Although I had been “forewarned” that the call was imminent, I received it while in Portland helping out my Mom: I was officially being offered a hangar at Michael J. Smith airport in Beaufort, NC.
Now, I had actually been offered my pick of 2 different hangars at the end of December last year (2018) but decided to wait knowing that I couldn’t do anything with a hangar at that time due to my holiday travel schedule. I opted to wait for what was stated as just a couple more hangars that would come available sometime in January. Well, the “couple of hangars” turned out to be my pick of 4 hangars.
It may seem a bit early in my project to snag a hangar at this point, but a couple of extenuating circumstances helped finalized my decision for me:
1) The reason behind all these hangars coming available was due to the construction of 10 new hangars on the airport with many airplane owners vacating the older hangars in an exodus to the new hangars. Bottom line, this was a one-time opportunity for the very foreseeable future.
2) I currently have 3 storage units to hold all my stuff, including my Long-EZ project. Due to the configuration of the storage unit containing my Long-EZ fuselage, it makes it difficult to use all the space available since I have to provide clearance around and above the fuselage. My goal is to transfer all the Long-EZ project related components and all my tools to the hangar from storage units #2 and #3, and then transfer the remaining stuff from storage unit #3 to #2. With storage unit #3 empty I’ll then rid myself of one storage unit, and apply that saved monthly payment to the hangar. For just a bit more money a month I’m calling this a Win-Win.
Since I got first pick of the 4 available hangars, I chose a south-facing hangar that provided both more natural sunlight and a longer “driveway” (see pic below) that will allow me to haul the plane outside and work on it if need be. Best yet, since the hangar I chose is an end unit, I have the corner area –that would normally be part of an opposite-side “T” hangar– available to me. Clearly much more space [about 120 sq. ft more] for just a bit more a month.
So due to uncooperative bad weather forecasted for next week, I had to pull the trigger quickly within just a couple days of returning from Portland, OR. I rented the venerable fuselage-hauling trailer, spent a day loading it up with my two bigger external sheds from my VA house, and then headed down to North Carolina.
Above is shot of the loaded trailer after the first big reveal of my hangar…. opened by me for the first time.
Below is a shot after I unloaded the smaller shed off the trailer and the wood framed base of the larger shed (out of site). The harsh shadow makes it hard to see, but you can get a general idea of the more than adequate space available for a Long-EZ.
Again, the south-facing hangars have a much longer “driveway” off the center taxiway than do the north-facing hangars. This provides plenty of clearance to pull the airplane out quite a ways if need be to work on it.
Of course I chose this airport not only since it has 3 longer Long-EZ friendly runways, but the area around it has a lot of beautiful scenic water: ocean, rivers, waterways and bays. From my hangar I can look over and see the new high bridge (to allow sailboats to pass underneath) between Morehead City and Beaufort.
Below is another shot of the hangar.
Another shot of the hangar with my trailer empty and ready to haul the fuselage!
After I dumped my initial load from Virginia, I then went to the storage unit and once again loaded up my Long-EZ fuselage, the left wing, and my motorcycle to haul them to the hangar. You can tell by the long shadows that this was earlier in the morning, and on a cooler winter’s day heat wasn’t a factor during the 30 min trip between storage unit and hangar.
I tried a few times to snap a shot showing the inside of the hangar and still have enough light to see everything inside. Below was the best shot I could get… not the best but still provides enough to show how the fuselage is dwarfed by the size of the hangar. Definitely much more space than my 2-car garage shop provided!
This was round one of moving from the storage unit to the hangar. Round 2 will come Monday where I’ll try to get the remaining tools and Long-EZ stuff over to the hangar and clear out storage unit #3.