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If you are an IA or AP technician in the aviation industry, a good-performing, high-quality borescope is essential to your job. Whether your specialty is turbines, recips, airframes or avionics, you need a quality borescope in your toolkit that you can rely on.

Borescopes are used in all facets of the aviation industry, from helicopters to military fighter jets. There’s a reason for that: borescopes are able to inspect confined areas where you cannot easily see to ensure safe and reliable operation of aircraft parts including turbines, airframes, winglets, landing gear, and other confined space areas.

VJ-ADV Russia Aviation

An aviation maintenance technician using RF System Lab’s VJ-ADV on a turbine engine.

Turbine Inspections

One of the essential uses of articulating borescopes is for turbine engine inspection. Turbine engines have many internal rotating sections, as well as combustion chambers, that can be inspected with an articulating video borescope. Borescopes, which can enter directly through an injector nozzle or access port and require no engine disassembly, are able to internally inspect these blades for corrosion, wear, or imperfections such as cracks, which can occur if the compressor section gets too hot. Utilizing a borescope to inspect and maintain any engine helps to ensure that the aircraft is airworthy.

Helicopter-specific Turbine Inspections

Turbine engines in helicopters, or rotorcraft, are located near the main rotor blades, so in order to perform any maintenance on them, professionals usually have to climb scaffolding or a ladder; this is where the features of articulating borescopes, such as RF System Lab’s VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope, are extremely beneficial. The VJ-ADV’s compact, portable design and on demand power (the VJ-ADV video borescope simply requires AA batteries – no need to wait for it to charge or make sure there is an electrical outlet nearby), helicopter turbine inspections are completed with ease. In addition, the super-slim 2.8mm VJ-ADV video borescope is a great fit for Main Rotor Gearbox (MRGB) inspections. The thin diameter insertion tube easily allows technicians to check for cracks developed in the welding area between the shaft and bevel gear, ensuring that the MRGB is in working order, and no leaks will occur.

Additional Uses & Staying Safe

recip, VJ-ADV, video borescope, aviation

Finfrock Aviation inspects a recip style engine with the VJ-ADV

In addition to turbine inspections, borescopes have many other aviation-related uses.  As quoted by RF System Lab’s General Manager, Sean O’Connor: “Applications include inspecting airframes, flap tracks, wiring harnesses, and landing gear.” Additionally, borescopes are used in corrosion inspections.” In fact, a borescope can be used on just about any piece of aviation equipment. Borescopes range in size, for instance: the VJ-ADV comes in 2.8mm, 3.9mm and 6.9mm diameters, so finding a size to fit an access port is easily managed.

However, just because a borescope is able to inspect many different parts of an aircraft does not mean that some areas should not be approached with caution. “Special care should be taken when using a borescope to inspect fuel tanks, with proper grounding being very important,” notes O’Connor. “Aside from fuel tanks, as long as the scope is liquid proof and resistant to the common fluids found in various aircraft systems, a borescope can safely be used anywhere.”  Borescope technicians that are approved to sign off on annual inspections certifying airworthiness will have the proper Inspector Authorization (IA) Certification, but making sure to be properly educated on safety precautions when doing any inspection is extremely important.

100-hour Inspections

Another important reason borescopes are crucial to aircraft inspections: they allow maintenance professionals to complete 100-hour FAA inspections, necessary for the majority of aircrafts, with confidence.  100-hour inspections require photographic evidence of internal aircraft structures, which are easily captured by an articulating video borescope such as the VJ-ADV. Without a high-quality borescope to provide documentation, Maintenance professionals could put their license and reputation on the line.

Remote Visual Inspection (RVI) anywhere within an aircraft maintenance facility, or on a flight line, is not a problem with the VJ-Advance video borescope because it is battery powered, completely portable, and lightweight. For more information on the impressive VJ-Advance line of joystick-controlled, fully-articulating video borescopes, or to find out how you can demo the VJ-Advance video borescope for free at your own facility, visit the RF System Lab website or call (888) 747-6526 to speak to a borescope expert regarding your exact inspection needs.

RF System Lab is proud to be a part of many different industry memberships. Industry memberships and associations allow us to stay up to date on upcoming annual meetings and conferences offered to members, as well as stay connected with the many industries we serve.

Army Aviation Association of America LogoBecause of this, we decided to feature memberships that we are a part of on the RF System Lab Inside Scope blog. Last month we gave you the top reasons to be a part of NBAA. This month, we’d like to discuss the benefits of joining the Army Aviation Association of America (better known as “Quad-A” or AAAA).

AAAA’s mission is simple: “Supporting the Army Aviation Soldier and Family.” The association provides many opportunities to show support and fulfill that mission through their membership benefits. RF System Lab falls under their “Industry Membership” category, so this blog will focus on the benefits offered from that specific type of membership.

According to the AAAA website, “The Industry Membership Program is designed to foster approved and meaningful interchange between government and industry. Corporate representatives have the opportunity to keep up to date with the changing Army Aviation community, participate in local and national meetings and to develop professional contacts critical to the corporation’s current and future programs and plans.”

Industry members also have the opportunity to participate in the many programs AAAA offers. The first of these opportunities include a subscription to Army Aviation Magazine, the official AAAA publication and the Industry Partners Directory, which gives an insight into the “who’s who” of the Army Aviation industry.

Another benefit of membership is that industry members are able to give back to those who served. AAAA provides industry members with two different ways to do this: The AAAA Scholarship Program and the AAAA Post-Career Employment Program (PCEP). The Scholarship programs give members a chance to make corporate contributions, recognized through the Corporate Matching Fund Scholarship Program that go towards scholarships and interest free loans to members of the AAAA and their family members. The PCEP offers industry members the opportunity to hire enlisted soldiers who are retiring or leaving active service to enhance their workforce. Through this program, the AAAA gives industry members access to many qualified, highly-skilled and disciplined personnel.

One of the exclusive membership benefits that we at RF System Lab find most rewarding is the AAAA Annual Forum. The Forum exclusively gives industry members the chance to exhibit and is also a great forum for networking with fellow professionals. In addition, AAAA sponsors several conferences and forums annually with more specific subject areas (Avionics, Electronics, etc.) that industry members are invited to attend.

RF System Lab is proud to be a member of AAAA and show continuous support for Soldiers and their families through AAAA activities. To read more about the industry membership benefits or to sign up for a membership yourself, you can visit the AAAA Membership benefits page.

For more information about RF System Lab, visit the RF System Lab website or call (888) 747-6526 to talk to a borescope expert.

RF System Lab is proud to welcome new customers from the month of July in a multitude of industries.  RF System Lab’s most recent client list includes companies from multiple industries, including Power Generation, Oil and Gas, Energy, Casting, and Food Processing.

MillerCoors Logo

MillerCoors Logo

One of RF System Lab’s newest customers in the Food Processing industry is MillerCoors. MillerCoors is a leading US brewing company that is a joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company. They required a high-quality borescope to complete processed piping sanitation inspections and ensure that their pipes were clean and had no leakage. With a reputation of quality products on the line, MillerCoors needed to make sure to invest in a borescope that could help them complete sanitation inspections with confidence.

Another new VJ-Advance video borescope user is National Mechanical Services. National Mechanical Services, a well-known power generation field service company specializing in generators, heavy rotating equipment and outside machinery repairs, purchased the 6.9mm – 3m VJ-Advance video borescope to assist with power generator service and repair. One notable use of the versatile 6.9mm VJ-ADV is complex stator end winding inspections to ensure that they are not melted or damaged.

PCC Structurals Logo

PCC Structurals Logo

RF System Lab is proud to have world leader in superalloy, aluminum and titanium investment casting, PCC Structurals, as a new customer. PCC Structurals purchased the 2.8mm VJ-ADV to take advantage of the benefits that a super-slim articulating video borescope provides. Having the ability to easily ensure that holes in casted parts were not blocked and that internal passageways did not contain any foreign object debris (FOD) after removing the casting mold is crucial to any casting business. For this reason, many casting companies struggle with rigid-style borescopes, so investing in a video borescope with 360 degree articulation and a high-resolution camera with video capabilities was an easy decision for PCC Structurals.

RF System Lab would like to extend a thank you to these new clients, as well as all additional clients not listed here. If you would like to demo the VJ-Advance video borescope, you can sign up for a no-cost, no-obligation demo program.  For more information on RF System Lab, please visit our website (www.rfsystemlab.us) or call 855-787-6966 to speak with one of our borescope experts about your specific internal inspection needs.

Joel Riling, RF System Lab’s VP of Government Programs, returned from the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA) Expo last week and provided us with a quick recap of his experience. The ALEA Expo took place from July 16-19 at the Phoenix Convention Center located Phoenix, AZ and was geared towards companies and individuals involved with public safety aviation.

Riling, a 26 year retired Navy Pilot, provided demos of the VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope at the Expo’s event hall, which allowed vendors to showcase their services and products to aviation unit decision-makers. During his time exhibiting, Riling was able to present the VJ-ADV to interested attendees and allow them to demo the video borescope onsite. He also had a chance to connect with a company that already owns a scope and hear about their experience with the articulating VJ-ADV thus far.

There was a great representative of the public safety aviation industry at the ALEA Expo. According to Riling, “ALEA Phoenix was their big show for the year. Federal, State and local Aviation Law Enforcement units from around the country were present. “

If you were unable to test out the VJ-ADV at the ALEA Expo, you can still demo the groundbreaking video borescope at your own facility. Sign up for RF System Lab’s no cost, no obligation demo program by visiting the RF System Lab website or by calling one of our borescope experts at (888) 747-6526.

Every so often we will receive a phone call where the conversation leads to “Where is RF System Lab located?” When we provide the caller with an answer, their response is usually one of the following two options:

“Hmm. Never heard of it – is it cold up there?” – Usually someone located on the west coast or the deep south.

Or

“I vacationed there a couple years back! I’ve been dying to get back; there was so much to do. It was the perfect summer getaway. You’re lucky to be located there!” – Someone who cannot wait to get back and visit.

Therefore, we decided to provide a bit of insight about our gorgeous location and the benefits of having an office in Traverse City, Michigan.

One of the first things to mention would be that Traverse City is quickly becoming a nationally recognized “Top Foodie Town,” which is thanks to our keep-it-local mentality, farm-to-table fare and freshly caught seafood options. In addition, microbreweries have been steadily opening all over town over the past few years. In fact, our very own Right Brain Brewery boasts the title of one of 2013’s Top 5 Local Breweries in the Nation via Answers.com. If craft beer isn’t your thing, we have one of Michigan’s best wine trails: over 30 award-winning wineries stretching across two beautiful different peninsulas.

Traverse City is known for our abundance of festivals, which occur all year round. While most people are aware of the National Cherry Festival (Traverse City is the “Cherry Capital of the World”), the area is also home to many wine and food festivals, Horse Shows by the Bay, a comedy festival featuring some of the nation’s top comedians, and even Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. It is pretty much impossible to not snag a ticket for something going on almost every weekend.

While most tourist-related events take place during the warm, beautiful summer months, such as hiking the Nationally-acclaimed Sleeping Bear Dunes, hitting one of our stunning beaches, or biking the TART Trail, there is still an abundance of things to do in the colder winters. Yes, truthfully some winters are extreme, but for the most part, as long as you are bundled-up properly, you are able to participate in some outdoor recreation. We have numerous downhill ski-hills, great opportunities to snowshoe or cross country ski through back country trails surrounded by snow-covered trees, and even a Winter Festival.

Traverse City sunset over West Bay.

Traverse City sunset over West Bay.

Some who are less familiar with the area may still be thinking that it is too small and remote to be considered a great place to work. On the contrary, Traverse City is thriving. The Cherry Capital Airport, which allows residents to catch a quick flight to both Detroit and Chicago and arrive in only an hour, rapidly growing business community, and  all things already mentioned, it’s hard to name many reasons that anyone wouldn’t want to work here. As a bonus, having this view from your office doesn’t hurt.

To find out more about Traverse City, you can visit the Traverse City Website. Interested in finding out more about RF System Lab? Visit the RF System Lab website here.