The Bifold Hangar Door… Inferior by design

Technology has moved on from wires, cables, pulleys and straps. The world is becoming simpler and safer. Hydraulic doors will soon be the only logical choice for not only aviation, but for agriculture, architecture and mining sectors as well. From a safety perspective, by its very nature, the bifold door is outdated and potentially dangerous.  We recently completed an installation in the U.K. that demonstrates exactly why bifolds are an endangered species.  

 

We were called us about replacing two doors at the Brighton Airport (Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, United Kingdom). The existing bifold doors were only three years old and one (at the Real Flying Company) had fallen down completely as a result of wire cable failure, the other (at Advance Helicopters) was an accident waiting to happen. Having narrowly missed the operator on site, the owner wanted to quickly dispose of a potentially dangerous situation and start new with a stronger, simpler, safer hydraulic Hydroswing® door solution. The operationally unsound bifolds were products of Express Hi Fold Ltd. (a known knock off of an American product by a similar name) and rely on wire cables connected to a chain driven winding axle drum.  With such a high number of moving parts, the risk of failure increases exponentially.

 

 

 

 

 

Hydroswing® was an easy choice for Apollo. Our hydraulic Hydroswing® door is a single panel, has greater strength through design and steel size, 70% less moving parts than the substandard bifold, and is now manufactured in several ISO 9001 facilities around the world, including Great Britain. The door dimensions at Shoreham 60’(18.28m) x 17’(5.18m) and 55’(16.76m) x 17’(5.18m) respectively, were quickly retrofitted with Hydroswing® which in turn immediately provided an additional three feet of tail clearance. Our zero drop two-way Hydrolok™ system also assures the door will never fall should there ever be a loss of hydraulic power.

 

 The bifolds that were torn out have no frame so the retro fit was simple. (It usually only takes two days to fit any opening.) The Hydroswing® is built to fit easily pre hung in its own frame directly into the rough opening and welded straight to the header and uprights of the building. The vastly superior Hydroswing® also provides peace of mind when it’s open, closed or moving: No wires. No straps. No chains with axles or cogs. Most bifolds require supplementary contraptions to hold them in place while closed. Not the Hydroswing® - with almost 100% seal-ability, the door remains tight. These two Hydroswing® doors at Shoreham also incorporate our patented Bow Truss Technology, providing leading edge strength and aesthetics worthy of an architectural install. This special truss also gives “at a glance” certainty of the origin and integrity of this latest generation Hydroswing® hangar door system.

 

 The current trend shows more and more aviation facilities stepping away from the old and now outdated bifolds in favor of the safety, simplicity and effectiveness of Hydroswing®. (Note: A number of the well known Bifold manufacturers are trying to copy and emulate the Hydroswing® design. Keep in mind if it’s not from Hydroswing®… it’s not a Hydroswing®.) We proudly boast over 7,000 Hydroswing® in service and a growing number of bifold replacements and retrofit orders are coming in on a regular basis. Hydroswing® continues to change the general aviation hangar door sector for good. The Hydroswing® hangar door systems are the right choice:

  • 70% less moving parts
  • 100% improved seal-ability
  • Almost Zero Maintenance
  • Zero Drop Safety with Hydrolok™
  • 1m (3’.0) recovered clear height
  • 100% better looking
  • Adds value to the building
  • 90 MPH wind rating standard
  • Full drawing pack per door
  • Patented Bow Truss Technology
  • 2 day retro fit on most buildings

 Watch for further posts regarding this bifold replacement and others to come.

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