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Summer Series: What Is the Difference Between a Circuit Breaker Panel and a Power Panel?

The Texas heat is upon us and we’re continuing our Summer Blog Series! Let’s dive back into our top blog from 2016 to revisit the question: what is the difference between a circuit breaker panel and a power panel?


Do you know where your circuit breaker box is located in your home? Did you know that the circuit breaker box in your home is very similar to a circuit breaker panel in an F-15?

Both in a home and in an aircraft, a circuit breaker box or panel is a protective device for opening a circuit automatically when excessive current is flowing through it. A circuit breaker may be reset to restore the circuit after a fault causing excessive current has been corrected. The Circuit Breaker Panel is an electrical protecting safety device. That’s one reason every electrically powered item must be protected by a circuit breaker; whether it be a home, fighter jet, utility helicopter, cargo airplane, Archangel, etc.

A Power Panel controls the electrical power for each panel and component in the aircraft. Most airplanes have a dedicated avionics circuit that would be connected to one of the primary circuits with a relay. The avionics master power panel allows the pilot to depower all avionics with a single switch instead of turning off each individual item.

To summarize, both circuit breakers and power panels are needed to protect the electrical systems in an aircraft. Circuit breakers are used to protect the system from overload while the Power Panel turns off an entire section of the avionics with one switch.

Click here to see a very cool video of an aircraft in which InterConnect helped design, engineer, and build all of the electrical wiring harnesses.  Power and Circuit Breaker Panels can be seen in the video.  It is well worth the 2 minutes and 32 seconds it takes to watch!

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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