Aircraft Hangar Door Designs & Standard Types

aircraft hangar door designs - bi-fold, sliding, vertical & accordion

Like  with steel hangars for your aircraft  themselves, hangar doors are highly customizable.  There exists a wide array of door options to choose from. This page is meant to introduce you to some of the different designs and technologies available. 


Sliding Doors:

These are doors on rollers that follow a track, including both crossover, and outrigger.
Advantages: Simple and easy, cost-effective, sturdy, straightforward to clean.
Drawbacks: Manual doors require strength to open, tracks can be jammed and must be cleaned.

Crossovers allow you to open portions of the entire framed opening at a time. Outriggers will open up the entire framed opening at once, and require “outrigger” apparatus that extends past both ends of the framed opening.

Vertical Lift:

These doors are hoisted up overhead, either like a garage door, or stacked.
Advantages: Typically electrically motorized (except for stackers), sturdy, dependable.
Drawbacks: More costly, may require professional service if jammed.

Stackers are less expensive, less robust, and typically manually operated. Their advantages include their simplicity and their low cost.


Vertically opening doors, which fold in two down the center.
Advantages: Typically outfitted with an electric motor, long history of dependable use, strong.
Drawbacks: Also more costly, may require service if jammed.

Folding Fabric Hangar Doors:

Typically vertically opening on rollers.
Advantages: Low cost, “crash-forgiving,” aesthetic.
Drawbacks: Lower quality products provide less security, although high-end fabric door manufacturers address this issue.

Your choice of door depends primarily on the size, location, and portion of total opening you require at any given point in time, along with budgetary and aesthetic considerations. The type of door you choose can have significant structural implications for your hangar.

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Hangar openings can also be fitted with tailgates (small doors in the center and at the top of the framed opening that allow the tail to fit through the door), which come in handy if you need to house aircraft whose tail-height exceeds hangar eave-height.

Door Mechanisms

There now exist a number of different types of door motion mechanisms, both manual and electric. If you spend time looking into these, rather than jumping for the first one you are offered, you will be guaranteed to find the one that best suits your hangar.

Further Hangar Resources:

Author: Conrad Mackie