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Is a Wire Termination the Same for Commercial and Defense Aircraft Wiring Harnesses?

InterConnect Wiring must perform hundreds of wire terminations daily. A wire termination is the practice of ending a transmission line with a device, such as a contact (that will be inserted into a connector) or a terminal. There are many types of terminations in the aircraft industry, but the majority for commercial and defense aircraft wiring harnesses are crimp or solder.


A crimp termination is performed when the device requires a contact or terminal. The wire insulation is stripped then the contact or terminal is attached to the wire using a crimp tool. The tool crimps the contact or terminal onto the wire conductor. This type of termination is most often used on aircraft wiring harnesses and cockpit panels that InterConnect produces for various aircraft including the F-15, F-16, the C-130 and UH-60, to name a few.

A solder termination is performed when the wire conductor attaches directly to the device. This requires stripping off the wire insulation, applying flux, then soldering the wire to the device. The J-STD-001 (Requirements for Soldered Electrical and Electronic Assemblies) gives the specific details on how to properly solder.

InterConnect has a very stringent Training Program for all of our assemblers to learn how to crimp contacts and terminals as well as solder. Each year, assemblers are re-trained on how to terminate wires according to J-STD-001, IPC-A-610, and IPC-A-620. But what about commercial aircraft wiring? Are the wires terminated the same for civil vs military wiring harnesses? Basically, yes, they are terminated the same. Make sure that the wire is properly stripped, the conductor is clean, the flux and solder (if applicable) is according to the customer’s requirements, and the connector or terminal itself is free from debris or FOD.

Always manufacture and terminate wires to the customer’s requirements, be it ISO, IPC standards, FAA Advisory Circulars, or SAE AS50881. For those making or inspecting harnesses for civil/commercial aircraft, the following FAA document might be helpful: Aircraft Electrical Wiring Interconnect System (EWIS) Best Practices Job Aid.

It is vitally important that all wire terminations are performed correctly.  You can trust InterConnect Wiring to manufacture your aircraft electrical wiring harnesses, circuit breaker panels, relay panels, black boxes, and mux assemblies to your exact specifications. To learn more about terminating wires and how aircraft wiring harnesses are designed, touch here and download your free copy of our eBook.

Our License

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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