Understanding the Difference between Borescope and Fiberscope Use in Aircraft Maintenance

Remote visual inspection (RVI) tools are designed to help the aircraft maintenance crew perform a thorough inspection of aircraft engines without disassembling them. The two most common RVI devices that are used for engine inspection include fiberscopes and borescopes.

Many people get confused between these two RVI devices. In this article, we explain the difference between fiberscope and borescope visual inspection devices. After reading the article, you will have an easier time selecting the best one for aviation engine inspection.

Fiberscope Visual Inspection Device

A fiberscope is an RVI tool that transfers images from the object site to the display panel using fiber optics. Fiber optic fibers convey messages in the form of light. While the fiberoptic cables are fragile, the flexibility of the device is remarkable.

Fiberscope tubes can be threaded and snaked into tight and small spaces. The device has a lens at one end that captures images. The images are then transferred through the fiber optic cable to the eyepiece for live viewing of the object.

Borescopes Video Imaging

A borescope is a rigid or flexible video capturing device that can also be used for aviation engine inspection. The aircraft maintenance crew can have clear visual access to internal components of the engine with the borescope.

Borescopes have CCD lenses that capture images in detail. The images are transmitted electronically towards the viewing device. These devices also have ocular lenses that capture images and transfer them for viewing or storage later.

Difference Between Fiberscopes and Borescopes

Image Quality

Most borescopes are fitted with high-definition cameras that allow aircraft maintenance crew to inspect all the small components of an aircraft engine. In contrast, fiberscope lenses cannot capture high quality images. The quality of images taken with a fiberscope is similar to images taken from a night vision camera.

Images taken using a fiberscope are indirect in that they are a projection of light transferred via the fiber optic cable. Additionally, the fiberscope devices are prone to broken pixels and black dots due to damaged fiber optic cables. These issues are not present in borescope devices.

Flexibility

Fiberscope devices have flexible optical fibers attached to the head of the probe. Operators have greater flexibility in turning the head of the viewing lens. This increases the view angle for inspecting the engine parts. A rigid borescope allows straight ahead or right angular view of the object. The device also offers less flexibility as compared to a fiberscope in inspecting engines.

Durability

Fiberscopes are made of fragile glass optical fibers, which can easily get damaged and degrade the picture quality. In contrast, video borescopes are shock-resistant and more durable than fiberscopes. The cables don’t get damaged when folded or bent, which results in greater articulation, allowing the operator to turn the tip of the probe backward if required when inspecting the engine.

For more information on the best quality borescopes, you can contact USA Borescopes. We are your one-stop source to a large range of remote visual inspection tools for aviation engine inspection. We specialize in providing videoscopes with advanced features to commercial and private aircraft and helicopter owners for non-destructive testing (NDT) of aviation engines.


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