What are the best borescopes in the aerospace industry? This guide covers the basics of aviation borescopes and some of the industry’s top tools.
The best borescope in the aerospace industry is the one that’s right for the inspection at hand.
Each engine borescope has a slightly different function. And in the aerospace industry, it’s vital that each borescope inspection is performed properly and thoroughly. That means it’s important to use the inspection tool best suited for the aircraft in question.
In this article, we’ll cover the basics of aviation borescopes, the importance of inspections and our picks for the best borescopes in the aerospace industry and how they’re best used.
What Is An Aviation Borescope?
Before we dive into the aerospace industry’s best borescopes, let’s cover the basics of these inspection tools first.
An aviation borescope is an inspection tool consisting of a camera or eyepiece attached to the end of a rod or flexible cable. Together, these components allow maintenance technicians to examine various types of machinery and infrastructure that would otherwise be out of reach.
There are several types of borescopes used in the aerospace industry. Rigid borescopes – which only allow for a straight view into the inspection area – make popular engine borescopes as they are typically used to examine the piston engine cylinders.
When conducting more in-depth engine inspections, opt for a more flexible device, like a fiberscope. According to Aviation Maintenance Magazine, “these are flexible instruments that can easily bend to travel deep inside the engine.”
If an inspection must be recorded, choose an engine borescope that features a video camera. Videoscopes can be rigid or flexible; choose the device best suited for the task at hand.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of the aerospace industry’s inspection tools, let’s discuss their importance.
Why Are Borescopes Vital To The Aerospace Industry?
Borescope inspections are a necessary component of aviation maintenance. Most importantly, regular inspections ensure airplanes are safe for flight.
Outside of meeting safety standards, routine inspections have many other benefits, such as extending the lifespan of a plane and its many parts. And with one of the best borescopes in the aerospace industry, these benefits are never out of reach.
Here are just a couple reasons why borescope inspections are vital in the aerospace industry.
1. Borescope Inspections Prevent Turbine Engine Failure
Borescope inspections are essential to preventing turbine engine failure. According to The Next Web, “A turbine engine failure occurs when a turbine engine in an aircraft unexpectedly stops producing thrust due to a malfunction other than fuel exhaustion.”
Turbine engines are subject to fail several ways. Fortunately, engine borescopes can spot trouble before it arises. That is why borescope gas turbine inspection requirements exist and are performed on a scheduled periodically.
Fan blades, for example, keep the engine cool during flight. When they wear out, they can damage the engine. With an engine borescope, it’s easy to detect and replace worn blades in a timely manner.
Engine borescopes can also inspect the engine’s lubrication system for contamination. Contamination strains the turbine engine, increasing the risk of failure. Engine borescopes allow technicians to identify and target problem areas, saving time while avoiding engine failure.
In the aerospace industry, turbine engine failure can be deadly. Through routine inspections, technicians can be certain their aircraft meets airworthiness standards.
2. Borescope Inspections Are Time Efficient
With a borescope, the maintenance crew can conduct thorough inspections of an aircraft without disassembling the entire engine. If a problem area is detected during inspection, the crew can carry out a targeted repair, saving both time and money.
The same can be said of using an engine borescope to perform aircraft cleaning procedures. According to Advanced Turbine Support, “part removal steps are not necessary… cleaning will be conducted in the right places within a short time, and no spot will go unattended.”
For speedier inspections, invest in engine borescopes that aid in the thorough examination of any aircraft.
3. Borescope Inspections Extend the Lifespan Of Aircraft Engines
Major damage to an aircraft or its engine can shorten its lifespan. Intensive repairs, which require disassembling and rebuilding the engine, can also reduce its lifespan.
By conducting routine borescope inspections, technicians can spot minor problems before they become major issues. In turn, performing small, timely and targeted repairs will help increase the lifespan of an aircraft.
Extending the lifespan of an aircraft and its engines are especially important in the aerospace industry, where major repairs are costly. In other words, an investment in an engine borescope is an investment in your aircraft.
The Top Borescopes In The Aerospace Industry
Borescope inspections are crucial to ensuring an aircraft is safe to operate and to extending its lifespan. But to truly reap the benefits of borescope inspections, it’s important to choose the best borescope for each aircraft.
That’s why we’ve rounded up our picks for the best borescopes in the aerospace industry and how they are best used. Here they are!
Freedomview® Led 6MM Fiberscope Kit
This 6mm fiberscope features two-way articulation and a variety of working cable lengths, making it ideal for conducting small, complex inspections.
Those working with smaller piston engines should consider the model offering 1m of working cable length, as it is sufficient to get a clear view of the piston head, walls and lifters. Remember, don’t overestimate the length of cable needed for an inspection; extra cable length will only get in the way.
For a commercial jet engine, opt for a model offering 2m of working cable length. This engine borescope should allow for a thorough inspection of internal and external engine components.
This 3mm, articulating videoscope is ideal when working with smaller turbine engines or even airframes. It can even be used to inspect helicopter engines!
They are also suitable for inspections of Pratt & Whitney engines, as they fit inside Pratt & Whitney guide tubes. Guide tubes are used to direct articulating borescopes to a specific area. Because articulating borescopes are so popular in the aerospace industry, this feature is especially useful.
Despite the many uses of these 3mm engine borescopes, certain inspections require an even smaller tool. Consider a micro borescope – available in 0.37mm to 1mm in diameter – for the tightest inspections.
This 4mm borescope offers 1.5m to 3m of working cable length and four-way articulation. Most importantly, this engine borescope is portable, making it essential for emergency inspections.
When aircraft are not deemed airworthy, they are grounded. This means the maintenance crew must travel to the aircraft to perform an inspection, making a quality, portable borescope essential to repairs.
The IRis DVR 5 offers a chargeable battery as well as video recording capabilities, allowing the operator to conduct and record inspections anywhere.
This system is now available in a larger 7 inch screen with HD image quality borescope in the Iris 7 Pro Flexible Videoscope System.
Looking For The Best Borescopes In The Aerospace Industry? Contact Us!
While some engine borescopes are better than others, it’s most important to invest in the one that’s best for your aircraft. But determining which borescope is best can be difficult. Luckily, USA Borescopes is here to help. If you have questions about aerospace industry borescopes, or any of our other inspection tools, feel free to contact us. Our seasoned staff can help you pick the tool that’s right for you.