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What is an Air Vehicle Specification and how is it used related to wiring harnesses?

400x400_AirVehicleSpecification_2018_Q1Are you are a new engineer freshly out of college or are you just learning the aerospace industry?  Did you just land a job at a large aerospace company (typically these companies are called OEM’s which means Original Equipment Manufacturer) that designs and manufactures aircraft? Is your new job at the OEM to design electrical wiring harnesses and wired box assemblies? If so, you probably have asked yourself “Where is the best place to start to learn about aircraft?” As they say, the best place to start is at the beginning. The beginning to learn about wiring harness design is something called an “Air Vehicle Specification”.

Typically each aircraft has a specification called an Air Vehicle Specification. This is a very large document that the OEM writes prior to designing the aircraft. It includes tons of information about all aspects of the aircraft including its size, weight, and flight characteristics.

Also included in the Air Vehicle Specification is information dealing with electrical systems design including information pertaining to wiring harnesses. This information may include such subjects as: (1) wire types, (2) connector and backshell types, (3) how wiring harnesses will be bundled, and (4) how shields of shielded wires will be connected to the aircraft structure.  Other information may include: (a) separation of flight control wiring harnesses, (b) support of wiring harnesses when they are installed and (c) how wires will be marked using a laser wire marker.  Based on this information, engineers typically write a separate specification explicitly for detailed engineering design of wiring harnesses. Lastly, engineers also write a specification for the manufacture of wiring harnesses. Wiring harness manufacturing companies such as InterConnect Wiring use this manufacturing specification to plan and build wiring harnesses. Over the years, InterConnect has helped write both design and manufacturing specifications for many companies.

So now that you know what an Air Vehicle Specification is, what do you do next?  That’s simple; ask an experienced engineer or your boss if there is an Air Vehicle Specification or similar document for the aircraft you are working on. If there is, get a copy, look through the table of contents, and find and read sections that deal with electrical systems design.
If you want more information, InterConnect recommends that you download and read the following eBooks:

  *   Introductory Guide for Engineers Designing Aircraft Wiring Harnesses

  *   How Are Aircraft Electrical Wiring Harnesses Designed? 

  *   The Wonderful World of Wiring

 Good luck on the new and exciting world of aircraft electrical wiring!

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