What Are Borescopes and How Are They Used for Aircraft Engine Inspections?

Aircraft engines are often subject to major stresses during standard flight operations, taking on a large amount of strain due to the combustion process and the presence of immensely hot exhaust gases. Because of the wear and tear that such assemblies face over time, they regularly need to be inspected to ensure that any issues or damage is remedied before a failure can occur. At certain thresholds of operating hours, intensive inspections must be carried out where the engine is fully disassembled to thoroughly look over each and every component for its health. For the most inaccessible components, a device known as a borescope is commonly used. Featuring a small camera that may be inserted into assemblies for obtaining live images, having an understanding of the basic components that make them up and how they are used can be beneficial for any aerospace engineer.

The eyepiece or AC power monitor is what is viewed by the engineer, allowing them to see a magnified image of the component being viewed. Eyepieces are for manual viewing, presenting a magnified image similar to what would be seen with a telescope or microscope. To capture such images, the optical system and its relay lenses, rod lens systems, fiber optic setup, and other components are relied on. The CMOS camera is an important element, coming in the form of a miniature camera that is attached to the end of a cable which can be inserted into the engine. Despite its size, the camera can provide engineers with very consistent images with optimal quality.

In order to allow for the camera to be inserted into tight spaces, a rigid or flexible cable connects the camera to the eyepiece or LCD screen. Depending upon the type of inspection that is being carried out, flexible or rigid cables may be used. While flexible cables are more free in their use and are able to reach around bends or turns, the rigid cable can only be moved in a linear fashion. As internal spaces may be dark or dim, most borescope equipment will feature a light source for illuminating the inspection area.

While those are the main parts that make up borescope equipment, it is important to understand how they are used. When initiating an inspection, the camera end may be inserted into a space through an open area and an image will be captured by the camera and displayed through the eyepiece or monitor. The image is then magnified, and the operator may manually move the camera around to view various engine components such as the combustion chamber or turbine blades. While there are certain ways in which a borescope may be used, engineers will often learn over time how to get the most out of their equipment as they continuously use it.

Despite borescopes regularly being used for aviation inspection procedures, there are a number of other industries that may take advantage of such tools. Generally, common uses for borescopes include the inspection of pipes, adapter gearbox assemblies, welds, heat exchanger tubes, cast parts, manufactured items, and much more. If you find yourself in need of inspection equipment or various parts for replacing damaged or aging components, look no further than Internet of NSN.

Internet of NSN is an online distributor of aircraft parts that is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we are your sourcing solution for top quality items that you can steadily depend upon. All of our parts are sourced from leading global manufacturers that we trust, and everything has undergone rigorous quality assurance testing, inspection, and cross-referencing prior to shipment so that customers only receive what is best. If you find particular items that you wish to procure, fill out and submit an RFQ form to receive a quote for your comparisons in just 15 minutes or less. Get started today and see how Internet of NSN is revolutionizing the part procurement process.


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