Bottom Rolling Hangar Door System Options
Since the first time the term “hangar” was used in Germany in 1894 in an effort to protect the secretive and experimental unpowered flying aircraft, or “hang gliders” of Otto Lilienthal, the name has been synonymous with aircraft and protecting them. While the first “hangar” was little more than a livestock barn with a very wide front opening door, the last 50 years have seen huge advancements in design, materials and manufacturing. So, when considering a hangar door system for your hangar, which of the multitude of options is best for you?
It’s a given that your investment in an aircraft, regardless of size, brand, or value is one that you want to protect, but with so many different types of airplane hangar door systems, how do you choose the best for your needs? We’re going to break down the major types in the simplest terms and try to help understand the options, their specific benefits and the cost associated with each. Part one of this segment will be on the ubiquitous bottom rolling hangar door, the most widely used and versatile hangar door system available.
As aircraft hangar doors go, it doesn’t get simpler than a bottom rolling hangar door. While it’s true that this is the acknowledged original style of hangar door, there are options that can add value and ease of use to this tried and true champion. The manual bottom rolling hangar door, sometimes called a “sliding” hangar door. It’s a very simple design that works well for many smaller aircraft, but as the complexity of the aircraft increases, so does the space needed to safely store and maintain them. When larger door openings are required, or powered options are a necessity, the options diverge to meet the desire of the user.
The first style of powered rolling hangar door system is called a single stack, or one-way hangar door. It’s an extremely simplistic design that requires only one powered operator and a single person to use it, but is limited to opening in only one direction meaning that it has limited flexibility. Should you need options or added flexibility, this style of rolling hangar doors system will not be your best choice.
Single Stack - One-Way - Unidirectional Rolling Hangar Door Configuration
The second bottom rolling hangar door type is called a bi-parting rolling hangar door. It’s a dual door with a powered operator that opens and closes much like an elevator door, one door to the left and one to the right. This system is one of the simplest and more cost effective options, but like the one-way door, it lacks flexibility and is relegated to opening in the same manner every time.
Bi-Parting Rolling Hangar Door Configuration
Our third bottom rolling hangar door system is the floating hangar door system. These doors offer a great deal of flexibility and options that can increase their usefulness to larger craft hangars and multiple aircraft hangars. It’s typically comprised of four to ten bottom rolling hangar doors with a powered operator for each panel. The floating hangar doors system earns its name because it can move, or float every panel independently of the others in an infinitely variable configuration. Due to the increased number of operators and the complexity of the design, these are traditionally reserved for large scale military and commercial aircraft, but are seeing a lot of use in larger civilian aircraft hangars as well.
Floating Group Rolling Hangar Door Configuration
Our fourth and final recognized style of bottom rolling hangar doors system is the floating group hangar door. This system offers unparalleled functionality and unrivaled performance in large scale, multi-door systems. As the name implies, these doors can be grouped into islands and can literally group, and move to either side individually or as a group of the user’s choosing. These hangar door systems are very seldom used in civilian aircraft hangar door systems and are an exceptionally expensive option typically reserved for the substantially fluctuating needs of large scale airline and military operations. With an operator motor at every panel and a person required to use each operator, this is a very complex and time consuming hangar door system. While the expense is dramatically higher than the previous mentioned systems, there is an enormous benefit to hangars that require relatively quick access and movement of only single panels at a time, as when a maintenance vehicle needs to access the hangar and can do so through a single hangar door opening.
The world of the rolling bottom hangar door system options are as diverse as the aircraft stored within them, but the advancements in manufacturing materials and techniques are creating new options all the time.