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What is a Wiring Harness?

InterConnect is starting a series of blogs to discuss different aspects of aircraft electrical wiring harnesses. For the next 38 weeks, InterConnect will provide definitions, descriptions, and photos of not only common parts used to manufacture wiring harnesses but also discussions of how to design wiring harnesses as well as lessons learned when designing wiring harnesses. Today’s blog is “What is a wiring harness?”.

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To put it simply, a wiring harness is a group of wires bundled together. A wiring harness can be very small in size such as a small group of wires found in your computer or car. A wiring harness can also be very huge such as some of the ones that InterConnect manufactures for aircraft. These huge wiring harnesses may have thousands of wires in them and hundreds of connectors. The finished wiring harness may weigh over 100 pounds and cost over $50,000.

When I meet people and they ask what a wiring harness is, I give them the example of an extension cord. When you buy an extension cord you are buying a small wiring harness. Wiring harnesses have many different names including: electrical wiring harnesses, looms, cable assemblies, coax cables, RF cables, injection molded cable assemblies, fiber optic cables, and many times are simply called harnesses.

Wiring harnesses are important for aircraft because they can be installed as one unit instead of one wire at a time. It is much easier to build them on a table in a production area such as InterConnect Wiring’s production area as opposed to putting in wires one at a time in an aircraft and then connecting each wire to a connector or terminal or a splice. It is much easier and faster to route a group of wires already bundled together than routing them individually.

Please continue to read InterConnect’s weekly blogs about wiring harnesses. We think you will not only learn from them but will enjoy them too!

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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