Did you know there have been multiple worldwide F-16 Wire Fires over the past several years? Unfortunately, there has. Do you know the main culprit causing the F-16 Wire Fires? Take a guess:
(A) Aircraft Manufacturing Error
(B) Pilot Error
(C) Reported Flexing of Kapton-Insulated Wire
(D) Lightning Strikes
If you said (C) you would be correct. In fact, in the USAF alone, there have been several different wiring harnesses burned due to old “Kapton-Insulated” polyimide wire. The most common location in the F-16 of the top 4 “Repeat Offender” wiring harnesses is in the F-16 Center Fuselage (STA 243 to 344). So, we ask, “Why F-16 Wire Fires?” The following is a summary that will be presented at the 2019 F-16 TCG WWR by InterConnect Wiring.
- F-16 Blocks 1 to 15, 30, 40, and 50 were manufactured with Kapton insulated wiring.
- Kapton has many documented problems.
- The problems are much worse when the Kapton insulation is repeatedly flexed such as the wiring harnesses connected to the exterior panel doors.
- Kapton degradates over time.
- If nicks exist in the insulation then intermitted problems, arcing, and fires will result.
- There have been numerous documented F-16 Wire Fires due to this problem.
- These problems are “Safety of Flight” issues and must be addressed.
If any of your aircraft have had any Wire Fires, here are the steps to take:
- Arrange a meeting with Our Team: InterConnect Wiring (the Lockheed Martin Licensee for F-16 Electrical Products & Programs) – AND – an InterConnect Wiring Approved Distributor.
- Our Team will perform Analysis of your fleet or the F-16 in question.
- Our Team will provide a Plan and Quotation to solve problems discovered.
- Your Plan will Include a Wiring Harness Replacement Program over multiple years for different areas of your F-16.