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New borescope technology is producing smaller, lighter and less expensive borescope systems without a compromise on image quality.

orescope manufacturers have introduced smaller, lighter and…in some cases…less expensive systems with smaller diameter probes over the past few years, meeting the need to get into ever smaller spaces. More importantly, these advances in smaller borescopes is being done with corresponding improvements in quality. “The drive to have smaller and lighter weight units should not cause a compromise on image quality or measurement capabilities,” said Mehmet Ogreden with Karl Storz Industrial Group. “An excellent product needs to find the right balance between portability, image quality and illumination. Any comprise on quality means a compromise on security, and this is unacceptable in the aviation industry.”

Smaller is Better The world’s smallest videoscope, according to the manufacturer, is Orangeburg, NY-based Machida Borescope’s new VSC- 2-86. This was developed using experience gained in the medical arena, taking that experience and converting medical technology to industrial technology, according to Jitu Patel, VP Industrial Division for Machida. This has allowed Machida to develop both a 2mm and 3mm videoscope with the same imagery of its fiberscopes, but with the added capabilities of a videoscope and without the limitations of the fiberscope. The company already had a 3mm VSC-3-140N with a 140cm length, and a 3mm working channel scope in the VSC-3-65C, “that was the smallest one in the world,” Patel said. “People looked at that, and we got more and more calls for a smaller diameter.” The smaller scope can be used not only to look into the turbine blades themselves, “but also the cooling holes and everything to check inside.”

The new, smaller scope has autofocus, auto light and high definition, “all in one scope,” he said. It also has a 2mm – 40mm depth of view with a straight 90o field of view. Initially the new 2mm scope was 86cm long, hence the model number. The length has now been extended up to 110 cm. While the model number remains VSC-2-86, “if someone buys the scope today, they automatically get the 110cm length,” Patel said.

Both the VSC-2 and the VSC-3 work with either the 10” or 15” video processor monitor. Images can be stored on an SD card or sent by cable to a computer.

Cost of the VSC-3-140N is about $12,500, while the newer VSC-2-65 is $14,900. That is for everything, Patel said. “The new scope is already being used by Pratt & Whitney, GE Engines and many other aviation companies, taking advantage of the smaller diameter, high resolution and numerous good features.” Also announcing a new line in small diameter probes is Rochester, NY-based Gradient Lens Corps., which has introduced new lightweight, portable Hawkeye Pro Flexible Video borescopes, and a Luxxor Portable Video Camera which can attach to any existing borescope, including any articulating fiberscope. Doing so, turns any borescope into a portable videoscope, according to Dr. Doug Kindred, president and chief scientist.

Prices for complete, articulating Hawkeye Pro Flexible Video Borescopes start at $7995, with diameters as small as 4.0 mm. The new Luxxor Portable Camera is priced at $995. Kindred noted that Gradient Lens has also recently upgraded the camera in their line of Hawkeye videoscopes “to have double the resolution, double the light sensitivity and excellent color rendition.” The camera, also made

Aviation Maintenance | | June / July 2012 31

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