Aerospace Cable Frequently Asked Questions

Aerospace Cable

What kind of uses are there for aerospace grade data cables?

Applications for aerospace data cables include fiber channel, Ethernet, USB, Digital Video Interface, Serial ATA and more.

What are some of the main things I should consider when choosing aerospace wire or cable?

Like you would in choosing any wire or cable, you should first consider the primary function of the cable, the environment it will be used in, and any challenging conditions it may face. This should include considerations of temperature, potential exposure to liquids, movement the cable may have to withstand, etc. These considerations are especially important for aerospace applications because cables will likely need to function in a wide range of temperatures and pressures, and must stay intact through the vibrations and movements involved in take off and landing.

Next, you should consider which industry specifications you must meet and make sure that your wire and cable adheres to those guidelines. During your search of industry specifications, you should also consider the quality, performance, and safety of the cable.

Considering these things will help you choose the most appropriate cable for your application and could even save you money on future replacement and repairs.

Why is the weight of cable so important in the aerospace industry?

Many times, it is a question of performance, not only for the specific application but for the aircraft as a whole. While some applications require heavyweight wire and cable to be successful, using lighter weight wire and cable when possible could increase the speed of the plane. Generally, reducing the weight on an aircraft also reduces its drag and allows it to go faster.

Are there extra precautions I can take when choosing cable for aircraft that will carry passengers?

You should consider Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSZH) cables for any manned aircraft. These cables cause minimal damage in the case of a fire. They emit little to no smoke or ash and little to no dangerous gases formed by halogens. This is especially important in enclosed areas that don’t have a lot of ventilation, like those in most aerospace applications. Minimizing smoke and the release of halogens makes it easier for passengers to see and breathe while they navigate an exit.

What are some of the standards organizations that regulate wire and cable used in the aerospace industry?

Standards Organizations like the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) create guidelines for wire and cable used in a wide range of aerospace applications. Military specifications (MIL-specs), originally developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, and Boeing Material Specifications, developed by the Boeing aerospace company, are also important industry standards you may want to consider.

What does it mean when I see an aerospace wire and cable product labeled with both MIL-spec numbers and either SAE or NEMA specifications?

While MIL-specs are still viable standards in the industry, select military specifications are being released to non-governmental standards. Organizations like SAE and NEMA are then translating the Mil-Specs into their own standards. Because it is still popular to refer to wire and cable products by their Mil-Spec numbers, the new NEMA or SAE specification sometimes appears alongside its Mil-Spec counterpart. Be sure to double check all standards to make sure they fit your specific project needs.

What does "BMS" stand for? How many BMS Cable specs exist?

"BMS" stands for Boeing Material Specification. Several BMS specifications are in existence. The specification covers products ranging from databus cable to aerospace optical fiber cable. BMS cables vary in type, insulation, conductor, shield, jacket material, temperature rating etc. Learn more about the BMS cables available from Allied Wire.

Do you carry In-Flight Entertainment Cables?

In-Flight Entertainment Cables are used to keep flyers occupied with all their entertainment needs such as internet access and other communications. These cables are specifically designed for airplanes with a lightweight design, the ability to withstand the added stress from air pressure, landing, and takeoffs and can withstand up to 200°C. Allied stocks DataMaster® Cable which includes Network Quad Cable, Data cable and Network Twisted Pairs Cable. Take a look at our In-Flight Entertainment Cables today!

What is Raychem Spec 44??

Tyco Raychem Spec 44 was manufactured by Raychem, which was bought out by Tyco and is now called TE Connectivity. This aerospace cable was originally designed for military and aerospace requirements only; today it is now used more widely. Raychem Spec 44 wire features a dual-wall construction, low smoke generation, a temperature range up to 150°C and rated from 600-2500 volts. This entire group of Raychem wire SPEC 44 also directly crosses to MIL-W-81044 Mil-Spec wire and NEMA WC 27500 Mil-Spec cable. View the full Raychem Spec 44 Line here!

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