanical plan. Pray with us that they will not require a fire suppression system (aka sprinklers). There is not enough water supply, and this is not a public building, but there is still a chance we will be required to have a system in place.
After many hours of “running the numbers, scrap” it has been determined that it will be much easier and considerably cheaper to go with a pre-engineered steel frame versus using scrapped bridge I-beams and used trusses I have rounded up over the years. With this change the size has crept a little and so has the door, we have settled for a 60’X60’x18’ with a 52’X15’ hydraulic door with a 20’ monorail hoist in the center bay along the ridge. We expect the building to arrive the first week of June. The plan is to start scraping snow off the ground in a couple of weeks and getting the ground ready for the slab. As with any project this timeline is subject to shift.
There will be four phases of the project:
My goal is to be setting footings and rebar the week of May 12th.
Then pour concrete the week of May 26th. It will need three weeks to cure.
2) Steel Super Structure Erection
Start the week of June 23rd.
Depending how much help I have this will take at least a week to 10 days.
3) Setting the foam core Structural Panels
The week of July 14th is when I hope to be setting the panels for the walls and roof.
The main door will take a few days to hang and rig and needs to be done after the walls and roof are set.
4) Electrical/Mechanical and Mezzanine
Start August 4th with hooking up in floor heat, lights, building washroom etc.
Plan is to put a free standing 20’x60’ mezzanine up in the back of the hangar with an office and storage area.
Several folks have expressed interest to come and help but so far no one has committed to any particular phase. We have room for folks stay, it’s rustic but better than a wall tent. As for food, Lyndy and the girls have asked that I let folks know that they would love to have help cooking for all the hungry guys. We would want to make sure we plan some time for folks to do some tourist things while they are here. Denali National Park is just down the road and is on a lot of folks “bucket list”. It is better to fly in/out of Fairbanks, its only and hour away versus six hours to Anchorage.
02/13/14 Today I receive the “Final Determination” from the FAA for the structure, there is no objection to the project. This is great news. Now I can officially start with getting things scheduled and in place to start as soon as the snow melts.
01/18/14 We are making great progress with getting everything lined out to start construction in a few weeks. I am trying to finalize the actual design, so many things are waiting on this. I also need to get the FAA’s approval of the height and placement of the hangar and it’s relation the the runway safety zones. Once this is done the pace is going to greatly increase. With any hangar project the main door is the central and pivotal piece to the entire puzzle. We have nailed down the type and size, hydraulic opening 48’X14′ from Higher Power Doors.
12/26/13 WE HAVE THE FUNDING TO BUILD THE HANGAR! A generous gift from a friend has pushed the hangar fund to the point where we can start construction as soon as the snow starts to melt this spring. I am having to shift gears from planning and dreaming to planning and doing. Boy, there is a lot of work and planning yet to be done. Many of you have expressed interest in coming up to help, I’m going to need it. Contact me to find out what help we will need and when. The goal is to be able to have the planes inside by next October. Look for more updates as we progress.
8/10/13 This summer we have improved the shipping container on the lease lot. It is now painted, wired for lights and outlets and has the TMMAK wings logo on the side. This container has been a great addition to the lease lot. It has allowed us to have secure storage of airplane spare parts and seasonal items like wing covers.
12/05/12 The lease lot is working out very well. We have a 40 foot shipping container and power on the lot. This has made getting ready for flights much easier this time of year.
7/8/12 We are going to lease a lot at the airport! Our previous concerns about the city’s lease agreement have been negotiated and we are satisfied with the terms. With two airplanes now it is far better to be at the airport than here at the house.
6/22/12 We have an incredible opportunity! A major mistake on a building in Fairbanks is a boon for us. We are able to purchase 6″ foam core steel panels for pennys on the dollar. These panels are an R50 insulation value and are the way to build in Alaska! There is nothing wrong with them, the color is not what the customer ordered. Here is a link to the manufactures website. This purchase has depleted the money we have been saving for a hangar and with the gathered material already on hand we are very close to being able to build next summer. We are still in need on funding for the concrete floor, windows / doors and roof. We will keep you updated as things progress.
Background: I have been doing all aircraft maintenance outdoors or waiting until I can get to friends hangar’s in towns far from here. There are no hangars at the Nenana Airport. Now that we have two aircraft to maintain and operate the need for a hangar is that much greater. The building material that we have now was too good of a deal to pass up and the project is gaining momentum with a lot of supporters. We will see how God continues to provide to determine how fast we proceed. Like everything else in our life we have committed to remain debt free.
If you would like to help this or any other project please visit our Contact page.