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Traverse City, MI to Novi, MI is a little less than a four-hour drive. In the last week of October, RF System Lab’s Senior Sales Consultant, Casey O’Tool, Marketing Coordinator, Meaghan Jameson, and Sales Consultant, Chad Parker, made the trip down to Novi for the 2014 Automotive Testing Expo North America (Auto Testing Expo).

The Auto Testing Expo showcases the latest technologies and services that are designed to ensure that the highest standards are met in terms of product quality, reliability, durability, and safety. This year’s show had over 200 exhibitors in a variety of different testing categories. RF System Lab represented the remote visual testing field and provided attendees a chance to test out the VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope.

The VJ-ADV articulating video borescope was a must-see at this year’s Auto Testing Expo, which had a lot to do with its impressive hi-resolution image quality and joystick-controlled articulation. Expo attendees from well-known manufacturers such as Ford, GM, Subaru, and many others, stopped by the booth to learn how the VJ-ADV can assist with internal inspections of engines, small casted parts, and a variety of parts requiring internal inspections. With insertion tube diameters of 6.9mm, 3.9mm, or 2.8mm, the VJ-ADV is an extremely versatile tool.

RF System Lab had an exceptional time exhibiting at the Auto Testing Expo and is excited to have already committed to next year’s show. We will see you in 2015!
Many attendees had a chance to test the VJ-Advance at the Auto Testing Expo, but even if you were not in attendance, you can still try one out at your facility! RF System Lab offers a no cost, no obligation demo program, which you can sign up for right here. To find out more about the free borescope demo or to chat with a borescope expert, you can call the RF System Lab office at 888-747-6526 or visit the RF System Lab website.

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.

The VJ-Advance (VJ-ADV) video borescope is making a trip to Canada. More specifically, the VJ-ADV family of borescopes is headed to the American Helicopter Society International 70th Annual Forum and Technology Display (AHS Forum 70) in Montreal, Quebec. The conference, which promises to be “the biggest and best vertical flight technology conference in the world,” is taking place at the impressive Palais des congres de Montreal on May 20-22, 2014.

AHS Forum 70 -RF System Lab

The AHS Logo

The AHS Forum 70 offers a variety of ways for attendees to expand their rotorcraft knowledge. Technical sessions on topics such as Aerodynamics and Operations,  a keynote address from Brigadier-General Christian Drouin, Deputy Commander Force Generation of the Royal Canadian Air Force, a Vertical Flight Foundation Cocktail Reception and Awards Banquet, and an MAV student competition are only a few of the events offered at the conference.

Edward Thomas, RF System Lab borescope expert, has his passport ready and is looking forward to providing demos of the VJ-ADV at the AHS Forum 70 for helicopter professionals. He is excited to show attendees how the VJ-ADV’s portable design is ideal for rotor-wing inspections.

Since helicopter turbine engines are located near the rotor blades, in order to perform any sort of maintenance on them, professionals usually have to climb up scaffolding or a ladder; this is where the features of the VJ-ADV are extremely beneficial. With its compact, portable, pistol-grip 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. Some satisfied rotorcraft customers include Boeing, Eurocopter of Canada as well as Turbomeca Engines – both leaders in helicopter engine maintenance.

You can demo the scope for yourself and meet Edward Thomas at the RF System Lab booth #327 starting on Tuesday, May 20th at 11:00am for a chance to demo the groundbreaking VJ-ADV.

You can view the 2014 AHS Forum 70 website here.

See the VJ-Advance in the Palais des congres de Montreal these dates and times:

Opening Time: Exhibits open 11:00am on Tuesday, May 20th.
Conference Dates: May 20-22, 2014
Venue: Palais des congres de Montreal

Booth: #327

We look forward to seeing you there! If you are unable to attend the conference don’t forget, you can still checkout the VJ-ADV articulating video borescopes on the RF System Lab website! For more information, call us toll free at (888) 747-6526