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Aging Wires & Systems

Wires and Fuel Compatibility

Whether by design or by accident, some wires in an aircraft will be exposed to jet fuel. Because of this, it is necessary to be prepared and select wires/cable types that will not suffer adverse effects of the exposure. Considering the impact of fuel on wiring is not idle musing about wiring systems; to quote the FAA AC120-97A, “Since 1959, there have been 18 fuel tank explosions on transport category airplanes”. Read more

Consequences of EWIS Implementation

In June 2019, Lectromec was asked to present at the USAF Mechanical Equipment and Subsystems Integrity Program (MESCIP) conference. With the electrical wiring interconnect system (EWIS) working its way into fleet sustainment activities, fleets now must take and apply the EWIS lessons learned.

Since the commercial segment has been subject to the 25.17XX EWIS regulations for more than a decade, the presentation examined the intended and unintended consequences of these regulations. For those seeking to integrate EWIS concepts into their fleet maintenance practices, this presentation gives an overview of the factors to be considered for your fleet.

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New Guidance for Wiring System Inspection

Back in November 2018, the US Navy released the second revision to the military handbook on “Guidelines for inspection of aircraft electrical wiring interconnect systems” (MIL-HDBK-522). This handbook is a guide for the aircraft EWIS inspection and provides a lot of detailed examples of wiring evaluation from beginning to end of the EWIS. Read more

Common Questions About Kapton® Wire

Love it or hate it, the fact is that Kapton® insulated wires will be on aircraft for at least another couple of decades, and because of this, we should learn to live with the insulation type. Part of living with it is understanding it. If you have questions that you would like to see answered, please send them to Lectromec or add them to the comments section below. We plan to add to this article as the questions arise. Read more

SwissAir 111 Incident

The year of 2018 was yet again another substantial year in commercial air travel. The first quarter of 2018 saw commercial flights carry over 202 million passengers in the US, approximately 8 million more than in the first quarter of 2017. Air travel remains increasingly popular, accessible to the public, and statistically the safest way to travel. This level of safety has been earned through decades of groundbreaking innovation, sometimes undeniably spurred by the desire to avoid repeating past tragedy.

An impactful and memorable incident that caused the industry to reevaluate its processes and procedures was the crash of Swissair Flight 111. Occurring almost two years after the Trans World Airlines Flight 800 (TWA800), the Swissair Flight 111 and TWA800 shared a common issue: wiring system failure.

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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

Correcting Bad Wire System Guidance

Consider a common aircraft wire: how many requirements and standards must be considered during its design and fabrication? A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests at least 30 various requirements and standards. For an aircraft wire harness, that number can easily jump to 50. Without a doubt, between each of these standards and requirements, there can be […] Read more

Frequency of Wire System Incidents

In July 2017, Lectromec published a white paper on electrical wiring system failures on commercial aircraft. This is a brief video of the finding and what can be done to improve EWIS reliability in commercial aircraft. Read more

Getting the Most Value from Wire System Degradation Assessments

Task four of military handbook MIL-HDBK-525 (also incorporated into the mechanical subsystems integrity program standard MIL-STD-1798) outlines a set of considerations and procedures for the assessment of an aircraft electrical system specifically for the service life extension program (SLEP). The important factor is to ensure that resources are not wasted on this effort and that […] Read more

2016 EWIS Failure Analysis of Commercial Airlines White Paper

Once every couple years, Lectromec reviews the FAA’s service difficulty reporting (SDR) system to determine the number of EWIS failures in the American commercial airline fleet. We have reviewed the data, performed a thorough analysis, and placed the conclusions into a white paper. This whitepaper provides details the process and the frequency of EWIS failures. […] Read more