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A Brief Introduction to Aircraft Hangar Doors

Steel hangar Buildings can support a wide variety of doors systems. Your choice of door depends primarily on the size of your aircraft and location of the openings. The type of door you choose can have significant structural consequences for your hangar.

Anatomy of a Steel Building

Here are a few doors available for Steel hangar Buildings,

Sliding Doors:

  • These doors are on rollers which follows a track, including both crossover, and outrigger. They are simple and easy to install, cost-effective, sturdy, and simple to clean. They do have some drawbacks. For instants, sliding doors are usually manual and require strength, and the tracks can become jammed and must be cleaned regularly.

Self-Supported Hydraulic Door System:

  • Self-supported hydraulic doors have an all steel frame construction and are engineered to your building code. Bottom of the door jamb is anchor bolted to the finished floor, and the top of the door jamb is braced back to the aircraft hangar. As a result, the door imposes no load onto the building. However, wind load is transferred through the door jambs into your finished floor and building frame. The hinges design guarantees your entry won’t fail in freezing weather. There are some drawbacks. SSHD require 6 ½ inches of headspace. Also, approximately 1/3 of the door pushes back inside the building.

Vertical Lifting:

  • These doors are hoisted up overhead, either like a garage door, or stacked. Vertical lifting doors are electrically motorized, sturdy, and dependable. However, they are more expensive and may require a service contract to maintain.


  • These doors are vertically opening doors, which fold in two down the center and are typically outfitted with an electric motor and have a long history of dependable use, however, may require service if they are jammed.

Folding Fabric Hangar Doors:

  • Typically, folding fabric doors open vertically on rollers at a price that won’t kill your wallet. The low price comes at a cost, affecting the security of the product, although high-end fabric door manufacturers address this issue.


  • Hangar openings can also be fitted with small doors in the center and at the top of the framed opening that allows the tail to fit through the door, called tailgates. This comes in handy if you need to house an aircraft whose tail-height exceeds hangar eave-height. Additionally, there now exist several types of door motion mechanisms, both manual and electric. You should spend time considering these options rather than jumping the gun when choosing what kind of door to use for your steel building.

For more information on aircraft hangars, CLICK HERE or give us a call 888-783-3535

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