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Gliding-arc discharges have been utilized in plasma-assisted combustion processes, among various other applications, due to their properties of high electron density and chemical selectivity in a transitional regime. However, basic characteristics relative to the relations between the fundamental parameters of discharge, like mass flow rate, breakdown voltage, and frequency of repetition (number of discharge breakdowns per half cycle), have not been completely studied. In this paper, an ac-powered gliding-arc discharge having a reverse vortex flow configuration is built to carry on a basic investigation on discharges in air, natural gas, and mixture of both. Electrical measurements, optical emission spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry are the techniques used for these investigations. The results presented in this paper describe the dependence of the breakdown voltage, frequency of discharges, and conversion rates of methane and molecular oxygen with respect to the variation of the mass flow rate (directly related to the residence time) and discharge current.