Commercial quality "aircraft" grade cable and wire rope are mechanical devices consisting of multiple wires or strands, helically wound or laid about an axis. They are made from ferrous or non-ferrous drawn wire and are available in a range of strand, cores and constructions. They are classified by grades and types of constructions. The grades are based on the tensile strength and abrasion resistance of the wire used and on the tensile strength of the finished wire rope or cable.
In 1976 the Federal Government created a specification entitled "Wire Rope, Flexible, for Aircraft Control, MIL-W-83420B". This "mil spec" was adopted to require more stringent testing and certification for "flight control cables" and systems. The specification details minimum tensile strength, lubrication, vendor identification, testing, packaging, etc.
It is important to note that for the vast majority of cable applications, there is no need to specify "mil-spec" cable; Commercial quality, "aircraft grade" cable is made from the same high quality wire and conforms to the same minimum tensile strength, diameter and constructional specifications as "mil-spec" cable. It is less costly, more readily available and should be specified for almost all commercial cable/wire rope applications.