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n the early days of aviation, to look inside assemblies meant you had to take them apart.

This was a time-consuming task and very often the fault was trivial, non-existent or somewhere else. The solution came from the medical field. They use endoscopes to look inside patients. Today, engineers use borescopes to look inside aircraft, particularly engines. A borescope consists of a fiber

bundle with an objective lens at one end and an eyepiece at the other, for viewing objects not accessible to direct viewing. Generally used in areas where tortuous bends or curves necessitate a flexible device, a fiberscope consists of a coherent fiberoptic bundle, light guide fiber, and a flexible protective sheath enclosing wires for probe deflection. Since fiberoptics are the

main part of the scope, it is rightly called a “fiberscope.” In medical areas it is known as an “endoscope” and in most industrial applications, it is known as a “borescope.” There are two types of borescopes– rigid and flexible. The market is now competitive

and those involved include Olympus, Borescopes R US and Machida, just to name three. Machida, a wholly owned

subsidiary of Vision Sciences Inc, was established in 1975 primarily as a medical designer and manufacturer. The needs of the non-destructive testing community and Machida’s potential for meeting those needs soon became apparent resulting in the creation of the Machida Industrial Division. Machida’s ability to quickly design custom borescopes and their reputation for performance and innovation has made them a top choice of inspection professionals and a market leader in flexible borescopes.


Machida, Inc. was established in 1975 as a joint venture between Katsumi Oneda and Machida Endoscope Company, Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan. Its charter was to assemble and market the full line of Machida Endoscope Company’s medical fiberoptic endoscopes and to study and design new medical endoscopes for the United States market. In 1978, Machida, Inc. was

approached by Pratt & Whitney Government Products Division and the United States Air Force to design a flexible borescope for the F-100 engine. With no development funds and working within the then unfamiliar world of military specifications and Department of Defense regulations, Machida, Inc. successfully developed one of, if not the first, flexible industrial endoscopes which later became known as a flexible borescope. At that time, the field of industrial

borescopes was relatively new with just a few suppliers. As word got around that these instruments were proving effective in the industrial world as a useful NDT tool, the market quickly began to grow. Over the years, Machida, Inc. has designed borescope systems for the aerospace, automotive, aviation, casting, electronic, nuclear, petrochemical, power generation and refining industries. The

Machida Developmental Firsts:

• First flexible scope with a working channel to accommodate a wire and hook that would perform a 2nd stage vane inspection on the F-100 engine and later on the JT-9D engine

• First flexible borescope with a permanent 90° side view prism for inspection of GE’s CFM-56 commercial engine

• First flexible guide tube with articulation to inspect the F-100 combustion chamber

• First to design a 4mm flexible borescope with a detachable side view prism to inspect the PT6/ PW100 engines – This scope later became the standard instrument in the general aviation field.

• First to develop and implement a rack mount system for a flexible borescope and guide tube for the JT-8D engine

• First to develop and implement a power blending borescope to detect, measure, and blend foreign object impact damage on compressor blades of the JT-8D- 200 engine with it installed on the airframe

Olympus long scope

• First

to develop a borescope

with a working channel and a “Loctite/RTV” dispensing system to apply Loctite deep into installed PW4000 engines company’s greatest

advances were in the developing of visual inspection instruments for both the military and commercial gas turbine engine market.

• First to develop and implement a 3mm Videoscope with super- high definition and computer recordable picture and video

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