Sabreliner Case

Sabreliner Aviation, a leader in aircraft destructive teardown and analysis, recently tore down a retired Air Force “workhorse” airframe.  This task requires stripping significant amounts of fuel tank sealant to enable deliberate removal of all fasteners.  The legacy technique for stripping sealant uses plastic scrapers and other non-abrasive tools.  This takes about 20 minutes per fastener, and typically becomes the pacing item in disassembly.

On this aircraft, Sabreliner used a Lasertronics laser ablation system instead. The laser made short work of sealant removal, exposing the fasteners on 75 structural wing sections, each with about 120 fasteners, or about 9,000 total.  The Lasertronics system stripped each fastener clean in under a minute.

Learning to use the Lasertronics system required about 20 minutes of operator training.  Using it caused absolutely no repetitive stress injuries to the operators.  The savings in labor, throughput, and costs in stripping these thousands of fasteners was unexpectedly large. The Lasertronics system was completely reliable and performed exceptionally well.  Sabreliner plans to use the Lasertronics system for any future teardowns.

Source:  General Manager, Sabreliner Aviation, LLC