A Guide to Choosing the Right Hangar Door for Your Aircraft

Unless something goes wrong with your hangar door, it is often hard to fully appreciate how important it is to the condition of your aircraft. From keeping out wind, varmints, and other contaminants to maintaining proper interior temperatures, hangar doors are often unsung heroes that work behind the scenes to protect complex machinery making up your vehicle. For this reason, it is vital to consider things like your budget parameters, safety concerns, and the environmental factors of your area before making a choice between the variety of hangar door types available on the market. Here are the common types of hangar doors you will come across and where they work best.

Bottom Rolling Hangar Doors

Bottom rolling doors are great options for very large applications like housing single-aisle passenger jets and other larger models. The hangars for these aircraft are often so tall that a lifted-type door is not a viable option because of their overall sheer weight and the lifting power needed to raise them off the ground. Thus, bottom-rolling doors offer an excellent alternative that consists of rolling panels which slide to the right or left, either manually or via electric motor operation. In addition to their adaptability in size, these doors are also generally very low maintenance, particularly if they are unpowered as there is little that can go wrong with this type. Moreover, powered bottom rolling doors are also among the simplest of powered and assisted units, incorporating a large electric motor that uses a basic direct chain drive to power the drive wheel.

Hydraulic Swinging Hangar Doors

The hydraulic swinging door is a unique variety of hangar door that uses hydraulics to raise the entire door from a vertical (closed) position to a horizontal one (fully open). Since it takes a tremendous amount of hydraulic force to hold up a door in this way, these types of hangar doors must be relatively lightweight. Additionally, while not directly stated by the manufacturers, these hangar doors are often best used in environments which do not experience chronic high winds. This is due to the fact that when the door is fully opened, it is not pulled into the hangar, but rather stands fully exposed to wind and weather, leaving it open to the elements. Nevertheless, hydraulic doors provide an excellent option for small and medium-sized aircraft because they are virtually silent, require only one person to operate, and are built out of steel for incredible durability.

Bi-Folding Hangar Doors

The bi-folding door is a longstanding hangar door option that has stayed in favor for decades. Since they fold in half horizontally and then raise vertically, they offer an option that can conserve more space in front of the hangar in comparison to hydraulically-powered options. Additionally, because they use heavy nylon straps or steel cables to pull the door open instead of hydraulics, they often require much less maintenance. As such, the major benefit of this design is its ease of operation backed by a lower price than a hydraulic system. However, bi-folding hangar doors are not very efficient for tall, vertical spaces, so they are often better suited for smaller general aviation aircraft than business airplanes. Even so, they are also able to be installed on small buildings and other infrastructure, where the door can be mounted on the exterior without affecting the height of the building.


There are a number of things to consider when looking for a new or replacement hangar door to help house your aircraft. Among other factors, you may want to think about your price range, environment, and height of your hangar. With these useful tips in mind, check out our diverse range of top-quality hangar doors and other aviation products. NSN Sourcing is a leading distributor that stands behind the tried and tested quality of our offerings, upholding rigorous product inspection, document verification practices, and more to assure the authenticity of our parts. Get started with us today to learn how we can serve you as a dependable sourcing solution! 


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