Fairlead Material

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:


Active Member
May 18, 2012
Long Island, NY
I am at the point of closing up the fuselage and need to add the control cable fairleads. My plans call for red fiber material, I am not even sure what that is but I am sure that there are more modern materials available i.e. nylon or UHMW plastics. I am looking for recommendations and suggestions. All of the control cables ( aerlion, elevator, rudder) pass through a fairlead at some in their travels.
David N


Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2010
Charlotte, NC, USA
Phenolic sheet is the way to go in my opinion. It will snap off when you try to jam something against it, before the structure around it is damaged. Attached is an example I designed to replace one that had been stepped on inside a B737 during heavy maintenance. It gets popped over the cable, then bonded together. This approach saved having to disconnect the flight control cable, re-rig, and flight check the aircraft for a small mistake. Boeing approved. :ban:

A plastic version would have damaged the structure around it in this instance. A cutting-board is an attractive material for some applications, though. If, due to design, the cable is required to rest on, and slide on, rather than simply being prevented from vibrating at a harmonic, one of the plastics is probably better. Clad cable would be better at those points.

View attachment Figure1.pdf


Well-Known Member
Jan 4, 2007
+1 on the cutting board material. In my MiniMAX plans I think it might be UHMW that's called out, but I think many MiniMAX builders, myself included, have used fairleads and bearing brackets made from cutting boards. In a couple locations I center-drilled (gun drilled?) and used nylon bolts and nuts for cable guides. Anyway, that's what I used and hope to be test taxi and flight testing soon, and the cable fairleads are really low on my "things-to-be-feared" list.