From the automobile point of view, during the period of the second world war there's not really much to report on. Indeed, the vehicles were also used in the war, in the case of BMW, particularly the motorcycles, some of them with a powered side-car wheel. The production of cars for civil use came to a stillstand. Racing however, in friendly Italy still took place, e.g., with the 328 until 1940. No, BMW had already been financing itself for some time before the war from the building of aircraft engines, and particularly, through the automobile construction in Eisenach and the accompanying development department in Munich.
Technically speaking, the air-cooled radial engines from Pratt & Whitney were adopted. They obtained a licence instead of doing the development themselves. This was timesaving and a few years before the second world war broke out, still possible. Unfortunately, the aviation industry was very much under the knuckle of the respective ministry. Due to this, the timely licencing, also of the twin-row radial engine from Pratt & Whitney, was prevented. The further development of BMW's own aircraft engine also stagnated during the dictatorship. The americans profited from this and succeeded in achieving great heights using charged engines, thus giving the German fighter planes hardly any chance at all.
Nevertheless, BMW became a giant in the aircraft engine sector. They carried out a great deal of research and ventured into areas which were, until then, completely unknown. These included exhaust- and jet-turbine engines, either as radial- or as axial compressors, of course they were also in competition with other German companies, e.g., Junkers. A mass production, during the war, was never achieved. After the war, the allied powers, particularly the Americans, were delighted at the amount of work done, the results of which were largely taken over by them.
The work of Count Zborowski in the rocket department of BMW is perhaps a little less well known. Since 1935 testing was being carried out and it will probably never be known, just how much the results were later used by the NASA. Altogether, we are speaking about speeds well in excess of 1000 km/h and about the sound barrier, for which aircraft were already being developed. 01/11
In addition to the jet engine, the pictures above show a Ju(nkers) 52, which starts even today regularly to sightseeing flights. Although this machine is equipped with three nine-cylinder radial engines Pratt & Whitney but the standard power unit and the particularly in the war used machine is the BMW 132 engine, a further development of a Pratt & Whitney power unit.