You are here

Large Aircraft Paint and Masking Laser Projection Capabilities



OBJECTIVE: Develop a laser projection system capable of projecting paint and masking schemes over the entirety of a large frame aircraft. 

DESCRIPTION: The 402nd AMXG at Robins AFB have identified the repainting and masking procedures of large frame aircraft to be a crucial bottleneck in the administration of depot level maintenance. Currently, masking, paint, and decal locations are determined through the very time consuming process of meticulously measuring several locations by hand to lay out the proper scheme in accordance with T.O. 1C-130A-23 in conjunction with T.O. 1-1-8. An opportunity exists to project entire paint and masking schemes over the body of these large aircraft, removing the need to reiterate measurements for every aircraft, while eliminating human error and drastically decreasing repaint times. DIRECT TO PHASE II: USAF AFSC/EN will only accept Direct to Phase II proposals. 

PHASE I: FEASABILITY DOCUMENTATION: for this Direct to Phase II topic, USAF AFSC/EN is expecting that the submittal firm substantiate a present ability to: - Determine the technical feasibility of developing a 3-D paint projection system to be utilized for the masking and painting of large frame aircraft, to include, but not limited, to C-130. - Demonstrate ability of current hardware and software in “3-D Paint Projection Processes”1 of aircraft utilizing “Systems and Methods for Optically Projecting Three-Dimensional Text, Images and/or Symbols onto Three-Dimensional Objects”2 in which paint schemes, symbols, assembly instructions, etc. can be projected onto full, 3-D aircraft bodies with high precision and no distortion of the image. 

PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and deliver a system capable of translating projection technologies directly onto large frame aircraft, to include, but not limited, to C-130. The Phase II deliverable should optimize a “3-D Paint and Masking Projection System” to overcome the technology gaps established by the size of large frame aircraft, the lack of technical data (CAD models) associated with the aircraft, and the variation of feature locations on these aircraft due to natural wear and tear. 

PHASE III: Refine and mature the system to be marketed to other defense and commercial customers who require the ability to quickly project and apply masking and paint schemes onto large frame aircraft. 


1. “Gulfstream Launches 3-D Paint Projection Process”, Gulfstream News,, 30 June 2016.; 2. “Systems and methods for optically projecting three-dimensional text, images and/or symbols onto three-dimensional objects”, Google Patents,, 09 Nov 2009.; 3. “Laser Products and Instruments,”

KEYWORDS: Projection, Masking, Painting 

US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government