Commercial aviation is one of the great wonders of modern society, with thousands of us jetting off to far-flung corners of the globe every year. It’s a luxury that many of us take for granted and many people don’t really care how an aircraft works, so long as it gets them to their chosen holiday destination on time and in one piece!
This ignorance surrounding the workings of the average commercial aircraft betrays what is truly masterful engineering. It is widely accepted that the development of the internal combustion engine accelerated the progress of commercial aircraft, along with the pioneering work of various engineers across the course of the 20th century.
One aspect of aircraft design that doesn’t get as much credit, yet is just as important as the engine itself – especially on modern aircraft – are custom cables. The modern commercial aeroplane is far more than just a bus with wings; it relies on stable data and communication connections with the world below, as well as featuring in-flight entertainment and lighting. It’s essentially a computer in the sky.
Why Custom Cables?
The highly varied functions and unique operating conditions of an aircraft make producing the cables to keep a plane working as it should a challenge. Reliability is one of the key aspects of aviation cable design, with a reliable connection between air traffic control and planes in the sky essential. Reliable custom cable design is also required to keep the cockpit ticking over.
Data cables are also required to provide in flight entertainment for passengers, as well for connections to the fuselage for cargo monitoring systems. Stable power connections for in-flight lighting and electronics are also imperative. With so many functions to cover, it’s easy to see how the amount of cables fitted in an aircraft could pile up. Unfortunately, the space afforded to cables in aircraft design is minimal, meaning all of the functions of the various cables need to be optimised into a small space. In addition to this, cables fitted on an aircraft need to be able to stand up to high operating temperatures and have fire resistant qualities in order to ensure passenger and crew safety.
So how do cables manufacturers go about addressing all of these issues? Multicore cables are widely used on commercial aircraft as they can combine multiple coaxial cables into a single sheathed cable, saving on space without compromising on quality. Retractable cables offer a flexible and powerful data transmission solution for in-flight entertainment systems. In the past, Custom Designed Cables have worked with a local aircraft servicing company to provide retractable telephone cables for a major commercial airline. We have also provided cables for the refurbishment of in-flight systems.
Cable shielding is vital in aircraft cable design, providing protection against any potential interference and delivering the reliability and stability all aircraft manufacturers require. Cable shielding also negates potential environmental hazards, further solidifying the operational reliability of the cable as well as making the cable safe for use.
Of course, the very nature of custom cables means that no two aircraft designs will use exactly the same method of cabling. That’s why we work alongside aircraft servicing companies and airlines to design cables according to their exact specifications to ensure that all of our clients get the most out of their cabling solution.
For more information on aviation custom cables, get in touch with CDC Ltd on 01204 658 784 or via the Contact Us page.