Zenith Bretheren:

I am in the process of building a new hangar, yippee, but have an issue with the door type.  I have prices from both Schweiss and Power Lift and they are pretty close, but I've heard that the one piece doors are the "coming thing" in hangar doors and wonder what others have installed?  Should I go with the one piece Power Lift or the bifold Schweiss?  Pros and cons?


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Make sure the thing is tall enough :)


Yup, I've measured twice and will cut once!


I fell in love with a new and fairly unknown door design at Oshkosh last year, the Higher Power Door. It is unique in that it is fully supported by its own frame so you do not need to build special strength into the building. On the website is pictures and video of a door fully assembled and operating on a concrete slab that will eventually have a hangar on it, but there is no hangar (or any other structure, support or braces). The other things I like about it are that the door goes straight up for a foot or so before it starts to swing open (a good thing in snow country) and when closed it is naturally a tight seal (good thing in cold country if you want the option of heating your hangar). The door moves in a track arrangement and opens while balanced on the door frame, there are no cantalever type loads to brace against. Also, it is quite affordable by the standards of nicely made hydraulic doors. Check them out. I hope to build a hangar soon and plan to have one of these doors in it. http://www.hpdoors.com/


I liked the Higher Power Door too, but they can't meet the price I need to keep the wife happy.  Nice door, though.


Should I go with the one piece Power Lift or the bifold Schweiss?


My suggestion is neither one!. I built a 40x60 metal hangar 20+ years ago and used Horton Stack Doors.  They roll on a single track about 1" tall and accordion-pleat or "stack."  The beauty of them is that they don't require any sort of lift or pulley system, etc. so they don't need electrical power to operate. The rollers are on bearings and once you get them rolling to each side, it takes very little effort to keep the momentum going and stack them up. Another big advantage is that you can partially open them to whatever size opening you want (say when doing maintenance or rolling a fueling tank, etc.) and you get a full-height opening to admit light, etc., but you don't have to expose the full width of the hangar opening (say when it's very windy or gusty) as you do when you use any sort of vertical lift door. And, of course, they don't take up any overhead space when open.

The small track is not a problem - any plane that you're are rolling out will generate sufficient momentum that the tires will bump right over the track easily - I've had no problems pulling out a 172XP, 206 Stationair, or my 750. They have very high quality translucent gray ?fiberglass? panels that admit light but you can't see through them. I never have to turn on interior lighting in the hangar with the doors closed due to the amount of natural light admitted. 22+ years later the panels look as good as new. You can see how compactly they stack in the picture of them behind the 750:

Just an alternative to consider!




I really thought that is what I was going to do and began planning with the stackers in mind, but the snow problem we have is just too much for the design.  I ordered the Schweiss bifold today.

Haven't talked in a while, have been flying a little but grandkids and building the hangar have intervened.  Still getting high temps on #5, so may go back to the drawing board.  Also getting oil temps around 213.



There's a simple solution for the snow ... move south!  ; )


I do it in a minute, but there is a reason I can't.  It's called 4 grandkids and my wish to save them from their parents!!

I've been looking for doors solutions for my Quonset hangar and will certainly contact Horton, thanks for the post. The challenges I face with an existing Quonset building built for agricultural storage are no load bearing end walls and a very limited source of outrigger sliding door kits, and the ones I find are not wide enough to accommodate an aircraft. My experience has shown the steel building manufacturers want to sell you the entire building with a door kit as an option. The local commercial door businesses don't even want to talk with me. I'm not a business and I don't have ten grand to spend on a door. Anyone out there found a source for a reasonably priced (say, less than five grand) kit that works well with a Quonset building?

I have Schweiss door on my hangar which was built in the 1990's and have been happy with it. I think you can still purchase them with cables instead of straps and may be cheaper.

In case of fire, the straps will melt which leaves you without a way to open the door.

We have several people, here in Caldwell Idaho, build their own doors which are very similar to the Power Lift door. Concrete weights are used as counter balances. These doors are very easy to hand crank open and close. 

Just my two-bits,


I just built a hangar.  Went with the Higher Power door.  Purchased it at Oshkosh last year - "show special" price.

Superior design IMHO in that the hydraulic cylinders extend & retract straight up and down, and there is no additional force on the frame of the building.  Less expensive than Schwiess by several thousand dollars (possibly the Oshkosh pricing there).

I would look at Diamond Doors.  Two people just installed them at my local airport.  Very nice doors...


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