Second Generation Airliner Dry Stripping (PMB) Following Boeing's Specifications 900971
On May 3, 1985, Republic Airlines (now Northwest Airlines) dry stripped with plastic media blast (PMB) their first DC-9 aircraft in Atlanta, Georgia. Four days later, Hill Air Force Base began production in their new facility designed to dry strip F-4 fighter aircraft in Ogden, Utah. These two important steps initiated the first generation of airline and military production PMB dry stripping. After this inception of the PMB process, numberable questions were raised pertaining to structural safety after being subjected to dry stripping. In the intervening four years, process improvements have been made and test data accumulated to verify safety of the PMB process. Boeing, with approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has issued their specification for plastic media (PMB) dry stripping of airframes, Document D6-54705, PLASTIC MEDIA ABRASIVE STRIPPING OF ORGANIC FINISHES. We consider this to be the start of the second generation airliner dry stripping program. In this paper, our intent is to outline the process used by America West Airlines to dry strip Boeing 737-200/200C aircraft following the Boeing recommended procedure.