Air Transport World

Stripping it clean. (paint striping system used on airplanes)

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.-Spurred by actual or impending bans on use of the highly toxic methylene chloride for stripping paint from aircraft, an IATA task force and a number of airlines and suppliers are in the midst of a concerted search for alternatives.

USBI, a Pratt & Whitney subsidiary, has developed a promising new technique that it hopes to transfer to the commercial sector. USBI uses the high-pressure waterjet stripping and automated robotic maintenance system (ARMS) technology to refurbish sond-rocket-booster components for the Space Shuttle and it envisions a multipurpose airline system that not only would virtually eliminate toxic waste but could be used for nondestructive testing and painting as well as for stripping.

Last summer, the company received a U.S. Air Force contract to design, develop and test a large aircraft robotic paintstripping LKRPS) system and to install it at the Tinker AFB air logistics center in Oklahoma by 1995. The computercontrolled LARPS system will incorporate AKR Robotics, Inc. …

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