Nine Ways Aircraft Cables Have Found Jobs Off Airplanes

Aircraft cable is the hardest working cable in the world. This wire rope style finds diverse uses in stage rigging, fitness equipment, boat docks, garage doors, bicycle locks, and yes, amazingly, airplanes, particularly aircraft controls. But almost any industry or business can find a use for aircraft cable. If something needs to be held up, this is the go-to wire.

Its versatility is the key. Aircraft cable comes in a variety of sizes. Between them, Strand Core and Sanlo Inc., leading manufacturers of wire rope products and cable assemblies, offer cable and strand in 7x19, 7x7, 1x19, and 1x7, and wire rope in 6x19, and 6x37. Sizes range from 0.009" to 5/8”, with more sizes available in the industry. Most commonly offered in galvanized and stainless steels, it’s available in many alloys, increasing its popularity and many uses.

Just look at the recent places aircraft cable has been put to work.

aircraft cable wire used to create musical instrument

    1. A snow plow industry leader expanded its sales reach in part because of “virtually indestructible” plow markers made from galvanized aircraft cable. Their spokesperson pointed out that that's the same wire that stops an aircraft on a carrier deck. Heavy-duty machinery and equipment often use aircraft cable in large and small ways.
    2. When 20- to 25-foot evergreen trees are moved to a new home, some companies stake each down with rebar posts and aircraft cable to stabilize them while they adjust to their new location.
    3. The handle of a popular tool backpack is beefed up by aircraft cable. Because of the potential weight of the bag, the heavily reinforced handle is a strong selling point.
    4. When we talk about our music wire string, we aren’t usually talking about aircraft cable, but composer Ashley Fure invented an instrument (right) that creates an eerie profundo moan that is featured in her show The Force of Things: An Opera for Objects. Its primary components: aircraft cable and Styrofoam.

zip line adventure across grand canyon aircraft cable

  1. Aircraft cable shows up often in architecture, especially when industrial and urban styles are popular. In decorating her own home, interior designer Trisha Isabey created floating shelving on a wall using aircraft cable.
  2. In furniture making, a stainless steel aircraft cable suspends a specially designed, configurable indoor pendant made for an innovative lighting company. Functional and beautiful.
  3. Aircraft cables also find their way into the auto industry. There’s 90 feet of 12,000-pound aircraft cable wound on the 2017 Ram Power Wagon’s winch’s spindle. Auto reviewer Kelly Taylor said, “It is, arguably, a safer choice for pulling stumps than trying to drive the stump out.” It also comes in handy when moving a shed or pulling out a truck stuck in mud, snow, or a ditch.
  4. Aerial adventures and zip lines, like the ones 1,000 feet above the Grand Canyon, are aircraft cable doing stressful work in high-friction environments (because of the winches, pulleys, and harness).
  5. And after we’ve risked our lives for recreational thrills, it’s aircraft cable that may have to save our lives. Strand Core General Manager Al Brown points out that the company provides aircraft cable to helicopter rescue hoist manufacturers.

Strand Core and Sanlo can provide aircraft cable for your unusual usage, design, or repair. Let our experts guide you to a reliable solution for your situation with high-quality, commercial- or military-grade cable. Contact Donna or Lisa.