Some aviation engines as well as some early luxury cars have had dual-plugged systems with one set of plugs fired by a magneto, and the other set wired to a coil, dynamo, and battery circuit. This was done to improve engine efficiency without sacrificing reliability. Magnetos were once considered a more reliable ignition source, but have the disadvantage of having fixed timing. This means that the timing must be a compromise setting, which is neither the best for low RPM nor the best for high RPM. On the other hand, battery ignition systems have almost always had a timing advance system which can set the timing to the best setting for the speed the engine is turning, improving power output and fuel efficiency. As the reliability of battery ignition systems improved, the magneto fell out of favor for general automotive use, but may still be found in sport or racing engines.
Read more about this topic: Ignition Magneto
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