Technical name for engines using flame pilot ignition?


Intermediate Poster
What is the specific technical name for stationary hit-and-miss engines that used a continuously burning flame for fuel ignition? The WMSTR Otto collection has a number of them.

I know this is the same thing as a pilot light in a gas stove appliance or gas water heater, but was there a specific name for it back in the day?

For example, an 1883 Crown water pumping engine with flame pilot ignition:

I get all sorts of incorrect web search results related to conventional jet engines and homemade turbocharger jet engines if I try to search for a "flame tube" engine.

Darren Gunderson

20 Minneapolis #8702 Crew
WMSTR Lifetime Member
I am most familiar with them being referred to as Hot Bulb engines. That should get you better results in searches.


Mega Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
The engines that use an open flame as an ignition source are referred to as flame ignition engines as an example a OTTO LANGDON ATMOSPHERIC ENGINE and other very early OTTO ENGINES.
A hot bulb engine or hot tube engine has a tube into the combustion chamber that is heated by a gas fired or propane torch an example are the Fairbanks type Y semi diesels.

karl stange

Mega Poster
WMSTR Lifetime Member
I found the engines to be called "Carrier Flame Ignition Engine." I'm definitely not an expert. I had good response by googling "flame ignition engine."
Here's another video by the same guy where you can see how the flame is drawn into the combustion chamber.