How Are Wire and Cables Used on Aircraft?

Modern aircraft are equipped with miles of wires and cables which play a critical role for maintaining safety and connectivity onboard. These include safety wires, steel cables used for securing parts, and electrical lines, among many others. In this blog we will discuss the various wires and cables used on aircraft, and how they benefit the overall security and basic effectiveness of aircraft machinery.

What Are Aircraft Cables?

Consisting of multiple thin, steel wires twisted together (usually between 8 and 28 strands in all), aircraft cables are one of the most useful types of steel cables available. While usually no thicker than ¼ inch in diameter, aircraft cables are strong enough to secure an airplane. However, they are used for more than just aircraft; it comes in a variety of thicknesses and materials to suit a range of commercial, military, and industrial purposes. For example, stainless steel aircraft cables are more often used for strenuous applications because of their superior resistance to harsh temperatures and corrosion. Galvanized steel cables are more affordable and almost as strong, but are ultimately recommended for milder environments.

The name “aircraft cable” is derived from the fact that this style of wire rope has long been used for aircraft flight controls. For example, aircraft cables may be used to actuate rudders, elevators, and ailerons, those of which are the various flaps on aircraft which control tilt, pitch, and yaw. Cables are also used for internal bracing and external drag equipment, alongside anti-drag wires that brace a wing. These are just some of the applications of aircraft cables in planes, as their high strength and flexibility make them useful for a variety of operations.

What Are the Wires Used on Aircraft?

Unlike aircraft cables, the wires used on planes are not of a uniform set; rather, they include a lengthy list of electrical and other types of wires. This includes insulated wires that keep electricity intact for all the various electronic equipment in cockpit displays, lighting systems, cabin entertainment features, and more. Electrical wiring is also used in communication systems onboard which connect the pilot to the cabin and keep stable communication with those on the ground. A different type of wiring is used to secure fasteners on the plane. These safety wires can be wrapped several times around a fastener to add greater friction and hold so that there is lessened risk of them loosening from wear and vibration.

The proper installation and choice of wiring and cables used on aircraft, are crucial for ensuring safety for all onboard. Bad wiring may result in electrical failure, an increased fire risk, and loss of communication. It can even prevent the engine from starting if the wires cannot effectively transfer a spark into the airplane's cylinders. Improper cable usage could also result in damage if it generates parks or is subjected to too much wear than it is capable of managing.


Altogether, the various cables and wires used on aircraft are essential to many of its components, from the electrical systems to keeping fasteners and larger parts securely in place. If you are on the search for high quality, durable aircraft wire and cables, Just Connectors is here to support you for all that you require. As an AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accredited enterprise, our products are regularly subjected to strict examination to ensure that our items meet our customer’s high expectations. More than that, we only supply components from trusted manufacturers on our Approved Vendor List (AVL), guaranteeing authenticity and quality at every step of the process. We encourage you to browse our extensive catalog of items on our website and submit a Request For Quote (RFQ) form to receive quotes for your comparison on any of our products. Within 15 minutes of receiving your request, a knowledgeable member of our team will reply with a competitive quote with your specific part(s) needs and shipping preferences in mind.


December 27, 2023
December 20, 2022

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