|Hydraulic Aircraft Hangar Doors
||Part 1 - Advantages of Hydraulic Hangar doors
This is the first in a series of articles on aircraft hydraulic doors. We want to point out there is a reason behind this and it is simple, as a manufacture of the highest quality hydraulic door system made we want to insure that our customers and future customers are informed.
So the big question what are the advantages of hydraulic hangar doors?
- Shade - The largest benefit of the Hydraulic hangar door is shade. The canopy the door makes is unsurpassed. The is honestly nothing like a single panel hydraulic door panel that completely swings out away from the building. Sure Bi fold and tilt back hydraulics add some level of shade but only 55% of less. Let us look at this advantage a little deeper. This canopy can act as an awning better than that of the tilt back in the rain as well, why you may ask is it better? Two main reasons the length overall is better and the fact there are no penetrations in the door panel itself which will leak. Bi Folds tend to have roll back thus rain will run back the top of the panel.
- Strength – We have witnessed destruction of hangar doors, however in 2004 we installed 75 hydraulic doors to hangars that lost their doors, the next year another Hurricane blew through and the hydraulics we standing strong while a Bifold blew in (And we did not build it). The secret to the strength is the exterior truss that runs along the bottom of the door. This truss is smart and low profile so it adds to the attractiveness of the door panel. The sides also overlap the side columns allowing for a tight seal. The hydraulic cylinders that power the hangar door are commercial grade and are dual acting. Continuous jamb columns, this is where the bulk of the door flexes, in other manufactures they splice the door at this point, we don’t and this makes our hydraulic hangar door stronger.
- Safety – Our hydraulic hangar doors come equipped with a counter balance check valve, this requires a positive pressure to be distributed in order for the door to close. What this means if a hose were to burst the door would not slam down and effectively damage property of life. We also use double acting hydraulic cylinders. Tilt door use single acting that use gravity to bring the door down, this is NOT SAFE! If the line bursts they will drop on one side and then the door could fall out of its position. The overall safety of the door also rely on the quality control of the manufacturing process. It is important to note these manufactures want your business and they will cut corners, do your homework.
- Reliability – The cool thing about the single panel hydraulic door is they are reliable, more so than that of the tilt up kind, this is because the door has a simple fluid power system. Bi folds and tilt backs are a bit more painful to adjust and this can be challenging at times even for a seasoned installer. They can be fitted with several alternate power systems from DC pumps to auxiliary power hoses for operation during a power failure. The dual acting rams allow for fluid bypass once the door is in full open position. Now nothing is more reliable than a sliding hangar door, and we doubt there will ever be.
- Flexibility – This may sound a bit crazy, but believe it or not the buildings the door can go on are often not perfect. When we say not perfect, here is the thing the frame may be out of plumb on one side and out an inch at the bottom on another. The mounting flange and door design allow the installer to be able to take minor liberties. Bi Fold doors, regardless of cables or lift straps require a square opening. Hydraulic tilt back doors require a plumb column to attach to (Not that amazing of a hangar door any more). The flexibility of the hydraulic hangar door has been test time and time again and proven to be an outstanding product. You can also install windows, porches and other items to the front without worry.
- Low Maintenance – The single panel swing out hydraulic system is by far the least to worry about. Bi Folds have lift straps that break down in the sun or tear, cables that can rust, Sliding doors have bearings and tracks that rust. Amazing tilt ups have constant adjustment required due to temperature variations. The hydraulic hangar door is really just grease and go. We suggest fluid change every 5 years, however that is about it aside from annual paint touch up.
Challenges face every door system, and we suggest you do your homework. Be aware there are a few people who will say anything to get a sale. You are the end use of the aircraft hangar door not your buddy or your general contractor, so look touch and feel before you buy this investment.