Videoscopes, fiberscopes, and borescopes can be instrumental in helicopter maintenance. These cameras move along endoscope bores that are outfitted into most contemporary helicopters, and they allow you or an inspector to see what's happening in your helicopter's engine, turbines, and other hard-to-reach areas. These tools help you avoid calamity in the air because they allow you to detect and repair issues before they become dangerous.
If you've never bought a video camera for helicopter inspection, you may be wondering what you need. Here's what to consider.
What Is the Diameter of the Probe?
If your helicopter has built-in tubing to support an inspection camera, you need to check out the diameter of your tubing. Then, you need to ensure that the camera and any attached parts can fit into the tubing. Luckily, most of the inspection cameras feature these numbers in the descriptions.
What Clarity Do You Need With Your Camera?
The clearer the picture, the better idea you will have on what's truly happening with your helicopter. To ensure you have a clear picture, look for a camera that can transmit as many pixels as possible. You also want to pay attention to frames per second. On the simplest level, that refers to the number of pictures that make up each second of the film. For example, if the camera can handle 60fps, that means it snaps 60 pictures every second, and together, those pictures together create your film.
Also, think about the quality of the screen you are connecting to the camera. For example, if you buy a helicopter inspection camera that can capture film in 4K but your monitor only supports 1080p, you don't need that strength of camera.
What Screens Does the Camera Support?
In addition to thinking about the clarity of your camera, you also have to consider with which devices the camera is compatible. Some cameras come with their own portable screens, and that is ideal if you don't have a screen in your hanger or if you want to be able to inspect your motor remotely. However, in other cases, you may want a camera that connects to a computer monitor or a TV. You also have to make sure that your camera can connect to the ports offered on your TV or monitor.
What Type of Articulation Does the Camera Offer?
When shopping for helicopter inspection cameras, you will note that a lot of the descriptions talk about articulation. This refers to the joint between the camera and the probe. In some cases, you may see 2-way articulation, and in other cases, there may only be one-way articulation. However, it's more important to assess the angles offered by various types of tip articulation.
For example, if one camera has a tip that can articulate 130 degrees in 2 directions, but another camera has a tip that can articulate 300 in one direction, you actually get a greater range of view with the single articulation (due to the greater number of degrees) than the double articulated camera tip. It's important to take all of the numbers into account to ensure you're getting tools that work the way you need them to work.
What Are the Properties of the Cording?
As you feed your camera through the helicopter, it stays connected to you through a cord or wire. Check out the type of cord in use before you make a purchase. Ideally, you want a sturdy materials such as tungsten that can withstand water or heat, and you also want a strong construction such as braided rope.
If you want more tips on choosing an inspection camera for your helicopter, contact a professional inspector to see what they recommend.