Aircraft Control Cables

View showing the control cable, turnbukle, and bracket.

CMA Cable

Aircraft control cable is made from two different materials. Control cable is available in galvanized steel to specification MIL-C-6940 or MIL-W-1511 or of stainless steel made to specification MIL-C-5693 or MIL-W-5424.

There are advantages & disadvantages to both types of cables.

Galvanized is cheaper than stainless. Stainless has far greater resistance to corrosion. How much more expensive is stainless over galvanized? Depending on the diameter of the cable, the difference is not as much as one might expect. For most small cables, like you will be looking for, a difference of about a dime a foot. That's a whopping dollar over a ten foot length of cable. You'll spend more on a soda at the FBO! For this reason I will gladly install stainless steel cables rather than galvanized. As an added bonus the stainless cables are far easier to inspect and maintain. Can you say no brainer? See the link below to the U.S. Air Force testing of aircraft control cables for more information on this subject.

Control cables use a variety of end fittings for attachment. Oval sleeves called nicopress sleeves are used to secure the cable end when eyelets or thimbles are used. The nicopress is drawn over the cable, the thimble is then laid in and the cable looped around it. The cable end is passed through the nicopress sleeve again and then crimped with a special tool to secure the control cable.

Swaged end fittings include eye ends, fork ends, and ball & shanks. For a better idea of how these connectors are used, assembled and inspected see AC 43.13-1.

Time now to get to an area I'm sure you have been waiting to get to if you haven't already been there... Gyroplane Rotor Blades.

Parts Logistics is a world leader in supplying quality aircraft parts and hardware across the industry from commercial aircraft applications to the homebuilder.

Parts Logistics can provide you with all the parts and cable for your project. Setting up an account is entirely free, so be sure to check them out. They also carry a reputation for having what you are looking for on hand and in stock, which can really be of value if you are concerned about the length of time for your build.

Bergen Cable is a manufacturer of aircraft control cable. The following link provides additional information on cable specifications, manufacture and other good to know information. is not affiliated with Bergen Cable Technology this is simply a good company with good information on their website.

The following link is to a U.S. Air Force test of aircraft control cables, while the Air Force is not an official test recognized by the FAA or other governing bodies around the world, I think you will find this information useful and something to take into consideration when selecting the control cable type when building or designing your gyroplane. Here are the test results.

A link to some great information with pictures on what to look for when inspecting your control cables after installation.

Here is another link that is a more general in nature but brings up some good points to keep in mind when checking those control cables. (Akademos, Inc.)