Did BMW Make Planes?

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.

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.

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.

European aerospace industry insiders said that the joint venture may aim for as much as the equivalent of $595 million in yearly sales during the next decade.

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.


These days, it’s simple to feel angry at the motorist who cuts you off while operating a 7-Series BMW as you’re traveling down the road. However, before you start yelling at him about how his preference for cars makes him seem like a part of some fascist dictatorship, you might be more right than you think. The history of BMW is similar to that of other contemporary businesses with roots in Nazi Germany.

In Germany, Bavarian Motor Works, or “BMW” as it is more popularly known, started making engines and batteries. Following Germany’s defeat in World War I, the Versailles Armistice Treaty’s restrictions on the production of aircraft engines compelled BMW to switch over to the production of farm equipment.

BMW entered a new phase between the two world wars as Germany’s infrastructure started to recover. The production of automobiles and motorbikes to meet the demands of the German populace took precedence. The requirement for weapons of war, however, changed the company’s focus when the German rearmament process got underway.

BMW started producing engines for Messerschmitt Me 262 aircraft in the Luftwaffe. However, BMW had a more sinister side throughout the war. There is proof that prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp were made to work for BMW’s machinery.

“Forced laborers, criminals, and prisoners from concentration camps were hired to help with the production of BMW aviation engines as demand rose. It is still deeply regrettable how much agony this resulted in and how many people were subjected to forced labor.”

Most of BMW’s factories were destroyed by Allied bombing strikes after the Third Reich fell. The Soviet Union seized the remaining factories, enabling them to start producing vehicles and grow to be quite powerful.

A more thorough look at BMW’s history during World War II is provided in this brief Business Casual video.

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.

Why did BMW cease producing aircraft?

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.

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.

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 also builds aircraft?

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.

Which automobile manufacturers produced aircraft during World War Two?

The Army ordered automakers to create a design for a lightweight, four-wheel-drive vehicle that could be mass-produced and effectively replace horses, which had been used in warfare for millennia and weighed no more than 2,175 pounds, in 1940. The vehicle needed to traverse a variety of terrain and be able to lift a 625-pound load.

Ford, Bantam, and Willys-Overland all produced prototypes. A total of 660,000 “blitz buggies” were produced by the first two; Willys manufactured 376,397 and Ford produced 282,352. Both had to employ interchangeable parts, therefore both cars were remarkably similar. GP No.1 Pygmy, Ford’s first jeep, somehow still exists and is on exhibit in the U.S. Veterans Memorial Museum in Huntsville, Alabama.

The jeep, whose origin is hotly contested, took on a life of its own as the name of the car, and is now referred to as the forefather of all SUVs. Prior to his death in 1945, just next to the vehicle he had been travelling in, renowned WWII war correspondent Ernie Pyle wrote of the jeep: “Goodness, without the jeep, I don’t think we could keep fighting. It performs every action. It moves all over. It is as dependable as a dog, powerful as a mule, and quick as a goat.”