Preserving Britain's historic aircraft

Company Losberger De Boer Group
Date 20.02.2017

De Boer completes temporary hangars for iconic aircraft at Brooklands Museum.

De Boer, the semi-permanent structure specialist, has recently delivered two bespoke temporary hangars for Brooklands Museum, as part of their ‘Re-engineering Brooklands’ project.

Following a £5 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant, Brooklands Museum is undertaking the largest ever development of its historic site, an £8 million project including the refurbishment and relocation of its WWII Bellman Hangar, home of a Vickers Wellington bomber and Vimy bi-plane.

Whilst the Bellman Hangar is being restored, the De Boer team has provided over 800 square metres of exhibition space, especially designed and modified to preserve Brooklands Museum’s precious aircraft.

Robert Alvarez, De Boer’s Sales Director – Commercial, commented on the project:

“De Boer has a long-standing relationship with the Brooklands Museum site, having built the London Bus Museum building in 2011 which houses the largest private sector collection of London buses in the world.  The team were honoured to play their part in the ‘Re-engineering Brooklands’ project, inspiring future generations of motoring and aviation engineers.”

Conserving Britain’s aviation history

For the Vickers Vimy, a replica of the original 1919 heavy bomber, De Boer used its innovative Induro structure to create a new standalone exhibition space – the first time the Induro has been used in the UK.  Usually used for industrial purposes, the Induro has an especially tall 6m apex, creating the perfect height and space for the Vimy, which will be housed in its new hangar for the next three years.

De Boer also specially modified its structure to include insulated wall panels and air blown roof sails, eliminating condensation and creating a controlled environment to ensure that the fabric-clad Vimy is preserved in perfect condition.

It was vital that the Vimy could be easily removed from its new hangar to carry out essential maintenance on the plane, including periodic ‘engine runs’ – a popular visitor attraction. The Induro includes an adapted door that uses a heavy PVC fabric curtain, spanning 20 metres wide and 6.5 metres tall, which can be electrically raised to allow easy access to the exhibit.

Rehoming legendary aircraft

The Bellman Hanger was also home to one of only two surviving WWII Vickers Wellington bombers and a team of ten De Boer personnel constructed a 15 metre x 25 metre Delta structure over four days to house this legendary craft. Once the building was in place, the Wellington was gently coaxed from its current position to its new home – the first time the aircraft had been moved in over thirty years.

With the Wellington in position, the De Boer team finished installing the outer cladding and completed the Delta’s gable ends.  The structure also had a specially reinforced floor to withstand the weight of the 8 tonne aircraft.

Celebrating aviation heroes

Brooklands Museum Director and CEO Allan Winn says:

“Refurbishing the Bellman Hangar is a central part of the ‘Re-engineering Brooklands’ project and ensuring that our important exhibits, particularly the Wellington and the Vimy, had suitable secure temporary  homes, was key to the success of our renovation plans. The exhibition areas created by the De Boer team have provided fantastic spaces for staff and visitors to admire and marvel at these aviation icons.”



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