Data buses are being employed in avionic applications to simplify the task of systems integration. MIL-STD-1553B is a universally accepted standard developed for military systems and it is this standard that has been identified as a suitable candidate for implementation using fibre optic components. A number of candidate topologies have been evaluated which have led to the design of specific components, eg fibre optic star couplers and the fibre optic transceiver chip set. The other components that are required are fibre optic cables and connectors designed for the avionic environment. Together, these components and the chosen topology provide an effective means to integrate avionic systems and provide for future increases in data rate and wavelength division multiplexing of different types of data. WHL has recently been involved in the design and installation of a MIL-STD-1553B based fibre optic transmission system for a research helicopter programme. This paper describes the techniques and practical problems of using fibre optic technology in aircraft applications.