Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By Lockhaven
Has anyone had in the UK a bifold hangar door fabricated, if yes what sort of costs did you incur, was it cheaper if you said it was for a barn and not an aircraft hangar :wink:

I am looking at having one made and installed on my barn come hangar, the door would be roughly 40ft wide and 12ft high, manual or electric.

Something along the lines of this but not as big.

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By Rob P
ISTR that Biplane Al / Al Coutts / Wildcat One fitted something similar

Rob P
Twenty years ago (!) I enquired of the Schweiss agents in Telford and they quoted something like £6k for a 30' by 10' opening. That was a lot of money then.

I bought:

200' of inch box steel tubing,
thirty foot length of solid bar (inch)
3 of inch diameter bearing blocks
a bunch of pulleys (as I was not sure what size I'd need to get the raise speed controllable) on sale or retirn
two v belts
a geared 240V motor from radio spares
a two position switch (up, off, down)
Enough 8x4 sheets of commercial grade 1mm aluminium to cover the opening
A handful of screw-in grease nipples
A new 130Amp stick welder
two boxes of welding rods

I built the doors flat on the concrete barm floor then welded bracketry on to one set of internal supports to mimic their final positioning on the back wall I was due to remove. I lifted the entire set up without the cladding using my tractor and loader. This allowed me to build a motor mount and refine the operating speed with various pulley combinations before I knocked the wall down tidied that up and installed the doors. I gap sealed the bottom and the the hinged sections with rubber sheet.

The doors have been bullet proof ever since, I lube the six home-made hinges (solid bar drilled to take a six inch long, half inch bolt and drilled and tapped on each of the three segments to take agrease nipple), twice a year and occasionally replace a rivet that holds the cladding on with a self-tapping short roofing bolt.

The pros - they work well and I know them intimately. They were less than 10% of the cost of Bi-fold.

The cons - they are not auto shut-off, so I do stand-by the rotary switch when they are either nearly fully opened or fully closed. You probably need to have access to a welder and have some other kit - found on most farms!

I trust this helps.
Rob P, Lockhaven, DarrenL liked this
Built a sliding barn-door in similar fashion, but clad in galvy steel (cheaper) Track made from 3 inch angle, home-brewed wheels running on edge of vertical side of angle (could use channel) door suspended by studding drilled down through top box- section.

Problem with horizontal -split bi-fold, you are needing pillars and roof truss to support the entire door weight....a counterbalance would double this, can be mostly mitigated by using a pair of long coil springs in torsion. Consider conventionally mounted hinged doors, can be split into sections to reduce and bottom bolts easily arranged with as deep engagement in frame and ground as your paranoia demands.horizontal braces can be slid through eyes welded to frames. For added protection, a beam can be mounted through eyes and padlocked.....mounted at Landrover windscreen- height, it'll take the roof off lesser vehicles that attempt a ramraid....4x4 vehicles tend to get abandoned (well, the remnants :lol: ) at the scene.

Of course, you could make similar secondary fortification with an up n' over bi-fold. Certain elements on the fringes of society will spy out before attacking, make it an easy choice for them.....breaking in to yours is too much trouble, there are easier pickings.........Mate had his garage broken into, via the only part of the asbestos roof that wasn't underdrawn with shuttering-ply or Weldmesh concrete-reinforcement. Once in, he couldn't climb back out, couldn't break out! rat in a trap! police sent dog in to flush him out.
O h, forgot to add....use a MIG welder....plenty of used ones about, far less skill needed than stick, friendly pub will supply co2 bottle refills for under a tenner!
Lockhaven liked this
I don't have the skills or knowledge to build my own but I did do some research into the various types of hangar doors. As I didn't want the doors to use any space to the side of the hangar the choices were limited to vertical sections that would slide on a curved track around the side of the hangar or something that went up and over. The costs of the bi-fold ones in the UK are really silly, compared to the US, so Lockhaven's idea was given the heave-ho. In the end I went for two 5m roller doors. They were made super-strong because the manufacturer predicted doom and gloom with an airfield's winds etc but it will be good in the long run. I have a central pillar, suspended from a track over the hangar opening, which slides out of the way once the doors are open. It works very well and gives me a 10m gap. The roller doors are operated manually, using a chain and pulley system. I wanted this because (a)the hangar doesn't have electricity yet and may not ever have it and (b)it keeps it simple and fool proof.


I struggled to find a slidey or a foldey door that worked in the space available, and wasn't going to cost a fortune. In the end a local chap with a welding torch produced for me an arrangement that looks remarkably similar to @PaulSS 's hangar, based upon two steel roller doors and a removable centre-strut. It may look a little Heath Robinson, but it works brilliantly. Mine is electrically operated and I can have the doors open and the Moth out in under 5 minutes.

I'd show you a pic but I just can't get the image upload thing to work :roll:
Lockhaven liked this
Yep. It’s what I’ve used and it cost about £300 if you go about it in a clever way. Happy to share my system via PM if you want (so as not to bore others)