In 1995, Midland Door Solutions was founded and with them their bi-fold hangar doors, ensuring a pilot need never say “open sesame” to park their plane.
“Our customers were looking for doors that were larger than what could previously be manufactured at Midland Garage Door, so we created Midland Door Solutions to give them the same quality and service they had come to expect, but for larger doors. We later expanded our offerings to hydraulic doors, giving customers the same durability and service they knew with the option of faster speeds and fewer moving parts,” said Jason Myrvik, general manager at Midland Door Solutions.
Since their launch 24-sum years ago, Midland’s Bi-Fold Doors have gone through a handful of changes – all to increase the user experience. Originally manufactured with the operating system mounted in the headers, as the heights of the doors increased, the system moved to the bottom of the door for easier access and maintenance. Manual latches were originally placed on each side of the door but have now been redesigned into a single latch system. Customers wanting a remote option saw Midland adding automatic latches with remote control being added. Finally, the aircraft cables initially used to lift the doors are now replaced with nylon straps as an option.
“A single-latch system with a safety switch comes standard on every door for easy operation. Once closed, users can easily secure the door with one latch in the center rather than one on each end. This saves time, and the safety switch eliminates the risk of damage that can be caused when a user forgets to open both latches. With an optional automatic latch, Midland bi-fold doors can be opened with the push of a button,” added Myrvik.
When it comes to selecting the door, the customization options available for a customer to choose from are many.
“Bi-fold doors can be mounted to wood, steel and concrete hangars. Doors can range from 36’ to 90’ wide and 10’ to 33’ high for single engine aircraft to corporate jets. Hangars can be retrofitted with a bi-fold door even if the existing structure was not designed for a bi-fold door. Sliding door conversions to bi-fold doors are common and utilize a steel header and jambs mounted to the exterior of the existing structure,” described Myrvik. “Door colors can be customized to match any building. Door sheeting and trim is available in 26- or 29-gauge ribbed steel, and the interior liner panels also are 29-gauge ribbed steel. Midland paints each doorframe exterior to match the building’s trim color. Midland offers several options for greater convenience and ventilation, as well. For example, a pre-hung walk door offers easy building access without opening the bi-fold door. Walk-doors are available in 24-gauge smooth-panel steel or 28-gauge textured-panel steel. Midland also can install custom-sized and insulated fixed or sliding windows.”
For installation, the Midland delivers the doorframe and other components to a customer’s site ahead of time, then their trained crew lifts each door into place with a telescoping boom forklift, welding or bolting the doorframe to the building. The crew then applies insulation and steel paneling to the interior and exterior of the doorframe. And after the installation, Midland remains available for servicing the door to further ensure longevity and smooth operation.
For maintenance, it is recommended that a customer look over the whole door for any damage. Ensure the hinges, rollers and structure all appear serviceable and that the cables or straps track correctly over the drum before each use. Each month, a closer visual inspection of the cables or straps should be done to look for frays, tears or breaks. Cable tension should be checked by pulling each away from the door while it’s closed, ensuring the cables are equally taut. Confirm, too, that the cables or straps hold the door in a straight, vertical position when it’s closed. If any adjustments are needed, be sure to do it while the door remains shut.
“We consistently receive positive feedback from our customers for the quality of the workmanship in our product as well as the professionalism of our installation crews. We work hard to ensure the happiness of every customer by providing a product that is on time and on budget,” said Myrvik. “Our bi-fold doors have been used in aviation for over 24 years and we are now seeing our product used in the architectural arena. We are providing glass bi-fold doors on store fronts, restaurants, bars and residences for clients that require a designer door look.