All You Need to Know About Magneto System
When utilizing an engine, there always has to be some system in place that can light the fuel. Over the last hundred or so years, magneto systems have served as a reliable method of igniting fuel for small aircraft and/or those with piston engines. Magnetos have many wide applications such as serving lawnmowers, chainsaws, and even certain vehicles. Magnetos are an electrical generator that has the ability to create a pulse of high voltage for spark plugs to produce ignition. In this blog, we will discuss how magnetos work in regards to aircraft.
As one may derive from the name, magneto systems utilizes magnets for their functionality. Within the system, the magnet is spun past a stationary armature magneto which generates an electromagnetic field. Through this field, a small current is produced in the primary coil of the magneto, and a secondary coil is then spun many more times to amplify its voltage. Soon after, the electromagnetic field peaks, and a small switch opens to break the current. This causes the field to rapidly collapse, and the subsequent result is a magnetic flow that amplifies the voltage to tens of thousands of volts. This high voltage is then conducted to feed the spark plugs, and they ignite the fuel to power the aircraft.
Within general aircraft, there are usually two magnetos, each serving cylinders for combustion. This redundancy creates safer flying as if one magneto fails, there is always a backup that can keep the engine running. Further safety is achieved as magnetos are able to produce power without the electrical system of an aircraft, and thus they can maintain the engine functionality even if the battery fails. As they can operate on their own, any external electrical source is unneeded. Impulse couplings may also be present within aircraft magneto systems, and these components serve to control the ignition timing to ensure proper and safe functionality.
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