Megadoor Reference Story -Aircraft Manufacturing: Pratt & Whitney Canada Mirabel Aerospace Center
Aircraft Manufacturing:
Pratt & Whitney Canada Mirabel Aerospace Center
New hangar door, Retrofit hangar, Improve efficiency

Megadoor improves Pratt & Whitney's hangars at Mirabel Aerospace Center in Canada

Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) Mirabel Aerospace Center, located at the Montréal-Mirabel International Airport in Québec, Canada, is a state-of-the-art assembly and test facility for the company’s next generation of jet engines. P&WC, a United Technologies company (NYSE:UTX), invested 360 million USD in the 300,000- square-foot (27 800 sqm) facility, constructed on only 910,430 square feet (84 580 sqm) of land. The Mirabel Aerospace Center is a global hub for engine flight testing for the complete range of Pratt & Whitney Canada and Pratt & Whitney engines.

The center houses two Boeing 747SP aircraft that have been transformed into flying test beds, to simulate a complete range of flight conditions and record key engine data. At the facility, P&WC will assemble and test the PurePower® PW1524G for the Bombardier CSeries aircraft and the advanced PurePower® PW800 family of engines for the next generation of large business jets. In line with P&WC’s commitment to sustainable development and operations, the Mirabel Aerospace Center was built to LEED silver certification standards. It features a passive solar wall, Megadoor hangar doors, energy efficient lighting and optimized use of natural light.

The old flight test hangar, utilizing traditional bottom rolling doors, housed the two 747SP aircraft directly across the apron from the new center. These doors were inefficient and problematic, especially during the harsh Québec winters. One of PW&C’s primary customers is Bombardier, which has two manufacturing facilities in Montréal, incorporating over eighty Megadoor systems. After seeing the Megadoor system in action and talking with Bombardier’s facility and maintenance managers, PW&C decided to incorporate Megadoor hangar doors on their new facility.


  • Sustainability - Megadoor systems are chosen for projects where sustainability is a priority. Over 99% of a Megadoor can be recycled. Due to very low air infiltration values, it is the most energy efficient large door on the market. The Megadoor can also be provided with a translucent fabric that allows natural sunlight to brighten the hangar, minimizing energy and lighting maintenance costs.
  • Energy Efficiency – The first Megadoor systems were installed in 1997 at the Bombardier Delivery Center in Montréal’s Dorval airport, as an alternative to traditional hangar doors that failed to meet customer expectations. *(Please refer to the Megadoor Bombardier case study for more information.) Since then, over seventy-five Megadoor systems have been installed for various customers at both Dorval and Mirabel airports in Montréal. Eighty percent of energy loss on a closed hangar door is attributed to air infiltration around poor seals. The dramatically superior seals on the Megadoor help it reduce this air infiltration more than any other door. In addition, the vertically operating Megadoor system enables the user to open each door just enough for aircraft or vehicle movement. With this system, crews do not unnecessarily expose the top of the hangar, releasing all the warm, conditioned air. Together, these features enable operating a cost effective, climate controlled hangar.
  • Cold Weather Performance - Megadoor understands that if a door does not open when required, it can delay operations with huge financial consequences. Since Megadoor system operates vertically, they do not require the floor tracks needed by bottom rolling doors, which commonly fill with ice during winter months. Ice does not accumulate on the Megadoor exterior surface, as it does on conventional doors, because as the door fabric flexes in the wind or folds during operation, the ice just flakes off. Lastly, the Megadoor will not freeze to the ground like other door systems that can be severely damaged if operated while locked in ice.
  • Site Constraints - By utilizing Megadoor systems that lift vertically and do not require rail systems, the architects were able to reduce the depth of the entire two bay hangars by approximately ten feet. Door pockets required by traditional bottom rolling doors were also eliminated, allowing for a compact and efficient design. Together, eliminating the door pockets and rails saved over 3,000 sq feet of space and reduced other construction costs.
  • Aesthetics - The clean lines of the Megadoor complement modern architectural spaces, distinguishing it from the common hangar door.

Challenge and solution


  • Sustainability – The engines built and tested at the Mirabel Aerospace Center incorporate the most advanced environmental technologies; therefore it was essential to PW&C that the facility also reflect the same environmental commitment.
  • Energy Efficiency – Cost-effectively climate control the manufacturing facilities in the cold Montréal winters.
  • Cold Weather Performance – The door must operate reliably in harsh winter conditions in order to not impede test schedules.
  • Site Constraints – The 300,000-square-foot (27 800 sqm) facility needed to be constructed on only 910,430 square feet (84 580 sqm) of land.
  • Aesthetics – P&WC desired stylish, modern facilities that complemented the company’s image.

Megadoor provided:

  • Hangar door design and technical assistance with the structural integration of the door system into the building.
  • Two 214’ wide x 34’/74’ high Megadoor systems consisting of three individually operated door leafs and two retractable mullions.
  • Installation and commissioning