Abstract Several applications of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry are discussed where both conventional rapid-scanning interferometers and step-scan interferometers are unable to provide the needed information. A new interferometer is described by which it is possible to acquire interferograms with 0.25 cm optical path difference (4 cm −1 spectral resolution) in less than 1 ms. The moving element of this interferometer is a tilted mirror that continuously rotates at a speed of up to 500 Hz. The performance of this spectrometer is demonstrated by examining the spark-initiated combustion of ethane and methane in air. The formation of vibrationally excited CO 2 and H 2O, with lifetimes approaching 50 ms, was observed.