M403T Fan Blade Scanner
The automated in-service inspection of aero-engine fan blades is a key component of aircraft safety designed and manufactured by engineers from Tieval and implemented on most major aircraft.
In 1996 engineers from Tieval developed the first fully automated ultrasonic inspection system to detect sub-surface cracks in wide-chord fan blades. The self-calibrating and auto-sentencing system was introduced as a mandatory inspection on Rolls Royce RB2-11 fan blades.
In 1996 the original M401 system was introduced as a mandatory inspection on Rolls Royce RB2-11 535 E4 and 524 G&H fan blades.
In 1999 new versions, the M401V and M403V systems were introduced for the inspection of International Aero Engines V2500 fan blades.
Many of the early systems are still in operation after many years.
In 2013 the M403T fan blade scanner was introduced for the inspection of Trent aero-engine fan blades and the systems are now capable of inspecting the following engines:
| Trent 500 - Airbus A340
||Trent XWB84 - Airbus A350-800 & A350-900
| Trent 700 - Airbus A330
||Trent XWB97 - Airbus A350-1000 - Due 2020 Approval
| Trent 800 - Boeing 777
||RB2-11 535 E4 - Boeing 757
| Trent 900 - Airbus A380
||RB2-11 524 G&H - Boeing 747 & 767
| Trent 1000 - Boeing 787
||IAE V2500 - Airbus A319, A320, A321 & Boeing MD-90 - Due 2020 Approval
| Trent 7000 - Airbus A330neo
The system which requires no operator intervention calibrates itself using a specialist test piece and uses the calibration information to assess the results of fan blade inspections. Entry of a fan blade serial number leads to pass or fail results.
In 2016 all systems were upgraded to a new high speed, solid state drive based computer system utilising the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system with the latest TiView software package, this upgrade reduces inspection times per fan blade by up to 70%.
Advances in the ultrasonic data capture capabilities during 2018 and 2019 have also allowed the option to detect and reject significantly smaller cracks.
To date M403T fan blade scanners have been supplied to England (2), Germany (4), Hong Kong (5), Singapore (5) and The United States (2) with all systems supported under TiCare calibration and maintenance contracts.