Helicopter maintenance and MRO professionals frequently use borescopes to look inside engines or places inside a helicopter that are not otherwise visible without disassembly. Since disassembly can create more problems and is time consuming, borescopes allow us to effectively diagnose problems or determine the soundness of components while saving time and money.
Here are answers to some common questions about borescopes.
When purchasing a borescope, how should I determine which probes, extensions and the type of lighting are used around the camera lens? What type of lighting control is best to have?
In determining which scope is right for your helicopter inspection, it is important to know the length needed to reach the area of inspection, and the diameter of the space you need the scope to pass through. It is also important to consider image resolution quality, the need for a 90° side view, and whether or not you require four-way or two-way articulation.
The amount of bends required to reach the area of inspection can play a factor on the size of the scopes outer diameter. For example, if the inspection area has a lot of bends a smaller diameter scope will be more efficient as it will be able to make more turns. In the same respects, a larger diameter scope has a limited bending radius. This needs to be considered as it will restrict the inspector from making 90 degree bends or passing through guide tubes. Machida offers high-quality flexible borescopes with diameters as small as 2.4mm with articulation and HD Video Recording.
How important is the digital quality of the camera in the borescope?
The quality of the scopes internal camera plays a huge role with the image output. With new camera technology available in today’s market place, you now have access to cameras as small as 1mm x1mm without losing any resolution quality. These smaller high-tech cameras paired with our high resolution processors, allow inspectors to get into narrow places while also being able to take photos and video in high-definition.
How important is the light source and control of it?
The amount of lighting needed is very dependent on the type of inspection to be performed. New LED technology allows for more white light than older halogen lamps. Machida has recently introduced a videoscope with an auto LED lighting feature that adjusts automatically to the amount of light needed and can also be manually adjusted by the push of a button on the ergonomic handle. This saves time for the operator and assures the inspector has the required lighting for the job at hand.
What are the pros and cons of using a joystick controller?
Videoscopes with joystick articulation allow the operator to easily control the distal tip 360°. Since there can be many passes needed to make the proper inspections, a joystick controller makes it hard to revisit and navigate the scope back to the point of inspection. This can make it difficult to quickly revisit the area and can be time consuming. However, with a knob type scope such as Machida has, you can feel the clicks which helps you navigate back to the inspection site. We also offer Guide Tubes which can assist with getting back to the point of inspection quickly and accurately. Using the correct Guide Tube for your engine inspection can lessen inspection time, getting your helicopter back in service quicker and avoids costly scope repairs.
What is the correct way to use the borescope?
A borescope is an investment that can save thousands of dollars when used properly. The operator should always read the borescope manual of operation before operating the borescope and become familiar with its options and capabilities. After using the borescope, it should be cleaned and stored properly in its case. Machida recommends that there be an operator logbook kept of when the unit is used and returned back to its proper storing area.
I have a limited budget. What considerations should I have regarding cost?
You want to be sure the borescope you purchase meets your needs. Choose the best value borescope for the job you need it to do, realizing that best value doesn’t mean lowest cost!
Should the borescope manufacturer provide free training on the product?
Not all manufactures provide free training. There are borescopes that are easy to use where just the provided instruction manual is sufficient. More complicated products, such as borescopes with a measuring capability require special training.
Machida has been known for over 40 years for our quick response to inspection and maintenance operator questions. Our scopes are ready to use upon delivery and our staff is always a phone call away to assist with any technical concerns or borescope questions. We are available via telephone +1-800-431-5420 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions regarding our scopes or questions about finding the right scope to meet your inspection needs.