Schweiss Offers New Greaseable Hinges 

Schweiss Doors Introduces New Greaseable Bifold and Hydraulic Door Hinges

Schweiss Doors didn’t just wrap its head around heavy-duty bifold door hinges, the company went a step further and engineered a robust, user-friendly, greaseable hinge with a removable hinge pin.

The new hinge design, with grease zerks on every hinge and lets bifold door users grease hinges from the underside of the doorframe without having to go through the cumbersome process of removing the top rubber weather seal. Schweiss Doors is the only door manufacturer to offer easily accessible greaseable door hinges for bifold and hydraulic doors that can be greased from underneath the door without removing the top weather seal.

For more information on Schweiss Doors products, please visit or call 507/426-8273.


Schweiss Spirit of Columbus 

Tennessee Barn Hangar Holds Replica of Spirit of Columbus

Driving up and seeing Dick Merrill’s wood-frame barn the first time, you’d never guess that it is almost exclusively used to hangar his 180 Cessna Spirit of Columbus and that over half of the end wall has a bifold door on it.

The 60-foot by 80-foot hangar is nestled in the Smoky Mountains Hensley Airpark, two miles south of Chuckey, Tenn. It features a Schweiss Doors bifold liftstrap door, measuring 50 feet by 15 and a half feet, with photo eye sensors, auto latches, remote opener, and emergency backup power system. The exterior of the barn and outside of the bifold door is clad in HardiePlank lap siding that matches the adjacent home.

HardiePlank siding, also known as cement board siding, has been around a long time. It’s a low-maintenance, long-lasting material that is completely rot and insect resistant. It’s made of 90 percent sand and cement, making it fire resistant. It’s also very heavy – Merrill estimates the bifold door with HardiePlank over OSB sheathing weighs approximately 10,000 pounds. The strong liftstraps give him peace of mind, knowing the door is safe and secure. Since he purchased the door, he replaced the cable latch system with the straplatch system.

“The automatic latch system is great,” Merrill said. “I can sit here in the house with the extra remote and close the door when I want to, and it latches fine. My neighbor has a manual latch, and he’s quite happy with that. I like the fact that the door blends in so well with everything. The best thing I like is the remote and the fact you have to hold the button down to go up and down, eliminating the worry about it coming down on something.”

His wife, Ginger, designed the hangar along with the contractor, Smucker Builders of Chuckey, to put the crossbuck doors on it.

“Most of the barns around here don’t have any paint on them,” Merrill said. “The bifold door came with a stronger frame because we were going to put Hardie board on it. With the five strong straps, I figure I can walk under it with no problem. We built the hangar bigger than it really needed to be when one of the guys said, ‘Build it bigger than you think you want because you’ll grow into it.’”

Merrill said he was tempted to get a Schweiss hydraulic door, but decided to go with the bifold door, which allows him to park closer to it. He briefly considered a door from another manufacturer but wasn’t impressed.

“What sold me on Schweiss Doors was when I was at an airport in Fredericksburg, Texas, some years ago,” he said. “The 180 Club had a fly-in there, and they had put in a new string of T-hangars that all had bifold doors with straps. It looked like a so-much better idea. Their doors got used pretty heavily. I’ve been to Oshkosh and talked to Schweiss there.”

He’s been flying since 1959, learning in a Cessna 172 at the age of 16. Ginger is also a pilot, previously owning and flying a light sport cruiser, marketed by Piper. Dick has had his Cessna 180 for 38 years, making the purchase in 1980 from a listing he saw in Trade-A-Plane. Merrill has since applied the paint scheme to his plane to match the Spirit of Columbus, a 1953 Cessna 180. It became famous when Geraldine “Jerrie” Fredritz Mock piloted it as the first American woman to make the solo flight around world in 1964. That plane has since been featured at the Smithsonian Institute and other notable places. Mock, who completed the 23,000-mile flight in approximately 29 days, was awarded the FAA Gold Medal for Exceptional Service in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Amelia Earhart Memorial Award among others.

Merrill obtained permission from Mock to replicate the look of her Cessna. She asked to see it when it was finished, but unfortunately, she passed away before he had the chance to show his freshly painted 180. Her family asked Merrill to participate in the scattering of Mock’s ashes from his plane over the Gulf of Mexico.

Merrill speaks well of his strong bifold door and has an even better story to tell about his Cessna 180, which he flies as a tribute to Mock, promoting aviation history.

For more information, visit



Photo 1: Dick and Ginger Merrill of Chuckey, Tenn. replicated their 1953 Cessna 180 to match the paint scheme of the plane piloted by famous female aviator, Jerrie Mock.  (Photo courtesy of Vintage Aircraft Magazine)



Photo 2: The Merrill’s hangar has a 50-foot by 15-foot, 6-inch Schweiss Doors bifold liftstrap door with photo eye sensors, autolatches, remote opener and an emergency backup system.



Schweiss Send Bifold Door to Costa Rica 

Bifold Corporate Jet Hangar Door is First of its Kind in Central America

On a pleasant autumn Minnesota day, two representatives from CILC Central America Corporation, Costa Rica division, arrived for a couple days to tour the Schweiss Doors factory and place an order for a bifold liftstrap door.

Jose Villegas, the CILC Compliance Manager, and Esteban Quiros, the Project Engineer, ordered a bifold liftstrap door wind-rated at 90 mph, to be installed on the company’s new state-of-the-art hangar, which houses the corporate jet at Juan Santamaria International airport in Alajuela, Costa Rica. The bifold door measures 79-feet, 9-inches by 21-feet,11-inches.

“The factory is amazing,” said Villegas. “The lineup of the fabrication area is very impressive, how you can turn a process that elsewhere would take many, many weeks longer.”

Quiros was just as impressed. “The whole process of assembly has a very useful logic,” he said. “Where you put the materials, the assembly line, electrical parts, and storage have a perfect sense of rotating the process and how fast a door can be finished.”

Villegas said the factory visit also dispelled his preconceived thoughts that the door would be complicated. “When I saw it functioning … it’s basically very easy, it’s very easy to assemble, it’s very easy to use; it’s like you are having a gate on your house in a bigger way, actually simpler. You have motors, you have your straps, you have your finished product. You just plug and play,” he said.

“Our client in Central America had a requirement that every part of the construction of the 2,159-square-foot hangar and door had to be from a certified provider,” Villegas said. “The buyer of the door told us to look at Schweiss Doors. Basically, the buyer didn’t want any other door than a Schweiss bifold door for the new international corporate private jet hangar.”

Villegas and Quiros were very pleased they were able to make the trip to Minnesota. By doing so, they obtained some very useful structural information from factory sales reps, Jeremy Rieke and David Schweiss.

“Sitting down today and going through every single detail with David, we found mistakes by the building construction company that were very important,” Villegas said. “There were problems with the main columns where the bifold door is to be attached at the sides. The way it was, it was too little to support the weight.”

Villegas and Quiros were excited to get the door installed and believe it can be a showcase door for other Costa Rica new hangar projects. They want to impress the public authorities with the quality of the big hangar doors and other uses for Schweiss doors.

Chris Villegas Solera, Vice President of Operations at CILC, coordinated delivery of the door container that first arrived at the overseas port of Moin, in Puerto Limon, and later trucked inland to the International Airport of Alajuela. He also oversaw the installation of the door. He described his experience, from visiting the Schweiss factory to dealing with international airport restrictions and Costa Rican custom agents holding on to the shipment for two weeks, as a daunting but informative task. It took 22 days to ship the door from the factory to the job site.

Quiros and Jose Pablo were trained to assemble the door upon its arrival but were called away to work on other projects during the delay with customs. That left Project Engineer Rafael Ramirez to complete the assembly.

“I have to be honest with you, we got help from above,” said Solera. “Resources came to us from everywhere: knowledge, equipment, tools, etc. This, combined with the effort the guys at Schweiss Doors put into this, made our day. We were very proud and fortunate of having our company name next to the great Schweiss name.”

Solera said the assembly went well in part because of how the contents were neatly packaged and how every box was marked accurately.

“We learned the hard way that building inside an international airport is very complicated because of all the security, environmental and construction permits that are required. We had to wire all the electrical cables into an aluminum tube and flexible conduit, and then, per customer request, we had to re-paint the door to comply with their strict quality standards.”

Solera said the hangar’s amenities are impressive: fiber optics, the latest in surveillance technology, offices, boardroom, TV room, kitchenette, showers, and a mirrored epoxy floor.

“I am very impressed that Schweiss is making a very good quality product than can be used for different purposes from showrooms to house, shops, stadiums, NASA hangars, Army to stores, the whole spectrum of the market,” Quiros said.

Villegas estimated that once the door was built and placed in a shipping container, it would take about three weeks to arrive at its overseas destination in San Jose. He said it’s the first large jet hangar door to be delivered to Central America.

“Not knowing how to put this project together and seeing a Schweiss bifold door for the first time, we were highly dependent on the support and guidance from Schweiss personnel,” Solera said. “They are outstanding people; not only great human beings, but very patient and knowledgeable of the product they sell. I would not have been able to put this together without that support. I convinced them to download ‘WhatsApp,’ an app that enabled us to do media calls in real time and make suggestions and send a picture that seconds later, they could see. That made it very easy for us. I’m looking forward to doing more business with Schweiss.”

For more information, visit



CostaRica1: CILC Central America Corp personnel heading up the ordering, shipping and installation of the 79-foot, 9-inch by 21-foot,11-inch Schweiss bifold hangar door in San Jose, Costa Rica. Here Rafa Ramirez, left, and V.P. of Operations, Chris Villegas Solera, give the thumbs up after installing their first bifold door.

CostaRica3: Jose Villegas (left) and Esteban Quiros of Costa Rica got their first introduction to Schweiss doors during their tour of the factory with David Schweiss (right). The showroom, with more than 80 large photos impressed them with the many applications that the Schweiss bifold and hydraulic doors can be used for.



Upcoming WACO Events

Upcoming Events


Florida Demo Flights All Winter

Get ready for 2019


Mark your calendars now for upcoming aviation events, and join the team at WACO for some flying fun!


Listed below are the fly-ins we have planned so far, and the year is just beginning.  Follow our events page on for future updates.



Also, we’re happy to say that demo flights in the WACO Amphib are available in

Stuart, FL, this winter.  Please contact the factory for details and appointment.


US Aircraft Expo


February 22-23

Clearwater, FL


Sun n’ Fun Fly-In


April 2 - 7, 2019

Lakeland, FL





Aero Friedrichshafen


April 10 - 13, 2019






May 10 - 11

Frederick, MD



EAA AirVenture


July 22-28, 2019

Oshkosh, WI


Saturday at Planes of Fame

Plane of Fame Air Museum
SAT. JAN. 5th, 2019
‘The Quest For Speed’
Featuring the World’s Fastest Piston Engined Aircraft P-51 Mustang ‘Voodoo’!
Presentations by: Pilot Steven Hinton 
Moderator and Historian Kevin Thompson
Featuring the P-51 Mustang Voodoo! Pilot Steven Hinton will talk about what it takes to attempt a world speed record followed by a question & answer period. The P-51 Mustang ‘Voodoo’ will be on display and is scheduled to perform a flight demonstration.
At 12:00 noon, the Raffle Flight will occur. Become a member to enter the Raffle. All members are eligible to enter but you must be present to win. 
READ MORE…   (Schedule subject to change)

Reno Air Race Champion and World Speed Record holder Steven Hinton will provide an overview on what it takes to attempt a world speed record. The P-51 Mustang “Voodoo” will be on display and is scheduled to perform a flight demonstration at 12 noon.READ MORE.
Kevin Thompson, Historian and Moderatorwill moderate the event and present an overview of World Speed Record Attempts READ MORE.
Planes of Fame ~ Chino Airport
909.597.3722 ~
Museum is Open to the Public, General Admission: $15, 11 yrs and Under $6, Ages 4 and Under : FREE! (excludes special events)
Become a Member Upcoming Events Shop Online Contact Us
Zero Video
Click on image to see the
P-51 ‘Voodoo’ in action:
Keep up with the latest Happenings!
POF Facebook
Instagram Link
Twitter Logo
FREE Living History Flying Day Admission for Planes of Fame Members! 
Wilbur and Child
BECOME A MEMBER OF THE PLANES OF FAME AIR MUSEUM! Planes of Fame Air Museum, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. By becoming a member today you help us sustain our efforts to Keep ‘em Flying! Click Here for Info
Copyright © 2009, In Flight Media. All rights reserved.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Creative Commons License

Designed by jbNadler Creative Labs