U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wichita, Kansas, United States
Constructing the largest U.S. military hangar complex in the past 10 years
Accommodating a new fleet of specialized military refueling aircraft
McConnell Air Force Base was selected by the U.S. Air Force to serve as the initial beddown program and main operating base for the KC-46A Pegasus, a new aerial refueling and strategic transport aircraft that is replacing the government’s aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers. To accommodate this changeover, an Alberici joint venture constructed a massive three-hangar complex under a $153 million contract for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Three new hangars with six total bays on an occupied site
The project includes construction of a three-bay general purpose hangar, two-bay corrosion control/fuel cell hangar, general maintenance hangar, and aircraft parking apron. The project also features demolition of eight existing buildings, extensive site work, complex utility installation, and construction of a 6,000-square-foot composite shop.
Huge structures with state-of-the-art features
In total, the project features 389,000 square feet of modern, high-bay hangar construction with clear span superstructures reaching heights of approximately 100 feet. All three hangars were constructed to achieve LEED Silver certification and comply with U.S. Department of Defense requirements for anti-terrorism/force protection. Additional features include high-expansion foam fire suppression systems, innovative lift doors to accommodate the KC-46A tail’s vertical clearance requirements, and placement of more than 26,000 cubic yards of airfield pavement.
Building on an active military airfield
Simultaneously constructing three large hangars within an active airfield required careful planning and coordination. The Alberici team meticulously scheduled construction activities to accommodate all ongoing base operations, including an active taxiway that intermittently traversed the construction site. To protect existing KC-135 aircraft and other operations from jet blast, 10-foot-tall concrete barriers were placed along the work area.