Home-InternationalEly Helicopter Services wins Star Master Builder best of hangar competition

Ely Helicopter Services wins Star Master Builder best of hangar competition

FAIRFAX, Minn., August 2, 2018 – Winning an award for a job well done is surely gratifying, but a satisfied customer is the top priority among craftsmen in any field.

Bill Buckner of B&B Welding in Sallisaw, Okla., installed a 46- by 15-foot hydraulic door from Schweiss Doors on the Ely Helicopter Services hangar project, complete with two remote openers. The hangar was constructed with products from Star Building Systems. The building measures 70 feet long with a 16-foot eave height and a 2:12 slope on the roof. The hydraulic door is positioned in the middle of one 98-foot end wall. The project was submitted for Star’s Master Builder Contest and won Best of Hangar.

Jason “Hoot” Ely of Ely Helicopter Services is the satisfied customer on this project, constructed for his Sallisaw crop-spraying business. Ely also offers aerial sightseeing, videos and photography, wildlife surveys, land surveys, cattle gathering, pipeline and powerline patrol, and aerial hog eradication and predator control.

“I really like the one-piece door,” says Ely. “It also gives you more shade and keeps the hangar cooler. I’ve seen Schweiss doors on other hangars. I’m totally pleased with the construction of the door.”

Ely learned the flying business from his father, John, at the age of 17 and now spends most of his time as the operations manager. He employs two helicopter pilots. Crop spraying makes up the bulk of the family business with an air fleet that consists of two helicopters: a Jet Ranger B3 and a Robinson R44 Raven II. Ely also has a Cessna Ag Truck and an American Champion Scout.

“We go anywhere between oceans if there is enough work to do,” he says. “We’re getting ready to head toward Iowa and will finish the fungicide season up in Minnesota. We had been renting three hangars at the city airport, but now we have our own grass runway at home, five miles from Sallisaw. This puts everything in one place.”

It was Buckner who recommended the Schweiss Doors hydraulic door.

“I like the hydraulic doors for the full canopy they provide with no loss of headroom,” Buckner says. “For that reason and also it keeps our sidewalls down low. The higher the building, the higher the cost. The Ely hangar has three offices, it’s air-conditioned and really nice, but you know, hangars are all about the doors and the floors!”

Buckner first learned of Schweiss doors while looking at hangars at the Bentonville, Ark., airport. These hangars had Schweiss bifold and hydraulic doors.

“I looked at the way the bifold doors come together and the thickness of the backing where the hydraulic door pushes out on the hydraulic cylinder,” he says. “I could just see more quality in it and they were very competitive in price.”

The hydraulics used for the doors of this helicopter are important, they ensure that the doors will be able to open more effectively. By pushing a button, pilots can raise a hydraulic door smoothly with the help of hydraulic cylinders. This is why they are so important to aircrafts. If any damage is done to this mechanism, it’s probably best to consider hydraulic cylinder repair equipment to make sure that everything continues to operate as it should.

“Installation is not hard at all. In one day we had the door hung and on the next day, we had all the hydraulic lines run and got the door working. Every time I’ve called, as far as customer service, Schweiss always answered my questions or got right back to me.”
Buckner says B&B Welding only sells and erects Star Buildings. In 15 years, the company has built upwards of 150 buildings, ranging in size from 30 by 50 feet to 250 by 250 feet. “If someone calls and they have a different building on the ground, I won’t take the job,” he says. “And when we look at aircraft hangar doors, it’s going to be Schweiss.”

Schweiss Doors is the premier manufacturer of hydraulic and bifold liftstrap doors. Doors are custom made to any size for any type of new or existing building for architects and builders determined to do amazing things with their buildings, including the doors. Schweiss also offers a cable to liftstrap conversion package. For more information, visit www.hydraulicdoors.com.

The Ely hangar has three offices, it’s air-conditioned and the door is insulated to retain heat in the cold months and keep the hangar cool during hot Oklahoma summers. The large canopy that the door provides when open also helps shade the interior of the hangar.



The steel hangar, built by B&B Welding, was entered into Star’s Master Builder Contest and won first place in the Best of Hangar category. Inside the hangar are three air-conditioned offices.




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