Product Spotlight: What is Aircraft Cable?

aircraft cable blog header

Product Spotlight: What is Aircraft Cable?

Obviously cables are used in an aircraft, right? Easy—Done!

Well, yes, that’s technically correct…But wait, there’s more!

You would assume aircraft cable is a type of wire rope used throughout an aircraft, for everything from adjustable seat back controls to controlling the movement of the wing flaps and landing gear on planes with analog flight systems. These cables are essentially specialized high strength wire rope, made to withstand the special environmental circumstances found on an aircraft such as harsh temperatures and moisture. Aircraft cable is also known as galvanized wire rope, and is often made from carbon steel and is drawn galvanized. Galvanizing protects the cable from corrosion for a period of time, but will discolor to a white or dull appearance—Prolonged exposure to the elements will eventually cause corrosion, which is why it’s always important to keep your aircraft cable up to date with inspections.

So, what is wire rope?

A piece of wire rope has three main components. Individual wires that make up each strand, the strand itself and finally, the core it’s built around. The core is typically composed of fibre core (FC) or steel wire core, called independent wire rope core (IWRC). The steel core increases strength by 7% and the weight by 10%, which provides more support to the outer strands than fibre cores. Steel cores resist crushing and are more resistant to heat.

The design factor of wire rope tells you the ratio between minimum breaking load of the rope and the working load limit (WLL).

Manufactures, like Hercules SLR, stock aircraft cable to commercial and military specifications in stainless steel, galvanized carbon steel, and a variety of other alloys. If you’re curious, the most common aircraft cable diameters are 1/16 through 5/32 with 7×7 or 7×19 construction. Normal breaking strength varies—Here at Hercules SLR we carry aircraft cable from a normal breaking strength of 480lbs to 14,400lbs.

 

However, aircraft cable isn’t just used on airplanes! It’s typically used in more strenuous applications because of its ability to withstand harsh temperatures and corrosion, but can serve effective in a variety of personal, commercial, industrial and military purposes.

Some examples of uses for aircraft cable NOT found within an aircraft, are:

  • Securing Cargo: Aircraft cable can be used to tie down heavy cargo on ships. Aircraft cable can be particularly useful because as mentioned above, it is resistant to extreme temperatures and moisture.
  • Boats and Docking: Aircraft cable is used for several applications in boats and docking like securing boats, hoisting them out of the water, sailboat rigging and on fishing boats.
  • Pulleys and Winches: The strength of aircraft cable makes it the perfect choice for lifting and hoisting.
  • Stage Rigging: Once again because of it’s strength and durability it is often the cable of choice for the rigging that opens, closes, and lifts heavy curtains, moves backdrops, raises and lowers lighting and so on.
  • Zip Lines: Both galvanized and stainless steel are used for zip lines, depending on the weather conditions in the location of the zip line.
  • Garage Doors: Aircraft cable can be found in garage door raising/lowering mechanisms.
  • Exercise Equipment: Aircraft cable is often used in a variety of exercise equipment, most commonly in weight machines.

Inspecting Aircraft Cable

Aircraft cables, both on and off airplanes, often live in fairly harsh environments—It’s often the wire rope of choice in those circumstances. As well, on some aircraft’s, the cable remains in one static position around pulley bends for extended periods of time. You should always ensure ALL of your rigging gear is inspected on it’s recommended timeline—But it’s especially important when you know the equipment is being exposed to harsh environments.

At every inspection, all control cables must be inspected for broken wires strands—This includes sections of the cable that may be hidden behind or within part of the aircraft structure. One of the easiest ways to do this is to run a cotton cloth over the length of the wire, checking for any places where the material get’s snagged. Any cable that has a single broken wire strand located around critical fatigue areas (where the cable runs around a pulley, sleeve or through a fair-lead; or any section where the cable is flexed, rubbed, or worked) must be replaced. Generally, SOME broken wires in non-critical areas are okay, but always consult your service/maintenance manual.

You’ll also want to look out for any flat spots, any areas where the cable twist is unraveling, or any other condition resulting in the cable being distorted—If any of these things are present, you must replace the cable.

It is recommended to remove the cable from critical areas and flex them to ensure that all cables on the inside of the wire rope haven’t worn down due to environmental deterioration, distortion or fatigue. This is definitely recommended if you haven’t been keeping up with regular inspections. There is a chance that the cable could look completely sound from the outside, but as soon as you remove it from the position it has remained in for so long, it will completely fail.


Need aircraft cable? Need an inspection? We’ve got you covered!

With a full service, one-stop-shop for rigging companies with all the service, inspections and repairs that any company would need, we can top the rest! Our goal is to make it look like you don’t need us! From advice, help with design, problem solutions, through to seamless procurement and excellent customer service, we are here to support your business and move it forward—Whatever it is, we can help.


NEED A QUOTE? HAVE A QUESTION? CALL US—WE KNOW THE (WIRE) ROPES & EVERYTHING RIGGING-RELATED.

Product Spotlight | Vulcan ETOP from Samson Rope

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Product Spotlight | Vulcan ETOP from Samson Rope

Today, the Hercules SLR spotlight is on the Vulcan ETOP from Samson Rope

samson rope marine etop kit
A Samson Rope ETOP Kit

WHAT’S AN EMERGENCY TOW-OFF PENDANT? 

An emergency tow-off pendant (ETOP) is often referred to as a ‘fire wire’. They’re used to help tow the ship away from the dock if there’s a fire. 

The Vulcan ETOP is a synthetic alternative to traditional wire ropes, developed by Samson Rope. It’s lighter, and eliminates fish hooks—Broken wires that bulge out from the wire and can cause hand injuries. The synthetic Vulcan ETOP can also help reduce maintenance costs. 

WHAT’S THE VULCAN ETOP MADE OF? 

The Vulcan ETOP is made of Technora® fibre with a proprietary fire-resistant coating that withstands exposure to flames & a high-temperature environment that still meets OCIMF-required breaking strength standards.  

OTHER FEATURES & BENEFITS INCLUDE: 

  • 60-70% (2/3rds) lighter than wire
  • Abrasion resistant
  • Easily stored when not in use
  • Easy to adjust 
  • Heat & flame resistant
  • Lightweight
  • No lubrication necessary
  • Reduces mooring-related injuries & claims 

SPECIFICATIONS

vulcan imperial spec chart

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
samson rope vulcan etop spec chart
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Samson Rope ISO Vulcan ETOP Spec Chart
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WATCH A SAMSON VULCAN COMBUSTON TEST BELOW

WANT MORE? CHECK OUT OUR BLOG:

WELCOME TO HAMILTON, ONTARIO: MEET RIGGER JIM CASE

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: BUILDING A SAFETY CULTURE AT HERCULES SLR

FALL PROTECTION SAFETY: WHAT’S YOUR IQ?


STAY IN THE LOOP – FIND SAMSON ROPE AT HERCULES SLR 

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (877) 461-4876


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Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com

NEW: Hercules SLR ‘Specials’ Page

specials at hercules slr

NEW from Hercules SLR – amazing specials and an easy place to find them. 

We released our Winter flyer in December – but the deals don’t stop there. Hercules SLR has launched a new page called ‘Specials’, so you can find all of our steals and deals in one convenient place. 

BROWSE OUR SPECIALS

Hercules SLR aims to provide securing, rigging and lifting equipment and services for all your needs. Find everything you need to push, pull, move, hull or hoist almost anything safely & smoothly. We stock a vast range of products to suit most needs, our specials page includes products you don’t see too often – all great product, at great prices. 

Find Hercules SLR Specials page here, or find it on our menu under ‘Products’ → ‘Specials’. 

The products displayed on our web site are used as part of a system employed to accomplish a task. Therefore, we only recommend using these products to accomplish the desired task within the specified Working Load Limit (WLL). Products are subject to wear, misuse, overloading, corrosion, deformation, intentional alteration and other usage factors which may necessitate a reduction in the product’s Working Load Limit (WLL) rating, or is cause to remove the product from service. 


Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for more news and upcoming events.