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A hangar’s most valuable asset

The most important function of any hangar construction project is the safe and easy way for airplanes to enter and exit and protect the inside when the door is closed. No matter what the weather conditions are the doors must be safe to operate.
AeroDoors manufactures and installs huge walls of steel that glide horizontally on rails. The building structure is designed around the door so that tells you the level of importance.

You simply cannot get away with buying a cheap solution as easily as a cheap static building. If the size, design, or configuration turns out to be wrong then the building becomes a failure. When the building fails, your entire business operations fail, and now you have a problem.

Hopefully, this article keeps you away from making the wrong choices

Important planning questions

  • Door Dimensions
  • Power Availability
  • Building Plans
  • Door Features
  • Financial Budget

Pre determine a clear opening width and height for the door that allows safe maneuvering of the aircraft or asset. Will there be a power source that’s sufficient for the door because without power the choice of hangar door designs are limited.

It’s always beneficial for a hangar door manufacturer to review architectural plans for your building. If you have any always email them to the sales person no matter how preliminary you think they might be.

Ask about any upgrades for the door that are available such as a 3070 access door, window frames or sensing edges.

Final point is the budget. Have an idea of the budget for the door and don’t be afraid to share a rough magnitude with the door manufacturer. Good things are more likely to happen if both parties know what the budget is at the very beginning.

hangar doors manufacturing
The hangar door is essentially a huge moving wall.

Things to know about aircraft hangar doors

Here is some information you should about hangar doors.
  • Hangar doors are not sitting in warehouses waiting to be bought like a garage door. They are designed and manufactured to order so ask about the lead time for engineering blueprints, manufacturing and delivery.
  • The quote you receive will not include any exterior sheeting, interior liner, insulation or trim. You must source this from your building manufacturer or another supplier.
  • Some hangar door manufacturers exclude any electrical scope of work in their installation bids. (This is the electrical wiring on their own door).
  • There are different levels of horizontal deflection allowance that the door can be designed to. The most common are L/120, L/180 and L/240. A door designed to L/120 will be less expensive than a door designed to L/240.
  • Hangar door quotes typically do not include any sheeting, trim or insulation.

What to ask a hangar doors company

We’ve put together some very useful questions to ask a hangar door manufacturer before requesting a door quotation.

  • Company Background
  • Door Suitability
  • Installation
  • Engineering Blueprints
  • Door Installation
  • Warranty Coverage
  • Warranty Protocol

Ask who owns the company and any recent changes in ownership. A manufacturer that boasts a long standing reputation means very little if it was just sold to new owners, so be inquisitive and know who you’re buying from.

When talking to manufacturers ask for evidence of at least 10 hangar doors that exceed the size you are looking to buy. Don’t be afraid to ask for several references and photos of these doors and always check the references out so you can get an unbiased review of manufacturer, installer and door.

Lean on the sales person for finding the most suitable door for your needs. Let’s make an example; If you already own a hangar and looking to replace the vertical hydraulic swing door with a horizontal steel sliding door you will need the foundation removed for the door rail to be installed. This would be an indirect cost of the sliding door quote which you now need to factor in to your budget. A good salesperson should be bringing these points to your attention to make better decisions.

The blueprints for your door design must be signed and sealed by a professional engineer (P.E.) who is registered in the same US state the door will be installed. Make sure this is included in your quote because it can be an expensive add-on later.

Unfortunately only a small percentage of hangar door manufacturers have an installation division to install their own doors. Sadly the majority will quote a third party installer who asked to be given leads in their own locale. These manufacturers should be approached with an abundance of caution. Please remember a hangar door is only as good as the installation.

Ask about door warranty. There should be a minimum 5-year warranty on workmanship and a 1-year warranty on electrical components.

Research their warranty procedure because some manufacturers do not travel across multiple states to fix their door unless all other options have been exercised (In the meantime your door is troublesome or inoperable). Ask for evidence that the warranty policy is to send an authorized representative within an acceptable time frame.

Have any questions about this topic?
We’re ready to listen.

Paul Blake Author
Director of Sales , View My Profile

Paul has over 14-years of sales and marketing experience in the hangar door industry. Prior to this, Paul spent 8 years working in a sales division of Apple Inc, where skills in supply chain, selling and customer service were taught at a multinational level.