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Thread: Hangar DOOR

  1. #1

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    Jan 2012
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    Hangar DOOR

    Good topic for the "Hangar Talk" group, nay ?I am considering construction of a hangar for an SEL which will be an addition to an existing building (a barn) on my property where I have room for a grass strip. The envelope of the subject aircraft is 40 ft wing span by 26 ft length from tip of spinner to top of rudder with maximum static height of 10 ft. I am interested in any members' experience in hangar door structures which would be applicable to this need. I have seen several ranging from nothing (open air) to overhead hydraulic to sliding vertical supports to overhead folding etc. Each works in its' own application but, since I am more interested in putting $ into the aircraft than fancy doors, I seek your views on possibilities which may be cost-effective and suitable. The location is Northern Pa. which has some amount of snow but not much concern for salt corrosion nor hurricanes. Wildlife invasion could be a problem but can be managed otherwise.Thank you for your input.EDGEFLY

  2. #2
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    My suggestion would be the simplest system that can be locked and is the easiest to manage by yourself. In most cases that's a pair of doors that slide out parallel to the front of the barn. It's not the most efficient use of space (because of the lateral extension), but it's a lot easier than trying to swing a standard "hinge" door of 200+ square feet in even a light breeze.

    I speak from my own experience (and bruises) because I grew up across the road from a dairy farm and used to help out over there and they had such an arrangement. I ended up leaving the sort of mark only a groundskeeper can fully appreciate when a moderate gust caught the door and swung it with sufficient force to toss me a good ten feet across the barnyard. Before anyone else beats me to the obvious question: No I did not land on my head.

    The next best option would probably be the overhead "garage" style door but for something big enough for an airplane, I can't imagine that would be anything but pricey.
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

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  3. #3
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    I've got a Schweis horizontal bifold in NC The local garage door guy hung it without issues (he now goes around to residential airparks as an "expert" in hangar doors).

    My hangar in VA has sliding hanging (barn style) doors. Of course it doesn't seal well so I get all sorts of dirt, grass clippings, etc...into the hangar.

  4. #4

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    Arrange it so the door faces SW to minimize ice & snow buildup etc.

    I'd suggest spending the $ for a bifold door if for no other reason than to complete the structural box of a hangar whenever the door is closed & latched.

    The hydraulically operated doors that I've seen put some tremendous forces into the structure during the door opening cycle that would be much better handled with a cable operated bifold door. However, if you do go bifold, be sure that the forces imposed on the structure during and after the door operating cycle are adequately reacted.

    Also be sure the hangar structure be able to react wind loads when the door is open. If necessary, make a cardboard model, push on it gently, & you'll see what I mean.

    MnEngr (retired)

  5. #5

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    Aug 2011
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    Horton Stack door. That's what I have. My hangar is 60 X 72 X 14' walls, 50' X 12' high door. My brother & I hung the door ourselves in about 2 hrs. start to finish.

  6. #6

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    My only experience is with the "slider" type Steve described, the only trouble I've had with them is the top rails fill with slush, and can ice up in winter. Makes for a bit of work when trying to get the plane out in those cold clear days when VFR flying is possible. If money is no object, then go for the push button. The Horton Stack door is a nice solution for a big slider.

    Joe

  7. #7
    clipwingcub's Avatar
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    Cool-Air doors. They have several different models. When I put mine on (bi-fold), that was the only model they offered. I am very happy with the choice, and value.

    Tony

  8. #8

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    I'll add my vote for the Horton Stack door, or a similar home-made folding geometry with hinges vertical. The only power required is you, and no heavy hardware to fall if a cable breaks. One suggestion: if you fold the doors open so the inner hinges come together, they can bend in a wind and damage the hanging hardware. Have a post to fasten them to when fully open. For partial opening, drill some holes in the horizontal beams near the inner hinges and make a bar with bent-down ends to fit in the holes, separating the inner hinges by a foot or so. This makes a triangle when the doors are partially open, stabilizing them against the wind.

  9. #9
    kscessnadriver's Avatar
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    Anyone with experience on those roll up fabric type doors? They seem to be starting to gain some attraction now.
    KSCessnaDriver
    ATP MEL, Commercial Lighter Than Air-Airship, SEL, CFI/CFII
    Private SES

  10. #10

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    Nov 2011
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    My first hanger was rented and open. Built my own light weight roll up fabric door (usesd blue tarp material). Simple concept. Kept the weather out and slowed the critters.
    Own my own hangers today on my RLA in N IL and designed and built my own horizontal BI-Folds. Close up tight and wieght is not a structural problem if you plan the building for the door. Most of the HYD horz. swing up doors have their own frame stricture to take the weight of the door and apperatus. Prices for all, reasonable when you consider how many years and times you will cycle the door. I am willing to explain the roll-up if interested or own design bi-fold.

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