Different Types of Remote Visual Inspection (RVI) Tools for Aviation Engine Inspection

by | Jul 2, 2020 | News

Technological advancement in the fields of remote visual inspection (RVI) has resulted in greater accuracy in aviation engine inspection. Modern RVI boasts improved imaging quality and advanced features that allow the maintenance crew to perform comprehensive non-destructive testing (NDT) of aircraft engines.

Nowadays, various visual imaging technologies are available for engine inspection. Here, we take a look at common imaging technologies that are generally used for NDT engine inspection.


Fiberscopes transmit images via glass fibers. The resolution of images depends on the diameter and number of fibers. Every fiber carries a pixel of the image. An attached camera records the images and transmits them in the form of light through the optical fibers.

The benefit of using a fiberscope is that it allows great flexibility in viewing objects that are not accessible for direct viewing. However, the disadvantage of fiberscopes is that the glass fibers are fragile and can easily break if handled improperly. Therefore, damaged glass fibers affect the quality of the images taken. Due to being fragile, fiberscopes also have limited articulation capability that spans no more than 90 degrees.

The use of fiberscopes is uncommon for aviation engine inspection due to their high cost and low image quality.


Videoscopes, or borescopes, use a charged coupled device (CCD) camera lens to capture an object. The image is transmitted electronically through a wire to a display monitor. Borescopes capture higher quality images as compared to fiberscopes. Moreover, they allow greater articulation when it comes to capturing objects.

Videoscopes are not as fragile as fiberscope, making the device more durable as compared to fiberscope. It is the best choice if the key criterion for an RVI includes image quality, articulation, and storage. Videoscopes can be semi-flexible or rigid, depending on the mode of transmission of images.

Semi-Flexible Borescopes

Semi-flexible borescopes are usually in the middle ground between flexible fiberscopes and rigid borescopes. These don’t cost as much as fiberscopes but provide similar flexibility at a low cost. Moreover, the image quality is much better and allows a close inspection of aviation engines.

Rigid Borescopes

Rigid borescopes are the most affordable RVI used to inspect areas that can be accessed directly. They cannot be used for inspecting objects that don’t have direct access, resulting in no flexibility in capturing images. Similar to semi-flexible borescopes, the device can display images with great clarity and increased durability.

Selecting the Right RVI for Aviation Engine Inspection

Different factors come into play to determine the best RVI device for inspecting an aviation engine. Image quality is a major factor for most commercial and private jet airline owners. In this respect, a videoscope or borescope is the right choice for engine inspection as they display images in detail.

A rigid borescope is preferable if a technician will use it to inspect parts such as the piston engine cylinders. For a deep inspection of engine parts, a semi-flexible borescope or fiberscope is the right choice.

Contact USA Borescopes for your visual inspection requirements.  We offer a large variety of RVIs that can be used for the NDT of aviation engines. Our clients include commercial and private jet or helicopter owners and aircraft manufacturers.   Call 931-362-3304 if you require assistance in selecting the right borescope for your specific inspection.

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