Why are hangars called "hangars?"

The name "hangar" for a structure dedicated to storage of aircraft has been traced to a northern French dialect, although the word's exact origin remains murky. Some French dictionaries state that "hangar" can be used to describe an outbuilding, such as one used to store carriages, while others say it means "cattle pen."

According to one story, when French aviation pioneer Louis Bleriot crash-landed in northern France in the early 1920s, he stored his airplane in a farmer's steel cattle pen to protect it. Bleriot was apparently so taken with this arrangement that he contacted the company that constructed the pen and ordered three more "hangars" for his airplanes. That company, Reid Steel, has been in the hangar construction business ever since, today building structures big enough to house even the enormous Airbus A380.