View Full Version : Over Blister Hangars
I'm in the early stages of researching a hangar generally described as an 'over blister' type at the former WWII RLG and training airfield RAF Little Sutton hopefully before its removed by a current planning application for housing in with cheshirewestandchester council.
The only size description I have so far is a 45ft depth and a 65 ft span. The length of the hangar in the field is near enough 135 ft making its pobably 3 sections bolted end on end.
However the width is 90 feet. Is this likley the span of 65ft in written material is the clear space inside for objects rather than the footprint? If not this ones bigger than it should be!
The span quoted is the actual width at the base not a measure of 'useable' width.
I'm no expert on sheds but I think the larger span versions were Doorman Long designs.
Things to help identify the type:
The spacing between ribs
The structure of the ribs and the braces
Are the ribs secured to the concrete floor
Little Sutton's record states simply that it had "3 Blister Hangars" but doesn't state the type. However, there is a photograph of the hangar at Little Sutton in David J. Smiths "British Military Airfields 1939-1945" on page 79 which labels it as a Over Blister Hangar.
An early Miskin's Blister hangar had a wooden frame and was 45ft wide at the base (footprint) and the later "Over" blister was 65ft wide followed by the "Extra Over" which was 69ft wide. There was also a Dorman Long blister Hangar in 1942 which was 90ft in across the base. All of these were 45ft long. It wasn't uncommon to join two hangars end on end, most commonly the "Double Extra Over" which gave a 69x90ft foot print.
I'm no expert but the picture in David's book looks like a fairly big hangar so it could well be a Dorman but if it's 135ft long I would be tempted to guess that post-war some enterprising farmer has taken the three hangars and joined them end-on-end to create one big one. That or 3 hangars were shipped to the site and just joined end on end! :D
The picture in David's book indecently doesn't look longer than it's wide but on the Google Earth imagery lableled "1945" you can see the big hangar and measuring it comes out with ~135ft long and ~90ft wide which is consistent with 3 Dorman Long hangars end-on-end.
For Hornchurch the reference plan lists 12 'EO Blister hangars' and the Air Ministry drawing number given is 12532/41.
I got a (poor) copy of the drawing from Hendon and it is a Dorman Long structure with the overall width given as 90' 3 1/2" and length 45'.
Thank you all
I now strongly suspect the 3 hangars reported at RAF Little Sutton in some sources really refers to 3 standard 45 ft Doorman Long sections supplied separately but allways bolted together to make a longer blister hangar.
Support for this from RAf air image dated Aug 1945. Single large hangar on the current footprint, structure at northern end suggests propped canvas end may be in place but partly collapsed. Elsewere on the airield no indication of any other possible locations for hangar sections. Structures located east and parallell to the large hangar match larger size hangar, later air images suggest these had hardstanding not removed until post 1985.
I will see if the author of the sticky on hangar types will accept the oversize dimensions as sufficient evidence to change the caption for RAF litte sutton from Over Blister to Doorman Long!
Presently seeking the station records from Hendon, something on the way but the archivist suggests only 10 features recorded 2 of which are latrines. Still seeking details of over blister and Doorman Long long construction in case I get close enough to spot any differences.
Still seeking details of over blister and Doorman Long long construction in case I get close enough to spot any differences.
Approximately 7'5" between steel ribs - see photos in Little Sutton thread
Should a Dorman Long blister type hangar be referenced as "over blister" or "extra over blister" as Miskins and Sons blister hangars are OR did the RAf/manufactuers have their own desciptions?
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