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All Tests


What a story? If any cars producing company is founded unusually then BMW. And telling this story the not accepted altitude flight world record is harmless. How does it even come to pass? And why at the end of the war and not at its beginning? These are two questions which the book tries to answer. It is almost a stage play with a Mr. Castiglioni as main character. He wants to make money during the whole book.

And then there is a very unfortunately acting hero, Mr. Rapp, to whom ultimately BMW actually owes its origin. He timely leaves Daimler in Stuttgart and founds a factory for airplane engines in Munich. But his engines are only praised by naval pilots. Otherwise the thumb turns downwards and if war times would be not in sight at least neither he nor BMW would have had a chance.

So actual there is made a virtue of necessity and if somebody who already appeared on the stage, collects commission only by award of orders, then the story begins topsy-tury but the story comes about. At first only a secondary role is that of Mr. Franz-Josef Popp, which importance in the course of this book will develop a lot. Before being suspended by the National Socialistic Government he supports the fortunes of the company very much.

Employees are missing until now. They will come and go, but one of them will stay, among the constructors as important as like the CEO. How he appears you will read in this book and something more. Milestones of his work will be very successful airplane engines and then such for motorcycles and a complete one following. For the much later emerging four-wheelers others, but he at least jointly responsible.

The nowadays valid trademark is rightly emerged because this book will get along with airplane engines until shortly before its end. They can be divided into two categories, at first inline and radial engines later. With the former ones for the first time the six-cylinder engine appears, this time a giant, but by repeating himself developing to a core competency of BMW.

If you like we can even add the jet engine, what you might not trust BMW at that early times. Yes, it has worked in an airplane, but it was to late to bring it into action, certain similarities to the First World War not excluded. What are the results of producing airplane engines besides a certain fame? Money that was needed increasingly to develop from a motorcycle to a car producing company. And if nearly everything goes wrong.

They were nearly at the point to give up, but they carried on. The car industry seamed to be driven since years not by necessities but by the banks. They make mistakes, too, but they have enough working capital for balancing. And if not, the government helps with letting run the banknote press faster, provided the banks are of a certain relevance.

Of the first produced car the company is particularly proud, but with the actual production there are not many similarities. Not because of the normal technical changing, but because of the category, in which the cars are implemented. So it was a predefined path that the first car of BMW would be refined, but not at all how and with which speed. BMW nowadays has no comparable distance. May be, if you take VW, it might be the difference from up! To Arteon.

Already by motorcycle there were reached important sporting results, not only on the legendary Tourist Trophy, even speed world records, too. With the four-wheelers, it looks like they had to be content. But far wrong winning the Mille Miglia of 1940 which had been won by a Mercedes SSKL nine years before. And these two were the only foreign winners at all in the interwar period.

You will realise what clever direction has helped the company overcome many adversities and never lost sight of the future. Through friendship with Mercedes, the company has achieved a remarkable for such a small company in the sales statistics. The fact that this was probably only possible with money from the production of aircraft engines only makes the clear-sightedness even clearer.

The Nazis and the Second World War they instigated almost shattered all these efforts. Then, too, its good reputation would have fizzled out unused. But in Volume 2 you will learn how resurrection is possible, which is not to take anything away from the creation story. At this point we hope you enjoy exploring the nooks and crannies of the history of BMW up to the black December day of 1959.

. . . . . . . . . .
1898Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach offers Wartburg brand cars.
1916Foundation of 'Bayrische Flugzeugwerke AG' in the south-east of Munich's Oberwiesenfeld. Founded from the remains of Gustav Otto's, the son of Nicolaus August Otto, stranded Aircraft Company
1916Franz Josef Popp, actually responsible for their control as Oberleutnant d.R. and Dipl. Ing., becomes director of the Rapp-Motorenwerke.
1916Commercial councillor Camillo Castiglioni becomes the financier/owner of Rapp Motorenwerke. He also owns shares in larger companies, including Austro-Daimler
1917Rapp Motorenwerke GmbH, north-east of Munich's Oberwiesenfeld, rename themselves Bayrische MotorenWerke.
1917'Propeller' with 2 blue and white fields each as future BMW trademark
1917Dipl.-Ing. Max Friz moves from Daimler to Rapp Motorenwerke. He develops the BMW IIIa aircraft engine with significantly more power at higher altitudes than any other aircraft engine.
1918The new high-altitude aircraft engine is recognised as better than Daimler's and is demanded in large series. Special proponent: Germany's most successful fighter pilot Ernst Udet.
1918BMW grows rapidly through aircraft engine construction and becomes a public limited company, Franz-Josef Popp Chairman of the Board
1918A twelve-cylinder (BMW VI) is created on the basis of the six-cylinder.
1918The First World War ends and BMW loses any basis for business, production stops for a plant with almost 3500 employees.
1919Friz continues to design the Höhenflug engine despite a ban by the occupying forces.
1919BMW test pilot Franz Zeno Diemer at 9760 metres in 87 minutes. World altitude record, aircraft: DFW F 37/III, engine: BMW IV with 221 kW (300 hp)
1919You keep your head above water with the production of shoes, agricultural machinery, cooking pots and office furniture
19The first two-cylinder boxer engine, side-controlled with 5 kW (6.5 hp) is created, initially intended only for frames made by other companies (e.g. Victoria)
1919The company builds railway carriage components for Knorr-Bremse AG under licence. Knorr acquires majority of shares.
1920Castiglioni acquires the name/trademark BMW, all patents/drawings and part of the machinery. Together with parts of the workforce, the company is reestablished on the premises of the 'Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG'.
1921Castiglioni buys the majority of shares in the Bayrische Flugzeugwerke AG.
1921Banned from building aircraft engines, secretly built for Russia and tested there
1922Important parts of the workforce leave the former BMW company and pay off Knorr for names and trademarks
1922Friz's third big throw, the R32 motorbike, already with cardan shaft.
1923Dipl. Ing. Rudolf Schleicher changes the engine to OHV with light alloy heads and disguised valve train.
1923Inflationary and economic crisis reaches peak.
1923R-32 unveiled with great success at the Paris Motor Show.
1924Many racing successes with the new engine (Schleicher among others as driver)
1924Eight world records with the BMW IV aircraft engine
1924The twelve-cylinder aircraft engine is created, 368/551 kW (500/750 hp)
1925R37 as successor to R32
1926In the meantime, twelve-cylinder models (BMW V and VI) were developed in addition to the six-cylinder models.
1926Ban on the construction of aircraft/engines by the Allies is lifted.
192620,000-km reliability flight with the new BMW VI engine.
1927One third of the world records are achieved by BMW engines, almost 3000 employees.
1927First North Atlantic crossing (Lindbergh, US)
1928R 62, 750 cm3, 13.2 kW (18 hp)
1928BMW buys Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach and builds Austin Seven (Dixi) DA 1 under licence.
1928BMW builds radial engines under licence from Pratt & Whitney
1929R 12, 750 cm3, 13.2 kW (18 hp)
19293/15 'Deutsche Ausführung 2'
1932Once around the globe in 4 months with BMW VIIa engines.
1932BMW-132 license engine is installed in the Ju 52.
1932Car in-house development with 3/15.
1933R 4, 400 cm3, 9 kW (12 hp)
1933BMW is one of the three largest aircraft engine manufacturers in Germany
1933303 with new 1.2-litre six-cylinder in-line engine
1934Partnership with English company Frazer-Nash
1934309 economy version with enlarged four-cylinder
1934315, six-cylinder grows to 1.5 litres and 25 kW (34 hp)
1935New aircraft engine plant in Eisenach
1935319, 1.9 litre 33 kW (45 hp)
1936Huge aircraft engine factory in Allach near Munich
1936326, new design, proven six-cylinder with 37 kW (50 hp)
1936328, 3 carburettors 59 kW (80 hp), becomes most successful two-litre sports car in Europe
1937R 17, 730 cm3, 24 kW (33 hp)
1937Nearly half the workforce still employed in car production
1937327 with 40/59 kW (55/80 hp)
1939BMW-801 double-star engine, max. 1,470 kW (2,000 hp)
1939Takeover of the 'Brandenburg Motorenwerke' from Siemens
1939Beginning of the Second World War
1940328 wins Mille Miglia
1941BMW begins development of a jet engine
1941Cessation of automobile manufacturing
1942Director Popp dismissed, engineer Friz punitively transferred
1943R 75 3 x 2, 750 cm3, 19 kW (26 hp), optional sidecar drive
1944Jet engine successful in test flight
1945End of World War II
1948R24 unveiled in Geneva without functioning interior
1948Reappeared BMW cars trade under the name Veritas
1948Currency reform, introduction of the DM.
1951'Eisenacher MotorenWerke' finally abandon BMW trademark
1951End of Veritas
1951501 with six-cylinder, 2.1 litre, 48/53 kW (65/72 hp)
1952R 25/2, 250 cm3, 8.8 kW (12 hp)
1954R 68, 600 cm3, 26 kW (35 hp)
1954502 with aluminium V8 engine
1955Isetta, bodywork licensed from Iso Rivolta
1957600 four-seater developed from the Isetta
1958End of the six-cylinder in the 502
1959700 Coupé debuts in Frankfurt
1959Shareholders' meeting, important impulse against takeover by Daimler-Benz

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