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Ashtead Technology has highlighted the technological and financial benefits of equipment rental, citing two examples in which aircraft inspection has been enhanced via access to the latest technology.

Following the Icelandic volcano eruption, Ashtead Technology was contacted by an aviation maintenance firm looking to hire a high-specification endoscope for emergency aircraft engine examinations.

Avalon Aero performed internal inspections of engines following flights in the ‘red zone’ area – an area in which volcanic ash might be encountered but was deemed safe to fly by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre.

Ashtead’s engineers recommended the Iplex Videoscope and the device proved very useful, according to Martin Darling, technical director at Avalon Aero.

He said: ‘The device provided quick and easy visual access to the internal components of aircraft engines.

‘Our investigations did not find any ash within the engines and this evidence was extremely valuable to our clients,’ he added.

In the second example, Marshall Aerospace had a short-term requirement to remotely monitor the temperature of landing gear and tyres.

This necessitated the use of an infrared camera with the ability to take high-definition images from an aircraft.

In this instance, Ashtead recommended the Flir P620 thermal camera.

Without the deployment of handheld thermal imaging equipment, thermal instrumentation would have had to be installed onto the undercarriage of the aircraft, which would be both costly and time-consuming.

Alternative methods involving temperatures being taken by hand are too dangerous due to the risk of tyre explosion.

The trial sessions involved the aircraft carrying out an abortive take-off on the runway having reached speeds of up to 100knots.

After each session, the P620 camera enabled engineers to take images showing pinpoint temperature levels from as far as 65ft away, improving the safety and efficiency of the trial.

Jon Gorman, principal flight dynamics engineer at Marshall Aerospace, said: ‘The trials in which we used the Flir P620 ThermaCAM for thermal imaging of the aircraft’s key components worked extremely well.

‘The entire trial process went seamlessly, from assessing temperatures directly after the taxi run, through to easily identifying when the brakes and tyres were at a suitable temperature for trials to resume,’ he added.

Ashtead Technology offers short-term instrument hire at one end of the spectrum and full instrument purchase at the other, with a range of options in-between.

This enables customers to balance operational and capital costs while also choosing the maintenance and calibration regime that best suits their needs.

Ashtead Technology

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