Airplanes are built for the skies, but hangars serve as their home away from home. Before an airplane ever reaches cruising altitude, its hangar protects it from the elements to ensure it’s fit to fly. Quickly entering and exiting these large buildings with an airplane is effortless when you have the right aircraft hangar door design.
Hydraulic doors make parking an airplane as simple as pulling into a garage. With the push of a button, pilots are able to raise a one-piece hydraulic door quickly and smoothly. As easy as hydraulic doors are to operate, their real strength lies in their reliability. Whether you’re a commercial pilot or a flying enthusiast, hydraulic doors add predictability to flying days — too bad the same can’t be said of weather conditions!
Reliability Starts with Simplicity
Compared to traditional aircraft hangar doors, hydraulically powered doors have far less moving parts, which means there are fewer components that can break or malfunction. Hydraulic motors are able to lift and lower even the heaviest doors for the largest airplane hangars.
Nearly all hangar doors utilize springs to create the force necessary to open and close, but only hydraulic doors use liquid to slow the spring down and prevent abrupt slamming. The hydraulic advantage lies in the fact that the liquid serves as a shock absorber. While there’s not a lot of complexity to the design, hydraulics create smooth door functionality for decades.
There aren’t many things larger than an airplane hangar door, which means that lifting and lowering it is a challenge not to be taken lightly (both literally and figuratively). One difficulty to overcome is the fact that a large door can put lots of stress on a building when it lifts upwards. Besides the hangar structure, the door itself must withstand heavy stress forces in several directions as it moves.
In order to compensate for extremely heavy loads, hydraulic doors feature clever engineering tricks. For example, Schweiss Doors utilize spherical bearings at each end of hydraulic cylinders, which ensure that stress is evenly distributed on the door pins. This setup also allows door cylinders and rods to remain straight, rather than bow under stress. Spherical bearings don’t only make a door more reliable, they make it safer to operate. Less stress on components lowers the odds of a structural failure.
Keeping Things Moving
A tried and true system is the best protection against a broken door. One way to protect against breakdowns is by using standalone electric motors with safety compliant components. Companies such as Schweiss only utilize UL listed parts in electrical boxes to limit the impact of a malfunction. Should something go wrong, the parts in this control center can easily be replaced with common components on the market.
Another key to long-lasting door functionality is ease of maintenance. A filter indicator should clue you in as to when it’s time for a replacement, and removing the filter should be easy without the risk of spilling oil. Adding oil to the motor should be just as effortless, so systems like those from Schweiss incorporate glass to make it easy to gauge oil levels before replacement.
In the unlikely event that a motor fails to work, it’s important to have a backup plan. Power outages, for example, shouldn’t leave your plane grounded in the hangar. Luckily, hydraulic systems feature DC battery backup to open and close the door even when the electricity goes out. Schweiss incorporates DC power backup and several other backup options so pilots can take to the skies no matter the circumstances.
Where Your Runway Begins
If the technology behind hangar doors sounds complicated, just remember that we have the same passion for this type of engineering as you have for aviation. The Schweiss Doors team stops at nothing to continually improve upon aircraft hangar door designs and provides the most reliable products on the market.
If you’re interested in elevating your hangar’s safety and reliability, contact our friendly team. We are excited to help get your project off the ground so you can store your plane without any headaches. Call us today!