In order to investigate the relation between ion current and combustion characteristics, the ion current signal from a spark plug as an ion probe, pressure history and flame development were measured in a homogeneous propane-air mixture in closed combustion chambers. The flame propagation was measured by Schlieren photography technique. When negative bias is applied to the central electrode of the spark plug, the ion current flows only due to an early flame kernel existing near the spark plug. When positive bias is applied to the central electrode, the ion current flows from the central electrode to the combustion chamber wall and to the ground electrode. Consequently, the ion current is dominated by the contact area between the flame and the combustion chamber wall. The appearance period of ion-current is related to the combustion duration. This method was applied to the combustion analysis of the spark ignition engine.