An alternating-current generator used as a high-tension source in the ignition systems of petrol engines in which there are no batteries, e.g. in some tractor, marine, and aviation engines. Most modern magnetos consist of a permanent-magnet rotor revolving within a primary (low-voltage) winding around which a secondary winding is placed in which to induce the high voltage needed to produce the spark across the points of the plugs. Magnetos are geared to the engine shaft, the speed depending on the number of poles of the magneto and the number of engine cylinders. A make-and-break device is incorporated in the primary winding; when the primary current stops the change of flux within the secondary induces in it a large e.m.f.