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Electrical Equipment in Multi‐Engined Aircraft

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 January 1945



THE forbearance of readers is requested at the outset for a personal note, considered to be inseparable from the basic purpose of this paper. The author's professional duties for many years prior to this war were concentrated on the specialist work of the design of distribution and transmission networks of various electricity supply undertakings, covering the main development period of electricity supply in this country, and also including the change‐over of direct current consumers to alternating supply. The author was directed for the period of the war into the aircraft industry and again specialized on the electrical side, and the similarity of the technical problems which have arisen in both his experiences leave no doubt that aircraft electrical systems can benefit from the hard‐won success of the electricity undertakings, whose achievements and mistakes alike are given publicity and opportunity for discussion. The technical success of supply systems is generally admitted to be in a large measure due to the freely‐pooled contributions from the experience of engineers in the profession. The author airs very decided personal views, many of them contrary to present practice and forecasts, and in order that the criticism it is hoped to arouse should not be marred by any misunderstandings, it is made clear that his experience is limited to British aircraft; with no knowledge of American practice. The scope of electrical applications in aircraft is very great and it does seem that as each new application arises, those responsible endeavour to design suitable systems and apparatus de novo instead of ascertaining first whether or no there is a similar application in the electrical industry which has been tried out over the years, and which if applied with suitable modification to aircraft would cut out the inexcusable “teething” troubles. For example, the risk of fire being carried along by cables has been very thoroughly studied in switching stations; the deleterious effects of oil upon rubber insulation were appreciated years ago; and telephonic intercommunication has been utilized always in generating stations where the noise is quite equal to that which obtains in aircraft; also the practice of endeavouring to classify cables by their current carrying capacities was abandoned a very long time ago. These are only a few examples in which the author feels that aircraft electrical systems can be improved as a result of experience in the allied industry.


Kearns, T. (1945), "Electrical Equipment in Multi‐Engined Aircraft", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 21-25.




Copyright © 1945, MCB UP Limited

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