Safety is the most critical aspect of flying. Therefore, agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulate the aviation industry through several aircraft maintenance programs to ensure planes’ airworthiness.
However, airlines and operators are responsible for complying with the safety standards and routines outlined. Consequently, airlines set checkups divided into four inspection categories: A, B, C, and the most comprehensive D checks. These checks are part of the routine- and non-routine maintenance. Their intervals vary depending on the type of aircraft. Line maintenance is performed most frequently (every 24 -48 hours) and covers basic inspection checks (National Aviation Academy, 2020).
All inspections need to be conducted regularly and require careful planning as downtime, especially for heavier maintenance, is lengthy and costly. Therefore, non-destructive testing techniques such as remote visual inspections (RVI) are essential:
- to reduce disassembly & downtimes
- to establish the scope of repair
- to increase efficiency and minimize costs
Airplane engines such as turbofans are subject to extreme heat and immense pressure. The temperature could potentially melt parts of the turbine immediately, like the turbine blades. Special coating and engineering tweaks, such as, for example, a large number of small holes in the turbine blades, prevent this. Therefore, aircraft engines are prone to blockages that could lead to severe implications. Engine inspections are therefore highly regulated.
The complexity and size of these engines are equally challenging to maintenance personnel.
Videoscopes help to identify blockages or cracks of the turbine blades and in other areas of the engine. That is a challenging task as these are complicated structures where many parts are minuscule. Shiny metallic surfaces and extremely dark spaces increase the difficulty.
[Turbine blades at 2560*1440 resolution by our X2000 6.0mm HD insertion probe at 30mm distance.]
[Turbine blades at 2560*1440 resolution at 10mm distance with our Mitcorp X2000 6.0mm HD insertion probe.]
Mitcorp videoscopes provide high-quality images that are true to color and a manual exposure feature that helps tackle glare points. Mitcorps’ insertion probes are small, flexible, and robust. Robust enough to withstand scratching caused by the metallic surfaces of the engine. Mechanic wiring not only increases precision through instant feedback; but also allows for one-handed inspections.
Videoscopes also help to access difficult-to-reach areas to identify cracks in the frame, especially in the engine attach points, pressure bulkheads, skin doublers, wing spars, wing caps, and the landing gear. These areas are especially susceptible to wear and corrosion.
Corrosion also often occurs in the undercarriage bays and the battery and lavatory areas. It is also a possible consequence of disbonding at, for example, composite surfaces and the doublers around the doors. Videoscopes aid with the documentation often required to comply with industry regulations. Because of this, technicians usually record large numbers of images and videos.
Mitcorp systems offer a file management system and an annotation function that help organize images and highlight flaws. That increases inspection efficiency and effectiveness and helps generate reports faster.
Wing Fuel Tank Inspections
Commercial & military airplanes often have fuel tanks within their wings in addition to the fuselage. Fuel tanks are classified as hazardous areas regardless of their filling level; Jet fuel poses the highest threat as it is highly flammable, toxic, and irritant.
Fuel tank inspections are compulsory and strictly regulated as tank damage can potentially create serious safety issues easily avertible through preventive maintenance. Videoscopes help examine the structural integrity and interior conditions of fuel tanks and aid in locating residues and blockages.
Mitcorp videoscopes come with insertion probes that feature high chemical and liquid resistance and bright illumination, suitable for the dark and confined spaces within a fuel tank.
Mitcorp offers comprehensive solutions not only for aviation but for a variety of industries.
Learn more about our solutions here: https://www.mitcorp.com.tw/
Or contact us directly. We will be happy to assist you.
- Federal Aviation Administration, U. (1997, August 14). VISUAL INSPECTION FOR AIRCRAFT Date 8114/97 AC No: 43-204 AIRCRAFT Initiated by AFS-350. Retrieved March 09, 2021, from https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/43-204.pdf
- National Aviation Academy. (2020, July 10). The different types of aviation maintenance checks. Retrieved March 11, 2021, from https://www.naa.edu/types-of-aviation-maintenance-checks/
- Niu, G., Wang, J., & Xu, K. (2018). Model analysis for a CONTINUUM aircraft fuel tank INSPECTION robot based on the Rzeppa universal joint. Advances in Mechanical Engineering, 10(5), 168781401877822. doi:10.1177/1687814018778229
- T. (2005, January 31). Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jet-liner%27s_main_fuel_tanks(B-777).PNG