Aircraft Maintenance – Fixed Wing

World’s only laser ablation system in production use on flight-critical surfaces

FAA-approved to strip paint, sealants, corrosion, and protective coatings from wing and fuselage surfaces. Strip sealant from internal fuel tanks in wings or fuselage. Closed-loop laser ablation is ideal for these applications because it completely removes coatings:

  • with no effect on the substrate,
  • with no repetitive manual effort,
  • from surfaces with extremely complex profiles; if the laser can “see” the surface, it can strip it,
  • faster than any other technique,
  • the stripped material can be captured in a paper filter, for easy control and inexpensive disposal.
A-10 Wing Tank Before Coating Removed

A-10 Wing Tank Before Coating Removal

A-10 Fuel Tank After Laser Ablation

Our system currently offers an operator-controlled option and a robotically-controlled option.


Operator Controlled: Our system puts a flexible, closed-loop-controlled laser stripping workhead in the hands of the operator. The workhead weighs about two pounds (~ one kilogram) and moves easily at the end of its 50 meter (150 foot) umbilical cord. Moving the workhead over the area to be stripped delivers quick ablation of any paint, coating, or corrosion on the surface. The operator can watch the coating disappear, and can hear micro-popping as the superheated coating jumps off the cool substrate. This visual and aural feedback helps the operator keep the workhead at the correct distance, while closed-loop control of the laser prevents any damage to the substrate.

Robotic: When combined with an industrial robotic system capable of mapping any surface, our laser system automatically strips any target surface. This system requires no human intervention beyond identifying the surface to be stripped. A similar system designed to strip helicopter rotor blades reduced time-to-strip by 90% for H-53 rotor blades, from about 24 hours (using manual labor and rotary sanders) to about two hours per blade. Currently under development, our Robotic Automated Coatings Removal System (RACRS) will extend this concept to stripping an entire aircraft, automatically. The initial project will focus on the Navy’s V-22 Osprey aircraft, but the concept will be extendable to other airframes.

Robotic Automated Coatings Removal System from Lasertronics

Artist's conception of the Robotic Automated Coatings Removal System (RACRS) positioned to strip a V-22 Osprey aircraft