5 Things to consider when looking for a hangar door.
When you’re ready to start looking for a new door for your new or existing hangar, there are some considerations that will need to be made, whether you’re a pilot or an airport manager. At Diamond Doors, we have been building hangar doors for over 20 years and between the many conversations we’ve had with other pilots, and our own needs for our hangars, we’ve established the following list for the top 5 considerations taken when looking for new hangar doors.
1: How Safe Is It?
The top consideration in the minds of pilots and managers alike is safety. Recent changes to building codes require photo-electric eyes to ensure nothing is in the path of hangar doors as they close. Limit switches ensure that if something is in the way of the door, hanging over the eyes, that nothing will become seriously damaged from being in the way of a closing hangar door, and the motor includes an electric brake that locks the door in place once it’s stopped. Another safety aspect to consider is the strength of the lifting mechanism. The old style of cable systems can be unsafe if not regularly inspected for wear and rust. The Diamond Door system uses a hybrid cable consisting of a fiber rope core wrapped in a fine cable braid. The Diamond Doors 10-year warranty speaks to the strength and safety built into this system.
2: Will It Withstand Harsh Weather?
A strong door should mean not only is it in service for decades to come, but also that it can protect the entire structure in case of severe weather. When looking for strength in a door, you should be looking for one that won’t sag under it’s own weight; it should be straight and true when it’s opened. The frame itself should be designed and engineered to withstand high winds, this is especially important in areas prone to tornadoes or hurricanes. The internal truss system of a hangar door should be engineered to withstand 1:50 wind loads. In July of 2018, a Tornado ripped through Plentywood, Montana. At the local airport, two hangars were outfitted with Diamond Doors, and both were still standing after the storm passed! An owner of two hangars, Douglas Johnson, saw the strength in action first hand.
“Diamond Doors are awesome! I have two and both survived the 7-9-18 tornado at KPWD.”
- Douglas Johnson, Plentywood, MT
3: Can I Install It On My Existing Building?
Hangars come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Generally with new builds, mounting is pretty straight forward. Our standard mounting hardware and anchor system ensure that the doors will mount safely and securely to any building. When it comes to converting an existing building, or using something like a fabric structure, it can be a little more complicated. The most common question we get asked has to do with a structure that is unlikely to support the weight of a bi-fold door. With our steel header and supporting columns any building can receive one of our bi-fold doors.
4: How Fast Does It Open?
When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. One thing that we’ve heard many times is that most hangar doors take too long to open. It’s important when looking at your options to understand the actual opening speed of the door. Some systems will claim “up to” speeds, but do you know what you’re actually getting? At Diamond Doors, we keep it very simple. We offer the fastest standard opening speed at 18/fpm, with upgrades available to bring your opening speed to 40/fpm! Our doors are great, however we know that when you want to get out and fly, the door’s job is to get out of the way!
5: How Much Can I Customize It?
Many base package hangar doors are very well equipped. Built in safety, strength, all of the things we expect to get. What about the things we want? If you’re building the hangar of your dreams (obviously complete with the aircraft of your dreams) you want a door that provides both form and function. Your first step is to research what’s available. We have customized a lot of doors over the past 20 years. The most common options we see come though are convenience options like pedestrian doors, remote openers, and the aforementioned speed upgrade. The electric auto-lock has also become quite popular. Aesthetic is also important to many, so we know being able to customize the door to get the look you want for your hangar is very important. Between cladding and poly-carbonate panels, we have seen some beautiful buildings with doors to match.
There are many other things to consider, however these are some of the most common considerations we hear from people just like you. Do you have questions about hangar doors? Contact our sales team to learn more about our products. Click here if you would like a quote for your new hangar door!