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EWIS Instructions for Continued Airworthiness

Here we look at the last 95% of an aircraft life: operation and maintenance. In this, we review the regulatory requirements around EWIS instructions for continued airworthiness (ICA) and some of the resources that can be used to ensure a smooth certification process for your wiring system. Read more

Have we Reached the End of Aging Aircraft Wiring Systems? – Part II

At the start of the last article, the question was posed, “Is it possible that aircraft wiring reached a point where aging/degradation is a thing of the past?” In that article, four elements were identified that must be satisfied for wires/cables to be considered as age-free. The insulation and conductor aging factors were examined in the last article, and here we consider the remaining two: Design limits and random shocks. Read more

Have we Reached the End of Aging Aircraft Wiring Systems?

The way some in the aerospace industry maintain their aircraft wiring system can only lead an external observer to reason that aircraft wiring is impervious to damage with a life-span greater than the sun. When considering this thought, the question arose, “It is possible that aircraft wiring reached a point where aging/degradation is a thing of the past?” Read more

Mechanical Performance of Cables at Low Temperatures

The environmental extremes under which wiring exists in aircraft can rapidly degrade materials that are not prepared or designed for those conditions. Without a doubt, high-temperature ranges that are typically considered for aircraft wiring eliminate most wire insulation types that are suitable for ground-based home applications. Lectromec has covered several types of high-temperature tests in past articles. But at low temperatures, what tests exist to help identify which wires are ideally or adequately suited for aerospace applications? One of the tests that investigates the performance of wires in cold conditions is known as the cold bend test. Read more

Should Polyimide Insulated Wire be Trusted?

The history of polyimide insulated wire is one that has numerous opinions and a lot of misconceptions. After several incidents involving polyimide wire on aircraft in both military and commercial, many within the aerospace industry refused to put any polyimide insulated wire/cable onto the aircraft they design/maintain. As is often the case with components involved in incidents, a lot of facts and myths get jumbled together. Read more

25.981 is Not a Barrier – Part 2

FAA regulation 25.981 covers the requirements of fuel tank ignition prevention. While there are numerous elements that must be considered as part of the 25.981 regulation, this is a Lectromec series of articles, and here we focus on the electrical hazards that must be identified and mitigated as part of certification. Read more

25.981 is Not a Barrier

One area of aircraft certification where electrical energy and risk have always been considered is the fuel system. While it is obvious that limiting the exposure of fuel to electrical energy is advantageous, how this gets addressed from a safety and certification perspective is far from obvious. Read more

High Current Testing

Several things can go wrong when a wire or cable is subjected to an electrical current exceeding its design limitation and none of them are good. These include, but are not limited to, melting of the insulation, smoking, insulation degradation, promotion of intermetallic growth between the plating and conductor, melting of the conductor, melting of the conductor plating, and conductor embrittlement. Thankfully, if the wire/cable is being used within its temperature and current ratings, the wire should experience very little of the above phenomena. Read more

DO-160, EWIS, and EMI

Designing a circuit diagram for a system comprised of Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) is usually a straightforward process: identify the inputs and outputs of the system and connect them with wires and cables. Taking that simple high-level circuit diagram and implementing the physical design into an application can be quite difficult. This requires the proper connectors, optimized the physical routing, and ensuring negligible impact from electromagnetic interference (EMI). From an implementation perspective, it cannot be understated how much EMI can impact system performance ranging from degraded performance to make a system completely inoperable. Thankfully, there are test methods to evaluate the susceptibility of electromagnetic interference of a wire harness design. Read more