NCMS Project Uses Laser to Remove Paint From Helicopter Blade

This robotic laser stripping system is capable of removing paint from a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter blade in less than two hours – a time savings of 75% over hand-sanding. The laser system is so precise that it can remove only the top layers of paint, leaving the primer layer intact and not damaging the blade substrate.  When it was done by hand, technicians wore hazmat suits and worked in sweltering heat with toxic stripping chemicals.  Even a small mistake could result in irreparable damage to a $110,000 helicopter blade. This elegant laser system removes that risk. It’s going to save the Department of Defense about 80% in blade refurbishing costs, not to mention the huge time savings.