Rhinestahl CTS Celebrates 30 Years of FutureDrive Innovation

Rhinestahl introduced the FutureDrive electronic turning tool to the market in 1993. It was designed to improve the customer’s borescope inspection process on turbine aircraft engines by automating the process and reducing labor hours, manpower, and costs needed to complete an inspection.

Over the past 30 years, Rhinestahl has continued to improve the design and capabilities of FutureDrive to meet our customers’ needs and help their shops run more efficiently.

In 2005, the second generation of the turning tool, FutureDriveNG, was released. The improved model was half the size and weight of the original and featured an option for wireless operation. These updates made it easier for the technician to handle the tool while performing a borescope inspection. FutureDriveNG also gained electronic software update capabilities, allowing engine programs to be added and software updates to be conducted in the field instead of sending the unit back to Rhinestahl.

To further accommodate our customers, our team designed a variety of new adaptors. This allowed FutureDriveNG to be compatible with a wider variety of engine programs, ranging from commercial, military, and aeroderivative.

In 2020, Rhinestahl introduced its third generation, FutureDriveNG+. The implemented upgrades with this generation improved usability, safety, and accuracy during the inspection process. Not only did the tool have wired and wireless operation capabilities, but it also featured one-way communication with the borescope.

FutureDriveNG+ features a 2x safety factor to protect both the customer’s engine and the turning tool from damage during inspection. The tool uses torque limits provided directly by the OEM to prevent out-of-limits torque inputs and includes a shear pin with a mechanical torque limit designed to break if the system reaches 95 ft-lbs. The tool now also includes a fuse and filter design to protect the unit from a power surge as well as improve anti-backlash capabilities.

Bi-directional turning improved the tool’s accuracy. This allows the technician to stop at any blade, flag, and store found damage and return to any blade with just the push of a button. The bi-directional turning capability also allows for continuous turning in both directions up to 999 turns.

With more adapters created for the third generation, the tool became configurable across multiple major OEM programs. Specifically, FutureDriveNG+ was OEM-approved by Rolls-Royce in 2021 and recommended for use on multiple Trent engines.

Today, Rhinestahl is proud to say that FutureDriveNG+ is the leading electronic turning tool in the industry. After 30 years of upgrades and innovation, we continue to improve our FutureDrive tool to ensure that it still serves its initial purpose – to support our customers, improve their processes, and help their shops run more efficiently.

Here’s to another 30 years of innovation.