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What is a System Diagram and How is It Used During Wiring Harness Design?

400x400_WiringDiagram_2018_Q2A system wiring diagram is exactly what it sounds like – a diagram of the wiring required for a system. During the design phase of any aircraft, a wiring diagram is developed to show how the electrical wires are interconnected between the various components in each system. Modern combat aircraft like the F-16, F-22, F-35, UH-60, V-22 and many others, contain hundreds of “systems”. A system is a collection of components designed to perform a specific task such as Landing Gear, Flight Control, Weapons, Environmental Control, etc.

A system wiring diagram (example shown below) forms the starting point for harness design because it contains the signal paths and at least some information about the wire types (such as wire gauge) necessary to electrically connect components in the aircraft. In more advanced engineering systems, the wiring data from the diagram is linked to a database. This database can then be merged with other data such as the 3D airframe model within a harness design software package. The wiring harness designers then use this data in consultation with mechanical/structural engineers to determine acceptable routing paths inside the airframe. Once these paths are determined, the wires in the system wiring diagram can be “routed” and the harness geometry determined. Since system components are located all over the aircraft, an airframe wiring harness will nearly always contain wires from multiple systems.

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If you have any questions about a wiring diagram or system harness design, please email us at sales@interconnect-wiring.com.

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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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