µLASE enables the only HLFC drag reduction system currently deployed on commercial aircraft. The technology can be used to increase efficiencies for business jets to large aircraft types and can save a typical wide body commercial airliner in the region of $300K of fuel and 1000 tonnes CO2 per year.

To develop the optimal µLASE system, CAV works with aircraft OEMs to match aircraft requirements to boundary layer suction and our in-house forming capabilities allow us to supply your suction skin ready to fit.


Composed of robust sheets of titanium, µLASE is factory fit and can sit in place of standard aluminium panels on the leading edges of fins, horizontal tails, nacelles, pylons and wings of an aircraft.

Areas which have been supplied with HLFC by CAV on commercial aircraft. Areas for HLFC that could be applied to a commercial and other aircraft (for which testing has been carried out in various programmes)

How it works

Composed of robust sheets of titanium, μLASE is factory fitted and can sit in place of standard aluminium panels on the leading edges of fins, horizontal tails, nacelles and wings of an aircraft.

The titanium panels are perforated with millions of microscopic holes only 0.002 inches in diameter. Then the suction skin is fitted to the substructure to create a chamber, which is ducted to a low-pressure zone on the aircraft (passive) or fit with a suction pump (active), to draw air through the holes.

Using aircraft aerodynamic data and the flexibility of our in-house laser drilling capability, the porosity is configured to optimise laminar flow for each individual aircraft.

Specific porosity and flow velocities of the panels are achieved by adjusting the perforation density, placement and size and shape of holes, and the panels are then validated for consistency using our automatic inspection system.

Creating Laminar Flow

HLFC is a technique where a delay in transition of the boundary layer from laminar to turbulent flow is optimized by the application of suction over a small region of the leading edge and the profiling of the contour to create a favorable pressure gradient.

HLFC offers the potential to delay transition of laminar flow to turbulent flow to 50% of the chord.

Discuss µLASE for your aircraft

Martin Wood Headshot of torso

Get in touch with our VP of Technology & Business Development Martin Wood to disccuss μLASE options for your aircraft: m.wood@cav-systems.com+44 (1207) 593 543