The Wires and Wire Harnesses of Aircraft

As aircraft continue to implement more advanced technologies that are reliant on electric power, an increased amount of electrical system components are required to facilitate standard operations. Various types of wires are used to relay current around the aircraft, powering all components and devices. It is important that all wiring is amply maintained and managed over time to ensure proper functionality and hazard prevention. In this blog, we will discuss the wiring of aircraft, allowing you to better understand how aircraft electrical systems are capable of maintaining functionality throughout flight.

In their most basic form, a wire may be a single, solid conductor or a group of solid conductors that are encapsulated by an insulating material for safety. Due to the complexity of aircraft structures and the amount of flexing and vibration that wires undertake, such components regularly come in the form of round wire assemblies which are stranded for the means of minimizing fatigue. Cabling, meanwhile, can refer to a few different things in the context of aviation electrical signals. Typically, a cable can represent two or more separated insulated conductors that are placed within the same jacket or twisted together, one or more insulated conductors with metallic braided shields, or a single insulated center conductor with a metallic braided outer conductor.

To efficiently place wires and cables within an aircraft assembly, wire harnesses are often used. A wire harness can come in the form of a lacing cord, metal band, or various other binding types, and such components serve to bind insulated conductors together to facilitate the operations of various equipment and their terminations. Harnesses are commonly used for securing all electrical components of an aircraft, and they will regularly be designed to accommodate specific equipment pieces.

When conducting any sort of operation on the aircraft electrical system, it is paramount that all personnel are able to accurately identify all wires and cables alongside their circuits and voltages. Typically, wires will have identification provided along their length which will include their part number and CAGE code. With such information, one can then determine the exact wire that should be used for replacement or repair, guaranteeing that performance is upheld with compatible parts. For the ease of identification, imprinted markings will be placed in intervals that do not surpass 15-inches of space between, though wiring that is three inches or less may not have external identification.

 Due to the standard operations and operating environments of aircraft, many wires are placed in areas where they are subject to extreme wind and moisture. These areas comprise the wheel wells, wing flaps, wing folds, pylons, and other various sections of the fuselage where moisture and wind are present. To protect wiring in such areas, protective exterior jackets are used for ample shielding. Due to the specific construction of certain aircraft wires that enables them to perform well in harsh environments, such electrical components can be more difficult to substitute if a direct replacement cannot be found. In such instances, the aircraft manufacturer’s maintenance handbook can be referred to to find a solution.

Whether your aircraft contains fastener wire, basket wire, baffle wire, or adapter three wire parts, all electrical components must be regularly inspected and maintained on set intervals to ensure performance and operability. Just like all parts, wires will degrade over time, and the failure of a wire can create hazards if such components are used for flight critical systems. As such, wires should be repaired or replaced as soon as an issue arises, ensuring that component failure is well avoided.

When you are searching for wiring solutions for your various aircraft applications, there is no better alternative to Cogent Sourcing. Cogent Sourcing is a leading distributor of all types of aviation tools that are required for aircraft maintenance, and we can assure competitive prices on fastener wire parts, baffle wire components, basket wire products, and so much more. Take the time to fully explore our vast offerings at your leisure, and our team of industry experts is readily on standby 24/7x365 to assist you through the purchasing process as needed. See why customers choose to steadily rely on Cogent Sourcing today when you initiate the part procurement process with us.


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