The Essential Guide to Aviation Headset Plugs and Adapter Options
Clear and reliable communication is crucial in aviation, and selecting the appropriate plug type for your headset is essential. This comprehensive guide explores the main plug types used in aircraft intercom systems, along with examples of aircraft where they are commonly found. We will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each plug type, as well as the available adapter options for pilots who need to switch their headsets to a different plug type.
General Aviation Twin Plugs (PJ-055 and PJ-068)
GA Twin Plugs, also known as PJ-055 and PJ-068 plugs, are the most common plug types found on aviation headsets. They consist of two separate plugs at the end of the headset cable: one for headphone audio (PJ-068) and the other for the headset's microphone (PJ-055). Twin Plugs are widely used in general aviation (GA) and commercial aircraft, such as the Cessna 172, Piper Cherokee, and Beechcraft Bonanza.
- Widely available and compatible with many aircraft models.
- Standardized plug type, ensuring easy connectivity.
- Commonly supported by various headset manufacturers.
- Intercom jacks do not provide power for Active Noise Reduction (ANR) or Bluetooth in Twin Plug headsets, requiring additional batteries in the control module.
Adapter Options: Various adapters are available to convert GA Twin Plugs to other plug types, such as GA to XLR, GA to Lemo, GA to Helicopter, or GA to Fischer. These adapters enable pilots to use their Twin Plug headsets with different aircraft systems.
6-pin Lemo (Redel) Plug
The 6-pin Lemo plug, also known as the Redel plug, is widely utilized in aviation for intercom systems. Lemo connectors are known for their durability, reliability, and the ability to power ANR headsets. They provide a secure and stable connection for voice transmission. Aircraft models such as Cirrus SR-22, Pilatus PC-12, and Diamond DA40 commonly feature the 6-pin Lemo plug.
- Durable and reliable construction.
- Secure connection.
- Power capability for ANR headsets.
- Limited availability compared to Twin Plugs.
Adapter Options: Adapters are available to convert from 6-pin Lemo to Twin Plugs, Lemo to XLR, Lemo to Helicopter, Lemo to Fischer, or other plug types, enabling pilots to use their 6-pin Lemo headsets with different aircraft systems.
U174 Helicopter Plug
The U174 plug is specifically designed for helicopter communication systems. It features a single plug connection with a locking mechanism for secure connections. The U174 plug provides reliable communication in the demanding helicopter environment. It is commonly used in various helicopter models, including the Bell 206 and Eurocopter EC130.
- Designed for helicopter use.
- Secure and reliable connection.
- Suitable for high-noise environments.
- Not compatible with general aviation fixed-wing aircraft intercom systems.
Adapter Options: Adapters are available to convert from helicopter U174 to Twin Plugs, helicopter to XLR, helicopter U174 to Lemo, helicopter U174 to Fischer, or other plug types, allowing pilots to use their U174 headsets in fixed-wing aircraft or with different plug configurations.
5-pin XLR Plug
The 5-pin XLR plug is commonly found on Airbus aircraft. It provides a single connection that combines headphone audio, microphone input, and power supply. Aircraft such as the Airbus A320, A330, and A350 employ the 5-pin XLR plug.
- Robust and secure connection.
- Good audio quality.
- Suitable for demanding aviation environments.
- Can power ANR headsets.
- Less common in non-Airbus aircraft.
- Not widely supported by all headset manufacturers.
Adapter Options: Adapters are available to convert from Airbus 5-pin XLR to Twin Plugs, XLR to Lemo, XLR to Fischer, XLR to Helicopter or other plug types, allowing pilots to use their 5-pin XLR headsets with different aircraft systems.
8-pin Fischer Plug
The Fischer plug is primarily found on Agusta helicopters. It is commonly used in Agusta models such as the AW109 and AW139. The Fischer plug provides a secure and reliable connection for voice communication in these helicopters.
- Secure and reliable connection.
- Compatible with specific aircraft models.
- Less common than other plug types.
- May require adapters for compatibility with different plug configurations.
Adapter Options: Adapters are available to convert from a headset with Agusta Fischer plug to GA Twin Plugs, Fischer to Airbus XLR, Fischer to Lemo, Fischer to Helicopter or other plug types, allowing pilots to use their 8-pin Fischer headsets with different aircraft systems. The are also several adapters that allows you to convert a non-Fischer headset to Fischer plug so that you use your existing headset in an Agusta helicopter. For example our GA to Fischer, Lemo to Fischer, helicopter U174 to Fischer, and Airbus XLR to Fischer adapters allow you to take a your existing headset and convert it to Fischer plug.
Understanding the different plug types used in aviation communication is essential for pilots to select the appropriate headset for their needs. Twin Plugs, 5-pin XLR, 6-pin Lemo, U174 helicopter plugs, and 8-pin Fischer plugs are the main plug types encountered in aviation. Each plug type offers its own advantages and considerations in terms of compatibility, reliability, and functionality. We make adapter options available for pilots to switch their headset from one plug type to another, ensuring pilots can use their preferred headsets across different aircraft configurations. By considering aircraft requirements and personal preferences, pilots can make informed decisions when selecting headsets and adapters for optimal compatibility and communication during their flights.
Please contact us if you do not see a particular headset adapter that you are looking for.