Snug as a Giant Bug

Aircraft and maintenance crews on the flight line at Robins AFB, Ga., will soon enjoy the cover and protection of eight additional C-130-sized shelters. Workers on Nov. 2 began the first phase of construction to add three of those hangars by the end of December. All eight structures are scheduled for completion by summer 2012. Supported by steel trusses, the 56-foot-tall vinyl-reinforced fabric shelters fully cover a Hercules, with wingtip clearance and workspace to spare, according to Robin officials. Each of the structures is equipped with full overhead lighting, compressed-air lines, electrical connections, and flight-line communications, providing an economical, but fully functional maintenance space. They are designed to last 20 years, resisting mold and winds as high as 90 miles per hour. Robins already has three hangars for C-130s undergoing routine maintenance, according to base officials. (Robins report by Jenny Gordon)