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Why Replace Leading Edge Wing Wiring Harnesses?

400x400_leadingEdge_2017_F16A common question asked of InterConnect Wiring is, “In harsh environments, which wiring harnesses inside an F-16 are affected most?” By harsh, they mean what we call the Big Six:

(1) Very hot or very cold temperatures.
(2) Grease and other fluids in the area as well as other contaminants such as sand and dust.
(3) Open to the environment at certain times.
(4) Often accessed and/or flexed.
(5) Lots of vibration.
(6) Has potential problems with chaffing.

The answer in the order of criticality is:

(1) Leading Edge of the Wings
(2) Main Landing Gear
(3) Nose Wheel Steering
(4) Battery Area
(5) Engine Bay
(6) Refueling Bay

Please note that there are other areas in an aircraft that are affected by harsh conditions, but those listed above are the worst.

Along the wing of an F-16 there are many wiring harnesses installed inside the leading edge flap. Because of the location on the F-16, the wiring harnesses are replaced more often than any other area of the F-16. For this reason, InterConnect supplies many more leading edge wing wiring harnesses than any other harnesses on the F-16.

So what makes this area so difficult for wiring harnesses? Well the answer is that they experience ALL of the harsh environments listed above. (1) They are located in the leading edge thus they are subjected to huge temperature differences. (2) They are located near rotary actuators. When rotary actuators get old they can sling grease. (3) Although the leading edge flap seals are good, they can sometimes let in environmental conditions. (4) The leading edge flaps get removed fairly often. In fact, maintenance personnel walk on the wings thus the wiring harnesses get flexed (not to mention being flexed during flight). (5) The vibration of these wiring harnesses is not as bad as other areas (such as the engine bay) but there is still a great deal of vibration. And finally, (6) the leading edge area has such a tight fit (with a large number of wiring harnesses), that there is the potential for chaffing.

As you can see, being the leading edge on an F-16 is a tough life!! So the short answer to the original question “Why Replace F-16 Leading Edge Wing Wiring Harnesses?”; because that particular location on the F-16 experiences the Big Six… temperature fluctuation, grease and grime, opened to the elements, flexed, vibration, and subject to chafing.

Remember, the Big Six are bad but InterConnect has a good solution with our Leading Edge Wing Wiring Harness and Mux Panel Replacement Program. Call Clare McGarrey for a quote at 817.377.9473.

Our Licenses

We are the sole licensee of Lockheed Martin for F-16 electrical products. Through this agreement, we have access to Lockheed Martin’s F-16 engineering data, tooling and configuration control information. We also have a Technical Services agreement with Sikorsky for all of their aircraft. This agreement allows us to obtain their engineering data needed to rewire helicopters that Sikorsky manufactures.

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