Did BMW Make Airplane Engines?

BMW had to stop producing aircraft engines after the end of World War I, so it started developing motorcycles and then cars. However, BMW never stopped developing aero engines.

A Joint Venture Between BMW and Rolls-Royce Will Produce Aircraft Engines

MUNICH, West Germany (AP) BMW, the West German manufacturer of luxury automobiles, announced Thursday that it is resuming a business it left 31 years ago by forming a joint venture with Britain’s Rolls-Royce PLC to produce aviation engines.

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG announced that it would buy Kloekner-Humboldt-Deutz AG’s (KHD) aerospace technology division and combine the business into a joint venture with Rolls-Royce.

According to BMW, the company’s goal to diversify into new, yet connected, industrial sectors is reflected in the company’s return to airplane engines. The business chose not to provide information about the upcoming transactions.

According to Rolls-Royce, both partners would jointly own the KHD aerospace division.

BMW announced that it will own 50.5 percent of the aviation engine company, which will have its headquarters in Oberursel, close to Frankfurt. The remaining will belong to the British aircraft engine manufacturer.

The joint venture will develop, produce, and market jet engines with a maximum thrust of 20,000 pounds, which power small civilian and military jets with a maximum passenger capacity of roughly 100.

The partnership, known as BMW-Rolls-Royce, will work alongside the British company’s own Tay and Trent jet engine programs, according to a second news release. However, it declared that none of its current engine operations would be integrated into the project.

In order to address evolving airframe and re-engineering needs in the 75-seater-plus (aircraft) class, BMW-Rolls-Royce will next start designing and developing new engines with less than 20,000 pounds of thrust, according to a statement from Rolls-Royce.

According to a BMW spokesman, the KHD aerospace division, known as KHD Luftfahrttechnik GmbH and based in Oberursel, generates around $98 million in revenue each year and employs roughly 900 people.

According to George Shapiro, an analyst at Salomon Brothers Inc. in New York, the project seems to be Rolls-Royce’s attempt to strengthen its position in the aircraft engine market.

He stated, “I’ve always thought of Rolls-Royce as kind of the weak third-party participant.”

According to him, General Electric Co. and the Pratt & Whitney branch of United Technologies Corp. each control 40% to45% of the global engine market, while Rolls-Royce holds a 15% to 20% share.

The new business will be prepared for rapid expansion over the following five to ten years, according to BMW officials, who declined to provide sales projections.

According to insiders in the European aircraft sector, the joint venture may set its sights on annual sales of up to $595 million over the following ten years.

However, the experts warned that in order to achieve that target, the two parent businesses would likely need to spend up to 1 billion marks, or $595 million, on expansion.

Through World War II, BMW constructed aircraft engines, and by the end of the conflict, it was producing turbines for the recently invented jet airplane.

By selling its operations to the significant West German engineering giant MAN AG, which eventually combined them with Daimler-Benz AG, the Munich-based company exited the aircraft engine market.

The integrated engine operations initiative between Rolls-Royce and BMW is in line with industry trends. Earlier this year, Daimler-Benz decided to combine its operations for civil jet engines with those of Pratt & Whitney.

The arrangement between Daimler and Pratt & Whitney is being contested in court by General Electric, which claims it violates their joint engine development agreement with Daimler.

BMW 801

The BMW 801 was a potent German 14-cylinder air-cooled 41.8-liter (2,550 cu in) radial engine that was produced by BMW and utilized in a number of German Luftwaffe aircraft during World War II. The twin-row engine produced between 1,560 and 2,000 PS in its production versions. With more than 61,000 engines built, it was Germany’s most prolific radial engine during World War II.

The German transport and utility aircraft’s current radial types were to be replaced by the 801 at first. A prerequisite for high performance designs at the period was an inline engine due to its reduced frontal area and resulting lower drag, which was universally accepted among European designers[citation needed]. After Kurt Tank successfully adapted a BMW 801 to a new fighter design he was developing, the 801 gained notoriety as the engine for the renowned Focke-Wulf Fw 190. The BMW 801 radial also paved the way for the adoption of what is now known as an engine control unit: its Kommandogerat engine management system replaced a number of the aviation engine management control parameters of the time, enabling proper engine operation with just one throttle lever.


BMW was an airplane manufacturer before it began making automobiles. Due to the high demand for aircraft engines beginning in 1916 and lasting until the end of World War One,

BMW developed become Bavaria’s largest aircraft manufacturer throughout the course of the war, producing engines for a variety of German aircraft in addition to its own lineup of useful aircraft.

BMW began creating furniture and kitchen cabinets utilizing the considerable joinery equipment it had after the war when German industries were prohibited from making military aircraft.


Many people are aware that BMW began manufacturing aircraft, and its emblem features an image of their renowned 801 engine mounted on an aircraft during World War II. Despite the fact that they originally began the war with cars, they soon switched to airplanes. The huge 41.8-liter engine, for which there was a demand of almost 61,000, was the most often used one and propelled them into the spotlight of success.

They did not continue or ever dabble in modern aircraft, unlike several of the firms listed below, although they do have close relations to (as in they own) Rolls-Royce, which continues to produce airplanes and, more recently, jet engines. That division is now solely responsible for BMW’s aviation efforts. But we’ll discuss that later. For the time being, suffice it to note that BMW was a success in the avionics industry and that, although losing the war, they produced ok aircraft with reasonable performance.

The Treaty of Versailles and the birth of the first BMW vehicle

If you’re a car enthusiast, you’re surely aware that BMW once produced fighter aircraft engines. In fact, it’s sometimes said that the company’s iconic emblem is a stylized portrayal of airplane propeller blades. Because they used little fuel and performed well at high altitudes, the company’s aircraft engines were highly popular during World War I. At the time, a biplane powered by a BMW engine set an altitude record by ascending to a height of 32,000 feet.

However, because Germany was forbidden from producing them by the Treaty of Versailles, the development of aviation engines came to an end with the end of World War I. At this point, the corporation began to concentrate on other industries, autos included. It’s interesting to note that BMW began manufacturing aircraft engines during World Conflict II and stopped doing so after the war.

When did BMW start producing jet engines?

The German automaker BMW, with its headquarters in Munich, was officially founded in March 1916. From 1917 to 1918 and again from 1933 to 1945, the business produced airplane engines. In actuality, the BMW Illa straight-six aviation engine was the company’s first creation.

Why did BMW cease producing aircraft engines?

After the war, BMW’s surviving West German facilities were prohibited from producing motor vehicles or aircraft due to the heavy bombing of its factories during the conflict.

Are Rolls-Royce jet engines owned by BMW?

The public’s misunderstanding of the connection between Rolls Royce Motor Cars and the manufacturer of aviation engines, Rolls Royce Plc, is at an all-time high. The current unrest at the financially troubled jet engine division has Torsten Muller-Otvos, CEO of RR, worried.

We are aware of how well-known the brand is, and despite our efforts to emphasize their distinction, Muller-Otvo claims that many consumers find it difficult to distinguish between the two. “People become concerned when they read in the press about unrest at Rolls-Royce.”

While the jet engine division of Rolls Royce Motor Cars is a separate listed company and a member of the FTSE 100, Rolls Royce Motor Cars is owned by BMW. As the technical behemoth has released a run of unfavorable upgrades, concerns over brand damage to the automobile manufacturer have increased.

As a result, the shares have fallen more than 60%, erasing more than PS10 billion from the company’s market worth.

The luxury automobile division has also been expanding year over year, selling over 4,000 vehicles in a calendar year, a record for the British manufacturer. When the manufacturer of marine and airplane engines initially encountered issues, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars released a press statement describing the distinction between the two.

Despite expressing compassion for Rolls-Royce Plc’s situation and stating that he had “spent a significant lot of time and money effectively resuscitating our part of the brand,” Mr. Muller-Otvos warned that he was “determined to defend” the automaker.

He continued, “We are keeping a close eye on it since it is not properly supporting our business.”

Did Mercedes produce engines for airplanes?

The Daimler Mercedes D.III, also known as the F1466 internally, was a six-cylinder SOHC valvetrain liquid-cooled inline aircraft engine that saw service on a variety of German aircraft throughout World War I. The earliest models were released in 1914 with 160 horsepower, but after a series of modifications, they increased to 170 hp in 1917 and 180 hp by the middle of 1918. The sole serious competitor, the BMW III, was only available in very small quantities, and these latter variants were utilized on nearly all German fighters in the late stages of the war. The D.III was generally outclassed by the Allied engines it faced.

Which automaker produces jet engines?

Few people are aware that Rolls-Royce continues to produce airplane engines even though they have a well-known history of doing so going back to about World War II. They have a whole department devoted to “civil aerospace,” which includes jet and high-tech engines frequently utilized in passenger jets. The sale of over 1000 XWV engines, their premier jet propulsion technology, was recently recognized.

Rolls-Royce is still working to develop engines with no emissions and that are more effective, and they even have the fastest all-electric plane in the world. Although the “Spirit of Innovation” airplane’s top speed of 300 miles per hour isn’t particularly amazing, given the dearth of electric aircraft, it is nevertheless commendable! We weren’t able to figure out how to get a firm like BMW/Rolls, which has a brief and troublesome hybrid and electric car history, to be able to produce enough power and weigh little enough to fly.