The Boeing Company recently received two orders totaling more than $6 million for its FLASHJET® Coatings Removal System.
The effective, economical and environmentally safe paint stripping systems will enter service next year at the U.S. Air Force Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Ga., and the U.S. Army Corpus Christi Army Depot in Texas.
"These orders mark the FLASHJET process' expanding role in paint removal for military and commercial aircraft," said Glenn Hess, general manager for Aircraft Logistics Support Services for Boeing. "I believe these FLASHJET systems, along with another now operating at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, are the first of many that will set new standards of environmental safety and cost effectiveness in the military's sizeable job of paint removal."
The FLASHJET gantry system at Warner Robins will be used to depaint composite radomes, flight control surfaces, fairings and other surfaces from the U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle, C-130 Hercules, C-141 Starlifter and C-5 Galaxy aircraft. It will become operational in the fourth quarter of 1999.
The seven-axis robot gantry system for the Corpus Christi Army Depot will accommodate the largest U.S. Army helicopter, the CH-47 Chinook. The FLASHJET system will be used to remove paint from AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Blackhawk, AH-1 Cobra, UH-1 Huey, SH-60 Seahawk and OH-58 Kiowa helicopters. It will become operational in the third quarter of 1999.
The FLASHJET system incorporates a patented process that combines pulsed light energy and a steady stream of dry ice pellets to remove up to four square feet of paint per minute for less than $4 a square foot. That is less than one-third the cost of manual removal and one-sixth the cost of chemical stripping. As opposed to chemical stripping and media blast processes, the environmentally safe FLASHJET process produces 90 percent less waste.
A mobile version of the FLASHJET system also is available for large aircraft coatings removal. The prototype mobile FLASHJET system was demonstrated successfully on P-3C aircraft at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., earlier this year. The first production mobile system is completing its commissioning for a customer in Singapore.