How Borescopes Are Used for NDT Applications in Aviation
April 27, 2021
When it comes to aviation, there’s simply no room for error. Every part of an aircraft must be streamlined in design and sound in function. However, just like with any machine, time and the elements will unfailingly take their toll on a plane. To keep their crafts purring along and in good health, mechanics need to make routine thorough checks.
The compact design of planes and copters does add a challenge to this task, though, as it’s difficult to get at and properly inspect every inch without dismantling. Unsurprisingly, the best workaround is to employ specialty tools especially capable of going where the human eye can’t. In particular, how borescopes are used in NDT applications in aviation solves much of this conundrum.
What Is NDT Inspection?
As noted, the construction of many highly specialized machines negates normal investigation techniques. Even in common engines such as consumer vehicles, internal workings require visual checks from time to time. The engines of aircraft—though similar in many functions to a vehicle—are even less accessible due to the multiple closed chambers and tight exterior frame.
NDT stands for nondestructive techniques and refers to a collection of methods used to inspect planes. As the name would suggest, these various methods do not include any sort of dismantling or tear down. Instead, they are unique workarounds that allow the build of a plane to be left intact. Engineers use special tools and years of expertise to spot subtle signs of trouble or go directly to at-risk areas.
How Borescopes Help
It should be no surprise to anyone at this point that the best tools for NDT-type inspection are ones that allow technicians to remotely view inaccessible areas. Borescopes are (and have been) one of the prime varieties of remote inspection tools since their inception in the 1960s. Aircraft and borescope history have been intertwined for decades—and how borescopes are used in NDT applications in aviation is similar to how general mechanics utilize them. Both the rigid and flexible varieties are superb for getting aircraft mechanic’s trained eyes up close and personal deep inside the engine or hull of a plane.
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