Skip to Main Content


Over a period of 2 or 3 years, 40 to 50 premature failures of drawn high-tensile, pearlitic high-carbon (0.8 wt% C) steel wires used as cables for towing targets behind aircraft occurred. Six service failures were examined in detail. Four types of failure characteristics were noted. A close examination of wire that had been flown several times without failure was also made, and dynamic tests were conducted to investigate the fracture characteristics of wire subjected to dynamic loading. It was concluded that dynamic shock loading transmitted by the target during unsteady flight conditions was the major cause of failure. Recommendations emphasized the need for a suitable shock absorber to be fitted at the constant-tensioning device of the winch system.

You do not currently have access to this chapter.
Don't already have an account? Register

G.D.W. Smith, K.E. Easterling, 1993. "Failure of Aircraft Target Towing Cables", Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Khlefa A. Esaklul

Download citation file:

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal