If you have spent much time shopping around for home fitness equipment, you have certainly encountered the words “aircraft cables,” “aircraft grade cables,” or perhaps “aviation cables.” They sound strong, after all, airplanes weigh more than any of us can bench press, but what do these phrases really mean?
Aircraft cable, according to several cable manufacturer sites we visited, is wire rope made from strands of either stainless steel or galvanized steel. It comes in diameters from .047″ to .375″. It is, of course, use to secure almost any heavy part on an airplane, but this cable is also used in bike locks, dog runs, tow ropes for ships, and, as we already know, fitness equipment.
Aircraft cable is called aircraft cable because of its use in the aviation field. It mostly secures control surfaces. But it is a bit misleading to say that the cables in your pec deck machine are the same as the ones used on planes. The grade and strength of steel stranding for the planes are much higher and held to exacting federal standards. The cables on your equipment are tested for tensile strength and safety, but they would be dangerous if used on an actual airliner. The thing that the two have in common is being made of braided steel strands. The joining process makes the steel very strong and durable.