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April 2007 edition

Developers look to harness the benefits of more efficient electrical systems

If electrical systems are the heartbeat of a living aircraft, cable harnesses are the veins and arteries. They are both intricate and complex, thus making them time consuming aspects of aircraft design and manufacture. The expertise needed for installation, testing and maintenance means they are expensive and it is obviously desirable to increase efficiency and cut costs in every way that is practical and possible.

In this, and coming issues, Airframer will focus on design and manufacturing innovations designed to feed through to the building of lighter and more efficient aircraft through innovative approaches to cabling and electrics.

Geoff Fisher, a co-founder of Trace Technologies Ltd., a U.K. opto-electronics firm based in Wales, believes modern aircraft are poised to benefit from new approaches.

He explains: "Aircraft designers and system developers are having to rethink their design approach. The copper-based systems, which are well understood and have been in use for the last few decades, are now, in certain areas, reaching their limits."

He adds: "The demands created by the next generation aircraft designs, have already exceeded what can be delivered by copper. Fibre, whilst still being a specialist area, is ready to meet these demands, for example in communications. There is increased demand for high bandwidth applications such as in-flight entertainment and, with ca....

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 Contact details from our directory:
Trace Technologies Ltd Computer-aided Design
BAE Systems plc Airframer
GKN Aerospace - Filton Additive Manufacturing, Aircraft Structural Components, Wings, Wing Flaps, Fuselage Sections

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