|Write Brothers engine, camshafts, valves and ignition.|
The intake valve is red, the exhaust is blue, and the ignition is green. The piston can be seen moving through the hole in the center.
The Wright brothers used a magneto to drive their ignition system. I'm thinking it must have been producing a substantial amount of current (relative to a modern ignition system) which would have aggravated the erosion problem. Hard to believe that erosion would have been a problem for the short amount of time this engine was run, but maybe by using platinum on their points they were attempting to placate the gods of obstinate machinery. After all, they are always lurking in the shadows, waiting for any little flaw to appear, a flaw they can exploit to bring the whole thing to a halt. If it creates a catastrophe, so much the better. The gods of machinery are vicious animals.