A new way of ignition of very poor fuel mixtures using gliding discharge has been developed. The discharge is excited between at least two diverging electrodes across the streaming gas flow at frequencies (0.05−25) kHz
and amplitude voltages (1−3)104 V. Spectral diagnostics of discharge plasma was performed and electron, vibrational and rotational temperatures were determined under various experimental conditions (up to pressure 1.2 MPa). The new ignition system was tested on the one-cylinder engine. The power output is remarkable
increased and the fuel consumption is simultaneously reduced.