Lead paint is a hazard. In fact, most places in the US have regulations on how exactly lead paint is to be removed. If you live in a home with lead paint, then you live knowing a lethal time bomb sits idle on your walls. Old wiring is much the same in the aircraft world. It has been the subject of more than a few articles from InterConnect and regardless of the advantages discussed, one disadvantage is glaringly apparent. There are some wire types, when hit with an arcing current, which can catch fire possibly leading to a catastrophic failure. So, what are the options when one decides to replace aged aircraft wiring?
With the revelation of Kapton’s potential explosive nature, the wire manufacturing world moved to produce wiring that could safely replace the old wire. Wire, such as TKT (Teflon/Kapton/Teflon) was introduced in the early 1990s. Other types of wire exist; however, many are variations of this TKT format. The options for replacing Kapton wiring are straightforward with the only true solution to completely replace the old wiring in your aircraft. Typically, this is done with a wiring overhaul program where the harnesses are remade with other types of wire. So what are the options available? We have experience with various rewire options and some are noted below.
When InterConnect helped the Army National Guard replace the wiring on their UH-60s, AED (Aviation Engineering Directorate) had us rewire the black hawks using cross-linked tefzel. When the Air Force contracted us to provide all of the wiring harnesses for their F-15C/D fleet, they had us use TKT. When the Coast Guard asked us to help rewire their MH-60s, we used Spec 55 wire. And currently, as we assist in rewiring AH-1 Cobras, we are using the TKT wire option.
Just as lead paint can be removed from your vintage home safely, so can old wiring from your aircraft. The safety of your aircraft and the people who fly them may depend on it.
To have one of our engineers come to your facility to make a recommendation on which wire type is best for your aircraft, complete the CONTACT US section at the bottom of our website here.