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May/June 2008

New Standard Offers Guidance for Airplane Electrical Wiring

As a means of ensuring the safety of electrical wiring systems in airplanes, ASTM International Committee F39 on Normal and Utility Category Airplane Electrical Wiring Systems has recently approved F2639, Practice for Design, Alteration and Certification of Airplane Electrical Wiring Systems, a standard developed by Subcommittee F39.01 on Design, Alteration and Certification.

According to Michael E. Richardson, principal engineer, avionics and electrical systems group, Cessna Aircraft, and chair of Subcommittee F39.01, F2639 will be used by original equipment manufacturers to select and install electrical wiring and equipment for aircraft that comply with U.S. Federal Aviation Administration rules as detailed in Code of Federal Regulations 14, parts 23 and 25. “The alteration section of the standard provides guidance for modification of aircraft after initial FAA certification while the certification section provides information and guidance on various certification processes,” says Richardson.

Richardson notes that some aircraft OEMs are already using this guidance, which was derived and updated from FAA Advisory Circular AC43-13-1B, chapter 11, to form F2639. “Fixed base operators and supplemental type certificate holders will likely use it as well,” says Richardson. “Anyone designing, altering or certifying airborne electrical systems can make good use of this guidance.”

Interested parties are welcome to join in the standards developing activities of Subcommittee F39.01, particularly those involved in general aviation equipment manufacture. In addition to F2639, the subcommittee has completed one other standard, F2490, Guide for Aircraft Electrical Load and Power Source Capacity Analysis, and also has standards on wiring inspection and wiring maintenance in the works.


Technical Information: Michael E. Richardson, Cessna Aircraft Co., Wichita, Kan.

Phone: 316/831-4514

ASTM Staff: Daniel Schultz

Phone: 610/832-9716