Advantage Sales & Supply, LLC - Logo

Aircraft Cable vs. Wire Rope: Know the Difference

What’s the difference between wire rope and aircraft cable?

While Aircraft Cable and Wire Rope look very similar, they are actually very different in their construction. Without going into every detail, here are the most critical differences between Aircraft Cable and Wire Rope:

Aircraft Cable Wire Rope
  1. Construction starts with a 7 such as 7×7 or 7×19
  2. Material is either Galvanized or Stainless Steel
  3. General purpose aircraft cable – rarely used on cranes (though some truck mounted cranes specify aircraft cable)
  4. Sizes are primarily 3/8” and smaller
  5. An eye can be terminated in the field with the use of aluminum hourglass sleeves and swaging tools or can be spliced by a rigging professional
  6. High volume items, these are stocked at Advantage in 250, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 foot spools
  7. Generally supplied as an imported product
  8. When used properly, Aircraft Cable IS rated for Overhead Lifting
  1. Construction can start many numbers, including 6, 8, 19 and more
  2. Material is either Steel Core, Fiber Core, Galvanized, or Stainless Steel
  3. General purpose wire rope – the most widely used, its construction is generally 6×19 class (which includes 6×19, 6×25 and 6×26) and 6×37 Class (which includes 6×36, 6×37 and others) and are widely used in slings
  4. Available from 1/4″ through 1-1/2” as standard stock items
  5. Technically engineered, many wire ropes are designed to help with issues such as rotation under load, abrasive environments, crushing, flexibility, adding longer life, etc.
  6. Wire Rope IS rated for Overhead Lifting
  7. High performance wire ropes, commonly used on cranes, are available from Advantage. For more information, contact your Advantage Sales representative

How is Aircraft Cable different from Wire Rope?

Wire Rope has a core. A core is either made of a fiber material, like a rope, or it is made of an independent wire rope core, otherwise known as IWRC. 

Aircraft Cable
Wire Rope

Video Comparison

Charlie Jaques, president of Advantage Sales, explains the differences in Aircraft Cable and Wire Rope in the 2-minute video below.